On the Couch

After playing taxi-driver with my children yesterday, (they wanted to go to Walmart and the Library), the rest of the evening was mine and I took complete advantage of it. The boys cooked dinner (hamburgers and french fries) and I was sitting on the couch by the time my husband came home from work. After we had dinner together, I washed the dishes and back to the couch I went and I was there until bedtime. Did I feel guilty? No! Well, I guess I did because I folded a load of laundry. My husband and I watched three movies - one after another and we enjoyed this time together. Now, I couldn't do this day after day, but I sure enjoyed it! I'm trying to teach myself that I don't always have to be doing something - sometimes I want to sit and do NOTHING when I'm in the house. So, why did I feel it necessary to fold laundry in the middle of a movie? Did I feel like I was wasting my time? I don't think so. I was spending much needed quality time with my husband. Did I feel like I was supposed to be doing something? Probably so since I'm usually ALWAYS doing something. It's probably just the way I'm programmed. Well, it's time for some de-programming! I'm going to sit on my butt from time to time like the other people in this house do (smile). No one else seems to sweat the housework, so why do I? As long as they have clean underwear and aren't hungry, they should be fine. Life is too precious.

My Temple - Your Body

Dear Lord,

Help me to better care for my temple - your body. Help me to understand the importance of proper rest, diet, and exercise. Forgive me for neglecting my temple and thank you for the reminder that my body is not my own and it needs special care for your sake. Remind me when I'm tired to rest, remind me when I'm hungry to eat right, remind me when I'm low on energy that I need to exercise. Bless me, Lord and thank you for another chance to bring you glory through my temple - your body.

A Secret Ingredient

I'm convinced one of the key ingredients to keeping my peace of mind is getting the proper rest. I slept in this morning (until 7 a.m.), and it felt GOOD! I still cooked my husband breakfast, yet I went back to bed, which is something I rarely do. There was really no reason to stay up - well, of course there was - there were dishes and clothes to be washed, bathrooms to be cleaned, rugs to be vacuumed, and much more, yet going back to bed sure wasn't going to make these tasks disappear, and as a matter of fact, when I woke up they were still there staring me in the face and probably wondering where I was (smile). I'm not just finding out how important rest is, yet I sure deny myself of the benefits often. Mothers are always saying how tired we are and I use to say I didn't have time to take a break, but of course I do! JUST DO IT! Who's stopping me? Only myself. I use to feel like a slacker for taking a nap in the middle of the day, yet waking up at 4:30 in the morning for the past I don't know how many years, takes a toll on ones body! Sometimes I need a moment to sit and exhale. Find a minute to put your feet up, rest your eyes, or just breathe....this minute will add peace and energy to your day. We deserve it!

Just Listen

Being the founder of MOMSWEB, I have to sit and listen and talk less when in the presence of other Mothers because as soon as I share MW, others think I'm an expert on Motherhood or will judge their Mothering skills. This is so far from the truth. Me? I always say God chose me to start MW because I needed the most teaching (smile). As I listen to Mothers speak about their homes, their children, and motherhood in general, it's amazing how different, yet alike we are. It's so easy to judge another mother, yet I've learned to consider the teaching this Mother has received and her upbringing. I've also learned to look at my own imperfections! Not everyone is raised by a Godly Mother or even a Mother that has her children's interest at heart. We do things differently, yet we all have the same boss and the same job description - to raise, love, and nurture God's children. Some Mothers prepare dinner every night while others enjoy the convenience of take out. Some Mothers give their children a hot breakfast, and some offer a pop tart. Some Mothers allow children to date in middle school and some choose to wait. Some mothers believe in children having cell phones and some do not. Some Mothers believe in chores and allowance, yet others do not. Whatever the case may be, it is not our job to judge each other, yet to encourage. We all have a challenging journey and being judged is the last thing we need. Encourage another Mother today even if you don't agree with her mothering style. Accept her and love her - this is the secret to an open door of opportunity to enlighten her on what God expects of Mothers and not what we expect of Mothers. Happy Mother's Day!

My Strength In Weakness

I learn something new about being a Mother every day. It's amazing to me the many things we do on a daily basis and how we can keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. That energy is the power of God. I awoke this morning at 4:30 a.m. to make my husband biscuits from scratch, spent some time in prayer and meditation, had prayer with my prayer partner, folded and put away laundry, put the trash on the curb that my oldest son forgot to do, washed a few dishes, exercised, and did some work on the computer. My children aren't awake yet, so my day really hasn't started. This can only be the power of God because if I had a choice, I would still be in the bed, yet I know what God expects of me as a Mother. It's not about what I want to do.

I truly believe the role of the Mother is just another one of God's tactics to show His awesome power. He puts things on us to remind us of who he is. We get tired, frustrated, irritated, and snappy only to get to a point where we call on Him for help. God wants to remind us that we are nothing without Him and we do all things through Him. We really can't take any credit for what we do as Mothers - the glory goes to God. It is because of Him that we do what we do.

Well, my children are up and about now, so it's time to begin my day! Thank God for Jesus!

Seek Solitude

I spent the last four days in Oklahoma meeting, greeting, and spending time with what seemed like my husband's entire family tree - uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and childhood friends. Whew! What a big family and being alone for a minute was out of the question. By the time we left his town, I was mentally drained. My personality doesn't allow alot of room for constant socializing and I was craving for my personal space, yet had a twelve-hour drive home with my family plus my husband's niece. It was difficult hearing my Master's voice since He had to compete with others to keep my attention. I was having short, sporadic prayer throughout the days, yet I'm spoiled with my daily commune time with Him. Mothers deal with this issue on a daily basis. God has to compete with so much stuff to get our undivided attention - telephones, cellphones, people, tv, radio, computers, children, husbands, and everything else calling for our attention.

When I don't get my time alone with God, I suffer mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and it becomes more difficult to remain Christ-controlled, which means...my carnal self comes to surface. Yikes! Needless to say, I had a rough drive home from Oklahoma and so did my poor husband (smile). My lack of space and solitude was revealed in the worse way. I cried out to God to help me find a place in my mind to hear His voice clearly. Yes, God came through. Somewhere on the highways of Mississippi, I noticed everyone was sleeping. Thank you, God! Yippeeeee!! Although I was driving, I took complete advantage of this time and soaked in silence as I waited to feel the sweet presence of God renewing my mind. It was finally just the two of us. It was almost like waiting for your husband to turn the television off, so you can have his undivided attention - only waaaay better. Okay, maybe not your husband. Having consecrated time with my Lord is my lifeline - I can't live without it. It's my daily medicine for living. It's my way of staying connected to my power source - His presence is my being. As I received my much needed refill, my entire demeanor changed and I was able to properly prepare myself for the homefront routine waiting for me in Florida. I was a different person and without a doubt, my husband noticed. Seeking solitude should be added to every mother's list of things to do until it becomes a habit to spend time alone with God - daily. It makes a difference!

Matthew 14:23(NIV)
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone...

What Will You Leave?

Last night, I asked my husband if his mother, who recently passed away, had a will. He said, "No, she didn't have anything to leave." I immediately defended my seventy-five year old mother-in-law, who lived as a single mother of seven children most of her life. My husband wasn't expecting this, yet I jumped on my Motherhood soapbox and began to speak. No, she didn't have anything to leave because she gave everything she had while she lived - physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally. With seven children and who knows how many grand and great-grandchildren, everything she had was probably sucked out of her to the point she had nothing left to give except herself - she was truly a giving Mother. She gave her children life and gave her life to her family until her last breath.

A Godly Mother is a living sacrifice for her family. A Mother puts the needs, wants, and desires of her husband and children before her own. A Mother will do what is necessary to provide a loving, peaceful home environment. A Mother will go hungry to ensure her children eat. A Mother will even give her thoughts, ideas, and suggestions to her husband and make him feel they were his! God must get the glory for a Mother's giving spirit because only He is capable of giving His all and still having more to give. Mothers are empowered by God to give as we do. Although we get tired, frustrated, irritated, and sometimes feel like we're going out of our minds, we continue to give in all aspects of life. Just when we think we have nothing left to give, God injects us with a refill of His strength, energy, and power. A Mother shouldn't have to leave anything when we leave this world, yet we still desire to - even then. Our will should include leaving a legacy of the Godly life we lived, the love of God we shared, and our supernatural gift of giving. We should leave an example of being a Godly Mother, not only to our children, yet to other mothers and mothers to be. Although it is important to financially prepare for our death, the most valuable possession we can leave is a joyful memory of the life we lived and shared with others.

Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children...

He Prepared Me

Sweet Jesus is soooo sweet that He prepares us for things we can't handle. He knows when we'll need extra strength to endure tests, trials, storms, etc...This week I've been more prayerful for my husband than usual and it's because of the Holy Spirit pricking my heart to do so. Last night my husband's mother passed away and I needed to be strong for him. My fervent prayers prepared me for what we didn't expect. Thank you, Lord. It was a rough night for my husband, yet I was able to be the supportive, comforting wife I needed to be and he thanked me this morning. Nobody but Jesus!

I thank a special angel for her prayers who was with me when I received the news. The Lord ALWAYS gives us exactly what we need right when we need it. I can't stress a fervent prayer life enough. Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray.

Prayer 7

Dear God,

I come to you confessing my sins. Forgive me for all unrighteousness in my thoughts and actions. Thank you for your forgiveness and the blood you shed for me. Give me a fresh anointing today. Renew my mind and my spirit to desire only you. Give me the desire to seek your face, to seek righteousness, and to keep your commandments. Bless me to stay in your will. Remove all selfish desires, goals, and dreams, and allow my desires to be your desires. Draw me into a closer walk with you, a more intimate relationship with you. Lord, I desire to be the woman, the wife, and the Mother you created me to be. Continue to prick my heart, to prune me, and mold me. Help me to boldly be a woman after your heart. I love you, Lord and I desire to stay focused on you. Help me to keep my mind on you throughout the day. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Mothers on the Same Page

I was thinking last night how wonderful it would be if Mothers were on one accord - if we all were on the same page in regards to the role of Motherhood. I use to think we spoke a universal language, yet we have different ideas, thoughts, morals, values, ways of discipline, etc... Of course it would be unrealistic for us to think alike, yet wouldn't it be wonderful if we only considered what God's desire is for Mothers and not what our desire is? Hmmm...what would the world be like if Mothers prayed together for our children. There's a National Day of Prayer, there should be a National Hour of Prayer each day for Mothers. Each morning at the same hour, mothers can fall to their knees and pray a prayer of surrender and to become the Mothers we were created to be. How powerful would that be? Okay...back to reality. I'll just continue to connect with Mothers via this blog (smile). I still say when Mothers unite, we can change our Nation!

Prayer 6

Heavenly Father,

I thank you for this new day full of new opportunities, new blessings, and new beginnings! I thank you for protecting and keeping my family last night while we slept. Thank you for watching over us. Thank you for the angels assigned to protect our home from dangers unknown to us. Thank you for waking us this morning with life, health, and strength! Thank you for the ability to walk, see, taste, smell, talk, and to think properly! Thank you for your mercy, Lord! Thank you for your grace! Thank you for the blood that protects us every moment of the day. Thank you for this prayer of praise and thanksgiving! I love you, Lord. Give me a strong desire to serve you, worship you, and to keep a praise and prayer on my lips throughout this day. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Prayer 5

Heavenly Father,

I need you today. I'm tired, Lord and I need you to fill me with your Spirit. Thank you for being my power source. I realize I am nothing without you and I need your strength, energy, and power to make it through this day. Bless me, Lord. Take control of my thoughts and emotions. Renew my joy, my spirit, and my mind. Help me to focus on you and my blessings and not concentrate on the negative things clouding my mind. I believe in your power and I stand on your promises. I cast my cares on you and stand in your grace. Hold me up, Lord and order my steps today. Guide me, lead me, control me. In your son's Holy name I pray, amen.

Prayer 4

Dear God,

I come to you in the name of Jesus thanking you for the children you've entrusted in my care. I realize these are your children and I need your help to train them the right way. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge as I correct and discipline them. Bless me with strength and energy to provide their needs. Lord, I need an extra ounce of patience, love, and understanding. Help me, Lord. I know you have a plan for their life and I need your help in directing them towards you. Give them a desire to be obedient children to their parents, teachers, adults in their life, and you, Lord. Help me to be an example of a willing, obedient servant. I want my children to see your light through me, so help me to be Christ-controlled in all I do and say this day. Thank you, Jesus for the blood you shed for me and giving your life so I could have life and have it abundantly. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Prayer 3

Heavenly Father, I thank you for my husband. Thank you for allowing me to be the help mate of one of your precious sons. Give me love and eyes for him only. Help me to be the wife he needs and the wife you created me to be. Help me not to give a selfish love, but an unconditional love. Guard his heart and mind today. Bless him and give him strength, energy, and power. Help me to be patient with him as the leader of our home. Help me to be the example of Christ-like love in the home. Help me to be Christ-controlled when he does and says things I don't agree with. Show me my own faults before I point his out. Remind me it's not my job to always correct him, yet to encourage, uplift, help, and pray for him. Give me the desire to meet his needs physically and emotionally and to love him with the love of the Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

A Praying Mother

When the Lord opened my eyes this morning at 4:30 a.m., I reached over and held my husband and silently prayed for him. I asked the Lord to bless him, cover him with His protective blood, guard his heart and mind from unclean spirits, and help him not to yield to temptation. Just as our country forgets from time to time that we're at war, Mothers forget we are at war in our own homes - daily. The enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy all God has blessed us with, so Mothers must rise early and prepare for battle. We can't afford to wait for an attack on our home to pray; yet we must fervently pray without ceasing and stay in position for battle. If the enemy catches us sleeping or in a relaxed frame of mind, we give him easy access to our husband and children and before we know it, they are caught up in something and we're wondering why and how it happened. Staying prayerful also keeps us focused as Godly women and away from unnecessary busyness. Prayers of circumstance can't be our only prayers, yet me must develop a praying spirit. I've learned to pray for my family as I serve them and a Mother is always serving. We can pray while washing, folding, and putting away their clothes, cooking for them, washing dishes, transporting them, and even picking up behind them. I've wasted enough time on trivial thoughts throughout the day wondering why my husband and children aren't doing what they should be doing and hosting private conversations in my mind when I should be having conversations with the Master. I realize all Mothers reading this may not know how to pray, so this week, you can find prayers posted on the MW Blog to help you begin praying for your family. Yes, another role of the Mother - being on the frontline of the battlefield - in prayer.

Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Prayer 2

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my family. Thank you for another opportunity to lift them up in prayer. I ask for your protection on my family. Please, guard their hearts and minds from unclean spirits. Protect my children from dangers seen and unseen. Please continue to place a shield of protection around them throughout the day and give us all traveling mercies. Thank you for being our sufficiency. Thank you for providing food, shelter, and clothing. Thank you for meeting our needs and blessing us beyond what we deserve. Thank you for your love, Lord. In the name of Jesus, I pray that you protect us from the enemy's snares and traps he has set for us this day. Protect us, Lord and keep us. I'll be careful to give you the glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Prayer 1

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for getting my attention and showing me the importance of praying for my family. Thank you for shedding your blood and giving me the privilege to come before your Holy throne. I come in the name of Jesus, asking you first to forgive me of my sins committed in my thoughts, my words, and my deeds. Help me to be as forgiving with my family as you are with me. Help me to be as loving and compassionate as you are with me. Help me to look beyond their faults and meet their needs as you do with me. I want to be able to love my family with your love. Help me to see each person through your eyes. Help me to be an encourager and not a fault finder. Help me to recognize my own faults before I point out theirs. Help me to find the joy in Motherhood and to fulfill my role without mumbling and complaining. I need your help, Lord. I need your grace and your mercy, this day. I need you to remind me throughout the day to be in prayer. Help me develop a praying spirit and to pray for my family throughout the day. Help me, Lord. I need you in my life, in my thoughts, and emotions. Have your way with me as I nurture the family you placed in my care. I love you, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I Love It!

Okay, okay! I admit it. I LOVE the whole sport scene with my little men. I simply love it and I'm so grateful to have boys! My youngest did make the All Star Team and he isn't the only one happy about it. Hooray!! I guess I wasn't really ready for the season to be over, so now I have a little more time to enjoy the game of baseball - it's my favorite sport. The truth shall set you free! Unless I'm dead tired or haunted by hormones, there is nowhere else I'd rather be than in the stands. It's family time, it's down time, it's relaxing time, and it's fun time!This season has not only been rewarding in regards to the sport, yet I've met a couple of mothers (one from each son's team) who have been a blessing in my life. It's funny how God works because I told my husband at the beginning of the season that I was going to sit in my car and read for most of the practices. I guess I was burned out from previous sporting events. Well, I didn't feel comfortable doing that after the first couple of practices and would have missed out on two wonderful friendships that are blossoming in my life. My selfishness always gets in the way of God's work. Anyway, these two ladies know who they are. I thank God for you and thank you both for accepting me and allowing me to get to know you. Your insight, your spirit, and most of all your ability to allow God's love to flow through you have blessed me beyond the words to explain it. It's not easy for me to meet people and be sociable, yet the Spirit of the Lord within each of you has been a lesson to me this baseball season - one I'll never forget!

He Knows Better!

I'm recognizing my eleven year old making some unwise decisions in his early years. I'm so grateful to God for pricking my heart to pour good values and morals in him at a very early age because regardless of what choices he makes, I know he knows better. The Word says children will do foolish things, so it is to be expected for our children to do things that make absolutely no sense to us. God has already paved the path for them and His plan for their life WILL come to fruition. I can't get tired of talking or weary in training my children. It's a full time job and even being at home with them every day doesn't seem like much time, yet with no investment I get no return. I must invest in his life - if I don't somebody else will. I believe all things work together and this stage in my son's life is just another opportunity for character teaching for him and a lesson in patience, love, and understanding for me! I love these reminders to PRAY without ceasing!

My Family's Cross

Last night while exercising, I praised God for the ability to recognize spiritual warfare and the enemy's tricks. The Devil is always busy in my home and if I'm not busy praying and praising, I lose control. Mothers literally have to carry the cross for the family. SOMEONE in the house has got to be watching and praying and it's usually the Mother. It seemed everyone either had aches and pains, attitudes, or just tired and grumpy last night and I refused to allow those ugly spirits in my home, so I put on some gospel music and began to dance (exercise) and praise God. It's amazing how the atmosphere of the house changed and my thoughts! The devil will set up camp if we allow him to, yet for me and my house...we SHALL serve and praise the Lord!

Mothers and Spiders

Recently, my younger sister and I were enjoying a relaxing moment at the beach until her four-year old daughter came up, bent over and squatting, saying, “Mama, hurry! I gotta go boo-boo.” Our relaxing moment ceased as we scanned the beach for facilities. With a building in site, my sister picked my niece up and carried her across the beach while I thanked God my boys were older! As I watched this Mother / child image walk away, I thought how difficult it is to walk in the sand carrying your own weight and there my sister was walking across the beach with her four-year old in her arms. God has poured an extraordinary amount of physical, emotional, and spiritual strength in a Mother and we are empowered and equipped to endure the most arduous circumstances - some we can actually laugh at.

The MOMSWEB name not only represents Internet presence, yet signifies the similarities of Mothers and spiders. 1) Spiders have several spinneret (silk-spinning organ) glands located at the abdomen which produce a silken thread. Each gland produces a thread for a special purpose. 2) Some spider webs are stronger than steel 3)The spider is always producing. You can remove the cobweb, but the spider will continue to produce until it dies. 4) Spiders have highly developed sensory organs and are uniquely coordinated. 5) Spiders come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. 6) Spiders move quickly when necessary. There are other similarities, yet you have a clearer understanding of the MOMSWEB name and will never look at a spider the same. MW is thankful to Chaplain Belt, USN Chaplain, for giving the birth name to our organization, which continually reminds Mothers of our strength to endure!

Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Ethiopian Proverb - “When spiders unite, they can tie up a lion.”

We Survived!

Baseball season is over for the boys and we survived with only one injury with my oldest. Thank you, Lord! My youngest is hoping to be chosen for the All Star team, yet I can take it or leave it. Actually, if he is chosen, we won't have to participate in football. Okay, okay, I won't be selfish - it's not about me! I'm always told how busy I am, yet I'm really not busy for myself, yet for my sons. I truly understand the "Mom's Taxi" phrase. My life is busy with their activities and taking them where they need to go - practice, games, church activities, etc... Actually, I wouldn't have it any other way except on those days when I'm extremely tired (smile). I'd rather be completely involved in my child's life than just watching them do what they do. They are growing up so fast and I want to remember every aspect of their life and also want them to remember their parents being a major part of everything they were involved in. I truly believe being involved in a child's life makes a difference in the friends they choose and also the decisions they make later on in life. I'm sure I'll find out!