My "It's Alright" Song

When you feel you're at the end of your rope or wondering if there is any hope for your situation, just listen to this song and dance your troubles away!

Always by Jason Champion

Let me tell you something Dont you worry about a thing tonight

I promise you that everything is gonna be alright

Hold your head up high

Look up to the sky

Everything is gonna be "Alright"

He's everything that you'll ever need "Alright"

Just when you think it and it's gonna be "Alright"

Just call his name and you'll see what I mean "Alright"

Because HE loves you unconditionally

Forever, he loved you always

Don't worry he'll be there always

And just because you've had yourself a couple bad days

Dont mean its gonna be this way always

No matter what you're going through

And then you dont know what to do

Don't turn and run away

Fall on your knees and pray

Remember that he's witcha

Forever forever

Forever forever

Forever forever

Forever forever

Final Day of 2008

Today is my last blog of 2008 - how monumental (smile). Hmmm...what words will I share to take us into the New Year? Although I try to treat every new day as special as the beginning of a new year, you can't help but get caught in the hype of the big celebration. After all, it is a blessing to see another year. As I type this, I'm reminded that someone will not see 2009 and to be realistic, it could be me. Live each day as if it is your last day and live each moment to the fullest. Below are a couple of quotes that touched me enough to share. Happy New Day to you!

“A loser seldom lives in the present, but instead destroys the present by focusing on past memories or future expectations.”
-- Muriel James

"You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow."
-- Harriet Martineau

Get over it and move on. It happened, it's over, enjoy the present moment.
- - laVender s. williams

Busy Bee


I was listening to a Television Evangelist this morning speak about being busy. Ha! Well, I learned the difference in being busy and being productive. She actually used the word fruitful, which is definitely beneficial and exactly what God calls us to be. Busy is running around like a chicken with your head cut off and going to and fro into the Earth without doing anything productive for God. Being fruitful is being in the will of God and helping others He's led us to help, support, encourage, and pour into. Well, I've had ALOT of busy days, but even before I heard this message, I began to say no to many events I'm invited to. Now, that's being busy! I don't have to attend every luncheon, party, and social event I'm invited to. It's not possible especially when God calls me to do other things - like tend to the needs of my family and use the gifts He's given me. Allowing God to lead and guide us with our busyness will definitely turn busyness into productivity. Have a joyful and PRODUCTIVE day!

Another Chance

The year 2008 is almost over – already! Did I accomplish everything I wanted to? Did I achieve the goals I never wrote down? Is my baking business aligned with the business plan I never put on paper? Did I finish the book I’ve been writing for three years? Good grief! Let me review my health walk. Did I make lifestyle changes? Am I drinking more water and exercising daily? Am I consuming more fruit and vegetables? Okay, two out of three isn’t bad. Let me address another area of my life – my spiritual walk. Am I praying for and with my husband and children more? Am I showing myself friendly? Am I judging less and loving more? Am I striving to live in obedience? Hmm... I’ll keep these answers to myself. A work in progress - yep, that’s me! I set high goals and standards, but remembering to surrender self daily and follow God sure makes life easier and less stressful. I thank God for His mercy and giving me another chance to get it right. How can I not serve a God that overlooks my faults and shortcomings day after day and year after year? How can I not love and forgive the way He loves and forgives me? How can I not accept others the way God accepts me in spite of my continuous mess? How can I not follow Him when He continues to show me His way is the only way? I’m blessed with another day, another year, another opportunity to try to get it right. Have mercy on me, Jesus as I try to do better and live better. Thank God for His mercy and thank God for another chance!
Happy New Year to my fellow mothers and may God’s love, peace, and mercy cover you today, tomorrow, and in the upcoming year.

Jude 1:2 (NIV)
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

The Birth of Christ

Christmas Spirit

For some reason, I just can't seem to get into the Christmas spirit. I've decorated, taken the boys shopping for gifts, and our dessert business has me extremely busy, but there is no extra excitement in my holiday this year. No, I'm not being a Grinch, but I'm just going through the holiday motion. I thought maybe it was because the boys are getting older or maybe because my husband had a death in his family, or maybe my busyness is getting in the way of enjoying the season. I was hoping to receive a special Christmas meditation to share this morning, but I didn't, so I prayed and asked God to reveal just what my problem is. The Holy Spirit revealed it's not about sharing a flowery Christmas meditation, but it's about sharing Christ daily. It's not about the gifts I give or receive, it's about God's free gift available throughout the year. It's not about the Christmas lights I turn on and off, but it's about letting my light shine all day and all night. It's not about the Christmas music, it's about having a continuous song in my heart. It's not about a real or artificial Christmas tree, it's about being a strong branch bearing fruit. It's not about my children participating in the Christmas play; it's about me teaching them to act like Christ every day. It's not about being with family, it's about representing God's family. Christmas is not about a season, it's about my steadfast relationship with King Jesus regardless of the season. Needless to say, I'm okay with not feeling the "Christmas spirit" because it's not about feeling the spirit of a holiday, but about living in the Spirit of Christ everyday. God requires more than a holiday feeling from me. The "Christmas spirit" comes and goes, but the Holy Spirit within me is everlasting and gives me unspeakable joy! Merry Christmas!

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Who is in Control?

People don't control circumstances; God does. Whatever we might be going through with our family, friends, marriage, children, or on our job, God is in control. We waste time and energy being angry, holding grudges, and thinking about why people do what they do and the decisions they make we might not agree with. God is in control of everything and our faithfulness is tested by how we react to the circumstances in our life. Worship and praise God when things are going well and praise Him when you feel like you're going through hell. God IS in control.

Giving

I believe giving is the foundation of every relationship. How we give ourselves to our children, to our husbands, co-workers, neighbors, church family, and friends, and family sets the tone of the relationship. Children need our time and energy. Husbands need our time and energy. Friends and family desire our time and energy. Time and energy seem to be what we have little of, but it's required the most. Sure, it's easy to purchase a gift, but material things fade. The time and energy we pour into those we love is what will last a lifetime. Christmas is not the only season of giving - Everyday is an opportunity to give. Don't forget, while you're giving to others, pour something into yourself!

Tone of the Home

My home was quite peaceful last night - not quiet, but peaceful. The boys were in their room playing, my husband was sitting in the kitchen keeping me company while I baked cookies, Christmas music was playing in the background, and our conservative Christmas decorations and lit candles added a comforting atmosphere to the home. I wish every evening could be like last night, but that would be far from reality. I realized the main factor last night was the absence of the television. Aha! There were no strangers visiting us through the tube! There were no restaurants tempting us to participate in gluttony. There were no half naked women prancing in front of my men. There were no couples turning my living room into a temporary motel. There were no lessons on foul language. Reporters weren’t reminding us about the struggling economy. There were no women trying to persuade me to look like them, and there were no advertisers tempting us to spend money. No wonder the house was peaceful! All those outsiders were turned off and away. It made such a difference that we kept the television off all night.

I'm not looking for a perfect home, just a peaceful home and this peace must begin with me. When I have peace, I have more patience, I’m more loving, and I’m in a better position to hear God’s voice. I believe the mother sets the tone in the home. Chaos is created and disorder is designed, yet a peaceful mother is a praying mother and a praying mother is a powerful mother. Something as simple as having soft spiritual music in the home is enough to keep the enemy away because he can’t stand a peaceful environment and he sure can’t survive in a praise atmosphere. I know I will have to compete with the popular television, but it's worth a little effort. I thank God for the Prince of Peace and the peace He has already placed in me. Let's embrace our peace and share it with our family.

Proverbs 3:17 (NKJV)
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
perfect peace,

Breaking Point


All women have a breaking point. There is a point in your small world of tolerance that allows you to go only so far. Many of us don't know our breaking point until we've reached it and before we know it, we've gone off the deep end. Being a wife, mother, bookkeeper, cheerleader, nurse, teacher, mediator and whatever other hats we wear can exhaust us to the point of no return. Frustration levels shake and irritation sets in. Learn to take a break before YOU break! Get to know yourself enough to know when you've had enough. Don't push yourself so hard to please others, but love yourself enough to keep your sanity and your peace of mind. Enough is enough! Do you know when enough is?

All Powerful

This morning after seeing my husband off to work, I sat outside and watched the rain, thunder, wind, and lightening light up the dark sky. How can I not believe in an all-powerful God? How can I allow simple matters of my life to rock my boat? If God created the heavens and the earth, how can I not trust him with my life? If He created me, how can I not trust him to make decisions for my life - after all, I was created for His purpose! What an awesome God we serve. Life is simple when we realize we have no power, but are empowered by an all-powerful God. Put your life in His hands and watch Him work!

Pain and Suffering

I hardly ever get sick, but last week my body ached off and on. What I thought was a 24 hour flu turned into a 96 hour lesson on pain and suffering. One night while in the shower, I pictured Jesus on the cross and saw the blood running down his face and body. His face showed the level of excruciating pain He was experiencing. He didn’t die of a quick death, but had to endure a slow, painful death with a lot of suffering. Even the days leading up to His crucifixion were full of pain and suffering. While carrying the cross, He reached a level of exhaustion no Mother will ever reach. He even endured a meaningless, intolerable beating. As I stood in the shower, my aches and pains, all of sudden, seemed minimal. I began to praise God for taking me back to the cross. Yes, God is my Healer, yet I should be willing to sometimes share in the suffering of Christ. My goodness, can I endure a little pain from time to time? If God allowed His son to be bruised, why wouldn’t He allow me to be bruised? Even when I’m going through a storm, I would rather be delivered, than go through. When I’m hot, I turn on the air. When I’m cold, I turn on the heat. Good grief! Being sick and experiencing the pains and sufferings of life doesn’t change my relationship with Christ, but it sure does challenge my relationship with Him. I began to praise God in the shower for this life changing revelation and I asked for strength and mercy in my sickness. It’s amazing how my simple, yet sincere praise energized me and made me feel better. Focusing on the cross offers peace, deliverance, healing, and everything else Christ suffered and died for, but when we take our focus off the cross, we lose our power. My sickness was just another way of God getting me to the place where He can use me.

I Peter 4:1 (NLT)
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too.

No Time For Pain!

Remember the commercial from way back that sang a song about a woman not having time for the pain? I believe it was an aspirin commercial or something. Well, I've been singing that tune for the past couple of days. I thought I had a 24 hour flu, but it has continued into the 48 hour time frame! I definitely don't have time to be sick! I put my mind and my body in auto-pilot and I'm doing what I have to do while taking frequent breaks to rest my body and nap. I hardly ever get sick, so this is unusual to me. I even had the nerve to feel a little guilty for feeling bad, but I got over it quickly. My goodness, does a Mother have to have permission to get sick? Give me a break! I'm drinking as much water as I can, taking my soy shakes, and getting lots of rest. I'm not a medicine person, so I'm letting nature take it's course. I haven't got time for the pain!

Happy December!


I can feel my December schedule beginning to take me to a level of stress I don't want to visit. Okay, breath in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. I don't have to do everything I'm asked to do and I sure don't have to go everywhere I'm invited, so my stress level is in my hands. I create my own stress and I choose not to go there this holiday season. Relax, release, relate (smile). Besides alot of baking, I really don't have alot to do, but there is alot I would like to do. I love to entertain, so I will limit myself to plan one gathering this month - yes, just one. I can do it, I can do it! The important thing is to remember the reason for this special time of the year. Celebrating the birth of Christ is such a joyous occasion and to incorporate this in every thing we do this month, makes it more meaningful and will definitely bring God glory.
Happy December!

A Spiritual Note


Start your day not only on a positive note, but on a spiritual note. A note of love, peace, and joy.

Our attitude determines our behavior, so let's allow our mind to lead us through a day full of things that will bring God glory. Our walk, our talk, and our thoughts can be controlled. Choose to think on things that are beneficial and fulfilling to your mind, body, and soul.

Dust Bunnies

While moving furniture last night, I noticed a few dust bunnies hidden in corners that I would have never seen. Little did I know these sneaky dust bunnies were waiting to deliver a Life Lesson for LaVender. It wasn’t enough that I had to dust and vacuum, but I had to endure some painful pruning. The house appeared clean from the surface, but it would take more than surface cleaning to pass any inspection. A few things had to be moved in order for those dust bunnies to be visible and the same is with my life. My spiritual walk may appear all right, but God is aware of all my hidden sins and private thoughts. He knows my heart and knows exactly what things in my life need moving in order to pass His inspection of righteous living. I choose not to remain stagnant in my spiritual walk, so in order to grow, some things must be moved – it’s time for some changing and rearranging. My heart is in need of deep cleaning – surface cleaning just won’t do anymore. Me? A dirty heart? Well, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have a few hidden dust bunnies. We may appear to be an always loving Mother, supportive wife, and steadfast Christian, but we know behind closed doors, we allow the enemy to have his way with us. With another year rolling around, I sure don’t want to take old dust bunnies with me. I want to start with a fresh anointing and a stronger desire to follow Christ. I know the devil will be busy and I can never reach perfection, but God knows my heart and will assist me with His almighty power. What better way to show my thankfulness than to clean those hidden dust bunnies!

James 2:10 (NIV) For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
A Visit to ARC
Every now and then I like my children to be reminded that everyone is not like they are. Everyone is not born the same. ARC is a place for developmentally disabled senior adults with different forms of intellectual disabilities. The Dessert Stop, our family business, stopped by to deliver cookies and brownies and spend the afternoon with them. It was first-born's birthday and they all sang Happy Birthday to him. It was a memorable afternoon.
Below are some pictures.







My New Husband

For years, I've been asking my husband to court me and initiate date nights and for years I've been waiting. I knew I needed to initiate a date - again, but because of my pride, I refused to initiate another act to keep the fire burning. Our date nights were sitting in front of the television, so I sat and waited for hubby to make the first move. Okay, I’ll admit it; I allowed pride to control me. Communing with God revealed that my pride was keeping me from receiving date nights. What? How can this be about me? Why do I always have to be the one to change? It took a while to swallow the pride pill, but I planned a special Sunday date with dear hubby. Swallowing my pride immediately set a few things in motion. Saturday morning at 6 a.m., my husband and I were at a local IHOP having breakfast. The exciting part of this occasion was that dear hubby initiated our early morning rendezvous and said there were more dates to come! I enjoyed our spontaneous date and breathlessly awaited the Sunday date I planned.

Humility is the key to marriage. Humility allowed me to express the love I receive from God. We may not think our husband deserves extra love and attention, but we don’t deserve God’s daily grace and we surely didn’t deserve His son’s death on the cross. It’s because of love that we have life! When Godly love is expressed; love reciprocates. It may not happen suddenly, but if we believe in God; it will happen. I’ve been married fifteen years and not only is hubby finally initiating dates, but he’s initiating washing clothes and dishes also! He even watched the Food Network for a minute last night. I love my new husband! Pride was sucking the life out of our marriage, but humility is giving our marriage new life!

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Mother of a Teen!

Friday, I will officially be the Mother of a teenager. Yippeeeee! Auuugh! Help! WHAT? After all the scary comments I've heard about teenagers, I'll have to agree that for the most part, they are true. Attitudes, weird acting, selfish, rebellious, and a few others I'm sure you've heard also. In spite of all these things, which are expected in the transition years, first-born is still a sweet child. Loving, caring, and considerate of his Mama's feelings. He opens the door for me, asks if I need help carrying items, and will carry my empty plate into the kitchen. Yes, he is full of attitude and makes me ill at times, but he's mine.

Idle Time

The cold weather made it difficult to get out of bed this morning. I sat in the middle of my bed wrapped in my warm covers and thanking God for another day. I began to think of all the things I had to do and my prayer of thanksgiving began to slowly turn to a prayer of request for His help. I needed God’s power to infuse me with activity before I decided to lie back down. Was it laziness or did I need more rest? Do I have to teach the boys today? Do I have to cook breakfast and dinner? Do I have to get dressed? Do I have to work? What happened to my prayer of thanksgiving? I wasn't sick, so I immediately jumped out of bed to combat my lazy thoughts. I asked God to order my steps and fill my thoughts with His thoughts. It’s so easy to be lazy. It’s even easier to think of excuses to be lazy. Needless to say, as soon as I began moving, my attitude changed. I realized how even a little idle time can invite redundant, worthless thoughts to occupy my mind and worthless thoughts lead to insignificant activity. As quickly as this year is passing by, who has time for insignificant activity? As a young girl, I remember my father telling me time is one thing I can lose and never get back. Whether we are inside our home or outside of our home working, the clock is ticking - time is passing by. Let's make the most of every minute of this day and do everything unto the Lord. Being lazy is not acceptable. My prayer of thanksgiving returned as I thanked God for my health, my strength, the use of my limbs, and another opportunity to use them to bring Him glory. Idle time is not welcome here!

Proverbs 31:27 (NKJV)
She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

First and Last

I love talking with first-time pregnant women. Today, I had the pleasure of speaking briefly with one and she said this was her first and last. I told her I said the same thing and I have two children. Many women don't know that it is scripture that we labor in pain and after a while we forget what we went through and ta-da....here comes another baby (smile). Those little bundles of joy have a way of making us forget all we went through for nine plus months.

Happy Motherhood!

John 16:21 (NIV)
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.

Sigh...

Sigh...it's that glorious time of the month and I can't help thinking about all the women I know who have had hysterectomys / hysterectomies. I can't even spell it, so maybe that's why I won't need one. I remember being much younger and telling my Mother that I would get a hysto because I didn't want to bleed every month. Well, here I am many, many years later and still dealing with the curse. Quite a few women in my family have had this surgery and today I'm quite jealous. Am I crazy? Of course I am. Here I am wishing I had to go under the knife and have a day or two of rest plus another few weeks of pain and recovery. Hmmm...let's weigh the pros and cons, shall we? Not! I'll just sit on my butt for a couple of days and wait for these blessed days of Aunt Flo's visit to pass. Sigh...

Enjoy The Day

I will not think about yesterday; I will enjoy today.
I will not replay conversations in my head from yesterday; I will enjoy today.
I will not think about what I should have done on yesterday; I will enjoy today.
I will not consider what I could have done yesterday. I will enjoy today.
Yesterday is gone; it is history. Today is a new day; I am making history. I will enjoy today.
This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!

My Crystal Ball

At 2:30 a.m., I awoke with my dessert business on my mind. From the time the business opened, I knew there was more to it than just baking desserts. I even told my husband I wished I had a crystal ball to take a peek of where I was going. My passion is encouraging Mothers and nurturing children, so the whole dessert avenue has always been a little cloudy to me. Nevertheless, I've been following God's leading for over two years now and baking. At 3 a.m., I finally got my tired body out of bed and quietly meditated. I went to my Bible and was lead to read about Elisabeth, the Mother of John the Baptist. Elisabeth was a homemaker and desired to give birth to a child. Although childless well into her old age, she never doubted God's ability to fulfill His promise. She kept her eyes on her Savior and not her circumstances. Elisabeth's story definitely encouraged me as I closed my Bible and enjoyed my peace of mind. While quietly praising God, He mercifully revealed a few things to me about the business. He brought to my attention several things He has put in motion and the awesomeness of His perfect timing. My part is my continued obedience and faithfulness - without compromise. Whether we are looking for direction in a business, a relationship, our marriage, our children, or our jobs, God will accomplish His will in the most unusual ways with unpredictable timing. I could have muddled my mind and tried to figure out my direction, but going to God's Word gave me clear direction. Who needs a crystal ball? Needless to say, God has shared the connection of my love for baking and encouraging Mothers - His plan is much better than mine. Are you looking for direction with a particular situation? Go to the Word; be faithful, patient, and obedient!

Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

The American Flag


This is a picture of a Lego creation first-born completed a few days ago. Before he destroys it to create something else, I thought it was perfect for today since it's voting day. Although he ran out of white Legos for the stars, we still get the idea.
May God have His way today and everyday.

My Vote

As I stood in line to cast my early vote in the state of Florida this weekend, my heart became heavy. I thought about how much attention and time has been spent getting people registered to vote and making sure they vote early. I looked over the diverse group of people in line and wondered if they were saved and how nice it would be to have lines across the city of people waiting to hear the gospel and be saved. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I received from volunteers, from both major political parties, wanting me to vote early. Hmmm…no one ever called me anonymously to share the Word. It’s something how bold and vocal we’ve been about this political race, but when it comes to sharing the free gift of salvation, our lips become glued. Obama! McCain! Vote Yes! Vote No! Vote, vote, vote! Bumper stickers, yard signs, buttons, emails, and door to door knocking has become an accepted, temporary way of life, yet I complain because Jehovah Witnesses knock on the door early Saturday morning. May God bless them for trying to do what God expects from all His children. Yes, politics is important and necessary, but will never be as important as ensuring people are prepared to meet their Creator. Asking if someone voted isn’t the question, but asking if they are saved should be the focus. Can I do both? Sure, yet I’m reminded I serve a jealous God and He wants my total allegiance. I will be bold enough to say this…it doesn’t matter who wins the election because God will still be in control. Neither candidate has an ounce of power to do anything without almighty God. This voting process is just that…a process. My vote is important, but I’m reminded of the most important vote and the only vote that will matter in the end. Whose side are you on?

I Corinthians 10:22 (NKJV)
Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy?

That's Okay!

The mental retreat I've been on has opened a new life for me. Not only is my blood pressure staying consistently low, but I've been able to ignore some things that I felt required my undivided attention before. Remember the commercial where a little boy spilled red juice on the carpet? The mom looked at the stain, smiled and sang, "That's okay!" Well, my mental retreat has taken me there. Nothing seems to matter or should I say...I'm not sweating the small stuff. Ahhh...a new peace of mind I've discovered. The mental retreat must go on!

Spotlight Blogs




I've added a few blogs to the site that you might enjoy. Mothers come in so many different styles and personalities, that I thought I'd invite some company and add a little color to my own blog. It's nice to get another point of view on Mothering. God knows I can use all the help I can get. We're on this journey together and we all have something to add along the way.


If you have a blog that will bring encouragement, joy, or just 'good read' to another Mother, email me to be featured as a future Spotlight Blog!

A Season of Change

Fall is upon us, but the weather isn’t the only thing changing in my life. The mental retreat I’ve been enjoying is definitely renewing my mind, yet is also renewing my relationship with God and causing some changes in my life. I’m convinced; I’m right where God wants me – transforming. I have to admit, it’s a little scary because I’m out of my comfort zone in many areas of my life, but I’m allowing God to have His way with me. I don’t know where I’m going or who I’m becoming, but I’m going with the flow. My mental retreat has caused me to talk less and listen more, act more and react less, be more spiritual and less religious, and be more accepting and less judgmental. Just when I was cozy and comfortable in my life, the seasons changed. This season of change is altering my thoughts, my actions, my marriage, and even my relationship with my children. The ironic part of this change is how it started – needing and taking a break from the busyness of my life. When God calls us out to spend consecrated time with Him, a change will definitely occur. Being in a place to hear His voice offers clearer direction for our life. Just think; I would have missed this season had I not taken my mental retreat. I thank God for not allowing me to remain stagnant in my life, but to offer a season of change to bring to fruition, the woman, wife, and mother He created me to be. Do you feel a nudging to make a change or go a different direction in your life? Allow God to have His way with the seasons of change in your life.

Philippians 1:6...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Buck Stops Here!

It seems that I have a permanent smile on my face since I've been on my mental retreat. Hmmm...what does this mean? I'm not sure I want to return from my retreat because I'm loving it! My blood pressure is also lower than it's been in a long time. Hmmm...what does this mean? Why have I been stressed in my own home? Why do I feel pressured to do the things I enjoy doing? Okay, it's time for table discussion with the family. Now that the boys are older, I shouldn't have to do everything in the house. I believe I do everything because of my control issue. If you want something done right, do it yourself. That's the old saying and that's what I use to live by. Well, I no longer care if it's done right or done at all. The buck stops here! My health and mental well-being is more important than seeing an empty laundry basket and a clean kitchen sink. Sitting next to clothes on the sofa isn't so bad after all - especially when they are warm! I won't bother them if they don't bother me - not until I'm good and ready. Stress free days, here I come!

Mental Retreat

I searched my Bible this morning for validation to take a break from being a wife and Mother. I’m tired and in desperate need of rest and renewal. The closest scripture I could find was when Jesus told his disciples to go to a place alone and rest a while. He said this after they returned from a mission and Jesus recognized that to do His work effectively, periodic rest and renewal was necessary. My study Bible mentioned that Jesus and His disciples did not always find it easy to get the rest they needed, so this also gave me comfort. Since I can’t get away, I placed myself on a mental retreat this weekend. I have dirty laundry for days, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, plus many telephone and email messages to return, but I have a peace of mind that I can’t explain and I'm guilt-free! My family probably thinks I’ve lost my mind, but if I don’t take this time to renew myself, I will lose my mind. I refuse to self-inflict unhealthy stress or worry right now. No wonder women have a high rate of heart disease! We allow the pressure to perform to control us. No more! It’s a shame I had to reach forty-something to realize this, but I've always been a late bloomer and I thank God for the awakening! I’m not sure how long I’ll stay on my mental retreat, but when it’s over, I will be refreshed and ready to step back into the roles God created me for. More importantly, I will take more periodic mental retreats. My personal reminder to you - take care of YOU, so you can effectively do what you do!

Mark 6:31 (NKJV)
And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

A Sacrifice Worth Making

I haven't taken the time to blog all week and I'm feeling the blogger blues! Actually, is it that I haven't taken the time or is that I haven't had time? Since the family opened The Dessert Stop, my time is monopolized and there is little time left for me. I'm okay with this because it's a sacrifice worth making. If I have to bust my butt to make a better life for my sons' future, than this is what I'll do. It seems everything I do is for my family and this is just something else added to the plate. The boys spend alot of time at the shop also as I implement Business 101 into their homeschooling curriculum. They especially enjoy serving the customers and receiving tips, but things go a little sour when it's time to clean up and wash dishes. Oh well, they too, are making a sacrifice. They really won't understand the benefits of hard work until they have to work themselves.

Hard Times?

Yesterday, a young girl came into the shop to buy a cupcake and asked if we accepted food stamp cards. The last time I saw a food stamp, it was an actual stamp, so I asked to see it. To my amazement, it looked just like a debit or credit card, so I tried it in the machine. The machine did not accept it, so I gave her a cupcake. Last week, a woman asked me to buy her a can of sardines, Spam, a loaf of bread, and a couple other items, so I did. Also recently, while at a stop light, I saw a young Mother waiting at the bus stop with three very young children looking burdened and tired. I was tired also, but I was sitting down driving a car. God reminded me in each situation I witnessed, just how blessed I am. Hard times? Yes, but my cup still runs over with blessings. Being able to open a business in a shaky economy is a blessing. Being able to open my refrigerator and have a choice of what to eat is a blessing. Walking in my bedroom closet with a choice of what to wear is a blessing. Yes, I sometimes count pennies, but at least I have pennies to count. Last time I counted, they made a dollar! There’s another world out there I am ignorant to while I shut the garage to my warm home of comfort and cross my legs. I thank God for shaking me back into reality. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Hard times? No, I can’t go out and purchase a new outfit with new shoes right now and it's not in the family budget to eat out tonight, but we aren’t eating Spam or sardines out of a can either. We’re rich in health, life, and strength!

Psalm 41:1(NKJV)
Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Hula Hoop

My exercise this morning consisted of swinging my hips in a hula hoop for about 15 minutes as I watched the news. While listening to the news, I thought about when I hula hooped as a little girl and there was nothing on my mind except keeping the hula hoop moving. This morning, I thought about the economy, politics, oil, gas, and food prices, violence, and everything else I allowed through my ear and eye gates. Good grief. I wish I had known the pleasures of youth when I was young! My circle of concern was so small and my world was innocent. Now, I'm exposed to the necessities of life and responsibilities. I chose to concentrate on those youthful years and my hips began to swing just a little bit faster. I was having fun and enjoying revisiting my youth! Sometimes it's medicinal to have fun and play as a child. Our world is so complex, but the mind of a child is simple and carefree. Okay, back to the real world, I have laundry and cleaning to do! Sigh....

Come To My Party

I had a party this weekend and nobody attended. It all began Saturday morning when I chose to sleep in a little longer than usual. Once I awoke, I prepared my three men for another long day at the football field. I cooked them breakfast and packed them a lunch. I stayed behind to work our new family business, and noticed I didn’t leave myself a lot of time to get myself ready. This is when I decided to host a party- a pity party. Several questions began to race through my head - What about me? When do I get breakfast? Why do I have to cook and wash dishes? Does anybody care? I began to blame my family, but quickly figured out why this frantic football weekend was different from past weekends. Well, I didn’t plan properly, which left me hungry and rushed. I wanted my family to feel sorry for me and almost ruined the weekend with damaging thoughts, which resulted from a bad choice. Sleeping in isn’t a bad thing, but this particular day, I had much to do about everything, so sleeping in was not an option. It’s so easy to blame others for our personal mess. My no-show pity party reminded me to take ownership for the daily choices I make, which impact my attitude, the day, relationships, and every piece of my life. When I allow God to guide me in my decision making, my days run smoother, my thoughts are clearer, and I feel confident knowing God is at the helm. So, did I sleep in this morning? No way! I awoke extra early for another type of party – a take care of me party - a God-guided decision.

Psalm 31:3 (NKJV)
For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Out of the Box


So often, we live our lives in a box. We think our life is and will remain the same forever because we get stuck in our ways and comfort zones. We serve a creative, powerful God and living a life of obedience opens the door to our life changing drastically. Our lives could change tomorrow, but we limit God by not acknowledging His awesome power.

My son's birthday is next month and he asked for $300 dollars. Ha! I told him to go look at his room and let me know if he deserved $300 - he didn't move. I went on to tell him how he could have almost anything he wanted if he just did what he was responsible for in the house and take some initiative to do some things on his own (outside of when he wanted something.)
Our Heavenly Father is the same with us. He has special blessings waiting for us, but we are disobedient and try to run our own lives. What reason does he have to bless us beyond the grace blessings we receive everyday? Our Father is a King! He owns everything, so why in the world would His children be without? Let Jesus out of the box and live in obedience!

Memory Lane

This morning I was looking for a special message from God to help me begin another demanding week as wife, mother, chauffeur, teacher, baker, cheerleader, manager, nurse, friend, and every other hat I wear. I used my favorite Bible, which is over 20 years old and falling apart. The books of the Bible aren’t even in the correct order, but I love it because it’s full of notes and highlights. This Bible has been with me through my days as a single woman and has taken me through 15 years of marriage, pregnancy, miscarriages, the birth of two sons, health and sickness, financial circumstances, friendships, my twenty year Naval career, and every other matter in my life. A few of my past trials resurfaced as the highlighted scriptures took me down memory lane. I smiled as I recalled how some situations seemed like such a big deal then, but looking back, I now see them as simple matters – light afflictions. Particular highlighted scriptures reminded me of how I walked through the storms of my life. My worries cease when I trust. My faith increases when I believe. My burdens are relieved when I cast my cares, and I am delivered when I surrender. I definitely received the special message I was seeking this morning. The same God that walked with me through my past situations is still walking with me. His word has not changed. He is the same God he was yesterday and He’ll be the same God tomorrow. There is no need for concern when things are shaken or changed in my life as long as I stand on the solid promises of God. His word is constant and He is forever faithful. My walk down memory lane reminded me of how God has always worked in my life, yet it also encouraged and strengthened me for today.

Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)
The grass withers, the flowers fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.

Can't Wait Until Tomorrow!

My husband always looks forward to Fridays. I remind him that we don't know what Friday holds for our family, so enjoy today. Well, he found out that he has to work this Saturday, so his Friday joy was tainted a bit. Now, I guess he can't wait until Saturday, so he can enjoy his time off on Sunday. Whatever! I told myself a long time ago, that I would enjoy every day because something exciting happens everyday - I open my eyes! We can truly only live in the moment, so to look beyond the present can be a waste of our already limited time on Earth. What do you think? When we say we can't wait until tomorrow, are we saying we aren't content with today? Yes, it's fine to look forward to special occasions and events in our life, yet the next minute is not promised to us, so let's be excited about RIGHT NOW! Don't waste today, thinking about tomorrow.

Football Fanatics

As much as I love the game of football, I will never understand the pressure put upon children to perform. Are they not allowed to drop the ball sometimes? Are they not allowed to miss a tackle? Why is practice two hours long on school nights? It's crazy! I don't think any of the boys have been drafted into the NFL yet, so what's the big deal? My husband says I'll never understand because I'm a woman. Well, I'm glad I'm a woman because it's not that serious.
Last night, coming home from practice, my husband was on my son for missing a pass; he plays a few positions and one is wide receiver. I thought to myself, if we put as much energy into his character building and Bible teaching as we put into football, we'd score a real touchdown! I didn't part my lips and only prayed because I knew the enemy would blow my comment up into an argument. A Mother has got to know when to speak and when to shut-up and pray. Our influential role is much to powerful to misuse with simple words. Sometimes our prayers will get the job done before any words that cross our lips. Men will always be men and their ego in sports is a part of who they are.
My job during football season is to be on sidelines praying and ensuring my sons stay encouraged and prayerful on the field. I must also remind them that their talent is from the Lord and that they would be nothing without the powerful hands of God upon them. Are you ready for some football?

A Lighter Load

My husband was surprised to see me awake early this morning after an extremely eventful weekend. He told me I needed to get some rest, but I was preparing to meditate and exercise, so I could begin my day the right way. I always stress the importance of rest, so I appreciate my husband looking out for me, yet there is work to be done. My legs ache and my feet hurt, however, I neglected my home all weekend, so today is another busy day. As I put laundry in the washer, sweet Jesus whispered to me that my rest is in Him. His words were like a warm hug as I was reminded to plug into my power source for a recharge of strength, energy, and power. Rest and exercise is my physical energy, but it runs out. I need an endless energy that never tires – a spiritual energy, which is the Spirit of God. A woman’s work is never done, but when we allow God to lead and guide us throughout the day, our load seems lighter. The 23rd Psalm came to mind as I continued my laundry and I felt an extra ounce of grace and energy. The Word of God is potent when we make it personal and apply it to our daily life. Yes, my to-do list seems endless today, but I’ll take one task at a time as God leads me. I will do the things that I can and realize I can’t do everything. Let’s have a Magnificent Monday as we plug into God’s strength and power. He will restore us!

Psalm 23: 1-3 (New Living Translation)

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Gentle Reminder

The Lord woke me at 2:30 a.m. this morning to pray and I'm so thankful He did. I've been busy preparing to open a business, so my days have been quite full. He reminded me that my family is my first ministry and not to let the things of this world distract me from my prayer life. Thank you, Lord! Although the Lord has blessed me with this business opportunity, He also reminded me that He still requires to be first in all I do and that I need to continue striving to be the Godly wife and mother He created me to be. I'm so grateful for God's gentle reminder as He could have chosen any way to remind me. From the beginning of this business endeavor, I've made a special effort to stay focused on Jesus. I don't want to get overly excited, but I want to remain grounded and see Him in every part of this opportunity. To God be the glory!

A Short Stay


I don't like hospitals at all, but last night I visited a friend who is ill and it was a blessing to be able to walk out of the hospital. Thank God my stay was short and I was only visiting! I thought about how many sick people are depending on someone to feed them, change them, bathe them, and whatever else. Many people will not even see the outside of the hospital again. I don't ever want to take my portion of health for granted. Just to wake up in the morning is a blessing. To breathe without the help of a machine. To walk without a walker. To go to the bathroom on my own and bathe myself is a blessing. To acknowledge God's grace on my life makes a difference in my day. Beginning the day with thanksgiving to God sure sets the tone for a joyful attitude!

A Friend of Mine

Yesterday was an emotional day for me. A friend of mine is moving away and I had to say goodbye. As he looked at me with eyes full of water, I realized just how much he meant to me. I’ve never met anyone like this friend of mine and I know he was put in my life for a short season, yet for many reasons. Each Sunday after worship service, he looked for me and greeted me with a handshake, but instead, I would reach for a hug. He always seemed to go with the flow and never got caught up in mess. He never allowed anything to bother him and always minded his business. He served in ministry joyfully and had a smile for everyone. Whenever I asked about his job, he always spoke proudly and never said a mumbling word. He was thankful for everything and everything was always, “Gong good, going real good.” My friend was always polite and to see him stand and praise God humbled me in so many ways. My friend has Autism, and his life seems so simple – absent from life’s complications and confusion. My friend makes me wonder if he is the example God wants – to offer few words and show much love. To be content with just the ability to be. Yes, my friend is a special person and he reminded me that my worldly education and thoughts stifle God's work. My friend showed me the simplicity of spirituality and the strength in humility. Although my friend is moving away, the powerful way God used his quiet, gentle spirit to touch my life will stay with me forever. My friend taught me that all God wants is me – just simple little me, but all of me. It isn’t until I allow God to reeducate, renew, and redirect my mind that I will be transformed for His use.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Mental Stresses

Some mornings I pop out of bed like a spring chicken and other mornings I don't want to move. The body is amazing as it reacts to the stresses of life that we allow and those we have no control over. With this being the case, I must not allow unnecessary stresses in my life. I must pick my battles with my children, my husband, my career, and especially those personal battles that arise in my mind. Sometimes, I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to mental stresses. Every situation doesn't require a fight. Every issue that bothers me, doesn't need all my attention. Every person that offends me doesn't need a reaction from me. Feeling physically drained has got to be partially contributed to our mental state. Where are you mentally this morning? Where will you go this evening? Where will you allow yourself to go, mentally, over the weekend? Keep the peace in your home, your marriage, your job, and especially in your mind.

DELETE

I recently had to delete a friend of mine from my email address. She passed away not to long ago and it just didn't seem right to click the delete button, but I finally did. It's ironic, but we all want to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. One thing is for sure and that is the fact that we will one day die. One day we will be deleted out of someone's address book. We will leave our family and friends and leave this Earth for good. Thank God for everlasting life and salvation! Live today as if it is your last. Dance as if no one is watching, laugh until it hurts, and grasp the moment.

A Rich Uncle

This weekend, my husband came home from grocery shopping and was commenting on the amount of money he spent and how few groceries he had. I hear this each time he does the shopping, so I just smile and listen as I put away the groceries. I heard him mumble something about having a rich uncle, which I knew he didn't have, so he must have been wishing for one. I can’t imagine what my husband goes through being the head of the household and breadwinner for the family. I sometimes see him scratching his head when he writes out bills or balances the checking account, so I just pray. This time, I did more than pray. I reminded my husband about our rich relative up North. I knew if we called him, he would be willing to help us. I waited for the right moment and then proudly mentioned the relative, our Father, King Jesus, who owns everything. I began to point out our many blessings inside and outside our home. I went further and joyfully spoke about the future blessings in store for our family. My husband was now smiling as I spoke from my spiritual soap box. I refused to let my husband board the ship of discontent and frustration. We are so blessed! I know every head of household, woman or man, gets frustrated from time to time, but we have to remember who we are and whose we are. We are children of a King! Just as we want our children to obey before we give them what they ask for, King Jesus is waiting for us to get our act together and surrender so He can bless us. Once we do our part, King Jesus will definitely do His part. With a relative like King Jesus, who needs a rich uncle?

I Chronicles 29:11 (NKJV)
...For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.

Character Class

Last night, I made my children get out of bed to clean their room. It was a disaster and they told me they had already cleaned it. I found one's clothes behind the other's bed, clothes in the sock drawer, and piles of stuff in every corner. Don't they know if they just keep their room clean, life will be a little easier for them? Lord, have mercy. I wonder about the decisions my children make and what goes through their minds. Lately, I've been prompted to put more time in our character training. Teaching children character is so important. Character is what will help mold their values, morals, and allow them to make right choices. Children grow so fast and before you know it, our opportunities to pour into them will be gone. Each day is another opportunity to give our children something they can keep for the rest of their lives. Life lessons of how to treat others, responsibility, honesty, truthfulness, obedience, cleanliness, discipline, perseverance, humility, initiative, the list goes on and on. Character defines the essence of who we are and our children will be successful in whatever road they travel with good character. Begin today and take advantage of every opportunity to teach a life lesson on character. Academics isn't the only thing that will take a child through life.

Homesick

I looked forward to the holiday weekend to travel and see my parents. Saturday morning, I was so happy as I packed my clothes and prepared for the trip to Montgomery. I had not seen my parents in a while and was homesick. The Lord quickly let me know that it's okay to miss my parents, but my heart should be longing for Him - homesick to be in His presence. Yes, my parents have loved me, cared for me, and protected me, but our relationship is only temporary. My Heavenly Father will love, care, and protect me eternally. I was reminded again, that this world is not my home. The temporal things and people I enjoy bring happiness, but my Heavenly Father brings me joy - everlasting joy. As I thought of being in my Creator's presence, the thought of no more illness, issues, problems, tears, and cares of this world became quite appealing. A song came to mind that I remember from years ago. Some of the words are...Can't wait to see Him and look upon His face. Bow down before Him and thank Him for His grace...A blanket of peace and unspeakable joy covered me as I longed to be in my Savior's presence and look upon His face. I began to long for my eternal home; I was homesick. It's so easy to get attached to people and the material things of this world. We have a special love for our parents, spouse, children, friends and family, and even our homes, but our love for God must be greater.

1 John 2:15 (NKJV)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Everyday is Labor Day

One night at football practice, second born accidentally locked the keys in the car. My husband was about 45 minutes away in school, so we sat at the field and waited for him to arrive. While we stood next to the car, the boys wanted to find constellations. After teaching most of the day, I was tired and really didn't feel like using my brain. I tried to act interested as we looked up at the sky. The coach who was nice enough to wait with us asked me if I would tutor some of the boys on the team one night a week. I immediately thought to myself, "I don't feel like teaching my own sons and now you want me to tutor someone else?" Good grief, can I get a break? After I got over my one minute selfish party, I agreed to help. I'm at the field anyway, so I chose to do the right thing. Sigh...every day is Labor Day for Mothers. Everyday is a teaching day and every moment offers a teaching opportunity. Thank God for Mothers and have a happy Labor Day!

Worried?


We all have concerns that can easily turn into worries. Our homes, marriages, children, jobs, and school are just a few concerns of life. The key to not allowing our concerns turn into worries is prayer. Want to worry less? Pray more! A simple concern can begin to weigh on our minds so heavily that we begin to spend alot of time thinking about it. Most of the time we're thinking about something we have no control over. Instead of using that valuable time thinking, turn the thoughts into prayer with God. Cast your cares on Him! Need a job? Need gas money? Children acting up in school? Husband not being so lovable? Need to make a big decision? Instead of allowing these concerns to marinate in our minds and turn to worry, pray about them. Yes, the thoughts will come back again and again, but as soon as they do, PRAY! This takes practice, but it works. We have to program our minds to not worry. We have to condition ourselves to be prayerful. Prayer removes worry. Prayer offers peace of mind.

The Porch

While stationed in Cuba, over twenty years ago, I walked to the beach every Sunday morning, sat on a huge rock, and communed with God. I remember the warm sand, the clear blue skies, the powerful, yet soothing sound of the ocean waves, and even the bold iguanas walking around. Even in my twenties, before I was married with children, I craved time alone with my Creator and benefited from it. Yesterday, I was reminded of my Sunday mornings in Cuba as I sat in a rocking chair on a friend’s porch. Although I wasn’t alone, I felt like I was miles away – lost in the peace of God. The trees, the soft clouds, and the wind blowing against my skin were heavenly. I didn’t have a care in the world and could have sat on the porch all night, but I knew I had to snap back into reality and go home. On the ride home, I continued enjoying the peace as I watched those same soft clouds follow me home. I realized it wasn’t about the porch at all, but the invitation the porch offered – to take a moment and be still. The huge rock in Cuba offered the same invitation. Being still allows me to honor God and His power. Being still invites me to recognize the breathtaking nature around me. Being still prompts me to exalt God. Being still invites peace, joy, and humility as I meditate on God's greatness. Just because I’m not in Cuba, sitting on a rock by the ocean, doesn’t mean I can’t take time everyday to sit and be still. God is everywhere! My rock is wherever I choose to be still. I thanked my friend for the invitation to sit and rock on her porch. I was reminded of the many benefits of being still. My mind was refreshed and renewed as if I went on a short vacation. Take a minute today to sit and be still. ]

Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
Be still, and know that I am God...

Pearls of Wisdom

I've heard the phrase 'words of wisdom' referred to as 'pearls of wisdom'. This is so fitting because the words of the older women in my life are definitely as valuable as a pearl ... if not more. I remember one particular woman telling me that if she had school-aged children during this day and time, she would awake early just to cover her children in prayer before sending them off to school. Her words replay in my head often and although I don't send my children off to school daily, I'm reminded to pray for them each morning and throughout the day. I can't afford to get comfortable in my prayer life just because they are in my care most of the day. The enemy is still busy and a Mother's prayers offer protection from dangers seen and unseen. Have you prayed for your children today? Have you asked your Heavenly Father for His grace and mercy in regards to your children? Have you asked for His protection over them? If not, take a moment and cover God's children in prayer. He has entrusted us with His children, so we must do everything possible to love and protect them. Never send a child out unprotected!

My Village

I’ve enjoyed being the go-to person in my twelve-year old's life, but he has approached the stage that now places his father and me in the clueless bracket. I still have a couple more years with my second-born before I become clueless, but he is already showing me that it takes a village to raise a child. My dear ten- year old came home from football practice one day and spoke proudly of how serious his coach is about drinking water. Okay, I’ve only preached the importance of water to you since you were a toddler and I remind you daily to drink plenty, so what’s the big deal? I know what the big deal is. Someone outside the home has mentioned the importance of water, so now it’s gospel. I believe it’s my job to train my children and instill the right values and morals, but they still need a village of positive influences to back me up. Second-born’s sudden enlightenment with water has convinced me of this. I’m sure those of you with older children can identify with me and now I understand. Parents need help; we need a village. Single Mothers really need a village! We must be careful about the village we place our children in because they will listen, imitate, and believe their village. I want my sons' village to confirm my words, not work against them.
Another school year is here and my sons will be a year older. Where is my village? Coaches, friends and family, co-workers and business partners, church family, neighbors, plus the people God will place in our life for necessary seasons. I’ve always safeguarded my children from influences outside the home and now as they grow older, I’m seeking and identifying positive influences for them. It’s funny how things change. As I write this, I think of the older women who were members of my village growing up. I still remember their faces and the words they spoke to me. Just knowing they were in my life made a difference. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child. I can't thank my son's coach enough for instilling something that I've tried for years to do. Thank you! Will all the village people please stand up!

Psalm 34:11 (NKJV)
Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Lord, Help Me!


Lord, help me! Second-born is really trying me. He's such a bright young boy, but for some reason wants to act like the poster child for 'Don't Homeschool.' My father actually came up with that name, so I'm not the only one who recognizes the challenge in educating my younger son. His answer to most questions is, "I don't remember" or "I don't know." Auuugh! Okay, I know this isn't about him - it's about me refining my patience and compassion. It's about me depending on God for creative ways to teach His child. It's about not allowing the enemy to use me to kill my son's spirit of learning. It's about LOVE. It's about not losing my mind in the process of home educating my children. Lord, help me!

Although we've been doing a little homework all summer, yesterday I turned up the heat just a little and he acted like it was killing him. I had to take a time out and get MY head together. Laziness and attitudes don't mix well with this Mama, so I stepped away from the picture and went to my prayer closet - literally. I had to remember that this too, is spiritual warfare and I will not be beat. After taking time out to regroup, pray, and get myself in a place to hear God's voice, the rest of the day went okay. It's amazing how our attitude affects our actions and the actions of others. Well, time to get ready for another school day. What will today hold? Whatever it is, I'll just smile and praise God through it. Help me, Lord!




Do You See What I See?


Both my sons wash their own clothes, but every now and then, I'll show a little Mama mercy and throw in a load for them. I did just that yesterday and I placed the dry clothes on the sofa thinking they would see them and finish the job. I must have lost my mind for a split second by thinking they would jump in and help out because the clothes are still on the sofa. Hmmm...do they not see what I see? They must be waiting for me to say the magic words..."Get your clothes off the sofa and hang them up." I don't get it. Wash your hands, brush your hair, make your bed, pick up your clothes, take a shower, put deodorant on, brush your teeth, take out the trash. Good grief, do they see the world through do nothing eyes or what? Anyway, the clothes on my sofa only begins my day...I'm sure the Lord has more to add, so I'll just say the magic words to get the day going...."Hey! Come and get your clothes off the sofa!"

The Mood of my Home

I'm so concerned about my own moods, I never really thought about the mood of my home, but it has one - every home does. The size of the home doesn't matter or how many family members are in it, our home has a mood. I guess it's really the atmosphere or environment of the home, but mood sounds more personal to me. Last night, after a full day of discipline, bickering, homework, complaining, television, radio, attitudes, complaints, comments, telephone calls, doorbells, and an array of other household input and output, I felt the need to change the mood of my home. I turned off the television and put on soft worship music. Ahhh.... Then I brought the family together for prayer (on our knees). Once everyone was tucked away in their beds, I had an intimate moment with God. The atmosphere of my home wasn't just quiet, it was serene - peaceful. I believe the home takes on the persona of the family and everything we allow in it. We allow outside influences, worldly thoughts and words, and members of the GMC Club - grumblers, mumblers, and complainers to set up camp in our dwelling place. Sometimes it's necessary to take a time out from activity and focus on what's important - God and family.

Lazy Day

It's pouring down rain and the boys are still sleeping. Last night was their first night of football practice, so I thought I'd have a little mercy and let them sleep in a while. I've had my warm oatmeal with walnuts and I feel like getting my favorite purple blanket and curling up on the sofa and watching television. Sigh...can I call in sick? Who do I call? I thank God for the Holy Spirit because I know deep inside me is a lazy woman. If I didn't know to call on my help from above, I would definitely spend quite a few days on the sofa. My husband would probably think I'd lost my mind, and my children would think I was sick.
I know God is real because I feel Him stirring deep in my soul on these days when I just can't seem to get going. His power ignites me and I'm able to go above and beyond the call of duty. Just calling the name of Jesus gives me the power to move. If you've ever had a day where you don't feel like cleaning, cooking, or being a wife and mother....call on Jesus! He employed us, so He'll give us the resources we need to get the job done. Time to go to work! Thank God for Jesus!

Don't Get Comfortable

Saturday afternoon, I stopped for a minute and realized how calm the day had been. Hubby was cleaning the garage, the boys were swimming, and I was in the kitchen doing what I do. My thoughts were peaceful and pure and I was relaxed and happy. I thought how nice it was to have a day absent from busyness and havoc. Not long after my serene thoughts, I was led to pray as if something was about to happen. The Holy Spirit reminded me not to get comfortable in the goodness of life, but to pray as if I was going through a rough storm. It’s great to enjoy life, but I was like a kite flying in the wind. I was prompted to remain grounded and on guard. I was reminded how the enemy waits for the Mother to get comfortable in her prayer life, so he can stir up mess. A distracted Mother is the enemy's best friend. I was reminded of the protection prayer offers my family. Isn’t it funny how we stay at the feet of Jesus when we’re going through a storm? Storms kick up our prayer life a notch or two. The enemy never sleeps and is always on his job; therefore, I must always be on my job. Soldiers don’t sleep on the front line, so this soldier must always be alert and ready for daily spiritual battle. Our Saturday continued to be a peaceful one and the entire weekend went well. Today is a new day. Yes, I started my day in prayer, but I won’t get comfortable! I won't get caught in a storm without my umbrella - prayer is my covering. I will remain on guard and maintain a praying spirit throughout the day.

I Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)
pray without ceasing.

Get Away From Me!





Lately, it seems I'm surrounded by negative thinking people. I try hard to find the good in everything - even my son's nasty room. I can change my own negative thoughts, but I can't change what comes out of another person's mouth or what they think. One thing I can choose is the company I keep! So, you don't have anything good to say? Get away from me! Keep that dark cloud over your own head! Life is short and I choose to enjoy it to the fullest, so I can't allow my mind to be cluttered with the stinkin thinkin' of others. My marriage, my children, my career, my home, my Self - these are all things exposed to outside influences and if they aren't protected from negative people with negative vibes, they will be negatively influenced. I have enough problems trying to keep my own mind clean, so why expose myself to the negative mess of the world - including people. This world is not easy to live in, but trying to find the good in everything and everybody sure does help. Choose to be happy! Choose to enjoy life! Choose to have a good attitude! Choose to be loving! Choose to be kind to others! Choose to smile! Choose to be patient! Iron those frown wrinkles out of your forehead and choose to find the good in ALL THINGS. Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Over the Edge


It's sad, but true that many women are doing their best to not go crazy from day to day. Before you know it, our plates are full, we're tired and irritable, we miss meals, and we find ourselves on the edge and about to go coo-coo for cocoa puffs. Many mothers are silent about these melting moments, yet we all have a breaking point. The chipper mom, the PTA mom, the stay at home mom, the quiet mom, the church mom - we all have a limit. We push ourselves to care for everyone else leaving ourselves neglected and abused from self-love. We MUST take care of ourselves. What did you do for yourself this morning? Did you pray or meditate to begin your day? Did you have a balanced breakfast to fuel your body for the day? Did you exercise to increase your energy level? What did you do to help prevent yourself from going over the edge? Visit www.momspeaceplace.blogspot.com for helpful hints to help YOU.

Help Wanted

As I saw my husband off to work this morning at 5:45, he said he had a three-man job to do today. I could have sent him off to work in a foul mood by challenging his workload and informing him of my busy day, but instead I just chuckled and said, “I lift my eyes to the hills. My help comes from above.” Dear hubby mentioned a free movie I could take the boys to today, so I thought I’d better tackle some laundry, clean, and cook dinner early to get it out of the way. Three-man job huh? I cooked breakfast for hubby at 4:45 this morning and will cook another breakfast when the boys awake. Three-man job huh? There’s an English book I need to open with the boys today. I've got your three man job! Oh well, I really don’t have time to compare workloads, I just need to do it. I thank God for making women multi-taskers. I thank God for Jesus! It doesn’t matter what kind of job we have or what our workload is, we can’t do it alone. Whether you are a mother working two jobs, caring for elderly parents or special needs children, struggling as a Single Mother, or just trying to handle life itself, we all need the help of our almighty God. I can’t imagine my days without Him. He is my source of strength, energy, and power. No vitamins, green tea, water, or exercise can do for me what Jesus does for me. Yes, these things help me immensely, but my true help comes from above. Need help? Call on the true source.

Psalm 121:2 (NKJV)
My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

A Woman's Work


A woman's work is truly never done. There is always something to do - always. As soon as laundry is finished, another load appears. As soon as the kitchen is clean, another sink load of dirty dishes pops up. As soon as the floor is swept and mopped, someone spills something or tracks dirt in the house. We won't even discuss toilets - especially if you have boys. I finally got around to cleaning the blinds and windows in a few rooms in the house. It was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment especially since I hate doing windows. While hanging the clean blinds back up, I caught a glimpse of the sunlight shining on dust hanging from the ceiling fan. Good grief. If I had not washed the windows, I may have never noticed the dust. It's enough visible work around the house without having the spotlight on dust I don't see. Oh well, I find comfort in knowing it's understood that a woman's work is never done. To me, this means I'm never expected to be finished with my housework, so that dust can hang from the ceiling fan for just a little while longer.

Jealous Family


I heard from a mother this morning who is having difficulty helping her family adjust to her new career. Although she works within the home, all of a sudden she doesn't spend enough time with her family. It's funny how our family reacts when we pursue outside interest. They aren't concerned because we don't spend enough time, but they want ALL our time. It takes a minute for the family to accept our outside interest and some families will just tolerate it, but still want all Mama's time. Don't let guilt stop you from doing what you enjoy. We can't hold hands all day, we can't play all day, and we sure can't romance all day. Do what you do and maybe a little more, then TAKE CARE OF YOU.
I work a few hours outside the home in the evenings plus I have a job I work from home. I've been writing for years and alot of my time is spent on the computer. I still have to make sure my family is fed, dry, and happy before I sit down to work. Even when I ask if anyone needs anything before I sit down, someone will find a reason to interrupt me, but that's okay. They need me, want, me, and like having me around, but they can't have me every minute of the day.
This is difficult for new mothers to do. You truly may NOT have time for outside interest, yet begin training the child early to entertain themselves and learn not to hang on to Mama's dress tail every waking minute.
Our family will actually get jealous and feel our outside interest is replacing them. This is where the guilt comes in. We begin to feel we're neglecting our family when in actuality we're neglecting ourselves. If we KNOW we're doing our best to nurture our family and making sure their needs are met, we have nothing to feel guilty about. Is the house reasonably cleaned? Is food available when they get hungry? Have you given quality time to each child? Is hubby satisfied? Okaaaaay, so what's the problem? You've loved and cared for everyone else, so love yourself enough and take care of you.

Your Passion


Many women forget they were a woman FIRST before they became a wife and mother. We get caught up in nurturing others and as usual, we forget to nurture ourselves and our gifts and talents. We were women FIRST - full of life with passion. What's your passion? Cooking, politics, scrapbooking, exercising, sewing, decorating, music? These passions sound like hobbies and that's okay. Passion is something stirring deep within our soul. It's something we are driven to do without pay or recognition. My passion is writing. I love to write. Even when I'm not physically writing, I'm writing in my head.
It's sometimes hard to find time for our passion, but our passion should be followed. I try hard not to let my family replace my passion. Replacing my passion would be like taking away a piece of me. Passion brings joy. Passion gives purpose to our being. I ask again, what's your passion? If you aren't sure of what it is, now is a good time to search yourself and find out. What do you enjoy doing for yourself? Is there something that you feel strongly about? Is there a cause you desire to support? Follow your passion and live a passionate life!

Facing My Fear

I enjoy watching The Food Network. Last night, The Next Food Network Star was chosen. The winner struggled feeling comfortable in front of the camera, but in the final competition, he found the courage to relax and be himself. I struggled with being myself for years and always knew I was living conservatively of who I was created to be. As strange as it sounds, I was afraid to be me. Well, something was burning within me, so one year I decided to face my fear and meet me. How? There were a few reins in my life that I kept control of and I finally let them go. I made a choice to let God have His way with me. Only our Creator truly knows who we are; we think we know who we are. Year by year, I’ve watched my life unfold. I’m doing things I never thought I’d do. I’ve never felt comfortable sharing anything I’ve written, yet the Monday Meditations, growing from state to state, are from the new me. I’ve never felt comfortable sharing anything I cook, but the new me shares baked goods out of a local restaurant. I never thought I’d homeschool, but I’m going on my eighth year and realized how much I enjoy teaching toddlers. Toddlers? Me? Facing my fear has opened doors and opportunities. Facing my fear has given me new life in Christ. Fear is what kept me from being completely comfortable in my skin. Fear hindered God’s work in my life. Just as the winner of The Next Food Network Star would have missed out on winning by not being himself, we miss out on life by not being who we were created to be. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Is there something burning within you waiting to surface? Face your fear and follow God.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) - For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

You're Different

One major thing that helps me in my relationships is realizing we are all wired differently. Just because people don't think the way I do doesn't make their decisions or the way they do things wrong. They are supposed to be different! We aren't supposed to think alike. God made each of us unique in our own way. My children have their own minds and thoughts and so does my husband, so I try hard not to expect them to do and say things the way I do. This is a great concept to use not only in the family, but on the job, with our neighbors, strangers we meet, and especially our church family - Ouch! Instead of wondering why people do and say the things they do, I try to just accept the fact that they are different from me. This sure saves alot of time from trying to figure people out. What makes us think we are so right in our thinking and actions anyway? Hmmm...this really shows what we think of ourselves. We really aren't all that and a bag of chips. I recently heard someone say we judge other people's actions, but we judge ourselves based on our intentions. This is definitely something to make you go....hmmm....

Thank God it's Monday!

Finally, Monday has arrived! I was so happy to start another work week, I could hardly contain my excitement. All weekend, I waited for Monday like a child waiting for Christmas. The beginning of another demanding week brings a smile to my face! Okay, let me stop before I lose you. I don’t really feel this way about Mondays, but I have to aggressively tackle the hum-drums before they tackle me. I know my thoughts control my actions, so my performance and productivity is a direct reflection of my mind-set. Wouldn’t it be nice to cheerfully spring out of bed each Monday, do a few jumping jacks, and say, “Thank God, it’s Monday!” I chuckle when I imagine this. Yes, even the thought is funny, but it’s what God desires. Not necessarily the jumping jacks, but a cheerful spirit for a new day. Every day we awake breathing should be enough to bring us joy. Monday is the beginning of…new beginnings! This Monday could be our last, so let’s live it with joy, hope, and thanksgiving. Together, let’s thank God for Monday.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for this new Monday. I thank you for another chance to bring you glory as the woman, wife, and Mother you created me to be. Infuse me with your Holy Spirit. Take control of my thoughts, my emotions, and my actions. Fill me with your love, your joy, and your peace. Order my steps as I let go and let you have your way with me and through me. Thank you for Monday and everyday. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Not a Wife or Mother

I didn't feel like being much of a wife or Mother this weekend, so I took some time off. I usually take advantage of out of town trips to take a break, yet this time I stayed right at home and didn't do a thing. I put my feet up, read a few books, watched some movies, and just did whatever I felt like doing - alot of nothing. I told my husband I'd be back (mentally) Monday, so he and the boys immediately stepped up to the plate. They cooked their own breakfast, ironed their own clothes, washed dishes, and everything. Soooo, you can function without me! Of course my Mother's touch is missing in a big way, but it's nice to see them do things for themselves. As I notice little things around the house not getting done or getting half done, I almost can't wait to get back, but for now....I'm enjoying my time off. I know I'll pay for this on Monday, but it's worth it for some much needed rest and my peace of mind.