In the Good, Bad and the Ugly

Eggs splattered on the floor, toilet overflowing and dirt sprinkled over freshly cleaned surfaces quickly triggers frustration in this mama. Why does this happen to me? I feel my mind wander to places of anger and victim mentality.

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I pause for a second and see the sparkling green eyes of a curious and remorseful little boy. I take off my frustration glasses for a moment and see Jesus. The verse, “In everything give thanks” whispers at me. Yes, even in the down right messes of life I am told to give thanks. In EVERYTHING. So, I give thanks for a creative and adventurous boy. I give thanks for the chickens that give us eggs. I give thanks that we have a toilet. I give thanks that the kids have dirt to dig in and let their creative imaginations run wild. I have discovered something by giving thanks in these moments. It’s impossible to be angry when I am giving thanks. It’s tough to feel frustrated and down in the dumps when I am thankful. After all, straight from the voices of Veggie Tales, “A thankful heart is a happy heart.”

Tip of the week: Try giving thanks for every moment this week, even the hard moments and see how your heart transforms into happiness.

Haste Makes Waste

Woken abruptly from a deep sleep by my rooster aka four-year old son, the day continues from wants and desires from my three kids. Piled up dishes, preparing meals, folding laundry, teaching my little ones various things, beg me to get into a rushing spirit. And I cave. I quickly become sucked into the vortex of busyness. My soul rapidly depletes. I am a victim of my own doing. “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing” (Psalm 39:6). Haste makes waste. When we get wrapped up in being in a hurry, we miss out on sweet moments with our loved ones and our God, who is the source of life. And if we’re not careful, the busyness of life can suddenly leave little to no room for the source of life. The life inside of us deflates like a balloon loosing air. Satan wants us to be deflated. He wants us to be so worn out and busy that we don’t leave room for the One whom created us. If you feel like you have no room in your day to commit to God, ask Him to help you. Pray while you clean, sing praises while you cook, thank Him for everything. Slow down and truly enjoy the little moments like watching your kids dig for worms in the backyard or soaking in the sounds of your two-year old  singing, “Jesus Loves Me.”

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Tip of the week: Slow down, enjoy the little moments, and soak in the source of life. Be blessed moms!

A Tangible Love

Love. That word. One word. It sums it all up. This life in four letters. “…And the greatest of these is love” I Corinthians 13:13. God loves us. Truly loves us. He shows us in ways that are so simple as well as gigantic. Have you noticed the ways He has shown you love? As a mom I can’t help but think about how I show love to my kids. Real tangible love. Ever since I was a little girl my mom did a good job of showing me tangible love. She tickled me. And no not the tickle that makes you laugh, but the kind that is gentle and makes you feel like you’re in Heaven. So simple, yet so powerful. Love. Tangible love. As I ponder on this powerful word, I can’t help but think about ways in which I can show my kids tangible love. Yes, the tickling continues on to my kids. I have to pass on that legacy, but I can’t help but think about another way to show my kids love. Then I thought, I make my kids three meals a day. Why not put a dash of “love” onto each of their meals? So, I took an empty spice jar and labeled it with that four letter word. I now try to sprinkle each meal with some “love.” And you know what? Each time I do the kids’ faces light up like the bright, gleaming Christmas lights on the movie, Christmas Vacation.

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Tip of the week: Find a way to show your kids tangible love.

Legacy

Lately I have been reflecting a lot about life. People say life is short and goes by so fast. It sure doesn’t feel like it when you are busy wiping noses, changing diapers and clothes, preparing meals and snacks, and the list goes on and on. These mundane days can feel never-ending, but eventually they will. As you live out these days, I want to encourage you to think about what legacy you want to carry on to the next generations. LEGACY. This means you can be a world changer. Yep, even when you are in the midst of cleaning up puke and making dinner with kids climbing all around you. What actions or words will you choose? They become part of your legacy. LEGACY. What legacy will you leave? As I leave you, I want to honor my husband’s grandfather. Yesterday he left this earth and went to live with his Savior. He left a legacy of love for the Lord. He served several years of his life as a pastor, serving the Lord and others. We thank him for that, truly thank him and are blessed that his legacy lives on in our family.

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Tip of the week: Think about what legacy you want to leave and start using words and actions that align with it. Be blessed and may your next generations be blessed too!

A Transparent Marriage

Life has been full in a lot of ways. With three young kids, it gets pretty chaotic at times and it is hard to have a fruitful conversation without distraction. A getaway every once in a while with the husband is a must! A few years ago, my husband and I went away on a couples retreat. We rode bikes, prayed, read the Bible together as well washed each other’s feet. We shared our struggles and became vulnerable with one another. Our guards were down and we were both in a place of respect and love. We were honest. We were transparent. And our love grew deeper.

More and more marriages are crumbling at the seams. Respect and love are off in a faraway land and selfishness has wedged its way in. When respect and love are absent and selfishness is present, why would anyone want to be transparent (or share their struggles)? I want to encourage you wives and moms to get away with your husbands and be real and honest with each other. As you and your husband are honest in your failures, extend grace to one another as your Father in Heaven freely gives to you. I pray that in doing so, your love for each other would grow to new heights. Remember we are all imperfect, but we have a God who is perfect and has the power to redeem and restore. Be blessed in your marriages!

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Tip of the week: Make your marriage a priority, get a way with your husband, and be honest with one  another in a loving and respectful way.

Soak ‘Em Up

Zoom, zip, zam and there goes the day! Oh how easy a day can be filled up with endless tasks on top of teaching my kids. I was convicted while reading a book the other day and the author made a comment that she wished she had spent more time playing with her kids than doing so much around the house. Can you relate to this? I can. Let’s face it, as a mom we are almost always doing something that we miss potential sweet memories with our kids. I decided last week, that I was going to make a short list that I wanted to get done involving the kids and NOT the house. I decided to do things that the kids wanted to do with me such as, play babies, have a tickle/laughing fest, go on an adventure to “fairy hill,” build a fort and sleep in it, and put together puzzles. I gotta say, not only did the kids enjoy extra attention and laughs, but I was filled with so much joy as well! And you know what? I was able to sneak in some learning while we were having fun. :)

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Tip of the week: Find opportunities during the week to devote to your kids and make them laugh, but use caution…you may as well! 

Are You in the Driver’s Seat?

As the new year has crept in, I can’t help but think about what this year will bring. I struggle with the unknown. As a mom, I tend to like to stick to a plan and want to do it my way. I know it’s not a bad thing to have a plan, however, when I get consumed by my plan or wanting to know it all, I am taking control of the car and not allowing God to drive. Hence, I’m not trusting God. Ouch! This year I hope that my heart is set to cruise control on God’s highway; not my highway. Are you ready for God to take you on an adventure too, allowing Him to guide you? I pray that as you surrender control to Him, He will bless you and lead you in ways you never thought possible. Be blessed this year, moms!

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Tip of the week: Ask God to take control of your life, make your paths straight and help you to trust Him as He becomes the driver of your life.

Busyness of Christmas

It’s here! One of the most exciting weeks of the year has arrived at our doorsteps! If you are like me, you are thinking about everything you have to do before Christmas. Sleepless nights start kicking in and to-do lists expand. Before you know it, the most exciting week turns into the most exhausting week if you are not careful. I went to bed last night feeling a tug on my heart. God was gently reminding me that in all of the hub bub,  I needed to just be still with Him. Wait, what? I have so much to do though! My flesh chimed in again. And then the Holy Spirit convicted my heart. Christmas is about taking the time to celebrate Jesus and if I am not being still with Him, I am showing Him that everything else is more important than Him and opening up a door for Satan to destroy my joy and peace. So, in all of the craziness this week, I pray that we make the time to be still and rest in the presence of Jesus, forgetting about all we have to do for that moment. Be blessed moms!

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Tip of the week: Forget about all you have to do for a moment and be still with God. May He bless you richly with his love, peace and joy during this season!

Hope Beyond Christmas

It’s that magical time of year when lights twinkle in the dark sky, Christmas music blares almost everywhere and the sound of bells ringing echo through the air. A celebration is on the way; an exciting anticipation of Christmas, Jesus’ birthday! I don’t know about you, but my kids ask everyday, “How many more days to Christmas?!” They absolutely love decorating and looking at our nativity and I got to admit so do I. There is no justice in trying to describe it. I love that it is the focus of all of our decorations, which helps keep our focus on the true reason for the season. I love that it provides a sweet visual to teach our kids about Jesus’ birth. I love that it reminds me of my husband and I’s first Christmas together. Most of all I love that it reminds me that God loves me so much, He sent His son to save me from my sin so I can live with Him for eternity. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!

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Tip of the week: Use a nativity to help teach your kids about the greatest gift of all!

Got Fruit?

A few weeks ago, my kids were going through a “rough patch” of being ungrateful, greedy and whinny. I was frustrated after disciplining and telling them over and over that their behavior was not okay. It wasn’t working. Then it hit me. Teach them the fruit of the Spirit! Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” I found a fruit of the Spirit song on Youtube, a fruit of the Spirit curriculum, along with printable fruit coloring cut-outs, and sticker charts to reward them when they are caught exhibiting a fruit of the Spirit. After ten stickers, they get to choose a prize. It surprised me how much they love it and most of all they have been more grateful, more giving and less whinny! Can I get an amen?

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Tip of the week: Find a way to positively reinforce behavior.