Friday, November 17, 2017

I Want A Divorce

I Want A Divorce

This is where I was 15 years ago this month. 

I had filed for a divorce. I told my husband. All of my friends and family knew I was done. 

I wasn't the type to quit so easily or to even consider divorce, but we had become so distant and I felt so cold and alone.

My thoughts had slipped into a dark pit of remembering each and every disappointment, every hurt, every hopeless thing.
All of which was justifying my decision. 

I was so DONE, but God sure wasn't.  
My husband's initial reaction was hurt, betrayal, and anger. 
Except God quickly and consistently intervened. Our loving heavenly father placed amazing men with wise advice into his life.

Specifically: Jay, Jeff, Mike, Kyle, and Reggie all told him the same thing: STAY ON THE MARRIAGE LINE.  Even though I had stepped off the marriage line, our God and Vince would not. 

 My husband,Vince, took the time to really hear me, and he prayed for me continuously and he refused to argue with me. 
He chose faith as he made his relationship with God his first priority. 

Vince never wavered from the marriage line because he trusted God  that I would return to it. With only a few days left until the divorce was final, God broke though the lies of evil and my heart was clearly and precisely being called back and not to quit that the best is yet to come. 

I returned to the marriage line and praise God there stood my husband.  

God IS in the business of bringing dead things to life and this was miraculous. Our best was yet to come. 

Since then, we now have 3rd child who is an absolute blessing to us. We are also so attracted to each other, we have a million inside jokes, we go on dates often, we travel and we love being together. 

Only this man knows all the history of our family. He was willing to humble himself and to fight for this family. He is here to raise our children together as we navigate the tough times and celebrate the victories as a strong family unit. 

Please know that:
Anger and blame simply cannot co-exist in recovery.

Ironically, this is also our Anniversary month and we get the privilege of celebrating 24 years together and we simply couldn't be happier. 

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not demand it's own way, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." 
2 Corinthians 9:15
women encouraging women

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What I Want My Children to Know Before They Leave Home

You Are Loved

The number one thing I want my children to know and to carry with them through this life is that they are loved. They are loved unconditionally by their father, by me and by their Creator, their Heavenly Father God.  My hope is that they will not only know they are loved but have the ability to love others and to love God.

God gives us this command when He states, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:4-and in addition, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31.

How do I show love in an appropriate manner?

   * Say "I love you" everyday!
   * Spend time with your children
   * Do things they like to do
   * Understand their love language
   * Discuss God's love for them
   * Discuss Jesus' sacrifice for them 

Say "I love you" everyday
This is not something I used to do. I noticed a mom saying it over and over to her child and it finally came to me that yes, my children needed to hear this too! I made an intentional decision to tell them I love them as often as naturally possible. It actually felt uncomfortable to say it so often, but it became a habit that my children love. 

Spend Time With Them
Time is fleeting and precious. It is one of the only things we can't buy and would love more of. It is also the number one gift our children long to receive.  Sit with them, listen to what they want to share, watch a show and have popcorn. Our children are only with us for a very brief time. Spend it wisely.

Do Things They Like to Do
We have started a couple of new traditions in our family. The first being date night with the children. I make a date with each of my children individually and allow them to choose where they want to go and what they want to do. (My oldest son is the most recent to plan his date for the opening weekend of the remake of Jumanji!) They love this special time alone with mom or dad.

The second tradition we have started is the Summer Fun List. Around April or May we sit down after dinner and discuss the things the children want to do over summer vacation and make our list. We then choose the things that are within our budget and plan our schedule accordingly. We then post a calendar on the fridge and put it in our phones so everyone knows when and where. This has helped us enjoy summer together before it flies by. 

Understand their Love Language
You have to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. He has even come out with a new book geared specifically towards teens. (which I am ordering asap! Will keep you posted)  Look on our printables for a Love Language quiz.

Discuss God's Love for Them / Jesus' Sacrifice
It is so important for our children to understand how much God loves them (and us). Help them to memorize John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Friday, November 10, 2017

Behind Every Young Child Who Believes In Himself Is A Parent Who Believed First

Behind Every Young Child Who Believes In Himself 
Is A Parent Who Believed First 
~Matthew L Jacobson

When parents encourage their children to help in the kitchen or help making a repair it makes for confident learning. Allow them to get involved and to make mistakes, it's the best way to learn. 

It is much more than cracking the eggs, flipping the pancakes or replacing a bulb, it is you saying, "I believe in you", "Come learn beside me".

As we occasionally and gently correct them, but mostly encourage the kids in all these life lessons--they will grow up with great confidence.

Knowing you believe in them is the best way for them to try new things without fear of getting criticized. 

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." Colossians 3:21 

women encouraging women

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What I Want My Children to Know Before They Leave Home

Greetings Sisters in Christ,
I am so grateful for you amazing women who embrace the role of mother on a daily basis. Being a mom is the most difficult job I could ever imagine! Much encouragement to you.

As a mother of three I want to do the best job I can to provide for and nurture these sweet spirits. I am in constant prayer for both their well being and my capabilities to meet the challenges of each day.  Recently the Holy Spirit has been convicting me of the fact that I have a very limited amount of time left with my children at home. (The same might be true for you.) My oldest son will be graduating high school in less than three years and it grieves me to think of all of the lost opportunities I had to share moments and important advice with him but didn't. I may have chosen to do something important (like laundry or dishes), but actually it wasn't the most important.

I sat down and wrote a list of at least fifty different things I want them to know to prepare for their independence and luckily there is still plenty of time! 

Henceforth, I have made a commitment to share at least one piece of advice or a life skill with my children each week that I absolutely want them to know before they leave my home; and I am going to publish it here on with the hope that you will serve as my accountability partners. 

I welcome (and crave) advice and suggestions for things that you want your children to know before they leave your home and enter the world on their own. Please share your thoughts with me. If you are feeling conviction about your children, please listen to the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to guide you as well.  
I will be posting each Tuesday and look forward to hearing from you. 

A prayer for our Journey
     Heavenly Father God,
                 We pray for guidance, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We know the struggle is real for the hearts and souls of our children and we call upon You to give us Godly wisdom. Help us to train up our children to be prepared for life, to know You and to love and obey You and to call upon Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.
                We love You and praise You, In Jesus name, Amen.

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old, he will not depart from it." 
Proverbs 22:6

Friday, November 3, 2017

No Regrets

No Regrets

Have you ever done something like take a class, do a bible study, even run in a marathon or be in a relationship and immediately after it was over wish you had given it more?

To conquer the flesh we must get in the habit of pressing though the old mindsets that limit us. It's pressing through that moment of physical pain or a mental block that says, "This is not happening", "You must quit", "Take the easy way", or "It's not worth it". 

Being a good steward of your life means making the most of every situation and throw off distractions, disappointments, and/or possible offense that are stealing from you.

 Now, I do not wish to make anyone feel guilty. I want us all to start this day forward remembering to be present, purposeful and intentional with each moment we are gifted to have.

As you take on this new mentality, you are going to find strength, joy, courage, momentum, physical results like weight loss, defined muscles, youthfulness, and personal success.

"Don't you know that all runners in the race run, but only one receives the prize. So run to win!" 1 Corinthians 9:24 

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Friday, October 27, 2017

The Heart of Parenting

The Heart of Parenting 

Training up children isn't always easy. Parents can be prepared and equipped to act in a way that properly trains children when the situation needs you.

Instead of talking to your child about their behavior, teach them the heart behind the problem.

A young child can be taught about the love of God, the forgiveness of Christ's sacrifice, and the importance of repentance and turning from sin. 

To me, this is so much more fruitful and productive than a spanking or a time out which only addresses the action, not the heart.

Use scripture that teaches God's way and it will correct the heart. This will not only train them in the way they should go, it will strengthen your bond and relationship. 

God does not see any of us as BAD and we should not label our child as such. God the Father uses each opportunity as a way to teach us and draw us to Him. 

Instead of labeling and using negative words like 
Bad, Trouble, Spank... 
Use kindness and powerful biblical words like Honor, Obey, Wise, Trust, Peace, Self-Control, Courage, Upright.

Softly and tenderly correct them as God does with all the fruits of the spirit. They will surely reflect your behavior as the grow up. You will in turn be their safe place while fostering a close relationship.

"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Rose Colored Glasses

Rose Colored Glasses

In our marriage there has definitely been times when I had the wrong perspective.

There was a period of time when disappointment was a cloak that I wore continually and it tainted everything... even in good times I could still find things to be disappointed about.

One specific day stands out in my memory and it was a reality check, and I believe, God's way to wake me up.

So, we had an upright piano in our dining room that was taking up space and making things too crowded. We decided to give the piano to my son's guitar teachers sister. 

One day I pulled into our street and I saw my husband's truck in front of the house with a U-haul attached to it.

When I saw this I had a sinking feeling, what if he was moving out, what if he was leaving, what if he was leaving me for another women??

I literally felt the reality of how this could (and would) happen if I continued to be so unhappy and miserable. 

Everything changed that day, including my perspective and I now choose to wear rose colored glasses. 

I now see ALL his beauty and enjoy him immensely.

The Lord asked, "Is it right for you to be angry?" 
Jonah 4:4

"Love does not hold a record of wrongs."
1 Corinthians 13:5

"I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep." 
~Ann Voskamp from her book, One Thousand Gifts

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Friday, October 13, 2017

No Looking Back

No Looking Back
 Living your life in the past means you have no hope in the future. Living with no hope in the future means you live in a prison.

Our family counselor once pointed out to us that I was dwelling in the past and my husband was always planning for the future. 
So neither one of us was able to enjoy the present.

You should certainly learn from your past, but do not make the mistake of living there. The past will certainly steal from your future if you allow it. 

Being present with your loved ones takes some practice because there will always be distractions. But having faith that God is in control of your future, makes it easier to relax and enjoy the present. So make a conscience effort to put down your phone, turn off the radio, kneel down to look into the child's eyes, and give them your full attention.  Enjoy your husband, be spontaneous, flirty, even try being a little irresponsible by putting him first, he will love you for it.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." ~Isaiah 43:18-19

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Connected To The Source

Connected To The Source

Feeling drained? Do You feel like you are just spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

Have you ever looked down and saw that your charge cord was plugged into your phone or computer, but not the outlet in the wall? What good is it if the plug is just laying on the floor?

How often do we operate each day in our own power and not connected to our Source of Power? 

If we make a point to seek God's Face and give him the reigns of our daily things, he will certainly lead us in the way we should go.

Trust God at His word, and Plug in!

"..but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
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Friday, September 29, 2017

Stand By Me

Stand By Me

We were not created to walk this life alone. 
That doesn't mean marriage is for everyone; it just means there's value in having trusted friends, a mentor and/or someone younger you can disciple. 

Do you desire to have close and fulfilling relationships?
Some of you are surrounded by people and yet still find yourselves lonely. 

There is more to having close relationships than merely knowing and working with people. You first must allow yourself to be known. Being known is not typical surface conversation of the current weather or how the new car drives. 

Being known is opening yourself up with someone by building connection and trust. This allows you to be vulnerable and share more of you. 

Delve deeper into someones life to grow closer by asking them: "How are you, really?" and even more intimate,  "Let's pray together." Some difficult situations don't require words at all, but just being there.

Ask someone you care to know deeper to go have coffee and open your heart and listen--most people just want to be heard.

Life is so much more rich with friends and family, but if you won't lean in to the hearts of those you know,
you won't have the connectedness or closeness.   

Stay close to people who feel like sunlight.

Vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection.

"The greatest risk any of us will take, is to be seen as we are." ~Cinderella

"Wherever you go, I will go; wherever stay, I will stay." Ruth 1:16

women encouraging women

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fork In The Road

Fork In The Road

"Choose whom you will serve." Joshua 24:14-15

There are so many decisions in each day that show who were are and who we are serving. Our reactions are indicators of the condition of our heart. 

When interruptions or mishaps happen in your day, how do you respond? For instance:

Spilled milk 
Child or dog throws up
Getting cut off in traffic
Long lines at store
Hubby's socks on floor
Flat tire
Lost luggage
Drive-thru order is wrong

Okay, You get the idea here. 
Life is messy. People are rude and make mistakes, or just don't care. With all that aside, what do your reactions say about your heart? Maybe all these things are opportunities for growth and/or tests to reveal what's inside you that needs pruning.

The Spirit that dwells inside of you has a list of Fruit that makes it evident that you are walking in the Spirit.

The more you start catching yourself "throwing rotten fruit" the easier it gets to use His self-control, peace, gentleness, kindness....

Wisdom calls for people to expect and and prepare for evil attacks.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." 
Galatians 5:22

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Friday, September 15, 2017

The Opposite of What You Think

The Opposite of What You Think 

God's way is opposite of your flesh and/or what the world tells you.

The world says to guard yourself, keep safe distance.
God says to be vulnerable and transparent.

The world says to defend yourself.
God says, I'll be your defender.

The world says to hide your sin and pain.
God says to confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

The world says hold onto grudges and past hurts.
God says to forgive and hold no record of wrongs.

" were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors." 1 Peter 1:18

"Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
Ephesians 4:23-24

women encouraging women

Friday, September 8, 2017

Respond Not React

Respond Not React

“Feelings should be indicators, not dictators.”  ~Lysa TerKeurst

Responding in complete faith, unconditional love, and sincere patience will be the only way we don’t put a wedge between our loved ones and us.

If you don’t have anything good to say, then you're not being led by the spirit.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace 
and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

(Recommended reading: UNGLUED by Lysa TerKeurst)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Yearn For Greatness

Yearn for Greatness

If you want this to be your year: 
Don't sit on the couch and wait for it. Instead...

Go out
 Make a change
Smile more
Be excited
Do new things
Throw away clutter
Unfollow negative people 
Go to bed early
Wake up early
Don't gossip
Show more gratitude
Do things that challenge you
Open your heart 
Be brave

Position yourself for change.
Your thoughts have to change before your situation changes. 
Why are you crying when you could be celebrating?

"No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37

women encouraging women

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Power of a Focal Point

The Power of a Focal Point

To have a plan in place can help you when you need to make a change, but focusing on that goal will keep you moving in the right direction. 

Having a focal point will keep you engaged on the end result making your goal much more achievable.  As you focus on your goal, it will prevent you from being distracted by bumps, turns, set backs, and even pain.

In exercise, when you focus on the muscle you are working, it works it much better.

In childbirth, having a focal point lessens brain activity on the pain. Visualizing something else like sitting on a beach with your feet in the sand, a cool breeze on your face actually tricks your brain into removing you from the pain.  

In marriage, focus on kindness and unconditional love and reap the fruitful rewards.

Make yourself a vision board, write out your plan and date it, and keep your eyes on the prize. 

Lastly, keep your thoughts and especially the words coming out of your mouth moving you towards your goal, not speaking against it.

Aim NOT to be aimless.

"So run to win." 1 Corinthians 9:24

"Therefor I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air." 1 Corinthians 9:26

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