Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Your Kids Are Sick

It's been a busy week as we celebrated Thanksgiving. We have traveled and been on the go much of our week. My kids have not been feeling 100% lately. I read the blog below and was encouraged. I hope you are too!! Click this link.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” 2 Corinthians 4:17

What was your "take-away" from Happy Home Fairy?

What will you do?

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Praiseworthy Deeds of God!"

Psalm 77:11  “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.”

      Thanksgiving.  I love this holiday.  Regardless of Indians, Pilgrims or the history associated with it.  It’s a beautiful holiday strictly to have a grateful heart. 
     In a Bible study I have just begun with a friend on the Wonder of God, we were challenged to reflect on the past year.  We were asked to document, “Praiseworthy Deeds of God.” 
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     As I sat at the Thanksgiving table and looked at our family, I could hardly believe the Praiseworthy Deeds of God we had experienced since last Thanksgiving. 
     God has blessed my husband with another year of great health.  He has loved his work.  God used the mind of my husband and his strong hands to completely renovate our home.
     I considered my father and father-in-law’s health over the past year.  I really believe God spared my Daddy’s life this year.  He had two brain surgeries, he had a pace maker and defibulator installed and he was in physical rehabilitation for two months. He is a walking miracle!
     We were blessed to find an assisted living facility for my father-in-law.  No, we wish he was home but for his safety and the best care our option is this incredible “new home.”
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     I reflected the strength the Lord has given to my mom and mother-in-law to be the caregivers of their spouses over this past year.  They would both attest to the fact only God could have given them the patience and strength to endure the challenges associated with full time care of those they love the most.
     Our youngest sat at the table loving life.  Loving her school and her dance and more importantly gaining an understanding of who God is. 
     As I made the glance around the table and came upon our son, I couldn’t help but note the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord in his final days of college.  He will graduate in the Spring and God is the One who has provided the means for him to be in school. 
     Our final table member this year is not yet an “official” member of our family.  She sat with a precious anticipation of what God has planned.
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     So, how about you?  Can you look back over the last year and see the “Praiseworthy Deeds of God?”  Do you see Him protecting your children from injury and harm?  Do you see His provision for your family?  Find a moment today and remember January 2013. Consider every family member and what God has done in and through their lives this year.

     The Psalmist begs us to remember.  Share and record these memories with your children and the generations to come.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Give Thanks

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  -- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

I’m thankful to God for my mom.  She is…amazing.  Other words that describe her are: SELF-LESS, servant, caring, tenderhearted, courageous, motivated, sweet, patient, confident, loyal, organized, ready, and yes, thankful.  This month on her birthday she found out that her brother passed away.  She amazed me because she was thankful it was on her birthday and not the next day which was her brother’s son’s birthday.  –how thoughtful.  A couple days later she flew from FL to NY to attend the funeral then took a couple days to visit with good friends she hadn’t seen in a while.  She was a blessing to them, a blessing to our family, and a sweet smelling aroma to God (I’m sure). 

Are you thankful for anyone?  Maybe your mom would be blessed to hear you say “Thanks for all you do, mom!”  Actually, the other day our 3 ½ year old Matthew ran into the room where I was working on the computer and with a huge smile belted out, “Thanks for all you do mom!”  And then in his cuteness came back and said it again.  I sat there with my mouth open in awe! 

(I printed off a bunch of Thanks-giving verse cards that I found at

Let’s give thanks to our Father in heaven.  Maybe you’d like to print off those verses that talk about being thankful too.  To God be the glory!  Isn’t that what the first Thanksgiving was all about anyway – being thankful to God for providing, protecting, guiding and dying on the cross for our sins?! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Go Fishing Today

Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make your fishers of men." - Matthew 4:19

There are certain things we need to do when we go fishing. First we get our fishing gear. Next we decide where to fish. Once we find where the fish are, we keep noise and distractions away. We bait our line and if we are patient, we are rewarded with our catch.

As Christians, our fishing gear is the Bible. It has all the equipment we need. Next , we decide where to fish; work, school, grocery store, library, etc. God knows where the fish are and will lead us to them. Just like in fishing, sometimes distractions keep us from doing the Lord’s work. Satan wants us to be distracted. The Holy Spirit will give us patience do His work, we need only ask.  

We need attractive bait. This is OUR walk. Our lives should draw people near to God. Are you easily frustrated? Do you fly off the handle when something goes wrong? Are you  building others up with words of encouragement? Finally, be patient, persevere and you’ll be rewarded with a catch for Christ. We are God’s fishermen. We must fish His way.

Challenge: Encourage someone today. Quiet your spirit and allow God to show you where the fish are.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Leading My Family in Thankfulness

A couple of years ago, we were blessed to host some good friends for the Thanksgiving season. They were in town to visit some family members and needed a place to stay, but they also carved out some time to “kick the can” with us. We had a great time! After they left, I realized that Kate had placed a little thank you card on my dresser along with a Thanksgiving card from Family Life.

Such a sweet gift of gratitude! On the back of the card, was a little exercise to complete with our family. I thought it would be a great idea to make this little “assignment” together a tradition in our family…perhaps sweetened by a cup of tea, cider…or hot chocolate with marshmallows for the kids.

The exercise is a fill-in-the-blank “walk down memory lane” that we complete (verbally) as a family. It is my pleasure and joy to share it with you… J

Complete the following statements together:

  • I remember when we needed ________________ and God provided ________________. (Read Phillippians 4:12-13, 19).
  • I am thankful that God brought ___________________ (person’s name or another family) into my life because he has used them to _______________. (Read Ephesians 4:11-13).
  • I am thankful for ________________ that God gives us every day. (Read Deuteronomy 8:3).
  • I am thankful that God is teaching me ____________________. (Read Hebrews 12:4-11_.
  • Despite (and even because of) _______________, I thank you for ____________. (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and James 1:2-4).
  • We can’t help but thank you for ________________!  You are so good, Lord. (Read Psalm 23: 5-6).

Happy Thanksgiving!


Lord, for YOU we are truly thankful! You have washed us clean of our sins, even though we do not deserve it. You bless us with good things. You desire relationship with us, and we are blessed by your Spirit and your truth. Thank you, Lord!

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Rough week? Rest in His comfort....

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10 ESV

This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life. -Psalm 119:50 AMP

The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

- Exodus 15:2 ESV

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9 ESV

Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!

-1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV

God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect. - 2 Samuel 22:33 NKJ

…the joy of the Lord is your strength. - Nehemiah 8:10 ESV

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

- Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV)

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

- Psalm 73:26 ESV

Which verse spoke directly to your heart today?

Consider memorizing it and sharing it with someone today via text, email, phone call or visit.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Little Break

Aagghh. A relief. A break. A refresher.  An eye-opening experience. What a difference. What's the change? My mom took one of my boys for the weekend. What a gift. For me. For the kids. 

It allows my son, who's gone for the weekend, a freedom from sibling rivalry with a chance to be the "only" at Mimi's house. A special time to make memories... he will cherish forever. Going out for breakfast and shopping for a special little something are always on the schedule. 

And it gives way for me to spend some quality time with my other son. Something he craves and asks for often. Letting him choose our activities and tucking away a few special stops in our time are a must. Some special attention that's usually divided :) It opens my eyes to the awesome characteristics, placed within my child, that so often gets overlooked in the crazy of my day.

So grateful for my mom's heart to serve in this way. She sensed my need for relief after an emotionally exhausting week, as I mothered my three. What a sacrifice of her weekend, but I am so grateful she did. 

I totally need to do this more often. How refreshing for all of us. Can't wait to do this with my other son too! Can't wait to find a mom that I can refresh, and watch her kids as well!

When was the last time you had some one-on-one time with your child?

Plan some time in the next week to make a memory with your kiddo.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Going Up?

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I remember being in Woolworth’s Department Store as a little girl.  There was a toy department, a clothing department, fabric department and lawn department too!  My favorite area was the Soda Fountain.

You would sit in a chrome-trimmed booth or at the ice cream counter.  It was there I would order a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup.  I loved getting a scoop of ice cream in the metal serving dishes that had been kept in the freezer.
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There was one part of Woolworth’s I still remember fearing, the escalator.  Now why would a kid be afraid of the escalator?  I would always opt to walk the large staircase between the “up” escalator and the “down” escalator. 

I remember one particular time I was at Woolworth’s with my Grandpa. We were in the lawn and garden department.  Grandpa invited me to go with him to the Soda Fountain to get an ice cream.  As much as I wanted an ice cream, I realized the escalator stood between the lawn and garden department downstairs and upstairs where the Soda Fountain was.

I remember my Grandpa holding out his big hand to me.  I can see him now saying, “Can’t you trust me?”  My heart sank with fear and with sadness that I didn’t feel like I could.

How often do we see our children wrestling with, “Can I trust you?”

This week I have felt like I’ve reached out my hand to each of our children in an attempt to get them to believe me.  Believe I know better or trust me that I am considering their good. Believe me that even though they don’t know what I am trying to lead them to it is better than where they are.

We need to set the bar high.  Believe our children will trust us.  Believe our children will believe us.  We need to also recognize they may lack the communication skills to say they are frightened or embarrassed they do not want to trust us.  It is vital we make the relationship with our children paramount.

Within the context of relationship they will see we can be trusted.  They will believe we have their best interest in mind.  Our children can trust us easier if we have laid the foundation on relationship.  Within a relationship our children believe they can trust us.  They will hold our hand as we take them on the escalator leading to something better, something they will be glad they trusted us for.

How much more our Heavenly Father reaches out His hand to us?  He knows we are scared.  He recognizes our lack of understanding. He has a proverbial ice cream waiting for us, we need to grab His hand and take the escalator!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the Presence of Idols - By His Spirit

“...we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-” (Philippians 3:3 NIV)

This reminded me today of the power of the Holy Spirit and my absolute inability to serve God without His spirit.  In terms of idols, I was reminded that it is I who give idols a place in my heart. In my flesh that is where I am lead...idols.

“...but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” (James 1:14 NIV)

It is only by His Spirit that the idols in my heart will be revealed and removed. And it is only by His Spirit that they will not be rebuilt. My flesh is my weakest link, the chink in my armor.  It holds onto what needs to be let go and it carves idols out of things that have been given as gifts from God. I have to live solely by His Spirit.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:6, 7 NIV)

What gifts from God may we be carving at, making them our idols or trying to be their idols?  Our children, husbands, jobs, homes, family?  The list could go on and on.

Father I pray that as you continue to weed out the idols of my heart that I would clearly see the disgusting nature of my flesh and the power and glory of your Spirit at work in me.  I pray that your Spirit would continue to strengthen me, crowding out my flesh, weakening it completely. Thank you Father for all you do in my heart and for the gift of your Spirit. 

Related Blogs:
In the Presence of Idols – False Confidence
In the Presence of Idols – A Story
In the presence of Idols – Expectations
In the Presence of Idols
Sacrificing the Children

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It Is Just that Simple

Today, godly moms, my blog is short and simple.  Our life, specifically as a mom, is crazy busy.  Even when we are sitting still our minds are per-occupied and racing.  So my prayer for you today is that you meditate on the below verse and let it become an abiding truth.  As you do, God promises that a peace that transcends our understanding will protect us.  Ultimately making us more effective in our calling as "mom".   Be blessed today.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


A nice sarcastic, "Really?!?" is how I start most of my complaints and arguments. 

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. (Philippians 2:14, 15 NLT)

These verses about complaining and arguing seem to refer back to the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, specifically to a prayer Moses. In Deuteronomy 32, Moses began his prayer by recounting the greatness of God. God is the Rock, His ways are perfect, all His way are just, and He is a faithful God who does no wrong. 

But sadly, Moses went on to lament that the people had acted corruptly toward God. No longer were they acting like God's children, but as a result of their complaining, they had become a warped and crooked generation. Moses asked, "Is this the way you repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t he your Father who created you? Has he not made you and established you?" (Deuteronomy 32:6 NLT)

Have you ever talked like that with one of your children? Something more like, "All the time and love I spend in taking care of you, providing for you, feeding you, doing your laundry, driving you around - and you think you can treat me like that? No way!" God had a much bigger stake in the lives of the children of Israel. He was not just their parent - He was their creator, and He was God! 

Although we don't like to hear our children complain and argue, we sometimes complain and argue ourselves. When we do, we lose some of our luster before a watching family and a watching world. May God help us stay away from complaining and arguing so that we will reflect Christ more effectively. 

Prayer: Father, please forgive us for complaining and arguing. Help us to remember that by doing this we are choosing to walk down a crooked path. Instead, may we be grateful and praise You, so that we will more effectively represent Christ to our children. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fruit, Wonderful Fruit

I read my devotional the other day and started to put pieces together of what God has been showing me.  It’s a charge for our whole family to dwell in a part of Scripture.  This has been confirmed in conversations I’ve had with my husband, conversations with the kids, things I’ve read in the book I’ve been reading (for what seems like for YEARS!) and even confirmed from the pulpit yesterday!  They have all been pointing to the same thing – the fruit of the Spirit. 

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.”

I had this vision that our family would practice a certain fruit of the Spirit each week (or so) and at the end we would be complete and wonderful… it was more like a dream.  Let’s face it momma, we need the fruit of the Spirit deep within us sprouting out daily so we can exemplify that to our kids!  Many times I fail but in those moments when I take the high road and practice the fruit of the Spirit in my mothering, the outcome to any situation is so much better.

I presented my idea to my husband and he added that we should use literal fruit.  Fun idea!  So we will go on this ride of PRACTICING the fruit and asking the Lord to GROW the fruit in us all so we see LASTING fruit!

Take this challenge from my devotional reading into your life today: “What about your life?  Are you hearing a word from God, immediately obeying Him, and experiencing God working through your life each day?” – Called & Accountable 52-Week Devotional.  Blackaby.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pssst......They're Watching

Yesterday was an ordinary most of mine are. We were finishing up dinner, and my kids had cleared their plate clean when my youngest son asked if he could eat something else because he was still hungry. I said he could grab an apple out of the frig. He ran to the refrigerator grabbed an apple and then walked over to the sink to wash it off. I was in awe as I watched, because I hadn't instructed him to wash it off but because he had watched me do that so many times, it was just natural for him to do it as well. 

I learned a few lessons from a simple night at home:

(1) Little ones ARE watching everything we do... even when it seems mundane.

(2) Our kiddos will imitate or mimic our actions and words, just by observing us do life.

(3) We are making an imprint on the next generation for Christ.

Shine bright for Jesus because little ones are so attentive (without saying a word) to how we behave. To that cashier,  to our friends, to living out truth daily in our life. They will watch, mimic, and impact others for Christ as we continue on this journey of raising them up. It is challenging. Be faithful. Stay steeped in His word so that the Lord can uplift you to be the mommy He desires you to be.

Are you careful how you talk and walk because little ones are watching?

What needs to change so that you can walk in integrity today?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's OK to Say NO

I had a recent revelation that was both convicting and enlightening at the same time. My husband shared with me how we needed to say "No" to the kids more often when asked about getting "treats" in the store as I shop. See I have gotten into the habit of frequenting Target and Publix during the week with the kiddos to pick up those last minute items I had forgotten on my big shopping day...oh and it allowed us to be in the cool store and get a free cookie too! Most days I would allow them to pick out a special something from the checkout as well. It got to where my kids felt they were ALWAYS getting a "treat" and had a meltdown if they didn't.

But I didn't realize through this simple giving of a treat here and there that I had created an entitled and ungrateful heart within my child. So now I am saying "No" more often and sharing scripture, to support that, with my child. Reminding him of what God's word says about being thankful. Letting them know that many children in the world don't even have food to eat let alone a yummy snack. 

The other morning on the TV came a program about a third world country full of kids lined up with red bowls to get a free meal. My son's eyes were glued to the screen. It sparked a conversation with my kids and allowed a visual to be seared in their mind. We talked after about what some go through to receive a meal and how it's not as tasty as what we eat EACH day. My husband and I plan to do a week of rice and beans with our kids in order to show them how much of the world eats. And also it will give them a new appreciation for the food placed before them. With the extra money we would normally be spending on groceries  (but aren't because of the cheap-ness of rice and beans) we plan to get a gift card and bless a family in need. Teaching them about being content and blessing someone else too! 

So we are training them up and it is exhausting. God is training me as well. But I am believing the Lord will give me wisdom and direction as I seek to honor Him and train them with Truth.

Do you tend to give your kids "treats" a lot?

What are some practical things you could put in place of a "treat" and allow them to learn about God in the process?

What do you think God is saying to you?

What do you think He wants you to do about it? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Conference "Cliff Notes"

I’m guilty!  In high school I did.  I used them.  But hey it worked, right?  What is it that I used…Cliff Notes.  I think they still make these condensed acceptable overviews of novels.  These slender little books would summarize a piece of literature, listing characters, plots, and story lines to make it unnecessary to read the book or novel.
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This week I was delighted to hear Andy Stanley.  He is the pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta.  I attended the leadership conference he and Craig Groseschel founded called “Catalyst.”

I would not have expected at a leadership conference the opening session would be called “Family Matters."  The material presented by Andy Stanley is from his book, When Work and Home Collide.

Assuming you didn’t get to hear his talk on “Family Matters” here are my “Cliff Notes.” 

Craig Groseschel and Andy Stanley 
Andy entitled this session, “Six Things I’ve Learned from Family and Ministry.” 

1.  Decide once and for all whose responsibility it is to build the church!  (His name is Jesus!)

2.  Don’t give up what is unique to you.  Andy pointed out that, I am the only “Momma” my kids will ever have.  My favorite quote in this section was, “Your greatest contribution to the church may not be something you do, but someone you raise.”

3.  Discipline with the goal of preserving your relationship, not your reputation.  Andy asked, “When your kid is in the ballgame are you more concerned about his/her first name or their last?”

4.  Pray together at every stage – figure out a way to make this happen.

5.  Prioritize your marriage.  It is as important to have dates on your calendar, not just love in your heart.  Your spouse and children can’t see in your heart, but they see your calendar.

6.  Say no for now but not forever.  Whatever you have to say no to will be worth it in the future.

My challenge this week is for you to take one of these “cliff notes” and live it!