This is What It Sounds Like …..

Prince-When-Doves-Cry-300x300

Heartbroken.

I actually cried. It’s not often the death of someone famous brings me to actual tears. It’s a sad thing, yes. And I’m sorry to hear it.  But this death made me feel like … like … I lost a part of my history.
I adored Prince. The Purple Rain album (I had the one with the pullout poster) was the soundtrack of my teen years. My absolute favorite Prince song of all time …. When Doves Cry.  I felt alive. I felt invincible. I felt youthful.
I felt like I knew him, you know? Prince’s fearlessness, his originality, his complexities and feelings all wrapped up in his music, made him relatable … touchable … Yet he was unlike any other. He did things we wished we were brave enough to do.   And of course, my teenage crush made him seem bigger than life.
He’s irreplaceable. The doves are crying, and we’re crying with them.
Rest in peace, Prince Rogers Nelson.

Grateful … to be me

July - Happy blog 2

Ah… another year.  I woke up this morning with joy in my heart and peace in my spirit.  Of course I wanted to express it in my favorite way.  Writing!

I have so much to be thankful for.  I praise God that I know me – and love me!  (That was a process well worth the effort!) I’m thankful for patience with myself and others.  I’m thankful for a true loving giving partner in my husband. I’m thankful for my sons’ laughter and smiles. I’m thankful to do what I love – write, encourage and motivate others.  I’m thankful for loving supportive family and friends. And I’m thankful for a hope in and love for Jesus that brings peace that passes all understanding.

Thanks for sharing in this day with me.

 

 

 

It’s Like Another Christmas . . .

Easter basket March 2016

Easter baskets? Check. Plastic eggs? Check. Chocolates to go inside the plastic eggs? Check. Toys … toys …. oh, I had forgotten a special toy. I was attempting for create Easter baskets for my sons wanted to make sure I had all my bases covered. As I raced down the aisles looking for something nice, but not too over-the-top, I joked with another parent doing the same thing. “It’s like another Christmas,” I said. We shared a laugh.

Then I stopped. And thought. The most important thing to me about this upcoming Easter holiday is not that my kids have the perfect outfit for church, or have the perfect baskets, or get a desired treat. More than anything, I want them to know that there is a God who loves them so much, that He sent His Son to die for them. And then His Son, Jesus, rose!

I put away my hastily grabbed toys. Although I will still do something for them, my entire mindset has changed. It’s not the gifts that I give them that matter. It’s the gift they receive in their hearts. And His Name is Jesus.

Enjoy your Resurrection Day!

The Together Shirt …. Raising Up Parents

20160312_110158[1]

My boys would not stop arguing this morning. I’d had enough. They are normally very sweet, considerate and get along well. But alas, it was one of those mornings. Out of patience, I decided to get creative with a solution. I stuck them together … literally … by wearing a huge Together Shirt.

They balked at first. Even cried, lol. Ah, I have a winner here. I grabbed one of my big shirts, squished the boys in, and voila, Together Shirt. I went back to work, pleased with myself.

A funny thing happened. They came up to me ten minutes later, asking if they could wear the shirt all day! It was fun, they said. They were reading, doing activities, and were pretending to be one big monster!  No fussing on my part, no yelling, no additional punishments – just teaching a valuable lesson to learn to work together.

How is this raising up parents? I read an article today about the rise in Kindergarten suspensions – Kindergarteners!!! For throwing chairs, bullying other kids, drugs, even lewd conduct. Sad. Disheartening. Also angering. And preventable.

Parents – where are you? What are you doing? Raising children is not a pastime or hobby. You don’t do it when you feel like it. You don’t get to decide when to pay attention and when to ignore. It involves time, effort, diligence, energy and patience! It also involves love, caring, sacrifice, and as you can see by my example, a little creativity. What is your “together shirt”? How do you reach your children? No answer? Then that is your answer. Get busy doing it. Now. Don’t know what to do? Get help from books, resources. Put in the time and effort.

In raising up your little ones,  you’ll find yourself growing, too.

Can I Do It? Yes, I Can

I Can Do It February 2016
Doing things on his own. Becoming more independent. Continuing to capture my heart. These are the things I looked forward to as my little guy turned five.
Figuring out what to do for his Kindergarten/First Grade curriculums … eh, not so much.
See, when I decided to homeschool my oldest son last year, I felt like he came primed and ready to go – after two years of private school, he had an awesome foundation. So I had full confidence that I could take him further, and help him soar. But my little guy has never been to a formal school, and all his education has come from … me. I started doubting myself. Would I be enough? Would I ensure he had the strong foundation he needed? Would I leave gaps? Would I make enough of the right choices for his curriculum and learning to help him achieve. In short, could I do it?
Then, our free online curriculum said it was time to teach him to add. And he did it. Joyously. Not just that, math is now his favorite thing. He wants to add again and again and again. And he’s reading. I mean, like, real words! My eyes welled up with tears. Not just because he can do the schoolwork, not just because he’s advancing, but because I gained confidence in my ability to teach him. God has blessed me with this incredible responsibility. And with His help and His grace, I can do all things. So can I do this? Yes, I can.

Champion Kids Nuggets – Train them Up

 

Train up a Child February

The Bible talks about the importance of parents training kids up according to the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I love the admonition of putting the Word of God into our children, so that it takes root in their hearts, and remains to guide their lives. However, I believe that this verse is talking about more than just teaching our kids scripture. I believe it is speaking of training them up in every facet of life.

We need to be training them up to be business-minded entrepreneurs. We ought to be training up our children to have a strong work ethic, not an entitlement “gimme what’s mine” attitude. We should be training up compassionate, giving children; children that care about the world around them and are willing to work to make a positive difference. We must train children who are goal-oriented and focused; children who understand the importance of education not merely for the sake of good grades and memorization, but for the sake of knowledge because knowledge is power.

Take the time to train up your children in the way they should go.

Learning to Listen

February Learning to Listen

Overwhelmed.  Yep, that best describes where I was.  Three decisions – major ones – and I was at a loss for each. While none were life or death, each could either be a blessing or a hindrance, depending on my choices.  No pressure, though. Lol.

So I did what I always do.  I prayed.  I asked God for His wisdom and revelation for each decision.  Then I waited. Now I was active in my waiting – gathering information, getting sage advice, even making my infamous pros/cons lists (yes, they really work).  I started to have some clarity, but thinking the answers couldn’t be right, I just kept praying.  Then God made it abundantly clear what I was supposed to do.  Problem is, I thought He got it wrong.

See, just because He knows my end from my beginning, loves me more than I can imagine, sees and knows things I can’t even fathom, doesn’t mean every answer He gives is correct.  Just because I can look back on countless times that I’ve heeded His wisdom and been so thankful for it, doesn’t mean He’s correct.  Just because I have faith and trust in God and His direction doesn’t mean He’s correct.  Especially if it doesn’t line up the way I think it should …. Or does it?

And there lies my answer.  I can’t name a time when I’ve truly heard from God, and honored the instructions, that He’s steered me wrong.  Not a single time.  In fact, the less sense it seems to make to my head, the more faith it requires to follow God, and it seems the better the results.  So in spite of myself and my head, I’m going to follow the One with the answers and wisdom I need and seek.

I’m listening, Father.  What’s next?

Someday

Loved this so much I had to share . . .

 

what I tell myself on those really really really long tiring motherhood days….

Someday my house will stay clean.

Someday the dishes will be done and cereal not spilled on the floor.

Someday the juice box straw wrappers won’t be stuck to the counter.

Someday there won’t be swings to push.

Continue to read at: “Someday” – Finding Joy

Marriage: It’s Beautiful, It’s Natural, It’s Incredible

Couples-Holding-hands-love-35144299-900-600

I just felt like sharing this again.  Enjoy  ….

Married love is a funny thing. Built on a foundation of respect, honesty, commitment, and genuine friendship, it has to be nurtured, protected, developed, and honored. It’s almost like a child in a way – you give birth to it when you walk down the aisle. Then in the first few years of teaching it to “walk” or “work,” there are bumps and bruises as you get a feel for it. Finally, the cruising begins and you’re on your way…to more lessons, bumps and bruises, failures, and triumphs. Yet through it all, you have each other.

And while many in today’s society view marriage as antiquated, unnecessary, or even unrealistic (despite scores of happily married couples who beg to differ), those of us who are married know how joyful, fulfilling, and secure it can be. That’s why it’s so important to work to keep your marriage happy and healthy. I want to do something a little different today. Instead of telling you ways to keep your marriage spark alive, I want to help you understand the reason it is so crucial – and what can happen if you choose to let the flame extinguish.

You can miss an opportunity to experience a beautiful, God-created institution.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all . . . “ (ESV). Marriage is the institution designed for us to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. However we are also meant to enjoy it! It’s good and wonderful in our sight!

You can lose valuable opportunities for personal growth and development.

How many times in my 13 years of marriage have I wanted my own way, to do exactly as I felt like, spend money as I desired, or simply do nothing at all? PLENTY. But when you’re married, it’s not just about you. You don’t get to be selfish, petty, or have a pity party. Being lazy, bossy, or manipulative doesn’t work too well either. Instead, you learn how to share, give of yourself, sacrifice for someone else’s greater good, and generally become a better person. Positive growth is a benefit of marriage.

You can miss the sheer joy of companionship and comfort.

Teddy Pendergrass sang, “it’s so good loving somebody and somebody loves you back.” And that’s a fact. It’s a wonderful feeling to be loved and cherished in a strong, healthy marriage. It’s great to enjoy activities and times of fun with your best friend. It’s an amazing thing to make memories that last a lifetime. You are afforded that privilege in marriage.

To say I’m a big proponent of Godly marriage between a man and a woman is an understatement. I believe that when done right, there’s no place else you’d rather be. And that’s a fact.