Tag Archives: love

A Trip Down Memory Lane!

I survived my first plane trip and wanted to share a little bit about my trip down memory lane with all of you! Be prepared because as my Pop-pop would say, ‘This might take a while’.

Last week proved to be one of the most stressful weeks I can remember. I have been trying to refocus my life in so many areas. And on top of the everyday stresses of a large family and back to school worries I got the call that I really needed to head back to my childhood home.

While I call Florida home right now I was born in Pennsylvania. I grew up about an hour from Philadelphia in the mushroom capital of the world, Kennett Square.

mushroom

Funny the things you didn’t know, huh? We were also very close to the Amish and Mennonite communities. In fact several of my siblings were delivered by an Amish midwife.

amish.jpg

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash Continue reading A Trip Down Memory Lane!

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You are worth more than rubies

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. –Proverbs 3:15

I am writing this for my beautiful daughters but it really could be directed to all of the women out there, young and old.

First and foremost, I want you to know how much I love you! I have loved you since before I even met you. I don’t want you to ever doubt that in any way. As your mother it is my responsibility to protect you and look out for you. Please don’t ever think that I am trying to be critical or trying to discourage you. I only want the best for you and if I say something about a guy you are interested in I am only being honest because I have learned some traits to look for and some traits to avoid. In the end I will be there for you no matter what and I want you to know that.

I want you to know how wonderful you are. Everything about you is perfect and I don’t want you to ever feel like it isn’t. How do I know that? Because God was your creator and He makes no mistakes. He has lovingly created you and He only wants the best for you because before you were my child you belonged, and still belong, to Him.

I know life is hard and especially when it come to the romance department it can be really tough. I want you to remember that you deserve the best in whoever your partner is. I want you to set your standards high because you don’t need to settle. You should never settle because God has someone in mind for you and that someone will not only meet those standards you set but he will exceed those standards. How do I know that? Because God has a plan for each of us. He loves us and truly only wants the best for us. He can do the impossible.

You deserve to be loved, but not just loved like the general idea of love, you deserve to be cherished. You deserve someone who is loyal and honest. You deserve someone who longs to be with you just as much as you long to be with them. You deserve someone who will look after your heart as they look after their own. If you will take your requests to God He will supply. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but according to His timing which is always right on time.

So for now I want you to take things slow. Learn to be patient and trust in the Lord. Develop your relationship with God because His love is the only perfect love. When you have a close relationship with God everything else will start to fall into place.

Use this time wisely. Ask God to help you and to show you the areas that need improvement. He is molding you and training you into the person He wants you to be. When we don’t give Him control then it makes this process so much more difficult.

Don’t just pray for yourself but pray for this future partner. You may not know him right now, you may live in different zip codes, or you may know him and not even think of him as ‘the one’. God knows who He is. Ask God to work in His life as He is working in your life. When you both are ready God will reveal him to you.

Don’t chase guys or waste time on guys who refuse to meet your standards because when God puts His plan into motion the right guy is gonna find you! I promise! I joked before that the guy for me would have to be driving the UPS or FedEx truck as I never went anywhere for anyone to find me. I was wrong. God put me where I needed to be and He will do the same for you.

Don’t let these guys tell you that your standards are too high! Don’t let them make excuses!  Your standards are your standards and they have no right to judge them. This is just a sign that they are not the one for you. When you find the one God intends for you then you will be just what He was looking for, just as He will be just what you have been looking for.

Don’t settle because you think that you will be able to change them! That kind of change can only come from above. It is possible that the guy you like right now may be the guy God has chosen for you but it may be that God is not finished with him yet. God is working on the perfect man for you.

I may not be a relationship expert but I have made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to not waiting on God. I don’t want you to make those mistakes and deal with the heartache that goes along with them. Every heartbreak will leave a scar and will make it that much harder for you to love someone in the future.

I have faith that there is someone out there who is waiting for you. He has made his list and he knows what he is waiting for. You are worth the wait!

Daughters, you are beautiful, smart, funny, and wonderful. Anyone that thinks otherwise or puts you down is not someone you need to be with. Please remember that you are a daughter of the king and He wants what is best for you. If you trust in Him He will provide you with so much more than your heart can imagine.

I am praying for each of my children and their future/current spouses. Times are especially hard right now and it will be so much harder for our children to remain pure and to keep their focus on God.

Lord, I ask you today to watch over these young women. Show them how beautifully and wonderfully made they are. Lord, guard their hearts and keep them pure. Be with them as they wait on you and help them to develop the character traits that they will need for their roles as wives and mothers in the future.

Please watch over their future partners and protect them. Keep them pure, guard their hearts, and help them to keep their focus on You, Lord. Help these young men to develop the character traits that they will need to be the husbands and fathers they will need to be in the future.

Thank you for you mercy and grace on all of us. Amen!

Below are some links that young women and their parents can check out:

Traits of a Godly Wife

Having the Right Perspective When Praying for a Future Husband

Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His

How to use the Bible to Pray For Your Future (or Current) Spouse

6 Prayers For Finding A Godly Spouse

12 Ways to Pray for Your
Child’s Future Mate

Five Prayers for Your Daughter

Prayer for my daughter who seeks a relationship.

A prayer for my daughter to find a godly husband.

 

** Featured image is from Mr. Amari Soul on Facebook.

Would The Real Boaz Please Stand Up?

I’ve been reading a lot about Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. It is one of the most beautiful love stories told in the Bible. It shows how God can use the most tragic of circumstances, the poorest of the poor, and the most humblest people to fulfill His great plans. It shows God’s power and control of our lives, even when we don’t understand what is going on in our lives.

For me, this really hits home. No, I haven’t been widowed, but I am alone. I have been transplanted to a place where I knew almost no one but I am not struggling to get by on a daily basis. Or am I? I do have my struggles but I don’t think they would ever compare to the struggles that Ruth and Naomi faced. Nor do I ever feel that I would be worthy of the blessings that were bestowed upon them.

I do however have hope that there is one out there for me. My ‘Boaz’, if you will. Over the past few months I have met a few men that displayed the character traits of Boaz. I am not talking about men who were rich landowners as I rarely ask about a person’s occupation or income. I am talking about men of integrity and faith. Men that are genuinely kind and give without expecting anything in return. Men that I would consider to be of good moral character and who I would trust to lead my family.

Time and time again I have been let down. There have been various reasons, sometimes they get tired of keeping up the false front, sometimes I may have been to blame in some ways. I know that feelings of rejection can creep up from hurts I’ve had before and affect the way I feel. I do have a hard time trusting people when I’ve opened up my heart to them and they use my weaknesses against me. This is not what my real Boaz would do, he would never want to hurt me or see me hurt. He would want to guard my heart and wipe my tears, not be the cause for them. I still have faith and hope that God is working and I will keep waiting and praying for this man.

I try to pray daily for him even though I don’t know who he is, where he is, or what he is doing. What am I praying for? I pray that he will love God more than anything else and that he will pursue his relationship with God above everything else. I am praying for his health, safety, and protection. I am praying that God will work in his life to help him develop the traits and character qualities, like humility and integrity, that will bring honor and glory to God. I pray that God will guide him to be the leader that I will need him to be. I pray that God will teach him how to love, unconditionally, as he will need to accept my children unconditionally if he is truly my Boaz. I pray that he is successful in whatever he sets his mind to and that God will bring him peace and rest after his hard work. I pray that he is surrounded by friends and family that support him.

I also try to pray that God will shape me and mold me into the person that my Boaz will need me to be. I want to be ready for whenever he comes my way. I pray that God will teach me to be a good help meet. I pray that God will help me to develop the qualities that he will need from me so that I can support and encourage him. I pray that I will be the love of his life, and he will be mine also. I pray that God will give me wisdom and discernment in the choices I am making now that may affect my future. I pray for the strength to overcome any weaknesses I have and that they can be turned into strengths. I pray that I will learn to love unconditionally and accept him for who he is. I pray that God will heal my heart from my past relationships and not allow those feelings to creep into future relationships.

 

God knows me better than I know myself. He knows my needs and my wants. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows my likes and my dislikes. He knows what I need and when I need it. He shows me glimpses of traits and qualities that my Boaz will have and He gives me hope and encouragement. I trust that He will bring my Boaz along in His perfect timing according to His will and plan for me.

I pray for patience and faith while I am in this state of waiting. I am not actively searching for My Boaz because I know that God will put me where I need to be for him to find me. Who knows maybe he has already found me and God is still working on us before He opens ours eyes to see the plan He has in store for us?

Afraid To Love

I’m sure all of us, at one time, or another have thought about how nice it would be to live secluded away from others for a time. I have thought about it more than once in the past little bit. I have come to realize that this would be selfish and a bit self centered. It would not be at all what God has called us to do.

Sometimes it is because we have been hurt by those around us. Other times the weight of the world just seems too heavy to bear any longer. There could be a million reasons why we would want to withdraw and hold back our feelings but that is not what God wants us to do.

He has called us to love one another. Time and time again it is mentioned in the Bible about loving others. It has been explained and modeled by Jesus himself. He does not want us to withdraw or to withhold love from others. No matter what we are going through we should always show compassion towards others. No matter what they have done to us we still need to love them just as He has done for us.

We are all, each and every one of us, sinners that have or can be saved by grace. There is not one of us that could be held blameless. We are not to judge the sins of another because we have our own sins that could be judged. We need to be a constant source of encouragement to them. Yes, we have our bad days but that is when our lights can shine the brightest.

Each of us, to some degree, have a yearning to be accepted. We want to feel like we belong to something or that we really matter to someone. This may be a little selfish or self focused but it is natural for us to feel this way. We want to be loved and respected by those around us. We want to have a close relationship with others. Sometimes though past experiences can make us afraid to love or to accept love.

The sermon at church today touched on so many of these points. I have been studying a lot of the same verses the past couple of weeks. It gave me a new understanding and perspective to see this from. How can we show a Christ like love towards others?

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

— Hebrews 13:1-6King James Version (KJV)

We can do it through our hospitality. By welcoming others into our lives and showing them kindness. We can help them to feel accepted, welcomed, and loved. We can do it by showing empathy for others. We can do this in person or through prayer. There are so many others that are in worse situations than we could ever imagine and need our prayers on a daily basis.

Of course, we should show this love towards our families. We should show love towards our spouses and our children. By modeling this love in our families we can be a role model to others and to our children.

We can do this also by having the proper outlook on life and towards those we meet. We don’t know what others are going through or have been through. For this reason we are not to judge them but to accept them. We are not to look down on them but to see them as equals. We are to help them without the thought of what they could do for us. We are to show them unconditional love.

We each need to renew our commitments to God and ask Him to help us show brotherly love towards everyone we meet. When we experience God’s love to the fullest it will overflow and spill out onto those around us. His love will be the driving force behind your desire to show love to others.

Don’t be afraid to love others. I know sometimes it is hard to forgive others for things they have done or to look past things that have happened. If you can overlook those things and let God’s love shine through you and through your actions you will be bringing honor and glory to our Lord.

 

Life in 2016

Reflections of 2016

December 30, 2016

December 27, 2016

December 21,2016

December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

December 3, 2016

December 1, 2016

November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016

November 20, 2016

November 18, 2016

November 8, 2016

Reflections of 2016

Can you believe that this year is almost gone? I can’t but I am ready to start 2017 with a fresh, positive, and energized outlook. I know in my heart that this new year will be better than last year. I also know that God has some truly amazing things in store for me and my family. I can’t wait to see what He has planned for us in the upcoming months!

We have been through alot this past year. The year started off really rocky. There had been some nasty rumors and gossip that caused us to leave our church and lose contact with some people. It was also filled with some nasty messages, hateful comments, and posts from people who chose to believe the rumors.

I’ve learned to forgive even if you don’t feel that they deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness lets you move on and heal from the pain.

My oldest daughter finished up boot camp and then DD17 and DS21 took a road trip to Missouri to bring her back home. Then we had a lot planning to do for DD19’s wedding. It was really hard to stay strong for my kids and my family but I refused to let the chaos and nastiness get me down.

I filed for divorce after being separated for nearly 2 years. It was a painful and difficult decision that I prayed a lot over. It was not the outcome I wanted but it was what needed to be done at the time to protect my family and myself from his behaviors and actions. We have come a long way since then and are working to be the best parents we can be to our children.

I am learning to be content in whatever situation I am in and wherever I may be. I will change the things I can change, focus my attention on God, and let Him handle the things I have no control over.

Our family got larger with the additions of a niece and a nephew, both of which I absolutely adore. There was a camping trip where I got to go salt water fishing for the first time and I loved every minute of it. This was a welcome relief prior to the stresses of the wedding where we had last minute changes that threatened to ruin the whole thing. I am pleased to say that it was a success and it is now a beautiful memory for us to cherish.

During those stressful times I found out who my true friends were and became closer to my best friend. She really came through for me when I needed her. I had another friend who also came through and was a lifesaver, quite literally, and he was the calm in my storm on a few occasions.

There was a brief romance where my already tender heart was shredded and ripped apart. This was harder on me than my divorce as it came at me unexpectedly and then it was over without any warning or explanation. I lost someone who I considered to be one of my best friends with the end of that relationship. I know that my questions will continue to go unanswered and I know that there would never be anyway to get back what it was that we had. It still brings tears to my eyes but I do treasure the moments we had.

I am learning that it is much easier not to question God when something happens but rather to embrace it and trust that He knows best. 

Then I attempted online dating which I quickly learned wasn’t for me. I did meet a couple of really nice people and I went on a couple of dates but we didn’t really click. I quickly found that dating by text is not for me either. I need to be able to see the person and hear their voice. I want to know that they are not a figment of my imagination. I did make a friend through the dating site and we still text on a semi-regular basis.

We had another camping trip where I took the five kids and myself. It was an adventure that we all enjoyed and thankfully survived. There was moment that I wasn’t sure if I would make it as I had fallen in the river. Luckily I had a life vest on and I was able to stay calm until someone was able to reach me. The crazy thing was that he was able to walk out to me but I was just a little bit too short to reach the bottom.I think I swallowed my yearly quota of river water that day.

I’ve had many more episodes of the gossip mill. There were days and weeks that I felt I should just write a soap opera about my life. I finally realized that the problem wasn’t really with me but with the ones who were starting and spreading the rumors. This was a big turning point for me and the way I handled the stress and drama from those situations. I also had some painful revelations about family and friends.

Then there was the flu bug that hit us around Thanksgiving. I was upset that we were not able to visit with family but fortunately God did give me the strength and supplies to make our own impromptu dinner. I wasn’t able to eat but I made up for that at Christmas dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. That was definitely a dinner to remember as the police showed up twice!

I have learned to be ready to receive a blessing at any moment and any time.

These are just some of the ups and downs of my past year. There have been a lot of firsts like the salt water fishing, a low country boil (I actually had twice this year), and online dating. I can say that I have lived, loved, been loved, and have been truly blessed. Life has taught me a lot about myself, relationships, and God’s will for my life. There have been many surprises, good and bad, but all in all it was a wonderful year.

I hope you can also look back on the past year and see what has happened. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve experienced and then think about what you want to experience in the 2017. I pray that each and every one of you will be blessed abundantly in the upcoming year. I pray that God will touch your lives and supply your needs, whatever they may be.

 

 

 

Remember The Reason For The Season

First, I just want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and I pray that God has blessed each of you and your families today.

I know a lot of us are on social media and we are being bombarded with the pictures of the beautifully decorated trees that are surrounded by heaps and heaps of beautifully wrapped gifts waiting to be opened. You may be feeling defeated or maybe guilty because you feel as though didn’t buy enough or that you didn’t find that ‘perfect gift’. I want to let you know that it’s not the amount of gifts or the amount of money spent on gifts that is important but rather the amount of love that was put into making your Christmas special.

Don’t beat yourself up or feel upset, don’t let that monster called jealousy creep into your heart today. Remember that the best Christmas present ever given was given a long time ago in a manger, in Bethlehem. Jesus is truly the reason for the season.

You know this year in our house we tried to focus more on the fact that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season. We did an Advent study which has been so much fun. This helped to bring the kids to a better understanding about Christmas not being just about the gifts and the toys that they would hopefully receive. Even though they are young and didn’t understand the whole picture they did get little pieces that they will eventually fit together as they age.

For the past several years I have really cut back on the gifts. I always had a little guilt, no matter how many gifts I bought, no matter how much I spent or didn’t spend, that nagging little thought that I never did enough.  Then I realized that anything I could give would never be enough nor would I ever be able to give a perfect gift.

How can we ever give enough? How can we ever give the perfect gift? We can’t. So this year I felt the best gift for my family would be to focus on the fact of that first gift, the only perfect gift. I wanted to give my children that understanding and help them to realize the true meaning of what Christmas is truly about. That’s a gift in itself.

This year we did have what may seem to be a lot of presents under our tree. (There was a total of 21?, I believe. And there was a dinosaur guarding the gifts so I guess that would be 22. Each child had one gift with their name on it to open. There are three little boys so there were three gifts marked as ‘boys’. There are two little girls which meant two gifts marked as ‘girls’. Then there were five gifts marked as ‘kids’, which were games and such that they could play together as a group or we could use as a family. So, in total, each child got to open three different gifts. Each of those gifts was something that I knew would be very special to them and that they would enjoy.

Then there was also one gift for each of the older children, two gifts for Momma (some aroma therapy oils and Baklava that I had ordered before), and grandpa had two gifts under the tree as well. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces was gift enough for me. Seeing the excitement in their eyes as they opened the gifts and the happiness they shared with their siblings when seeing what each one had received is something that money cannot buy.

As for friends and family, everyone help to make candies and cookies to pass out. We did this as a family and the kids were all super excited to hand out the goodies we had made. This was lots of fun and it helped the kids to appreciate the time, effort, and love that goes into gift giving.

I know that there is always someone who tries to put a damper on the happiness and joy you feel. Someone who is never happy with what they have received. Someone who just can’t help but try to outdo everyone else. I want you to know that this is not anything you did and you have nothing to prove to that person.

All in all I feel blessed to have been with my family today. To see the smiles on their faces and the pure excitement as they open the gifts it didn’t matter if they had 3 gifts or 300 gifts they enjoyed each and every one of them that they received.

I feel that the best gift of all was the fact that we were able to prepare for this Christmas season, as a family, with our Advent study. We were able bring the focus back to the real reason of the season. This is a tradition that I plan on continuing with over the years to come, probably adding to it, and elaborating more on it as they get older. As they mature I plan on giving them more things to do like acts of kindness or maybe even throwing in some old-fashioned Christmas caroling as well.

I hope and pray that my kids will look back on this and be able to incorporate this into their own families when they get married, move away, and have children of their own. I want to create fond memories for them that they will cherish long after I’m gone. So please don’t let guilt or despair get you down. Remember what the real reason for the season is. Be merry, share your love, and enjoy your family and friends today.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

 

Note: After I wrote this post we were blessed again. To read more about this please read:

So much more than a basketball

December 21, 2016

Well today did not go as planned or as expected. I have been waiting for a melt down from DS14 as he had a doctor appointment last week, a lab appointment this week, and all the excitement from the upcoming holiday. Today was the day.

I did get up and have my morning quiet time with little noise from anyone. As soon as he heard me enter the kitchen it started. There was no warning, no signs, no gradual warm up as we sometimes have. It was full blown yelling at me through his bedroom door. I greeted him as usual and instructed him to go to the bathroom, trying to keep on our normal routine and praying that this would be it.

Unfortunately it was not, it was just the beginning and we went through a mega meltdown, much bigger than I had anticipated. Everyone did the best they could to stay focused on their school work and to continue on with the day as normal. Once he was calmed down he decided to be extra sweet but wanted to stay in his room.

I have learned that these moments,when things are so trying and exhausting, are when we realize the awesome power of love. By not over reacting to his outbursts he is able to feel the love that we all have for him. It helps him to calm down whereas if we reacted by screaming or yelling it would only fuel his frustration and push him further over the edge.

I don’t blame anyone for the way they react because prior to having him in my life I may have reacted in a similar fashion. I may have thought he was just a spoiled brat trying to get his way. Knowing him as I know him I can usually tell when we are building up to a melt down. I also know a lot of the things that can trigger a melt down. I do my best to help him avoid these things or prepare for them in advance but there are times that things pop up and can not be avoided or prepared for.

I know that he does not enjoy them nor does he fully understand them. I can only imagine how it must feel to completely lose control and not understand what is happening. The only way he knows to respond is to yell, scream, hit, kick, or act out in other various manners. So we will just continue to work on learning ways to calm down and more positive ways to express our feelings.

I am extremely thankful that his melt down occurred at home instead of at the doctor’s office, the lab, or anywhere else. It is so much easier to help him through these if he is in familiar surroundings. Not too mention that the tension and comments from strangers do not always help very much in those situations.

When naptime finally arrived I was exhausted and all I could think of was a nap for myself. I knew that there were some things that really needed to get finished though. I enlisted the help of one of Santa’s elves, aka DD17, and started to wrap gifts. Then my friend came by for a visit. Just talking to her helped to reenergize me and lift my spirits. We exchanged gifts and one of the ones she had given me will definitely be one that will give me encouragement in the future.

After wrapping I finished up a couple more things on my To-Do list and began to make dinner. DS3 & DS4 were extremely interested in learning about all the herbs and seasonings that I was using. We also learned about kitchen safety around the hot stove and how it important it is for them not to play with the stove or the oven. I have found that including them in the dinner prep and trying to answer the questions they have makes them more interested in trying new foods and dishes.

The kids also learned how to make your own bread crumbs as Momma could not locate the container of Italian bread crumbs in the cabinet. They asked for mashed potatoes instead of salad too. I did not have the energy to peel the potatoes so we made some instant potatoes to go with dinner. (By adding a little sour cream it makes them almost as good as from scratch.)

While preparing dinner we were serenaded by DS14 who was singing his versions of his favorite Christmas carols. He also made me aware that he was hungry every five minutes or so. At one point he also started an argument with his little brothers about reindeer genealogy… lol… they have been researching reindeer a lot this week. I’m sure someone will need me to ask my friend, Google, for the answer to settle the argument.

The boys had a lot of fun playing with all of the empty shipping boxes from the gifts we had wrapped. They rearranged them again and again to make houses, castles, and a variety of other structures. Not too mention that DS8 helped the little boys hide in the boxes so they could scare Momma a few times. (Did I mention that the empty wrapping paper rolls make great pretend light sabers, too?)

My older two went to town to run a few errands and just came back with some ice cream and chicken gizzards. I love how thoughtful they are! I’m gonna get out some hot sauce, eat a few gizzards, maybe a bit of ice cream, and then snuggle in my warm cozy bed.

So all in all, it was a pretty good day. The melt down was definitely not the highlight of the day but I have to take the good with the bad. I’ll take a melt down at home over a melt down in public any day.

Love Yourself

This season of the year brings out a lot of different emotions for everyone. You may be waiting in anticipation for Christmas to get here. You may be excited to see your family and maybe a little anxious to see what gifts are waiting for you under the tree. It may be full of despair if you didn’t have the extra money to buy gifts for your loved ones. You may be feeling hopeless or distraught.

Please don’t beat yourself up over things you can’t control. This season is meant to bring us feelings of peace, joy, and love. To fully experience this you must let go of your feelings of guilt. There is not any ‘perfect’ Christmas, ‘perfect’ gift, or ‘perfect’ person at least since that very first Christmas.

Before we can truly experience the full joy and peace of the season we need to love ourselves. There are a million things that can make us feel unloved or unworthy.

Do you feel like you aren’t enough? You just can’t quite get everything pulled together to pull off the perfect holiday celebration. Maybe you don’t have the trendiest clothes? If only you had nicer clothes then you would feel better about yourself. Maybe your hair is in desperate need of a cut or color? If only you had the money to do your hair you would feel prettier. Maybe your friends or family have deserted you? If only you were a better person they wouldn’t have left you feeling so unloved and rejected.

These could all be reasons to feel down in the dumps. But let me tell you something… they are all lies. Lies that are fed to us by the one who is out only to seek and devour, to destroy us. Satan wants us to believe that we are rejects and that we are unworthy of being loved.

God sent his only begotten son to show us His love. God loves you, He loves me, and He loves everyone around us. He wants us to fully experience His love for us. We can’t do that if we refuse to accept it or let go of our guilt or misconceptions that we have.

I want you to know that God loves you unconditionally. He loves you whether you are overweight or underweight. He loves you whether you have an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or anything else. He loves you if you drive a Mercedes or a bucket of rust. He loves you even when it seems that noone else does. He loves you whether you bite your nails to the quick or have the latest manicure.

I want you to know that you can feel at peace this holiday season. You can experience a joy so full that it overflows to those around you. You can experience a love like you’ve never known. Just take it to God and ask Him to help you with your feelings of inadequacies, unworthiness, or whatever it is that you may be feeling. He can and will take your burdens away and He will show you how to let your light shine in the darkest of days.

Merry Christmas!

December 12, 2016

Good morning! I had intended to write this post about the peaceful mornings but plans changed. I started my day as usual and the kids actually slept in a bit so I was not being hurried to get breakfast ready and on the table.

I sat down with my coffee and reflected on a few things. One of which was yesterday’s sermon about clinging to grace. We need to remember that when times are hard and nothing seems to be going right that we still have grace to carry us through. We need to keep holding fast to the promises that God has given us. He has a plan for us and He knows what we need even we don’t really have a clue.

I have had many a day when I have felt so discouraged and sad. Part of this is due to the fact that I don’t have someone to walk alongside of. Someone to share my little joys with or someone to hold me when I am down. I do miss having someone to hold my hand or the feeling of someone coming up behind me and wrapping their arms around me and holding me tight. I sometimes long to have someone to talk to about my day or being able to listen to someone tell me about their day. I miss having someone to snuggle close to when the nights are cold or when I don’t want to get up in the morning.

I try my best not to dwell on these feelings as I know that God is in control. I know that right now my focus needs to be on Him and the rest will fall into place. He is always there and will never leave me. He knows the innermost thoughts of my heart and all of my desires. He will comfort me like no one else can. I know that if it is in His will for me to have someone beside me He will allow our paths to cross.

So for now I will continue to pray for His wisdom and guidance, not only for myself, but for the one He has chosen for me. I pray that God will bless Him beyond measure and supply all his needs. I pray that  He will guide him and protect him and that He will surround Him with people who will encourage him. I pray that God will continue to mold him and shape him into the man God intends him to be.

I don’t know God’s will or His plans for my life but I know that He loves me and only wants the best for me. I also know that a lot of my problems have been because I wasn’t patient enough and didn’t wait for Him to reveal His plan to me. I tried to do things my own way and they didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I’ve made so many mistakes and suffered so many failures.

I pray that God will continue to work in my life and mold me and shape me into the person He wants me to be. I know that He can turn mistakes into miracles and that God has not forgotten about me. I pray that if it is not His will for me to have someone to walk with that He will fill my heart with joy and help me to be content where I am right now.

Right now, I will keep my focus on Him and on the job He has blessed me with as a mother and a keeper of my home. This is an important job that He has placed on me and it is full of responsibilities. My attitude and behavior will influence everyone around me especially my children. God calls us to show His love to all of those around us and I pray that everyone I meet can see how His love overflows from my heart. I pray that everyone around me will always feel loved, welcomed, safe, and comforted when they enter into our home.

Yes, it would be so much easier if I had someone to help me shoulder the many burdens of raising a family and keeping a home but God will give me the strength I need. I don’t really look at my role as a burden as I try to do everything with a servant’s heart because I love my family. So I will try not to be discouraged and I will keep singing His praises because God is so good to me! He has blessed me, an unworthy sinner, and He has loved me and shown me His grace and mercy. So for now I will indeed continue to cling to that grace and allow it to carry me through this difficult part of my journey.

St. Nicholas Day 2016

This was our first year celebrating St. Nicholas Day here at our house. I am hoping to keep this new tradition and continue to build on it as we go through the years. Below are some of the ways that we celebrated today:

The night before, after our Advent Study, we set out our stockings. Many traditions involve setting out shoes, but we chose to use our stockings because Momma didn’t want to put the shoes on the table. The kids also made some chocolate chip cookies with DD17. Then they left a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for St. Nick to snack on.

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Sometime after the kids went to bed St. Nick made a visit by our house.

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They each received a book, a coloring book, a small toy, and a few candies. (Santa picked all of these up at the Dollar Tree.) The kids were eager to check their stockings first thing. He even left a few items for Grandpa, DD17, DS21, and Momma.

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After everyone’s curiosity was satisfied we had a special breakfast…. Santa Pancakes!

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We happened to be having some really heavy rains today so Momma cancelled school due to the internet being really slow. Good thing Momma had some other activities planned out.

We read the Santa Who? book. We also had some coloring sheets and activities that I had printed from my St. Nicholas board on Pinterest. We also watched a few videos about Christmas.

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We also put up our Christmas tree! This was probably one of the most exciting things about the day for the kids. (We also watched a video about how the Christmas tree became to be a symbol of Christmas.)

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All in all it was a really good day. I think this will help us to keep the focus that Jesus is the reason for Christmas while also answering the numerous questions that arise about Santa Claus. It also honors the work that St. Nicholas did.

I would have loved to invite Santa for dinner but I didn’t know anyone who would be available on such short notice. (I do have a Santa outfit in the building that we use for our Polar Express parties.) If you decide to start this tradition in your own house then do whatever you want to make it special to your family.

Merry Christmas!

December 5, 2017

Good morning ya’ll! Today is a work in progress for me. I woke up with a bad case of vertigo and then both of my legs were asleep! This made it quite a difficult, and probably hilarious, trip to the bathroom as I really had to pee. Anyway I am feeling much better now, Thank you Jesus!, and our morning is going along quite smoothly. I am almost afraid to say that as I don’t want to jinx myself.

I have the Christmas music playing, the kids have had breakfast and are playing quietly in the play room, there has been no tattling, and the kitchen is clean. DS4 brought the hamper to the laundry room (without being asked), loaded the washer, and took the hamper back to his closet. What is happening here? Did I mention that DS21 was home and carried the trash out to the road? I really hate doing that task and I am so thankful he was here and that he took care of it.

Instead of questioning, I will just thank the good Lord for his blessings and enjoy this moment of blissful peace. These moments are few and far between but I am thankful for each and every one of them. What are you thankful for today? Take a few moments and think of at least five things to thank God right now for. You will feel so much better. Often times we remember Him when we need something but we forget to thank Him when things are going good.

Is there someone in your life that you are truly blessed to have? Let them know how much they mean to you. Do a little something special to show them how much you appreciate them. This will not only make you feel better but it will also encourage them and lift them up. The holidays can be really stressful for everyone for a variety of different reasons and you never know when your actions or words can be just what they need to go from having a bad day to having a great day!

In another note, I am also working with a couple of different companies to receive some products for our homeschool activities and for my special needs son. I will be reviewing these items and hopefully showing how we use them in our daily life here. I am so excited for these opportunities and pray the God will continue to bless our family and use our lives to bless others.