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Teach your Kids about the Bible with God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible

I love teaching my kids the stories from the bible!  Luckily these days it is really easy to do with the help of some great children’s books like God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible by Rick Warren!  Your kids will love learning about the bible with this fun little board book!  Mom Always Know did receive a free copy of the book from Flyby Promotions but my opinion is 100% my own.

About God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible:

God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible illustrates the 40 foundational principles written in the #1 New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren. With child-friendly language, engaging illustrations, and a chronological approach, Pastor Warren introduces each Bible story with a theme that aligns with one of his foundational principles. He wraps up the stories with a closing thought targeted to early readers. The colorful illustrations and narrative tone bring these beloved Bible stories to life for readers young and old. God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible has foil decoration on the cover.

God's Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible

 

Our Thoughts

The book is written where my kids can understand so it was easy to read to them and then have conversations about their thoughts and answer any questions.  The table of contents is set up like a devotional where you read “Day 1” then “Day 2” and so on and so forth.  I really liked how each story has a little introduction so you can prepare for what you are about to read.  After the story there is a “think” “remember” and “question” section to kind of summarize what you just read.  This was the time that my kids and I really had some great conversations and I answered some great questions about God.  It is so amazing to see their little minds work.  Warren really provides some great tools to parents looking for ways to teach and talk to their kids about the bible.

There are 40 days(principles) covered in the book and some of the great stories are about David, Noah, Adam & Eve, Jesus, Peter, John, Moses, Ruth, Solomon and Ester just to name a few!  You will not be disappointed with God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible!  Mom Always Knows approved!

For more info about Rick Warren, his other books or to order God’s Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible, visit here!

Blessings!

 

 

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Sony Pictures “The Star” Movie Nationwide Release November 17, 2017!

My family loves going to the movie together, especially animated movies, so we are so excited about ‘The Star set to premier on 11/17/17 from Sony Picture Animation.  ‘The Star’ is the perfect movie to bring the holiday season in and you won’t be disappointed about watching the story of the very first Christmas through a whole new set of eyes!  Mom Always Knows did receive 4 free movie tickets from Flyby Promotions but all opinions are 100% our own.

the star movie logo

The perfect family holiday movie

From the producers of Heaven is for Real and Miracles from Heaven, The Star movie takes you on an epic journey of a small but brave donkey named Bo!  He wonders what life is like beyond his daily grind at the village mill and one day breaks free to go on the adventure of a lifetime.  He meets new friends along the way like Ruth, a cute sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with big dreams.  Bo and his new friends, along with three hilarious camels and some crazy stable animals, follow the Star and become unlikely heroes.  Joseph (voice of ZACHARY LEVI) is a first time anxious Dad and Mary (voice of GINA RODRIGUEZ) bravely embraces her destiny as she approaches motherhood.

movies about the first christmas

Make sure you check out the website for some really cool resources for you kids to get them prepared for the movie including interactive animated coloring books and activities like connect the dots, mazes, printable character and holiday cards!!  You can meet the characters, check out the cast and even get a glimpse of the trailer!

The cast alone is awesome with Oprah Winfrey, Tracy Morgan and Tyler Perry to just name a few but the soundtrack is to die for featuring music from Mariah Carey and A Great Big World!

the star movie trailer

 

We know where we will be on November 17!  You won’t want to miss this one of the greatest story of all time!  Enjoy the movie!

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Build Your Kids Character with The Character Builder’s Bible

We read our devotionals and/or Bible every night to the kids at bedtime.  I am proud to say if we don’t they remind me!  One of the reasons they love this time we spend together is because there are so many great reads out there for kids full of awesome lessons about the bible!  Tyndale House Publishers has provided us with a complimentary copy of The Character Builder’s Bible for us to review and I must say it is one of my favorite books of this kind!

Build Character

This large hardback cover bible is bright and colorful and full of cartoon characters depicting the characters from the bible.  There are 60 stories from the old and new testament that will show your little one that God’s word is not just words in a big book.  This is written for them, relevant to their lives and will help you instill biblical character in their hearts.

The book tells a bible story very simply so that your child will understand and that story is tied to an attribute like obedience or humility(character building attributes,) then a real-life example is presented that they can apply in their own lives.

best bible for kids

The stories throughout the book use many attributes like confidence, unselfishness, boldness, sharing, kindness, wisdom, determination and many more awesome traits that you want your kids to have!  I really like that this book is just not stories!  It has a practical application to the story in the “in my Everyday life” section after the story.  I found that this is a great conversation starter for me to talk to my kids about things that might be going on in their lives or how they might be feeling!  It’s easy for them to understand and the pages are illustrated beautifully!  My kids love this book and we have enjoyed reading it as a family.

Mom Always Knows recommends this book!  Pick up your copy here from Amazon!  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

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Raise them up Honest- 3 Must Know Tips

We all want honest kids!

Today my oldest and I were at the flea market!  Oh how we love to go to junk shopping!   I picked up several great pieces but the best find of the day was not in something I purchased but something I taught my daughter.

As we walked around the tiny isles, my 5-yr-old, who loves to touch everything; bumped into a table and caused a little ceramic squirrel to fall to the ground and break.  We were both immediately mortified.  My daughter because she thought she was going to be in trouble and me because I wondered how much this piece was going to cost me.  “Sorry mommy, sorry sorry sorry” she said over and over again almost in tears putting it back up on the table.

Squirrel ceramic figure

I quickly thought to myself, “what a great learning experience this will be.”  I explained to her that we needed to take the little squirrel up to the front and explain we broke it and pay for it.  She asked why since they would not know that it broke if we just put it back.  I let her know that it was an accident, we would not be in trouble, we had to take responsibility for our actions and be honest about what we did.   I explained that the little squirrel belonged to someone else who was trying to sell it and make a profit from selling it and it was now broken and we must pay for it or at least offer to.

talk to your kids about honesty

Sure, we could of just put it back on the shelf and walked away but kind of message would I of sent my daughter?  We walked up to the front and explained that “we” had accidentally broke it.  Luckily they only charged us $2 for the little squirrel and he got to come home with us.  My husband will fix him up and all will be well.  I hope my daughter will always remember that we chose to do the honest right thing today!

Raising honest kids is something that we should all strive to do.  Follow these 3 tips and you will be headed in the right direction!

Parents Lead by example

This is by far the most important thing you can do as a parent to teach your kids to be honest.  Your kids are always watching you and taking cues from you.  Just like the ceramic squirrel from above, if I would of just put it back, that would of taught my daughter, that was okay behavior when it’s not.  Be honest in all your doings whether it be at work, school, social settings, etc.  Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)
 

Surround your kids in Truth

Similar to the above tip, if they are surrounded in truth, then that is all they know.  Make your home a truthful place.  As adults, we understand the concept of a “little white lie” but kids do not. If someone calls and you don’t want to come to the phone, don’t tell you child to lie and say you are not home.  Simply have them say, “Mom, can’t come to the phone right now.”   If you want your child to miss school one day, don’t tell them that you are telling the teacher that they are sick. Simply let the school know your child will just be out for family reasons.  If you don’t like apples, tell your kids the real reason, don’t make up a reason.  Kids are smart, especially the older they get and if you are constantly surrounding them with “little white lies” they will think this is normal and okay and soon you will be at the receiving end of their “little white lies.”

Reward honest behavior

I am not saying go out and buy them a new toy when they are honest but lets face it, sometimes it is hard as heck to be honest.  You can reward them verbally!  “Did you leave the water running in the bathroom?”  “Did you get in trouble at school today?”  Sometimes it is really hard for our kids to answer yes to questions they know they are going to get in trouble for and they should be rewarded for telling the truth.  This will help teach them to be honest.  Next time instead of yelling or scolding them, try something like this, “Thank you so much for being honest, it helps me trust you!”  or  “I am glad you told me about getting in trouble at school, I know its not easy to tell me the truth sometimes but I am always so happy when you do.”  This will help encourage your child to tell you the truth even when they think they might get in trouble.  Give them a big hug next time for being honest, even if it comes with a punishment for whatever the crime was.

Good luck Mom!  Look for lessons in everyday life, they are there!  All the time!  In the meantime, go junk shopping!  You can find some great items!  Here’s mine from the squirrel day!

Blessings!

shabby chic home decor

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God Bless My School By Hannah C. Hall & Illustrated by Steve Whitlow Children’s Book Review

In the spirit of schools about to start all over America, we thought this would be a great book to review this week!  We did receive a complementary copy of the book to review for ya’ll from BookLook Bloggers and we are sure glad we did!

God Bless My School – A Great Back to School Book!

This rhyming children’s board book is a wonderful tale of preparing little ones for school.  Different types of animals are all getting their little ones ready for school with one common theme, God is always with you.  Kids ages 2-7 will love and relate to this book.

God Bless my school book

I’ve got my crayons, glue, and paint. My backpack’s zipped-up full. Today’s the day I get to say, “It’s time to go to school!”  What a great way to show a child what school is about if they have never been or get one excited that is going back!  My girls asked lots of questions so I was able to explain to them about what their school day would look like.  We love books that create open dialogue like this with our kids!

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, clicking on them costs you nothing.

Summary  

The illustrations are precious with bright colors and sweet animals (ducks, owls, raccoons) that your kids will love!  Nap time, the playground and class room scenes are all depicted.  The most important part of the book is God and that he is always with us, even at school.

We give this book 5 out of 5 stars and is MAK approved for sure!

You can get your very own copy on Amazon HERE!

Want more MAK book reviews?  The Little Beginners Bible!

 

 

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Mom- Got Questions about Starting Kindergarten?

My conversations throughout the day are usually with a four and a five-yr old.  As exhausting as that is and all that entails, it is the most rewarding and enjoyable part of my day!  We talk (and I answer a lot of questions) about the weather and about ducks and dolls and whatever is on their little minds.  In a few short days, my oldest will be going to Kindergarten.  Really?   I was just pregnant with her the other day.  How has she evolved into this little human?  I am just not ready for this!

My Daughter is starting Kindergarten!

starting kinder

All summer I knew this day was coming, we have been talking about it for months.  Her eyes fill with excitement when she asks about it.  This last week she has been packing her new backpack to get ready and trying on her new school clothes.  Shes been asking me lots of questions.  “Mommy, will I be able to bring my own snack?” “Mommy, will I ride the bus or will you still take me like last year?”  The questions are so sweet and innocent and serious and fill my mind with questions and thoughts as well.

We have been raising this baby and preparing her each and every day for this.  Have we prepared her?  Will she know what to do if there is an emergency?  Will she know what to do if she is bullied or sees someone being bullied?  How will she feel when she gets embarrassed?  Will her self-esteem take a hit when a friend is mean to her?  Can she stay focused all day at school?  Will she come home and tell me all about her day?  I have a zillion more questions but only so much room in this post.

When I have questions that weigh heavy on my mind, I seek out the best source there is!  The Bible! There are 3 Verses that come to mind when I stress about all the questions I have about sending my daughter off to Kindergarten and anything else that occurs throughout the day!

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV- 

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I trust God with all my heart even when I don’t understand and submit my life and will to him.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Bible tells us not to be anxious or afraid about anything but to pray with thanks and give it to God.  I put my faith in God that he will guide my Daughter and everything will be okay.

John 14:27 NIV

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Again, in John, the Bible tells us not to be afraid and troubled.  He gives peace.  Don’t get caught up in the World and everything it offers.  All the madness!

ready to go to school

So as much as I will miss my daily conversations and hanging out with her, I am happy to send her off to Kinder, because she’s ready.  I am getting there slowly with a little help from above!

Anyone else feel this way?  Sending yours off to Kinder this year or soon?  Let us know in the comments below!

Blessings!

Want more bible verses?  Help for the Tired Mom HERE!

 

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Raising Kids – What’s Important? 3 Amazing Parenting Tips

Raising kids is hard work!

It’s mentally, physically and spiritually draining. As a parent we are in a constant state of learning and experimenting what to do and what NOT to do. We can read all kinds of books, go to seminars, get advice from someone who’s been there, and while that might help it’s still all touch and go right?

I have lots of things that I want for my kids but I think there are 3 that are most important to me. They will need to be nourished for growth but that’s what us parents are for! No one said it was easy, and a good parent knows that and tries and tries and tries. Hopefully this can help you with your kids, and if you have advice or stories please share!!

I have 3 beautiful children, and they are fun (at times.)  Many times though it’s not fun at all. It’s “STOP KICKING THE DOG” OR “QUIT LICKING YOUR BROTHER” OR “HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU _________ ” and another “GET YOUR CLOTHES ON.”   One day I finally said, I’ve got to change something, I’ve got to put positive things into my kids life, not just ordering and punishing all day. The best thing I did, besides digging into my Bible, was to get the book  God Knows How to Raise your Kids Even if You Don’t by Joe Mcgee.  This book has so many things to offer. I highly recommend it!!

So here are my top 3 things (parenting tips) I want for my kids:

#1 To know the Lord

My most important goal is that they are saved and are going to heaven. On another level though I want them to not just be in church or pray or love God because its what we want them to do, or because it’s believed to be “right.” I want them to make their own independent decisions, and with that I want them to know God personally. Many christian adults go their entire life being saved, going to church, and not really knowing God on a deeper more personal level.

It’s what our entire lives are built around, without God even the smallest decisions can seem like huge mountains to climb. Every time they have a struggle, big or little, I want their immediate response to be to go to God for guidance. How as parents can we help our kids with this?

As we know kids learn by seeing and doing. Heck, I learn by seeing and doing. So anytime my husband and I have a problem we pray about it out loud with our kids. Not only that, we ask them to pray for those things for us and with us. Since praying is a normalcy in our house they are more than eager to pray. Don’t ever make fun of how they pray, it’s a serious matter to them and the more confidence they build as a child praying, the easier it will come when they are grown. Here is an example of what our kids pray about:

pray
There’s also some random items thrown in each time, but we want them to pray for anything and everything because there is nothing to big or small for God!  Anytime something hurts on me or my husband, we might say “oh my head hurts” or “man my back hurts”, if my middle son hears it he’ll come over to us, put his hand on us and ask God to heal us. It’s a short prayer,then he smiles, gives us a kiss and off he goes. In his mind it’s done, God is our good doctor and if he’s prayed for it, he knows God will heal us. If only we could have that faith!!!

Matthew 19:14  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

raise kids to know the lord

#2 To know their gift

Everyone is born with a purpose, no one was an accident in God’s eyes. Each one of us has a unique gift that we can do to make us money as well as make us happy. This is what lots of people are searching for their entire life. They work at a job they hate and go to work miserable. I definitely don’t want that for my kids! I want them to know before leaving our home what they want to do in life, and I want to help them develop that! I don’t want them to waste time and money trying to figure it out and going down a road of debt that really leads to no where.

There are things we can spot when our children are young that we know they are good at. For example, our oldest son, when he was just learning to talk his first word was daddy (like many babies), but it was his second word was special. Of course as his mother, I wanted it to be mommy but not even close. It was tractor, yes, tractor. At the ripe ole age of about 8 months old he said tractor, and he has been tractor crazy ever since. I didn’t push tractors in front of him and I can promise you I wasn’t trying to get him to say tractor.  BUT, that wasn’t what happened and I’m happy because the word tractor perfectly describes our now 5 -year- old little boy. He now can tell you what brand each different color of tractor is, what size many of them are, like the John Deere’s 4250, 4010, 4020, 3010, 7700, and the list goes on. He knows many of these because he’s around them and he literally studies them. To say that he is infatuated with farm equipment would be an understatement.

Now this could be something that Kyle and I see as cute and fun for a little boy, but it’s really something way bigger. It’s his gift, I don’t know what this might grow into as he gets older, but I have no doubt he will be doing something with farming equipment. It’s part of who he is and something that comes completely natural to him and God knows what He has made our son for and that’s what matters!

I could give you other examples but it might take all day. ; ) Look at your kids, what do they like? What interests them? If you don’t know, ask them (if they are old enough.)  Spend some time doing what they love, and put those things in front of them. Help them learn more about it. Sometimes that means doing things out of our own comfort zone and learning also! I grew up on a farm and I can promise you I’ve learned more about tractors and farming equipment in the last five years than my entire life.

In our house we have books, movies, pictures, catalogs, magazines, toys, and anything else about tractors and equipment. This isn’t just for his pleasure, this is helping his mind grow. Of course anytime daddy, grandpa or a friend is on a tractor, or working on equipment he’s in the middle of it and learning too.

Do whatever you can to strengthen and guide them with their gift. You might learn something in the process! It’s also a great way to make memories with your kids!

Ephesians 1:17-19 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.

#3 To be a servant and a giver

Many might take this wrong, and that’s okay. There are a many times in the bible people didn’t like what Jesus said or did. It’s counter intuitive to our human nature and we immediately want to reactive against it. Just because it’s hard, or goes against our society/culture doesn’t mean it’s not the RIGHT thing to do.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

I feel if they learn to serve others and be a giver at a young age it’s something that will not only bless others, but it will greatly bless them. Nothing is better for me than to give something to someone in need. Honestly, I enjoy giving even if that person doesn’t need anything, it’s just in the act of giving that I enjoy. There are so many scriptures in the bible talking about giving and being a servant. Why is that? Maybe because God knew how hard it would be for people to lay down their own desires or interests and focus on what someone else wants. He even put it in the 10 commandments, Love your neighbor as yourself. Easier said than done though right? It’s not easy loving someone that isn’t very lovable. So for me to make this a priority for my children while they are little is huge. When they are adults and in the real world I pray its something that comes easy for them.

Whats the best way to teach this? As I said early we learn by doing. Children will do what they see us do. So if we are givers and servants its easier for them to be. This might come easy or hard for you as a parent, but I strongly encourage you to make it a priority. As a stay at home mom I can come up with all the excuses in the book to NOT do this like, “I don’t want to load all the kids up to go somewhere” or “We really don’t have the money to make an extra batch of cookies for the neighbor.”  I mean really? How lame is that, and no matter how easy or hard it is we can always come up with an excuse. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, or costly. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

One thing I enjoy doing is giving away eggs. We have plenty and I know many people around me enjoy farm fresh eggs. It’s a great and easy way for us to bless our neighbors. If you don’t have the money to buy something, look around your house. Is there something that is in good condition you know someone would want or need? Each of my three children have boxes and boxes of clothes that no longer fit them. Now, I will say I have sold a lot of clothes, but just as many as I’ve sold I have given away also. Many of the clothes we have were from friends and family that gave them to us and it was always a HUGE blessing! I enjoyed receiving those clothes in a time when we really needed them. How much more of a blessing it is to give them to a family that needs them also!

Being a servant doesn’t mean just being a rug to everyone around you. You can be a strong independent person and still be a servant. Our kids see us serve each other. Maybe doing things we don’t always want to do, but we do it out of love for the other person. It can be as simple as getting in the floor and helping your kids pick up their toys after you’ve just asked them to pick up their mess. Helping your spouse with dinner or cleaning up after dinner. Helping a stranger take their groceries to the car. Babysitting for a friend for free just so they can have a night out. These are just a few examples of small things we can do for those around us and they will have a huge impact on our children.

Would you rather have a boss that is hands on working right beside you or one that is just ordering you around but has no clue of the job your actually doing? The best leaders are the ones that are respected by those around them and that respect is earned through serving!

Serving may be simply pulling your brother in a wagon and doing so with a joyful heart. 

1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

Read more from The Clucky Hen here!

 

Tips for When Life Gets Rough After a New Baby Arrives


Big shot out to all you first- time, second-time, third-time etc Mom’s!  I only have two kiddos and have my hands full for sure!  My girls are 18 months apart and I definitely remember those early days having a newborn and toddler demanding all my attention.  Today our featured post is about a family/Mom who is welcoming their third child into the mix and some of the challenges they are facing and learning to overcome!  Days can be rough but remember, it is just for a short season!  Jaileigh offers many tips that have worked well for her and her family.  If you want more from her, make sure you check out her blog HERE!

When Life Gets Rough After a New Baby Arrives

By Jaileigh Speaks

First of all, I want to share a popular Bible verse that I have clung to recently and use it as a reminder that God has plans for me even though I fail Him daily:

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As most of you know, we welcomed our third son to our family in December.

We have now been a family of five for three months now and enjoy every day of it!

BUT

It wasn’t always like that…

The first week we had our new baby home was full of meals being brought in, extra hands to help out with our other two children, and half days at grandma’s house. We were totally blessed by our friends and family!

Then, Joel had to go back to work, and there I was, now a mom of three little boys.

Our oldest son had been through a transition when we had our second son. Our second son had never been through the process of having a sibling join the family. Needless to say, it was most rough on him. He was now a middle child and didn’t understand why he wasn’t the baby anymore.

Thankfully, he has his older brother to play with and entertain, but he still feels left out sometimes.

I failed early on with my time management and true to my oldest’s wise words from a previous post, I “was spending more time with the baby than with him and his brother”. See that post here..

The very thing I had sworn to myself NOT to do, I was doing. I didn’t see it right away and beat myself up about now, but I was so focused on the new baby, I forgot to be mom to my other two babies.

I guess I kind of justified it by telling myself that this baby was quite possibly our last baby and I wanted to enjoy every moment about it.

Then something else occurred to me…

My husband.

My partner, my beloved, my friend. The one who stood by me through the whole pregnancy was now being neglected because I was being selfish with my time focusing on the baby. It sounds silly now, but babies have a funny way of driving a wedge between you and your husband; not intentionally, it just happens.

Just when you think you had everything figured out and feel great about where you are at as a family, then you start your daily routines again… except, now you have to get creative and accommodate a baby.

Praise the Lord, we have fallen into a routine.

Yes, it involves much multitasking, but it works for us.

It’s been a learning experience, but I am thankful that God has allowed me to become a mom of three. Yes, it’s challenging, yes it tries my patience, but it’s also expanded my capacity to love and extend grace.

I am still working on my time management and probably will be for an extended amount of time, but I would not change where I am in life at all.

2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV)

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”

So, what am I doing to make life not so rough these days?

I made a quick list:

I make sure to spend even amounts of time with both of my older boys. We play video games, read stories, go for short walks, anything that involves just them and me.

I allow them to help me when I really need it. They are always eager to help in any way they can.

For Joel and I, we still have our weekly date night. Sometimes we take baby with, other times, we don’t. We also try to put baby to bed and stay up talking and catching up.

I still call on my mom to help me out when I need to run some quick errands. It’s a lot easier to have her sit with the boys than having to take them with when I just need to run in to a few places quickly.

I make sure to have some “me time”. I don’t always get my Bible reading done each day, and I am trying to get better about that. I feel better when I can have some quiet time and refocus.

I take my multivitamins daily. This had helped increase my energy and I am not as irritable as I was while I was pregnant.

I also extend grace. I know I’m not perfect and neither are my kids or husband.

I multitask when doing home school with my older boys. This is mostly me nursing the baby while they work on school work sitting nearby o the couch or floor. This has helped a lot and we have been able to get caught up from taking six weeks off for my “maternity leave.”
That’s all for this round! I hope someone finds value from this post.

Just know that you are not alone in this journey and it will get better if you’re struggling after the arrival of a new baby.


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4 Bible Verses to Read When you are Anxious and Afraid

Feeling scared or anxious?

Sometimes we just have to be still and let go.  Let go of our need to control and need to know and just be.  Just BE STILL.

This can apply to times when we are at home being a busy busy Mom or wife.  Times when we are at work being a working Mom grinding it out, times at the grocery store when you want to bite someone’s head off in line or on the freeway when you have just been cut off and you want to scream and curse.  I could go on and on because we face a lot of trials and tribulations in our time on this crazy earth.

just be still mom

Recently I have been faced with a very challenging situation.  One that I am still very much going through and don’t know when it will or how it will end.  I don’t have all the answers but I do know one thing

I know God loves me.  I know God wants the best for me.  The bible tells me so.  So just be still. Do not be afraid. Just breathe.   Sometimes it is frightening but take a deep breath, breathe it all in.  Breathe in all the peace because it is there.  Talk to God, tell him your heart’s desire.  Tell him your anxieties, fears and needs. Can you hear it? That sweet sound of silence.  Can you hear him? He is there.

The bible tells us so.


1.  Psalm 62:5  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.  Sometimes you have to wait in silence, hoping in him, in God alone.

2.  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.  Don’t be afraid, God is with us!

3.   “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 .  Trust in God in times of fear!

4.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 .  You will find peace when you are filled with anxiety.  Pray and guard your heart and mind!

Like this post?  Want more bible verses?

Check out these 5 verses for Tired Mamas!

    

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Children’s Book Review: Grandpa Hugs by Laura Neutzling, Illustrated by Cee Bigcoe

This special children’s book is about a bond between a Grandpa and his grandchild.

All ages will appreciate and relate to this story but especially ages 2-5 and any child who has a special relationship with their Grandpa!  Each page is filled with something fun that Grandpa and child can do together.

GrandPa Hugs is such a sweet padded board book that convey’s Grandpa on each page as a different animal.  Grandpa tells funny jokes and makes us laugh or sometimes he eats ice cream.  Sometimes he play games and other times he hugs and reads books.

The illustrations that depict Grandpa and grandchild are all different animal groups such as rabbits, wolves, monkeys, elephants, sheep, giraffes, tigers, owls, dogs and bears.  Your child will love the pictures in this book as they are very detailed, big, and the coloring is soft and sweet.

Grandpa Hugs by Laura Neutzling

Grandpa’s chair is comfy-cozy with room enough to share.  Before it’s time to go to bed, we say a nighttime prayer.”  A perfect ending to a perfect book and also a perfect way for you to talk to your child about the importance of prayer.  The picture on this page is of a Grandpa and grandchild praying together in a cozy chair.

What a beautiful picture and story with many great ideas of fun things you can do together with your child.

MAK for sure recommends this book to our readers.

Get your own copy here!

 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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The “I Spy Something Beautiful that God Made” Game

Now that Spring is in full swing, my girls and I, ( and the new puppy Buster) are out and about on numerous daily walks. There is no better way to pass the time and fill these moments with valuable lessons then to incorporate games!  We love games and have been known to make them up about anything and everything!  We got GAME!  HA!

Our favorite game at the moment is one we made up that copy cats the classic “I-Spy” game that we all know and love with our own twist.  Our faith is something that is so important to us and hope it is to you and your family too so the “I Spy Something Beautiful that God Made” Game was born!  The bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I always try to incorporate this verse into our daily life and make it fun for my girls.  We acknowledge all the things we see that God made that are beautiful in our game!  We talk about it!  We laugh about it!  We are thankful for it!  Memories are born and little disciples are growing….

Play the game with your kids!  Get outside and have some fun!  Make your own twist to it!  Let us know in the comments if you had fun!

i spy something beautiful game

How to play the game:

  1.  Decide who goes first.  This can be done by rock paper scissors or youngest goes first etc.
  2. The spy picks something in his mind that can not be changed and must stay in view.  (if walking or driving, keep this in mind)
  3. The spy says, “I spy something beautiful that God made that is__________________.”   He gives a clue like a color, shape, size etc.  If you have older kids you can use “starts with letter B or harder clues.” Something so that the others can try to guess what he is looking at.  An example here is “I spy something beautiful that God made that is Blue.  Then big.  Then high.  The answer is the sky.
  4. Each person gets a turn to guess with an answer and the spy says yes or no/hot or cold something like that.
  5. Once someone guesses what the object is then they become the spy and the whole process starts over again.

Easy!  Now go find some beautiful things that God made!  You won’t have to go very far! : )

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Couple other family fun games for rainy days!

Hey Mom! 5 Amazing Bible Verses for the Tired Mama

Motherhood is hard!  We all know this but remember y’all, he’s got this!  God is good all the time!  He won’t give you more then you can handle even when you feel like you are at your breaking point!  Often times we look to the internet or to friends when we need answers to questions we have and that is great but we have the best resource right at our fingertips, the Bible!  So whether you read the word daily or it sits on top of or in your nightstand, get it out!  Dive into it and see what the Lord wants to show you today.

In celebration of Easter, I have complied 5 of the best verses that I like to go to and read when I am feeling overwhelmed by motherhood or work or life or__________(insert stress here.)  There are plenty of choices out there.  Please leave in the comments some of your favorite verses that help when you are feeling tired and overwhelmed as one might just be the one someone needs to hear today!

Until next time, keep up the juggle Mom!

Blessings, Elizabeth


1.  Isaiah 40:29- 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.——-  You will feel weary and he will give you strength!  You will get through and you will endure Mama!

2.  Philippians 8:9Finally, brothers, whatever is true,whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think on these things. 9 Whatever you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, put these things into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.…

3.  Joshua 1:9- 9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” —  God tells us do not be afraid!  He is always with us.  Be strong!

4.  Isaiah 30:15-  15 For thus the Lord GOD,the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.”–What a sweet verse.  Trust in the Lord.  Rest, be still. That is where you will find your strength to be an amazing Mother!

5.  Psalm 113:9- He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!— God wants us to be Joyful!  Yes, it gets hard and you get weary but in your heart you should feel true joy to be a Mother.  It is a blessing from above!  

 

MOM STRUGGLE IS REAL

Today and everyday I think about how hard being a Mom is.  I tell myself it is “only for a season” and try to enjoy every little minute of it (Even writing these sentences the kids have come in three different times asking me questions, lol).  Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  I know having small children and the struggles I go through daily will soon be a distant memory so when I read Megan’s words below I wanted to share them with you!  I hope you enjoy!  You can read more from Megan here!

Blessings, Elizabeth♥


By Meagan Rosselot

Prior to becoming a mom I imagined it’d be this beautiful time of togetherness, love, and sweet moments. We sang our thoughts, shared our emotions freely and enjoyed each others’ company always; it fit more the description from the Sound of Music minus the guitar and coordinated curtain outfits.

I’m 7 years in on this mom-venture. Holy moly, this task God enabled me to do is hard, let me say it, it’s hard! We all have our story, the details that make us US.

I’m such a worker, I work long hours, I have no shame in it but I do find my struggle is sitting to play, to enjoy. It’s embarrassing to admit, but yes, I struggle to sit and play. There it is, it’s out. Exhale, another not perfect mom. But, as this information I know about myself, I too know it’s something I am growing in. But if like me, knowing you’re simply not good at something is often difficult for the mind to know.

I began reading recently to learn from other mamas and found one thing consistent, we’re all different and that’s the consistency. There isn’t one right, perfect way. Heck, I struggle with this. Am I working too much? Will all they remember that I worked? Will they have any good childhood memories? She doesn’t do it like me…those kids seem so much happier than mine. Why, why, why? 

Well, I didn’t pick up a guitar and wear my best Julie Andrews’ smile, but I this week I worked to do three things as I prepared for this post, hope it encourages if not makes you feel a little better.

  1. Get a way from YOU, talk to someone else about THEM. 
    There’s a bit in all of us that love to have others talk about US, but often dwelling in ourselves makes us think inwardly more. Make effort to talk to someone you wouldn’t or haven’t. Ask about them, take time to listen. There’s a bit in many of us who melt when asked about them, myself included. For me, I feel valued, my story important, and for that moment, meaningful. It’s a common human factor, we all want to feel valued.
  2. Everyone has a bad day, be graceful with yourself. Period.
  3. You are you, you’re not anyone else; be the best YOU. Get over it. I heard it once that we often compare our worse to another’s best, if doing this, we’ll never be fair to ourself. Celebrate who you are.
  4. Other mama’s are not a threat, use them as a resource. Indirect or direct learning from other moms is a valuable resource, learn from them, talk to them. I’ve spoken to a few moms and even those that seem to penetrate only confidence worry that they are often not enough.
  5. Work to find time daily to stretch yourself where you are weak; for me, it meant putting my phone away and playing with them. It meant not playing for the moment to state I’ve completed the task. It meant being silly, it seems so obvious but I find just how much I fight relaxing to do this after having not done this in some time. Serious. I do have to admit, the kids and I turned on the Pandora aloud the other day and had a dance party…and it felt good. I pulled out my faux guitar, doned my Julie Andrews’ persona, and sang with the clang of pots, pans, and my breakdancing son alongside me.


CRAZINESS NEEDS A PAUSE by Megan

Each morning I wake with this sense of hope that I’ll do something amazing, and often I do, but more often I have a series of small events that are good, just small. I get up and do my devotions, start the laundry, feed the dog, wake my son up for school and fill him with positive affirmation as he hesitates to start his day. I’m satisfied but my heart frequently feels unsatisfied as there isn’t more and yet, yesterday brought perspective.

Yesterday, I received a phone call that abruptly paused this nonsense thinking. A phone call that made us hug our kids closer and seem grateful for what yesterday had seemed an inconvenience. I’m sure many of us have received these calls, someone is hurt in an accident, doctors are unsure of their prognosis; your car’s engine blew and there’s no more money in the bank to cover the cost of repair; your child has an illness that doesn’t look good. We’ve all had those bumps that make us pause.

Perhaps it’s us as parents, as working moms, stay at home moms, single people, whomever, it’s easy to lose perspective quickly, I know I did. I felt if I hadn’t done something significant daily I was behind. And maybe there’s reason to it, maybe it’s because I am starting late in my career, maybe I feel I have something to prove…regardless, I, anyone can lose perspective so that good intent becomes blinded by other prerogatives and with an unwelcome event find yourself reevaluating your lost perspective.

I love how God often brings words through others at the perfect time to speak to us. The morning after this phone call I opened to this, the words were small yet for my heart they were what I needed to heed. The words weren’t ground-shaking or revolutionary, I had heard these before, likely many times, yet, they were new. The loud moments are not the only moments of significance, often the soft, quiet moments are as loud and significant.

Krista Williams stated, ‘For most of us, life is a series of uncelebrated steps but God often writes His story right in the middle of our ordinary everyday affairs. It’s when we are simply doing the next thing that God honors our weak faith and makes us stronger.’

 

The phone call we received was jarring. It created pause we needed to reflect as well as look in gratitude in what is around us. It made us slow for a moment and yes, we’ll have to visit it again when the demand of our day speeds up. I know it. For today, we reflect and enjoy; we are thankful for what is and will be.

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” 

-Author Unknown

We love you, D

The Beautiful on the inside Challenge #Beautifulontheinside

Growing up I was not the prom queen.  That fact is okay now but it took many years to get here and like my own skin.  I was never really beautiful on the outside or the inside during my schooling days and did not come into my own until well after College.  Anyone else feel like that?  It is how I perceived myself which might not of even been the case, especially if you ask my Mother. : )

It is hard, however, to ignore the trends on TV, facebook, in magazines, and society; telling you what you must wear, how you must act and what you must look like.  There is so much pressure for girls and woman nowadays to look beautiful and act beautiful.  As my girls grow up, Of course, I want them to be both but more importantly, I want them to FEEL beautiful.  I want them to radiate beauty from within.  When people speak of them, I want them to talk about what beautiful people they are on the inside and what beautiful things they do for others.

As a parent, that is my job to do my very best for them and to teach them what true beauty is and that it comes from within.  Encouraging them daily, reading them books about inner beauty and scripture, and daily tasks to reinforce what they are learning are some of the ways we are tackling this at my house.  We talk about our hearts and how precious they are and how beautiful they are.  We talk about how important it is to be kind and helpful to everyone and I cherish the moments of sweet questions with innocent little eyes.

In 1 Peter Chapter 3 and 4 we learn that ” 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  These verses alone tell us that outward beauty is not important to God and that it is inner beauty that is unfading and true.

The #Beautiful on the Inside Challenge is all about empowering and encouraging each other!  Let’s spread the word and the love!  We would love for you to help us with a couple of things!

  1.  Share on social media!  Get the word out!  Make your own sign with our challenge name (#beautifulontheinside) and take your picture with it or download one for free here.  Share on all your social media channels to get the word out there to encourage others to teach their children also that they too are beautiful on the inside!  All woman, in fact!
  2. Tag 5 friends on social media that are “beautiful on the inside” and challenge them to do the same thing.  Think ice bucket. : )
  3. Challenge yourself each day to do something to teach your kids or the people around them that they are #beautifulontheinside and not just the outside.

Even if you are not a Mom, it’s so simple and we are challenging you to let someone know how beautiful they are on the inside!  Everyone should feel and know they are #beautifulontheinside!

Tell them today!

More Reading on Inner Beauty

Toys that help promote Character

Blessings♥

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Jesus, A Peanut Butter Puddle, and Dr. Seuss by Patricia Willoughby

For all you Moms who love the Lord, peanut butter and even Dr. Seuss, I really liked the light humor but serious message Patricia brings us.  You can read more of her work on her blog at Silver Miner for God.  She truly has a heart and love for Jesus and it shows in her writings!  Check her out she is Mom Approved for sure!

Blessings,  Elizabeth ♥


Jesus, A Peanut Butter Puddle, and Dr. Seuss

What do the three things have in common?
They are a good prescription for a broken heart. How do you ask? Well first, I love Jesus and according to the song, “I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb,” I know that He loves me, knows my needs, and well provides me. Second who doesn’t love peanut butter cookies with chocolate? Third, I also enjoy reading Dr. Seuss I, especially, enjoyed reading Fox in Sox where beetles battled with paddles in bottles on poodles eating noodles.

 

Therefore, God put these together when my heart was heavy and needed a cup of good cheer. It all began in early 2015. I had gone to Las Vegas to visit my father before he died. My brother, Mike, who also lives in Las Vegas, and I went to eat lunch at Layer’s Bakery in Henderson, Nevada.

 

We had just finished eating and were looking at the bakery items when, low and behold, there was a cookie labeled peanut butter puddle. It was, in fact, a peanut butter cookie with a chocolate puddle in the center of the cookie.

 

Thus the kid in me thought, how cool would it be to eat a peanut butter puddle with a poodle? For you see, God knew all my needs and knew my heart. I do believe that He had this all prepared in advance. Now, there weren’t any poodles in the store but unbeknownst to me there was one on the patio. When my brother and I stepped out on the patio we saw a man eating his hot dog in the company of a beautiful black standard poodle.

 

Without hesitation, I kid you not! I said to the gentleman, “Sir, you should go in and get yourself a peanut butter puddle to eat with your poodle.”

He looked at me as if I was crazy and that was okay. You see, I did not care for I was not from around there.

 

So should you ever find yourself in Henderson, Nevada, stop in at Layer’s Bakery. Be sure to take your poodle and get yourself a peanut butter puddle to eat with your poodle while standing in a puddle (should it be a rainy day).

 

Despite, the sadness that had brought me to Las Vegas that year, God had graced Mike and me with some opportunities to be silly with one another. For when we were younger, we often enjoyed being silly together. Our heavy hearts were made lighter by the silliness that we shared that day.

 

Is anyone cheerful? Let Him praise the Lord. Psalm 5:13b

…Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7


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Check out some books from Dr. Seuss!
Dr Seuss Books

They That Wait…. by Lady Whipp

Waiting has never been my strong suit!  As a little girl, I could barely contain the excitement at Christmas or a birthday and as an adult having full range and ability to get the things I want quickly has definitely not helped.  There are a lot of changes going on in my life right now that have got me recently thinking about “waiting.”  Why does it bother us so much as women?  As Moms?  We have this mentality to hurry hurry, get it all done, don’t wait, don’t delay.  Is this ingrained in us somehow or learned behavior or is it that we simply take on too many responsibilities and feel there is simply no time to “wait” because there is too much to get done?

I ran across Lady Whipp’s work and wanted to share it with you as while I was reading it a sense of calm rushed over me after reading Isaiah 40:31 which says, They that wait on the Lord shall have renewed strength. They will mount up with wings of eagles; They will run and not be weary; They will walk and not faint.  She really drives it home when she talks about learning to wait for God and to trust him in our lives.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Blessings, Elizabeth♥

You can read more about Lady Whipp here at her blog.



They That Wait…. by Lady Whipp

I remember me and my husband Deric’s first apartment.  It was this little 2 bedroom, one bath in a gated community.  Our year had come up and we were itching to move since I was pregnant and we were definitely going to need more room.  We had already given notice to the landlord but were having issues finding a place we felt fit our needs and budget.  As time grew closer, I found myself getting more and more nervous, wondering where we would go and what we were going to do.  Deric, on the other hand, was a bit calmer.

Just three weeks before we had to be out, we went to see a townhouse in a great community.  It was exactly what we wanted as far as size and budget, the neighborhood was in a good location, and it was safe.  We went ahead and put in the application and left with our fingers crossed.  For the next three weeks I stressed way more than I needed to, I murmured and complained.  I fussed at Deric for being so calm and not doing anything to make me feel better, which let’s be real….wasn’t a thing!

By the final week, I found myself going to look at another townhouse in a not so nice community that had a bad reputation and cost more than we wanted to spend.  Feeling like nothing was being done, I decided to take things into my own hands and apply for that place which required almost twice the down payment as the nicer place and was $100 more per month for rent.  I remember Deric saying over and over again, Just wait..give them time to respond. Maybe they’re still processing our paperwork. I would simply roll my eyes since that was the last thing I wanted to hear.  I wanted things settled and taken care of and because I saw nothing happening, I was determined to get it done. By the end of the week Deric gave in to my ranting and we broke our bank to move into the not so nice neighborhood.

Three days into the move, we received a call from the other place offering us the townhouse in the safe, gated community with the more budget friendly payment.  I sat on the couch with the look…you know the look. The one where you can’t really say a word because you know had you listened, you’d be happily packed and ready to move into the place you really wanted, but now you’ve blown your money on the crappy neighborhood and are now stuck.  All I could do was look down and cry because I knew I messed up.  As much as Deric tried to console me, I could see the disappointment on his face.  It was an A for effort on his part.

I needed to learn to listen. Not just to Deric, but to the God IN Deric.  He was trying to teach me that I had no reason to worry because even though I couldn’t see things working out in the natural, God was working behind the scenes.  While I was ranting and raving, Deric was praying and believing God to work it out and that’s what made him calm.

The next year was full of one thing after another with that place.  Everything that could have gone wrong did and when it was time to leave, I let Deric lead us right to the next place which really was an amazing place.

Today I checked in with a few sisters of mine as we normally do.  I began to complain a little while asking for prayer about a few things we have going on.  One of my sisters checked me real quick and let me tell you, I was so grateful she did.

Even though she knew how I was feeling, she made something real clear.  In my own words she said, Stop complaining and start praying.  Stop thinking there are things you cannot pray about and give it ALL to God. She went on to say that there are some things that God will allow simply to push you to pray and get before God. That there was a lesson in this and I needed to get on my knees and find it.  

I couldn’t help but think about a prayer Deric spoke just the day before. He prayed about our situation and said, Lord, do it in Your timing and help us not to rush to the first thing we see.  Grow us and strengthen us through this.  Man….what a powerful thing to say!

There is something so powerful in learning to wait on God’s timing, yet it seems to be the hardest thing for us to do! The Word says in Isaiah 64:4, For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.

When we learn to fully trust in God, we can wait with great expectation that He is going to show up and show out on our behalf.  He will do exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL we could ever ask, think or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20) if we would just sit back and trust God to do it.  We put so many limits on God and quite honestly, we simply don’t believe God is capable of taking care of our needs.  How do I know that? Because actions speak louder than words.  If we truly believed God to be our Provider, we wouldn’t try so hard to fix everything.

There’s a strength that’s built ONLY when you learn to wait.  Isaiah 40:31 says, They that wait on the Lord shall have renewed strength. They will mount up with wings of eagles; They will run and not be weary; They will walk and not faint. 

Believe me, I say WE because I deal with it daily myself. I’m constantly reminding myself that I can do nothing to fix a situation like God. All I can do by putting in my two cents is knock myself back a few steps while God’s trying to jump me forward.  It’s only when we’re tired, faint and weary, that God can show Himself strong not only to us but to those around us.

Today, this is not only an encouragement to all of you, but to myself as well.  WAIT ON GOD.  Stop trying to do things on your own.  You can’t fix everything or everyone.  Let God do what He was meant to do.  STOP COMPLAINING! Get into your closet and pray, gain strength, soak in wisdom, and learn to simply be silent and let God work.  Things may not happen in the timing YOU want, but there is a purpose in the waiting.  Lessons to be learned, gifts to be exercised and discernment to be sharpened.

Take care of your part while God works. Believe me, it’ll turn out a lot better than you could have ever imagined.

Free Download- Isaiah 4031

Until next time, Be Blessed

What I Finally Learned After I became a Mom…

I really loved poetry when I was in high school and always loved the poem “After A While”  by Veronica A. Shoffstall.   The words were so pretty to me and each year and each new phase of my life when I would read it, the meaning of the poem would change.  Of course, when I was in high school, I am sure it had to do with a boy and a breakup or a silly fight with a friend: the same with college.

As I moved into my thirties and became a more independent self-loving woman the poem really took on a new meaning and started to sink in.  I would often quote lines from the poem when giving advice to hurting friends or to myself when I needed a pep talk when something silly was bothering me. Fast forward ten years to now, me with 2 daughters in tow and let me tell you this poem has totally changed for me.  Could it be that I have changed?  Has God changed my heart? Let me break it down for you.

This poem used to be all about me, when my life was all about me.  Now when I read the words, it is all about my daughters and what I want to teach them.  I made mistakes growing up in relationships, in life,  everywhere; things I wish I could take back or do over.  Looking back I guess you can say God was just molding me into the person I was to become (And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28)  God will do great things in our life if we just trust him and I trust him to help us raise our daughters in this crazy world.

I trust him to help us teach them to hold their head up high and accept their defeats with their head held high because oh there will be sweet defeats.  It is my job to teach them that not everyone will love them or accept them but God always will. (We love because he first loved us. (2 John 4: 29.)  Sometimes they will have to plant their own gardens because there will not be anyone else around…but God will. (So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

I trust him to help us instill in them what true security is and it is not of this world but in Jesus Christ. It is not in contracts or presents or promises or security. Psalms 46.1 tells us “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”   In our society, there is this thought process and I have already seen it begin in my daughters that you must be attached to someone or something to be “important.”  I must stay on top of this type of thinking so they don’t start to idolize things that are not “important.”  That is my job.

After a while, I did learn that I really was strong and I really did have worth and I want my daughters to learn that sooner than later.  I want them to really know that and feel that and never question that.  That worth again I truly believe comes from above.  I can teach them that  Genius 1:26-27 says we are made in His image, the very image of God and that  Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives.  Doesn’t that sound beautiful?

Lastly, I know that I will have to be there when my children are heartbroken by this wicked world and my heart will break right alongside theirs.  I wish I could say it will only happen once but I know this will not be the case and I can’t be there all the time to shield them especially as they get older.  They will have the heartbreak of their plans falling down mid-flight and the heartbreak of goodbyes and probably ones I can’t even imagine.  My heart just breaks thinking about it but what I do know is that I have a good good father who loves us and them and who is preparing their sweet little hearts and mine for their journey through life and we are learning…  we are all learning.. and we will hold our heads up high with the grace of women, not the grief of children because of him and him alone. That is what I have learned so far, among other things, after I became a MOM.

 

Until next time, keep up the juggle!

Blessings♥

 

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The Unexpected Beauty of Motherhood

 

I like beautiful things. I like to create beautiful things and I like to have beautiful things surround me. Nine months ago I entered the wonderful, hard, joyful, and exhausting world of motherhood. And anyone who’s been with a baby longer than ten minutes knows that a  baby, while absolutely adorable and precious, is not always beautiful. Babies are messy. They spit up, they poop, they make messes everywhere in the house. While this season of my life has been incredibly, sweet, and life-giving, it has also been one of the most challenging times of my life. I’ve discovered that it is easy to feel fruitless and inconsequential in the mundane tasks of being a wife and mother. Motherhood has taught me that I can’t run away from hard things, that endurance is an essential part of life, and that I sometimes have to fight to find beauty in the midst of the messiness of life. When I think about the past nine months, two verses come to my mind.

Romans 5:3-5

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The way that Paul transitions in Romans 5 from suffering to hope is beautiful. Not because he is saying that if we just try harder and push through our suffering, we will gain hope, but because God’s love has been poured into our hearts, and therefore our sufferings transform our character and produces hope in our lives. We can’t run the race of life with endurance by our own strength. Like Hebrews says, the only way we can endure is by looking to Jesus who endured the most excruciating thing that anyone could experience, separation from God the Father. But Jesus knew the joy that was set before him, and he was therefore able to endure the cross.

How does this relate to the challenges of motherhood? When the mundane tasks of cleaning the house, changing diapers, rocking a sick baby, putting away toys for the 10th time that day, feel pointless, I can have hope the Lord is refining my character and making me more like himself.

For example, before I got married, the way I handled conflict was that I didn’t. When I became a wife, I had to learn how to deal with disagreements in order to maintain a healthy marriage. Now, as a mother, I have to learn how to deal with a crying, selfish, needy baby 24/7. I can’t run away from this conflict. I can’t just give Ellie back to her parents when she starts screaming, I am her parent! I have to overcome my fear of this struggle in order to care for my family. But how do we overcome our fears and how do we find joy and beauty in the midst of the mundaneness and challenges of life? Thankfully the Lord is gracious and doesn’t ask us conquer our fears by ourself. He is teaching me that I cannot run through this life on my own strength. I can’t maintain patience, kindness, and peace through sheer will power. I will fail. I consistently need the love and grace of God poured in my life.

I still fail every day but God’s grace is unlimited. I also need to remember the joy that is set before me. The joy of raising another generation to know Jesus, and hopefully to show them how to bring more light into this dark world. When my days seem to drag on and my near future appears to be nothing but doing the same tasks over and over again, I can think about not just the immediate future, but my eternal future, and the eternal future of my children. I am truly blessed to have the privilege of raising my children to know and experience the hope and joy that Jesus gave me. That is beautiful.

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Hey Mom- What We Say to Others Might Actually Matter!

By Sarah Elizabeth Hiltney♥


How do we talk to the people we love; our children, our spouse, our parents, our friends?  What about our co-workers and other people we encounter daily?  What are the things we talk about with people in just normal conversation…idle chit chat?  The weight of our words may mean more than we think…

Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).  Okay, those are strong words to start things off!  What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them (Matthew 15:11).  If you believe in the authority of the Bible then apparently, what we say actually does matter.

How many times have you said, “you’re killing me?”  What about telling your kids, “you’re driving me nuts!”  How about all the things you’ve said to your spouse in a heated argument.  We take the importance of our words for granted, at least I always have.  The Lord, however, talks a lot about the implications that come along with the idle words flowing from our mouths, or that it reveals what’s really in our hearts.

My entire point comes down to this…are we speaking life and love over the people we love and even ourselves, or are we speaking death and destruction?  Are we building the people we love up or tearing them down with our words?  Are we encouraging, supporting, loving, and careful with our words, or are we complaining, gossiping, criticizing, and cursing?

What if instead of using our words to complain about our rough day and the difficult things we may be facing we instead decided to talk about all of the blessings we’ve been given in our lives?  Declare greatness for your future and the future of your children!  For me, the first step was to just start listening to things that were coming out of my mouth, and let me tell you, that was eye opening.

As Christians, we are called to speak the truth in love(Ephesians 4:15).  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).

Let’s start saying to our children, our spouses, and our family what we want for their lives; health, happiness, and love.  Let’s rely on those promises from the Word of God and trust in Him.  We may not fully understand the weight of our words, but Jesus would never lead us astray; if these are His instructions it’s for our protection and well-being.  We all want the absolute best for the people we love, so it’s our responsibility to use our words, faith, and prayer to lift them up!

Everything in existence today began with words; His words, “let there be light.”

Here are some great books to read about the topic!

 

 

RAISING CHILDREN IN A TERRIFYING WORLD

How scary to raise children in this crazy world we are living in!  A world where terrorists are cutting off people’s heads in the name of their god, a country where we have lost 70 million babies to abortion, a world where being kidnapped and sold as a sex slave is an actual threat.  How do we do that?  How do we raise children in this world?  It seems the more and more people cry out for peace and fight for human rights the more violent our world becomes.  Is violence the new norm?  We can’t look to our leaders in government to save us….we need someone and something way more powerful than that!                                                                                                                                                                        

When I was young this world was so different, and when my parents where children it was like a dream world we can only experience in movies today.  How’s the world going to look when our children are raising their children?  Here in the United States we’ve been sheltered from a lot of the travesties that other cultures have always had to deal with, but it feels like the walls are creeping in on us.  The smaller this world is becoming due to globalist agenda pushing politicians, internet access, and the ease of modern transportation….the more exposed we are to the outside world. 

How do we raise this new generation?  In constant fear and worry, covered in sunscreen, checking every meal for GMO’s, or even micro-chipping our children?  Of course not!  How exhausting!  Why?  Because we are trying to be in control of the chaos, stop some horrible event from happening in our child’s life.  Jesus never promised we wouldn’t have trials and tribulations in this life, but instead that we would!  He also promised He would take us through those hard times if we trust in Him.  What greater thing could we possibly do for the children growing up in this crazy world, but teach them to trust in, lean on, and rely on Christ alone!  Not only tell them, but show them.  Yes, this is a control issue, which I personally have to face daily! 

Instead of protecting our children from all the things that could maybe go wrong why not teach them how to handle the problems when they come?  Teach them the Word of God, teach them to pray, teach them to put all of their confidence and trust in the Almighty.  There is no higher moral standard and no greater love than the Word of God.  If we are all teaching the love and obedience of Christ to our children how could we not raise the actual generation that could change our world?

 

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation

and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy];

I have overcome the world.”

 

Matthew 6:34

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

Romans 5:3

“And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships,

knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance”

 

 

 

To The Mom Who Worries- You Need to Pray About Everything

It’s so easy to get dragged down by the pressures and demands of this world.  Watching the news can send you into a tailspin if you let it.  Let’s just say the rose-colored glasses are off!  Life is full of fear, worry, doubt, problems, and on and on I could go, but this is nothing new and really cannot be avoided, so let’s get to the point!

(Our version of rose-colored glasses)  Yes, I would sport them!

As women what do we do with all that stuff floating around in our head…how do we shut it off?  Well, I can tell you there are many ways to deal with the daily stresses of life, but they never worked for me.  Let’s see…chocolate binge, shopping binge, Netflix binge, pick your poison.  All this ever did was help me put on the pounds and rack up credit card debt.  Ok, we were getting to the point weren’t we?

All I can do is share what finally resonated with me.  I stopped.  I let go.  I let God.  I used to hear people say that to me, and I would shake my head in agreement, but never understood how you actually did that.  I think as women(and Moms) we have a really hard time letting go of control, because it’s our job to take care of everyone, and we know if we don’t do it it won’t get done…at least get done right!   As women (and Moms) we give of ourselves all day, and wouldn’t want to do it any other way most of the time, but when something happens that we can’t control, figure out, or fix it can feel very scary.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a strong mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  This scripture has brought me through so much.  He wants us to depend on Him.  He wants us to turn to Him.  He wants us to trust Him.  Do you know how good it feels to stop worrying and know, really know; in your heart that God’s got your back?  Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  Coming to really understand and know in your spirit that God desires your trust and confidence in Him makes it so much easier to let go of the reigns.  I’ve always kind of thought in the back of my head, “I don’t need to bother God about this.”  Who knew He wanted just that.

It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn a few times in my walk with Jesus.  He will show up when I stop trying to do it myself and recognize that I need Him.  I can’t do this life without Him.  Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding (Proverbs 3:5).  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life (Luke12:25)?  These are more than just beautiful words; these are words to live by!  Pray about everything….worry about nothing.

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