Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stay-At-Home Mom Battles With Herself Over Job Offer

The thought of entering the work world again scares me a little bit, but at the same time it is exciting.
My husband and I waited until he had a really good job, and we could pay the bills on his salary before we had children. We planned to have me stay at home and raise our children, and to be able to afford to not put them in child care. That has been one of our biggest priorities since we ever even considered having a family.

I have been very happy staying home for the past ten years, and seeing my babies grow. Now that they are bigger, and going off to school to learn from other amazing teachers, I am faced with the fact that I would love to teach again too.

For the past ten years I have been a stay-at-home mom. I quit a job I loved to stay home with my children. As a certified Spanish teacher, I have really enjoyed teaching children of all ages, including my own.

This year it came time for my youngest child to enter full-day Kindergarten. I knew I had to do something during the school day, while all three of my kids were at school. So, I took some classes over the summer and renewed my teaching certificate! It felt good to be getting back into my professional enrichment, and to consider being more than "just a stay-at-home mom".

Since I renewed my teaching certificate, and signed up to become a substitute teacher, I have had three full-time job offers! I cannot believe it! In this tough economy, a full-time teaching job has become VERY difficult to find!

Each time a full-time job has presented itself to me, my husband and I have had a heart-to-heart discussion of whether or not I should become a full-time teacher.

Every time, we decide that it is not the right time for our family to have two parents who work full time.

I know so many families who do not have the choice but to have both parents work full time, in order to simply pay the bills. We are truly blessed, that we CAN make the choice to have me stay home. I don't have to work. I still want to work, though.

So, rather than take a full-time classroom of my own, I have decided to remain a substitute teacher, and use my professional skills in classrooms throughout our area. I will bring home some extra money, and support full-time teachers by stepping into their classrooms when they cannot be there.

I had a mom ask me why I would choose to substitute, when I could have a full-time classroom of my own. The answers to that are numerous and a few of them selfish.

For one thing, when I step in to substitute teach, I arrive at school and spend the day with a classroom full of kids who really don't know me well. I follow plans that have been made by their full-time teacher. I can use tricks that normally wouldn't work for that teacher, but that work for the short-term! When the school day is done, I write a note to the teacher, and go home. That's it. I'm done!

If that were my full-time classroom, I would have arrived an hour before school started to prepare for my day. I would teach, and work with my students on everything from emotional, physical, and educational development to just getting along with their peers. I would have recess duty, and plans to make for the coming days. I would have to make phone calls home to some parents, and meetings with faculty and staff to attend. Then I'd have progress reports to write, papers to grade, report cards to prepare, and parent-teacher conferences to attend. I would have cross-checking of my lesson plans with the common core, and then with the state and district standards. Then add a few more meetings for who-knows-what to each week. Then, about two hours after my students had gone home, I could pack up my bag with some other preparation work and/or grading to be done at home, and finally go pick up my own three kids from child care. Then we would arrive home, where I would prepare dinner, and work on homework with my children. We would eat supper, and I would have to clean up the kitchen. At some point I would have to play taxi cab, driving my kids to their various sporting practices or other after school activities. Then, after bathing my kids, and getting them ready for bed, I would sit down to a at least another hour of school work before I collapse into my bed to rest up for another day of the same full-time teaching.

Could I take that full-time teaching job? Of course I could.
Would I love it? Probably so!
Could my family make it work, and survive? Absolutely, we could.
Do we want to? NO!!!

I would be giving up so much time with my own family to spend tons of time and energy teaching other kids.
I am so thankful that there are amazing teachers who make this sacrifice every day, to teach my kids. I choose to support them by providing quality teaching when they cannot be in their classrooms. As a substitute teacher, I love being in the classrooms, and impacting kids, as well as their teacher.

Another benefit to substitute teaching is that I can pick and choose when and where I work on a daily basis. This week I have an assignment to teach in my own daughter's classroom! That makes me so very happy! Then later in the week, I am not taking a teaching job on a certain day so I can attend my youngest's field trip to the apple orchard. I would hate to miss these opportunities with my own kids, because I was teaching another bunch of children full time.

There will come a day when I will say yes to a full-time classroom of my own again. I know that is in my future, and I really look forward to it. Until then, I thank God that I can spend more time with my own kids, and my husband, without being stressed out about the time and energy a full-time classroom would take out of me on a daily basis.

Blessings to teachers everywhere!! And Thanks be to God for the choices He has given me, and the family He has blessed me with. I am humbled to think that God really has blessed be so abundantly. Amen

"He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you." Deuteronomy 7:13

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the father-less, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever…” Jeremiah 7:5-7

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reading Up on Religion - Aquiring Understanding or Perking More Questions?

My children and I all have friends that follow different religions.
Some of them are Christian, while others are not.
I was raised Catholic, as was my husband. We are raising our children in the Catholic Church as well.

I have had so many people ask me why we would chose Catholicism, since it's not Christian!

Catholics ARE Christians!!
I call myself a Christian first, and a Catholic second.
Catholic is just the kind of Christian I happen to be called.

Well, I have been seeking out books to explain differences in religious beliefs for me, and came across this one:

I can't wait to get started reading it, and post back with my findings!

God Bless you! ~Kristen

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Challenging Family Dynamics

Our family experienced some interesting family dynamics this weekend.
My brother and his girlfriend welcomed their new daughter into our family. My children now have a baby cousin, and I have a baby niece. The challenge comes in explaining why my the mommy is not my children's aunt. I call her "Aunt C." to my children, but my brother consistently refers to her as "Miss C." to my children. We will have to discuss this, as it's more confusing to my kids than it should be. We have close friends that we refer to as aunts, so why should this be any different?

Then, we attended my husband's cousin's wedding. The family dynamic with these cousins has always been interesting and strange, because the culture in which the cousins were raised is completely different. My husband grew up with very hard-working, blue-collar parents, who provided everything for their five children, but counted the pennies in doing so, as to not go into debt. His cousins were raised with more money than they knew what to do with, summer homes in multiple states, and a mom who was always concerned with having the more expensive luxuries in life. Different family cultures, one not necessarily better than the other, just different.

To blend the families is always a challenge.
My husband and I belong to both of these unique situations, and try to fit in as best we can. Neither of us really care about the expensive things, nor do we really worry about labels and names. So, that being said, there is some stress in both situations. We choose not to let it ruin our lives, or our attitudes. We simply choose to let people be as they choose to be, and not to judge their decisions and actions.

Sometimes this is very difficult, while other times it's easy.
I don't think ANY families in this world are truly without their drama, or easy all of the time.
I am blessed to have wonderful families to belong to. My own small nuclear family is wonderful. We come from these extended families, and they do effect how we interact with each other, but they do not define us completely.

I am very thankful for these extended family differences, and the opportunities they offer us to learn about ourselves.

"Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. "How can Satan cast out Satan?" he asked. "A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart."" Mark 3:23-25

"So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church?" 1 Timothy 3:2-5

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Patriotic & Blessed

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you...."
John 15:12-17

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Encouragement In The Toughest Times

One of the ugliest words, and worst concepts when it lives in one of your most dear friends or family members.

One of my best friends has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I am deeply sad, and really at a loss for words or actions that could encourage her through all of the crazy emotions that come with such a diagnosis.

She is half the country away, and I want to go stay with her, and take care of her! My three children, combined with her three younger children, would make that situation crazy, but I must find a way to encourage her.

So, I'm taking to prayer, and I know that other friends are also praying for her.
If I could ask my readers to also pray for healing from cancer, that would be the best way I can support her from so far away.

Dear Lord,
You made our bodies, and we know that you had the best laid plans when you made them as they are. We have so many outside influences on our bodies, and cancer is one of the worst. We don't know why it grows inside us, but we want it GONE. Lord, we plead with you, to heal our bodies, and eradicate the cancerous cells in our bodies. Provide us with peace and comfort as we attempt to eliminate the cancer, and become healthy enough to live for You. Your Glory shines through us, and we pray that your healing shines through the doctors and nurses as they operate on us, and treat us for the ailments from which we suffer. Help those of us who do not suffer from cancer to encourage and build up those we love who are suffering, so they can see Your love through us.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mommys Do Strange Things For Kids

My children and I ventured to our local library to sign up for the summer reading program.

We do this every year, since my kids really do love to read, and winning prizes motivates them even more.

My six-year-old son prefers to check out craft books, and this trip proved to be no exception. He found a fun book of "Sneaky Art", and was flipping through to find crafts he wanted to make himself. He brought the book to me, and asked what he needed to make the little pirate figure in one of the photos. It turns out the figures are made out of corks, from wine bottles!

My son went back to perusing the book, while I read my own.
As we were leaving the library, he asked, "Mommy, will you drink a bottle of wine when we get home, now, please? I need the cork for this craft project in my new book."

I could not say no!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Musical Monday - "Stand"

"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again." Exodus 14:13

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' " 2 Chronicles 20:17

"Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

By Britt Nicole

I wake up to another day
I don't know if I can face
All the fears, that is tearing me down
Yea, I'm trying to be brave
But I'm afraid, about to fade
I wanna stand but I don't know how

I look up and all I see is Your love holding me
When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I've reached the end
No, I won't turn and run
This battle will be won
When I've done all I can
I stand stand stand
I stand stand stand

Some days I lose my place
It's a fight to keep my faith
But You are with me, I am not alone, no
But all around my work is late
Toss like an ocean wave
You are my rock and the storm clouds blow

I look up and all I see is Your love holding me
When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I've reached the end
No, I won't turn and run
This battle will be won
When I've done all I can
I stand stand stand
I stand stand stand

On Your promise, I will stand
Oh look the ground is sinking sand
On Your promise, I will stand
Oh look the ground is sinking sand
Sinking sand oh who woooh
It's sinking sinking, yea ye

When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I've reached the end
No, I won't turn and run
This battle will be won, yea yea
So I'll stand stand stand
I stand stand

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When Children Don't Listen

I dropped my husband off at the airport this morning. He is taking a business trip to China over the next twelve days.
After the children came home from school, they complained, whined and ignored every thing I tried to tell them.

I hate yelling at my children, and when my husband is gone, I am stressed out more than usual.
That is no excuse, but the lack of respect my children have been showing really got under my skin today.

I have been asking my daughter to clean her pet mouse's cage for two months. Yes, two months, and she has continuously said, "Tomorrow," or, "I need help." She is ten years old, and perfectly capable of cleaning out her pet's cage.

Today I threatened to get rid of her beloved pet Cuddles. My exact words were, "Either the cage gets cleaned out NOW, or Cuddles will no longer be here for you to ignore."

She cried, and whined, and went to hide in her room. So, I went right into her room, and said that if she was going to act irresponsibly, she would no longer have the responsibility of caring for a pet. I would get rid of Cuddles, if she did not start to clean out the cage now.

She cried as she cleaned it, but it got done.

When she asked me to help her put the cage back together, I refused at first, because my daughter cried, claiming she could not do it herself.

At what point do I push my children to do things for themselves?

I am a teacher, and have always loved to teach people to do things.
I have taught my daughter how to clean the pet cage. I have taught my children manners, and how to be polite.
They still don't listen to me, or follow directions.

I pray that God will guide me in teaching them the proper interaction with their parents, and how to obey the directions they are given.

There is a very fine line between directions and consequences for not following expectations, and I am striving to make it clearer for my little ones.

I pray that my diligence in this area is working, and I have evidence that it may be.
My sweet little daughter said to me tonight, "Mommy, why are you so nice to us when we're so mean to you?"

This was so nice to hear after I had yelled at them for not listening or following directions!!

I was very relieved that God sent my sweet daughter the message I needed to hear.
Hopefully He will help me to continue to see the sweetness in my children, and that He grants me patience, grace, and gentility to deal with the issues that may arise during their daddy's business trip.

"Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19:3 (NLT)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light." Colossians 1:11-12

"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Colossians 3:12-13

Monday, May 6, 2013

Musical Monday - Overnight

Thank God for the grace that we don't have to change for Him Overnight!!!

Overnight by Amy Grant

So, you've handed in your resignation
Contemplating why nothing turns out right
A little fed up with all the disappointment
So what's the point in wasting any time?

It's only temporary, so what's your hurry?
No need to worry, don't you know that?

If it all just happened overnight
You wouldn't know how much it means
Yeah, if it all just happened overnight
would never learn to believe in what you cannot see
Oh, what you cannot see

I feel like my pace is at a standstill
Do I wait till it falls into my hands?
A long highway ahead, getting started
Steady hearted is what I think I am

There's something to be said for experience
Who knows what's ahead.
Keep on going

If it all just happened overnight
You wouldn't know how much it means
If it all just happened overnight
You would never learn to believe in what you cannot see
Oh, what you cannot see

Take it a day, a day at a time
One foot in front of the other
Take it a day, a day at a time
No need to hurry, hurry
Take it a day, a day at a time
It won't happen overnight
It won't happen overnight

Have a little faith
Must appreciate
Every single day
Don't give up, no

Have a little faith
Must appreciate
Every single day
Don't give up, no

If it all just happened overnight
You wouldn't know how much it means
Yeah, if it all just happened overnight
You would never learn to believe in what you cannot see

If it all just happened overnight
You wouldn't know how much it means
If it all just happened overnight
You would never learn to believe in what you cannot see

Have a little faith
Must appreciate
Every single day
Don't give up, no

Have a little faith
Must appreciate
Every single day
Don't give up, no

Friday, May 3, 2013

"Iron Man 3" - Movie Review

I LOVE "Iron Man 3"!

Usually, I am not the type of person to enjoy Superhero movies, but I LOVE Iron Man!
Part of it has to do with the fact that  Robert Downey Jr. is amazing, and nice to look at. But more than that, is the way the movie is written to be almost plausible.

Iron Man makes mistakes, VERY stupid Human mistakes. Those errors, combined with the humor in the script, make for superb entertainment. Even for someone like me, who does not really care for the action-packed superhero genre.

There is a young boy in the movie, who reminds me a bit of my own children, and he really creates a human-breakthrough feel for Tony Stark. I love how the writers played off Iron Man's fame, and created some humorous moments in the movie, where the awestruck fans of Iron Man approached Tony Stark and really came across as many Americans do around celebrities. 

I HIGHLY recommend "Iron Man 3" to all of my readers.
Please keep in mind that Iron Man 3 is Rated PG-13!!! It is NOT suitable for younger children. I might take my 9-year-old to see it, if she really wanted to go, but not my 6-year-old, or 5-year-old!

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Things We Once Held Dear by Ann Tatlock

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Saving Lives by Giving Blood

Today, I feel honored to say I earned my 1 Gallon Pin at the Blood Bank.

I have donated a FULL gallon of my blood to those who need it to survive!

I have no way of ever knowing who might be blessed by my donations, but I do know that I feel good about donating my blood in the effort to save a life.

I have had many people say, "Oh, I could never donate blood!"

There are so many excuses, from hating needles, to the fear of getting a disease, to being afraid their blood might make its way into the body of someone with whom they have moral differences.

Sure, there may be very good reasons that people cannot donate their blood. I am truly blessed to be healthy enough to give live-saving blood to strangers in need.

I pray that one or more of my readers might be inspired by this to donate blood themselves!

"In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

"Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you." Deuteronomy 16:17

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it."
Proverbs 3:27  

"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38

Monday, April 29, 2013

Musical Monday - "Changed" by Rascal Flatts

Changed, by Rascal Flatts

I was so excited to hear this song on my favorite Christian radio station the other day!
Country pop trio Rascal Flatts is apparently making a cross over, FINALLY, to Christian radio!

Many of their songs reflect their strong Christian faith, so it's great to hear them making connections.

Everyone needs God to be Changed!
Please enjoy this song as much as you can!

I came up, out of the water
Raised my hands,
up to the father
Gave it all to him that day

Felt a new wind kiss my face
Walked away,
eyes wide open
Could finally see where I was going

It didn't matter where I'd been,
I'm not the same man I was then

I got off track,
I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place,
where souls get lost,
lines get crossed
and the pain won't go away
I hit my knees,
now here I stand

There I was,
now here I am.
Here I am. Changed.
I got a lot of "hey I'm sorry"s,
the things I've done,
Man that was not me
I wish that I could take it all back,
I just wanna tell 'em that
tell 'em that

Chorus I've changed for the better.
More smiles,
less bitter.
I'm even starting to forgive myself
Yes I am

I hit my knees,
now here I stand
There I was,
now here I am,
here I am,
here I am
I'm changed. Yes I am.
I've changed for the better
Thank God, I changed.


Friday, April 19, 2013

A Child's Outlook On The Boston Atrocities

My nine-year-old daughter asked me how far away Boston is from us when I was tucking her into bed tonight.
She wondered if the bad guy was close enough to come here, and if she was safe.
After I explained to her where Boston is (a good 14+ hour drive from here), she quite seriously inquired why people did such bad things, and if this man in Boston was going to do anything else that was so evil.
I had just read that the 2nd bombing suspect in Boston had been captured by the Boston Police Department, so I shared that news with her. She smiled, and said that she was glad they caught him, and that he should go to jail for a very long time.

What came next, I had not imagined ever having to discuss at bedtime with my daughter, especially at the young age of nine.
"Mommy, why do people do such bad, evil things?"

My response:
"The devil is VERY good at tricking people into thinking that bad things are actually good for them. God gave us Free Will, and people sometimes choose the evil way, for various reasons. Usually they have been tricked by the devil, because he is really good at tricking us."

She wondered how Satan does that, of course, and asks for examples.

Let's imagine the men in Boston always wanted to be famous. They wanted everyone to know who they were, and to know their names. So, the devil told them he could make them famous!! All they had to do was set a couple of bombs, and everyone in the world would know who they are!

My daughter gasped, "But to be known for something so bad! That's just wrong!"

Yes, it is wrong. But, maybe they did not want to be famous. Maybe there was something else that the devil fed upon in their lives to convince them that this was the best thing for them to do. He's good at it. That's been Satan's job for as long as he's been in contact with humans. Trickery. Deceit. Pure Evil.

My daughter wanted to know who else had been tricked by the devil, and what they had done, and why.
Well, to explain all of that I could think of so many examples from history, but not many appropriate enough to share with my young, sweet daughter!

We had just visited the Indianapolis Children's Museum during Spring Break, and there was an exhibit about Anne Frank. We had read a bit about her there at the museum, but since third graders have not learned about Hitler or the Nazi movement, I did not go into much detail with her about the circumstances surrounding Anne Frank's story.

I did tell her that Anne Frank lived through a terrible time, and helped other people to survive as well. I had visited the Anne Frank house/museum in Amsterdam while visiting in college, and my kids were excited to hear that I had actually been there.

But I digress.
She wanted to know about the evil that Anne was able to survive.
I described for her the devil's work through Hitler, as he convinced an entire continent of people that anyone who was Jewish did not deserve to live. She wanted to know details of how he killed people. I described a bit about the army that Hitler created, and the searches throughout the cities of Europe, where they ripped families apart and put them on trains going in different directions to live in camps with no food or water. Many kids never saw their parents again, and many, many people died.

Just thinking of this made my daughter tear up and almost begin to cry.

I told her that Hitler was one of the most evil people in history, and that he caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. And he chose to do it. He truly believed, somehow, that he was right. The devil is VERY good at tricking people into believing that evil is not wrong.

I then described Schindler's role in the rescuing of so very many Jews during Hitler's reign. She was thrilled to hear that there were still GOOD people, doing God's work when so much evil was present.

I had to remind her that evil will ALWAYS be present in our world. There will always be weak people, who are easily tricked by the devil, into believing that evil is going to make them into better people.

"But God is Bigger!" was my daughter's response!

We can protect ourselves by believing firmly that God is Good, and protecting our hearts against the evil by keeping God in our hearts. We pray, and we believe that God is our Creator and Protector. He will NEVER let us go.

Our closing prayer as my daughter started to drift off to sleep was this:

Dear Lord,
Please protect our hearts from evil. Keep us protected by your angels, and keep your promise in our hearts. We ask forgiveness for the times we have sinned, and pray that we will NEVER sin so gravely against You with such evil as we have seen today. We thank You for Your Forgiveness and Grace. Please help us to choose Your will and goodness as we seek Your way. Amen

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over" (Psalm 23:5).

God Suggests I Take A Break

I was preparing some side dishes for our Easter celebration with my extended family, when I accidentally splashed some water on my laptop's keyboard! Uh oh!
I turned it over right away, and also powered it down. It would not turn on for quite a while, and when it did attempt to power up, there was an alarming beeping sound emitted from the speakers!

So, my laptop was stashed away, somewhere dry, upside down and open.
A week later, I attempted to turn on my constant companion, and was amazed when it actually worked! Until I went to type something. Cat-like typing appeared on the screen - meaning the message that actually appeared on the screen appeared random, like there was a cat walking across my keyboard, instead of my hands typing keystrokes!

I was devastated, to say the least. But, I figured this was God's way of telling me I was spending WAY too much time on my computer, and not enough time with my Family.

We do have two desktop computers in our guest bedroom. I also own a tablet computer, which allows me access to the internet, but has very limited capacity when it comes to blogging.

Blogging became one of the least of my priorities, and I spent some much needed time with my children and husband, without my laptop attached to my hip.

It has been a WONDERFUL month, but my prayer life has lagged, because I have not been focused on writing out my prayers, as I have found really helps me to dive into my Bible, and pray the Word of God.

I pray that now I will be able to find a healthy balance between my blogging and my family, while diving back into my Bible, and prayers.

My first prayer is of Thanksgiving for my husband! God has truly blessed me with a wonderful man to share this life with. My man is NOT perfect, but he is the one that God chose for me. He compliments me, and completes me like no other human could. I am thankful that God graced my husband with such a good sense of humor, and lots of patience to deal with my eccentricities, and our differences, since we are opposites in so many ways. God has also blessed us with wonderful children, and make my husband into a fantastic father! Thank you, Lord, for my husband, and for the relationship we continue to share in You.

"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."
1 Peter 3:7

"However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."  Ephesians 5:33

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Les Miserables" Review

I love live theatre, and have attended at least two live productions of "Les Miserables".
When the movie version was announced, I had my doubts.

The movie if "Les Miserables" is AMAZING!
I highly recommend this movie to EVERYONE!
The actors were perfectly cast in their roles, and the story stayed true to the timelessly classic script!

The message of good prevailing over evil, and the spirit of forgiveness are true testaments, that despite the sinful nature of our society, and that depicted in the film, there are still good people who follow God's teachings!

We live in a world where miserable, wretched evil invades our presence on a daily basis.
This is also true in the story of Les Miserables.

Holding true to our faith, staying true to ourselves and the teachings of the Bible, we can coexist with the misery without being sucked into despair ourselves.

I pray that through this movie, other Christians may see the redeeming quality of living as Christ would.
Live without judgement, hate, and self-pity.

Our very redemption relies on the fact that WE must seek to be Christ-like in our actions, despite the fact that we are stained with sin. We have all sinned, as have the characters in the film, and we will continue to sin.

The Lord our God will forgive us, if we repent and do not judge others for their sins. We must also forgive others for the sins that may have harmed us. I love the theme throughout "Les Miserables" of forgiveness and redemption!

If you have watched the movie, a live musical version, or even if this is your first time experiencing the Award-Winning Drama of "Les Miserables", I challenge you to watch from a Biblical perspective. Challenge yourself to see how Love, Peace, and Prayer might change your life, and pull you out of the misery, as it does the central characters in "Les Miserables".

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Musical Monday - "It's a Good Morning"

I needed to hear this today!

"Good morning!
You give me strength you give me just what I need
I can feel the hope that's rising up in me.
It's a good morning"

"Slow down, breathe in,
Don't move ahead
I'm just living in this moment
I've got my arms raised, un-phased!"

"Now I'm smiling, and I'm kissing all my worries goodbye
Got the feeling, if I spread my wings I might even fly
You are my truth, my way
Give me the strength to say
Get up, get up, get up
Cause it's a good morning, hey"

"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Laundry Day Prayers

It's laundry day in my home.
I feel so blessed to have an entire day to stay home and relax, while blessing my family.

I don't have to run to a laundry mat, or down to the river to wash my clothes and linens.

I just hang out in my basement with my son, and let the machines do all of the cleaning for me.

I do have to fold everything, and then put it away, but as I do that, I pray for my family.
I have written of this ritual before, but it always surprises me that so many people don't realize that there are so many opportunities to pray for the loved ones in their lives!

As I fold towels, I pray that the Lord cleans our souls as we clean our bodies. I thank Him for sending His Son to atone for our sins.

As I fold blankets, sheets and such, I pray that my children will be renewed as His children as they sleep. That our bodies, minds and spirits will be renewed in our Lord as we dream through the night.

As I fold clothing, I pray that the Lord will bless each part of the body that the clothing might cover. Praying that our socks might cover feet that follow in Jesus' footsteps. That the tops might cover a heart that yearns for more of the Lord.

You may not feel like you have time to take out of your busy day to pray, but you CAN talk to God whenever you think of it! God will listen, and you will be blessed for your interaction with Him.

"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 2 Peter 1:4

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Oz The Great And Powerful" Review

I had very mixed feelings about the prospect of a "prequel" to "The Wizard of Oz" - which is one of my favorite movies.
I figured nothing could top it!

I must admit that I was wrong!
"Oz The Great and Powerful" is a fantastic movie, full of artistic liberty that stays true to the original spirit of Oz!

The film is rated PG - and I strongly suggest to all parents they use caution when taking their small children to view this movie. It is dark, and much scarier than the original "Wizard of Oz", and I would not take my 6-year-old son to see it. My 9-year-old daughter could handle it without a problem, but my younger boys would be too scared of the flying monkeys, as well as other aspects of the film.

That being said, the special effects were amazing, the acting spectacular, and the representation of the spirit of The Wizard Of Oz, as a legendary film, is truly captured in "Oz The Great and Powerful". The story line, characters, and artistic representation of set and background stayed true to the original ideas. I found myself really believing that this was what happened BEFORE Dorothy landed in Oz.

Enjoy this fun interview, and then head to your local theatre to experience "Oz The Great and Powerful" for yourself!

As a Christian parent, I truly believe that instilling a strong sense of imagination in our children is important. This film provides the perfect opportunity to discuss reality vs. fiction, and human power versus the Power of God.

I pray that you will be able to enjoy the artistic fiction in this film, while remembering how much God has blessed us with the depiction of our world through the masterful eyes and works of the filmmakers!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

“From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? Water becomes hard like stone, And the surface of the deep is imprisoned." Job 38:29-30

Monday, March 4, 2013

Musical Monday: How Beautiful

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of How Beautiful is the Body Of Christ - which includes US!!!

I hope this song blesses you as it has blessed me today!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful - Imagination At Its Finest

I am looking very forward to seeing "Oz the Great and Powerful" when it releases on March 8!

This little peek behind the scenes really makes me want to see it now!

"Costume & Make-Up"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Best Birthday Presents Ever!

"All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:16b, NIV)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Musical Monday - "Mighty to Save"

This song has been on my mind lately.

I hope it blesses you, as it has blessed me!

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." ~Zephaniah 3:17

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day Fun ~ Thankfully

My children have come home with all kinds of rituals to insure a snow day.
They put their pajamas on backward and inside out.
We flushed ice cubes down the toilet.
My daughter slept with a spoon in her pillowcase.

My prayer last night was that if we do have a snow day, that I would be able to spend some quality time with my kids, and that we could all get along!

I was woken up by a telephone call at 5:08 a.m. saying that my children's attempts to get a snow day were successful.  Indeed, school has been cancelled!

So, we are at home today, and I am cherishing every moment with my kids.

However, I have sent them out to play in the snow twice before lunch!

They conquered the snow pile the snow plow left in our yard, making into their "home".
I gave them spray bottles filled with colored water, so they could paint their rooms.

We were going to make "ice gems" but our water balloons were too small to fit on the faucet inside.
If we venture out later, we'll pick up some bigger balloons.

So far, we are getting along nicely, and snuggled up on the couch together to watch a movie.

I pray that if you have a snow day, you may come to see the blessings, such as spending more time together and enjoying the beauty of nature at its finest!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Google Android Tablets for Only $49.99 Shipped!!

My children have been asking for their own tablets!

We have had one Google Android Pandigital tablet in the past, and we really liked it!

The Pandigital tablets are on sale for only $49.99 today at

These are going to SELL OUT FAST!!
Get yours now!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Musical Monday - You're Worth More Than "GOLD"

This song has just been released to Christian radio, and I cannot get it out of my head!

What a great message for everyone..."You're Worth More Than Gold!"

"So, hold your head up high. It's your time to shine! From the inside out... it shows, You're Worth More than Gold!"

Dear Lord, Please help us to remember, that in Your eyes, we are worth far more than Gold, and more than anything else You have created. Despite our faults, and misdeeds, You hold us in the highest regard as Your beloved children. Today, Lord, there are children of Yours who feel down, worthless, and beaten. Please send them Your Spirit, and blessings. Hug them, Lord, through those around them, so that they may feel their Worth in You! ~ Amen

"I will make a man more precious than fine gold;" Isaiah 13:12

"Arise! Shine! Your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has dawned." Isaiah 60:1

"My head is high, God, held high; 2 I'm looking to you, God..." Psalm 25:1-2

"When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!" Luke 21:28

Friday, January 11, 2013

So Confused - Musical Monday - On a Friday!!!

This song has been heavy on my heart lately!
Not sure why, but I do love it!

"We Are" by Kari Jobe

We are the light of the world.
We are the city on a hill.
We are the light of the world.
We gotta let the light shine.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hope is a Matter of Perception

I have high hopes.
My mom used to call me Pollyanna, in reference to the Disney movie where a young lady ALWAYS comments on the best part of every situation.

Sometimes my positive outlook takes people by surprise. I am forgiving and accepting, almost to the point of naivete.

This does not mean that I don't feel down sometimes. I get depressed. I feel bad about myself, and about others. I often find myself wondering if I'm bipolar or something.

Then I think that it really does not matter. I have HOPE!

I have hope that the Lord really has great things in store for me.
I have hope that my children are really blessings, and that He has great things in store for them!
I have HOPE that my husband is a heavenly blessing, despite the things that drive me crazy about him!
I have HOPE that those who only seem to notice the negative things in their lives will some day see the Glory and blessings that come from God.

How you see your circumstance is all about perspective.

Seek to find the positive in every situation, and you will be AMAZED at the blessings you have received.

I recently found out that I am going to be an aunt again!
The circumstances are not ideal, because my brother is not married to the mother of his child, and I don't know her very well at all. Some people might have major problems with this, and that's okay.
My perspective is that I LOVE kids, and having a new niece or nephew will be AWESOME!
My brother will make an AMAZING daddy - so that's great too!
The situation might be difficult at times, but if I seek the positive, I will be blessed by the nuances and craziness that is human nature.

"The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him..." Lamentations 3:25

Friday, January 4, 2013

Putting On Your New Self in the Morning

When I get up in the morning, I do not enjoy picking out clothing to wear.
I want to be comfortable more than anything. The style of my clothing is reflective of the fact that I just want to be comfortable. I am a mom, with three young children. I am running around, crawling around, and playing all day long.

I do not wear many suits or dresses. I sometimes wish I did, but that would require so much more effort!

This year I am going to strive to ignore the clothes, and make sure "...and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:24).

Instead of debating what color sweater to wear, or whether my ripped jeans are appropriate for the day, I will focus on the righteousness that God has placed in my life. I will look for HIS holiness in my life, and say a prayer with each article of clothing I place on my body. That my torso may hold a Heart that honors God in every beat. That my pants may cover my legs as they are lead in God's path for me today. My socks may bless my feet as they walk the walk that God has prepared for me.

Lord, please help us to put on our new selves, that you have created. We are still moms, children, and members of society. Let our outward appearances reflect You and Your Glory!

"...and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." —Ephesians 4:24

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Breaking Old Habits ~ Beginning Anew with Prayer

I am very guilty of having deceitful desires.
I have acquired very bad habits of spending money to buy things to fill the voids in my life.
My heart yearns to fill those voids with prayer and connection with the Lord.

Before I put any monetary or physical possessions ahead of my relationship with the Lord, I will say a prayer, asking for guidance and strength against false idols.

Having more STUFF will not make me happier. It will simply clutter my home, and my relationships, with unimportant junk.

Dear Lord,
Please help us to remember what is important, and to look to You in all things. Help me to shed the habits I have acquired, and to seek You first. Teach me, Lord, to accept what I have as gifts from You, and to be thankful for everything I have. I pray that I may learn from Your messages Lord, in prayer and scripture, every day of my life. Amen

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires..." —Ephesians 4:22