Friday, December 26, 2008

After Christmas Shopping Tips

December 26th...the day to work off the turkey and gravy by hitting the mall with a vengeance! I have fond memories growing up of taking money I had been given at Christmas and going to buy new clothes at the after Christmas sales.
Are you headed for the mall today? Or maybe Target or Wal-mart?

Here are a few tips to help make your shopping a little healthier:

1. Bring a bottle of water with you. You want to stay hydrated and that will also help you feel fuller and keep you from buying a soda or coffee while you're out.

2. Put a protein bar in your purse or another satisfying snack. You'll probably get hungry while you're out and you don't want to be standing in front of Cinnabon when that hunger hits!

3. Walk, walk, walk! If the weather permits, park far away from the store so you have to get a few extra steps in.

4. If you have to wait in a long line to check out, don't just stand still. Go up on your tiptoes a few times, and tap your toes while you wait in line.

May the remembrance of yesterday's activities warm your heart today and know that God has wonderful plans for you today and in the New Year!

"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." Jeremiah 29:11

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thoughts on Christmas

I received a gift book a few years ago that I love re-reading every Christmas season.  It's a little book full of scripture and thoughts on Christmas.  These are things I'm reading to my children this year.  Here are a few gems:

Infinite, and an infant.  Eternal, and yet born of a woman.  Heir of all things, yet the carpenter's son.
-Charles Spurgeon

On Christmas Day two thousand years ago, the birth of a tiny baby in an obscure village in the Middle East was God's supreme triumph of good over evil.
-Chuck Colson

Christmas is about a baby, born in a stable, who changed the world forever.
-John Maxwell

The Son of God does not want to be seen and found in heaven.  Therefore He descended from heaven to this earth and came to us in our flesh.
-Martin Luther

Christmas day is a day of joy and charity.  May God make you very rich in both.
-Phillips Brooks

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.
-Charles Dickens

Matthew 18:11
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Luke 2:9-14
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I shall bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

Be lifted!  Merry Christmas!  

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Friday, December 19, 2008

When You've Eaten One Too Many...

Last Sunday morning, I had cookies and cake at church. Monday night I had cheesecake at a Christmas party. Wednesday night, there was the cake at a baby shower. And tonight, there will be dessert at my extended family's Christmas party. And of course in between all these merry events, there's all sorts of snacking going on!

Does this sound familiar to you?

It's easy to have "one too many" to eat through December! So here are a few things you can do starting today to keep the scale from moving in the wrong direction:

1. Keep a food journal until Christmas. Record all you eat and drink each day. The shock and awe you experience by realizing what's being consumed may be enough to stop you - ha!

2. Fit in exercise. Try doing an exercise DVD at home for 20-30 minutes.

3. Don't buy anything else yummy for your own home. You'll have plenty of opportunity to have treats at upcoming parties and get togethers.

4. Drink water and tea; skip the egg nog and Christmas coffees at Starbucks.

Remember what it says in Proverbs 25:28: "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control."

Practice self-control and you'll have a merrier Christmas without the regrets of overeating (too much!). Hope you have a great weekend preparing for Christmas day!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Roller skating with the family

I went rollerskating last night with the family.  My little boy's Cub Scout troop rented out a rink.  We had a hoot!  There were so many good things about our night out.  I got to hang out with my  ten year old daughter and it was fun.  Sometimes we struggle to have fun together.  I got to skate with my six year old too.  He was so frustrated because he couldn't skate.  He hadn't gone fifty feet and he wanted to give up.  I let him cry and freak out for a while and then I sat him down and we had  talk.  I explained that trying new things can be really hard and even more scary.  I went on to tell him that if he never tried he would never get to enjoy it.  He  finally gave in and tried.  As I left him alone to try he excelled!  He had so much fun by the end of the night, he was asking when we were coming back.  Another fun part of the night was watching my three year old on the sidelines with Daddy.  They hung out all night.  They played video games and watched everyone skate.  He loved when I would go by and give him a high five or kiss him on the nose.  Dad hung out with the dads and seemed to enjoy that too.  I can't remember the last time we all had so  much fun.  We will be doing that again!  

We get so busy with the mundane things of life, our activities and the requirements of life.  Find something fun and do it with your family.  It will refresh you and make your kids smile.  And they'll have wonderful memories too!  Don't forget the camera either.  My husband got a great shot of our little boy and his best Cub Scout friend.  It was nice to see him smiling and all of his tears gone.  I would have cried if I fell three hundred times, too.  

Did I  mention the best part of the night?  We won three stuffed animals from the claw machine!!  Who ever wins anything out of that game??  We never have.  Our kids had a blast and had a souvenir, too!  What a way to cheer us all up in the middle of some nasty weather.  We've been cooped up with illness, too.  We needed a night of fun.

Bottom line?  Have fun with your kids.  The best gift you can give them is your time.

Be lifted!

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Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is good  medicine...

Friday, December 12, 2008

How You Can Lose Weight in the New Year

I am very excited to announce the start of my new audio course called, Losing Weight After Baby: 31 Days to a New You!

I've been developing this material for the past 2 years, researching and journaling about what works for moms who want to lose that baby weight and keep it off.

Here's how it works:

1. You decide you want to have a breakthrough month. You haven't seen the scale moving in the right direction and you want that to change. You want to be healthier and have more energy.

2. You sign up for my 31 day audio course. Every day for one month, you'll receive a 5 minute audio message from me directly to your inbox to motivate you, inform you and then call you to action. The daily action steps are totally doable and will produce life change.

3. Your clothes will fit looser and you'll be on your way to achieving your weight goals!

Give yourself the gift of health this Christmas and please sign up. Your husband and children will thank you because we as moms have so much influence over the health of our kids. The audio course will sell for $29.95, but I have a Christmas special right now for $19.95 in December so don't let that pass you by! That's way less than a cup of coffee (it's less than 65 cents a day!).

Get ready for a NEW YOU in the NEW YEAR!

"Behold I am doing a new thing..." Isaiah 43:18

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

By the book

I remember when my daughter was first born.  I had no idea what I was doing and had zero experience with babies of any age.  I was never much of a babysitter either!  So what did I do?  I bought the books with all the information I could ever need.  I assumed if it was in a book then it had to be right and it had to be exactly what my daughter needed.  What to Expect the First Year was my favorite.  It was simple and easy to follow.  But then my daughter started deviating here and there from what the book said was normal.  I was confused!  Was my child wrong? Was the book wrong?  Wasn't there a proven formula for all this motherhood/ childhood stuff? I honestly had a rude awakening.  As I had two more kids I rarely looked at the book.  I would check out rashes and symptoms to see if we needed to go to the doctor but that was about it.  The first time around the books were really nice, reminded me that I was doing things correctly and that my daughter was okay.  But these wonderful books were limited.  God makes us all different!  We grow at different rates, we change and progress at different times.  One baby's rash is another baby's crisis.   I had to learn to trust my instincts.  I also learned that the only book that is always right is the Bible!  Concerning my children I have consulted the Bible over and over and over again and it always applies to me and my kids.  There aren't parts of it that I skip because they don't pertain to us.  So  here's some advice.  Read the baby books, there is a ton of good information in there.  But don't be surprised when your baby isn't doing exactly what the book says he/ she should be doing at that particular age.  On the other hand, as you are consulting your Bible for guidance and asking God how to raise them...don't be surprised when you learn that your child is a sinner by nature.   That one shocked me too, never saw it coming.  Sure, buy the books, read the books, consult with them.  But if you have to go by the book, make it God's word.

Be lifted!

Psalm 119:9-11
How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

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Sorry for the late post...I had a horrible migraine yesterday.  It's lingering today...

Monday, December 8, 2008


I have a bone to pick with Santa Claus. The guy has some nerve pushing his way into a holiday that is supposed to be about the birth of Christ. How did this jolly old elf become indelibly linked with such a holy celebration? It is hard to be too angry with an old man who delights in giving, but what is the deal with his rewards and punishment system? After all, I have seen plenty of “naughty” children doing quite well for themselves on Christmas Day while some “nice” children barely get anything. Since I was a little girl, I have had questions about this mysterious man, and this year, I plan on finding some answers.

Fact or Fiction? The legend of Santa Claus is largely attributed to Saint Nicolas, a kindhearted Christian bishop who lived in the fourth century. Legend credits him with many miracles as well as the personal characteristic of selfless generosity. “It appears there was a Nicholas of Myrna, although at one time even Rome questioned his existence,” says John Hoh, author of Santa Claus: Is He for Your Child? (Xlibris Corporation, 2001). “The only historical reference to a Nicholas of Myrna was at the Council of Nicea.”
Hoh explains that many of the legends about St. Nicholas do not agree. As he was researching for his book, his intent was to delve into a study of the original Nicholas to show the giving nature and evangelical spirit of the historical man. “Unfortunately,” he concedes, “where Scripture is consistent with details, Nicholas’s legends are not.”

Many Christian parents struggle with Santa Claus. How do you answer your child when she asks, “Is Santa Claus real?” Richard Patterson, Jr, author of Parenting: Loving Our Children with God’s Love (Intervarsity Press, 2006), says “By the time our son was 5, he noticed that there were Santas on every corner, and he began asking questions. ‘Which one is the real Santa, Daddy?’ That’s when it’s helpful to ask questions right back.” Peterson recommends asking gentle questions that prod a young child’s ability to reason. He suggests open-ended questions, such as, “What do you think? A real person cannot be in two different places at the same time, can he?” This allows you to acknowledge Santa as make-believe and redirect the conversation toward the real celebration – Christ.

Naughty or Nice No matter how desperately you try to have a Christ-centered Christmas, it is tempting to use Santa for some parenting back-up during the stressful days of hustle and bustle. My friend Renee’s eyes twinkled merrily as she watched her 4-year-old scamper off to play. “This has been the best Christmas ever,” she said happily. “I struggle with Harrison all year long, but at Christmastime he turns into a perfect little angel.” Renee and her husband, Bob, had encouraged an elaborate Santa fantasy for their young son, even going so far as to make reindeer hoof prints around their backyard. When I asked them what they were going to do when Harrison found out the truth, Bob just shrugged. “All I know is this is working,” he said. “When we remind him that Santa won’t bring him any presents if he acts up, he does exactly what we tell him to.”

Patterson believes this type of parenting is unwise at best. “It’s a shortcut that avoids the better (and most difficult) approach of motivating children to do the right thing because it’s the right thing,” he explains. “That’s a parent’s goal. Children are to obey because it’s the right thing, because it pleases God and pleases Mom and Dad. That should be the motivation.”

John Hoh agrees and reminds parents that Santa is only a temporary fix for discipline problems. “It’s only effective for one month – maybe two if you use the threat that Santa will return in January to retrieve the gifts.” Eventually, everyone finds out the truth about Santa Claus. A child who has been hoodwinked into good behavior will have no reason to comply with his parents when the jog is up. “Trust is broken,” acknowledges Hoh. “In fact even before the truth comes out, a child can be disillusioned.” Focusing on a child’s outward behavior without tending to the motives of his heart will not solve discipline issues.

A Works-Oriented Myth It seems odd that Santa, a legalistic, works-oriented, earn-your-keep type of guy, is able to steal the spotlight from a Savior who offers full and free forgiveness to all sinners, not just the good boys and girls. “Our children are really trying to be good,” says Hoh. “And if they feel they are failing, they either become guilt-ridden or they act up even more.”

Why waste your breath explaining Santa’s philosophy when you could be sowing seeds of grace in your child’s heart? Remember the true meaning of Christmas: “For God so loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The core of the Christmas message is that you received what you could never earn and what you did not deserve. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift” (Ephesians 2:8). It is the best gift of Christmas.

Emphasize Christ Whatever age your child is, the best approach for the Christmas season is to emphasize the birth of the Savior. Patterson offers the following tips for keeping the focus on Christ. “Ignore Santa and major in Jesus,” he advises. He advises parents to deal with the Santa factor only when necessary and then as little as possible. Instead celebrate Jesus together in as many ways as possible through church, traditions, devotions, giving, and mission projects.

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This article first appeared in ParentLife magazine, December 2007.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Celebrate Where You've Been

You can't help but smile when you see this picture.

This is my own Pillsbury dough boy posing as Santa, taken around Christmas 2004. Now my little Santa is 4 years old! How time flies!

When I think back about my babies and those precious first Christmases together, my heart is full, and the pressing needs of the day don't seem quite so pressing.

So today, I want you to remember your baby. Maybe this is your first Christmas together with baby (or third or fourth...). Take time to reminesce about where God has brought you already. Capture these sweet Christmas moments in your heart (and on your cameras!).

I received a baby shower invitation this week for a mom who had her original shower cancelled because the baby came early. He arrived early with complications, but now months later, he's a healthy baby boy. God is good. Don't forget to think about His goodness in your life. Every baby is a miracle.

You can even be thankful for that post-baby body, even with all it's jiggles and wiggles! The baby fat will come off!

"Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This time of year we are  inundated with ads on television and in newspapers.  Every single thing in every single ad is something they want us to believe we NEED to have to be happy.  I haven't bought many trendy toys for my kids but the ones I have...well they've never kept their interest and I felt suckered.  We've made it a priority in our house to completely downplay the whole notion of "I've gotta have this and that..."  Ads for adults are just as bad.  Surely we'd be happy if we had all the latest fashions and gadgets.  I understand gift giving and I think it's fun and can be rewarding and meaningful.  But accumulating things as a tradition of Christmas is not something we want to pass on to our kids.  I am making every effort to have the tv off more than normal and to toss the ads before my kids even see them.  Seems like we can't want things we don't even know exist!  At bedtime we are reading various Christmas books and inundating them with the true message of Christmas: Christ came to earth to be with us and to save us!  That's something I want my kids to WANT for Christmas--Jesus!  The world around us has been going nuts for years and years; the commercialization of Christmas can make you depressed like Charlie Brown.  I think I'm going to design my own ads for Christmas and post them around the house.  Maybe the kids can make some to share with our neighbors.  We need to be advertising Jesus and his wonderful gift.  

Be lifted! 

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Isaiah 7:14

...The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Trot

How was your Thanksgiving? Hope you had a wonderful time with your family and friends!

My family started the day in an unusual way. We entered Father Joe's Turkey Trot...a 5K walk/run to benefit the homeless in San Diego. More than 6000 people came out in the rain! I will admit we cut 2 big corners of the race to shorten the loop. That's what you do when you have 2 kids in a covered stroller in the rain who are saying, "We want out!"

Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun. See from the picture, we were first to cross the finish line. Actually, we took that picture before the race - ha! It's a good thing too because the rain was coming down so hard during the race.

Since all of us are probably eating more than we need to this Thanksgiving weekend, take time for your own turkey trot. Walk around the block with your family. Pop in an exercise DVD today and workout for 30 minutes. Do something extra to combat those extra pumpkin pie calories. And have fun in the process!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures
forever." Psalm 136:1

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Believe me I know there are some tough things to teach our kids.  I think gratitude is one of the toughest things for them to grasp.  We've had a small table tent on our table for the last month that we got at a local restaurant, it explains gratitude in terms children can supposedly understand.  I think it's vital that we have our children say "thank you" and all that.  But the longer I live the more I believe that kids learn gratitude from our attitudes, words, and actions.  Sure, we should keep on keeping on with the, "Honey, say thank you."  But it's so much bigger than that.  God wants us to be thankful in our hearts WAY more than he wants us to just say the words.  He wants us to be so grateful for him and all he's done for us that it actually changes the course of our lives.  He wants us to live for him instead of ourselves.  Now that's gratitude!  Will our kids ever "get" it?  Yes.  It may not be for twenty years but they will get it.  Think about it...when were you genuinely grateful for the blessings God has given you in your life?  It probably wasn't when you were three.  These things take time.  I'm grateful that God has given us time to learn these things and to teach them to our little ones.  Keep on keeping on.   And keep on saying out loud how grateful you are for God's love.  It will rub off.  Just listen to their prayers...I bet you hear some gratitude in one form or another.  Leave the heart stuff to God, he's big enough to soften and change their hearts.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Tell God what you're thankful for.  Tell your kids too.  I suggest you keep a record each year at Thanksgiving of how God's blessed you.  Write it down so you won't forget.  And when times get hard you can look back at God's kindness and faithfulness.  

Be lifted!

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Your Greatest Investment

The economy has tanked.
The stock market has dropped.
The American budget has bombed!

But there is one investment that will never cease to reap a reward of ten-, twenty-, and even a hundred-fold: P R A Y E R.

Praying consistently for your children, about everything, is the greatest investment you can make as a parent. Over the years, I've prayed about everything from potty-training to pitching practice, from friendships to fractions, from bloody noses to broken hearts, and I can tell you, honestly, I don't regret a single moment that I've spent in prayer. In God's economy, prayer is an eternal investment that pays off daily, quarterly, yearly--continuously!

What can you do for your kids? Pray for them.

How do you begin? There are lots of ways:
  • Bless them as they play.
  • Whisper over them as they eat snacks.
  • Pray over their clothes when you're folding and ironing.
  • Murmur prayers for their health as you work in the kitchen.
  • Plead for their purity as you bathe them.
  • Sing your prayers as lullabyes at bedtime.

Ask God to remind you to pray. That's one prayer He loves to answer! Ask Him for clarity of thought and for clear focus to keep you tuned in to His desires for your kids' lives, so that you pray with His perfect purpose and plan in mind.

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in
my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious
Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know
him better. (Ephesians 1:16-17)

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Have Fun Mom!

Okay, I'm biased. This is my little girl and I think her smile could light up 1,000 Christmas trees! This was taken yesterday at SeaWorld where she rode Elmo's Flying Fish for the first time and loved it!

Yes, I am super fortunate to live in San Diego where I can go to SeaWorld often and where the weather permits outdoor activities most of the year. But wherever you live and whatever is nearby to do, I want to encourage you to get out with your baby and husband this weekend.
Take a walk. Visit a new park. Check out the museum you've been thinking about. Look through the event calendar in your area for upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas special activities.

If at all possible, don't stay cooped up in the house - get out there and be active. You're mind, body and spirit will be glad you did!

"Now Mary arose in those days..." Luke 1:39

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Encourage one another

I have some tough kids.  I have two that are volatile in an aggresive, crying, yelling, freaking out kind of way.  I have another one who just cries at the drop of a hat lately.  I feel like all I ever do is correct the behavior of Thing One and Thing Three and console Thing Two.  Kids are emotional little creatures!  Sometimes I find myself getting sucked into the drama.  I want to scream myself and holler, "Just quit yelling and crying everybody!"  I cannot fathom where they got so much emotion...  I have to remind myself quite often that they need my encouragement, not for me to join in their emotion-fest.  It is our jobs as moms to encourage our children, to build them up.  Yes, there is a time for correction  and consolation and everything in between. But at the heart of all we say and do, are we encouraging?  Think of one thing each day this week that you can do and say (yes do both things!!) to each of your children to build them up.  Maybe it's a note in a lunch box.  Maybe it's a special prayer of blessing at bedtime.  Maybe it's a lullaby as you rock your newborn.  Maybe it's a steady hand as your baby works on walking.  Maybe it's just a change of tone from sour to sweet.   Ask God to show you how you can encourage your children.  You might just change the bickering, fighting, screaming, and crying once and for all.  I doubt it could happen overnight, I've lived long enough to know better, but positive words create a positive environment.  And a positive environment will be a fertile place to teach your kids about God's love as well as your own!

1 Thesselonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  

Be lifted!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer

I appreciated the care Sue took in posting on Wednesday about her frustrations. I'm sure many of you could relate to one or more of her concerns and challenges.

Meditating on Scripture and praying are 2 very important things we can do for our spiritual and physical health. With two little kids and lots to do, I have found one resource very helpful to guide my prayers. It's called The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer by Lisa Whelchel. I highly recommend it! For each day, it has a prayer prompt for:

1. Praise
2. For Yourself
3. For Your Husband
4. For Your Children
5. For Personal Influences
6. Reaching Beyond

She provides Scriptures to pray so you know you're praying about God's will. I've found it helpful to "maximize" my prayer time. Ten minutes with this journal in hand is time well spent with God.

So if you're frustrated with your job or losing weight this week, why don't you take your needs to God in prayer right now? And maybe pick up Lisa Whelchel's book for yourself.

"I will sing of the loving kindness of the Lord forever. To all
generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth." Psalm 89:1

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God's Power

Today is one of those days that I have so much to say that I don't know where to start, where it will go, or where we'll end up together! Let's assume that if you are reading Totally New Moms that you are in a season of change and/ or stress, somehow concerning childbearing or child-rearing. You might also be reading this if you're pregnant for the first, second, third, or umpteenth time. You might have recently miscarried and only some of us can begin to understand the depth of your pain. And others of you are childless and want to be child-full and my heart breaks for you. Others of you still are just reading this today because you ran across it or because I directed you to it personally. I figure if you're reading anything on the Internet these days, you are hopeful that it will be thought provoking and helpful at the very least....there's so much junk out there to read, isn't there?

I realize we're here to read about motherhood but let's just talk about only you for today. What is hard about this season for you, as a woman? Is it unmet expectations? Are you disappointed in your mothering skills? Do you feel unfulfilled at work? Do you long to be back in the workplace? Are you missing your family? Do you feel all alone? Do you feel unattractive? Are you struggling with your weight or your horrible eating habits? Do you feel inadequate? Is your husband not doing his part in the family? Are you in a time of transition? Are you grieving something? Are you questioning things about your faith? Are you struggling emotionally? Are you hurting financially? Do you need a better support system? Are you malnourished from not reading your Bible? Are you longing to feel God's presence but you aren't? Are your kids driving you nuts? Are you driving your kids nuts? Do you have an especially rebellious child? Are you butting heads with your daughter or mother or mother-in-law? I could go on and on. Something in your world probably isn't perfect today.

Do you ever feel just downright weary from it all? I do. In fact, I do today. Life over the last few months has been horribly hard for me. One of my favorite people that I'm closer to than almost anyone died in June, ten days after we moved out of state. I am without a support system in my new town. I have no church home. My husband has a wonderful new job where everyone loves him and wants to do tons of social activities with him. He is gone a lot and works what seems to be a lot of hours. My three year old is a basket case because we don't have neighborhood friends for him yet. I am chomping at the bit to write my next book but we don't have the office furniture put together yet and I can't locate all my great notes that I took in May-July. I had a root canal last week and I've had a cold for about ten days. There. Now you know why today, in particular, I feel overwhelmed and somewhat pitiful. Depression is a place I've been and a sadly familiar place. Somehow it has crept back into my life, little by little, day by day, tear by tear. And I'm ready for it to be gone. So where do I look? My help comes from the maker of heaven and earth!

Someone sent me an e-mail today and asked some wonderful questions. I can't look them up directly from this page so I'll try to paraphrase. Basically she asked, "How do you feel God's power at work in your life and experience change through that?" I know that isn't a good paraphrase but that's the gist of it. I am not a theologian; I'm simply a woman who loves God's word. I am going to be totally honest, I don't feel God's power every day, sometimes not every week, and certainly not in every season of life. I only know what His precious word says.

Jeremiah 29:12-14
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD.

Please read that over and over and over again until it sinks in. I am living proof that if you seek him you will find him. It's not always easy or simple. Sometimes he wants us to work hard to find him. But let me tell you, he's not hiding. God's power is there for us. His presence in our lives is all the power we'll ever need. How about this good stuff:

Ephesians 3:16-19
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure and the fullness of God.

No matter what thing you are going through right now as a mom, wife, sister, teacher, worker, all of it, any of it. God's power is there for you. And in that power is the abundant life he wants for us.

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

I don't know about you but I sure don't have to overcome the whole darn world. Talk to him, he would love to give you some more strength for this season. Some compassion, some caring, some peace, some love. Believe me, he wants good things for you!!!

So how do you feel God's spirit working in you and changing you? Wow that's tough to really explain. How do I know? I know because when HE brings power to my life I'm unafraid of things that usually terrify me. I have confidence in him and because of him. He brings fruit out of my life that is against my sinful nature. Things like patience and long-suffering and gentleness. Those are things that I can't do with my own power. Does that make sense? Keep seeking him, you will find him ladies. And when you do, wow, are you going to be an awesome woman, mom, wife, sister, daughter, and everything else on your list!

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work WITHIN US, to him be glory...

Be lifted!

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Now Here's a Contest!

Everyone loves a contest! Contests involve great prizes and who doesn't want to win something? Well guess what? You can start your own contest for losing weight and put a little fun into your diet and exercise plan.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were trying to get my parents to do a contest with us to eat healthier and exercise more in preparation for the glut of yummy treats we'll be enjoying over the holidays. They were not interested.

But this week, my mom came up with a great contest. Basically, the person who earns the most points by Thanksgiving wins $100. How do you earn points?

-10 points each day you exercise for 30 minutes or more
-10 points each day you skip sweets
-10 points each day you don't eat past 6:30 p.m.

Believe it or not, this really works! It's fun to do it as a family. This little contest has stopped me from eating that Halloween candy or it's pushed me to exercise.

So if you want to lose some weight or just get healthier as a family, you can try a contest like this. Modify it to suit your needs and pick a prize that would be motivating. Then let the competitive juices flow!

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize..." Phil. 4:14

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Today is not a good day for me to post. I had a root canal two days ago, I have a sore throat that could make me cry, and a sleepless night that ended in tears. My mind and heart have been heavy concerning one subject: examples. Yes, we are examples to our kids. But let me tell you, there are hundreds of examples that your kids are exposed to during their childhood. Teachers, preachers, vacation Bible school workers, coaches, piano instructors, doctors, dentists, clerks, bank tellers, trash collectors, presidents, the list is endless. No matter how significant or insignificant each of these people seem, they all have an impact on you and your children. The messages that children received directly or indirectly does affect how they see the world and themselves. It helps to form their thinking as well as the development of their values system. In our imperfect world it is imperative that we are great examples for our kids. It is terribly important that we expose them to loving adults outside the family unit as well. Kids need to hear it from us and from others that they are valued and valuable. I believe that will make it all the more believable to them that God in heaven loves them, too.

My son has a shirt that says, "Yep, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so." I want that to be fresh on my son's heart every day. I constantly ask my kids, "Who loves you?" They rattle off the list, "Mom, Dad, Grandma, the dog, brother, sister, God, Jesus, Grandpa..." Remind your kids daily of who loves them. These are powerful examples in your children's lives. Strong human role models are precious. But understanding God's attributes and holiness are crucial to developing faith in children. Don't lose sight of the little things. Jesus and his words are the best examples of all.

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1 John 3:18-19
...let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Are You All There?

We are a generation that has learned to multi-task. From simple tasks, such as folding clothes while gabbing on the phone, to dangerous ones, like texting while driving, most of us are do-ers, and we feel compelled to be busy.

However, when it comes to parenting, children need our undivided attention. They are watching us, and they derive much of how they feel about themselves by gauging how we feel about them through our actions.

This past summer, I saw a first: a dad was sitting on the bleachers with his laptop open while his son played baseball. He wasn't all there, was he? Glued to a screen, he may have physically been present as his son pitched four innings of a great game, but he wasn't THERE.

While it's easy to fault a parent who so obviously had his attention divided, we do it in small ways everyday. Sitting at a computer while nodding obliviously to a child who is chattering away, or chatting on the phone with a friend while sitting down to lunch with your three-year-old--you might be there, but you're not all there.

Give your child all of you today. Look in her eyes when she talks. Enjoy a snack together, with no interruptions. Take a walk and look at the beautiful autumn leaves--leaving your cell phone at home. Be all there for your child today!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Brush Your Way to Weight Loss!

Yesterday my 4 year old and I had a treat after dinner - leftover ice cream cake from a birthday. After eating it, he said, "I'm going to brush my teeth!" because I've conditioned him to think that brushing always comes after eating something sweet. Before you think I'm a super healthy mom, know this: I came to this conclusion after my then 3 year old had cavities at his first dental visit!

So I decided to brush my teeth too...that was at about 6:30 p.m. Many times I have a snack after the kids go to bed and I'm working on my computer. But since I had brushed my teeth early, I skipped the snack.
Guess what? A simple thing like brushing your teeth and flossing after dinner will keep you from hitting the pantry late at night. How's that for a diet tip: brush your teeth! Easy enough!

"I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to
others, I myself should become disqualified." I Corinthians 9:27

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What day is it?

Obviously I don't know what day it is or what week it is for that matter. I think I missed a post, maybe two. I hope I can be forgiven. My life is upside down. Ten days ago we got the keys to our new house in Greenwood, Indiana. We rushed around like crazy people, moving things from our little apartment to our house. We did that for about five days. Then we took the kids on last Wednesday to Minnesota to empty out our house. Sunday night we arrived by van and U-Haul with almost all of our things. We were pretty upset that it didn't all fit. So yesterday we unloaded the U-Haul and began the tedious work of putting things where they go. Things never fit the same in a new kitchen! I was so happy to see my Minnesota friends and mortified to leave them. I went so far as to tell some of my friends that I just didn't want to make any new friends. I'm happy with the ones I've got! I've tried to make friends in Indiana but it's not working so well yet. Don't people think I'm as charming and funny as I think I am? Lately I've been retreating a bit because it's exhausting trying to get people to like you. But as I drove 10 1/2 hours back to Indiana something dawned on me--even though I don't have new friends here I know that I can't live in isolation. I am a people person to the core and this move has been especially hard. I'm lonely. I miss my friends. I miss my church. I miss my wonderful neighbors. I miss my YMCA. I miss having something or someone familiar. I feel pretty pitiful about now! I want to walk into a room and people say, "Hey new person, we're so happy you're here. Please be our friend! Please hang out with us. Please get to know us. We can't wait to get to know you." Okay, this may seem silly and a little out there but I specifically prayed for such an event to take place! I've been praying for months that God would bring some people my way. This prayer was different though. I really laid it out there for God. I told him I needed something uplifting in the form of people in my life. I can't keep clinging to relationships in Minnesota. Though they will remain my dearest friends, the relationships have to change. I will only see them a couple times a year at best and I've got to figure out how to live life here and now. So I pleaded with God to help me find some friends THIS week. So here goes... Today I spoke at a MOPS group, not even 48 hours after I prayed this prayer, and I felt like I was at home. People were kind and friendly, not to mention inviting. I honestly think they are taking applications for new people to join! (Not everyone is doing that you know...I can't even get my resume on file at some places...) So let me tell you! God is big. He can answer prayer. He does! What is the desire of my heart? I want to find a place where I belong and where I can serve Him with people who love Him like I do. I found some people today!!! There they were right in my face! I got invited to come to their church service, Sunday School class, and even out to dinner with the ladies?? God answers us and wants to give us the desires of our hearts when we're following Him! He created us to want fellowship with each other so of course He will provide the people. Praise God for such a blessing!

So what does this have to do with motherhood? For me, a lot. I have spent the last several months working very hard to get my kids' lives in order. I have worked to find them fun things to do and friends to play with after school. Their world is upside down too. Now they are in a new school and starting over. I feel exhausted physically and emotionally. I need some girlfriend support. I need to find someone to just chat with and process all this change with. I am a better mom overall when I have friends in my life. Just ask my kids! I am a social creature and I feel like I've been slowly dying. For you other social creatures out there you know what I mean. Just after two hours at a MOPS meeting I feel energized and ready to give more of myself to my kids and to my unpacking fiasco.

So again, sorry for missing a post or two. I haven't had the Internet or my make-up bag, not even sure I have clothes for tomorrow. I have about 35 boxes to unpack yet and every bone in my body hurts. But I met some people today! Woo hoo!!

Praising God for lifting me up again and again,

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Psalm 107:28-29

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hey Everybody,

I got a chance to keep my young nephew and niece over the weekend, and it was a great dose of "remember when" for me! When you aren't used to having younger ones around, you really don't think about all the time and energy that must go into that stage of parenting. My teens and 'tween have brought me to a relatively easy place in parenting! Yes, I mean it! When we were vacationing recently, I just kept watching them and thinking to myself how very blessed I am to have such great kids with whom I long to spend time!

Let me just encourage you young moms today that every thing you do counts! You are investing in your children, and there is no better place to deposit your time, love, patience, and energy. The years when they are little and so dependent on you are really rough. How do you respond? Embrace those years! They are fleeting! But how you deal with your kids will count as they grow. Are you praying for them? Are you teaching them God's Word? And are you in God's Word yourself? Are you focusing on being a living example to them of the character and integrity you want them to possess? And are you pointing them to Jesus--praising Him, clinging to Him, putting your hope and trust in Him?

Take heart today, knowing that everything you do COUNTS! These are not years to just "get through." These are years to press in, giving your kids everything you've got, and trusting God to give you all of Him!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Always Ready!

Well my 20th high school reunion was last week and I had a great time! It was fun to see old friends and think about days gone by. The big surprise was that a few of our teachers were there also. They looked just the same!

My female classmates were all in good health and everyone looked fantastic!

I havea feeling a few classmates didn't come because they are not happy with the way they look. It's totally understandable because all of us who have had children know the difference a baby can make in our bodies! The extra pounds can easily accumulate over the years, leaving us to wonder what happened to the body we had in our early 20s.

My encouragement to you this week is this: Live in such a way that you're always ready to attend your high school reunion. Eat and exercise regularly to keep your body in good health so that you won't have to go on a radical crash diet before a big event like a 20th reunion. But more importantly, live close to Jesus. Love your family, be faithful in your work, enjoy your life so that when you look back at your life 20 years from now, you won't have any regrets.

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

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Monday, October 20, 2008


**Hey Everybody! I've been traveling over the past week with my family! I hope you enjoy this article of mine today, originally posted on Baptist Press a couple of years ago!**


A recent statistic reported by the Southern Baptist Convention reveals that 88 percent of children who are raised in evangelical homes leave the church at the age of 18 and never return. What kind of example are we setting as parents when it comes to raising, or erecting, pillars of the church? By remembering the seven "ups" for erecting a pillar of the church, you can make sure your children are standing on the firm foundation of your own godly lifestyle:

Cough it UP: Give freely of your time, talents and resources. Eddie Poole is the associate pastor at Canopy Roads Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla. Currently, the church is meeting in a local school. "My son Matthew and I always leave at 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings to set up the school for church. Part of our routine is to stop at a convenience store for doughnuts. This past week, he only ate two of them. After church we packed up the sound system, and that's when we saw the five leftover doughnuts that I had given him that morning. I ate two and he ate the other three. Then he looked over at me and said, 'You owe me two doughnuts.' I responded, 'Let me get this straight. I buy you seven doughnuts, eat two, and then I owe you two more? I don't think you get it.' He started laughing. He said, 'I get it. I owe you five doughnuts.' Then I was able to talk to him about how God gives us everything that we have and asks for 10 percent back. We must look pretty silly to say no when he gave it to us to begin with."

Keep in mind that it's okay to establish boundaries as the Lord leads you. Children need to see that their parents are generous givers, but they don't need to see parents who lack priorities and wind up giving so much of themselves that there is nothing left to give their families.

Cheer UP: Are you an encouraging member of your church body? Are you sensitive to the needs of those around you? Think of the pleasure you receive from a (gasp!) handwritten note or an unexpected phone call. By keeping a supply of note cards and stamps on hand, you could easily send at least two notes a week to shut-ins or people who just need a lift. That kind of ministry easily rubs off on your children.

"Children are people pleasers," says Anna Alba, preschool associate in the Kids' Ministry at First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. "They love to be involved in bringing joy to someone. You let them do what they love -- coloring, cutting, pasting, decorating -- and teach them about loving one another at the same time. It brings honor and glory to God and a little sunshine to someone who needs it."

Clam UP: When you're tempted to dissect the delivery of the Sunday sermon on the way home in the car, gripe about the new church budget or complain about a proposed building project, just be quiet. Your children are always listening. Do they hear you running the church and its operations down? Or do they hear a tone of thankfulness and respect in your conversation? Enough said.

Lift UP your hands and be an enthusiastic worshiper. Train your children by your actions in church. Bill Salmon, minister of music and senior adults at Parkway Baptist Church in Goodlettsville, Tenn., says, "I like enthusiasm in worship. I appreciate the teaching I received when I was very young. My mother had a big booming alto voice and what she lacked in quality she made up for with volume. As a 12-year-old, I remember feeling embarrassed when all the kids around our pew would turn and stare at my mom and roll their eyes. I remember getting home from church one Sunday night and saying, 'Momma, why do you have to sing so loud? People are staring at you.' I'll never forget her reply. She said, 'I'm not singing for them, I'm singing to the Lord, and he expects me to give it all I've got.'

Stick UP for your pastor. As a pastor's kid, I know how important this is, and so does Salmon. "My dad preached from the time I was about 4 years old until he died," he explains. "I saw some really bad character come out of some 'church' people and saw them do and say things that Christians should never do or say. Despite that, my folks had a deep love for people and ministry and a tenacious sense of calling." When he was called into the ministry himself, it was his parents' reaction to the offending parties that set the example for Salmon.

Warm UP to your pastor and other members of your church staff, along with their families, by having them in your home to share a meal. "I wanted to have my pastor over to my house so that my kids would know he was accessible to them, that he was their friend," explains Dianne, a homeschooling mother of three. "I was able to accomplish that for them, but in another way for myself. I began to see my pastor as a person whose family was a lot like mine and who needed my friendship and my prayers, too."

You're UP! "My wife Marla and I try to make serving God such a part of our lives that we don't think about it," Poole says. "Our kids don't think about it either. It just comes natural, and they do it too without thinking much."

As a parent, the home team is really counting on you. When you're up, don't let them down. By setting an example, you're erecting your pillars on a foundation of stone.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Camping and High School Reunions

Let me begin by telling you I survived our first camping trip last weekend! As you can see here, my daughter thought it was fun! The only two creatures that bothered us was a turkey that ran past us at night (it scared us half to death! We'll get him at Thanksgiving!) and a cricket in our room that did not let us sleep. But this is what camping is about right? We all hiked and had a great time. So camping and hiking are great ways to lose weight after baby. Except the town we were near is famous for apple pie and it is apple season...

Well, tomorrow I will be going to my 20th high school reunion. I old enough to do this??? Actually, it makes me feel very happy because as I look back on two decades, I am floored by God's goodness. Of course my greatest life stories have come from meeting my husband James and having 2 fantastic children.

Going to high school reunions, or any reunions, usually means - "it's time to go on a diet!" We all want to shed some pounds to look our best when we see our friends. And why not use a reunion or some kind of get-together as motivation to lose weight? We need all the help we can get to eat sensibly and exercise more vigorously. So go ahead; use that reunion or maybe the holidays coming up as an incentive to slim down and look your best going in 2009!

The Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty
are in His sanctuary. Psalm 96:5-6
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 31

Am I in a mood to pick a fight?  Am I trying to cause controversy?  Not by any stretch.  I just want to get you thinking because this is something I've given a lot of prayer and thought to.  I've lived in several different states and cities.  Every place we've lived Halloween has meant something a little different to people.  In Texas it was all about the candy and parties.  Kids were bussed into our neighborhood to get more candy.  Christian families took their kiddos trick or treating and it was widely accepted.  Where I lived in Minneapolis, it wasn't so widely accepted in Christian circles.  Lots of people I knew only went to harvest parties and did not trick or treat.  Some people would only allow their kids to dress up like Bible characters.  But Anoka, MN is the Halloween capital of the world and it was absolute pandemonium.   I have a buddy that I ran a 5K with in Anoka last  year.  Nearly 2000 people dressed up in fun costumes and ran 3.1 miles to kick off the two hour parade.  I was a pretty cute Napoleon Dynamite! Why do I share all this?  We all see the world differently. Regardless of how people are living around you, how do you treat October 31st?  What are you teaching your kids about it?  It's healthy to examine the reasons you do celebrate or don't celebrate Halloween.  

1.  Do you decorate?  Why or why not?
2.  Do you want your kids to dress up? Why or why not?
3.  Are your actions/attitudes pleasing to God?

Even if you have babies at home and no older kids, this will eventually be an issue you'll have to deal with.  Maybe you're at a place where you aren't sure what you think about all of it.  I've been there so I understand.  

I prayed about whether or not I should share this...if you're interested in what we do at our house...If you don't want to know then skip this part!!  We do dress up and go trick or treating.  There, I said it.  We also hand out treats.  But we don't decorate and we don't make a big deal out of it. We do talk to  our kids about how Satan can use anything to try to get his way or try to get a hold of us.  Our kids know the basics of the origins of Halloween and that some horrible things have happened on Halloween.  We don't wear gruesome costumes and I do talk about how terror and gore are not pleasing to God.  But, yes, as offensive as it may to be to some, we are going to dress up in fun costumes: a sheriff, a basketball player, and Dash from the Incredibles.  And if I can't find something else, I just might run in Anoka on October 25th dressed as Napoleon again.  

But let me tell you from experience, you've got to be prepared to answer questions.  Be prepared to explain why you what you do.  Number one:  What are you celebrating on October 31?  For us it's just an easy way to score some Milky Ways and meet people in our community.  People in Minnesota didn't talk much to their neighbors.  We met 90% of our neighbors on our first Halloween!  Number two: What are you celebrating in your every day life?   Your salvation?  Money, prestige, and stuff?  Love, life, and the pursuit of happiness?  Freedom in Christ?  Love, joy, peace, patience, and long suffering?  I believe that God is very interested in our answers.   

This particular Halloween I'm celebrating the fact that we can all  have different opinions  on this issue and still be united in Christ.  And the fact that my youngest will still share his goodies with me...

Be lifted!

Romans 15:5
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Jesus Christ.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Camping...Here We Come!

One great way to lose weight after baby is by going camping and hiking, but I have to admit, I'm not much of a camper. My very first camping trip was with my husband right after we're married. Let's just say the trip began in tears and continued in tears when I had to go the bathroom in the middle of the night and my sweet groom wouldn't wake up to walk with me outside our tent.

Fast forward the tape almost 10 years and I guess I'm ready to try again - ha! This time, we will be in a cabin (upgrade!) but we'll have kids (more challenges!). No running water but at least we'll have shelter. I'll let you know next week how it goes. Hopefully minimal tears will be shed by myself, my 4 year old or 22 month old!

So remember, if you're losing weight, don't be afraid of new adventures. Try hiking, or biking, or go to a rock wall gym. Something totally out of your comfort zone might be a great date night with your husband. If you don't like your new adventure, you should be able to get a lot of laughs out of it anyway!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine." Proverbs 17:22

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pleasant surprise

I read in my devotional book today something really special I'd like to share.  Christa Kinde, from Adventurous Prayer wrote this:

"Usually, when we pray, we know exactly what we want God to do.  We've given our situation much thought, we've checked out the pros and cons, considered our options, and we've decided how God should work...Things don't always work out the way we think they should.  That's because God has something better in mind."

I've got to be brutally honest...we've been going apey in our apartment lately.  Let me tell you, there are lots of good things to learn from living in an apartment with three kids after being in a house for so long.  We've been so anxious to get a house and a YARD again.  We want so desperately to go home and get our things: our beds, the kitchen table, our couch, our dog.  I believe God is all about teaching us long-suffering.  I know he wants us to squirm and get uncomfortable so we can be more full of gratitude.  I've been asking God to just work out all the details of the sale of our house in Minnesota so we could move and get settled in a new house and neighborhood.  Guess what?  That's not what God had in mind.  It's a long story but we're moving and we haven't sold our house!!!  We're going to rent a house until we sell our other one and then we can buy our new house.  The house has been vacant for a year so they are thrilled to rent it to us til we can close.  Guess what?  I never even knew that was an option!  God has blessed us with a wonderful surprise.  And next week my ACTIVE children will have a back yard to play in and a neighborhood full of sidewalks to ride their bikes and scooters on.  And I think he's going to answer my prayers, too.  We want and need some new friends.  I have a suspicion that they are on the horizon.  

God is good and full of pleasant surprises for you!  Be lifted!


Psalm 17:8
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings.

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Monday, October 6, 2008


Hey Everybody,

What does your week look like?

I'm a planner. I find if I don't plan, I can be easily overwhelmed by the demands of our busy schedules. For example, this month, my boys will be having basketball practices four times a week. Add church activities to the mix, and you realize we have just entered a very busy season--not fall, not autumn, but Basketball Season! This is a time every year when I am required to plan more than ever. It means that in order to insure my family's comfort and convenience, I am often required to do what is uncomfortable and inconvenient!

For instance, I started tonight's dinner yesterday afternoon! I put chicken in the crock pot, and then, when we arrived home from church last night, I put together tonight's casserole. This morning I know that dinner is in the fridge and it will be easy to heat and serve. Keeping up with the laundry demands of two adolescent boys playing ball every evening means I'm also getting creative with when I'm running my washer and dryer! Remember, those appliances can only make life easier when you use them!

Being a mom is the greatest job ever! But like any job, it requires diligence, creativity, organization, and effort. New moms often feel battle fatigue from all the new demands. I'm wondering: Do you have a mentor mom in your life? Do you have someone who can help you out with your new job? Ask God today for a person from whom you can learn some of the how-to and hands-on aspects of motherhood! And then be watching--look around! Expect Him to send you the help you need!

Under His direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each
part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole
body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Ephesians 4:16

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Children...Our Best Loan from God

Thank you for your kind comments about my miscarriage this week. Psalm 139:14 has given me so much peace, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful." God is the author of life and we can trust Him with our children.

Our church has a moms group on Wednesday nights and this past Wednesday, one mom was sharing how her friend had a 5 year old with cancer. That dear family is racing against time, making memories with their beloved son while they can. My friend said that it's made her treasure her time with her son so much more. She ended by saying that children are on loan to us from God.

Isn't it true that God has given us the greatest gift on loan? Our children (born and unborn) are His, lovingly made by Him and created for a purpose. I take great comfort in enjoying my son and daughter whenever I think of the baby I didn't get to hold. But someday I will!

Unfortunately, my body isn't quite feeling normal yet. The doctors say that makes sense since my body still has pregnancy hormones floating around. So I'm still in need of that afternoon nap and sometimes feel like Eeyore with a dark cloud over me. But GOD will make a way!

BTW, I have my 20 year high school reunion coming in 2 weeks. Of course it's so sad that I'm not pregnant for it; plus I gained 5 pounds in the 8 weeks I was pregnant. I'm the Losing Weight After Baby lady (my website) so I'm working (somewhat) frantically to get these extra pounds off. I say somewhat because my cravings for chocolate sometimes overpower me! I'll keep you posted if I get back to my original weight before the reunion...I'm getting close.

So when you look at that sweet baby today, even if you're sleep deprived and 20 pounds overweight as a result, say "thank you God" for that bundle of joy, on loan to you for this glorious season!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Young examples

My daughter and I were recently reading her Bible. She has an Adventure Bible that has some really interesting features. We were reading 1 Timothy 4:12 and she didn't understand a word of it. Here's the verse:

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."

Kids are funny creatures. I get such a kick out of how they see the world. She had the funniest ideas about what these things mean. I broke it down for her one line at a time, with a little help from the notes in her Bible. The writers included a box at the bottom of the page to explain this verse to kids. Apparently this is universally tough to grasp for young ones. They suggested young people make a Pledge Poster naming ways they can be Christian examples:

I will be an example.
In speech, I will not gossip or swear.
In life, I will do what pleases God.
In love, I will care about others.
In faith, I will pray and trust God.
In purity, I will choose what is right.

We used this template and came up with even more ideas. We expanded on the original ideas, too. What exactly pleases God? How do we trust God? What is right and what is wrong? How do you know for sure? How can we NOT gossip? It sparked a great conversation that I hope to return to. I challenge you to do this with your kiddos and post is somewhere so you can go back to it over and over again. My daughter felt like a million bucks thinking there was something she could be doing to please God and be an example to others.

Be lifted!

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Praise Him for Who He Is

Hey Everybody,

It's a brand new week! Let's just take a few minutes today to praise the Lord. No matter what is going on in your life today, are you willing to praise God for Who He is? When all is said and done, life rests on the fact that He is God Almighty. He has provided a way for us to know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Today may be a horrible day for you. You may be grieving. You may be confused. You may have a spirit of dread that hangs over you because the dawning of this day means you have to complete a task you don't want to do. It could be work. It could be your marriage. Whatever is going on for you today, do you think that you could just stop and say, "I praise you, Lord God, for Who You are."

It's challenging. But the times in my life when I've chosen to do just this have given me a new perspective, a new energy, and a new optimism to press on.

With love,
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Miscarriage and Grace

This is a picture of my daughter Noelle, taken at the hospital almost 2 years ago now. As my husband likes to say, "Women love babies!"

Well, a few weeks ago I posted happily about my pregnancy and starting all over again with baby, and today I'm sorry to have to blog about my miscarriage. But I do so in hopes that it will bring some comfort to all of us who have experienced this loss.
I almost titled this post, "The End of Life...or the Beginning?" because although I've said goodbye to the baby in my womb, that little one's life is just beginning in the arms of God and what a wonderful adventure he or she is having!
When I went for my ultrasound a few days ago, the doctor was sorry to tell me that I had miscarried. Things have moved very quickly this week for which I am actually grateful. Yesterday I was in surgery for a D & C. Mary Birch Hospital...the same place I had my first and third child. The same place I said goodbye to my second child (who I lost at 26 weeks in the womb), and now the same place to say goodbye to my fourth. But believe it or not, going in the hospital for this purpose was not sad. It was a time of grace for me and my husband. God has so comforted us in the fact that He numbers our days and authors our lives. He had a purpose in my pregnancy and knows best about our family. I have been lifted up and supported by the hugs and prayers from my family and my church family.
When I look at my children, I thank God for these healthy babies! At the hospital, I heard the cries of newborns, and while part of me wished for that myself, the other part was so grateful that I have 2 treasures at home.
On days when you feel tired, look at that baby, your treasure, and remember what a blessing he or she is. How precious is the love of our Heavenly Father to allow us to be moms!

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jesus Loves Me

I just realized yesterday that I've made yet another mistake as a parent.  Something horrible has happened to my brain.  Somehow having three children has done my brain in.  I have forgotten to teach my son a very important song.  I was watching a fun You Tube video with my little guy yesterday.  It was a two year old girl, sitting in her car seat, singing Jesus Loves Me.  My three-year-old got such a kick out of it because she kept messing up the words on the home video.  But he knew what the song was and wanted to watch it a dozen times.  He grinned at me and said, "I know that song from church."  That's a great thing but I felt ashamed because he didn't know that song from Mom.  He knows Jeremy Camp, Bethany Dillon, Christine Dente, Casting Crowns, David Crowder...but I don't know if I've ever sang that song with him, for him, or to him.  I felt sick!  So now we're gonna sing that song!  What an important truth for our little ones.  Jesus loves me!  Praise God for that.

Be lifted!

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Psalm 40:3

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Hey Everybody,

Have you heard about the gas shortage in Nashville? It has been an interesting week here in Music City! However, it got me thinking about being prepared, and I thought of a great tip to share.

I really don't like running out of something, and as you can imagine, my husband doesn't either! So when I was a new mom and learning how to operate as a "home manager," I created a Top Shelf in our bathroom linen closet. I wanted to have an "extra" of everything, so that we never ran out. After all, who wants to run out of toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, or razors? So I began buying two of everything, as my budget would allow, until my Top Shelf was fully stocked.

When I make out my grocery list, I just check the Top Shelf to see what needs to be replaced. If it's not on the shelf, then I know that we will soon be out. By keeping the Top Shelf up to speed, no one is ever out of anything he/she needs! This goes a long way in keeping mornings stress-free--for everybody!

This philosophy has expanded to a cabinet in my laundry room where light bulbs and batteries are stored, as well as a hard-to-reach cabinet in my kitchen where I keep my husband's favorite snack foods, my daughter's favorite breakfast bars, and the black beans and rice mix that we cannot seem to function without for more than three days at a time!

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread
of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

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