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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Friday, September 19, 2008

Miss America, Diabetes and You

Believe it or not, I graduated from Regent University in 1998 sitting right next to Miss America! At the time, she was a fellow communication student, Nicole Johnson. But a few months later, she would become Miss America!

Nicole was in my hometown this week, speaking at the American Academy of Family Physicians conference about living with diabetes. Here she is pictured with my kids. I thought it would be fun for my kids to say they've been pictured with Miss America! How cool is that?

So here we are, 10 years later, sitting at dinner together. As the reigning Miss America, she traveled to 3-4 different cities every week and it was terribly lonely to be on the road. Now she still travels extensively, speaking about diabetes issues.

I admire her passion and determination to live to the fullest, even with Type 1 diabetes. She is constantly monitoring her blood sugar and caring for her body in ways that most people don't ever have to think of. In the future, I'll be interviewing Nicole about diabetes and pregnancy, because she did have a healthy baby girl 2 1/2 years ago, even though it wasn't recommended medically for her to ever have children.

Diabetes is a terrible disease and one you want to avoid if at all possible. It's been known as the silent killer. Nicole is so grateful that with advances in medicine, she has been able to live productively these past 15 years with diabetes. Cases of Type 2 diabetes (not the kind Nicole has) are preventable with healthy eating and exercise. So take care not to become overweight. You and your kids will be glad you did!

"I will redeem them from death." Hosea 13:14

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Make the call

While it's fresh on my mind and heavy on my heart today I want to talk to you about some serious issues.  I am quite sure there are three types of people concerning postpartum depression: those of you who think it's nonsense (that was me twenty years ago), those of you who have friends or family who have gone through it but you haven't, and those of you who have suffered it's nastiness.  I've discovered that most women suffer in silence and never seek help.  Eventually most cases of PPD will run their course over time, like 12-18 months.  Why on earth wouldn't you want the best quality of life while your baby is brand new?  I urge you to get help or get help for your friends/ family.  Make the call.  Start with who you feel comfortable with.  If you find yourself surrounded by people who don't believe PPD, surround yourself with those who know better.  It's a real, treatable disease.  Find someone you trust to help you get started on the healing process.  Maybe it's your pediatrician, obstetrician, family practice doctor.  Call your pastor, he'll have resources, too.  Call someone professional.  They are qualified to help you and point you in the direction of more help if you need it.  If any of these symptoms resonate with you, please make the call.

*crying A LOT
*feeling inadequate/ overwhelmed
*fear of being alone with the baby
*poor eating habits
*lack of interest in usual activities
*lack of interest in friends
*lack of interest in sex
*suicidal thinking
*intrusive/ disturbing thoughts
*obsessive-compulsive behaviors
*poor concentration/ memory
*feeling numb
*thinking about hurting your baby

If you are feeling any of these things for more than a couple weeks, please call someone for help.  There is help and someone will take you seriously.  Advocate for your health; most likely, no one else will.  If you won't do it for yourself, consider doing it for your family.  After you've called a professional, please call on the true Healer.  Tell  your heavenly Father that you are hurting.  He is the best refuge available to you.  

Be lifted-

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Psalm 36:7
How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Monday, September 15, 2008


One of my favorite discoveries as a mom has been the crock pot! Today I have fresh carrots, potatoes, and a roast cooking in mine! I usually coat the bottom with a little olive oil, and then layer the veggies, with the meat on top. My roast is sprinkled with garlic powder and then I threw in a can of cream of mushroom soup. You don't have to do cream of mushroom soup, of course (Back-pedaling as I am now wondering what Arlene will think about that!). My mom cooked hers in apple juice! :)

It is hard to get everything right and get it all done when you are a new mom with little ones underfoot. The days that I can get supper accounted for and in the crock pot are days when there is a bit of a bounce to my step!

Here are some really easy things to do with chicken.

Start with boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (a less expensive option would be thighs--they're just as good. Be sure to take the skin off!)

  • Mexican chicken. Add a jar of your favorite salsa.
  • Italian chicken. Add a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce.
  • Orange chicken. Combine orange marmelade, BBQ sauce, and a dash of soy sauce. (Sorry I don't have exact measurements here, but I really don't think you can go wrong. If you like it sweeter, go heavy on the marmelade. If you like it more BBQ-y, do equal parts.)

Cook on Lo for 8 hours or Med for 4-6.

I'm all for doing things as easy as possible. What good is a good meal if you are exhausted and cranky when it is time to sit down and eat it?

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.
(Proverbs 21:19)

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Attack of the Fudge Marshmellows!

I was shopping in the 99 cent store with my kids and when I walked down the cookie aisle, the fudge marshmellow cookies ambushed me! Before I knew it, I had thrown the bag in the cart. When I got home, I put the kids down for their naps and tore open my bag of cookies.

First one. Then two. Before the afternoon was over, I had eaten 6! With that one cheat, I had eaten 480 calories - yipes! But of course, I'm pregnant so I'm allowed such indulgences, right?

Well, probably yes and no. Yes, pregnant ladies can be pampered, but I know for a fact that my growing baby doesn't need the nutrients of fudge or marshmellow!

You know as well as I do...those cookies didn't ambush me. When I was in the car on the way to the 99 cent store, I was already thinking about one item I could buy to satisfy my craving for sweets. After all, it's just a dollar! The choices we make with our food our often pre-meditated. So I guess I need to meditate on more strawberries and salads for the sake of my growing baby.
What are you thinking about snacking on today? Make a conscious decision to buy healthy foods before you step into the grocery store to avoid being ambushed!

"You will show me the path of life." Psalm 16:11

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

100 Huntley Street!!

I am so thrilled to share with you my interview on 100 Huntley Street from Toronto!  This was from Friday, Sept. 5th.  And yes, I'm finally ready to start blogging on here about my experience with postpartum depression... 

Be lifted!

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Monday, September 8, 2008


Hey Everybody,

Sooo--how do we look? We love our new design and hope you do to! But what if you don't? Well, we'll survive, of course!

But have you ever imagined how desperately your children need your approval? For little ones, we are the standard. If Mom likes it, it must be good. If Mom doesn't like it, it must not be good. Does your child know today that she has your complete approval?

WORDS. Use your words today to affirm your child. Shore her up with words that encourage and uplift. Try these: I love you! You growing big and strong! Jesus loves you! God made you so very special! I'm glad God sent you to our family! I'm so proud to be your mom!

LOOKS. How do you look at your child? Do your eyes and your expressions convey your love? Let them! Sometimes we moms get so busy we don't stop to enjoy just looking at our kids, just enjoying their age and funny, adorable things they do! They notice when we give them our looks of love!

AFFECTION. Some moms may find they come up short in this department. It's not that you don't love your child, it's just that you weren't brought up to be affectionate. Ask God to help you be liberal in your open displays of love for your child! Hugs, kisses, cuddles--these are moments both you and your child will cherish! Your lavish affection for your child will do some unseen work in his heart and mind: It gives him security and peace.

What are some ways you express your approval for your child?

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Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm Going to be a New Mom Again!

That's my daughter and she's going to be a big sister! Her big brother (4 years old) wants TWINS, a boy and a girl. I have reminded him gently that we don't have twins in our family so it's very unlikely. So I sincerely hope the Lord doesn't perform a miracle to answer his prayers! HA!

So I'm happy to join Totally New Moms in a totally new way. I will be having a baby next year and will be right there with you. I see the doctor next week, so I'll keep you posted. Projected due date is tax time: April 15th.

My husband and I are thrilled about having another baby. God is so good. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was so happy and then a moment later, I was panicked! How will I write and do my podcast and hopefully publish a book in the future with a new baby? How will I start homeschooling next year with a new baby? How will get the picture! But you know, it's not about "how will I..." but about "how will God..." What He delivers, He provides for!

"Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a
reward." Psalm 127:3


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Listening skills

Labor Day weekend we had family come visit for our son's third birthday.  We went to Chuck E. Cheese, out for ice cream and karaoke (seriously, coolest place in town), and to the park.  It was a fun-filled weekend for a toddler.  I was struggling, through all the excitement, to get my son to obey me.  It was time to use the potty chair and he was too engrossed in his new toys to come with me.  I told him I  was frustrated because he wasn't listening and obeying me.  He said to me, "But Mommy, I listened good last week!"  Oh how I laughed!  

Don't we do the same thing in our lives?  We're inconsistent with our kids--admit it sometimes you are!  We can be inconsistent in our relationships--with God and people.  Okay, is it just me? We can be inconsistent in taking care of ourselves.  The list could go on awhile for some of us.  I struggle with consistency!!  My prayer for myself is to be more consistent so my kids will be more consistent.  I want to listen good this week to God!  And next week and so on.  I want to listen and obey.  For there's no other way...oh, that's another hymn, but you get the point.  When God speaks, we better be ready to listen and obey.  

Are there any areas of your life in which you listened good last week?  Are you too engrossed in your new toys to hear Him?  I know I have been before.  What else is keeping you from listening?  Ask God to give you listening ears and an obedient heart.  He'll give them to you!  Then ask him to help your little ones to obey you because that pleases God.  He'll give you patience and help your little ones in the process.  

Be lifted!


Deuteronomy 5:27
Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says.  Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you.  We will listen and obey.

Ephesians 6:1
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 

Monday, September 1, 2008