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

post signature

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!  

post signature

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!

post signature

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!

post signature

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

post signature

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.

post signature

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.

post signature

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

post signature

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! 

post signature

Isaiah 7:14

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