Thursday, June 28, 2012


Thanks so much for all of the prayers for our city. Today was a better day of fire containment than others, and it seems as though the fire fighting team is getting a good handle on the situation. Unfortunately, our neighborhood was put on pre-evacuation status...meaning that we must be prepared with belongings and cars packed to evacuate at a moment's notice. Because we didn't want to panic if that call came in the middle of the night, we decided to calmly gather our precious things, pack the cars, and leave last night.

We are now staying with family in Kansas. Even though the fire wasn't super close to us, the smoke and ash in the air were really bothersome at times. There are literally no hotel rooms available due to the sheer number of evacuated people, so we just kept driving until we found someone who would take us in...haha! Actually, many people offered their home to us, and we are extremely grateful and truly amazed at the kindness that has been shown.

The Lord has taught me a lot over the past few days, and I am planning to gather my thoughts and do a lot of writing next week, as we wait out the fire in Kansas. As always, thank you for reading, and thank you for giving me the time and the grace to get through these few stressful days. My husband flies out tomorrow to continue his interrupted business trip, and my son and I will have a nice time relaxing at the parents' house! Much love to all of you, and remember to always feel blessed, no matter the circumstances! We have an incredible God who has complete control over the situation...burned city or not, He has kept my family together and happy. Be blessed, mommies!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Please Pray for Our City

Hi is with a very sad heart that I ask for prayer for the people of Colorado Springs, those elected to be in charge, and the many fire fighters working to prevent the Waldo Canyon Fire from causing anymore catastrophic damage. Many of you have probably seen on the news how this fire has grown from 100 acres to 15,000 acres in four days. Much of the NW section of Colorado Springs has been burned, including many houses, businesses, and historical places. While evacuation orders have not been issued for our neighborhood, I have a feeling (maybe it's mommy intuition) that it may only be a matter of time.

We know our God is bigger than any disaster that can seemingly overwhelm us. This fire does not surprise Him, and He is not sitting back wandering what to do. He has a perfect plan, and I am fully confident that all of this will be to His glory one day. Still, He asks us to come to Him in our time of need, and this is that time for the people of this region.

On a personal note, please pray that I may keep calm and spiritually sound in order to set a good example for our son. We all know too well how our children watch us more than they listen to us. In times of panic, I think it's easy to get caught up in the craziness and forget that we are their whole world. Thank you for your prayers :-)

I want to conclude the post today with this song by Chris Tomlin. Let it be the new anthem for Colorado Springs!

Given the circumstances, I can't promise daily posts. But, be sure to keep checking back. Be blessed, mommies!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back on Track

And, we're back! After a challenging weekend of fevers, a garage sale, a quick stop home for my hubs, fear over a massive wild fire, and another cold for my little guy, I'm back in action! Today's SAHM joy is...
While SAHM's are extremely busy, I love having the flexibility to get projects done. If you structure it strategically, you can truly get a lot more done while being a SAHM than working outside the home and parenting simultaneously. I'm currently turning our office in to a playroom/craftroom (pictures coming soon!), and I love allowing my creative juices to flow during morning nap, when I'm at my best, than at night when I'm exhausted from the day. Just a little perk, but I'll take it!

If you're like me, a daily quiet time with the Lord is put on the back burner when crazy life happens. If my little man is up six times throughout the night, it's much harder to be disciplined and wake up early for some personal time. If my hubby is only home for three nights, I'd honestly rather lay in bed and talk with him instead of going off by myself. This one is pretty pathetic, but we've been out of coffee for three days. I keep meaning to go to the store, and then it just doesn't happen. There's another reason I feel unmotivated to start my day a little early.

After not having a quiet time with the Lord since last Wednesday morning, God gently showed me that I am not at my best when I don't make time for Him. I was markedly cranky with my husband and my son, I didn't make wise food choices, I had a lot of fear and anxiety over issues beyond my control, and I felt generally overwhelmed and tired when I looked at my situation. And at the very least, I felt uninspired to write.

I know I've shared this scripture before, but I felt it clearly on my mind throughout the weekend. Isaiah 40:28-31 

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired and weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

According to this infallible Word, if we take time to focus on the Lord, He will give us strength, increase our power, renew us, allow us to run and to walk through life, all without growing tired. Those sound like great promises to me! Especially for moms.

Learn from my week-long mistake, and make sure to take the time you need to receive refreshment from Him. As I conclude this entry, I already feel better! Be blessed today, mommies!

MMSM #29

If your family or your husband is on a bi-weekly pay schedule, you will get two "extra" paychecks per year. June happens to be one of those months. It is so easy for the extra money to be combined with whatever else is in your account, and you feel like you have a more comfortable cushion. I challenge each of you to deliberately set that money aside, either into savings, debt payoff, or in a plan for something fun. You have to be diligent about this, otherwise it gets lost in the shuffle!

Tip #17

My son is in a huge growth spurt...not only outgrowing clothes, but toys and activities, too. In an early MMSM, I mentioned using diaper boxes to pack away clothes and label them as you go. This way, for the next little one, you can easily grab what you need when you need it from the basement. For larger items that don't fit in boxes (bouncy chairs, play mats, car seats), I've found that putting them in trash bags to protect from dust and bugs, and then tying a garage sale tag around the top labeling what the item is, works great! Make a designated "baby section" in your basement or storage area, and you are a well-organized momma for baby#2!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Joys of a Sick Kiddo

Happy Friday! Aren't children amazing?! God has designed our bodies, especially healthy kid bodies, so intricately, it astounds me. Psalm 139:13 says,

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

While a bad fever may seem scary, and it is, it's actually God's design of our miraculous bodies fighting off germs that shouldn't be there. I had to keep reminding myself of this as I was cooling down my son in a bath, pouring smoothies down his throat, flip-flopping Tylenol and ibuprofen, and laying cold wash cloths across his head. When I got nervous and worried, I really tried to remember the way our bodies fight. Thank God that our children can get fevers, right?

And, thank God that they bounce back so quickly. My little tornado has been up and going since 6:30 this morning, leaving a trail of debris behind him, and now he's down for a morning nap. While I'm not feeling my finest, it sure helps to know that he is on the way back to his crazy self :-)

My SAHM joy for today is lengthy, but very appropriate!
As I was drinking my coffee in a haze yesterday morning, I was talking to a friend on the phone. She said something to the effect of, isn't it great you can sit there and have coffee while Caleb is resting? A lot of moms are scrambling around in a sleepy stupor trying to get ready for work. She was so right! And, she gave me the inspiration for my post today. Though it is often 24/7 work when our children are sick, at least we have some luxuries to enjoy during this hard time. Have I lost it from lack of sleep? You decide! Here are ten things to find joy in when you have a sick munchkin, and you are a SAHM:
  1. No need to freak about emergency child are the child care!
  2. No need to frantically get to work while sleep deprived...your child is your work!
  3. Typically, children sleep more when they are can also take a nap!
  4. Usually, they don't want to play as aren't chasing a Tasmanian devil around the house!
  5. You can check on them as often as you want...even if it's every 10 minutes!
  6. When you're home, your mommy-alarm bells are more likely to go off sooner rather than later...meaning? You aren't depending on someone else for an assessment of your child's sickness.
  7. You get to wash all of those things that never get washed...due to bodily fluids and germs!
  8. You get to experiment with smoothie concoctions to bring down a fever...and they are yummy!
  9. You know your baby feels the most comfortable when you are there.
  10. And finally...sick babies love to be cuddled.
Now, please don't think I'm a crazy person who wishes sickness on my son. Quite the opposite. My heart broke for him for two nights and a day, but if I didn't find some calm in the whole thing, I would have been (unnecessarily) first in line at the E.R. begging them to fix my child. I prayed for the Lord to keep me calm but alert to my son. To do everything he needed, but not to overreact and make the situation worse. Because He is faithful, we made it through our first bad sickness bout with flying colors, or so I like to think :-)

As we go into the weekend, I pray health over each of you and your families. As always, thank you for reading, and I'm looking forward to a variety of new topics to discuss next week. In the mean time, enjoy this funny Friday picture. I sure do love those solo Target trips. Be blessed, mommies!

MMSM #28

Don't have the extra funds to support a gym membership? Remember to ask if you can swap childcare for a free/discounted membership! If that's not an option, start a stroller brigade! Plan one day per week (or a few days), a time, and a place for you and other mommies to get together and walk or jog with your little ones in tow. Make it a standing appointment, and invite lots of others mommies to join. It turns into great social time for you, good exercise to look forward to, and it's a free way to get your kiddos out to the great outdoors! Happy strollering :-)...yes, I made up that word.

Tip #16

Because I'm in garage sale mode for this weekend, I have another tip. If you're like me, you HATE rummaging through knotted up necklaces trying to find a fun piece of jewelry at sales. While I love a good deal on cute things, I hate sorting through unorganized messes. Try this tip! If you're selling jewelry at a garage sale, put each piece in it's own snack bag (a Ziploc bag this is about half the size of a regular bag). It makes things look nicer, they won't get tangled, and hopefully, people will acknowledge the effort you put towards organization with a purchase!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sick Kiddo...

Due to a sick baby, I have a serious lack of sleep and a serious lack of insight. I'm hoping to return tomorrow with a new post, new MMSM, and a new Organizational Tip. Be blessed today!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Let's Choose to Do

Thanks for reading! Today's SAHM joy is...
I love the opportunity to build routines as I stay at home with my son. Like his mommy, my guy loves his routines (praise God!), but they have to evolve with him. When the majority of our days are not filled with planned adventures, I am able to see what he needs, adjust our schedule, and watch to see how he is handling it. I'm thankful for the time I have to really get to know my guy.

As I completed another week of my healthy eating journey, I was pleased to see that I am down another pound of Caleb fluff (as I lovingly refer to my extra padding...)! While this was a great accomplishment, I think my initial excitement for my new eating plan is starting to wane. I love that this study is based on losing weight with the Lord, not just by yourself. I definitely need Him to keep encouraging me! Again, I highly recommend Lysa TerKeurst's book and study. It's under the Recommended Links on my home page.

As I was praying through this week and reading scripture, I came across one that brought up an interesting thought...not just with healthy living but with living as Christ-followers in general. 1 Peter 2:9-12 says:

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us."

As I read this and clearly understand what the Lord is asking of us in these words, I it easier to not do things we shouldn't do than to do things we know we should do? That is a little wordy, but basically, I know that I shouldn't murder, steal, worship idols, use the Lord's name in vane, be unfaithful to my husband, etc...all of the good Christian rules. But, do I put an equal amount of importance on doing things He commands us to do? Love others as I love myself, serve others, worship Him morning, noon, and night, say NO to sinful desires, and care for my body as His holy temple on this earth...among other things.

You see, I had a shocking revelation. When it says "live such good lives among the pagans (that is, non-Christ followers) that...they may see your good deeds and glorify God...", I felt like God was saying that it isn't just what I don't do, but ultimately it's what I do do on a daily basis that sets an example of what it means to be changed by the love of Christ. That is a big responsibility!

As the primary care-givers for our children, SAHM have a scriptural obligation to set a Christ-like example for our children, in all areas. That's a bit sobering, huh? Thank the Lord for grace that He lovingly hands out on a daily basis! While today, my big thought is to set a Godly example of living in a healthy way for my family, for you it may be another area that needs some attention. Perhaps God has gently laid on your heart that you need to set a better example in how you communicate with your husband, maybe it's how you treat strangers out in public, maybe it's harnessing that road rage, maybe it's saying no to things that are not spiritually edifying and instead, turning your attention with your extra time to things that build up His kingdom.

We all have areas where we need to choose to do the right thing to exemplify Christ. As I said earlier, I think  it's often easier to not do the things we know aren't permissible. Let's agree together to focus on one area where our action (not an area of inaction) will set a Christ-like example for our children, specifically. Ask the Lord for His help, and He is sure to meet you there. Be blessed, mommies!

MMSM #27

Have a birthday party or event coming up? These days, invitations can be expensive and you usually only get eight per package. Why not make your own? Hit up Hobby Lobby when their scrapbook supplies are 40% off. I recommend solid colored paper, designed paper of your choice, an inexpensive paper cutter, sticky mounting squares, and a little creativity! We are throwing a "bouncy ball" party for my son, so I chose primary colored paper and polka dot designed paper. It took a few minutes per invitation, but it's well worth the saved money! Not particularly the crafty type? Offer to watch your scrapbooking-savvy friend's kids while she makes invitations for you!

Tip #15

Yesterday, a friend/blog reader, asked me for suggestions for the crawling stage. As for me, I am totally looking forward to the walking's amazing what my child will find in the abyss of my home and put in his mouth while crawling! Here is what is working for us. I have completely baby-proofed several rooms in our home. Honestly, I've found it impossible to baby-proof your whole house. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so our TV room/kitchen is baby-proofed, his room is good, and our playroom/craftroom is safe. Pick the rooms where you spend the most time, fix them up, then give Baby free reign! Baby gates are a staple in our house (although he started to crawl up one yesterday...), and if he's not in a "safe" room, I put him in his walker or make sure my eyes are glued to him.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reinventing Ourselves

Hello! Today's SAHM joy is a success in discipline...
Since my son has learned to pull himself up on everything, the edge of the bath tub is no exception. Naturally, I see this as a danger. I estimate we have had the constant climbing on the side of the tub followed by a firm "no, we sit" from me no less than 10 to 15 baths. Yesterday, during bath time, he went to do it immediately upon entering the tub, and I followed with my record-player response. What do you know?!? He turned, looked at me, and sat down!!! He kept trying it and each time I gave my direction, he kept following it! Has this taken care of all naughty behavior? That would be a big, NO! But, it's the little steps that encourage me and teach my son!

Awhile back, during a MOPS group, I was discussing the new-found career of the SAHM with a friend. She said something that I will never forget. After doing the corporate job for many years, she decided to stay at home with her two children. She learned quickly that she had to "re-invent" herself. I could not agree more.

Being an elementary teacher, I was fortunate to slide into my new career with more ease than difficulty. I finished out the school year at 31 weeks pregnant, had two months to prepare for my son's arrival (and rest!), then we welcomed him at the end of July. The summer felt normal to me, as I had taught for five years. For women who work until they deliver, and then they decide to not return to the office but instead stay at home with their precious one, that is a wonderful change. It is also a big enough change to give you whip lash!

Every family will have their own bumps and bruises as everyone adjusts to Mom being the full-time house and home manager, but I have found the most important thing is to not rush this new chapter. Let it unfold as naturally as you can. At first, I simply was getting used to a baby! Then, I was getting used to finding ways to stay my same "busybody" self, but to integrate my son into my life. Next, I realized that everything ran more smoothly if I just went with his schedule...I was merely a guest at the Caleb show. After four or five months, I realized that I was getting the hang of the SAHM thing. I felt confident that I was adequately taking care of and playing with my son, while keeping up with the house, and nurturing relationships for me, my son, and my husband. This glove fit. It felt great! Now what...

I then went through a phase of, "is this all there is?" I can't simply be 100% Mom and Wife for the rest of my life. I started to freak out, I thought about going back to teaching, and I got scared that we made the wrong decision. Here is where the Lord gently led my mind and spirit...

I felt Him say that I am still the same Kindra that I was before I had my son and before I decided to be a SAHM. I have the same gifts and talents. I have the same goals and desires. And, I truly do want to follow God's will for my life. But now, I needed to lean on Him to figure out how to use all of that while serving my son and husband full-time.

During my teaching career, I prided myself on an organized and color-coordinated classroom. Now, I apply that to our home and to my son's clothes, toys, and activities. Necessary? No. Part of who I am? Yes. My husband and I have learned and put many financial stewardship methods into practice. Little did I know how much I can apply those methods to staying at home (and then them sharing with you!). I absolutely loved the social interaction with the staff at my school. I now make it a priority for my son AND for me to have lots of social interactions throughout the week with lots of different people. Clearly, from my career choice, I enjoyed teaching. I naturally like teaching my son all sorts of things, and I love how his amazing ability to learn keeps me on my toes! Here is another thing...

I never, ever thought I would write. The thought never crossed my mind, it was never a passion in school, and I would say I am only an occasional reader. I feel like the Lord specifically prepared me to being writing spiritually encouraging words to other women, especially other moms. I consider this blog to be His encouragement through my words. I hope you know how encouraging it is to me, spiritually, to sit down and take the time to pray about my topics, find scripture, and then ask God to give me the right words to express what I have learned to others. This is a perfect example of God taking who I already was and helping me re-invent myself for a new stage in life.

While I often write about my son and husband, this actually has little to do with them! This is mine. This is something I look forward to as a "Kindra" thing. And, I think that is necessary for us to have as moms. I don't think God envisions us to focus 100% on anything that isn't Him. That includes our husband and our children. He designed each of us with a myriad of gifts and talents that He can mold to use in different ways all throughout our lives. I love that about Him. I encourage each woman reading this, especially if you're feeling bogged down by the monotony of SAHMommyness, to pray and ask our heavenly Father how you can use the gifts and talents that you have in a way to glorify Him? Maybe even something that's just for you! 

Jess Brown did it! The topic of this entire post was inspired while I was mindlessly listening to the Today Show in the background yesterday morning. Check out this story!

Jess Brown, a California mom, started stitching good old-fashioned rag dolls. Now, her craft has turned into a money-maker. Ad exec Donny Deutsch talks about how she turned her dreams into reality:

Now, I'm not saying that every hobby you choose to pursue will bring in money. Could it? Absolutely! Wouldn't our husbands be oh so grateful for that! I have no idea where this blog may lead. I've had thoughts about writing a devotional book for SAHM's or writing a money-tips book with my husband for young families. Ultimately, I'll leave this journey up to the Lord. But, I do know that when I write, I feel like I'm operating in a place that He has called me to. I pray that each of you might find that place for yourself. Yes, we are moms. Yes, many of us are wives. But ultimately, we are a daughter of Christ blessed with amazing gifts and talents. Ask him how to use yours. Be blessed, mommies!

MMSM #26

Have you noticed how expensive fast food has become lately? We have started to take full advantage of the dollar menu! I used a picture from Arby's, but all of the chain fast food restaurants have one. Unless you have a coupon for a meal (and do make sure it's a better deal than purchasing a la carte), we use the value menu. You typically can get a sandwich of some sort, a side, and drink for $3. Yes, it's a smaller portion, but who needs all of those extra calories. Also, think about splitting with your husband. Again, calories saved and you can act out Lady and the Tramp together :-) Second tip for today...check your local sit-down restaurants for kids nights! Many chain restaurants have a night where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. If you have a large brood, this can save some serious moolah! Happy eating!

Tip #14

Because I had our son via c-section, I had a hard time managing the stairs for a couple of weeks after he was born. We decided to put a pack 'n' play in the downstairs living room to be used as a changing table, since his nursery is upstairs. Then, I decided to use it as a store-all to keep baby things away from the dogs. It's purpose has morphed along with my growing son, and it is now the changing table/books and toys to keep baby occupied as I pack the diaper bag/out-the-door items (shoes, hats, jackets, blankets, burp cloths, etc.). This way, other than toys, his items are all in one place, and I'm not constantly running up and down the stairs as we're trying to get out the door. By the way, we picked this one up for $50 at a consignment sale!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fellow SAHMommies

Welcome back! Today's SAHM joy is...
Because my husband travels frequently, I found that I was alone a lot before we had our son. Though I worked during the day, I would come home to an empty house hearing every thud and bump in the night as I kept the TV on for comfort. Now, being a SAHM, I love that I always have a buddy in the house. Yes, there are times where I crave some solo rejuvenation time, but mostly I love having his presence with me as we do our daily lives. For that, I am grateful!

While doing my homework for my weight loss book (see the link Lysa TerKeurst link on my home page), I came across an amazing passage that she used as a reason to have an accountability partner when you are trying to accomplish weight loss. Simply put, an accountability partner is someone who helps keep you on track to the prize, no matter what happens along the way. They love you unconditionally, but they also love pointing you back towards your goal. I think that having an accountability partner for any subject you are trying to improve is a fantastic tool. Maybe it's also weight loss for you, maybe it's financial health, maybe it's quiet times with the Lord, maybe it's getting to church every Sunday. Whatever your goal is to better your life in God's eyes, tell it to your spouse, a parent, or a friend. Knowing that someone else is keenly aware of your goal will make you want it more. Check out this passage...

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, her friend can help her up. But pity the woman who falls and has no one to help her up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

When I read this, I immediately thought of SAHMommyhood. There is no denying that this is a hard job even on the best day. To do it completely by yourself? Nearly impossible, in my experience. We need each other. We need other women who are in the same phase of life that we are in, and who are choosing to stay at home with their young child/children. Our God is a beautifully relational God. As His most precious design, we are also meant to be relational. I love knowing other mommies who I can bounce ideas off of and who can come to me for advice on a myriad of topics. I feel that an essential part of learning to do this life and learning to love this life is to bring other SAHM with you on your journey. 

In an earlier post, I mentioned that, to my shock, not everyone was supportive of my decision to leave my education career and stay at home. If you aren't totally confident in your choice to begin with, any negative comments can wreak havoc on the shred of peace you cling to. Make it a point to surround yourself with SAHM you know who love their life and appear to have found a way to make it work for them and their families. Think about your church, your neighborhood, your older children's school. See if there is a MOPS group that meets in your area. Pray for a divine act to bring spiritually positive SAHM into your life. He is so faithful to always give us what we need.

Before I conclude, notice the last sentence of the above passage. If He was just talking about two friends through the passage, where does "a cord of three" come from? I've found that any friendship, fellow SAHM or otherwise, that includes the Lord is one that is blessed. He isn't just for church on Sunday mornings. He is for all the time! Do know that my friends and I don't study scripture or pray together all the time. Most of the time, we just have great girl time and conversation as we do life together. But knowing that we have the common bond of Jesus Christ as our Savior brings a sweetness to the friendship that can't be found elsewhere. Make it a point to have some of these women in your life...especially during this time of SAHMommyhood :-)

I am going to start including the daily MMSM and Organizational Tip. I'm always looking for ways to run this site more efficiently and to save you time!!! Be blessed!

MMSM #25

Today's tip is actually a coupon tip that I forgot to include in my couponing will be added shortly. Once your chosen store sees that you are in the habit of couponing, Catalina coupons will start printing out at the register when you get your receipt. My understanding is that they electronically track your most common purchases and award coupons (for free!) based on your history. Often times, you'll get $5 off your next grocery purchase based on how many cereals you bought, etc. Be sure to watch the expiration dates! They expire sooner than others.

Tip #13

If you make your own baby food, don't buy a bunch of those expensive plastic containers for storing your food. Simply, buy as many pre-made food jars as you think you will use. Feed that to your baby (don't worry, it won't kill them!), and then wash and sanitize the jars and lids. Because it's easier to make baby food in big batches, I freeze a lot. Dry-erase markers have become my best friend. They adhere really well to the aluminum lids, and they wipe off easily. That way, you can re-use the jars again and again!
This is veggie casserole. I've heard and found to be true that baby food will keep for a month in the freezer. Happy food-making!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just a Note!

Hi ladies...when I allowed ads to show on my blog, it said that I could control what was advertised. I'm still trying to understand and play with program, and in the mean time, there are advertisements that I do not condone. Anything having to do with psychics, ungodly meditation, or financing (loans) of any kind are against what I stand for and discuss on this site. Please know that if an ad seems questionable to you in relation to my blog topics, you can assume that I don't approve of the ad, and I'm trying to figure out how to get it removed. Thanks for your patience!

Encouragement for Today

"He Said" by Group 1 Crew, featuring Chris August

Friday, June 15, 2012

Days Filled with Poo

Let's face it. There are some days when we feel like we have absolutely no idea what we're doing. We feel inadequate, unprepared, and unqualified for the SAHM job. If you let yourself go there, it's a bit overwhelming to think that God has chosen you and put you in charge of raising little lives for eternity...that's no small feat! But because He is a humorous God, I'm convinced He puts little funnies along the way to remind us to not take everything so seriously. For instance, yesterday my friend's son decided to take his diaper off during nap time and then proceed to poo all over himself and his crib. If/when that happens at my house, I doubt the first thing I think of will be thankfulness to God for allowing me to mold this spirit for eternity. The first thing I'll think of is...that is absolutely disgusting, and I need to run down the street screaming while leaving this for my husband to clean up!

On those days where it seems less about eternal teaching and more about poo in the crib, remember that we can always turn to Him for guidance on what to do in a situation, any situation. He is ready and waiting to help us with whatever we need, even how to go about cleaning poo situations. Just ask! In my experience, He will impress certain thoughts upon my heart and my mind, even about things that seem menial to me but are causing me stress!

In the mean time, you can have a laugh with Him over your current phase of life. I bet your husband doesn't encounter that type of mess on a daily basis! Carry this verse with you today...

"His diving power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3 (emphasis added)

And share this with another SAHM for a good laugh!

Be sure to check for today's MMSM and Organizational Tip. Be blessed, mommies!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What does He Want to Say?

Welcome back! Today, my SAHM joy is...
Those mornings where you just need a bit more time to wake up and get going...often times, God is faithful in letting your little ones sleep a bit longer! He loves us so much, and He knows what we need before we even ask. This morning, I thank Him that my son is still fast asleep, and I get a few extra minutes to start my day. Again, the flexibility that comes with staying at home is priceless!

I have a very simple, yet poignant verse to share with you all today. Let the Lord lead you where you need to go with it today. As I was reading in Hebrews this morning, this scripture jumped out at me:

"...Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." Hebrews 4:7

Perhaps, we all need to look expectantly towards hearing Him today. Maybe He wants to guide us in a major life decision, maybe He wants to lovingly correct us in an area where we have not been faithful, maybe He wants to encourage us in the fact that we are doing the best we can with our marriage, maybe He wants to instill new joy and appreciation in us for each of our children, maybe He wants to enlighten us in a major way to His Word. There are no parameters that we can put on Him and what He wants to teach us daily. We just have to be willing to listen, and to embrace what He has to tell us. Let's agree to not harden our hearts today. He has amazing things to reveal to each of us!

Be sure to check today's MMSM and Organizational Tip! Be blessed today :-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Other Gods

Good morning! Today, my SAHM joy is...
While shopping for my son's first birthday invitation supplies yesterday, I had some fantastic "teachable moments," as I now refer to them. Screaming for fun in a quiet store has now become his entertainment of choice. This continued as we met a friend for dinner after our shopping trip. I'm learning that there is a fine line between letting him explore and molding correct behavior. While I didn't feel successful as we finally made our way home, I did learn that he somewhat responds to direct eye-contact with a firm "no", albeit momentarily. I won't give up! We'll keep going places, and I will keep trying new methods during these, many, "teachable moments." 

Last week, in a post title Choosing to Act, I encouraged each of us to make a plan in one area of our lives where we would be a willing participant in a life change with the Lord. I chose to join a small group studying Lysa TerKeurst's book Made to Crave. Check my recommended links in the right sidebar for more information on this book. Though doubling up some days while skipping others, I've faithfully done my homework and made a conscious decision to pray every time I wanted to eat this week, and I've started to figure out why I eat for reasons other than hunger. It turned out to be a really good thing! While not following any diet specifically, and putting prayer ahead of eating, I lost 3.5 pounds this week! That will put a skip in my step today :-)

I am fully aware that not everyone's earthly idol is food. But, because we have all sinned and fall short of His glory, we each have at least one thing that we struggle with. I had to be very honest with myself that I was putting unhealthy food choices ahead of my desire to take care of His temple. Am I healed yet? Certainly not. But, the awareness that He has placed in me this week is undeniable. Has he placed an awareness about something in you this week? Maybe an idol you struggle with is money. Maybe your idol is affirmation in the work place. Maybe your idol is alcohol or drugs. Maybe your idol is attention from men other than your husband. We all have one, ladies. There's no use wallowing in it. He has shown me that the first step is to admit it to Him and allow Him full access to clean up the mess I have created. He is very clear about His thoughts on objects, desires, or activities that we put above Him...

"You shall have no other gods before me." Deuteronomy 5:7

Period. There is no disclaimer for sausage and cheese biscuits from McDonald's (seriously, do they put the most addictive form of crack in those?!), there is no disclaimer for high-paying jobs to collect more things at the expense of staying home with children, there is no disclaimer saying that a little bit of unfaithfulness is permissible ahead of His commands, and there is no disclaimer of _______________. You choose. I have read this scripture time and time again through my life, but it really hit home with me this week. I pray that you also will be convicted as a wife, mother, and daughter of Christ by these words today. Let's allow God to go into the places that we hold the most dear, other than Him, and see what He can create out if it that glorifies Him. I'm excited to do this journey with any willing participants!

On another note, I'm praying about the direction to go with this blog. The MMSM seem very popular, and I have received sweet and encouraging feedback on the daily scripture posts. I admit that I can be long-winded sometimes, and let's be honest, tons of extra time isn't a luxury for mommies. I am going to attempt to be more concise in my thoughts and pray that God will direct my words quickly to the point! I also feel that sometimes it can get a bit heavy, and we need some goof and laughter in our lives! I'm thinking Funny Fridays! I also may focus on health one day of the week. Clearly, God is really convicting me in this area to be an example for my family. I may bring my Godly health education to the blog! I'm so new to this, so it really is a work in progress. Thank you for being willing to stick with me. Comments have been very encouraging and uplifting. I never want to stop providing those two things to you. Be blessed today :-)

Be sure to check today's MMSM and Organizational Tip!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bearing Fruit

Good morning! Today, my SAHM joy is...
I love to take my son with me on errands. Well, I don't really have a choice, but I'm learning how to make it fun! At this age, he is so observant, interested, and playful. He likes to learn new things all the time. Yesterday, in a gift shop, I let him smell sachets and candles...he thought that was the funniest thing ever! I enjoy making teachable and playful moments out of everyday tasks with him. Priceless!

I want to start with a passage today that I read this morning during my quiet time, John 15:1-17. At first, I didn't really know what the Lord wanted me to get out of it, but then I thought about it for awhile. I think it is very applicable to us as daughters of Him and as mothers of our children.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:1-4

In this passage, Jesus talks about cutting off unfruitful branches and pruning ones that do bear fruit. In relation to our lives, if we allow Him to work in us, He must remove parts of us that do not bear fruit. This growing process can be very painful. But next, He says that even those parts of us that do bear fruit, He must prune. Another painful process. While He is a merciful and loving God, He desires to make us whole and complete. Just as a gardener lovingly tends to his plants, and we tend to our growing children, God tends to us. Viewing everything as a learning process and preparation for what lies ahead. I felt that the Lord reminded me that while some "cutting and pruning" may hurt for a short time, the beautiful fruit that will appear is quite worth the discomfort...if we continue to focus on Him.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 5-8

In this next section, Jesus offers a glorious promise. If we remain focused on the Lord, His Word, and His teaching and direction, then He guarantees the bearing of much fruit. Because His Word speaks to each of us differently, maybe this passage gives you hope for future children. The Bible often refers to children as fruit. Maybe today, this passage speaks about fruit as the fruits of the Holy Spirit for you (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). Perhaps He has placed people in your life, namely your husband and children, who need a daily reminder and example of these fruits. Abide in Him, spend time with Him, and He promises to strengthen these character attributes in you as His daughter. Notice that He also gives the promise of remaining in Him and asking whatever you wish. He always knows what's best for us, so sometimes He will deny a request, but I invite you to spend time with Him and ask Him to make His desires, your desires. Then, when you ask for something He has placed on your heart, He can lovingly reward you with it.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: To lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command:  Love each other." 9-17

The final verses of this section focus on love. How many of us need a daily reminder that we are loved and that we need to show love to one another? Some days are harder than others. But Jesus is gently reminding us that just as the Father has shown love to Him, he has loved us just the same. He asks us simply to remain in His love. Keep accepting it. Keep wanting it. Then, let Him show you through His Word and prayer how to show that love to others. Maybe you have a child who is difficult to love. In the moments where my son fits that category, I try (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to remember that I am awfully hard to love sometimes. But God, faithful as He is, chooses to continue with me...his project.

Be continually encouraged by the very last part that I have underlined above. He chose each and every one of us. If we have chosen Him as well, then we can look forward to an earthly lifetime and a heavenly eternity learning from Him and growing in Him. If you have not yet chosen Him, look at what He says..."you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit..." He chose each of us for a reason, as unique of a reason as each of us is a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend. Perhaps you were chosen to raise many Godly children. Perhaps you were chosen to teach. Perhaps you were chosen to write. Perhaps you were chosen to preach His Word. Perhaps you were chosen to heal. Perhaps you were chosen to encourage. The only way to identify the fruit He has placed in each of us is to start loving, then to start exploring with Him. He is faithful to reveal His mysteries to those who love him. 

I hope these words are an encouragement to women everywhere today. I do this to not only help others, but to also help me. Thank you for joining me on this spiritual journey of leaning on Him during mommyhood. Don't forget to check the other tabs on the home page for helpful tips today. Be blessed, mommies!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Lack of Sunshine and Rainbows...

Welcome to another week of SAHMommyhood :-) My joy today is...
My son was exhausted yesterday and napped in my arms while my husband was getting everything ready to get out the door for church. He is such a crazy boy these days, he rarely lets me hold him, much less nap with me. It was a simple joy that made my day. I love being available to him for whatever he needs, whenever he needs it, even if it's just a nap in my arms. Precious!

I had the privilege of enjoying a fantastic evening of girl time last Friday night. Because my husband would not be home until late that night, I hired a babysitter...for the first time! I know, I know. He's ten months old, and I just hired a sitter. Don't worry, I'm not a crazy helicopter mom (at least, I don't think I am). He does go to child care at MOPS and church, as well as during bible study, and he has stayed at friend's houses multiple times while I run errands. Still...there's something different about hiring a sitter. I loved it. I didn't feel guilty, and I came back renewed, refreshed, and ready to see my husband!

During our evening of cooking for a meal swap (see today's MMSM!), several of the women mentioned that they enjoyed reading my blog. I loved hearing that, as it is always encouraging to get good feedback from women whom I admire. One friend mentioned something about me always sounding very happy go-lucky and how she just feels tired and overwhelmed a lot. I know she appreciates my positive attitude in my writing and spiritual encouragement, but I then felt led to put out a disclaimer...

It is not always sunshine and rainbows at this house!

Need proof? Let me share my week with you. 
  • I attempted to mow the lawn to help my husband out and unknowingly filled it with a gas/oil combination. Apparently, this is not a good thing. While it sputtered and choked through the yard, I then broke the self-propel cable. While pushing the dead mower back into the garage, I sideswiped our car leaving a long scratch.
  • An on-going health issue with me has caused a lot of stress since December. I haven't discussed it on here, because I'm not sure what to say about it, yet. After a follow-up call on a brain MRI last Tuesday, heavy fear and insecurity set in. Please, no worries. I will update all once we have some clear answers, hopefully on the 28th. No, I'm not dying. But an unsettling way to start the week, to say the least.
  • Our dishwasher had an ongoing leak that I neglected to call my husband's attention to since I thought it wasn't a big deal. After examining the situation, he decided we had to buy a new dishwasher, our wood floor is warped, and there is probably mold under the floor. Lead times on new dishwashers are close to a week, so I have been washing by hand since then...
  • While holding my son, he broke multiple keys off of the computer keyboard. I am writing this entry while always using the right shift button. End of the world? No. Annoying? Yes.
  • On Friday, I scorched eight gallons of taco soup, after slicing my finger open while cutting onions. My girlfriends lovingly accepted my tainted meal, but I know I've made it better. Frustrating!
  • While scorching the taco soup, I broke the kitchen faucet. Remember, I have no dishwasher. Pleasant...especially since my dad was coming for a visit.
  • While cleaning yard decor, I washed rocks down the disposal (this was before the faucet broke). Now, it grinds and runs just a bit too loud. I may have just put it on it's last month...
  • All of this happened while my husband was traveling, again. Each of these incidents by itself would be frustrating, but all of them happening at one time while caring for a ten-month-old 24/7 was exhausting. Plus, the worst thing of all...
  • I was on my period :-(
I say all this not for sympathy, but to let you get a glimpse into my real life. While this was an exceptionally bad week, it happens to all of us at some point or another. I do this blog not to impress my nauseatingly positive attitude onto each of you, but to show you that I'm not always nauseatingly positive, and I need God to get me through my days. You see, I consider it an honor to study the Word of God and to be able to share it with each of you. Each day that I wrote last week, it put a bounce in my step, I pondered on the verses that I shared, and I was encouraged. Maybe it didn't last all day, but a few happy hours at a time last week was good enough for me.

I would like to end this short entry today with a verse that would have been very helpful to me last week. It came to mind today, but I can definitely meditate on it while I attempt to clean up all the messes that were created last week!

"Consider it pure joy, my sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, she should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to her. But when she asks, she must believe and not doubt, because she who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." James 1:2-6

So remember, life isn't sunshine and rainbows all the time...especially for mommas. My desire is to be real with each of you, and to prove to you how the love of God has influenced my life on a daily basis. Thank you for reading, and I pray Godly sunshine and rainbows over each of you today :-) I'm off to wash a hundred dishes, by hand! Praise God for the Home Depot delivery men tomorrow!

Don't forget to check today's MMSM and Organizational Tip. Be blessed!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Control Yourself, Woman!

Good morning! Today's SAHM joy is...
Letting my son sleep in! Far be it from me to wake a sleeping child. For whatever reason, he is pooped this morning...probably because his Granddaddy came to visit last night. I love that we don't have anywhere to go, so he may sleep 'til his heart desires. For that flexibility, I am thankful!

For today, I have a very candid revelation from the Lord to share with you. In doing so, I hope it will inspire you to prayerfully ask God to reveal things in your life that may have been left in the dark for far too long, whether it comes to mother hood, your marriage, your friendships, or your self.

I spoke on Wednesday about choosing to act...choosing to be a willing participant in the changes that God desires to make in your life. I know I have caught myself begging and pleading with the Lord to change a situation for the better, and finally He (gently) bonks me on the head and asks me to jump in and assist! Remember, it's not that He needs it. It's that He wants it. 

I don't think God appreciates the "I can do it all" attitude or the "I can't do anything" attitude. He wants a happy medium. Enough faith to call on Him for all we need and desire, but also enough willingness to join Him in the growth He wants to nurture in each of us.

I have shared that my weight and eating habits have been a struggle for longer than I care to admit. I have times where I do a great job, lose a lot of weight and revel in the happiness of fitness, and then life happens (a knee injury, college, a happy marriage, pregnancy...) and I let my focus turn from my health towards anything else. My friend suggested a book study group on Lysa TerKeurst's book, Made to Crave. I've only read one chapter, but I know it will be fantastic. Because of that, I'll post it to my "Recommend Links" in the right column of my home page. The premise of Lysa's book is learning to crave the Lord instead of learning to crave food. When I first heard that, I was discouraged. I do crave the Lord, I do want to spend time with Him, and honestly, food is not a spiritual thing. That's where I was wrong. Food is an incredibly spiritual thing, and I'm learning that the enemy uses it to cause frustration, feelings of failure, unhealthy habits, and idolatry in my life. That has got to change. 

I challenged each of you to choose one way to act in a situation where you are desiring change right now; to join with the Lord in making some progress. I have chosen to fully throw myself into this seven-week study and ask God to do with it as He may while I do my daily part. I don't know exactly where it will lead, I don't know if this will be the final effort that changes my attitude about eating habits, but I do know that I will wholeheartedly commit. He can take me where He wants to go.

After I decided to invest in this study, I feel like the Lord spoke a powerful insight to me on Wednesday evening. Lysa, the author, discusses self-control as a spiritual attribute right off the bat. I tend to cower when I hear that word. I feel that out of all of the fruits of the spirit, this is my struggle. I don't have great self-control, I thought. I love to indulge in many things, I admitted. Then the Lord impressed upon my heart that I do have excellent self-control, and I just need to learn to apply it specifically to food. I exercise tons of self-control financially...which allows me to, hopefully, share and be a blessing to any woman reading this blog. I use self-control in staying faithful to my husband when we are apart much of the time. I use self-control in my dealings with my son when he is out of control and screaming like a crazy man. I use self-control in listening to the Lord to make wise life-changing decisions. You see, God loves to encourage. And Wednesday night, He deeply encouraged me. I do have self-control, I just need to focus it into the area of health so that glory may be brought to Him.

I share this story with all of you to encourage, but to also ask for accountability. Decisions made in secret have a harder time coming to reality. Please feel free to ask me how I'm doing in this journey, offer support if you've been here, and join me, if you feel so led.

While this topic doesn't exactly have to do with staying at home and making it work, I think it is very important to set a healthy example for our children and to keep a fit and fun body for our husbands. I just struggle with doing it on a daily basis. Proverbs 25:28 says:

"A man (or woman) without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls."

I certainly don't want to be that kind of wife and mom! I want to be strong and unwavering in my devotion to God and to my family each day, no matter what the subject...even food! I love His promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

I have a new outlook, and you all should to! This, or anything else, isn't beyond God's ability or beyond mine, with God in me. Maybe food isn't your issue, but something is. We all have one, or a couple :-) Invite Him to make some changes with you. His way is always the best.

Be blessed today, mommies. Don't forget to check the MMSM and Organizational Tip!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Choosing to Act

Good morning! Because of the massive amount of learning and changing that is happening daily, my SAHM joy for the day is:
Being able to observe the small and big changes that happen with my son all day long. Sometimes, he learns how to use a toy in a different way. Sometimes, it's something huge like pulling himself to standing yesterday in the bathroom and using both hands to play with a comb...wasn't even steadying himself! I love the privilege of being a watchful observer each day, all day. So cool.

Yesterday, I posted about hope. Hope is an amazing spiritual characteristic to put into practice in our daily lives, and hope is a gift given from Him to shine a welcome light into situations that otherwise seem, well, hopeless. No matter what the circumstances may absent father, a strained relationship, a phone call delivering bad news, a scary diagnosis, a less-than-ideal work/travel situation, an ill child, a defiant or difficult child...He is the author of our lives. None of these situations or circumstances surprise Him. Not in the least. Not only will He willingly give us as much as hope as we need and as we ask for, but He also gives us the strength to persevere. He has even given us knowledge and common sense to set the ball in motion, when our action is necessary.

Truly, God never needs our help. He is the Almighty who can do anything, anywhere, at anytime. He does, though, desire our willingness to be involved. Sometimes, I've learned, there is nothing we can do but hope, pray, and have faith that He will work all things according to His good. Remember Romans 8:28?

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

But sometimes, God asks us to get up, brush ourselves off, and get busy. Working actively towards a change with the Lord doesn't negate our need for hope, but it does show Him that we are serious about making a difference in our current situation. Perhaps if you are hoping and praying that your finances will improve so that you may stay at home with your children, God is actually calling you to educate yourselves and come up with a plan, not just to wait. Maybe if you're waiting for your husband's job situation to improve, God is wanting you both to start seeking out other career opportunities or to lean on people who might be helpful in this area.

Have you ever heard that when God closes a door He opens a window? It's not scripture, but it is true, in my experience. You may never know if a door will close or a window will open if you don't at least step one foot outside. I wish I could remember who originally said this, and if you know, please comment, but a famous Christian speaker once said that too many Christians sit at red lights and wait for God to turn them green. Why not, instead, act like all lights are green and then wait for God to turn one red. 

He is faithful to direct your path. His most useful tool is His Word.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

Whatever is troubling in your life, and mine, right now. Practice the power of hope, lean on His Word and direction, and then we should make a practical list of things that we can do today, tomorrow, and next week to improve the situation. Maybe God will put up a huge road block and point you another way. Okay! Bring it on! At least, we are being proactive. 

Some days, you may feel that you don't have the strength to act, and all you can do is lean on Him. In the mommy world, that's not uncommon. You know what, that's not bad. That's wonderful. When that happens, we are admitting that we can't fix everything, and we do need Him in our lives. Often times, moms are so use to being in charge of the house, the kids, the schedule, the life, that we forget that we really can't do at all. We're totally exhausted and overwhelmed before we remember to admit it. But, because He is a merciful and loving God, full of grace, leaning on Him will renew us.

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Today, I pray that all mommas, myself included, will choose one way to act that could potentially change a difficult situation that we are dealing with. It could be for yourself, your husband, your children, or it could effect your whole family. Pray for the courage necessary to do this, and see where He directs your steps. He never needs help, but He sure does love a partner. 

Don't forget to check today's MMSM and Organizational Tip! Be blessed, mommies :-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New gadgets!

Because I am very new to the blog world, I get really excited when I learn something! From now on, at the bottom of each post, you have options for sharing the post with others. Next to the comments link, the envelope with a tiny arrow allows you to email that particular post to anyone.

The options below my name and post time include:

  • send email with your Gmail account
  • post to your blog (please ask permission before doing this!)
  • post to Twitter
  • post to Facebook
  • recommend to your Google+ followers
So cool! As always, thanks for reading. Be blessed!

Learning to Hope

Good morning, my friends! Today's SAHM joy is about the home...
I used to dread household chores. When my husband and I worked the same amount of hours, I felt that we should contribute the same amount of effort to the house. Often times, he was reluctant to help, and this caused major turmoil in our home. Now that my job is at the home, this turmoil has evaporated! I have asked God to daily change my heart towards loving my home and desiring to keep it clean and well-functioning. I feel that it is my responsibility now, and I am learning to take joy in caring for the home. Do I still hate cleaning bathrooms? Of course...but at least I have more time and flexibility to do it now. A tip? Check Pinterest for amazing tips and tricks for fast and easy cleaning, especially those pesky bathrooms!

As I awoke this morning and prepared to start my day, I really missed my husband. He travels at least 50% of the time for work and he's gone, again, for the week. When he accepted this position, the traveling was said to be capped at 25%, but we have found that he is called away much more than we had ever expected. We feel stuck! Other than the time away, this is a wonderful job where he is allowed to fully use his skills, the salary and benefits are an incredible blessing, and he is establishing his career with a prominent international company. But, what is the toll? Thankfully, our son doesn't realize that Daddy is leaving each week. Of course, he knows he's gone, but he can't verbalize or even emotionalize that he will miss him. Eventually, that will change. My husband's heart aches to be here for the many childhood milestones, he desires to enjoy the house and the life which he works so hard to provide, and he is longing to have the time for investment in male friendships. I say all of this not to throw a pity party, but to support a verse the Lord showed me this morning.

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for in patiently." Romans 8:24-25

God intentionally uses difficult situations to build our capacity for hope and for patience. Imagine if we had everything we have ever asked for (can I get an "Amen" for the unanswered prayers for boyfriends we thought we were in love with in high school?!?). Imagine if you didn't have to hope for anything. Instant gratification...just like our world expects. Why, then, would we need our Lord? If he was just an ATM of sorts who immediately provided us with all that we wanted, we would surely never learn to love Him as He so desires. It is not His job to make our lives easy while we are on this planet. It is our job to let Him sanctify us to become more and more like Jesus Christ until He decides that our time here is finished. He speaks often in His Word about constantly striving to improve ourselves with His strength.

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love." 2 Peter 1:5-7

While that sounds like a tall order, He is gentle and merciful in His teaching, always. In following His ways of spiritual growth, He promises this:

"For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:8

Here is my point...the struggles that He allows us to go through only strengthen our relationship with Him, if we let them. Of course, it would be so much more comfortable to not endure any hardships. But, I believe that a life of pure comfort can not provide growth for me, or for anyone, as a person. It's difficult to remember this when I go to, yet again, another event without my husband. But, it also allows me to become more and more compassionate...for military moms who's husbands are absent for months at a time, for moms who have lost their children's father permanently, or even for moms who's husband is physically present, but emotionally a million miles away.

We shouldn't compare hurt to hurt. We all hurt in different ways, and we all long for different things at different times. God doesn't compare. He sees us, and He sees how the circumstance is individually effecting us and our families. Instead of wallowing, which I catch myself doing, focus on prayer and scripture that supports the building of hope. He is a loving Lord who desires to please His children. But, just like we wouldn't give our children everything they could ever ask for at a moment's notice, God won't do that for us. It's not to our long-term benefit. Should we stop praying? Never. But, his timing is always good, and the lessons we need to learn as followers of Christ are always mercifully necessary and full of love.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

Be sure to check for today's MMSM and Organizational Tip! Also, please take a minute to share why you love being a SAHM under the post, Poll #1. Be blessed!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Hello! I hope every one of you had a nice and restful weekend, and you are rejuvenated for another week in mommy hood! Today's SAHM joy is...
An advantage of staying at home is that you have many more opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with other SAHM. They understand that phase of life you're in, often times you can give and receive advice on any topic from teething to potty-training, and there is not another group of people on this planet who can completely appreciate the ups and downs of this profession. I often thank God for the other SAHM whom He has brought into my life. They are priceless!

I must admit, my first sentence above is rather tongue-in-cheek. While I had a wonderful weekend with my baby boy and my husband, who was home for a short time between business trips, two days full of "let's catch up on as much as possible around the house" and "let's do several fun things outside to make use of the fantastic weather" can leave you a bit exhausted. Pair that with a malfunctioning dishwasher and a partially-ruined kitchen floor, and you can imagine that I rolled out of bed this morning, anything but rested and rejuvenated. But, as I shipped my husband off to the airport, cleaned an alarming amount of spit-up off of my sweet son and the white carpet, and washed a never-ending stack of dishes (by hand...due to the broken dishwasher), I remembered the great opportunity that I have been called to enjoy

Yesterday, our Youth and Desperation Ministries Pastor, David Perkins, gave a fantastic sermon on remembering your calling and choosing to live out that calling on a daily basis. There is no question in my mind that right now, at 29 years old, my calling is to stay at home to raise my son and care for my husband. The Lord has expanded that calling by directing me to do this...minister to other mommies. To be very honest, I often times step back and think, "What on earth am I doing???" I feel unqualified, I have only one (very young) child, I have no professional training in writing...who am I to fully care for a toddler and a husband, much less minister to other moms??? The following passage then came to mind:

"...Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

I ask you to take a minute and think about the way that society views the stay-at-home mom. If someone else could care for your children while you were out making more money to accumulate more things, that would be wise by society's standards. Simply staying at home and serving your husband and children seems like a lowly or weak calling in today's world. But, thankfully, God doesn't operate by modern-day rules and beliefs. God calls whomever in whatever state, whenever, to do what He has already planned for them to do. I may not feel worthy or able or strong enough or wise enough to do what He has called me to do, but do you know what the most amazing part of this is? He is always worthy, always strong, and always wise. I must remember to turn to Him for fulfillment and affirmation, not to the world.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior works in an opposite way to this world. What does He say when someone wrongs you? Fight back? Not at all...

"But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39

He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, but did He come to the Earth to be honored, bowed down to, and served? No...

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28

When He asks you to give of your finances, our worldly inclination is that we will not have as much. But...

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. "Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10

Though you may get bogged down by fleshly thoughts of negativity about mommy hood, remember that He gave you your precious child/children, and He is the One who will give you strength to do your job, praise you for a job well done, and save a sweet reward for you on the day you meet Him face-to-face. When things are spinning around you, and the world does not revere you for this sincerest of professions, close your eyes, and imagine hearing these words:

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Matthew 25:23

Be blessed, mommies! And remember to check the MMSM tab and the Organizational Tips tab for today's tidbits.