Tuesday, December 18

Let us pray!

Thirteen years ago a gunman walked into my church on a Wednesday night during the See You at the Pole rally.  He shot and killed seven, physically wounded seven and emotionally and spiritually wounded hundreds.  I remember that next Sunday, as we were determined to gather at church, fear overcame me.  I remember shaking as I sat in my pew with my 1 month old daughter.  All the questions of why, how and what now went through my mind.  My eyes were opened to the evil in the world and my faith was being tested.  The questions about gun control came up.  Even the discussion on whether to lock down the church and have security to get in and out.  Really?  At church?  It just didn't seem right.  To tell you the truth, it wouldn't stop anyone that was crazy enough to fill their jackets with bullets and carry several guns anyway.  So we didn't lock down the church but we did become vigilant and more aware.  Then you have the questions about mental illness.  Yes, he was mentally ill.  His story is sad and the details don't bring any answers that would tell us how to prevent such an act.  Parents do the best they can sometimes.  His family grieves as well.  Lastly, and what gets less press is the question of the need for more of God.

I imagine those are similar feelings for many parents this week in the Newtown area and nationwide.  I have read Facebook postings from friends that hugged their children extra on Monday mornings and had a hard time sending them to school.  It was because of fear.  Their eyes have once again opened and it's frightening.  We want something, anything to be done quickly.  The media screams for gun control and more help for the mentally ill and asks for pastors and ministers to come in and do damage control.  They ask God to help us, comfort us and heal us, yet after a few weeks is past, God will be swept under the rug and it's back to a political debate.  

It has been said that God has been removed from the schools and therefore we shouldn't be surprised by the turn of our culture and I get where some people are coming from.  I do think that even though our kids can not openly pray in school, doesn't mean we as parents shouldn't teach them to pray on their own.  I am sure that many children and adults prayed in that Newtown school last week.  God was available to them to cry out.  He is available to us to comfort.

John 10:10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.  I have come so that you may have life and have it in abundance.

Psalm 121:1-2 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Let us pray for the children and families in Newtown.  Let us pray for our children.  Let us pray for our schools.  Let us pray for our nation.

Please join me and thousands of moms tomorrow at 9:45am (CST) for the MOPS National Call to Prayer.  Let's lift up the families who have been devastated and pray that they will feel God's arms around them during these difficult days.

Friday, April 20

The Love of Money and Insulation

Today is one of those days the thought crosses my head to go back to work...but only briefly.  You see, I would like more insulation in the attic.  Now hang with me here.  I get in the childish, "I don't want to do this" mood and start wishing I had more money to not have to worry about things like attic insulation.  Then the thought crosses my mind that why would I go back to "work" just to pay someone to do attic insulation?  What would I really be doing with the money I would potentially make?  I know what I would do (because I've been there before) and will tell you.  

I would:
Eat out more often
Hire work done
Get a house keeper
Spend money on nicer clothes
Lavish my kids with things they don't need
and probably get my nails done and pedicures regularly.

I don't see anything wrong with any of these at all.  In fact there was a time I enjoyed all of these things at the same time.  Let me explain.

I am at the stage right now where I am not volunteering for anything, don't have a full time job and my days consist of keeping the house picked up in case someone might want to see it since it's for sale.  The twins are home most of the time so there are arguments, screaming, crying, knock down drag out fights.  These moments scream to me, "GO BACK TO WORK".  

BUT, then their are the brief and very few moments like today when Izzy, for the first time with out being prompted and out of the blue says, "I love you mommy".  Tears come to my eyes just thinking about it.  I think to myself would I have missed that moment or it never happened if I were working full time?  I don't know and before you think I'm anti-working mom, let me back up further.  

I worked during the first 7 years of my first two children's lives.  Not full time all the time but towards the end of that seven year stint, I was working three part time jobs at once.  I had to work.  I enjoyed working!  I realized a long time ago that God makes us mothers in many shapes and fashions and some of us want to work, some of us don't, and some don't have a choice!  I was thrown in the I didn't mind working but also the I had to work categories.  I taught pre-k, was a dance instructor and worked nights at a retention marketing company.  It was an exhausting schedule.  I remember Katie at age 3 crying as I left her with babysitters.  I hated that part.  Any parent hates that part.  Then we moved.

When we moved my husband and I made some hard choices that allowed me to stay home but without the extra's in life.  No cable tv, no magazine subscriptions, no clothing allowance.... you get the picture.  I was always handy around the house to begin with but now it was necessity.  As my mother put it, "You do things I never dreamed you could do."  I choose to take this as a compliment.  I made my own baby food and laundry soap, learned to tile, lay hardwood floors, did my own plumbing, yard work and as it turns out, may be blowing insulation in my attic soon.  Why?  Because I can.  I am able to read directions, watch youtube and have been blessed with the time to stay home and figure these things out. This is now my "full time work". It's not for everyone and I get that.  But I feel God has given this opportunity to me for a reason and most of the time, I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction from saving hundreds or thousands of dollars.  In reality I'm not saving anything, I'm just spending what I can afford.  I wish sometimes that I could take that money I save and have my hair cut, a new pair of jeans or other extras but in reality, I want for nothing.  I have decent clothes (I think ;)), a nice home, food on my table, four outstanding girls and more love from a family than I know what to do with sometimes.  I know so many that have much, much less. 

So again I will say, I have so much more than what I deserve. I forget that sometimes. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

I think that someday I will work more but today I thank God that I am able to be home.  

Insulation, here I come-


Tuesday, January 3

Prayer and Facebook?

Tonight I was reading through my Facebook page after everyone went to bed (because my family get's annoyed when I tie up our family time on it).  I noticed I was praying for those that were hurting, had missing family members, had lost loved ones during this holiday season and then for my own child as I wonder what news we will get tomorrow.  In the middle of this, I was going back and forth between Facebook and my favorite scripture website, www.biblegateway.com.  There, I can look up phrases that I recall but can't remember the exact scripture for.

I prayed and Facebooked and posted and commented.  The thought just crossed my mind, can you have a quiet time, or quality time praying and be Facebooking?  The Bible says to pray without ceasing right?  I know that it is probably a bit more safe than when I am praying in the car while I'm driving.  And to tell you the truth, I think that in the quiet, peaceful bliss with all the sleeping children in bed, that a little prayer with Facebook might just be okay.

Now don't get me wrong.  I don't think this is the only way to pray but when you read about and are reminded about all that your friends and family are going through, why not stop and pray for them?!

My thoughts for the day-


Monday, February 28

Cancer stinks!

I am a daddy's girl, loud and proud!  Well, after getting back in the groove to post on my blog, we found out my dad had cancer.  All other things in this life seemed instantly a lot less important.  Blogging being one of them.  Just as the holidays were rolling full speed ahead, we found out that what we were told was a malignant growth was in fact cancerous.  It was not a good holiday season but at the same time, we thanked God for our blessings and were so thankful to have hope.

That word cancer puts you into action mode.  You start reading, researching and learning about more than you ever wanted to know about something.  Every doctor has an opinion, some more than others, of what is the best thing to do.  With dad though, there was a question of what was the best.  My brothers and I all teamed up and sifted through all the information we could get our hands on and went through all the possibilities.  After we got a game plan in order, little did we know how life would change and how the game plan doesn't stay the same.

Today, dad is doing good.  Without going into all the details right now, he's able to get out a bit and is recovering from the first half of part of his treatments.  Now we reassess and pray.  We do a lot of praying.

Mom was looking forward to his hair falling out.  That hasn't happened yet.  Strange I know, but she jokingly said she wondered if it would come back in black and curly.  It made us all laugh.  You have to laugh.

One day I hope to share more about this journey, but until then, enjoy every day!

Monday, October 6

Loving EVERY mother of preschooler.

This weekend, we had a very interesting guest, Lynne Spears at convention. This is as good of my pics as I got. The purpose of her coming has really gotten me to think and wonder if I am looking for every mother of preschooler to welcome to MOPS, or church, or just who I think would fit in. This article sums up very well why she was there. I found this on several websites by using google. I believe it was released by MOPS.

"Author Lynne Spears and Leading International Mothering Organization Challenges More Than 4,500 Moms to Include, Not Judge

Last update: 11:28 a.m. EDT Oct. 4, 2008

GRAPEVINE, Texas, Oct 04, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Author Lynne Spears, mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn, challenged over 4,500 mothers today, encouraging them to "reach out to every mom around you." Lynne joined the stage with MOPS International CEO Elisa Morgan at the MOPS International Convention in Grapevine, TX to talk about some of her personal mothering experiences.

Morgan joined Spears in challenging moms to befriend others who "might not fit the mold of how you think a mother should look; you've got to look beyond what you see on the surface."
In her introduction of Spears, Morgan reminded audience members of the purpose of MOPS International, a leading mothering organization that provides community to over 100,000 mothers of preschoolers. "We know MOPS exists to encourage, equip and develop every mom -- no matter where she's been or what she's done...EVERY mother of preschoolers -- including moms like Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears."

The purpose of the 2008 MOPS International Convention is to help mothers understand that when they are loved and accepted just as they are, they will be empowered to care about other moms. "Having Lynne Spears here today is a demonstration of how we can build bridges to other moms and bring them into a community of hope and encouragement -- no matter where they are at in their mothering journey," Morgan said.

At the conclusion of the interview, Morgan and MOPS International President Naomi Cramer Overton presented Spears with two complimentary MOPS International Memberships as a gift to her daughters, and a membership to FullFill, a community for women in all seasons of life.

About MOPS International

Founded in 1973, Denver-based MOPS International is a non-profit organization that creates communities and resources to help make "better moms who make a better world." A MOPS group is a place where moms can come -- just as they are -- to build friendships, receive mothering support, practical help and spiritual hope; all to help make better moms for a better world.

MOPS International serves more than 100,000 mothers of preschoolers from all walks of life. The non-profit organization exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.
MOPS volunteer Coordinator, Christy Cowan feels her time invested in strengthening moms is worth every minute: "Our group reaches not only families across the world -- through MOPS International -- but moms across the street. Our local MOPS group provides authentic community and ways for moms to make friends and grow in parenting skills. In a MOPS group, we see moms get the support they need to be better moms and that makes a huge impact on their families, communities and the way they reach out to make a difference in the world."

MOPS International Convention

When a new mom experiences mothering, it can feel like a roller coaster of emotions. Not knowing what will come around the next loop or tunnel can make a mom uncertain, but if she experiences the ride with other moms she'll have something in common ... MOPS. Mothers of preschoolers find community, friendship and support in more than 4,000 local MOPS groups across the United States and in 32 countries internationally.

From Oct. 2-4 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, more than 4,500 volunteer leaders who help moms make those vital connections with other moms will gather for training, inspiration and networking. These volunteer leaders, who are moms themselves, give 15-plus hours a month with MOPS International to facilitate MOPS groups where moms can find a support network and grow as women, mothers and leaders.

National Speakers and Artists The 2008 MOPS International Convention features authors and speakers Patrick Lencioni, Erwin Raphael McManus and Julie Barnhill, along with MOPS International CEO Elisa Morgan and MOPS International President Naomi Cramer Overton. Musical guests include Plumb, Avalon, Nic Gonzales, Jaci Velasquez, Kim Hill and Go Fish."

Wednesday, September 24

She's just like me.

I always felt awkward growing up. I didn't ever feel like I fit in anywhere and at some points in my life now, that feeling creeps in every once in awhile. Well, I have a carbon copy of my personality in my oldest. She came home the other day and was missing assignments and down on her reading score and I told my husband how much I had taken away and what the plan of action was. She has the personality that is influenced by others and not the take charge type. My mother pointed out to me that I was the same way. I let my best friend growing up run the show and I didn't mind a bit. Well, watching Morgan is like reliving my childhood. She has a friend that does the same to her and she thinks she hung the moon. I want her to be stronger and more independant and sure of herself. When I was telling all my worries to Ryan, he asked if I was really worried about her grades and attitude or was I just seeing myself in her and what I didn't like about myself. Boy was he right. I think I will learn more through my daughter than I will ever teach her.