Sunday, May 26, 2013

Do you think Christians are Freaks? If so, you are not alone!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways,” This is the Lord’s declaration.  “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8-9
Someone reading this blog today may despise Christians.  You look at them and think they are hypocrites, small minded, prejudice and just plain freaks! They puke scripture all over you, without knowing anything about you or building any type of relationship.  They can be extremely political taking the stands against the majority of what “normal Americans believe.” They don’t look like they are having any fun and the people you know who praise and honor the name of Jesus in your eyes don’t look like they serve this all loving and powerful God.   The minute you disagree with them they reject instead of embrace. Maybe you see me this way, if so please forgive me.
If this is you, please know you are not alone!  Even though I accepted Christ in my life years ago, I couldn’t stand the religious type of Christians. Here is the good news Jesus rebuked the religious types. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” Acts 23:25
 I believed in Jesus but strongly disliked anyone who classified themselves as a conservative Christian.  I thought these type of people were closed minded, prejudice and hateful.  Have you heard the saying, “forgive them Father because they do not know.”  These are words Jesus uttered moments before dying on the cross.  It was his people, the ones he came to save that sent him to the cross to be crucified.  I didn't realize I was just like those Jews killing Christ in my life by condemning people I did not truly know because they stood on the word of God. 
God  was trying to work on me but I was not willing to give up my own thoughts and open up to His.  A friend and leadership consultant said this to me one day, “you know the saying, if you believe in everything you one day will fall for anything.”  That statement began to marinate in my heart and mind and slowly began giving up my ways to learn God’s. 
Don’t get me wrong.  There are some crazy people out there who proclaim the name of Christ.  There are some people who give Christ a bad name.  (I’m now singing a Bon Jovi song!) Don’t let those few people keep you from a relationship with Christ.  God taught me a few years ago, to look at Him and love the ones around me and see their brokenness.  We are all at different walks in life in our relationship with God.  Some are far from him, others are just beginning (this means they could have been going to church and known Him all their life but finally allowing Him to break  walls down and let the healing begin) and others are a little bit farther from the rest. 
Me, I’m somewhere in the middle.  I’m still learning, making mistakes, growing and loving God more and more every day. I pray that you don't see me or other followers of Christ as  over zealous  legalistic Judgemental Christians.  (Yes, they are out there, but for the most part the majority of Christians, if you give them a chance , will realize their heart is in the right place.  They may just a few problems with communication and people skills!!! ) You heard the saying, “hurt people hurt people.”  However, people who have found Hope want to share Hope.  This is my hope that just one person will read this and decide to give up their ways and open up to His.

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Winners don't make the rules in life, but nonetheless, they must learn to apply the rules in their favor in order to win the game."

Read this last night in the book, "Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life" and wanted to share. 

"why let negativity seep into our hearts especially when we don't know the long-term results of current events?  Why do so many people get worked up, assuming everything is going against them when actually obstacles may be blessings n disguise? Since human beings cannot know the beginning from the end, wisdom dictates that they reframe the events of life into a positive mindset, empowering themselves to see the opportunities in every challenge, rather than just the challenges in every opportunity.  The following fable teaches this lesson well:
A farmer had only one horse.  One day, his horse ran away.
All the neighbors came by saying, "I'm so sorry.  This is such bad news.  You must be so upset."  The man just said, " We'll see."
A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses.  The man and his son corralled all twenty-one horse.
All the neighbors came by saying, "Congratulations!  This is such good news.  You must be so happy! The man just said, "We'll see."
One of the wild horses kicked the man's only son breaking both his legs.
All the neighbors came by saying, "I'm so sorry.  This is such bad news.  You must b o upset.  "The man just said, "We'll see."
The country went to war and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight.  The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer's son was spared since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.
All the neighbors came by saying "Congratulations!  This is such good news.  You must be so happy!  The man just said "We'll see."
When you choose to have a positive attitude, there will be people who will mock you.  Don't pay any attention, learn the lessons  and keep moving on.  Negative people  think everything has been handed to you, however they don't know your story.  They don't realize that everyone has had  their share of heartaches and obstacles.  However, " It's the winners in life who understand they don't make the rules in life but learn to apply the rules in in their favor in order to win." -Woodward.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can you look in the mirror win or lose and know you gave your personal best?

Can you Look in the Mirror Win or Lose and Know You Gave Your Personal Best?

As I read this question, I could sit and lie to myself and others and say yes, but if I get real and step out of denial the answer is no. 

Learning and growing can be like an onion at times.  It can stink, make you cry and as one layer is peeled away and new one is waiting next in line.  There will always be lessons to learn about life and ourselves, if you decide to stay in the game of life.  Sometimes, we can get comfortable; at least for me this is true.  We know what we want to do with our life but somehow we get distracted.   We start adding more to our schedule or doing many good things but forgetting to focus on the few that make us come alive.  We have only a limited amount of hours in a day.  However, God designed our day giving us exactly what we need.  When people say there isn’t enough time in the day really means we are not being wise or purposeful with what has been given keeping away from what we really should be doing.

Why does this happen?  I think we are afraid. If we stay busy with a ton of other things than we don’t have to face our true calling because if we did than we would have to do something about it.  Instead we make excuses or blame other people.  Also, there is the fear not of failure but of success. 

In order for me to answer yes to the question above, I need to say no to the things I like so I can do what I love.  Even though I knew this before and thought I learned the lesson, I began to clutter my life with things I’m passionate about and like but running away from the purpose that drives me. I began pleasing people instead of God.  Sure, it might of looked great from the outside but inward I was rotting away.   I found myself losing my joy.  I’ve had to take some things off my plate for this season in my life so I can focus on what I’m called to do which are being a wife, mother and a writer.   It what gives me the fuel to wake up early and stay up late.  There isn’t anything else I would want to do than to breathe life into my family and encourage others through the written and spoken word, even if some people think I suck at it!  It’s ok! I can look in the mirror and say, “I have given it my personal best and because of this I know I’m a winner in my heart and in the eyes of God.”

Is there something you need to let go of in order to live and give your personal best?  If so, what are you waiting for?  Face those fears because the world is waiting on you! 



Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I'm reading the book, "Resolved 13 Resollutions for Life" by Orrin Woodward.  This quote was found on a bishop's tomb in Westminister Abbey. 

"When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.  As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.  But it, too seemed immovable.  As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.  And now as I lie on my deathbed,  suddenly realize:  If  had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.  From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Does dinner time stress you out?

Cooking is not something that comes natural to me.  Actually, at times it can be very painful!  I lose the little bit of common sense I have the minute a spatula is put in my hand!  However, through the years some amazing people have (and continue to do so) encouraged and taught me some lessons to help me in this area.   Even though the Kitchen and I don’t have this amazing bond together, I have learned that in order to home school and run a successful household, I needed to face this obstacle head on.   If I can have any success in this area, there is hope for anyone!

Here are a few tips:
1. Plan ahead- This is coming from someone who can fly by the seat of her pants! The majority of the time, this works in my favor.  However, in order to succeed in any area in life whether it’s at home or in business you need a plan.  If you don’t, you know the saying you will plan to fail.   Make sure the plan fits you and your family not your neighbor, family member, friend or co-worker.  Yes, we can learn from others but you don’t want to be them.  If you make a plan that doesn’t fit your lifestyle you are just setting yourself up for failure.  I promise you this if you don'’t have one, you will find yourself stress out and eating garbage.

2.  Surround yourself with people who love to cook.   There is so much you can learn from them and when you get stuck and need a new idea they are filled with fantastic recipes!

3.  Celebrate your success!  Yes, you may burn a few meals like me or forget to add an ingredient or the dinner just didn’t look or taste the way you were hoping.  However, at least you cooked something!  If you don’t give up, there will be meals that the kids love.  They will look at you and say it’s the best dinner ever!  Trust me on this!!

4. Make it simple!  Americans eat way too much!  Your meals don’t have to be extravagant.  If you have children, let them help!  It's a great teaching tool!

5.  Give yourself grace!  There are days I don’t stick to the plan or just need a break!  When this happens, don’t think you have failed!  Tomorrow is always a new day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Are you Trusting your Husband?

A few weeks ago, the kids were in bed for the night.  Mark was in the front room catching up on the latest sports highlights and enjoying some rest and relaxation, when I came out from my room after studying God’s word balling my eyes out.  (I understand if this sounds weird to some people.)

He took one look at me and was thinking, “Oh, no!  Here she comes hot mess and all. She’s going to want to have some deep conversation.” He was probably  screaming in his head, “Go back to your room. I just want to see who won the game without any interruptions or conversations about changing the world!”

If he was, I didn’t pay any attention!  I crawled on his lap, looked into his eyes and told him I was so sorry for not trusting him completely. 
God opened my eyes to the realization I was not completly trusting my husand or Him ( I will blog later on how I thought I was trusting God but not fully.)  Even though we have both forgiven each other for our past, I still had some fear.

I was afraid he might not see in me what God sees in me.  We talk all the time about our goals, dreams and plans God has placed on our heart, but what if he is just amusing me and not really see the bigger picture.  What if he gives up and we just live a life of mediocracy?  What if I help him but he doesn’t help me?  This is called selfish and not putting my faith in God.

Maybe your husband has given you every reason not to trust him.   Maybe you haven’t forgiven him for choices he has made in his past and you feel like you are stuck in your relationship with God and your marriage.   Talk to God and give it all to him.  God knows you and your heart.  Trust Him and he will help you begin to trust your husband once again. 

Mark looked at me as I said, “I was sorry.”  Smiled, kissed me and reminded he sees me and knows all the good God has planned for our family.  To trust him, the journey God has in store for us and to allow God to do the work not me!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Have you sent your husband a sexy text?

There are days I look at my husband and think wow he is one good looking man and then there are days when I think not only is he good looking but he is HOT!  The other day, I was having that moment.  He had on just a blue t-shirt and jeans nothing special, but I love blue on him.  I must of said it a dozen time because he said he was going to either wear that t-shirt more often or go buy a few more in the same color!! The next morning I sent him a text message.  It wasn't can you bring home some bread on your way home from work either!!!

If you want to make your husbands day a little more special, send him a sexy text!  Not just once a year, but often reminding him you still love and have the hots for him!  When doing this there is  something important to remember, don't send him a novel or a three page text just something short, sweet and to the point. He doesn't have time to read some long drawn out text.   Just something enough  to make him smile.  Let him know you ar thinking about him, appreciate him, making his favorite dinner or how sexy you think he is.  If you want him to have a grin from ear to ear, send him a message about something crazy and wild you want to do with him and make sure when he walks in the door follow through and have some fun!The key is following through on your message!!!

Awesome marriages just don't happen.  It takes work.  If you can send an encouraging word to a friend or text a co-worker about a meeting or something happening at the work place, you can find time to send a message to the one are suppose to love care for  the most. 

I know there is someone reading this from a broken marriage and just the thought of being in the same room with him makes you want to hurl.  I know the feeling and have been there.  God is so big and can heal any relationship, if you give it to Him and do what He (meaning God) asks you to do. It will not be easy and many days you will want to pack your bags and hit the road.  Maybe for you today, it's sending God a message asking him to help you or maybe just texting your husband to simply say," Hi or I love you." You may not feel like you do but love is not a feeling it's an actionIt takes many baby steps.  One step at a time.  ( If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help from a pastor, Christian counselor or someone you can trust.)

 Today, make your husband feel the respect and honor you have for him and send him a message that will shock and knock his socks off! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Do you have a friend you can call not just for an emergency but somone to cheer you on?

Yesterday was a typical day nothing out of the ordinary until I received a text  from a friend of mine. It said,"If you are available please call me." 

I knew it must be important.  I was in the middle of cleaning a broken glass my daughter accidentally dropped on the floor.  As soon as I had it all swept up, I picked up my phone to see what was going on.

I love conversations that goes something like this, " I know you are going to think I crazy when I ask you and you can say no but I know you are just as crazy as me so will you go somewhere with me." 

I didn't know all the details but of course said, "pick me up."  I'm always ready for adventure especially when it involves Jesus!  All I have to say is thank God for giving us both such amazing and patient  husbands who can deal with us!! We laugh and say we are homeschool moms by day and super heroes by night!
Everyone needs a friend they can call in a pinch and know without a doubt they will be there for support.  Also, everyone needs a few friends they can share life with and not just our struggles but all the good that God is doing in our lives as well.   On our drive to our destination, we talked about all the injustice in the world, some of our own struggles and lessons we are learning.  Who would of thought by the time we made it home, we had the plans on how to change the world!!!

Here is the beauty with healthy friendships we also chatted about all the good and success in our lives.  There is no jealously or trying to compete with each other just pure love for each other and our families.

We need people in our lives that will allow us to "Brag" about the good and all our accomplishments.  We live in such a negative world where people want to  tear  eachother down and hear the mess in peoples lives instead and  of the good.  Not only do we live in such a corrupt world we deal with our own insecurities and negative thoughts.  We need friendships who will cheer us on.  We need friends who will allow us to  share our deepest dreams and passions and as they begin to come to pass those same friends will be right there cheering you on and allowing you to express all your excitement as well. 

My prayer is that more woman become and create these types of friendships.  Someone to see and celebrate all the beauty in your life. Someone you can call not only for emergency but someone you can say, "I rocked today!" 

 If you don't,have someone like this in your life,  please feel free to make me that friend!  We may not know each other in an intimate way, but you can post all the success in your life and I will praise God for you and all his glory...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

baby-on-toiletIt has become a new signature of Marie’s, as she is running to the bathroom she announces to the entire family she is about to pee her pants!  She climbs on the toilet and in her little voice filled with enthusiasm screams," I went pee on the toilet!'
Yesterday, as she was running she had a little accident.  I didn’t realize she did until I went into the bathroom afterwards and found her underwear in the toilet. I giggled because she was just copying what I did when I was potty training her.  When she had her accidents, I would toss them in the toilet until I had a few minutes to go back and rinse them off. 

It’s just a reminder to me how children really watch what we do more than what we say. 
If you don't like how your children are behaving and the actions they are displaying, you might want to put yourself in a time out and figure out why.It might be an issue at school, friend or even at church that is bothering them and they are taking it out at home.  However, from my own personal experience, if there is tension between my kids and I or between siblings, it's a big red flashing light showing me that more than likely expressing what they are seeing and feeling from mark and I. 

Today, remember you actions speak louder than your words. One of my favorite quotes is, “your children want to be who you are. So be who you want them to be.”

Next time, I need her to actually see me clean her big girl pants not just leave them in the toilet.  So, maybe she will finish the job!!! A mother can always have hope can't she?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Would you let your child wear the same outfit two days in a row?

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.  Psalm 34:5

This past Saturday my husband and oldest daughter served at Church.  He is a small group leader for elementary kids and my daughter helps out with the two year old.   My 7 year old daughter decided to tag along  with them.  She was playing all day in her cut off green shirt and panda shirt her friend recently gave her.

As she was getting ready to run and jump in the car.  She looked at me with her mix match socks and sparkly shoes and said, "do I look cute?"  Of course, my response was, " you look beautiful.."

The next morning we went to church as a family. She rolled out of the house in the same outfit and two sweatshirts tied around her waste.  You could just tell she felt like a million bucks.

Some people may think this is horrible.  I let her wear the same outfit twice especially shorts and a t-shirt to church. Yes, I sure did!  I refuse to crush that spirit of hers.  Thankfully, God doesn't look at our appearances.  It's the heart that only matters to Him.

As I sat in church this past mother's day with my husband and three of my kids by my side,  The last thing I was thinking about was what my kids were wearing and what someone else might think
As mothers, we have to remember to raise our children to be comfortable in their own skin and know where their beauty comes. It's in Christ not the opinion of others
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My parents were just kids when they had my brother and I.  I often think about what my mom and dad's first reaction was when they found out they were going to be having a baby girl and soon later their baby boy!
Their lives were just beginning.  Did they think there goes my life?  Where they scared?  Did they have any regrets? 
If they did, they didn't have them long.  Even though our life was not perfect and my parents went through many ups and downs, there was one thing my brother and I knew without a doubt we were their life!
Thank you both mom and dad for the sacrificial love you give to your family.  Stuff, dreams or work never was a priority over your family. There are days I would love to go back to those times when it was just the four of us.  Because the love you showed  made it easy for me to understand the love that God has for his children. 
 Life goes by so fast.I wish I could just hold on to the life I know have.   Thank you for teaching me to enjoy the moments as Mark and I watch our four blessings and think there goes our life and  we wouldn't change it for the world.   Each one so beautiful and not only part of mark and I but part of both of you. 

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for giving me the two of you!  I pray as our kids grow that they love Christ with all their heart first and love us as much as I love the two of you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

When you feel like you are fighting the world alone! Maybe you just need to throw your hands in the air and wave them around like you just don't care!!!

There are days I feel like I'm fighting the world when it comes to my kids especially when it comes to their health and education.

Doctors and professional alike  look at me like I'm crazy!  I'm not in the medical field nor am I some well educated professional, even though I did graduate from college years ago.    I don't have this big vocabulary and know all the right words to say.  So, when I open my mouth to ask a question, express a concern or explain why I disagree, I feel like I sound like my two year old.   There is something  bothering her but when she tries to share her feelings nothing but gibber jabber comes out of that sweet little mouth of hers!  Thankfully, as her mom I take the time to look deeper at the issue and know exactly what is causing the sadness. 

This is all I want.  To find people especially in the medical field who would  be willing to listen.  Everything in my heart is telling me that drugs are not the answer.  Everything is my heart t is telling me to change the food we are eating.  It would be so much easier to just go with the flow, but then it's not in my DNA. ( I'm thankful for our Chiropractor, who is working with us and helping us look at the whole body not just the symptom.)  When  people ask questions about health they look at you like you are nuts because you want to take a holistic approach to your  life.  I'm not totally against medicine.  I just believe there is a time and a place for medicine.  Again, I have a different approach to education  too.  Again, those same  people look at you like you have lost your mind!  Maybe I am a little crazy but   I love my family to much to just give up.  Everything in me is screaming to keep fighting know matter how hard it may be.

So, what can we do as moms when we feel like we are on the battlefield of life with our kids behind us and trying our best to shield them from this crazy world?  What do we do when we feel like crawling back in bed and give up the fight?  What do so when you just feel like crying?  Here is what you do.  You throw your hands in the air and wave them around like you  you just don't care!!! I'm just joking and have know idea why that song just popped in my head!!!
You continue to be that crazy mom who loves her kids more than your last breath you will take and love others regardless on how they may react to you.   If you need to have your own baby fit but get up and continue to educate, grow, love and fight for those kids of yours. You are the only voice they have and the only one who will fight for them.   It's what God calls us to do.  When we feel like giving up, He will continue to give you the strength   and courage to be the mom he has called you to be.He will never leave us nor forsake us.   The fight will never be in vain when you depend on Him. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Do you have to give up on your dreams after giving birth to you children?

If you are wife and mother, do you have to give up your dreams  after giving birth to your children?  Do those ideas you once had  need to be thrown in the trash? Can you still live a life of Awesome and be a stay at home mom?  The answer is Yes!
My husband and I are reading a book given to us by my mom.  It’s called “Start. Punch Fear In the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters” by Jon Acuff.   Great book and exactly what I need to be reading at this moment in my life. 

Acuff, reminds me how easy it is to get busy with everyday life.  We have families, some work a full time job or stay at home with the kids, which is more than a full time job! If we are honest, add so many extra things on to our plate that we end up putting what we really want to do in life on the back burner and begin living a life of average.  We make excuses and pretty much blame everyone else why we are not living a life of Awesome.
First, the question needs to be asked, “What is Awesome to you?”. Also, ask yourself this question.   If you were suddenly put in the middle of some horrific storm and your life was flashing before you, what would be your three regrets in life or if you could do it over again, what would be the three things you would spend most of your time with and be honest or put it another way, “ If you would die this moment what would you regret never doing?”

My answers are:

1.      God

2.      Mark and the Kids

3.      Writing and speaking

 To be honest, in my life at this moment, number one and two I feel I’m doing a pretty good job at being awesome in this area. However, there is always room for improvement!  God really shook me up a few years ago and had me get my priorities in line.  But number three, I would be like a roller coaster.  Some days I would be going at it full speed and other days I would come crashing down because of fear or rejection.  I would feel like quiting.  Thankfully, God never gives up on me.
What can we do right now to live a life a life of Awesome?
1.       Be realistic with your time and responsibilities.  I’m a wife and mom first and this is a huge blessing and what I love doing most.  Sometimes, as much as we love them, we srew this up.  We need to need to get our time  with them right first. Even though I have other passions besides being a wife and mom,   It would be irresponsible on my part and completely selfish if I abandon my family to do something that I wanted to do.  I would be going against God and his word if I did this. This would be the biggest rerget in my life.  I want to live a life of Awesome not regret.

2.      Baby Steps.  I use to think it had to be all or nothing.  That is a big lie.  I also that I was to old and  missed the boat.  Again all lies.  Do what you can with what you have right at this moment.

3.      Be selfish.  You are going to think well that just contradicts what you said in one.  Give me a minute.  In the book Start, Jon says if you completely walk away from your family, role as wife, husband, mom or dad and any financial responsibilities  you are an idiot.  He didn’t say  idiot I did!  It would be completely selfish or if you are working on your “dream” and it is taking time away from your family again this is selfish.  What can we do?  Look at your schedule and decide when can you be selfish with your time to work towards your goals without it taking away time from the ones you love the most.  I want to be completely present with them physically and mentally. I have been getting up at the crack of dawn to spend time with God.  I then write for 30 minutes each day.  I can do this and it doesn’t take away from anyone else.  The rest of my day can be focused on them.  I don’t have any regret and eventually I will have my book.  If I can’t sacrifice and get up early than it really isn’t a dream at all and I should just give it up!

4.      Give grace.  There are days I don’t get up as early because my two year old was up half the night or I didn’t go to bed early because Mark and I were up late together or because I was just stinking tired! This is ok! Don’t be legalistic about it just get back on track tomorrow. 

5.       It’s ok to Say No.   Remember our time is precious.  Make sure what we are doing is pleasing to God not people.  If you are staying busy and adding more to your schedule to make others happy, you will never live a life of awesome. 

It is possible for moms to live a life of awesome.  Yes, we are wives and moms first but if we follow God and keep our priorities in line we can also give birth to those dreams that are deep down inside our heart without  sacrificing what we love most and for me it’s is God and my family

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Is it Possible to have the words SEX and BUDGET in the Same Sentence?

If you are anything like Mark and I use to be years ago, the words MONEY and BUDGET were fighting words.  The minute those words rang it our years, it was like ding ding the fight it on.  There was nothing clean about our fight either!  It was like watching two heavy weight boxing champions Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield.  The fight was dirty and we took some low blows at each other.    Heck, I’m sure at one point I tried to reach over the table to bite Mark’s ear or maybe even scratch his eyes out! 
Money, like for most married couples, was the cause of the majority of our arguments. If we are really honest with ourselves it wasn’t money that was the problem, it was something much deeper inside both Mark and I.  Now, if you are reading this or have been reading any of my blogs, you might be thinking, “I didn’t know you were so jacked up!” 

The truth is we all are at some point.   However, the majority of people like to pretend and act as if nothing is wrong living a life just going through the motions.  These same people are living a life broke and miserable trying to feed and fill up on empty desires trying to mask what is really going on  in their lives. 
Ok, maybe I just took it to deep for you and now you are thinking not only are you jacked up, have lost your mind and are a freak!!!

Yes, I would agree! But, If crazy, jacked  up or even a freak means being financially free, living a life on purpose,  going after dreams that never seemed possible, raising up Godly children, having a rockin marriage and might I add beign together for  20 years still having some amazing sex, surrounded by  awesome friends, and having joy and peace in my life then I’ll take it!!!
Here is the thing.  Mark and I don’t even get in the ring to box anymore when it comes to money!  We are on the same page working towards the same goals and actually can review and go over our budget in just 10 minutes.  We even added some fun to it too!  I’ll explain just in just in a few more paragraphs.  If you have been following my blog, you know what that means especially if you have a husband like mine! 

Here is the million dollar question how do you get to the place in your marriage where you don’t have to step in the boxing ring in order to create a budget?  Also, how in the world can you add a little spice and fun to it to boot!  I will share just a few lessons we have learned.  The rest I will share in my book as soon as it is finished!   It’s not rocket science! Actually, you already know the answer.   Maybe you just might need a little reminder and support.  It really comes  down to simpify your life.   What I’m share in my blogs is what works in our life.  Maybe what works for us doesn’t work for you and that is ok.  You really need to find and create a plan that will work in your life.  There are some great books you can read for more help on money.  I love Dave Ramsey and Dani Johnson.  You can Google them for more information. 
1.       You have to get real with yourself.  You need to get to the root of where and why you have money problems.  This is really hard because most people would just like to pretend or blame their spouse for their problems.  Mark and I were both to blame and we had to take responsibility for ourselves.
2.       Stop spending and live beneath your means.  Who cares what your neighbor, friend or family member thinks about you!  Most likely they are broke so stop trying to live a life to impress others. If you don’t have the money don’t buy it!

3.      Be grateful for what you have and begin speaking words of life.  Stop going around complaining how broke you are.  The reason you are broke is because of your own stupid choices.  Get up and do something about it like WORK!

4.       Communicate with your spouse.  Take baby steps, create a plan and figure out what your goals are for your marriage. Know the difference between investing and spending.

5.      Set the mood!  We pray together before we sit down to do our budget.  We know we need Him because without him we would still be putting on our boxing gloves.  Also, we put on some old school music on so we can laugh and even love on each other for a little bit before we sit down to do  our budget.  Soon as soon as we are done,   get back to getting our groove on!  Anytime sex is involved, my husband is one happy man! 

Now, number five didn’t happen overnight actually none of it did!   It has been a work in progress and still is to this day!  However, it’s worth all the hard work.  The other day, while driving by myself in the car, I was flipping through the radio stations and heard one of our songs from back in the day.  It was Two Occassions by Baby Face!  I know I’m such a dork!!! So, it reminded me to go home and play it for Mark.   We cranked that song on last night.  The kids were in bed but could hear us in the kitchen.  They knew we were getting ready to do our budget.  They heard the music and came running out and said, “oh here there go again with all their kissing.”  I love it!  They are witnessing their parents coming together being able to talk about money without it becoming  some  long drawn out fight!
If the words money and budget went from a 10 round boxing match where both mark and I would leave with scars from words that would be said to laughing and sex, there is hope for anyone!!!  Life it so short to be angry and always fighting! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Are people trying to tear you down? If so, what should you do?

What is holding you back from taking the step towards peace in your life?  What is holding you back from the joy?  What is keeping you from having a better relationship with you spouse, children, a family member or friends?  Why are you afraid to take the leap of faith to do what God is moving in your heart to do?

For me it's my own insecurities.  I still struggle to this day with what someone might think of me.  Are they whispering thoughts like, "She is controlling."  If they knew my heart they would know I'm really not.  I just have so much passion and capable of getting the job done.  Do these same people think I think I'm perfect?  I hope not, because I'm not.  I'm a mess and it's only because of God I'm the person I am today.  I work on myself everyday, it hasn't been easy.  Do they think I'm better than everyone else?  Are you kidding me?  I struggle all the time and ask God why did he choose me? 

I don't know about you but one of my greatest struggle is the negative thoughts about myself  in my own head.  My other struggle has been people and not allowing them to tear me down.  Even when they try, love them despite of what they do.   

If you are like me, what can we do?  First, we have to love God more than the approval from  people.  I pray all the time asking God to help me love and focus on him  and not fall in the temptation of wanting the approval from others.It's funny when I think about it.  Why do we care what others think or say about us?  Most of those people who are thinking or saying negative comments about you and me are miserable or full of jealously.  I never want to live a life like that. 

People, know matter what you do, will always have something to say and we have to decide if we are going to let them and their insecurities  hold us back to the many blessings and purposes God wants for our life.  Ask yourself, why do you struggle with wanting the approval from others.  This was a huge break through for me.  Thankfully, I'm fully aware of it but it still can  sneak in my life.  When it does,  God teaches me a huge lesson and gets me back on track.  I suggest trying to learn the lessons through other people. If you don't, He will teach you and it's not easy!  I've cried many nights but God brought me through it and was so much better because of the pain I experienced.

Second, begin writing down those negative thoughts.  Again, you are aware of them and the enemy can't use them against you.  Get honest and real with yourself and replace it with words that give you life. 

Third, fill your mind with the word of God.  When those thought come because they will, you can attack it with the only word that has the power to do so.  We have to know it deep in our souls who God says we are and how he sees each one of us!!

Living the life God wants us to live, is worth it but the journey will not be easy.  He wants to refine each one of us,so we can be prepared for what is coming our way.  There will be heartaches and there will be blessings.  If you stay on course through it all, you will live a life fully alive and a deeper relationship with God himself.  For me, that is all I want in life.  More of him and less of me...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What do you do when you want to spit fire at someone???

Mark and I graduated from high school together 20 years ago this year.  As we are considering going to our high school reunion and reconnect with some friends from our younger days, memories come flashing back to me.  Some of these memories are really good ones especially considering this is where I fell head over heals with the man I would eventually marry. But, if I'm totally honest, there are memories that send chills down my spine.  There are many choices and decisions I've made in high school and my early 20's that I'm not very proud of and for a long time haunted me. 

One of those memories is how I would be remembered from back in the day.   My senior year I was nominated as the person most likely to gossip.  At the time, I thought it was cool especially because my picture was taken by a pay phone and featured on the front page of the school newspaper.

Now, you might be reading this and think what is the big deal.  You were just a kid and kids do stupid things.  Those stupid things followed me after high school, through my 20's and was not convicted until after the birth of my oldest child.  My words have hurt many people.  Life and death are  in the tongue.  Years ago, I couldn't figure out why I was so miserable until God showed me it was the way  I was talking about my husband, friends, life in general  and myself.  Something had to change and it was me.

Hurt people hurt people and because I was hurt I did the one thing I thought was the answer and that was to kill with my tongue.

Since then God sent me on a journey to healing and restoration.  He humbled me and had me go back to ask forgiveness from many people I hurt.  I was not to look at what they did to me only what God showed me what  I did to them.  It wasn't easy but freed me from the bondage I was in for years.  I don't know, maybe I had a right to be mad but when you begin to fall in love with the God of all creation nothing else matters but to love like he loves.  He can forgive me than I must than forgive even if they other person refuses to forgive me.

God gives us  so many gifts and many times we mess it up and use it for the wrong purpose.  I'm so thankful I'm not the person I use to be and have learned to use my words to build, encourage and not to tear down.  I don't always get this right still.  Remember I am married. There are times Mark can get on my last nerve.  When this happens, I know to take a few minutes and walk away because the last think I want to do is to grieve the holy spirit and cut the people I love and the people God loves with the sharpest weapon we own and this is our tongue.  I know this is hard.  If you are alive and have relationships with anyone else who is breathing conflict is inevitable. 

So what do you do when you feel your emotions  are getting the best out of you and you want to spit fire at someone?  First, ask God for forgiveness and learn the lesson so it doesn't repeat again.  Surround yourself with people who don't feed the fire but hold you accoutable and grow through the experiene.    Also, take sometime to learn more  about people and get some people skills. The more you learn about yourself and others the healthier your relationships will become.

As Mark and I decide if we are going to our high school reunion and reminisce about our old Alma mater and our younger days, there may be people who remember me as a big mouth and if so it will be an opportunity to ask forgiveness but also for me to remember as I walk in the room, I am know longer that person but a new creation in Christ. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How do you help you kids to dream BIG?

When my oldest daughter was five years old and just a little peanut, she looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, "I want to go to the Olympics!"

Pretty big goals from a little girl who was not even big enough to ride roller coaster or rider her bike in the street. Here she is, talking to me about the Olympics!  She was just learning how to do a back flip!  What do you say to your children when they have dreams that are so big it's hard for you to even comprehend them?  Come on, as a mom, most days we just want to be able to get through the day without burning dinner!

I've had many people ask me, "How do you do it?  How do you get ALL your kids to have such big dreams?  How do you get them to want to go to practice without complaining?  How do you get them to clean their rooms, do schoolwork, and help around the house without dealing with moaning and groaning?  How do you get your kids to work together, support, and love each other without being jealous of one another? 

I can't answer all those questions in just one blog.  It takes a ton of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.  However, here is one bit of advice that I would like to share with anyone who wants more than just average for his or her  children.  It begins with you and who you are as a parent!  Who do you surround yourself with?  Are you growing, and what kind of role model are you being to your kids?  What are your values and morals? If you can't see a bigger vision for your life, how are you going to see one for your children? 

It begins with baby steps, allowing God to work in and through you.  It begins by making changes in your home.  It begins with the words you speak to yourself, your family, and the people around you.   I'm all for dreaming big, BUT priorities have to be in line, and you must know who and what is most important.  The biggest mistake I've seen people make in going after the "dream" is leaving their family behind.  That is just stupid.  The biggest dream should be family, and doing life together.  If you are trying to find your purpose or help your child find theirs, know this, it's not about finding your one purpose because there isn't just one.  It's about living everyday with purpose.  This is not easy, but when your kids see you become alive in all you do, they will inmate you! 

I don't know what the future holds for my children, or for my husband and I.  I do know this: you have to start doing something, and as soon as you do, your life will begin to change. It will not be easy.  There will be days you will want to throw the towel in, but then God will send you little reminders to keep you on course.  One of the greatest reminders is when you look in you children's big beautiful eyes, or their faces light up with the biggest smile!!   We don't know how our life will finish, but we can know how it's going to start.  I also know this: I will never live a life of regret.  I know, without a doubt, that all things are possible in Christ, and so do my kids, because they see their parents live it out every single day! 

Years ago, when my daughter shared her dreams, I could have crushed them, and then who knows what she or my other three kids would be doing today.  Instead, we spoke life, and gave her the opportunity to do her thing.  Yes, we are so excited for her  because we see her dreams becoming a reality.  But, most importantly, it's not WHAT SHE IS DOING, BUT WHO SHE IS BECOMING.  I can say that proudly about ALL FOUR OF OUR KIDS.  All the glory goes to God! 

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