What a Day

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It’s difficult to imagine, but one day very soon, Jesus will return to Earth and establish His kingdom. The Bible says He will stand on the Mount of Olives and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!

That will be one amazing day! His reign on this Earth will last 1000 years and all of us who have been born again will reign with Him as kings and priests.

Along side Jesus, we will judge and rule over the people remaining from the Great Tribulation.

I look forward to that day… No more wars. No more anger or hatred. No more offense. Only peace and joy.

Truly… what a day that will be…

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Happy Veterans Day!

Wishing all those who have fought for our great nation and those who are currently enlisted a very happy Veterans Day!

God bless you for your sacrifice!!

New Baby (Part 2)

I went through a lot of emotional turmoil during the course of my pregnancy with my son. First of all, one of my stepsons was involved in a major ordeal that set the entire family on it’s head. We were all confused, sad, and scared. I think that may have been one of the main reasons my husband was not too thrilled about having a new baby. The timing just felt all wrong. And honestly, it was hard for me to be happy about the baby while we were all worried about our other child.

Thankfully, a month after we realized we were expecting, we received good news about our older son. The circumstances were beginning to turn around and there was light at the end of the tunnel. By that time, Babe was beginning to warm up to the idea of having another baby. We began to discuss what the gender may be and what names we would like.

With that crisis virtually behind us, now we could just enjoy the pregnancy, right? Well, my emotions were very raw during this pregnancy. I cried at the drop of the hat. It was much different than my first one, where I would react in anger instead of sadness, but that is a story for another time.

So being as delicate as I was, I really became a mess when I began to get news from my parents and siblings who live two states away. My parents who had been having marital problems for years were going through with a divorce. My mother decided to move in with another man whom she just met a few weeks earlier, while she was still married to my dad, and my grandmother was all but encouraging it, because she loved the new guy so much and has always detested my father.

Oy… what a mess. I was getting phone call after phone call, text after text, each of them trying to get me to listen and agree with their version of events. My poor sister (the middle child) was being sucked into their drama and so she would call me in tears not sure how to deal with it all.

My dad who is addicted to pain meds, was having severe health issues. He’s a diabetic and a heavy smoker. He is also very terrible with money. He called me one day, begging for money. I couldn’t give it to him. Not only could I not afford to give him money he would never return to me, but he would just blow it on things that would hurt him.

So he became angry with me. We argued and he hung up on me and called me back a few times until finally I stopped answering. After that, we went several weeks… maybe even a few months… without speaking to each other.

This is just a few small things that went on while I was pregnant. I was a mess. My heart was broken and I was worried about my family. I spent a lot of nights crying myself to sleep, my sweet husband rubbing my back and praying for me.

One night, I was so spent, I got out of bed and sat in the living room. I cried harder than I had in a long time. Just so discouraged and overwhelmed by the mess that was my family. I felt hurt and betrayed. I felt like I had given so much to them and they were being so selfish in return…

That’s when Babe came in and laid his hands on my head and began to pray for me and plead the blood of Jesus over my mind. Peace flooded me at that moment and I realized how blessed I really am. I have a wonderful, godly husband who loves me, and I have four amazing children.

As hard as it was, I had to let go of my family of origins. I had to leave them in God’s hands. I had to separate myself from them, more than just by physical distance. I had to step back emotionally.

The only family member I spoke to for most of the end of my pregnancy was my sister. She was dealing with the mess in person and she really needed my encouragement. But the rest, I stopped communicating with for a period of time.

I wrote a letter to my mother and grandmother to explain why, and my grandmother’s response was less than kind. My mother never bothered to respond at all. It hurt deeply.

I struggled with anger. All of this was bringing things to light inside of me that I had buried a very long time. Memories of abuse and neglect. Realization of deception and hypocrisy. It was all being revealed, and I had to figure out how to cope with it all.

In my next “New Baby” post I will talk about how the Lord brought healing, and how he used our precious bundle of joy to do just that.

Fall & Entertaining & (non) Perfection

I love the Fall. It puts me in the mood to clean, organize and decorate my home. I adore Fall decor. It really is my favorite. There is just something so comforting about the earthy colors and spicy-sweet scents.

Fall also, makes me want to have family and friends close by. Maybe that’s why I want to clean and organize so much. Because I have a strong desire to entertain.

So tomorrow night, I am having a potluck for mom’s from my church. It will be a kid-free evening with lots of good comfort food and a bonfire. As I made out my to-do list for prepping for the gathering, I realized I’m much less stressed about it then I thought I would be. Especially since I haven’t really had a lot of sleep this week. My infant son is teething and has been sick, so he’s kept me up.

I can attribute some of my stress-free attitude to new homemaking habits I have started, but I think it is more that I have matured a lot and I realize that my house does not have to be perfect. I used to think I had to have every little thing in place and every surface had to shine in order to have people over. I wanted to impress.

While I really do want to have a nice and inviting home, I realize that it doesn’t have to be pristine. As a matter of fact, people seem to be more relaxed in a home that is “lived in”. I know I am.

I mean, have you ever been to a home that is immaculate? How did you feel? Personally, I feel a little uncomfortable. I’m afraid I may knock something out of place.

But when I am in a home that has a little clutter here or there and a few dirty dishes in the sink, I feel like I can make myself more at home. I know that these people are real and they are down to earth.

All of that to say, tomorrow night is going to be great. All these Moms who have worked hard taking care of their families can come to my home and relax. And I pray they can feel comfortable and reassured that perfection is not important.

New Baby (Part 1)

In my last post, I briefly mentioned that we were blessed with a new baby boy in March. He really is an unexpected gift!

Babe and I had talked about whether or not we wanted to have another baby. He was pretty settled in his heart that he didn’t want anymore children. Our boys were teenagers and our Little Miss was finally out of diapers. He was felt like our family was complete.

But deep down in my heart, I desired another baby. At the same time, I was just not sure if I could manage the stress of caring for an infant while juggling our business and homeschooling and everything else. I was torn, so I never pushed the topic with Babe. I did, however, pray about it.

I knew the Lord knew the desires of my heart, but he also knew what I could handle. I asked him to make a way if it was in his plan for us. In the meantime, I continued to faithfully take my birth control as my husband wished.

Then something happened. I messed up my birth control pills. It was just a matter of forgetting to get them refilled in time. I really didn’t think much of it. I mean, how many times have I done the same thing in the past and never had an issue? I was actually even a little cynical about it. I told myself, “yeah, you’re not going to get pregnant. Why? Because you would be overjoyed if you did!”

But low and behold, about 6 weeks later I took a test after my period was late. I was in disbelief!! The test couldn’t have been more positive!

I guess I should have waited until Babe got home from work to tell him the news, but I just couldn’t help it. I called him. He wasn’t thrilled. As a matter of fact, he sounded a little angry… of course that hurt a lot. But I understood where he was coming from. In his manly way or seeing things, our lives had just gotten more complicated and expensive. We were also in the middle of a crisis with on of our other children and he was stressed!

For the next couple of weeks, there was a little tension in our home. Instead of feeling excited and happy, I felt down and discouraged.

Eventually, Babe warmed up to the reality that we were having a new baby. But there were accommodations that now had to be made for our new arrival.

In my next post, I will share more about how Babe and I dealt with the changes that had to take place in preparation for our little one. I will also share about the depression that I went through during the course of my pregnancy.

Until then…. ❤️

It’s Been Awhile…

Wow… It’s been over two years since I’ve even looked at this blog site! Time certainly does fly, doesn’t it? I don’t know why I stopped blogging. But the last couple of days, I’ve really been feeling like I need to take it up again. So here I am!

Much has happened over the past two years. My last blog post was about our new home and the miracle that God performed for us. We moved into this beautiful place on June 27, 2017. I am still just so amazed that this is actually our home. It’s still just so beautiful to me! I will share more about our home in a later post, but for now, I guess I will just do a quick summary of what else has been going on.

In January 2018, our family was hit with a serious crisis concerning one of our children. It lasted until September, and almost ended in tragedy. We are still experiencing some of the ramifications of it, but thank God it is mostly behind us. However, that period of nine months we very traumatic for all of us.

Yet, like he always does, God brought beauty out of the ashes. What the enemy meant for evil, he meant for good. A lot of wounds were healed in our family and a lot of forgiveness and reconciliation took place. Looking back, I can really see the hand of God in all of it. And I am thankful.

In the middle of this ordeal we were experiencing, we got the surprise of our life! I was expecting another baby! Now, my hubby has two boys from his previous marriage, and we have a daughter (almost five now) together. We were not planning on anymore children. Of course, the Lord had different plans for us.

Our Little Mister was born on March 29, 2019! I will definitely be sharing the story of his birth in a later post. What a blessing, to say the least.

My Babe and I are still running our business from home. We continue to grow and be successful in our business endeavor, only by the goodness of God. We have hired a dispatcher/office assistant who doubles as my own personal assistant. She had been such  life saver. I really don’t think I could have maintained my sanity trying to do everything with the business while taking care of the little ones and the house as well as homeschooling.

Which brings me to what else we are doing. I officially began homeschooling our daughter this year! It took us awhile to really get into a routine, but I think we may have gotten the hang of it now. That is another blog topic I want to post later.

I am sure I could go on with so much that I’ve been up to, but I will stop there for now. I am really looking forward to getting back into blogging. I do pray that it will become a tool that the Lord can use to encourage and uplift others, and to lead people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Until next time! Good night…

My Moriah Experience

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“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and said, Behold, here am I. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Genesis 22:1-2)

Tears streamed down my face as I drove to meet my husband at the mortgage company. It should have been a joyous day! We were supposed to be signing the loan application to purchase our first home together. Yet, my heart was breaking and I could hardly see the road as my eyes were pouring water.

Just a few weeks earlier, we had made an offer on a beautiful new home! We were so happy and excited because we had been praying and waiting for this for a very long time. We’d been married for almost seven years and we currently lived in a mobile home. It was the same mobile home my husband had lived in for 17 years. He lived there for 7 of those years with his first wife. It was time for us to get something together that we could call “ours.”

I had been patient, trusting God and knowing he had promised me a beautiful home for my family. When I saw this house, I KNEW it was THE house! I felt it in my spirit! My husband felt it to, or so I thought. He didn’t hesitate to make an offer. So why were we getting ready to terminate our contract? I just didn’t understand!

Yes, I knew the reasons that my husband had decided not to pursue this house. There were some concerns about some of the neighbors. These neighbors had shouted out some unsettling remarks to him one day while he was walking the property. Then when we did some further research, we found they had been known to be troublemakers in the neighborhood. This was something my husband just didn’t want to take a chance with. We own our own business and have a toddler. We needed to feel safe in our new home. I knew all of this and understood it, but what I didn’t understand is why God would bring us to this point, get our hopes up, then take it from us!

This was what was on my mind as I drove to the mortgage office. As I was crying, I spoke out loud, “Lord, I don’t understand why I am standing her on Moriah…” I felt like Abraham, standing on Mt. Moriah with his promised son of his old age, getting ready to lay him down on the altar and take his life.

God had promised Abraham that through Isaac, his miracle child, he would be the father of many nations. Yet, here he was, getting ready to sacrifice this child as God had commanded. But Abraham trusted God. He knew that God could raise Isaac from the dead, or prevent the killing all together. He knew that obedience to God was the main thing, and he was willing to do whatever it took to do God’s will.

So as much as I wanted to fight my husband over this decision, telling him he was being ridiculous; that the neighbors weren’t as bad as he thought; that God would take care of the neighbors; that this is OUR house and I didn’t want to give it up! God had promised it to me and I KNEW it was OURS! As much as I wanted to say all these things, I submitted to my husband’s leadership and we signed the paperwork to terminate our contract that day.

I cried for several days after that. I had lost my desire to look for anther house. I was so hurt and disappointed by what had transpired. I still dreamed of this house at night. I still thought of it and couldn’t see myself in any other home. When we did look at other houses, none of them measured up. The house I wanted, was not the house for us. I had gave given it back to God when I submitted to my husband and his decision.

But there was a glimmer of hope in my soul. I remembered Mt. Moriah and how God did, in fact, spare Isaac. God provided a lamb just as Abraham was about to thrust the knife into his son. So I knew that as hard as it was to give up this house, God had something better for us and he would still fulfill his promise.

A few days later, our realtor contacted me and asked me if we would still want to buy the house if the sellers could somehow take care of the problem with the neighbors. Of course, my husband and I said “yes!” We were both in love with the house itself. We were just concerned about the situation with the neighbors.

A few weeks later, the sellers offered to build a privacy fence around the back yard. This was appealing to us, because we could park our work van inside the fence and lock it, and also our daughter could play safely outside without the fear of being bothered. My husband met with the seller and they came to an agreement! We were going to buy the house after all!

So here I am, sitting here thinking about this experience that I call my “Moriah experience.” And it really was! God made me a promise a long time ago that he would provide us with a beautiful home. We have waited patiently and when we finally found it, we were so happy! Then it felt like he was tearing it away from us. I knew it was some kind of test, but I didn’t know how it was going to work out.

Of course God never fails us. He not only gave us back our house, but he added to it! Now we will have a beautiful privacy fence around the back yard at no charge! When God does something, he does it well!

 

 

 

 

 

Packing a Diaper Bag for a Two-year-old

In some ways, packing a diaper bag for my toddler is easier now than when she was an infant. Yet in other ways, it is a bit more complicated. It really depends on where we are going and how long we will be away. And sometimes, I need more than one bag!!

For instance, if we are going grocery shopping, I need to be sure to pack a toy and a sippy cup keep her busy for an hour or so while we roam around Wal-Mart. One toy is usually all she needs and most likely she won’t need a snack because we won’t be gone that long. If she does, I can alway crack open a package of cookies while we shop. Or grab her a donut at the bakery.

For church, depending on whether or not I bring her to service with me or leave her in the nursery, the contents of the bag will be much different. If I leave her in the nursery, she will only need a pull-up, wipes and diaper cream. Oh and an extra set of clothes in case of an accident.

If I bring her to service with me, I bring a few snack variations and two sippy cups with juice. Yes two. Why? Because the silly Cups gives her comfort when she starts to get fussy. This is just what she needs when she is in a setting where she has to sit still for a long period of time.

I also bring a few quite toys, books and a coloring book (or notebook) for her to scribble in. I have to bring a variation of things because her attention span will not allow her to focus on one thing at a time. This sometimes requires a smal backpack or tote in addition to the diaper bag.

If we are going on a day trip, I basically pack like I do for church, but I will probably bring more snacks. I don’t worry too much about her sippy cup, because riding in the car is soothing to her. Also when we stop to eat, I refill her cup with milk or juice from the restaurant.

So here is a basic list of what I pack in the diaper bag, which also doubles as my purse, by the way! There are several items on this list that I didn’t mention above. It doesn’t include my own personal items.

1. Pull-ups (or diapers)

2. Wipes

3. Diaper cream

4. Hand sanitizer

5. Snacks (make it easy)

6. Sippy cup with juice (or drink of choice)

7. Change of clothes

8. Hair brush and container of rubber hair bands

9. Toys (variations for trips and church)

10. A notebook and crayons or washable markers for scribbling (optional for church and trips)

11. A change of socks and shoes (maybe)

Did I leave anything out? What do you pack in your diaper bag? Share your list!!

Why Keep a Private Journal?

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In this day and age of social media, I wonder if anyone really keeps a private journal anymore. Since I was a freshman in high school, I have kept a hand written private journal.  But when I was introduced to Facebook several years ago, my private journal entries dramatically decreased.

Not long ago, I realized that Facebook statuses and sharing in Facebook groups have taken the place of my faithful paper and pen. I guess because it was much quicker, and I could also get a reply, and even encouragement, from others; whereas in my private journal, no one read it but me.

But lately, I’ve been drawn back to my private journal, and I’ve felt the need to stop sharing so much of my personal struggles on social media. I believe keeping a private journal can really be healthy and beneficial to our walk with God as well as our personal growth, while sharing too much on social media can really have the adverse affect.

Here are a few reasons I’ve compiled to keeping a private journal:

  1. To have a safe and private place to sort through and understand your feelings.
  2. To be brutally honest with yourself; dig deep into your own heart and find what needs to be changed and/or healed.
  3. To clear your heart and mind of distractions so you can hear the voice of God more clearly; and record what he says.
  4. To keep a record of happy, sad, and momentous events in your life.

These are all very good reasons to keep a private journal, and I could elaborate on each of them. However, I’d like to focus on the first two. Let’s start with having a safe and private place to sort through and understand your feelings.

When I write in my private journal, I do not have to censor anything. I can say exactly what is on my mind and heart without fear of hurting someone’s feelings or “getting in trouble.” My journal is my “safe place,” Its the place where I can take off my mask and be honest about how I feel about things and even about other people. I do not have to maintain a filter. What I write doesn’t even have to make sense. It is just me, pouring out my heart of all my fears, hurts, anger and yes, even happiness and joy. It is full of every emotion imaginable, sometimes all in the same entry.

The benefit of writing out all of your emotions like this is so that you can better understand why you are feeling the way you are feeling. As women, we can feel a thousand different emotions all at once and the reasons for each emotion do not have to be related to each other at all. Because of this, we sometimes get confused and we cannot articulate what we are feeling. That makes it hard for us to resolve issues, especially when other people are involved. Writing things down can help us map things out.

The second reason I want to address, is that when we journal, we are free to be brutally honest with ourselves about our own faults and insecurities without the fear of judgment. When we are truly honest with ourselves, then we can begin to work on the things that need to be changed within ourselves. We can identify the things in ourselves that have caused the turmoil instead of always throwing the blame onto others. When we do this, we can begin the healing process and take steps to positive change. After all, we cannot change others, but we can change ourselves.

I like to think of the Book of Psalms as King David’s private journal. Have you ever really read it as such? All throughout, it is full of David pouring out his heart. He cries out to God about injustice, betrayal and disappointment. But the thing that I have noticed is he always turns his attention back to the goodness of God.

When I journal, I try to do something of the same. After all my venting and complaining, I try to remember how good and faithful my God is to me and I try to turn it all around into praise. By doing this, I can truly find healing and rest from the struggles of life. I feel like this is the main goal for private journaling in the end.

So I want to issue a challenge to anyone who may read this. Let’s cut back on how much of our personal struggles we post on social media, and instead, put it in a private journal. Give yourself freedom to pour your heart out completely, but then be sure to return your thoughts back to God and give him praise in the midst of your circumstances. Try this for awhile and see if there is a change in your spirit. Maybe even come back here and tell me about how it works for you! I’d love to read about it!!

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