November 24, 2013
October 15, 2013
This past week was an interesting challenge for me. I joined this challenge thinking, this is a challenge that will affect me.. hoping I will be kinder to those around me, so they will be slightly affected through the choices I choose to make. Making what God is already trying to teach me in this area, rise to the forefront of my mind. But this past week it challenged me in a way I didn't expect. And my children were able to watch and be guided in the ways God yearns for us to be.
Now, this just didn't affect them because I was kinder to them and they thought, Yay mom was nice today. It affected them in their hearts to the point where we had some pretty deep conversations on how being kind can show up in so many different ways, not just being "nice".
There were multiple things that happened, however, one of them I feel truly placed our week in motion. It all started on Monday. I was walking to the bus stop to get my children. They ride separate buses so after one gets off I have a good 15 minutes where the other moms and I just stand around and chit chat. Well, on this particular Monday, as I was approaching the bus stop, I noticed some people standing there talking to one of my friends. I immediately realized what they were doing. Now, I feel very confident in my beliefs, but struggle with confrontations.. I pray diligently on every question that comes my way when it comes to my Lord.. and these people we speaking deception to someone right in front of me. As I approached them I immediately stated to pray for God's words, not mine. My older son got off the bus as I started teaching, and showing God's love to these people.. and He was able to listen and learn how God can use us, his children, in his works. The entire time, my heart was stammering, hands shaking.. my kindness seemed to be extended to the group that was being deceptive. To the naked eyes it seemed that I was passionate but thinking carefully on how to show love as I shared God's desires for us. But that isn't where my son and I saw the kindness. Yes I was kind to them, and I am sure they were grateful.. but the kindness we came to see stronger was the witness to this friend. She's not a believer, she did not want to hear what they had to say.. truly, they cornered her where they knew she wasn't able to leave, the bus stop.. But when I stepped in, God used me to show her God was protecting her.. I was the deliver of God's message to show his love is pure, faithful, and KIND! Because I did not blast them out, or ridicule them.. I was able to be what God wants himself to be shown as. When they were gone, she opened up to Joe and I about her past with God and she was receptive to hearing about God and how amazing he truly is!
Now, I know I didn't witness the way I wanted to. I know my words were fumbled and although I got my point across, it wasn't as eloquent as I see so many others talk. But God used it for his good. All week I was able to guide my boys in different situations that required kindness. And through the good and bad situations, God was teaching me, your choices affect everyone around you in more ways than you just being perceived as a kind person. It will open the hearts of your friends, your husband, and your children ..even strangers, to who God really is and should be inside of us.. Jesus' love.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6
October 10, 2013
1 ring polish kielbasa
5-6 diced potatoes
16 oz fresh mushrooms (sliced & diced)
3-4 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons flour
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 32 oz box chicken broth
2-3 quarts water
1 cup chardonnay
6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme
Penzeys 4/S seasoned salt (sea salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, onion, turmeric, garlic, celery, rosemary, thyme)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (Trader Joe's is my favorite!)
Cube sausage and chop onions & garlic, brown with butter in stock pot/dutch oven. Add flour once butter is melted. Add pepper & salt. Stir. Once flour is dissolved, add heavy whipping cream. Stirring continuously with heat on med high. Add water and broth. Continue to simmer on low to medium heat.
Add potatoes, mushrooms and chardonnay. Add nutmeg and thyme leaves. Cover & Simmer for 5-8 hours. Stirring in between.
Serve with toasted bread (I like french baguettes) and sprinkle soup with fresh Parmesan.
October 2, 2013
However knowing that we may need to persevere more than anything because as we acknowledge our need for patience we may be tested to the max.
Remember NO ONE thinks just like you or me. We are all different and THAT is good!!! :)
There will be people that push our buttons. Persevere. Grin & Bear it. Smile and move on.
Don't allow your mind to dwell on the annoyances but rather the blessings and good things that come your way today.
There are people that may need to be avoided.
Being kind isn't being a doormat.
Being kind isn't allowing others to take advantage of you.
There will be Jackie Joy Stealers that try to steal your joy. There will be Debbie Downers who try to depress you. Negative Nellie's who aim to grab all of your positivity. Joe Jerks who try and tick us off. Bad drivers who you may want to give a middle finger wave to.
The harder we try the tougher the people sometimes.
To love is a choice.
Choose love today over anger, hate, or impatience.
Refrain from arguments.
Breathe deep and smile.
We can do this.
October 1, 2013
But I can tell you I am so conscious of my thoughts today and how easily annoyed I can be.
Hurrying as I run my errands. Rushing through my day. Wanting the Costco lady to forgo the smiley face on the back of the receipt, because as she hands it to my little one, I am just going to intercept it anyways, so that I can record it in my checkbook. Lines to go faster. I need patience.
I am trying to remember every person is someone's daughter, son, father, mother, sister, or brother and then as I imagine my family and relatives I am reminded God made us all equal and beautiful.
I am reminded that everyone needs a friend.
A rock upon which they can stand. A hand to hold. An ear to listen. To be loved.
If this teaches me anything I want to be most conscious as to where I allow my mind to wander. We hold so much power when it comes to our thoughts. We can break habits of negative thought patterns by stopping bad thoughts in their tracks. Even the hardest person can be more sensitive and compassionate when they choose to see the good in others.
So many of our annoyances or frustrations derive from our own selfishness & jealousies as well as our own impatience. What about me? Woe is me. This wasn't done MY way. This isn't how I want it. That isn't the way I would do it.
Let's try and focus on our own issues today instead of the issues of another.
September 25, 2013
Like an I've been there, done that, & I am not doing it again, kind of day.
Feeling annoyed by people's judgments. Others lies. Man's cruelty. People believing lies.
I'm tired of putting up with stuff, being the good guy (I think), while the bad guy carries on with their destructive ways.
It may be learning about another person's suffering that causes me to realize, Life is WAY too short for petty crap. For game playing. For women to be so catty with one another.
It's all about perspective. Being confident. Not worrying what others think, which is hard for me.
I do pause to wonder, why are women so mean to one another sometimes?
We should be sticking together and having one another's backs! Shouldn't we? Women should all band together and unite as one. Celebrating our differences and deciding to learn from another rather than be so critical and judge.
Many of us play comparison games and try to justify our own ways of doing things by putting down another. We feel inferior so we have to boast to make ourselves feel superior. Putting down another will never make us feel superior or happy. It will only make us more miserable.
Many of us rarely stop to look at someone through the eyes of God. Eyes that are SO loving, gracious, merciful...full of compassion and tenderness; Understanding & love.
We absolutely don't treat others with enough of that grace or compassion that we desire.
We all have struggles and things inside of us that cause pain or sorrow throughout our lives.
Spreading lies, stretching truths, trying to make yourself look better than the person next to you will never be the answer. It will never get us anywhere.
We too often think we know what others are thinking or about to do or say, so we try to beat them to the punch and sabotage them before they can sabotage us.
We women act & judge prematurely far too often based on our own assumptions.
Our own insecurities and guilty consciences can be our worst enemy.
Think before speaking and doing.
Relax and just be kind to everyone who crosses paths with you.
Accept and love, while embracing differences. God didn't make me judge, so I doubt he made others one either. :) Agree to disagree. Know that we all offer something. And everyone can learn something from everyone.
We have to stop judging someone else's outside with our own inside. It causes us to be our own worst critic as well as seek to find fault in another.
I would love to see more women vow to love and treat others with more of that grace and compassion that we hope to receive from others.
September 19, 2013
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
P.S. And I love tv and watching my shows at the end of the day...Thank you God for Fall & my television line up beginning soon!
September 18, 2013
I have to share a very sweet little thing that happened to me today that I completely do not find at all coincidental.
A little background of the past couple of weeks...I have been feeling just a little discouraged. One of my biggest struggles in life is when someone doesn't like me. I don't know why I let it get to me so much. I really do like people and get along with most people. I love making new friends. I feel like I am a nice person with a good heart and pretty pure intentions. I am an open book, I have never claimed to be perfect and I don't think I act like my poop doesn't stink.
I could have a room full of 200 people. 199 friends and people who like me and who I get along with. But I will dwell and ponder and worry about that 1. That one little guy or gal can ruin the whole thing. WHY DO I LET THAT BOTHER ME??? Any other full grown adults out there who fret about the same stuff?
Anyone else allow someone to intimidate you?
It's my own insecurity.
With fostering little ones I find myself among new people and learning to fit in with new moms. I have had a good thing going and a good comradery with my school age children/parents of, etc. I am trying to get a good thing going with parents of toddlers now too, as I go back in time a bit with the baby stage. It's been 5 years since I have had a 1 yr old. While that time flies, it's amazing how much you can forget and how EASY life can be once your kids are the "I can wipe my own butt" age.
Without going into detail as far as who, what, when, or where regarding this one person out of 1 billion who is causing me to feel all sorts of insecurities...Just know that they exist. It's my issue and I need to buck up and just have confidence and say "WHO CARES!"...
But it's hard...
So in the meantime, today happened.
My Jesus blessed me today.
I had story time at the library with my little ones. And lo and behold an angel of a mother came to sit by me. She sought little ole me out. And she said...and I quote...and I promise I am not one for vain flattery or one to pat myself on the back. But this is too good to not share. "You looked pretty lovable so I decided to come and sit by you"
And I come to find out she has OLDER kids too!!! And a toddler.
Jesus gave me a new friend today.
I love making new friends.
I love God's gentle reminders.
August 20, 2013
I read this amazingly timely post today. Hope it blesses you as it does me!
June 25, 2013
My girls really do a great job of choosing friends wisely and being kind for the most part. I am finding a good way to see what sort of friends I really value for my kids are those that bring out the child in my children. Kids are kids for such a short time and nowadays growing up far too fast. They have the whole rest of their lives to be "big". Now is the time to be kids, let loose, have fun and be free without a care in the world. I really like those friends who don't get annoyed of the "little sister". I like my kids to be around kids that everyone can be friends with. Let everyone benefit from their company. Why can't everyone get along? Why can't we all play?
I am finding it more with my 11 year old as she is in that "tween" age.
I love kids. Kids are funny. Kids are always welcome at our house. Of course there are some kids that if they want to play with mine, just must play at only our house. Where I am. Where this mama hen can oversee. Nothing against the child. Nothing against the parents. But I am an observant mom and a very nosy mom, and if I find anything fishy or in question I may need to reel in my reins a little tighter. Sometimes even if just that maternal instinct kicks in. I am learning to pray more about my kids' friendships and ask for wisdom in handling certain ones. I would never want a child to be hurt. And I will never know what goes on at everyone's home. So 'what is the best way to love this child/friend?' is a question I find myself asking God. Because if we can be a light, a haven, an example in any way, I want to do that. While so extremely far from perfect we are, I want to do what is best for my own kids that God has entrusted into my care. It's my job to set my kids up for success.
I also have to listen to my kids. Sometimes I really want to reach out to one of their classmates or who I may think is their friend, only to find out that child is not such a nice friend. Sometimes my child may get annoyed of someone and my child may be the mean one, and you better believe if I find that out, I am on it. I told my kids, nothing they do could ever embarrass me, except "being mean or bullying another person". I can't control every friendship or area of my child's life, though sometimes I wish I could to alleviate some unnecessary heartache. But that heartache can be good for teaching moments too.
If I can tackle being observant, present, nosy, understanding & wise...maybe I won't mess my kids up too much. But more importantly, if I can cover my child in prayer and seek God's wisdom continuously we should be okay.
How do you help to foster your children's friendships?
June 13, 2013
2. To be a famous singer
3. Be a teacher
4. Be the first woman president
5. NEVER be a bus driver
6. To always be friends with Gabby & Bri
7. To meet Justin Bieber
8. To have a 32 year old baby (What??)
9. Read every book in the world
10. Go to Heaven
April 19, 2013
Out of the blue. At any random moment. Just look at your daughter and make it known that you find her beautiful.
When they don't feel beautiful, remind them. When they compare themselves to others, remind them.
When I need to get my girls to do something regarding personal hygiene, I find myself often telling my kids you are too beautiful to ________ .
-You are too cute to not have clean teeth.
-You are too beautiful and sweet to stink.
-Your face is too pretty to be dirty.
-You are too beautiful to have snarly, messy hair.
They in turn hear positive reinforcement. Instead of nagging, nagging, nagging, they hear I need to do these things because 'I am beautiful'. Not that these things make them beautiful. They are already beautiful which is WHY they need to take care of themselves. We take good care of already beautiful things.
2. You are a nice girl
"Because you are such a nice girl I know that you will reach out to that child at school who was sitting all alone".
"That was not very nice, and you are a nice girl. Nice girls do such & such."
"You are way too sweet to speak so meanly"
"Oh my goodness, you are way too nice to have such a temper"
Again, I am learning to focus on the positive. Because you are already sweet you should do these things.
3. What you say is important
You have all of my attention. Undivided. Not in the middle of all of my doings. I will stop what I am doing and take the time to listen to you. Even if you ramble on and on, even if it doesn't seem important to me. I will ask questions and look you in the eyes so you know I am listening.
4. I just adore you
This speaks such measures to a child. Adoration. To be adored. It encompasses so much of who they are.
5. You can be yourself
I will not compare you to others. God made you you for a reason. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all make mistakes. You are awesome just the way you are. You don't need to be anyone but you. You don't need to be like your siblings. Each of you are loved. Just the way you are.
When your daughter hears that she is beautiful, nice, adored, loved for who she is and knows that what she says is of value, you will begin to build a self esteem and confidence that females can so lack as they grow older. You will instill a greater love and appreciation of oneself. And when they can see themselves this way they in turn see others this way and treat others as such.
April 18, 2013
April 16, 2013
April 11, 2013
Being that it was Sibling Day, the timing for this post is perfect. And one I have been wanting to write since last week.
Recently, I had an interview with our licensing worker for foster care. The questions mainly had to do with my upbringing and home life as a kid. Although, not perfect by any means, I had such pride in my family and where I come from after we were done. Our worker was in awe over a lot of the things I told her. I find myself a little embarrassed it took a totally unbiased person to help me see the awesome upbringing I had.
I've always loved having a big family. Coming from a home that was filled with love, chaos, constant noise, fun, etc. My family is so giving, loving, pro-children, hardworking, strong, non-judgmental, kind-hearted, accepting and inclusive of all walks of life. Coming from a large family I have desired such for my own children. And I cannot wait to walk out the foster care process and eventually adopt children. Coming from a blended family is amazing and opens your heart to love and acceptance beyond anything else.
I couldn't imagine not having my 7 siblings! And yes, they are my REAL siblings. And No there are not steps or halves, we are all siblings. Brothers & Sisters.
So, we're going to start down the line.
January 7, 2013
For me 2012 carried a lot of sadness, confusion, anxiety, depression, bitterness and a lack of motivation. Seemingly miniscule tasks can feel so overwhelming for a person who is depressed. 2012 was a lot of trying to keep my head above the water and just surviving one day at a time in the midst of feeling like I had nothing in life to look forward to.
Unless a person has struggled with depression you can never comprehend or begin to grasp the torment that feels like.
I struggled to find my purpose in life. Well, not so much find, as much as embrace where I was and what we were doing. There was a lot of pretending to be happy and smiling through pain and hurts. Pressing on past anxieties. Feeling like you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown and there is nothing your loved ones around you can do to help. There are no magical words. Nothing but time, mind above matter, and lots and lots of prayer.
I am blessed with great friends and family. Life was/is good. There was nothing to be sad about. But I was. I was so downcast, heavy laden, consumed with burdens that were never mine to carry. The freedom I used to speak on was no longer in my grasp. The hope I have shared with so many others was no longer mine.
In 2012 my life felt like it came to a screeching halt. I was bored. I felt worthless. I felt unimportant. I felt unneeded. Unwanted. Yet, in my heart knew I was blessed. I just couldn't feel it.
2013 for me is about Embracing Simplicity.
That is the motto in my mind. The song in my heart. And the words I will remind myself.
I am choosing to embrace where I am in life, What I do & Where my place is in this world. No matter what. Time to stand tall and embrace who I am in this life.
January 6, 2013
To ask for what you want.
To say no to requests or demands you cannot meet.
To express your feelings, positive or negative.
To change your mind.
To make mistakes and to not have to be perfect.
To determine your own priorities. To not be responsible for others' behavior, actions, feelings or problems.
To expect honesty from others.
To be angry at someone you love.
To feel scared and say, "I'm afraid".
To not have to give reasons for your behavior.
To your own need for personal time.
To be in a non-abusive environment.
To make friends and be comfortable around people.
*copied from The Women's Center in Waukesha, WI website