Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The World We Live In

I joined a group on facebook called 'Circle of Moms.' I get updates and reminders about my friend's children, articles about being a mom, and sometimes encouraging little memos. Well, the other day I received an article from 'Circle of Moms' that absolutely took my breath away.
The snipit on my phone read:
"Sure, it would be great if you could stay together for your children's sake. But what happens when the only way to end the constant fighting — and hold on to your self esteem — is to walk away?"
Wow. And then we wonder why our society is in the state that it is in. This kind of article appearing to maybe thousands of women - some who may be in limbo about their marriages. Maybe there are women out there who received the same email as I did and breathed a sigh of release - as if this confirmed a decision or feeling they were having. Because, after all, when we find ourselves in a marriage that no longer makes us happy, the logical thing to do is to 'walk away' RIGHT?
I have read over and over and over again that God didn't design marriage to make us happy - He designed it to make us holy. Anybody who has been married for any amount of time knows that marriage is not easy, isn't always loving, and isn't always fun but marriage wasn't designed to be. Marriage is hard, marriage is exhausting, and marriage is frustrating. Feelings get hurt, tears fall, and words get exchanged that can never be taken back. According to the above article, if this happens to you and your self esteem is at stake - walk away. But they never really address what to do if it this situation happens with husband number 2 or number 3 or number 4. See, it will. Any earthly being is capable of pain and hurt. So if anybody believes running from partner to partner will solve things, think again. It won't. I think we are challenged to stand firm against the enemy who is stalking our marriages and ultimately affecting many families. Show those around us what it means to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Prove the statistics wrong and be 1 of those couples who makes it - not one that doesn't.

My Beautiful Birthday Girl

Mirror, mirror on the wall - who is the prettiest 7 year old of them all? My sweet Mattea of course. Can you believe it has been 7 years since I brought Matty into this world. Ok - I understand her birthday was well over a month ago, but I'm now just getting around to documenting it. I still remember the day she was born. It was such a magnificent day. And here we are 7 years later....
Paloma and I surprised Mattea at school on her birthday back in February. We brought her lunch and took part in her school celebration. As a class treat, her daddy threw together a big batch of cake pops which made Mattea smile!
Seeing this picture makes me smile. My girls are growing up. They are turning into amazing young women. Thank you God for the blessing you gave me 7 years ago. I feel honored that You entrusted me to take care of, guide, teach, and love on these wonderful and beautiful girls. Happy late Birthday Mattea!!

Monday, March 26, 2012


What is a friend?

A friend is:

The ability to be oneself, express one's feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement

Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support

The tendency to desire what is best for the other

Aristotle writes that "the excellent person is related to his friend in the same way as he is related to himself, since a friend is another self; and therefore, just as his own being is choiceworthy him, the friend's being is choice-worthy for him in the same or a similar way

Friendship is:

Friendships are high in quality when they have high levels of positive features and low levels of negative features

Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationships generally considered to be closer than association

All of these definitions were obtained from Wikipedia. And they only represent a small portion of what was included in the definition of "friendship." Wikipedia went on to define friendships with children, friendship through adolescence and friendships during adulthood. They outlined studies on friendships and the decline of close relationships within our ever changing society. But to these two sweet girls above, friendship means something very different. I believe it to be a very simple concept. My Paloma absolutely adores her "best friend" Abby. She has fun with her, plays games with her, plays baby dolls with her, pretends to be Justin Bieber with her, makes cards for her, wants to go to McDonalds with her, and quite frankly just likes hanging out with her. This is the first real friend Paloma has made that she doesn't have to "share" with her sister.

I have loved watching this friendship grow and blossom. They are so opposite in personality and nature but have truly enjoyed each other. We are so sad to see Miss Abby and her family move. I think Paloma will always remember this very special friendship. Miss Abby - you will be missed. Thank you for all you have done and all that you are. You have complimented Paloma well and we love you for that!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our Foster Journey

Will you continue to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. We are knee deep in the foster care journey. We are loving it and feel blessed to be able to open our home to kids in need. BUT, our hearts have been broken on occasion. It is not easy to turn those precious peanuts back over to the state but I believe that God has a plan for each and every one of them. After all, He created them. It is definitely a learning experience for us. And learning doesn't always feel good. We have recently launched our third child back home and are currently "empty." We are all excitedly waiting to see what and who is in store for us next.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Acts of Service

It is no secret if you know me at all - I am a "dooer." I like to do things. I'm not always good at offering advice or even a shoulder to cry on - I would much rather bake you an apple pie (or better yet, chocolate cake.) I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad trait - for those of you out there who might also be "dooers." This world really takes all kinds. But recently after listening to the Resolution for Women on CD, I have come to realize that what I do isn't as important as how I do it. Does this make sense.
There is a part of me that kind of thinks that I can "do" anything. I can solve a lot by doing more. But if the truth is to be told, I don't always do things with a kind heart or a servant's spirit. Sometimes I do things out of obligation. Sometimes I do things out of regret and sometimes I just do something to make myself feel better. Wrong attitude huh? But I'm just being honest. I am getting better and realizing that - again - it isn't WHAT I do, but HOW I do it. I don't want my children to see a stressed out, grouchy, over worked mommy doing things because she feels she has to. I want my children to see a humbled, overly blessed mommy who feels like in her heart she simply can't do enough. Life is good. Really good. Now that doesn't mean that my world is a bowl of cherries or that I don't struggle. I do. I have good days and I have bad days. I have ups and I have downs. I have days where I am a horrible wife and a mean mommy. I have days where I don't shower, bypass the laundry and forget that I have to cook dinner. But even on those bad days - they are still good.
If we stop and think for a moment about some of the events that are happening around the world, my life looks amazing from the outside. I am not in fear of my life on a day to day basis, I am allowed to worship God openly in the manner that I see fit, I have two healthy children that are well fed and well clothed, I have a house over my head, I have a husband who treats me respectfully and values me as an equal. I could go on and on but I am hoping you are starting to see the picture. Life is good.
And when I sit down and really think about all the ways that I have been blessed in my life, I can't help but think of all the people who have not been so fortunate. And that is where my wheels start turning. What can I do to change the picture for those not in my same position. What acts of service can I do to brighten someones day, or perhaps change the course of someones journey. I know at times it can seem like the task is too big. But truly, each little step gets you closer and closer to the goal.
I remember being a new mom and being overwhelmed with the simple task of cooking dinner. At the time, it was no simple task - it was HUGE. I hated to cook and I wasn't very good at it. I remember when a few of my friends pitched in and brought meals to my husband and I so we could sit back and enjoy our baby without the worry of dinner preparation. I have resolved to really help out new moms in this area. I will admit, I still am no Rachel Ray, but I am doing my best to offer that service to new mom's around me.
I also remember being the mother of two young and rambunctious children who at times drove me up a wall. The days seemed long and I remember counting the minutes until my husband would arrive home. There were time that I would sit in my toy room wondering if I would ever get a break -a breather to regroup and readjust my attitude. I now realize the importance of alone time with moms. I try to do what I can to off that break to mom's around me. I love the spiel that flight attendants give on airlines. "If the cabin should experience a loss of pressure, an oxygen mask will drop down." They proceed to instruct you how to apply the mask and remind you that you should adjust your own mask before assisting others. Hmmmm, sometimes an afternoon to yourself is that much needed oxygen mask.
There are countless other ways that I have made an effort to try and serve those around me. It can be in a global sense or it can start in your own home. I have definitely had to work on serving my kids and my husband. My kids - their service comes rather easily. I have to cook them breakfast, I have to wash their clothes, I have to give them a bath/clip their nails/tie their shoes/wipe their bumm..... But for awhile there, my heart was not right. I was serving them with an obligatory heart - frustrated and bitter. The same goes with my husband. I had to clean the house, I had to do the grocery shopping, I had to do the laundry/mow the grass/prune the flowers.....but I was not doing it with a kind and willing heart. I now realize - after a whole lot of maturing and prayerful consideration - that it is not about WHAT I do, but HOW I do it. I know from my own life, I now take joy in serving those around me. We serve in many different ways, and all of them bring me a sense of joy.
I would encourage my readers to take a step back and see if there are any ways - big or small - that we can begin serving the people around us. There are a bazillion different ways, some starting within our own home. They can span across the country and even across the world. But, if you are like me and feel like God has given you way more than you deserve, I would highly encourage you to look for ways to return the favor. Pay it forward.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

February Favorites

February is always a busy yet wonderful month for our family. We celebrate two very special birthdays - Mattea and David. We enjoy the candy of Valentines Day and we enjoy the time off from school for President's Day. But, best of all, our family looks forward to the Father/Daughter Ball that happens every February right around Valentines Day. This year would be no different.
The girls look forward to picking out their dresses, coordinating their shoes, and getting their hair done. They look forward to the square dances with daddy, craft time, and of course the chocolate fountain that continues to make its appearance year after year.

Truth be told though, the girls really just love dressing up like princesses and being taken to the ball by their Prince Charming. They admire their daddy and the Father/Daughter Ball is the one event where they really get him all to themselves. They instruct me that I'm not allowed to go - just their daddy.
This year our friend Julie came along to make the night extra special. The girls liked having an "older sister" around.

The girls had such a good time. Thanks daddy for taking the time and making the effort with our girls. You are amazing. The girls are already counting down the days until next year.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday Night Fun

While in college, my Friday nights used to consist of a large gathering of friends, a trip down to the bars, and a bit of dancing and fun until the wee hours of the morning.

After I married David, my Friday nights would consist of a fun filled date or perhaps a late night rendezvous for coffee and dessert.

These days, my Friday nights consist of pizza and a princess movie with my hubby and my two little girls. Every Friday night, we look forward to snuggling up on our "nonny bird nest" guzzling down some yummy pizza, and watching a very funny "G" rated movie. Though I may not be all dazzled up, hanging out with a clan of friends, or devouring some very yummy and fattening dessert, I am spending my weekends in the most perfect of ways. I simply wouldn't have it any other way.

In My Spare Time

These days I can't help but say that our family is B.U.S.Y! But in a very good way. The kids are busy with school. Mattea is busy finishing up her cooking class. Dave is busy traveling and our entire family is busy with our 14 mo. old foster child. That child is B.U.S.Y in her own little way.
Sheesh, I guess I had forgotten how crazy those little toddlers can be.

But I have to say, in Nov. when i was asked if I would once again coach my daughter's cheer squad, I couldn't help but say "sure, bring it on." Actually, if I'm honest with myself, I said "are you serious, I can't possibly squish one more thing onto my overflowing plate" in my head of course.

Oh but I can't even begin to describe the joy and laughter that our amazing squad has brought me. Both myself and a good friend of mine have the privilege of coaching 10 lovely girls (2 of them being my own!) Each week, we meet for an hour to practice, pray, partake in devotion and above all else, honor God through sports. We have a game every Saturday and are having a blast showing off our skills for our parents and fans.

I love that God has changed my grouchy heart. I love that God has opened my eyes to the ability I have to drastically change lives - one week at a time. I love that God has provided me with 10 amazing little girls that have a passion for Christ and love shaking their pom poms each week.
I love that even with an overflowing plate, God has given me the patience and energy I need to make it through this season.

Go Upwards!

Found In My Inbox

As I was deleting the countless junk messages sent to my email inbox, I ran across this particular devotion send awhile back. I happened to read through it and found the words very comforting. I hope you agree.....

Define YourselfWendy Blight
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

“Define yourself through the hands and eyes of a true artist.”

As I closed the stall door in a public restroom, that slogan caught my eyes. It was from an advertisement for a plastic surgeon. Reading those words, I knew this doctor was tapping into longings every woman has: to be beautiful, loved and accepted by others.

But for most women, this is not reality. We don’t see our beauty or worth. We look in the mirror and only see faults. We allow others to define us.Sometimes it is our culture. But oftentimes it is the very people we love…our parents, a friend, or spouse. Their words deceive us into thinking we are unworthy…a failure as a woman and even as a child of God.

Yet God created us to be women of strength and beauty, each with a divine purpose planned by Him before we were born. God alone has the right to define us. No one else.There is only One true artist and His name is God.God is the Creator.

After reading that advertising slogan, I felt a burning desire to know a woman’s true identity. The Truth I found in His Word was powerful and life changing. Rather than posting these truths on the back of a bathroom door, I wanted to share them with you.
You are:
• Created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)
• Fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
• Precious and honored in His sight. (Isaiah 43:4)
• Redeemed and forgiven. (Ephesians 1:7)
• A new creature in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
• Holy and blameless before God. (Ephesians 1:4, 1 Corinthians 1:30)
• Chosen by God. (1 Peter 2:9)• God’s masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
• Created with purpose to do great works for God’s Kingdom. (Ephesians 2:10)

You are God’s creation – beautiful, strong and created with a unique plan and purpose.I don’t want you to rest your head on a pillow tonight without knowing and believing who you are in Christ. I have prayed that God would reveal to you who you really are – not who you are in your parent’s eyes, spouse’s eyes, children’s eyes, friend’s eyes, or in the world’s eyes, but that you would know who you are in YOUR FATHER’S EYES!

Dear Lord, thank You that You are my Creator. Thank You that in You and You alone I find my identity. Father open my eyes to see who I am in You. Make every Truth I learned today a reality in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.