PB&J Are Here to Stay!

Moms, do not feel intimidated in the kitchen. True, it may be hard at times to please your husband. If he compares your cooking to his mother’s,  I pity you. Making your children happy is often much simpler. Their favorite foods might not be high in nutritional value; yet, if you work in healthier choices, you cut down conflict, and cut back time slaving over a stove. Fix sandwiches; pb&j are here to stay!

Pb&j is sweet, high in protein, and you can make it in a snap. Moms, take the time you saved, find a quiet place, and seek rr&j.  Rest, renewal, and Jesus sweetens our spirits, plus energizes and empowers us to carry out our calling. Jesus knew the importance of rest. He urged his disciples to find time for relaxation. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6:31b NIV).” Get out of the kitchen and into the closet!

Remedy for an Unhealthy Heart

I had assumed blockage and hardening of the arteries was a problem only for the elderly. Today we hear of the serious health threats of obesity in children. It puts a new spin on what goes unseen beneath the surface; if beauty is skin deep it has a lasting relationship with cholesterol and arteries under attack.

I am not fluent in medications jargon. Frequently someone with medical background will confidently unravel a string of drugs given as treatment for ailments and I smile as clueless as a tourist in a foreign country. As a young girl, a new word entered my vocabulary; Grandpa Ford took digitalis. He had heart problems, rested after lunch and followed his doctors’ orders.

There is another remedy for an unhealthy heart: Did-ya-tell-Jesus?

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NAS).”  

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Are you burning your candle at both ends?  You may get burned!  We frequently push our minds and bodies to the limits, draining the last drop of energy. There is so much work to do and so many problems to solve.  Society considers procrastination to be a weakness; there is wisdom in letting some things wait until tomorrow.  We will deal with life’s issues with renewed strength after a good night’s sleep.           

Our minds become landfills of anxiety, gloom and doom.  We rehash personal problems, family trouble, and even world crisis.  Soon, stress hinders sleep and dreamland becomes insomnia territory.  Tossing and Turning may have been a rock and roll hit record, but it is receives a gong in the wee hours of the morning. If only it were as easy to shut off our minds as shutting down our computers.       

Sleepless nights are nothing new.  Men counted stars above, before we numbered tiles in the ceiling.  “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep (Psalms 127:2 NKJ).”  Let Him tuck you in bed tonight.  He will read you a story from His favorite book.  One day you will live happily ever after in His kingdom!

What’s In Your Bucket?

In this house

we do dishes, yes…

Dishwasher Boy

But we also do wild.  Unorthodox.

We do mistakes.

We do second chances.

And third.

And four hundred and seventy-ninth.

*thankfully*

We do silly.

We do laughter.

We do real.

We do tomfoolery.

{and plenty more mistakes}

We do “I’m sorry’s”.

{A lot of “I’m sorry’s”}

We do loud.

We do long hugs.

Lots of sweet kisses.

We do grace.

We do family.

We do us.

Perfect imperfection.

It had been a tough parenting day.  One of these days.

Actually it had been a rough week.  Ever since returning from our anniversary getaway, we had been dealing with incredibly unpleasant {see…I’m choosing my words wisely} behavior in my daughter; over-the-top whining and drama about every little thing, constant boundary-pushing, mega attitude and rudeness like we had not experienced from her before.

And that particular day, I fell apart at the seams.

And it was the furthest thing from pretty.  It was downright scary.

I failed miserably, shouting – in the heat of the moment; where utter exhaustion and intense furry collide – with such anger in my voice that my heart ached with regret as the dagger-like reprimands left my mouth.

Sure, she was wrong in behaving the way she did.

But now, so was I.  My immature, impulsive handling of her behavior simply added fuel to the fire.

I get to choose: water or fuel.

This explosive day, I had grabbed the fuel.

It was one of the most ferocious crazy cycles we’ve ever been caught in, her and I.

I modeled such poor anger-management skills that it breaks my heart to even think about.  The very heart attitude we are working to mold and transform in her was so starkly, blatantly revealed within me..and found wanting.

One of the hardest parts for me to swallow is this: I never was an angry person before this season of my life.  Where is all this rage coming from?  In 7 years of marriage, I have neverspoken to my husband in the harsh, unkind way I did to my daughter that day.  I have become a yeller.  And I hate it.

Maybe it’s simply that I was good at stuffing…and my toddler is good at digging.

Immature outbursts drenched in selfishness & impatience: 2

Tenderly delivered, grace-filled lessons in {tough} love: 0

And despite {many} apologies, my heart remained heavy.  Grieving over our exchanges.

What a horrible, ugly side of my heart has emerged lately.  And my 3 year old, tender-hearted little girl, often has a front seat.

Oh, how desperately in need of saving I still am.

How deeply I need accountability in the way I process my weary frustration in mothering toddlers.  How vital support and friendship is to surviving this rollercoaster ride of parenthood.

How very grateful I am for God’s incredible patience with me.  His ever-present mercy, grace and direction on this journey.  His faithful protection of my daughter’s impressionable heart.

So I press on.

“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.”

Lamentations 3:23-23 {The Message}

What will you choose to bring to the fiery times, the heated conversations, amidst your day…?

Water

or

fuel

The choice is solely ours, friends.

by Joy McMillan, Simply Bloom

Ouch!

Do you ever have difficulty breaking in a new pair of shoes? It can often be a very painful experience. Each time the shoe rubs against your foot it causes irritation, and very soon, a blister forms, ouch! You may wonder if those nice new shoes are worth the pain.         

With every step you take, you feel the blister; and may even begin to favor that foot, placing more weight on the other. This is not what you bargained for when you selected the shoes. Each time the shoe rubs, you are instantly alerted to the problem. You cannot ignore the irritation.

I believe this focus on a simple blister may give us more understanding about Paul’s plight. “there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me (2 Corinthians 12:7b-9 NAS).”     

We are not sure what caused Paul’s blister; many believe his affliction may have been a very serious eye condition. We do know he wanted it removed, and God left it there to keep Paul from getting the big head. He had no bragging rights as an apostle. Paul’s boasting centered in the cross of Jesus Christ. “But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:17 NAS).”  What is your blister? Maybe it is God’s reminder of His perfect will for us. If some one rubs you the wrong way, they may be a blister in disguise!

Is Anything Too Hard For Our Lord?

Do you ever feel tired, stressed out, beaten up, worn out, or bruised? Life tends to run us over sometimes doesn’t it? As a mom, there are so many days where we don’t feel that pretty. Our lives encompass a lot of “duty” in them. When we do tasks like laundry, cleaning toilets, making the bed, and sweeping – we don’t feel that glamorous. And then there are those single parents that don’t have a spouse to rely on to give them a break when they are worn out. There is the working mom who is juggling both her work and home environment. No one set of circumstances has all of the answers or perfect solutions to a life that won’t leave you feeling stressed out or tired at times. Its just “Life” – all of it will bring these feelings upon us at times.

I think of Genesis 18:14 where it says, “Is nothing too hard for our Lord?” and it brings me comfort. It reminds me of the God who molded and shaped beautiful hills and mountains with His own hand. It reminds me of a God who can bring plagues, raise someone from the dead, and part the sea.

If God can do miracles and do things that we don’t even dare think of, can’t He also help me get through a tough day? Can’t He help me fix something that is broken, find time to fit in my necessary chores, give me a few hours of much-needed sleep, or keep me safe? Can’t the God who helped David beat Goliath, the God who gave Esther the courage to save her people at the risk of death, also give me the strength I need to not yell at my children when I feel overwhelmed? Can’t He help me find the time to love on my children after a full day at work? I believe He can. I KNOW He can.

So often we forget that God cares about the details of our daily lives. I think we tend to ask for the BIG things because He is a BIG God. We may not think He cares about our laundry piles, broken dishwasher, or ant problem. But He does. He cares about them because He cares about us. NOTHING is too hard for our Lord. He is the best problem solver around!

God wants to get personal with us. He wants us to come to Him with things we think are silly or insignificant – yet things that are concerns or issues for us. He wants to amaze us and show us just how much He loves us. Just as you desire to show your children how much you love them!

We will have bad days. We will have moments where we just want to crash. But, we can be encouraged and remember in those moments and on those days that nothing is too hard for our Lord. Give Him a chance to show you just what He wants to do for you in your life. You’ll feel so wrapped up in His love, if you do. It just takes a little faith.

~ Dionna Sanchez is the Founder of EmphasisOnMoms.com. Sign up for her free monthly ezine geared to encourage your life as a mom, wife, and woman.