Fear is a bully: An excerpt from my journal

I feel alone. I know I’m not. I know it’s a lie. The truth is God is real. And He is all I need. I don’t need any other thing, or any other person. He is enough.
But when you’ve been hurt by people so many times, it’s scary to open up again.
Fear is a bully.
It pushes me around. Tells me what to do. What to think.
It tells me lies. It tells me what other people are most likely thinking of me. It tells me that all those negative things I’ve been thinking about myself are true.
It tells me I’m wrong about things and it tells me what my limits are. It tells me the boundaries stop here. Or there. Because that’s how it’s always been.
Fear doesn’t give me hope.
It doesn’t tell me I can do things, it says I can do nothing good. Nothing.
It tells me that I am mediocre in everything I do.
And it doesn’t just whisper these things to me. It screams at me. Loud. Loud and clear.
It makes sense when it talks.

Fear reminds me that girls are the ones who have hurt me the most. That girls can’t be trusted. That they have hurt before and they will have no problem hurting again. Fear shows up every time I meet a new friend, reminding me of the similarities of the ones who have hurt me. It makes me think that there must be a reason so many people don’t like me. It has to be me. There must be something wrong with me. It reminds me of all the things people have said about me, and it tries to convince me that it’s probably all true.
All the lies. All the fakeness. Because that’s what fear does. Fear is a bully.

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Pushing me around especially when I am the most weak.
The most tired.
Fear does not wait for me to get energized and recover before it pushes me down again.
It is trying to hold me back. Trying to cripple me. Trying to stop me. Trying to keep God’s best from me. Fear is not from God. Fear is from the enemy.

But Hope. Hope is my anchor. Hope reminds me that it’s not about me in the first place. That everything I am is only because of Jesus. And that Jesus bought me with a price.
I am His, and fear can not touch me, because hope was the gift that God gave me.
It is rightfully mine. Hope shows me that it doesn’t matter what people think of me, or say to me, or say behind my back because I have someone standing before the very presence of God for me. Hope fills me with courage. Fills me with joy. Fills me with peace. A peace that anyone who doesn’t have it could never even understand. Hope gives me complete confidence in my future.
I can hold onto it and it reminds me that there are no limits. That I am more than a conqueror.
That I am loved. I am not alone. I have everything I need. I am complete. Complete in Him.
Hope. Hope overtakes the fear. And it anchors my soul. It brings me to my knees. And it reminds me that God will never. Never. Let me go.
Fear can not hold me.
Hope will sustain me.

Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ Dressing your little girl in style

How much fun is it to dress a little girl?!
No. Seriously. How much fun is it? I wouldn’t know! Ha!
It was fun dressing my boys when they were little, but it seems like it would be so great to pick out adorable clothes, accessories, jewelry and boots for a little girl!

I have been photographing Nicole since she was pregnant with her sweet baby, and I have loved getting to capture her daughter Madeline over the last few years.
She is one stylish little girl and she has the personality to go with it!

Check out this adorable little outfit, complete with hair accessories and jewelry!

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I can’t even stand the cuteness overload!
Here’s where you can get these adorable, stylish little outfits:

Flower Bangle is from Gymboree. You can buy it here.
Blue hair bow is also Gymboree. They come in sets of three and you can buy them here.
The skirt is from Crazy 8. You can find something similar here.
The leggings are also Crazy 8 and you can find something similar here.
Headband is Crazy 8 also and similar ones can be found here.
The denim tunic and striped jacket are both from GAP. Similar items can be found here and here.
Brown boots are from Stride Rite and can be found here.

Mommy Monday ~ When kids hurt other kids

It’s a real thing, bullying. It’s not just the youtube videos and the news articles that we see…bullying shows itself in many different ways. I don’t know that I have ever really referred to it as “bullying” because that implies physical harm, at least in my mind.

Kids hurt other kids. It’s awful to watch and it’s even worse when it involves your own precious kids. But the truth is, it’s probably going to happen to your kids at one point or another.

I remember when AJ was on a particular soccer team about 4 years ago. He had been asked to join the team in the middle of the year, and the team had already been used to playing together and were not particularly fond of the idea of adding another boy. One kid was especially mean to AJ. Not physically or anything, but just comments here or there. Making him go and get the ball, and making snide remarks. He made fun of AJ’s cleats too. (I thought that was only a girl thing.) Anyways. We learned a lot that year, and AJ really kept himself together and spoke kindly to the boy and by the end of the year, the kid was calling AJ his best friend.

While that’s a nice story and all, that is not how all the stories end. Some kids are just going to be spiteful and mean no matter what you do. I see it at The Porch sometimes, (although we do not allow any kind of bullying to go on while the kids are with us) and I see it on social media a little bit. But the kind of bullying I see the most is the kind that I find the most painful.

It’s the ignoring. It’s not mean words, rude comments or physical harm. While those things are horrible of course, it is awful when you watch someone have to deal with the group of kids that sit together laughing and talking while the other one is left out. Feeling like the outcast. Like the one with no friends. Like they have no idea what is even going on. It’s passive aggression at its finest and it is just. plain. ugly. We see it as adults, of course, but we feel like we are old enough and we have our life together enough with our husband, or family and close friends and we can manage. When this happens to a 13, 14, or 15 year old, it can be absolutely destructive if it’s not handled right.

Let me tell you what the temptation as a mom (aka mama bear) is: You tell your child that the other people are just horrible and mean. You tell her she is better than them. That she doesn’t need them and she should treat them exactly the way they are treating her. You build her up and puff her up and make her feel better than the mean kids.

Here’s the only problem with that. We are commanded to think of others as better than ourselves.
To love. To show mercy, grace and forgiveness.
I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to even type those words. These are not just the words of some random blogger who heard about mean kids that one time. These are the words of a mama bear who feels every bit of the heaviness of what I just wrote. When you see kids treating your child poorly? The last thing you want to show is mercy, grace or forgiveness.
It’s just not fair.
Not just.
Not right.
How can I teach my kids to think of these mean kids as better than themselves, when I feel physically sick trying to do the same? The honest fleshly thoughts? I don’t think those kids are better than mine. I think mine are better than them. I know. It’s ugly to say out loud, and even though I want to go back and delete delete delete those words, I want to keep it real with you, because I know there are other momma’s out there who are feeling my pain. I’m not saying those honest fleshly thoughts are right. They are not. But they are real. And they need to be dealt with in me, so I can deal with them for my kids.

So we have talked about the temptation. Now we have to talk about the right thing to do.

The simple answer? Love and forgive. The longer answer is this. We as moms have to be able to see things long term for our kids, especially when they can’t see past school tomorrow. The long term result of unforgiveness and pride is bitterness. Bitterness can take root in your child’s life (or OUR lives!) and can defile us. The NLT calls it a poison and I believe that that is what bitterness is. Poison. Holding onto bitterness will cause so much destruction in our kids lives, not only right now, but it will become a habit that can destroy other friendships, and could even possibly hurt our relationship with our child in the future. We have got to see the danger in allowing our kids to become prideful and bitter. Our goal as mom’s has got to be encouraging humility and forgiveness.

I get it. Trust me I do. It hurts. I know it does! I have cried many tears for my children because of the way other kids have treated them. But you need to remember the danger. What happens is we think the danger is the other kids. But the real danger has nothing to do with the other kids at all! The danger comes when we start teaching our kids that they “are being the better person.” The danger comes when we start teaching our kids that it’s ok if they hold on to bitterness and an unforgiving spirit. It’s not ok. And forgiveness does not make the mean kids right. It makes your kid free. When we can see that we are giving our kids freedom by forgiving the mean kids? We can sleep a little better at night, because we are securing our kids future.

What about you? Are you having a hard time with kids hurting your kids? I feel your pain. I know it’s hard. I know it hurts. It hurts more than you think you can bear. But here’s what you can do.

1. Pray and ask God to give your child strength to get through. Pray that God will use this experience to make him or her stronger.

2. Give your child opportunities to serve others. It is going to give them something to get their mind off things, and it will benefit other people as well.

3. Let your child talk it out with you. It’s ok if they cry. It’s ok if they see you cry. Be open, but always bring it back around to what God requires of you and of them.

4. Give them ice cream. Ok, ok. I know I say everything goes back to ice cream. But seriously, celebrate small victories! If they are able to say something nice in response to the mean kid, or if they show kindness to someone else, or if they are able to overlook insults..rejoice in that! Be constantly encouraging them to do the right thing. You are teaching them that they can persevere even through tough times. This will come in handy for so many other life struggles.

5. Find someone you can talk to. Us mom’s need to talk things out sometimes too. We need advice to help keep us going. We need to know we aren’t alone.

And remember… You can do it! Kids are going to hurt other kids. It’s a sad fact of life. But we can help our kids learn how to be stronger because of it.
Keep pressing on mom.
You really can do it.

Just because some people hurt you…

I am so honored and excited to be speaking at Park Street Baptist Church’s Ladies Day Apart tomorrow.
I will be talking about the importance of discipleship.
Getting into the habit of incorporating discipleship into every day life is hard…especially when you have been hurt before.
I love the way God takes my hurts and allows me to use them to help other people grow. He is always faithful. Always.

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Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ Sentimental jewelry

I love jewelry. All kinds.
I love big and chunky rings and I love thin, delicate rings.
I love big huge hoop earrings and I love tiny little studs.
I love a huge bead necklace and I love a simple gold chain.

Just recently, my  mom was going through some old jewelry that she had gotten from different family members. I am such a sentimental person. I love the thought of taking jewelry that meant something to my grandmother or grandfather so many years ago, and making it work for today.

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So a wedding band my grandfather wore to show his commitment to my grandmother now becomes a thumb ring.
A ring that belonged to my great great grandmother, now becomes a knuckle ring. Who cares if the bottom is broken and the stone is missing.
And a simple gold chain that my grandmother used to wear around her neck to hold the wedding rings that no longer fit her tiny, frail hands because of what a disease was doing to her body, now is worn years later by her granddaughter.
And with each piece I wear, I can be thankful for the generations before me that passed on a love for family, and more importantly for God and His Word.

Jewelry is timeless. And being able to wear pieces that remind me of the amazing family I have been blessed makes it even better.

Sentimental jewelry is the best.

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Mommy Monday ~ Are you praying for your kids the way you should?

I pray for my boys daily. I also pray over them every night after they go to sleep.
But I am constantly being challenged with the thought that I do not pray enough.
And not only do I not pray enough, but I don’t pray correctly.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think that it’s possible to pray “wrong”. The Bible tells us in Romans 8 that we have the Holy Spirit who works as an intercessor for us when we don’t know how to pray.
I just think that I need to be more intentional with my prayers.
Do you think it’s a good idea to beg God to keep my child from ever being hurt from his friends? What if God knows that a difficult experience today is going to help him work through a trial that will take place when he’s an adult? See…I don’t know the future. I don’t know what is best for my kids every single time. I mean, sure. I do my best to train the boys, to teach them and to love them. But there are things that my kids need that I many never know they need. Does that make sense?

So my challenge to you tonight is to pray scripture over your kids. You can not possibly go wrong with that, right?

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Here are a few examples:
When you pray, just insert your kids names like this…
(1 chron. 29:19) Dear God, please give my sons AJ and Ry a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things.

(Romans 8:26) Lord, Please help for AJ and Riley to understand that neither death or life, or angels or rulers, or things present or things to come, or powers, or height or depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate them from your love. Help them to never doubt your love for them.

(Colossians 1:9-11) Jesus, I am begging you that my boys will be filled with the knowledge of your will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. I am asking you that they would walk worthy of you and be fruitful in every single good work they attempt. Please help for them to increase in the knowledge of you every day. Give them your strength, patience and joyfulness!

(Hebrews 12:25) Lord, I do not want AJ or Riley to have any bitter roots grow up and defiling them.

(Hebrews 10:30-31) Jesus, Teach my boys to hold on to the truth that you are the one who repays evil, and that it is not their job to show vengeance. Help them to realize that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

(James 1) Lord, please have the boys understand that trials will come, but we can count them all joy when they do, because we know that the testing of our faith works patience. Give them the understanding to realize that they need to ask you for wisdom and have faith in that way. Help them to be doers of the Word and not just hearers.

So you get the idea. I pray different verses at different times. If they are having a hard time being slow to speak, I pray James 1:9 over them, if they are having a hard time being overly sensitive, I pray Proverbs 12:16 over them.

So what about you? Are you praying for your kids the way you should? Take some time to see what is going on in each of your kids lives and pray scripture directly over the issue. It’s powerful. And it’s challenging as a mom.
Let’s pour out our hearts to the one who created our kids and knows them better than we know them ourselves. Let’s give them the best gift we can..prayer.

Leave a comment with an example of how you pray certain verses over your kids. I would love to hear it!

We’re getting too full~ My 1am musings

I’m gonna keep it real. It’s almost 1:00 in the morning, and I’m really regretting the cup of coffee I downed at close to 8:00.
So here goes. I have been frustrated lately. Frustrated with life. With people. With a lack of justice in the world. Some things that don’t seem just and fair in my life, some in my family’s lives and some in the world in general. But just to be clear, my frustrations have not been pointed towards God. My frustrations have been pointed towards people. I use the word frustration on purpose, because I am not angry, I am not bitter, and I’m not even really sad. I am just frustrated. I know that it’s a good idea to take those frustrations and channel them towards good. That is why I am starting this website. I think we all need to be reminded that we are not alone.

But as I started looking around, here is what I saw:
*Lack of commitment to God.
*Lack of commitment to friendships.
*Major hypocrisy.
*Lack of commitment to serving others.
*Major selfish behavior.
*Major entitlement.

And I questioned why? Why are people who have been rescued from what they deserve not more thankful? Why are people who have been adopted into God’s family now asking for blessings and comfort for themselves? Why are people taking the “prize” of heaven, but not representing the name of Christ the way they should? Why are people giving a bad name to “Christianity”?

And then it hit me. We are getting too full.
That is the total and complete answer right there.

Let me give you an analogy. Let’s say it’s been a really long day and you are just absolutely starving. You are in an unfamiliar place, and you have no idea what your options for food are going to be. You see the golden arches up ahead, and even though it’s not your first (or second or third) choice, you feel like you’re going to die if you don’t get something in your stomach. So you pull in. Get a couple cheeseburgers, a fry and a drink. You are completely full. Borderline sick, but still. Full. You get back in the car and about 2 miles down the road you see a 5 star restaurant. It has the perfect atmosphere, impeccable food and fantastic service. Here’s the thing. You are completely full. Granted, it’s on absolute garbage, but still. The thought of going into another restaurant, even though it is clearly way more satisfying, way better tasting and has a much better future result, you are just not going in. You couldn’t even bear the thought of food right now.

Why are people not even acting like they are interested in a real, personal relationship with Jesus?
Because they are already so full on the wrong things!
Psalm 90:14 says this. Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness.
Get.this.point.
If we are not getting our satisfaction in the morning from the love of Jesus, we will find our satisfaction somewhere else. Maybe it will be in our instagram likes, maybe it will be in our tv shows, maybe it will be in our finances or our accomplishments, or who knows what else. But the deal is, we fill ourselves every day with something. I really think we don’t even realize we are doing it. But we do. I am particularly passionate about this, because I think people are falling away from the one true God left and right because they are so busy filling themselves with the wrong things. Sometimes with things that are already in their lives and sometimes with things that don’t belong in their lives at all. We are commanded. It’s not a suggestion. To exhort each other every single day, and do you know why? So we aren’t hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Say what? Oh ya. We are being deceived by sin and we don’t even know it. I have friends right this very second who have been completely hardened by sin. And they don’t even see it as sin! Why? Because it’s deceitful! DUH!

Stop filling yourselves up with the wrong things, for the love of Peter! And stop letting your kids fill themselves up with the wrong things. If you are so busy getting your confidence from your achievements. And you are so busy getting your love from your kids.  And you are so busy getting your self-esteem from your friends…you are setting yourself up to be deceived. You are setting yourself up for failure. Stop filling up on freaking McDonald’s food when God wants to give you a filet mignon and calamari.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus that is real and growing, you don’t even know what you’re missing. And once you taste it? You’ll never want to go back to the cheeseburger.
And if you are pulling into McYD’s again after you’ve already been to the good restaurant? You had better back. it. up. Pull up on out of that grease pit and check where you have been deceived. Check to see where you held on to bitterness. Check to see where you didn’t forgive someone. Check to see if you started thinking you were smarter than God. You are not.

Here’s the point. We can easily be deceived without realizing it. We need to stop filling ourselves with the wrong things so we can enjoy the right things.
When the rest of the world realizes that we are eating at the 5 star restaurant and they are invited too? They will actually want to come in!
When they see us Christians still eating slop at McDonalds? (no offense Ronald) Why in the world would they do anything any differently?  They wouldn’t.

Live up to your name. Drive right past the garbage and pull in to the good stuff.
Life is so much better that way.

Stop getting too full with the wrong things.

6 ))suggestions for a relaxing, enjoyable family vacation

Who doesn’t love family vacations? In theory, they can be absolutely perfect. You’ve bought the bathing suit with the matching hat, you’ve pinned “fun games for your family vacation”. Then you throw in an over tired toddler, a moody middle schooler or a cranky wife and your vacation is pretty much over. Anyone feel me?

I am going to give 6 suggestions that I think will help to make sure you have a relaxing, enjoyable family vacation. Now, of course, my boys are older which makes things so much easier. I don’t have to triple check to make sure I have the pacifiers, enough formula for the plane ride, strollers and all the rest. But. I have been there, and even when your kids are older, a week long of being in each other’s faces every second of every day and you still have potential for disaster!

We just got back from a week long vacation to Florida. And here are 6 things that I think will help your family be able to have a relaxing vacation.

1. Stay with family.  Now. I am not saying that it is necessary to stay with your family every single vacation you go on. But, since finances are one of the biggest emotional issues husbands and wives deal with, why not save a huge chunk of your vacation budget by either staying at a family member’s house, or going in on a place with family. This can also make it so you either don’t have to rent a car at all, or you can share the expense with family. Being with family all together can also relieve stress because there are more adults for the kids. Aunties are always looking for more play time with nieces and nephews, grandmas are usually happy to stay with the baby to give you a break, and cousins make for great playmates.

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2. Don’t fill your schedule to the brim. There is nothing more stressful than going on vacation and feeling like you have to check off lists of each and every detailed activity your family must do. This is vacation, people. Relax a little. I think it is a good idea to go into your vacation with a few things that you really want to do, and kind of let the rest of the week play out. By you controlling every passing minute of vacation, you are not taking into consideration the other people’s personalities. Maybe the kids want a morning to sleep in and take it easy. That’s the point. It’s vacation. Maybe your husband wakes up and decides he really wants to go biking, but you had already planned that for Tuesday! Let it go. You are going to have a lot more fun when you put a lot less expectations on yourself. Those expectations can be saved for your work life. Not your vacation life. We knew 3 things before we went to Florida. 1. The boys wanted to go to Sun Splash, (Adam and the boys went on those crazy white water slides. I went on the not as steep ones!

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2. I wanted to go to the beach and 3. Adam wanted to play golf with his dad. We did all three, and also ended up doing much more. But they were spontaneous! I love spontaneity. It makes life so much fun. We ended up with this: playing mini golf, hitting a bucket of balls, going to see a movie, going thrift store shopping, and even seeing dolphins at Sanibel Island! They weren’t on our “list” but we still filled our vacation with plenty of fun memories without everyone feeling like they were trying to keep up with the person with the list!

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3. Do not neglect your time with God. Don’t forget that every breath you have comes from God, and even the ability to get wealth comes from Him. And also do not forget that the enemy loves disunity. And what better time to try and trip you up with pride, disunity and miscommunication than on vacation? I am pretty sure he works overtime then.
*Make church a priority even when you are away. If you are staying with family, go to church with them! I’m sure they will be thrilled to show off their family to all their friends. If you are staying in a place you aren’t familiar with? Google it. I know that can be kind of intimidating, but I’d try and find a church that has an AWANA program. It’s probably safe.
*Spend time reading your Bible! I so enjoyed my morning time with God last week out on the lanai. Sunday morning, I watched the sun rise as I sang, prayed and read my Bible. It’s a beautiful way to make sure you are not getting too comfortable in your reading and making it a ritual.
*Stay humble. Only by pride comes contention. If you start feeling yourself get uptight? Go into your room and pull yourself together. Read a verse. Pray. Ask God to help you react in the right way. Don’t let something small become something big and then ruin your vacation.

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4. Ignore your diet. Sorry, maybe some people won’t agree with me here. But I have such a hard time with guilt when I eat certain food, or too much of anything. And I seriously hate that I can’t even enjoy the handfuls of m-n-m’s I’m eating because I just feel so plain guilty! When you are on vacation, give yourself a break. Get the fried chicken sandwich instead of the grilled. And get yourself some fries with that! Get the large ice cream with extra fudge. And don’t feel guilty doing it! You’re not going to die with a week of unhealthy eating. Let yourself enjoy everything to the full. You can get back to normal when you get home.

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5. Be prepared for the unexpected. You usually plan your vacation well ahead of time, so you aren’t really going to be able to plan for the weather, for your health, or for any other outside situation. Kind of have a game plan in your head for what you’ll do if it rains all week.
Set yourself up for success. If your kids wake up and it’s raining on the day you were planning on going to the water park, have a plan B. Make it fun, and get excited about it. Same thing with sickness. It’s gonna happen. You may have a day, or a few days, where everything seems to be going wrong! Just be prepared. Have plenty of music ready for dance parties or just something to calm everyone! Have a few games, or crafts ready just in case. Have ingredients ready if you need to make cookies. And refer to suggestion 1. Having other adults to help boost your kids’ spirits is going to be invaluable. Work together as a team make some crazy memories!

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6. Spend individual time with each of your kids. You’re out of routine, you’re out of your element…make sure you’re using this time of your life with no schedule (refer to suggestion 2) to take time that you maybe normally don’t have to be alone with each of your kids. It doesn’t have to be taking them out, or spending money. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block at sunset. Or playing a game of checkers with just one of them. Give them your undivided attention during a week of time that you are the most relaxed and have nothing else to worry about. Show them how important they are. Listen to them and enjoy their company.

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So there you have it. A few suggestions for you that I hope will make your next vacation your best vacation.

*Special thanks to Lori for driving hours just for a lunch date with little old me, to Robin and Andrew (and Aaron) for letting us hang out with you and swim in your pool! Thank you Karen and Kenji for driving all the way just to have lunch with us! And thank you Nanna and Grampa Chase who made this vacation such an awesome one! Thank you for the way you love us, the way you spoiled us (my mother-in-law didn’t let me cook one meal!) the way you support what we are doing as a family and the way you pray for us. We love you so much!

Mommy Monday ~ Knowing when to walk away

Just when you think you have everything down pat with how to handle conflict with your first child, child number two comes along.
Anyone hear me?
Can I get an amen?
The things that I thought I had mastered with AJ, just did not work with Ry. They are 2 totally different kids. Night and day. The things that worked with AJ just did not work with Riley!
I am not talking about the foundational discipline we used, I am pretty clear on that and I was not going to waver. I mean something as simple as different wording sometimes!

Here’s a good reminder to all of us as moms. Whatever your kids just did?
It’s not the end of the world. Really and truly. I think it is so important to be consistent and I have talked about the spanking challenge article that I wrote and I know it has been a huge help to many moms. So yes, consistency is very important. But here’s the thing. There are going to be times when you as a mom need to know your limits. You need to be able to recognize signals in your body that are telling you *I am about to lose it* and you need to know that it is time to walk away. You need to walk away before you say something that you are going to regret.
It’s all about self control, right? Isn’t that what we are trying to train our kids to develop themselves?
How are we ever going to be able to help our kids be self controlled if we can’t even be self controlled ourselves? There is nothing wrong with walking away to get your thoughts together. And if you needed permission to do that? Consider this your permission. It’s ok to walk away!

Here is my challenge for you today. If you are finding yourself having a conversation that is going nowhere fast (you may be getting emotional, or they may be getting emotional) tell them that you need to walk away for a few minutes to get your thoughts together.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you, in frustration, say – I need to get away from you right now, you are driving me crazy! No, no, no. That is not it at all.
And I am also not saying to just walk away from whatever is going on, and then never deal with whatever the issue is. That is just being lazy.
What I am saying, is that you need to be intentional, and purposeful about how you are training your kids. And remember that that is what it is: Training.
You are lovingly and patiently telling your child:
I need to have some time to think about how we are going to resolve this. Why don’t we take a little break here and figure that out, ok?
Do you see the difference? You are controlled. You are recognizing and conveying to your child that sometimes you need more time and some heavy duty wisdom from God to know how to figure this situation out. You have not said anything you are going to regret. You are not implying that your child is annoying or irritating. You are just demonstrating self control.
Let’s do a better job at that, ok moms? Let’s realize that sometimes it’s ok to walk away.
Let’s be the self controlled moms that we want our kids to grow up to be!

Thankful for so much. Beaches, nephews and chocolate.

We have been in Florida since Tuesday. Oh, did we ever need a vacation. Life looks pretty, sweet, and worry-free on blogs, instagram and facebook. The reality is: life is hard. 
But the truth of the matter is that living a life completely sold out to God, means that you have peace.
It’s a gift that is kind of the package deal. It’s quite the deal. But living a life completely sold out to God does not mean that you eliminate the struggles and the pain. It does mean that you have the power of God to get you through them.
So much of God’s power is shown in the incredible majesty of His creation. As we were driving back from Sanibel Island today, I was talking to my mother-in-law about the amazing way that God shows so clearly that there is a creator. It is so obvious. And seeing the way he takes care of His creation is such a comforting reminder that God cares for me.
He knows my problems, he knows my struggles, and He is good. Always good.
Whether my heart tries to deceive me into believing that He’s not, does not change the fact.
God is a good God.

Thankful today for family who give us a place to get away and spoil us rotten while we are here.
Thankful for a sweet baby nephew I got to meet for the first time.

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Thankful for the opportunities God gives me to serve, even though it comes with a lot of pain sometimes.
Thankful for the morning breeze that hits me while I read my Bible in the morning.

Thankful for chocolate. (Just keeping it real, peeps)
Thankful for the beautiful ocean, and sunny weather.

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Thankful for sunsets.
Just plain thankful.

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