About Me

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I have been married to my incredible hubby for 14 years. We have four rowdy, growing boys. I love to gather ideas from other mommies and books. My heart is to share some of these with you and encourage you in this adventure.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tools for the Discouraging Days

     As a stay-at-home mom, I have had discouraging days.  Some days I can pinpoint my discouragement, while other days it's hard to identify.  Sometimes, I like to say that I am in a "funk".  Discouragement can be defined as being disheartened, a loss of enthusiasm, and having a loss of hope.  This differs from depression.  Depression is feeling dejected over a longer period of time, prolonged feelings of hopelessness, and it can affect one's ability to live day to day.  Reasons for stay-at-home moms to be discouraged vary.  It might include isolation, lack of self worth, finances, boredom, etc.  The intent is to provide some tools for moms to deal with their discouraging days.  I don't claim to be an expert or have all of the answers.  My hope is that you will find one tool that might help you as a stay-at-home mom!

Questions regarding self-care:

1.  Are you struggling with eating or exercise?  I know I am more irritable or crabby when I am not taking care of myself.  If I neglect to make exercise a priority, then my mood starts to show it.  Over the years I have prayed for a walking partner and the Lord has been faithful to provide four different women.  Ask God to help you with getting a plan for your eating and your exercise.  Consider asking a friend to be your accoutability partner for eating.  

2.  Are you taking time to recharge?  I find myself getting agitated if I have not had time away.  Now that my children are in school, I do have more down time.  I remember as a young mom just needing to get one or two hours away each week by myself.  Sometimes I would just go to Target at 9:00 and walk around aimlessly to get some time for myself.

3.  Are you feeling lonely or isolated?  Pray for likeminded friends.  We have moved several times and the Lord has been faithful to answer this prayer each time.  Sometimes, it is intimidating to attend a new Bible study or a new mom's group, but I encourage you to go.  I can remember going to a new mom's group and after the first meeting I just cried and cried.  It made me feel so alone, because I did not know a soul.  The Lord gave me the strength to go back and now I have some of my very closest friends in this group.  

Questions regarding your thought life:

1.  Are you allowing negative thoughts about your situation to consume you?  Maybe your thoughts are negative about yourself, your finances, your marriage, or your current location.  Ask the Lord to help you to see the positives.  True contentment comes from much practice.  I love the verse in the Message Bible that says "Always look for the best.".  Consider using a journal to jot down the positives. 

2.  Are you comparing yourself or your situation to others?  Sometimes, I can look at others and just feel totally inadequate.  We can get caught up in comparing our looks, our gifts, our finances, our vacations, our children, and the list goes on and on.  Comparison is never helpful or productive.  Take note of when you are most likely to fall into this trap.  Maybe it comes from looking at FB or Instagram too often. Maybe limit your time on there. 

3.  Are you thinking about what others think of you?  I know when I am focused on getting the approval of others, I can get discouraged because often times people do not give us the attention we crave.  I need to remind myself over and over again that God approves of me and that is more than enough.  Sometimes I have to speak it out loud to myself.

Additional tools:

1.  Talk to the Lord.  Tell Him how you feel.  Ask Him to encourage you some and then look for Him to do so.  One day I was especially lonely and I talked to the Lord about it.  That very day I meet one of my walking partners at the park.  How cool is that? 

2.  Ask the Lord to show you a friend or a neighbor that you can minister to that day.  It feels good to serve and bless someone else.  It gets our thoughts off of ourselves.  Bake some goodies and just tie a little card on it.  Keep it simple.  This one little act for someone else can turn my day around. 

3.  Tell your close friends and your hubby that you are struggling.  Let them know so they can be lifting you up in prayer and offering their support.  Don't try to be strong.  Let others help you.

4.  Go to God for comfort.  Sometimes as women we want to run to food or something else.  When I am struggling, I love to read the Psalms until I can find a verse to hold onto for the day.

5.  Remind yourself that your work at home matters.  It is a high calling to be the keeper of your home.  It is kingdom work.  You may not be appreciated as much as you would hope for, but God sees.  He sees the hours you are pouring into your family.

On Depression:

I researched depression in women extensively, and I wanted to share some of the findings.  Women are 2 times more likely to suffer depression than men.  Twelve percent of women will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.  There was a study done in 2012 on 60,000 women.  This particular study found that stay-at-home moms are more prone to depression than women in the work force by 10-12 percent.

At this point in my life, I have not had a season of weeks or months of depression.  If you have, I am so very sorry.  I cannot imagine.  If you are depressed now and you don't see changes regarding your depression, please get help.  Talk to someone at your church or get a referrral for a good counselor.

Lastly, a prayer for the depressed:

God I bring________ before You.  Remind her that You see her, You see her "hard".  I ask You to lift her head today.  Restore the sparkle of her eyes.  Comfort her, encourage her, and renew her strength. Give her a strong hope for her future.  Remind her that You have countless plans for her life.  If she needs professional help, guide her along the best pathway of healing.  You Father are the Healer of our souls.  Reach down and rescue and save Your beloved.  In Jesus Name. Amen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cheat Sheet for Strong Willed Children

     About a year ago I wrote an article called  "Loving the strong willed child".  It can be found at www.keepersministry.com.  Recently, I found myself needing to read over the article again so I could get a "handle" on things.  I am not an expert on raising strong willed children.  I am in the trenches with you.  Hopefully, this cheat sheet will help you with your precious child.  Hugs to all of you sweet mommas.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Prayer for Dads

I am learning that prayer has much greater impact than our words.  My hubby is an amazing father.  But all dads need our constant prayers.  I compiled this prayer to pray over him as a father.  Hugs to all of you sweet mommas.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

School Prayer

I always find myself getting anxious when the boys start back to school.  Praying this over my crew often.  Hugs to all of you sweet mommas.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blown Away Twice

Many of you are my close friends and you already sponsor a child through some great organizations.  Some of you have gone on mission trips and some of you have even adopted children from other countries.  You simply amaze me. While others of you may have discussed the possibility of sponsoring a child at some point.  Our family sponsors a five year old boy from Ethiopia through Compassion International.  I am not writing this to impress you that we sponsor a child.  I am simply writing this to show how we have been blown away by the Lord twice.

We signed up to sponsor a child through Compassion about a year ago.  One afternoon I  sat down with the boys with the laptop on the couch.  We looked at various children from several countries and  would you believe they all agreed on a five year old boy from Ethiopia?   If you have a handful of kids, you know that was a miracle, no doubt.  Later that night, I discussed with my hubby whether we should make monthly payments or pay for a full year, which was around 450 dollars.  He said to send in the full amount which I did the next morning.   Later in the day, I received an email from my precious mother-in-law (aka. mother-in-love) stating that she wanted to send us 500 dollars to help with school supplies, clothes, and shoes for the upcoming school year.  I just cried.  I was blown away.  We had just sent money in the day before to help a child and now my mother in law was helping my children.  I felt hugged by the Lord and it was such a cool story to share with the boys.  By the way, we all know that when we give, we can't expect to be blessed in this lifetime.  For whatever reason, the Lord chose to bless us tangibly.

The next story from the past year involves the child that we sponsor.  We communicate with him through letters and photos.  We were told if we send additional money, it would go straight to the family.  We decided to send 100 dollars.  About two months later, we received a letter that shared the family bought metal.   I really didn't understand this.  Metal?  For what?  Then I dug a little deeper into the envelope and there was a picture of a metal roof.  For 100 dollars, we bought a roof for their family of eight.  I was blown away, as was the rest of my family.  It is simply amazing how far our money can go in other countries.

I write all of this to encourage you to pray about the possibility of sponsoring a child.  Maybe this year? Maybe next year?  Pray about it and the Lord will confirm if this is something your family should move forward with.  I can guarantee you will be blessed, maybe in this lifetime or maybe later.  We have been blessed time and time again this past year.  Hugs to you all.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

5 Quick Mom Prayers

Recently, I came across this quote and I have not been able to get it out of my mind,  "We are either in survival mode or prayer mode." (Mark Batterson)  As a mom, it is so important that I pray over myself each day.  Do I always do a great job of this?  No, not always.  But when I do, I can notice a big difference in my behavior.  Here are the 5 things I pray often over myself often:

1.  God, help me to put on compassion, gentleness, kindness, and love each day.

2.  God, help me to be a responder not a reactor.

3.  God help me to train in love and not be stern or harsh.

4.  God help me to be the person I want my child to be.

5.  Give me common ground with each child and help me to connect with them.

Hope you all have a blessed weekend.  Let's all try to stay in "prayer mode".  Hugs to you!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Crazy Mornings


     Crazy mornings.  As moms, I think we all experience them.  If you don't, then read no further.   How can we lose our minds before 8:30 am?  In our home, I know I am super busy getting lunches packed, breakfast made, and kids out the door.  I bet you can relate.  Most mornings go somewhat smoothly, but then there are days like today when I miss the mark.  I was impatient.  I was stern.  Instead of training in love, I blew it.  It happened right before drop off.  The timing could not have been worse.  So, I got to come home and feel like a bad mom.  Not so fun.  But, I have to regroup.  I went to the Lord to ask for forgiveness, and I prayed His Word over my words once again.


help me to put on love each day.
help me to be slow to anger.
help me to stay calm.
help me to be even tempered, not stern or harsh.
help me to train my child in love.
help me to be tenderhearted and full of mercy.
help me to respond not react.
help me to extend grace to my child.
help me to wound my child minimally.

and last of all Lord, help me to extend grace to myself over and over.

And you better believe this mom will humbly go to her child after school and apologize for missing the mark.

Hoping your crazy mornings are few and far between.  But if you have one, go quickly to the Lord.  He's ready to help us mommas.