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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Randomness for Your Friday

Picture taken in Sedona last September

The Negatives:
I really, really dislike the critters here. (snakes, scorpions, lizards)  I have already seen two snakes this year.  I can scream pretty loud.  So when there was a scorpion in my kitchen at 10:00 p.m. the older two boys thought someone was breaking into the house.

I really, really dislike that it is blazing hot here for 6 months out of the year.  Which means lots of inside time with four rowdy boys.  Oh my goodness. Can you even imagine?

I really, really dislike that everything is brown here.  No green.  Just brown.  Dirt everywhere.

I really, really dislike being far from family and my close friends.  That part is very hard.

I really, really dislike that my kids are surrounded by tons of non-Christian kids in their school.  I have read that about 65 percent of the people here are not Christians.

I really, really dislike that sometimes I don't even know why we are here.  I can't see what God is doing.  I just have to trust that He is doing something.

The Positives:

I love the mountains here.  Everywhere you look there are mountains.  The sunsets can take your breath away.

I love that we can drive to the beach and be there in 6 hours.  I love that we can drive two hours north to go hiking,  to pick apples, or play in the snow.

I love the winters here.  The boys can play outside every single day.  Can you even imagine?

I love that my children are impacting lives around them.  I think they are possibly planting seeds.  I love that God has brought likeminded friends into their lives.

I love that God has placed some amazing and incredible people in my life here.  I am forever grateful.

I love that God has a plan and a purpose for us here.  He is at work.  He has countless plans for our lives.  He is using us in ways that we will never even know.

There are always, always, always negatives and postives in our lives.  God help us to bring You the negative.  Help us to "see" the positives each day and dwell on the positives.  That is all.  Hugs to you all.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Six Struggles

     Being a stay-at-home mom is a privilege and a blessing.  I am very thankful that God has allowed me to be at home with the boys.  Of course there have been times when our budget has been tight, but I don't mind.  It's worth it.  I totally admire my mom friends that work. You simply amaze me.

     Being at home with the kids has numerous benefits but at times there are struggles.  I have made an attempt to discuss six of the struggles that I have faced.  I am sure there are more that stay at home moms face.

1.  Loneliness:  After having children, I quit my job and I didn't have any close friends.  I knew several women, but I didn't have intimate friends.  I began praying and over time the Lord supplied me with several close friends.  We also have moved several times, and I learned to initiate and open my home for playdates.  So if you are lonely, pray and ask the Lord for close friends and initiate.  

2.  Overscheduled:  I have learned that being a stay-at-home mom results in many requests for my time.  I have been guilty week after week of not protecting my schedule.  I am the keeper of my schedule.  I have to constantly remind myself that saying "no" is okay.  My goal is to save my energy for my family.  If I overextend myself during the day, my family will pay in the evenings because I turn into a short fused, irritable, grouchy woman.  So guard your schedule! 

3.   Superwoman Syndrome:  As a young mom, I thought I was weak if I asked for help.  I thought that being strong and independent was admirable.  It took me several years to learn to receive help.  I learned that by letting others help me, my friendships grew even stronger.  So I encourage you to let others help you.  So learn to receive help. (I'm still not very good at this!)

4.  My worth:  Sometimes, I forget my worth.  When I was in college or working, my performance was measured easily.  Some days I don't grasp my value or worth.  I have to remind myself often that loving my family and serving them is one of the highest callings.  So please don't forget that you are doing kingdom work. 

5.  Comparison:  When I was a young mom, I constantly looked around at other moms.  I remember looking at one mom and thinking, "Man, she has it all together."   It wasn't until I got to know her on a more personal level that I saw that she wasn't perfect.  She had weaknesses.  That was a great lesson because it taught me that none of us have it all together.  We all have weaknesses.  So resist the tendency to compare! 

6.  Perfectionism:  This is a really big struggle for me.  I am my worst enemy.  I really want to be a wonderful mom and wife.  When I miss the mark,  I feel so guilty and shame myself.  I don't get over it quickly.  I have learned that sometimes my expectations are way to high.  They are unrealistic. For example, I thought that I should never lose it with my children.  This is a great goal but not realistic.  I need to work on setting realistic expectations for myself and I need to accept God's grace quickly.  I need to quit trying so hard to be a super extraordinary mom.  Being a good mom is enough.  Really it is.  So be realistic in your expectations and receive grace from God when you blow it. 

  I am sure there are other struggles.  I am still asking the Lord to help me in these struggles.  Progress.  It's all we need to look for.  So just to recap:

1.  You were made to do life with friends.
2.  Protect your schedule.
3.  Let others help you.
4.  Remind yourself that you are doing kingdom work.
5.  Refuse to compare yourself.
6.  Have realistic expectations and receive grace.

Hugs to all of you precious moms.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

5 Things


Just a side note.  I took this pic for my chilly Oklahoma friend! Ha! Stay warm friends!  

     I sat down with my pen and paper over the holidays and thought about the upcoming year.  My thoughts wandered to what kind of mom I want to be in 2014.  I thought about 5 different areas and all I am really hoping for in each area is progress.   Thanks for reading my ramblings! 

May my boys see me as:

1.  a mom who believes and trusts in a Mighty and Big God that holds it all together.  The future is uncertain for all of us.  The news tells us almost daily of horrific crimes of violence or of life taking disasters.  Quite honestly, the news can paralyze us with fear.  May I tell myself and my children often that God holds it all together.  In Him, we are held together.  He holds the planets, the stars, and every living creature.   

Colossians 1 MSG  "He holds all things together.  In Him all things hold together."

2.  a mom who chooses to connect with God often instead of technology.  We are made to be connectors.  God wants to connect with us daily.  The world screams at us to connect via twitter, FB, text, and etc.  None of these are bad, if guardrails are set in place.  I am the boys example for technology.  Let the boys see a mom who sets guardrails with technology.  Just a side note...I love the blog www.handfreemama.com and she is releasing her first book this week.  Get a copy!  

3.  a mom who makes connecting with her hubby a priority.  My hubby and I are the children's example for marriage.  There are no perfect marriages or at least that's what I tell myself! So if yours is perfect, don't tell me! Ha!  May they see a healthy marriage, one that thrives instead of survives.  May they see us making one another a priority. 

4.  a mom who connects with her boys often.  May I study them and may the Lord give me common ground with each one.  This takes effort and time on my part!  It requires me to be more "people focused" than "task focused".  

5.  a mom who extends grace over and over again.  May I give grace to myself when I "blow it"  as a mom or as a wife.  May I extend grace to the boys when they miss the mark.  May I accept them and enjoy them and not try to "fix" them all of the time.  

Wishing you all a healthy New Years.   May your souls prosper.  Hugs to you all.  Thanks again for reading my ramblings. I apologize for using the word "may" over and over again in this post.  It's kind of a prayer so "may" just seemed to flow the best.