“An Undeserved Love” #MomBlogger

I watched the sippy cup leave my hands and had an “out of body” moment. Out-of-body me stood there looking at sippy-cup-thrower me with that judgy-side-eye thinking “Really, you’ve stooped this low?” The sippy of juice splattered across the kitchen wall and my kids stood there as dumbfounded as I was when I realized I had just lost my ever-lovin-junk in front of them. Everyone was afraid to blink, breathe, cry, or laugh. Because what do you REALLY do in those moments? If you don’t laugh, you just cry.

Oh, motherhood. You bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in all of us. I can’t remember what it was that made me lose my temper, throw that cup, and probably scare my children half to death. But what I do remember? My three-year-old walking up to me not moments later, hugging my leg (as I was sobbing on the kitchen counter at this point) and saying “I love you, Mommy.”

That, my friends, is a picture of grace and unconditional love. If we learn anything from our children, it’s forgiveness, grace, and love. I was hitting rock bottom, exhausted with three children under the age of three and losing it every second. But a little squeeze from a three-year-old reminded me of God’s love for me in those moments. He whispers to us through our children, “I love you.”

In our weakest, ugliest moments – He embraces us. When we have sore throats from yelling at our kids, when we can barely put a sentence together to talk to our husband because we’ve let our marriage fall apart. When the loneliness takes over because we’ve broken every relationship in our lives.

His grace, His love covers every inch of us – especially the ugly, weak parts. Redemption is such a gift, and every part of our life can be redeemed because He showed us that when He gave His life for us. He could walk away, and leave us crazy people to our cup-throwing ways – but He always welcomes us in and shows us His love.

Thank you, God, for not throwing our sippy cups against the wall and going to the cross for us instead.

Romans 5: 1-11

From a Devotional Study. By Thrive Moms.

5 issues to be addressed in Premarital Counseling

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Planning your wedding is stressful enough, but it’s a piece of buttercream-frosted cake compared to the day-to-day reality of actual marriage.

Indeed, so often couples get caught up with everything involved in prepping for their Big Day and romanticizing the concept of marriage that they forget to (or don’t realize that they should) address all of the less-romantic issues that will inevitably arise when two people commit to sharing their lives together.

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Premarital counseling is an excellent way to confront these issues upfront and establish a stronger, healthier relationship moving into matrimony.

1. Money
Finances are a common cause of contention between those about to be married.

2. Time
Time can also be a big problem in a relationship. One may feel neglected if their partner is often away at work, school or other functions. Conversely, a partner may value their space and wish they could spend more time alone.

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3. In-Laws
When you marry someone, you’re not just marrying them – you’re essentially marrying their family as well. It’s important for you to learn how to get along with the whole family, especially if at this point you’re already on shaky ground. It’s also helpful to establish what sort of boundaries as a couple you will put in place. Some family members may be in the habit of just dropping by for a visit. This may upset your new partner. Also, it would be helpful to discuss how you plan to spend time with both sets of in-laws during holidays.

4. Resolving conflict
All couples disagree sometimes. What’s less important than the frequency of conflict (though frequent fighting is a serious issue that must be addressed, of course) is how a couple reacts to said engagements.

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5. Religion
Again, now is not the time to sweep lingering issues under the rug. Statistically, couples that share the same faith (or lack thereof) are more likely to stay together than those that don’t. If your partner is of a different faith, you need to decide whether this is something that will bother you long-term or not. This can be a critical issue.

Be sure to discuss these critical issues during premarital counseling. Ultimately, it all comes down to honesty and respect.

If you’re able to be honest with your partner and respect their traits and beliefs even when you don’t like or agree with them, and if your partner can do the same, then the future of your marriage looks bright.

 

5 tips on fighting fair with your teen

5 tips on fighting fair with your teen

Fights with your moody teenagers are inevitable, but here are a few things to remember when a battle breaks out.

  • Teenagers can be terrors, and battles are bound to break out. But not every argument has to be a free-for-all fight. It may seem fitting to make sure your little one knows who’s boss in your home, but it’s important to remember that your kids are still growing, and how you handle arguments with them will teach them how to handle arguments with others. You are a model for your son’s behavior, and you’re teaching your daughter what to expect from the world. So when frustrations rise and tensions boil over, remember this important advice about fights:
  • 1. Words hurt, and cannot be taken back

    You can’t un-ring a bell; and you can’t take back hurtful words you say to your child. You may instantly forget what is spewed in a fray, but the worse it was, the longer your child will remember. No matter how bad the conflict seems, your son or daughter needs to know you’ll still be there for him or her once the battle is over and the smoke has cleared. That bond and trust can easily be broken when he or she has to forget something terrible you’ve said to rebuild your relationship.

  • 2. Your child will remember things you forget

    It’s not just words you must be careful of in fights; your actions can also speak loudly. Acting aggressively toward your son or daughter – lunging, chasing, grabbing or raising a fist – is unnecessary. And needless to say, making contact in this manner is entirely inappropriate. If your teen loses control and attacks you, your job is to restrain and de-escalate — never to retaliate. Likewise, leaving your child in a fight, either at home or stranded somewhere, will leave him feeling abandoned. Be present and available, even in conflict. And see your fight through until its resolution.

  • 3. You are the adult, and you are in control

    Not of your son, but of yourself. He is growing into an independent person with a mind of his own, and no amount of punishment, rage or belittling is going to turn him into who or what you want him to be. He has to find that for himself. But the best way to encourage this is to show him how to be someone you would want him to be; especially in times of crisis.

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  • 4. You are a role model

    How you respond in times of stress says a lot about you and your parenting. Show your child how a mature adult responds to the world when things are not going your way. You may feel justified in blowing up and getting into a shouting match, but nothing gets heard or resolved over yelling. Make change at indoor volume.

  • 5. Yours is not the only valid opinion

    It may be time to sit back and actually listen to your teen’s point of view. Yes he may lie, and yes she may be manipulative, but somewhere deep down your teens are learning to navigate the world, and there is likely some structured and logical thinking. Acknowledge what actually makes sense, and build on that.

    Fights with your teens can be stepping stones into adulthood, so make sure you’re laying a good foundation. Teach your sons and daughters to resolve conflict and face an argument with good skills and goals so everyone comes out unscathed and no worse for wear.

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Georgia D. Lee seeks to empower, inspire, enrich and educate anyone with an open mind, heart and spirit through her most treasured medium – black and white!
Website: http://authorgeorgiadlee.weebly.com

“Sure Foundation”

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“Sure Foundation”
Insecurity is probably the worst feeling in the world. It robs you of confidence, rest, and freedom. Just talking about the word floods my mind with so many memories. Being a little girl, afraid of the dark, peeking my eyes just above the covers to see if there really was a monster in my room. As a new kid at school, not knowing a soul, wondering if I would ever find a friend. Auditioning for a musical, nervous and afraid I would forget song lyrics. Picking an outfit for a date, hoping to impress and hold his interest. The day we purchased our first home, wondering if we were grown up enough to handle the responsibility. The way I felt the day we brought home our first baby and the overwhelming reality that we were responsible for his very life. Each of those moments all caused me to feel unsure, and creating a deep desire for something solid to stand on and keep me steady no matter what.

So often, I set my feet upon my circumstances. It’s easy to do because we naturally make agreements with what we can touch and see. For example: If our child has behavior problems in school, it would be easy to then label him a problem child or yourself a bad mom. If a dream falls apart, it would be natural to feel lost and lose sight of your identity. But we’re not called to live by human nature. We are called to walk by the Spirit, and in order to do that, we have to stand on a sure foundation. One that’s been tested and approved. One we know won’t ever be shaken by the quaking and shifting of life. If we stand on what we can see with human eyes, we will constantly shift with an ever changing world. That’s not a life anchored in Jesus. In fact, the bible calls that childish. We are called to grow up into Christ in all things. He is the security we are called to build our lives upon.

What are you standing on today? What are you building your life upon? When the world is afraid of the dark, hiding under the covers, you can be unshakable; shining like a beacon in the night. You can walk through uncertain days because He is your sure foundation.

So this is what the Sovereign Lordsays:  “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,  a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;  the one who relies on it  will never be stricken with panic.  Isaiah 28:16
Source A 6-day devotion

What are your secret fears?

A 365 Days Challenge Day #28

Preparing the Way

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. Revelation 22:12

Things aren’t right here on planet Earth. We all know this. Sickness, poverty, injustice, and oppression are not God’s intention or design. Many of our prayers will be devoted to fixing what is wrong in our bodies, our finances, our relationships, our world. The children of God continue to pray, even though many wrongs have not yet been corrected. Does it do any good? Does all this praying have any traction with God?

The Bible describes a time when God will come to earth to make all things right. What does He do first? He gathers up all the prayers of His people and pours them out on the earth. In other words, your prayers, combined with the prayers of good people throughout the ages, are preparing the way for God to fix everything that’s broken in our world. Your prayers are helping to craft a new world, where everything is the way it should be. God’s perfect design for humanity and creation will be restored to earth once again.

God, here’s what I look forward to You fixing…

The injustice of this place.
The unkindness.
The lack of love.
The insecurity.
The way people judge each other.
I also look forward to you fixing my life in general.

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A 365 Days Challenge Day #29

Intimate Friendship with God 

What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. Psalm 51:6 

God longs to be your most intimate friend. He can be trusted with your most guarded secrets. Your prayers form the fabric of a closer and closer relationship. In your conservations with other people, discretion will guide you into being selective with what you share depending on the nature of the relationship. But those filters don’t apply when it comes to your time alone with God. You truly can share anything with Him.

What are your dreams? What are your secret fears? All those things that are most personal about you are safe with God. As you invite Him into all these hidden places in your heart, you’ll find yourself becoming stronger as a person because His reassuring presence will fill those places inside you that are most fragile.

Making yourself vulnerable to God actually makes you less vulnerable as a person because that spiritual intimacy becomes a source of emotional strength. Talk about anything with God and don’t be afraid to go into those things that matter most to you.

God, the secret I want to share with You is….

I’m afraid, I have a lot of fears, and most of the time I have no strength but I keep going. Day by day with your help.

The perspective that changes Everything

A 365 Days Challenge Day #26

The perspective that changes Everything

The fear of the Lord _ that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding. Job 28:28 

Understanding God’s true place in the universe gives your prayers depth they would not otherwise have. As you ponder the certainty of His victory over evil, as you consider how deeply He cares, your own confidence in God’s answers to your prayers will grow, and the nature of your prayers will change. You will begin to see things from an eternal perspective and long for the same things that God Himself desires.

The Bible calls this ” the fear of the Lord.” This is a settled determination never to go against the Almighty, a reverential awe for His majestic presence and purposes, a healthy respect for His power, and a complete trust in the goodness of His motives; an understanding that God really does know best. As you pray from this perspective, your fear of people and circumstances wanes, your faith grows, and your doubts diminish. You begin to see how God can use even a small person to make a big difference, and your prayers will echo God’s deepest desires.

God, show me who You really are, especially with regard to…

It’s been a little over 2 years and I’ve been praying and waiting.
Show me who you really are God. Make a difference in my life. I need my confidence in God to grow. It’s been a true struggle and  frustrating moments. Help me look into the future and not the past.

Photo courtesy Michelle W.

A 365 Days Challenge Day #27

A Beautiful Aroma

Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

In the process of selling a home, sometimes real estate agents ask their clients to bake bread just before the house is shown to a prospective buyer. Why? Research has shown that certain smells, such as fresh-baked bread or cookies, attract buyers, while other odors, such as chlorine bleach, repel them.

Did you know that your prayers actually have a beautiful aroma? The Bible describes the prayers of God’s people as “golden bowls of incense” in heaven carried by the angels into the presence of God. God loves the smell of your prayers. What you share from your heart is honored in heaven and long remembered by God.

There isn’t anything you need to of to make your prayers more attractive; they already are beautiful to God because they come from an honest and sincere heart. It’s eloquence of the spirit not vocabulary that matters to God. Trying to impress Him is a useless exercise. He hears and He answers because He cares deeply about you.

God, what is on my heart today is…

I woke up this morning with a lot in my heart. I was grateful God answer prayers. I have been asking for closure on an ongoing matter in my life and just this week I received a letter. It was’t closure but, it’s the beginning of the end, and I was very happy. In my heart today I’m asking God to see me through. I need this to be resolved and soon.