Family Friday – Ten Things This Mom Would Do Again

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My mommy days are behind me now, and as I’m watching others in this special, yet demanding role, I have done some reminiscing over the years when my girls were young.  I have plenty of regrets, as all moms do, but I’m not going to dwell on those, because I can’t change them, and because doing so would not fall under the Philippians 4:8 things I should think about!  It’s in the past. But there are things that were so good about those days.  As I think back, I remember things that we did that I would definitely do again, if I had the chance.

Here they are:

  1. Be a stay-at-home mom.  I’m so thankful that I was there for all but 9 months of both of my girls’ lives.  The nine months I worked were the longest months of my life!  I hated being taken away from my family and my home.  I was under a teaching contract, and I kept my word to the prinicple, but when the school year was done, so was I!  My husband and I decided that it was best for me to pour into our own children, rather than someone else’s!
  2. Be relatively poor.  Does that sound strange?  I would have never anticipated saying that!  Our churches did the best they could to care for us, but when the girls were young, things were tight.  Very tight. As I stated above, I was a stay-at-home mom, so we lived on my husband’s salary alone.  We homeschooled, so we had book fees and satellite costs, which were a large chunk of money every year that we never had on hand.  We were in ministry all those years, and we needed time away – times to rest and refresh as a family and recharge our spiritual batteries and physical bodies.  We had growing girls and we entertained missionaries and guest speakers, so groceries were another cost that stretched us.  Where did we get the money for these things?  We prayed.  Our inefficiencies ran us to our all-sufficient God.  He provided for us in amazing, life-changing ways!  Had we had all the money we wanted or needed, it wouldn’t have taught us to depend on Him so greatly.  Being needy turned into a great blessing.
  3. Read aloud to my girls.  One way we entertained ourselves at bedtime, around the kitchen table, in the car, or on a blanket in the backyard was through books.  We read a varied kind of books, and they were carefully chosen, and opened a whole world to us, even while we stayed home.
  4. Use God’s Word in discipline.  We always sat down and talked with our girls in their bedrooms at discipline times.  We explained from the Scriptures what they had done wrong that God considered sin.  This kept us from acting quickly out of anger (we sent them to their room and we’d cool off before addressing the issue!).  They knew it wasn’t just that mommy and daddy didn’t like what they did, but they saw it in God’s Word, and it guided their thinking and changed their behavior.
  5. Laugh and have fun.  We had lots of laughs as a family.  I should have laughed at myself more, but we shared many fun times around games, out in the snow, in the car playing the alphabet game, baking in the kitchen, or building a fire in the backyard.
  6. Be faithful to Sunday school and church.  It’s not just because we’re a ministry family that we went to church.  We love being in God’s house and with God’s people!  Worshiping, singing, reading Scripture, giving our tithes, and fellowshipping with other believers helped all of us to grow!
  7. Show outward affection and say, “I love you.”  We’re a “touchy” family, in that we hug and love on one another.  Using words to express love between parents and children is so important.  Our children learn how to love by watching us.  The first place they should feel acceptance and unconditional love is at home.
  8. Leave the girls once in a while to go on a date with their dad.  We were making a stronger home for them, and they lived through the trauma of it all!  A parent can feel really guilty leaving a crying child, even though they’re in great hands with grandparents or other caring adults, but without those times away, your relationship will get stagnant, and you’ll only discuss things like empty milk jugs and unfinished homework!
  9. Spend time alone with God every day.  When the girls were small, this time was limited, but I would read what I could and pray over each of my family.  Sometimes it came a verse at a time, with interruptions in between.  Sometimes my prayers were while I was ironing their clothes.  It was then that I’d pray for the one whose clothes I was pressing.  I often left verses on cards around the house so I could meditate on that passage.  Those “little moments” fed my soul and kept my heart right with God so I could parent them and point my girls to Christ.
  10. Marry my girls dad.  I let them know often how much I loved their daddy and how God brought us together.  He had to be my first priority because that’s God’s order.  Why?  Because God knew that I’d be where I am today – an Empty nester, and He wanted my home to be just as fulfilling now as it was when our daughters were here.

And you know what?

It is.

What are you doing right now that you know you’ll be glad you’re doing as a mom?  Keep doing it!  What are you regretting?  Ask God how to change it and watch for how He steps in!  

Refresh your children by being the mom God will enable you to be by His grace.

With love,

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Throwback Memories of My Weekend in the UP

Yikes!  I haven’t stopped to share about my weekend in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan almost two weeks ago!  Let’s fix that today!  I’ll share some of the highlights of that great time with some really special ladies!

I went to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to speak for their “Ladies Day.”  Traveling and speaking is never anything I ever sought out to do.  The Lord has put this privilege before me, and I have loved it so much.  I always learn far more than anyone I speak to!  For that reason alone, I am so thankful to my God!  But I would never/ could never travel if I didn’t have the support, encouragement and prayers of my husband.  He cheers me on every step of the way.  The picture below was on our way to the airport when we stopped to have lunch before he dropped me off.  What a man I am blessed with!

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It’s all about the People!
My friend, Kellie traveled with me and she was such a blessing.  It’s lots more fun navigating a trip with a friend at your side!

Th next picture of the pretty blonde is the sweet young woman who invited me to her church.  Lisa was a member here at our church until she got married and her husband moved them waaaaay up north!  It was a joy beyond compare to be with her for the weekend, to see her church, her home and her heart for God!

I met lots of precious women.  I won’t post them all here, but they were welcoming, open to God’s Word, and very friendly to this Tennessean!

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The decor
The ladies used the white birch around them to help decorate the platform for their theme “Deeply Rooted.”  They had verses about being rooted in God’s Word all over – on the bulletin boards, in frames – everywhere.  They did a wonderful job carrying the theme throughout the whole church!

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The Fellowship
Part of the blessing of a weekend like this was fellowship with other ladies.  Aside from our main sessions and workshops, we had times of sharing a meal, a dessert, and a game.  That’s when you really get to know others!  We had lots of fun together!  We played a game using our purses.  You know, it’s amazing what some people carry in theirs (that would be me!)

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The SNOW!!!
There was plenty of snow all weekend!  They had a few flurries while I was there, but the piles have been there since December.  As we say in the south – Bless their hearts!  It sure was beautiful – but then I got to leave it after a weekend and come home to green grass!

There’s nothing better than serving God!  Look where He takes me!  Look who allows me to meet!  Look at what He teaches me in His Word!  I never would have dreamed that I’d be so blessed, but isn’t that just like our God?  He surprises us over and over and over!

FBC ladies, thank you for having me.  Thank you for being such a blessing to me.  I am the richer for it!

Lovingly,

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Friday Favorites

Last weekend I had the joy of attending and speaking at the Pastor’s Wives Retreat that I shared about earlier.  The location of the retreat is perfect because it’s quiet, it’s beautiful, and truly restful.  Here is a collage of pictures from the three-day retreat:

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From top left to right –

  1. Alli went with me and did all the music.  She is so gifted and the ladies were so blessed by her songs.  What a blessing to get to serve with her at a retreat!
  2. We had an hour in which I instructed the ladies how to have a personal prayer retreat.  The questions inside the pamphlet we used are piercing and get right to the heart.  I think it may have been the best hour of the whole weekend!
  3. This is the lodge where our sessions and meals were.  The view of the mountains revealed some leaves changing colors.
  4. When the retreat was ended, Alli and I took a little hike.  The scenery on this road definitely points to the truth that it’s fall!
  5. The chalet we stayed in is my favorite one because it’s so remote.  My favorite place is always the front porch in a rocker.  Alli and I spent a good deal of time out there.  Friday afternoon a little rain rolled in and that made it even cozier!
  6. The little creek is really low since things have been pretty dry this summer, but it was still pretty.

The stress of getting ready for a retreat is pretty overwhelming.  When it’s behind me and I get home, it feels so good to get into my “normal routine” of walking and being home.  Monday morning this was my view as I exercised :

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The spiders had been REALLY busy the night before because there were webs all along that fence!  It was really pretty though because the dew hung on the delicate lines of their traps and the sun was shining through the light fog.  Nothing better than walking with a gorgeous view!

I really enjoy my herb garden and it’s done super well this summer.  This week I went out and harvested more of my herbs and I also made up a couple of arrangements, adding some flowers from my yard, as well as the fragrant herbs.

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I love having my flowers and herbs around the house.  I placed this one on the night stand beside our bed.

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Does anyone else herb garden?  How do you utilize your bounty?

Tonight our church is hosting the Cry Out! event that Revive our Hearts is doing in Indianapolis.  I am excited to join women in prayer as we petition God for revival in our own lives, our churches, homes and world!  Anyone can watch Revive our Hearts live simulcast.

Stay refreshed this weekend as you seek the Lord in your local church!

Happy fall,

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What the Preacher’s Wife Wore

Well, friends, here it is – the first clip of “What the Preacher’s Wife Wore.”  It may be the last, but I had fun putting it together.  Bear with me – the videos aren’t the best – they’re dark, jiggly, wiggly and all over the place!  But I hope it will provide you with a little inspiration for your wardrobe and maybe a laugh or two!  Let ‘er roll…

Some of the store/sites I mentioned were:

Cents of Style – Great deals – Friday’s they send out emails about special deals!

Talbots – I miss the Lexington, Ky outlet, but they have some good end of the season sales! I love the classic styles.  Their clothes are a great quality and last a long time!

TJMaxx – I love the things I find there!  You just never know what will be marked down for a super-duper price!

Ann Taylor – I love their outlets!  Great petite selections!

Dillards – Man, when they have a sale, you can get some great deals!

Charming Charlie – Love their sale racks! I’ve gotten clothes, shoes, purses, scarves and jewelry in their stores!

My pendant necklace with the “A” came from a local gift shop – The Gift Box – a sweet store full of fun finds!

Versatility in a wardrobe is important! If/when I do another video, I think I’ll take the pieces from this first movie and mix them up for different kinds of outfits.  Maaaaybe  What do you think?

Refresh your wardrobe!

P.S.  The last slide on my video says RefreshHer..com – of course there’s only one .  !

 

 

A Peek From My Porch

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at a Pastor’s Wives retreat on Roan Mountain. There were 15 of us there; a perfect size group to fellowship and have our hearts knit together. As you already know, pastor’s wives are far from perfect! Though people often have really high expectations for their pastor’s wife, we are all just like you with the same struggles and challenges in both our spiritual lives and day to day relationships and activities.

Some of the ladies came with cool hearts due to not being in the Word of God on a personal basis each day. Does that shock you? While it may be disappointing, we have to remember that it’s just as much a challenge to be faithful in their daily Christian walk as it is for you. The purpose of this retreat was to get back to where they needed to be. Praise the Lord, I think there were several that have determined to change their priorities and make it a daily habit to spend time with the Lord each day.

A couple other women admitted after a session on marriage relationships, that their marriages were weak and had some struggles. Changes needed to be made there. Praise the Lord for hope and Truth to help from the Word of God!

Retreating is what we all need to do from time to time so that we might take a little inventory of our lives. We need to look and see where the weakness are and be reminded of the truth! It’s just as easy for pastor’s wives as it is for you to let things slide. We let the things that are best slip by and get lost under the busyness of our crazy lives and schedules. The well-meaning intentions are only memories of what we used to do instead of the best part of our day.

So with that being said, be sure to pray for your pastor’s wife to stay on track. It only takes a matter of days of slacking off to turn a person who was once was on fire for God to now become a smoldering ember. Just keeping it real here, folks. Being a ministry wife is no substitute for a vital relationship with the Lord! I ask your prayers for me and other pastor’s wives you know. Pray that our lives will count for God – not simply as a pastor’s wife, but also as a Child of the King.

Pastor’s Encouragement: Pray that your pastor will be courageous in proclaiming Christ from the pulpit and confident in his use of the Word of God. Ask God to help him preach with insight, transparency, and humility.

Husband Encouragement: Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.

Is your husband a wise man? Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you. If your husband is not walking with God — or perhaps, does not know the Lord — you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum.

I forgot the challenge yesterday! Sorry!

With love from my country porch,