Monday, April 27, 2015


There I was, I'm presuming innocent, sitting on top the toilet lid in our cold bathroom with a bar of Ivory hanging out of my mouth.  I remember thinking and maybe even saying out loud, "I like the taste of soap," with a nasty little grin, looking at my Mother as if her punishment would not stop me from saying whatever vile phrase that put me there in the first place.  The good thing was my parents disciplined us for saying things such as fart, shut-up, and I am most certain it was probably a slip up of one of those 3 infamous words.
My Mom however knew something I didn't, as she wasn't at all concerned about my rebellious outbursts against her discipline.  She confidently knew that I wouldn't like the taste of soap for very long.

I'm not sure how many minutes it took on that toilet seat, but there was definitely a progressive transformation that happened that day.

First, my taste buds gradually changed from a flavor of freshness to a numbing chemical-like essence.  I bit down harder on the once tastier bar and tried to distinguish what exactly was happening.  My cheeks became slightly inflated, my lips rapidly fattened, and drool started pouring out the sides of my mouth and off my chin like a faucet.  My teeth were coated with a slimy film and were barely hanging on to the once hard & firm bar of soap.  Every indention and crevice in my front teeth were now filled with a gummy texture.  They steadily sank deeper into the now slimy ball of nastiness.  I didn't dare swallow the thick residue, so a fountain of spit & despair flowed down my face and into my lap.  My Mom peeked around the corner as if to say, "you still liking that soap?"

And there it was, the beginning of my defeat.

The sorrow began to bubble in my mind and its first reaction started in my mouth as the discomfort increased.  It then trickled down into my heart reminding me that I didn't want to be a potty mouth, and then the tears began to well up my sad eyes and they fell overflowing down my cheeks, my blubbering apology quickly followed.

Mom had the victory!!

Unfortunately, since my younger years I have learned many naughty words and phrases.  I also have been a contributor to the habits of gossip, slander, and coarse jokes.  For a long time this was just a life-style and I had no remorse.  Things changed when I surrendered my life to Jesus and became aware that this practice was harmful to those He loves.

And I was reminded again that I don't want to be a potty mouth.

As Christian woman we are urged to refrain from communicative sins.  This includes those that I mentioned earlier, but also those that are more silent; such as eye-rolling, head-tilting, and shoulder-shrugging, etc.  I don't need to go into detail explaining these non-verbal contributions to everyday dialogue.  I am sure you recognize them and can spot negative body language a mile away!

Any form of communication that is attached to a bad attitude is most likely not a Godly response and is chalked up as sin.

And so we clean up our potty mouths because God asks us to; actually He Tells Us To!  

~I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak..  (Matthew 12:36) 

 ~Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (Ephesians 4:29) 

~A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.  (Proverbs 16:28)

~Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.  (Proverbs 20:19)

I am sure you can agree with me when I say that I don't want to be a corrupt, dishonest, whispering, slandering, secret-telling, babbling, strife spreader!  I don't want to be known for that, nor do I want to infect the people around me with it.  It is always wiser to want what God wants for you; more then doing what may come easy, it's often the subtle sins that move us out of God's favor.  He certainly gives us these verses for our own benefit.

It's not ideal for us to walk around with ivory bars in our mouths, or better yet stuffing them into other people's mouths.  So we are just going to have to clean up, I'm speaking to myself, and do the right thing without it!  

So the next time you are in a less then loving conversation, or you start a sentence by speaking something like, "I probably shouldn't say this but..."


Take a second, shut your eyes and picture a fat-lipped, tear-filled, little blubbering girl with saliva dripping onto her lap.  Simply change your subject, your expression, or your tone and allow God to have his way in cleaning things up.  You no longer have to be a potty mouth!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015


Raising and loving a child with disabilities has been a blessing within my life as a Mom.

When Liam was born we thought him to be a healthy little guy, but soon found out that he had much weighing against him in his near future.

By a month old he was diagnosed with 22Q deletion.  It's a genetic syndrome that comes with many kinds of symptoms.  Children suffering from this disorder can have extreme heart problems, with many having more then one open heart surgery by the time they are 3.  Lots of children have a short life span due to the many complications that occurs when you are missing parts of your 22nd chromosome.  On the low spectrum, a child can just have poor eyesight; causing them to wear glasses at an early age.  The gap can be wide when analyzing the severity of the syndrome.

We were told Liam was missing 1.6 million pieces of his chromosome.  His case was on the severe end.  Our first inclination that something was wrong started when he acquired pneumonia at 3wks old.  We soon learned during a lengthy hospital stay that he also had a hole in his heart, hole in his left lung, severe aspiration difficulties, tracheomalacia, gerd, high oral palate, a deformed spine, and a cranial facial disorder that caused his skull to fuse together too quickly.  At 3 wks, he was placed on oxygen and had surgery for the placement of a g-tube so he could eat without the expense of aspirating. 

Our living room quickly became a hospital, and we became Doctors, nurses, therapists, dietitians, and medical equipment specialists all in the matter of days.

As Liam has grown, God has been gracious.  He has healed and removed many of Liam's problems and his symptoms have faded into the backdrop.  As most things that ailed him have become only memories, one still continues to hang on without mercy.

When Liam had his feeding tube removed only a year ago, he had no oral motor skills.  This means he never picked up cheerios and ate them at the table or had snacks in the car.  He never had a Popsicle or jello, or even water touch his lips for over 2 years and so he missed out on many things.  And so did we...

We never heard Liam say Mommy or Daddy, he never asked for a sippy cup or bottle, or said common first words like milk, bye bye, night night, or love you. He would grunt and make sounds but never anything consistent.  If he needed something he would whine or cry.  He had no concept of tongue placement or blowing raspberries to play with sound.  He was very sensitive about his mouth and took months and months for us to just be able to touch his face with a toothbrush, without even daring to actually brush his teeth.  We communicated mostly through sign language and his speech just continued to delay.

Life for Liam was harder then it is for some children yet he always tried so hard.

After several years now of speech therapy and other resources, we have made solid progress.  This last week, at 3 1/2 yrs old, he said my name..."Mommy."  With all consonants and vowel sounds in place, the proper way and in perfect context!  I have been waiting for so long to hear that.  My name, my title and association with him finally was made verbal.

"Yes, Liam...I'm Mommy." (said with emphasis on the "m" sound)  I said back to him with a smile.

For many months Liam has struggled with getting all the sounds to "fit" in a word.  So many times a word will be missing the first sounds or last..very seldom have we ever heard a solid correct pronunciation.  I have been "Bobby" to him for awhile now and although it was cute to hear, I longed to hear him say it correctly. 

I spent the day thinking about Liam's life so far and  how regardless of  the difficult tasks he's faced; he still continues to overcome.  We have watched God take His time with Liam, reminding us of how some miracles don't happen in an instant.  Some require time, development, skill, and character.  Some happen so gradually you don't see progress until one day you stumble across something that pivots you back into time..then you remember.  Sometimes, they happen in a moment, sometimes they don't.  All of the is God.

Every good gift comes from above.
I ponder on this as I tuck my kids into bed...First, Ilana with her BIG Nana hugs!!  Then Liam, who gives me a long repetitious "mommy, mommy, mommy" as I come into the room.  A nice smooch and he's all tucked in.  Then Abel, whose first words are slipping off his tongue as I stand at his crib, "Nigh Nigh," aw... my heart just sings!!

"Night Night Abel, Bless you in Jesus name."

As I shut off the light I hear, "Nigh Nigh Maggie."

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Good Mom vs. Bad Mom

Good Mom vs Bad Mom, I wish there wasn't such a thing but we all know she exists

Every night when we are getting ready for bed, we evaluate our day.
Our feats & our failures race through our chalk-board like brains scribbling down all our stats.  We highlight each event and evaluate it's rating score.  Did it go well?  Was it a bust?  Can I fix it tomorrow?  Was it a 10, or mid-level grade...maybe it scored a 5?

We start each day at  breakfast time, which tends to happen faster then we like.  Getting up early to begin the day before the kids awake always takes a huge effort, but to do it gracefully can be almost impossible.  I picture my apron on with a spatula in hand, welcoming them to a table full of hot pancakes.  Walking around the room kissing their heads with good morning cheer. Then the smell of feces overwhelms me and the youngest has taken his morning #2 before breakfast.  Things start to move fast, with pancake syrup dripping down the kitchen chairs and caked into my 3yr olds hair, to my daughter sitting with a scowl on her face, completely downcast.  When I ask what's wrong, I hardly get eye contact from her because she's 10 and well...they just do that.  She doesn't know what's wrong either, she just smells poop and is all grumped up.

Thank goodness I got up an hour before and read my bible and had prayer time.

That last sentence was a joke.

As the day ends, I'm back in bed again chalking up my thoughts are taken to, "What could I have done better?...What can I do tomorrow to make it easier?  My number one answer is ALWAYS getting up earlier to have time alone with God..the giver of that good wisdom, it's like a  fried chicken leg full of meat and crispiness.  It is a must have!  I know this!  I remind myself this!  Tomorrow will be different!

As the early alarm goes off
As the 15 minutes alarm goes off
As the late alarm goes off
As the "your a loser get outta bed alarm" goes off...I race downstairs, grab my spatula, and take my position.

Here they come,
"Good Morning," I welcome them with goop in my eyes and sounding like I just smoked a pack of cigarettes.  They look at me with confusion, as if they are saying where is my food?  The smell of fresh #2 starts to fill the air.

And those are my bad mom days, the days that race past with irritation in the air and the day-dreams of ice capped mountains and ocean waves flood my mind's desire.  I continue to try to get it right, and some days are good, actually some are really good.  But most are a struggle and all are a huge blessing.  A blessing of a family working as a unit to live life together in the best way they know how.

My life outside of my kids hardly exists and to be honest when it does happen it tends to be a bit dull compared to what these little people dish out every day.  I've realized that they are part of the purpose I have, regardless if an entire day is used up on playing legos, cleaning the potty chair, and shoveling food in their little mouths.  It's always time well spent.  If no one sees my chalk-board brain, God does.  He sees all the faults of the "bad mom" he sees my heart and how it's turned away from my needs and focused on theirs.  He sees my frantic mind and racing thoughts as I spin through the hours trying to meet their needs and keep them healthy & happy.

Why do I sleep in when I know that chicken leg of wisdom is waiting for me?
That is something I just thought about again last night...

I think the answer is this:

Because we are children still...
His children.

And even though we know what's best for us, we sometimes are clumsy in life and spill syrup on our chairs and get it in our hair.
And He loves us anyway.
And tomorrow we try again. 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015


This is the centerpiece on our kitchen table.

It is a hand-made, one of a kind, aluminum piece of artwork, personally created by my daughter, Ilana.

For years I have watched her craft baby dolls out of toilet paper, make barbie clothes from masking tape, and put together stuffed animals by using a mixture of dodge balls, old socks, yarn, rubber-bands, and markers.

Who does this?

She does, and it's so expressive & imaginative that it blows my mind!

I drew a few pictures when I was in high school and tried to sew a pillow once, but this girl...she's made 3 quilts, nice quilts... and she's 10 years old.

As many gifts as I could purchase for her, none would add up the the value of the gifts God has given her. 

Many times I look at others and see obvious talents I wonder if I was given the short stick.  I can't sing, dance, paint, ...sometimes I can't even laugh right, (with a snort & a grunt attached)

Then I notice as I talk to other women, even those that have obvious talents, that they feel "short-sticked" too.
 How, I wonder, do we find ourselves feeling  so inadequate?

My heart runs back to my identity, and digs deep into thoughts of, "Who am I?"

I am the daughter of my parents, the sister of my siblings, the mother of several, and a friend of a few...but it's deeper then that.

I am/You are...

The daughter of the One, the sister to the Only, the mother to many (spiritually), and a friend of the followers of Christ.

When we stop looking at Jesus as our value of worth, we lose sight of who we are.  We start believing that the things around us give us identity.. a nice house, car, clothes, friends, even ministry.  Whatever looks good on the outside is what we want to be, what we want to have.

By placing your gaze back on the Lord & who He says you are, you soon begin to see that what He has given you, who are you, is much more worthy then all the talents the world may offer.

Reguardless of your new scarf, fresh highlights, and pretty are so much more.

You are His centerpiece of art!

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Isaiah 64:8
O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The snapshot of a man

This is my grandfather, a snapshot of a man in his prime of life.
He was just living moment by moment like all of us are doing today..

He had no idea that out of his children, he would have only one son that would be a intricate part of bringing his entire family to Jesus.

That little boy never knew that when he got older he would meet this cowgirl!

And marry her...

I'm sure they never imagined that one day he would have a traumatic brain injury that would leave him much like a child again.

And that their girls would go through great loss early in their lives.

They suffered the loss of a father they would never see again, and the introduction of another father.  A man who went by the same name but due to trauma would never be the same Dad they knew.

And they would grow up...

One of the girls would chase rebellion and fight authority but later run into a farm boy and fall in love.

She eventually lays down her anger and sadness & turns to the God who created her.

They never imagined the things they would go through in their married life and the journey they would travel to have children.

But they endure.

Their children live moment by moment never imagining the future that is waiting for them as well; as the cycle continues..

Although you can not see fully the legacy you are creating, or the story you are writing, it is happening moment by moment right before your eyes and will be nothing as you could of ever dreamed!

In memory of my father, who although was never the same, he was more then I could of imagined in a Dad.  He entered a coma as an unbeliever and awoke as a follower of Christ.  His prayers for me brought rescue, salvation, and grace for my broken heart.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Getting back to the basics

Do you ever feel like you need to be reminded of  the basics?
They are foundational to performing every task, the most known things but sometimes forgotton.

For example, the basics of baking any recipe and creating something that tastes somewhat appetizing are...

1. Measure.
2. Use exact ingredients.
3. Follow the directions.

If you don't follow these basic steps in cooking, you can easily have a mess in the kitchen.

Another example is potty training, these basics will make things a tad easier for you & your toddler.

1. Always keep the potty chair in the bathroom or you may find it with the toys.
2. Poop always gets transferred to the toilet after the potty chair gets soiled.
3. Consistency is key, find a routine.

Obviously, if there isn't some basics here that are followed, it could cause a stinky mess.

In our daily walk with Christ, we must not set aside our Christian basics...

When things get rough it is always the these things that we must remember; such as...

1. God is good all of the time...all of the time.
2. He hears you when you speak to Him, whether this is with your mouth or your heart.
3. You are never alone, even on the loneliest of days.
4. You are your worst enemy, the battle that rages in your heart can be won!
5. The Spirit of God is real and cares deeply for you and your future.
6. The Word of God is true, never false, never a fairytale.
7. Jesus can be trusted and is victorious in all things even when it may look like He isn't.

It's very much like watching my pre-schooler color a picture, the colors are enough for him.  He is still fascinated that when he touches color to paper it creates something unique and cool.  He isn't worried about staying in the lines or what others will think of his artwork when they see it.  He is only in awe about the basic skill and how remarkable it really is.

I encourage you to look past the details today and only focus on the basic truths of the One who loves you.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Running scared; Fixing our eyes on God and why it matters

I have been afraid many times in my life.

From being a child and on into adulthood it has happened often.  It's always different scenarios but it contains the same emotion..fear.

I was afraid of the dark as a child and it tormented me for years.

I was afraid to make friends and lose friends in school.

I was afraid growing up my parents would get a divorce & I would be without one of them.

I was afraid when my Dad died and I had to see him for the first time without life inside of him.

I was afraid when I had my first baby and realized that if something ever happened to my children I would be devastated.

I was afraid that I wouldn't be a good wife or mother.

I was afraid to see the people I love the most go through hard times.

We have all been there.

The other day my husband was coming in the house, and as he was just about to walk onto our porch he heard a loud smacking sound overhead.  He turned and saw that a dove had been flying directly above him, it crashed into the side of our home and bounced onto our car where it died.  A hawk had been chasing it and at it's fastest speed this little bird assumed it was making a get-away.  The only fault it had was that it didn't pay attention to where it was going.

It happened so fast, that we all looked out to see the spectacle.  The bird's impact was so hard that by the time it landed on the car it was dazed..and a few seconds later it laid down and died.

How many times I wonder have I been that way.  Life is tough and when tough things come we sometimes will run.  Running from the enemy isn't always bad, there are many times in scripture where the Lord advised his people to flee...from Mary & Joseph to David running scared from Saul.  The issue isn't finding a hiding place or fleeing to safety.  The issue is where you set your gaze while doing it.

When we take our eyes off of Jesus we are sure to fail.
Even if what we face is the most overwhelming, and completely ugly scenario you have faced this far, if you are afraid and run, you need to pray and keep your eyes turned in and focused on what God is doing, what He is allowing, and what He is saying.

If not, you very well may find yourself running into a wall.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Who He says you are...

For years the world labeled me as a women of infertility, hopelessness, and loss.
I am grateful that I don't get my identity from the world or those in it, but rather by the Lord.
Even though I battled for years of heartache and have many children I have yet to hold, the Lord has told me something different.

He says that I have become a warrior.

He says I do good in battle.

He says I'm the mother of many.

He says I'm not to be consumed by sadness.

He says I am to be drenched with joy.

He gets final say on what I am and what I will become.

What has the world told you?
Did they define who you are and what your future holds?

If so, take time to ask God what He has for you. Who better to inquire than God Himself.  I am most assured that you have great worth and a prosperous future right before you!

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