Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kitchen Service!

My oven has been non-functioning for several weeks now. I guess I took this valued appliance for granted, I don't anymore! I have had to come up with meals that do not require an oven. I love to bake and I have missed it. Crock pot or Stove top? Hhmmm? Wonder if the coach and the girls would mind eating cereal for supper? Hah! I can assist in saving your life in the ER, assist in delivering a baby, bake a really good cake. Just don't expect good results with something like fixing an oven. :) This would be my husbands department.

After prodding the coach  to finally look at the oven, he said it was the heating element that was out and he would order the part and fix it. I love my husband dearly. He has added so much to my life. He thinks anything can be fixed with either bobbed wire or gray tape, so I was surprised that he didn't attempt it!! What can I say, an Oklahoma farm boy, born and breed!! I still pray for him! Grrrrh!

Just a tiny obstacle that I have to overcome. It's so frustrating when just the littlest of things quits or malfunctions. It throws everything else into a kink. I often wonder if I am being tested with these little pesky occurrences? I could pray all I wanted for the oven to start working again. Knowing that it was the heating element that was ruined, I knew that it was going to take actual physical labor to have it up and running again. That's life, isn't it?

I come from a family that had a deep passion for cooking and baking. I spent many harvest days in the kitchen with my mother, aunts and cousins. I watched as these women served the people they loved through preparing meals. They loved every minute of it and so did I, watching, learning and listening to them. As a wife and mother, I love to prepare meals for my family. When I serve them, I am also serving the Lord. The limited time we have during ball season as a family is precious and valued. Its very important to me and I do it with a giving heart. I think about Mary and Martha welcoming Jesus into their home. Martha was so busy preparing the meal and Mary sat a Jesus feet. Each serving him in their own way. I think my oven went out for a reason? I needed to be spending more time at Jesus feet and he found a way to get me there. :)

Have a blessed day, Anita

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sleep is a gift

As the weekend comes winding to a close I am reminded of how quickly time flies by.  It seems like only hours ago I picked the kids up from school and we began our weekend.  I know how tired I feel a majority of the time and I interact with numerous other women who all feel the same way.  Of course, part of my problem is that I like to stay up late and then sleep in when it's time to get up.  I have this "need" to play on the computer or watch TV late at night.  The problem with this is that I am seeing my oldest son wanting to do the same things, especially on the weekends.  I keep a strict rule during the weekdays of no television or ipod at bedtime.  Books are okay to read and relax for sleep but, no electronics.  I know, I know, take my own advice.  Well, I am trying and I am a work in progress.

I kept the nursery last Sunday at our church and up on the wall there was a poster of 2 sleeping kittens with Psalm 3:5 on it.  "I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me."  It hit me as to how true this verse is and how it applies to our lives.  David was facing some very stressful times as we read through the Psalms and God gave him the gift of rest even during times of trouble.  I take for granted how important sleep is and the need to supply my body with the nourishing effects of sleep.

When we fail to get enough rest our whole body is affected.  Our brains need rest in order to keep us firing on all neurons.  Our memory suffers, our attention span shortens, and our ability to "tolerate" certain things can become nearly non-existent.  Our muscles need the growth hormone produce by our body during sleep in order to maintain muscle strength.  Our ability to fight infection lessens and we become sick more easily.  Our blood sugar is in constant turmoil and chronic insomnia can lead to depression and panic disorders.

So what now?  Well, here are 5 things to try and see if it makes a difference in your sleep routine.
1) No electronics within an hour of bedtime.  Leave your cell phone far away from you and put it on silent so that you are not disturbed during the night by the email or text message notifications.
2) Relax!  Spend some time lying in bed with your hand over your chest as you breathe deeply.  Allow your body to make the connection and let go of all the stresses of the day.
3) Keep your room dark or wear a sleeping mask.  Doing so can deepen your sleep so that you wake more rested.  If you must have some light then put an orange light bulb in your lamp.  The softened glow helps your body prepare for sleep.
4) Keep a sleep log.  Just note what time you go to bed, the time you wake up, and how you felt during the day.  This can help you determine how much sleep your body requires.
5) Pray or meditate.  Release all the worries of the day and allow your mind to drift into restful, peaceful sleep.
Blessings to all,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A life of bliss?

So you think Christianity is a life of bliss?  Peaceful walks in beautiful gardens.  Birds singing and animals prancing around as the light shines ever so beautifully through the fullness of the green trees towering overhead.  Tepid streams of water flowing over perfectly placed rocks and every flower you see is made up of the deepest and most beautiful colors you have ever seen.  Well, news flash!!  Being a child of God is hard work!  He never promises us that once we accept Him into our hearts that life is a cake walk.  Just last night Anita and I had a discussion about the difficulties that we are facing in our lives.  It seems like the closer you become to the Lord, the harder that satan tries to invade your life.  I study my Bible every day and try to hide its words in my heart so that I am prepared for any situation I might face.  I find that I am tested and tempted daily....no.....hourly.....no,  by the minute, sometimes.  People that I come into contact with throughout the day.  Episodes of battle between my children.  And sheer frustration from some things that I have absolutely no control over. 

The Bible teaches us about Jesus being tempted by satan also.  Mark 1:13 tells us that in the wilderness satan tempted Jesus for 40 days.  40 DAYS!!  Immediately following Jesus' baptism performed by John the Baptist he was driven into the wilderness and tempted for 40 days.  And guess what else, God's word tells us that "angels ministered to Him."  So our heavenly father took care of His son during the time of His temptation.  Jesus knows that each of us are tempted and we must deal with this conflict every day.  We can triumph over satan as well, by turning to the scriptures and prayer in times of trouble.  Yes, I know, we can't always prance around with a smile on our face and a spring in our step but, we can trust and obey.  We can view every trial as a lesson that we are being taught and we can learn something from it so that when something like it happens again, we are ready and we don't allow it to overtake us.  I know, believe me I know, how hard this is.  Tonight at church we sang "Til the storm passes by."  I love the message in that song.  We can stand in the hollow of Christs' hand until the storm of life passes by and we greet Him face to face in Heaven.

Blessings to all,

My Heavy Cart Full of ROCKS!!!!

Everyone has heard the term, "putting the cart before the horse." This would be me! Tasha has many times, made this evaluation towards the both of us. Wanting to do it all my way attitude, at any cost. About a year and half ago, my cart was full of rocks, and the horse was back at the stable, waiting on me.  I had a lot of stuff I was carrying around with me daily. Refusing to let anyone help me and wanting to deal with every bit of it myself. I was angry, bitter, I didn't like my life situation, and it showed! My cart was over flowing and it had become impossible to push or pull that cart. I decided I had to do something and God started to work on me. I started SLOWLY, getting rid of those rocks one by one. When the cart became easier to handle, I would be trotting along to realize, some of those rocks had mysteriously reappeared! I felt I was constantly dealing with ROCKS!!

I thought I had dealt with those issues, and all the sudden, those issues where back. NO one likes to be angry and bitter. We are all aware of the destruction it can produce in our lives.  The stress it takes on our whole bodies is incredible. I realized that I may have to remove these rocks over and over to truly set them down forever! I also knew that the Lord needed to be guiding that cart of rocks to make it easier on me. I was reminded what the bible tells us in James 1:19-20 "My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God's sight."

My teenagers and I had to take a road trip for doctors visits. As they were talking and me listening, I began to see clearly, that they have ROCKS too. Holding onto to anger is not good for them and it makes the situation feel out of control for them.  We have a lot of "girl drama" at our house, I am learning to be a better "listener" with my kids. Even when I think they are not listening to me, they can quote every word I said to them 2 weeks ago flying out of the house for school. I've told them about my cart, my rocks, and how I am constantly having to take them out of the cart.  Let's get the ROCKS out of the cart girls!!!!! We may have to do this over and over but eventually it will get easier or its dealt with. But more importantly, having your Heavenly Father guide that cart is so much easier than trying to do it yourself.

Have a blessed day, Anita

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm struggling this morning with my attitude toward people.  My oldest son and husband had a recent run-in with an assistant staff member at my sons' elementary school in the drop off line.  This woman yelled at our son for not getting out of the vehicle fast enough and essentially holding up the line.  Now, as you can imagine there is more to the story.  First of all, it was raining outside so my husband pulled forward to allow our son to be closer to the door.  Second of all, the bus that was pulled into the same area was blocking any cars from advancing through the line anyway, so if there was a hold up it was not our sons' fault.  And finally, I'm convinced this woman has major control issues.  My husband was so angry with this woman that I am very surprised he did not confront her right then.  It was probably a good thing that he still had to drop off our youngest child at school and didn't have time to stop.  He came home visibly upset and angry at this woman for her actions and words toward our son.  This in turn got me very upset at the same woman.  My husband did contact the school and work toward a resolution of the problem so, he did follow through once he cooled off. 

Now every morning when I drop off our son at school and see this woman, all I can think about is how poorly she treated him.  I am having a terrible time with forgiveness in this situation and I didn't even witness the event!  I feel myself getting angry with this woman every time I see her standing there, and I know that I have a very stern look on my face as I pull through the line.  In fact, I can feel myself getting angry as I write this post.  Every day as I pull out of the drop off line I ask God to forgive my thoughts of ill will toward this woman.  I know how wrong it is for me to feel this way and I am trying hard to get past it.  I guess it's just the mother side of me wanting to protect my children from anything even remotely negative in their lives.  I am starting to understand that as they get older they will face more and more situations with people that can have negative effects.  I am going to pray for this woman and myself and I have faith that God will answer my prayer and I will get past the negative feelings that I have toward her.  It's just a reminder of how human we truly are.

Blessings to all,

"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."  Mark 11:26

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Designed for HIS Purpose!!!

Teenagers are a breed of their own! Having 3 girls, we have so much drama at our house, it is incredible! I am learning so much about them, it's nauseating, at times. :) I told my 2 oldest the other day, after an argument brewed out, that they were going to have to be patient with their parents. I said, " We have never been parents of teenagers before, this is our first time to raise kids, 2 of you are teenagers,  and we are learning too!" They both looked at me funny, and laughed at me! I think it put things into perspective for them, and me. My oldest is almost 17 years old and dealing with finding out who she is and what her future is to be. My middle daughter is 13, so she is just now entering this transitional phase of finding out who she is and her journey.

I have told each of them, "be who the Lord designed you to be- never wavering or deviating from the path he wants you individually to go down. Your path was meant for you!" This has seemed to be tough for them and I can only imagine being a teenager these day and ages! Peer pressure, parental influence, and spiritually influence, drama and hormones. How incredibly overwhelming!! I wrote out a scripture verse for each of them,  placed on their mirrors in their rooms, to look at and read over and over. Jeremiah 29:11 " For I know, the plans I have for you," says the Lord. " They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

I realize as their parent, that the coach and I can only do so much when it comes to our kids. Trusting in the Lord for his will in their lives, not ours. He will have to do the rest! Our kids were given to us, as  precious loans. They are not mine! These are the Lord's children. He has designed each of us for his purpose and plans. I will try very hard to do my part, because I will have to give an account for everything, one day! I have often thought? When I do go before the Lord at his Throne, for my judgement, What will I be asked? This scares me because I do not want any stone left unturned!! I want the Lord to be gracious and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Have a blessed day, Anita :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lucky girl

This has been a long and challenging week at our house.  My husband has been out of town for a school related to his work, so the boys and I have been on our own.  I realized last night just how much I really miss my husband when he is gone.  We will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in June and we've only been apart like this a handful of times.  Over the course of our dating and marriage we have unveiled many things about one another.  In the beginning, the bathroom door was always closed when taking care of stinky business.  Now business gets taken care of while I'm in the shower....sigh....and what about turning on the exhaust fan?  The man who used to make no bake cookies and clean up the mess can't seem to find the trash for his diet Dr. Pepper can.  Perhaps its because I have so stealthly hidden the trash can under the sink in the kitchen.  Darn cabinet doors hiding things.  Really though, he has many good qualities about him and thank goodness those overshadow the little irritations. 
There is something about being home alone all night that gives me the creeps.  Why is it that every little noise is 20 times louder than usual?  The ice maker that dumps every few hours, suddenly sounds like someone's busting through my garage door and that restful, peaceful sleep (when he wears his c-pap) is non-existent.  There is something so safe about having my husband in the house that I have taken for granted all this time.  Jesus and I have talked a lot this week.  I tend to do that when I get scared.  I think we all have that tendency though.  The awesome thing about it is that when I asked for a comfortable nights sleep, I got it last night.  I may not have had my husbands' strong arms around me but, I did have the arms of Jesus protecting me and my boys.  I could feel the worry lift off of me during my nightly prayer.
My husband comes home today and while I have enjoyed the toilet staying clean all week, the laundry being caught up and no dirty dishes in the sink, I am ready for him to be home.  I am truly a lucky girl.  Starting Monday I won't have to make my son's lunch in the morning (Matt does that) and I do so appreciate it.  And, I won't have to worry about the bills or checkbook since he tends to all of that.  So I guess for all of the things he does that annoy me, there are twice as many things he does that I am grateful for.  This week has helped me realize just how important the husband and wife relationship is.  In Genesis chapter 2 the Bible tells us that God said "it is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."  So God created Eve from a rib from Adams' side.  From the beginning of creation man and woman were to be together and I totally understand why.  Men and women compliment one another and the weakness of one may be the strength of the other.  I find myself anticipating the return of my helpmate more and more with each passing hour.

Blessings to all,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

For This Child, I Prayed!!!!

My youngest daughter will be 8 years old next month. Abbigail Coleen was such a surprise to us when we found out I was pregnant. I was done having kids and awaiting a scheduled tubal, when to my surprise, the lab results showed a positive pregnancy test. I was shocked and in dismay for several weeks. A long difficult pregnancy and many prayers going up for the health and well being of this unborn child. We where uncertain and putting every ounce of faith into God's hands. My dad told me many times that this child was meant to be and part of his plan. My brother and sister in law gave me a portrait that I still have hanging in my bedroom. It is of a mother holding her baby in her arms and gazing into this infants face. The quote on the portrait, " For This Child, I Prayed". The precious glow on this woman's face is just breath taking!! My brother wrote a scripture on the back that I remember so often in my life and for my children's lives. Psalm 139: 13-16.

I just never knew the importance of praying for our children before they where born, until I became pregnant with my 3 child. I had many health problems during the pregnancy and it was hit and miss, whether Abbi would be born without problems, or not. Today I understand and know the importance of praying for my children and my family. This is something that I do all day long, as I am made aware of whom and what to pray. I may feel defenseless at times with situations with my kids, and God has shown me to bring it to him and lay it at his feet.

Our family had supper with some friends not to long ago, and Abbi was gearing up to sit right beside "Mr. Jamie." He is a soft spoken cowboy that was literally born 150 years to late! Abbi was getting her plate of food, glass and utensils situated. Mr. Jamie told Abbi that he would get her a taller chair for the table. Without hesitation, Abbi looked right at him, and said, " Mr. Jamie, I am not the kind of girl that says YES to just anybody!" We all roared with laughter! A memory that I will keep in my heart forever!

Last week, as our evening was coming to an end, Miss Abbigail was headed straight for our bed. The usual prayers and kisses started with Abbi asking me, "Momma how do I get Jesus in my heart?" Mind you, we have been talking about this with her for sometime now. My husband feeling like she is to young and me knowing that she is ready and willing. We are to come to him with a child like spirit. She said, " Momma I don't know what to say?" I told her that we would pray together and I would help guide her. Simple, sweet and smiling is all I can say! She did say YES to her Jesus!! I feel so overwhelmed and blessed at the same time. The importance of praying for my children!!!

Have a blessed day, Anita

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Way to go Bill!

I was just getting back from dropping the kids off at school this morning and caught a story on my favorite morning news show.  The story was about former President Bill Clinton starting a new initiative for schools and kids.  It focuses on healthy food choices and physical activity.  This foundation is part of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization that lists their mission "to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015 and empower kids nationwide to make healthy food choices." 

In recent years we have seen a sharp increase in childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes diagnoses and it pleases me that people of influence are taking notice and jumping on board to help.  So many times we get focused on the latest news stories about presidential candidates or Hollywood break-ups and make-ups that real life issues take a back seat.  The truth is, if we don't start taking healthy steps in our lives then we will regret it as the inevitable aging process does its job.  Kudos to Bill Clinton and his foundation and check out http://www.healthiergeneration.org/ to find out more about how to get involved and tips for healthier choices day to day at home too. 

I have a 9 year old that is a very picky eater to say the least.  He is the type of kid that asks to take the exact same thing to school for lunch everyday.  He is not too eager to try new things and sauces and dips are definetely not on his menu.  He is a big sweets eater and likes to snack a lot.  I made the mistake early by not encouraging varieties of foods because it was always a fight.  I do worry that if I do not get a handle on these things now then we could face health problems later.  Making small changes and working toward a healthy lifestyle takes time and energy.  As I posted before, we are trying to do so in our house.  I won't lie, we do buy sweets and have the occasional indulgence but, for the most part I place the healthier snacks within reach in the lower part of the cabinet and have the cheese cut into slices or blocks so they are ready to eat.  It's worth the extra effort to keep things healthy for my family as much as I can so that we can continually serve our father in Heaven for as long as we can.

Blessings to all,

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fit for the King

Fitness is a part of my everyday life.  Well, I guess I should say that I try to make it part of my everyday life.  I’m not always successful but I do at least try.  As a mother I try to teach my children the importance of eating healthy foods and getting physical activity daily.  I encourage a lot of playing outside!  This also ensures that when it’s time for bed, so are the kids!  I make every attempt to have at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day for myself.  I love to run but, not when it’s cold outside <grin>, there is just something about not being able to feel my nose when I run and sucking the cold air in my throat that keeps me from enjoying it.  So sometimes I have to make adjustments, like many of you.  I will use the elliptical, do a workout video, or just my own mix of strength training exercises in my living room with dumbbells.  Our bodies are our workhouses for the Lord and we must take care of them.  Eat good foods, exercise our hearts, and maintain our muscles.  That way we can be at our best when it comes to His service.  Part of keeping our bodies in shape is keeping our minds in a positive place as well.  The best way I have found to do this is by beginning my day with a Bible study.
The best part of studying the Bible is that you don’t always have to have the answers.  There are so many times that I will read a chapter or a few verses and I may not have a clue what it is that God wants me to learn.  So I turn to prayer and ask that He reveal the lessons to me.  Without fail He always does.  Through an event in my day or a conversation with another person, somehow Jesus speaks to my heart and I am stronger for this.  Proverbs 24:5 tells us, “a wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength….”  I used to think that was referring to physical strength and actual knowledge through schooling of some sort.  However, I am learning that God is speaking of spiritual strength and the knowledge of the Bible.  Wisdom in the Lord is the most important kind to have.
Even if you have never studied the Bible before it's easy to open it up and get going.  Like I had posted before, there are so many apps for smart phones and e-readers that the possibilities are endless for anyone interested in God's word.  There are also tons of places on the Internet to get started.  Somehow reading and studying allows me the chance to keep God's word in my heart to use whenever I need it!  I am still a child in the Word but, every day is another step toward gaining knowledge and strength.
Blessings to all,

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Lord is my "Sugar Daddy!"

I heard a conversation not long ago, and this had me reflecting back on my own life and how far I have truly come. A woman was having a conversation with a group of other women and she was introducing herself to those that did not know her. She talked about her accomplishments, her family life and her children. She said, "Many of you knew my ex-husband. He has recently gone back to college and earned a higher degree." I knew that what her ex-husband was doing with his career, he was making an "insane" amount of money and she let us know it. She went onto say, " We have remarried and I finally got my "sugar daddy!" I was shocked that she would say this, much less, say it to people that she didn't even know. I felt she had verbally stated where her heart truly is and the priorities in her life.

On the way home, I pondered the conversation in my brain. I started to reflect on my own life and the priorities that I hold to be of great importance to me. I will be totally honest here! I use to think a lot like this woman! I use to be exactly where this woman is in her life. I thought that stuff was important and was always looking for ways to gain more STUFF! I wanted the new big beautiful house and everything that goes in it. I really like stuff, wanted more, and  I love the Lord too. I was literally brought to my knees at how God cleared the path to reach down and plucked this type of thinking right out of my head and heart! He showed me that He is to be the #1 on any list and within my heart!!!! I do not want to ever go back to that place in my life where God use to be way down the list of priorities in my life. He knew my heart and mind needed fine tuning. The bible is very clear about this. Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two master: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and money!" Lets back up a little bit and look at Matthew 6:21 " For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

I want that burning desire daily, to live a life worthy to serve my "Sugar Daddy!" The Lord is my inspiration daily! I will be the first to tell anyone, that I am by no means, perfect in anyway. I stumble daily and get myself back up and dust myself off! The "coach" and I do not make a lot of money. We have what we need and everything else is an added blessing and a gift that the Lord has provided! Just knowing where I was, and now where I am going on this journey, has given me more peace than I could ever dream. Where is your treasure? What is your hearts desire?

Have a blessed day, Anita

Discovering balance

So many times I have had conversations with other mom’s related to time constraints, stress, worry, and feeling tired.  I myself experience these feelings quite often.  I am attempting to find balance in my life and as a wife and/or mother you know exactly how difficult and overwhelming this can be.  I know, it feels impossible to me too but I have made one small change and I am noticing a difference. 
In our Sunday school class we have been learning about building strong marriages and raising great kids.  It feels overwhelming to think this may be possible this day in age.  You always hear people say “I wish kids came with an instruction booklet.”  Well, they do.  It’s called the Bible.  God has outlined everything he wants us to know about raising kids, successful marriage, healthy living, and just plain life in His Bible.  All we have to do is open it up and read it.  Many Bibles today come with an index that you can search for specific topics, and reference verses and explanations.  For those of us who want a devotion type reading, there’s an app for that.  Yep, there is.  Many apps actually.  Download one and try it out, I dare ya!  I know, you are probably thinking, “I don’t have time for this every day.”  I didn’t think that I did either until I just started devoting a part of my morning to reading and studying the Bible.  sometimes I start with 15 minutes and other mornings I find myself totally in tune and studying 45 minutes later.  I have been led to some of the most powerful and revealing verses you can imagine and many times I just let the Lord talk to my heart about what it is He wants me to learn from them.  Without fail, the passages I read are relevant to the situations I am facing at that time in my life.  Kids, friends, work, marriage.... God knows what we need to hear and learn and if we give him the reins, he will take over and lead us to the most wonderful of all places. 
I notice when I start my day with a Bible study, the day goes much smoother and my mind is more in line with the positive.  I think as a society we have gotten so far away from the basics that we don’t know how to get it back.  It’s not about being able to do everything on your own and relying on your own power to be a success.  Believing and relying on God to lead your life and your home is what we are expected to do.  God’s word continues to hold true today, it’s not just a bunch of stories about coincedences that happened hundreds of years ago.  God’s word holds teachings and lessons that still apply to us today.  Don’t believe me, just try it!  See how different your life becomes.
....but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Switching Gears! Nurse to Mom!

We all know how important cleaning the house and keeping things going are in our daily routines. I work 2 nights a week as an RN that are 12 hour shifts. I live 1 hour from work and by the time you include my shift time and travel time, this ends up running into 14-15 hours. Needless to say, when my shifts are over and it is time for me to switch gears and be wife and mom again, it takes me a bit to come back to their world and schedule. A shock on the body is putting it nicely! Up until this year it hasn't  seemed to bother me much. Sister let me tell you, I am feeling it now!!! The balance in working, maintaining a home, being a wife and mother, along with my prayer and devotions. Sound familiar? Just sounds like so much to cram into 1 day. Welcome to my world! Something I have learned that I have to be, is flexible. I started doing daily bible studying back in the fall and realized how important it is for me to work this into my daily schedule. A scripture I stumbled across early in my study Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Reunite a right spirit within me." This is something I speak daily and I am constantly asking for.  Before the house gets clean, the heart has to get clean!!!!
Although my 2 night shifts a week do throw a kink into things, I am right back at it on my days that I am at home. My day seems to go better and my relationship with my Heavenly Father grows deeper. He gives me the added strength and endurance for everything else that is pressing in my life. Is it always easy? NO, not always and I love just having the days that I don't do anything. Well let me tell you what the reality of that is, I am needed to help get things done and running smoothly at home. We moms do a lot and it is a thankless job, at times. It's funny that when I am home there is supper on the table, shampoo and conditioner in the shower, along with clean underwear and socks in their drawers! When I work, I don't even want to know what the "coach" offers my girls  for supper? I don't think a Mountain Dew and Chips is included in the food pyramid! ha!
I find myself asking God to clean my heart and reunite a right spirit in me daily!! I am no good as a nurse, or a wife or mother, if I am not where I should be. As wives and mothers, the little things that we do, make all the difference in the world. No one can replace a Momma!!!!

Have a blessed day, Anita

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frustration and Staying Positive through GRACE!!!!

My heart just hurts watching my 16 year old daughter's frustration. Tearing her ACL in her right knee over a week ago, awaiting appointments, surgery and healing has been a struggle for her. She is a perfectionist and does not do well with change. I see her impatience. We all seem to want things "yesterday," and having to wait for anything can test us beyond what we think we are made of. God's mercy is perfect and unfailing! My mother used to tell me as a teenager, "Anita, God does not ever put anymore on your shoulders than he feels that you can handle." There are many times when I pray and ask God to exchange my frustration and replace it with an attribute he wants me to exhibit in my thoughts and mood. I stop, ask, and WAIT!
His timing is always perfect. God's mercy and tenderness falls down on us like a sweet gentle rain. I find myself feeling so frustrated for my daughter but know that with all things, God works it for his good and purpose. We may not understand the whys or the reason but we are being taught and molded along the way. To express this to my teenage daughter has been difficult, at times. They see things in the here and now. She considers this to be a tragedy in her life, I on the other hand see it is a disappointment but also am thankful and blessed. It could always be so much worse.

I watch her little sisters and how they have become patient, understanding and wanting to help her with everything. This irritates her and she gets very frustrated with having to depend on others for her daily needs. Her crutches have limited her somewhat in her ability to do some of the smallest things. This is real and it is Dependency!!! It is only for a time, a season, and with time, patience and hard work she will recover! I smile to myself. I still have not quite convinced her. :)

The lesson for all this:
Depending on God for every need! Letting him lead your life and depending on him to provide every need and want is surrendering to him. I am learning this daily in my own life. I want to try and fix things myself. Oh, boy can he do such a better job than I ever could. I have told my children that with any frustration they go through that " God loves you and wants to hear your frustrations. He loves you more than I could ever love you! Pray about it and let him comfort you." Sometimes I get those looks, "the rolling of the eyes and deep sighs." Other times they look at me in wonder and curiosity. I tell them TRY IT and see what happens! :)

Have a blessed day, Anita

Feeling guilty....and I should!

I love my children more than life itself and just like any mother I would do absolutely anything in the world for them.  So why is it that we tend to hurt the one’s we love?  No, I didn’t hit my 6 year old or abuse him physically.  What I did do was hurt his tiny little feelings though and that is just as bad.  A month ago he went to try out for a local play, he got one of many parts and will portray an orphan and a pickpocket.  Now keep in mind he is 6 years old and for those of you who have a child this age or have ever been around a child of this age, you know how active they are.  Up until tonight the cast has been working on choreography and they have danced their hearts out all over the stage.  Great for an active child right?  Well, tonight they began the task of putting the scenes together.  This requires a lot of patience and the cast members must listen and follow direction well.  My son is one of the youngest in the show and this was a huge challenge for him.  As I am sitting in the audience watching the scenes played out I see my son walking around in places he is not supposed to be, moving around when he is supposed to be “asleep” and talking to other characters while the main performers are bringing home the end of a song.  I am embarrassed to say the least and I could feel the warmth begin to well up inside my body.  I wasn’t sure if I should call him out on his behavior in front of everyone or let the director tend to the troubles.  I was asking myself a dozen questions in my head and finding absolutely NO answers.  Will I embarrass him if I go to him and tell him to stop?  Will the director be angry with me for entering the scene to attend to my son?  Is she thinking I am a poor parent for not stopping this behavior?  Will I distract the rest of the cast if I go to talk to my son?  I am at a total loss for what to do.  So, I chose to let the director handle the situations and I took notes.  Yep, literally took notes.  I wrote down all the things that I saw him do that were not in the script.  I had quite a list by the end of the hour long practice and when it was time to go, we left expediently.  Once in the vehicle, I began to point out all the “bad” things I had seen my son do during this practice.  I was really relentless and looking back now, totally unfair.  I looked over to my son and saw tears beginning to roll down his sweet little cheeks and I felt horrible.  And yes, I should! 
I think as a mother I get so caught up in the fact that I want my children to experience success in everything they do.  I have a competitive spirit and I think everyone should feel the same but, the reality is, they don’t.  And really, should they?  I learned an invaluable lesson tonight from my 6 year old son.  I did not follow the Golden Rule.  I did not treat others the way that I want to be treated.  I would have been angry and sad if I had been treated this way by anyone.  I am ashamed.  As a parent we are to teach our children about life and respect for others and I dare say, my son taught me a thing about life today.
I now must go to my heavenly father in prayer and ask for the forgiveness that I know I don’t deserve for hurting the precious child that he blessed me with.  I must also ask my young son for his forgiveness as well.  I have a lot to answer for tonight.