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Musings

4 Apps Every First-Time Parent Should Download

Source: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Being a first-time parent is tough. You’re tired all of the time, you have a whole host of new responsibilities, and you’re figuring it all out as you go. Raising a child is both difficult and highly rewarding, and the newborn days can be exceptionally rough.

Parenting for the first time is always a challenge, but today, there are helpful apps that can make it a little easier to handle. Downloading these apps on your smartphone is a simple way to record your baby’s important and info and manage your day-to-day life with your new addition.

The Wonder Weeks

Ever wondered why your baby is suddenly much fussier than usual for a few days, even when their routine has stayed the same and they’re totally healthy? They might be having a “wonder week,” which refers to a period of rapid development that occurs several times throughout the first few months of a baby’s life. During a “wonder week,” your baby might cry more often and wake up more frequently throughout the night.

The Wonder Weeks app reveals which developmental milestones your baby reaches during a given week. It provides parents with tons of educational information on every “leap.” You can also use it to create personalized schedules. There is even a “leap alarm” feature so that you’ll always be ready for upcoming leaps!

Milk Maid

It’s perfectly normal for first-time moms to have lots of questions about breastfeeding. New moms who are often on the go will want to know the simplest way to manage pumping and storing breastmilk. The app Milk Maid allows moms to enter information about pumping sessions, keep track of how much they have pumped, and note where they’ve stored the bottles and bags. Noticed any issues with your milk supply that could be indicative of a health problem? The Milk Maid app can help you share this data with your doctor. You can export everything you record in the app to a spreadsheet, which you are free to share with any medical providers.

 Sit or Squat

Family road trips always require some advance planning, but when you’ve got an infant coming along for the ride, you’re going to need some extra preparation before packing up the car. In fact, as Kindred Bravely explains, you’ll need to fill your diaper bag with a number of important items one of which is a portable charger to keep your phone ready to roll.

The Sit or Squat app can help you plan where to stop and use the restroom. You can search for the nearest public restroom while driving, and you can also view photos and ratings of each public restroom on your route. This is especially useful for parents who want to make sure that there are clean changing tables wherever they choose to stop.

 Cozi Family Organizer

Every new parent wonders how on earth they can keep their house clean while taking care of an infant. You find yourself putting off those basic chores that you and your partner used to finish in a couple of hours every Sunday afternoon. The laundry piles up, the sink is filled with dishes, and you can barely muster up the energy to vacuum. Cozi Family Organizer is an app that lets you enter the schedules of everyone in your household, make to-do lists and grocery lists, and even store your favorite recipes. You can see your whole family’s daily agenda in one place. Plus, the app lets you capture family memories to look back on together in the future.

As a new parent, it’s hard to stay organized, keep track of your baby’s important milestones, and communicate clearly with your partner when you’ve got so much on your plate. Sometimes, you’ll wish that you had a personal assistant to take care of it all — but if you can’t hire a secretary, these convenient apps are the next best option.

Guest Writer: Josh Moore @ diaperdads.org

Categories
Adoption Family Musings My Kids Parenting tips

When Your Child Hurts You – Parenting Tip #45

My first son and I have something very in common. We write our best articles when we feel passionate about something, especially if that something hits us in our emotions. Yep. We’re emotional beings and occasionally another being will hit our emotional nerve and cause us to sort things out until we feel we sufficiently understand them or can at least put it behind us.

(If you’d like to see his writings about refugees and his newest adventure in Uganda working with communities go to AndrewFrania.com. You will be blessed.)

So, if you’ve gotten this far and plan to continue reading, I’ll get specific and to the point.

Yesterday I spent time with and/or talked to 9 of my 15 children. I know! That’s pretty cool in itself. I could have even reached 10 but one of them hasn’t texted me back yet.

Let’s break it down and then I’ll address my topic.

(1) One of my adult kids just spent 2 days attacking me via text. Blindsided me actually. Out of the blue. I still have no idea why. It just happened. One minute I was holding my new grandson for the first time while out of town visiting him and his family and the next I was looking down at a text that totally obliterated my “new grammie feeling.”

For just a moment. A millisecond actually. I chose to compartmentalize that moment and willed myself to take myself back to that moment of bliss, blocking the cruel punch to my grammie bubble.

It’s something I’m learning and am getting pretty good at. Most of the time. For the most part. OK, sometimes I’m able to do it.

After our “grammie meeting new baby” trip was over, I questioned the texter as to the why of the attack and it just spiraled to an all out “beat up mom for no reason” texting extravaganza. I decided it was going nowhere, so I asked my DH to handle it for me. He’s such a good doobie. I seldom ask him to step in, but I was getting nowhere and just wanted it to stop. It was ruining my day and just adding to the mound of stress I already had been battling.

It continued into the next day – one text after another. This time it was at work and I needed to focus on my job, not this ranting from the abyss. I warned that it must stop and gave my ultimatum: be kind and respectful or I would block any communication using that handy, “block caller” check box. I’ve never done it before. But sometimes “ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.”

Are you like me? Do you check your texts in between your busy moments to see what’s going on in your little world and then get a sick, heart turning upside down, kinda feeling when you read something negative? What if you kept getting negative, mean or spiteful messages every time you looked at your phone for two days straight?

How long do you let it go on? Do you thrive on derision? I don’t.

I am happy to help someone in trouble, lift someone up that’s down. I thrive on meeting needs and encouraging others. But sometimes you just can’t help. Sometimes people are just hell-bent on destroying others because they themselves are unhappy. I don’t get it, but it does happen. That is the case here. I came to realize that whenever something negative or hurtful or disappointing happens to this individual, they immediately text and dump on me. Most of the time I can take it. Most of the time I can talk them through it and find out what happened and help them navigate their way through it.

But this time it was different. I was their emotional punching bag. Right. Mom always loves you. You can do whatever you want to her and she will always love you. Well, yes, this is true. BUT…

This time it was different because no reasoning worked. No questions were answered as to why the attack. There was no foundation for the spewed hatred being typed into words via text. The rant just kept coming. All day. All night. The next morning. So I blocked said attacker. I warned. It continued. I blocked. But that’s not the end of the story. It yet has to play out.

 

Parenting Tip for Adoptive Moms {Mom of Many)

Now let me tell you what happened after that moment when the attack stopped (on my end, probably not on their end). But I couldn’t hear it because I checked that little box, “block caller.” Sometimes you just have to remove yourself from the path of destruction for your own safety.

But it gets better. At least it did for me. I mentioned I talked to 8 more of my kids that day. I suppose I am more blessed than others because when one hurts me, I still have 14 others that I can look to. And good percentage of those 14 are kind and loving toward me, consistently.

So here is the break down of the other 8.

(2) One called me from Uganda, East Africa in the middle of his busy work day to encourage me when he found out I was having a hard day.

(3) Another joked with me and shared her children – hugs from grandkids cannot be adequately described. A (4, 5) couple of others texted and messaged me – always upbeat and respectful no matter what is going on in their lives. The every day chatting with some of my kids provides a good dose of sanity and grounding, reminding me they do not live in the drama zone nor do they want to drag me into it. Refreshing.

(6) Another called wanting details on a car accident one of our other kids had been in –  I realized I hadn’t called her to let her know. She could have been angry but she wasn’t! Hmmm. That is the standard families should hold to. Graciousness. A little found commodity in many families. Graciousness was what I needed – it was granted to me even when I was negligent by my lack of communication. And she didn’t even yell at me! No nasty texts. Only concern for her brother.

(7) Another called about the car accident, wanting to know how he could help.

(8) Another messaged me thanking me for a tiny gift I’d given him.

(9) One took me to dinner and shopping. Retail therapy. It works! (Maybe I shouldn’t have said that out loud!)

Of course I have to add my wonderful DH as always was, well, wonderful.

So here is my many faceted parenting tip #45.

  • You are not a punching bag. If your adult kids can’t be kind and respectful, walk away. Yes, you should try to help. Offer advice. Do what you can to alleviate suffering and meet needs. But if they are just mad and wanting to take it out on you because they think you are “safe,” then cause them to think again. Will you miss them if they don’t make it right? Yes. But you will not miss being abused.
  • Even if your kids are mentally disabled, emotionally scarred, or generally just clueless, that doesn’t mean they are incapable of being respectful and polite. Put up your boundaries. If they try to beat you up, taking their frustrations out on you, don’t let them do it! Draw your line and if they cross it, walk away. Tell them you love them no matter what, but that you will not let them abuse you.
  • I’m going to say it again. Moms are not punching bags. We are soft and breakable. We are not super human. We can be hurt. We have our own lives to manage and we are not responsible for managing our adult children’s lives. They must figure that out themselves. If anything, once they are adults, THEY SHOULD BE TAKING CARE OF US. We did our deal. For years we put them first, met their needs, taught them, educated them, taught them about spiritual things, modeled adulthood and set limits, taught them respectfulness, how to work hard…the list goes on. There is a time when that stops and you just become “mom” the one who they respect and care for. It’s called adulthood. If they can’t manage to do that, then look to those who do. Revel in their love and respect and let go of those who don’t.
  • Realize they may never come back if you make them stop hurting you. They may walk away because of some misguided accusation in their head that tells them they can’t count on you or that you don’t love them or some nonsense like that. They might choose to do something stupid that will damage them for life. Realize it’s not you, it’s them. Realize you cannot control them or their messed up thinking process. Of course the “*” to that is to assume you were not the cause of their problem. If you are, then fix it.  In this case the attack was unwarranted and I have not discovered the root cause, though I tried. But honestly, it doesn’t matter.
  • The real root cause of such abuse is much deeper than what set the attack in motion. The root cause can only be fixed by God, the healer of all pain and hurt, the one who can spot a deep dark pit that harbors all the hate and anger. You can’t do it. You can’t fix whatever is wrong with them. So stop taking that on. This is a situation where the, “Let go and let God” comes into play. You cannot and are not obligated to fix everything and everyone who is broken. This especially applies to adoptive parents. You’ve done your best (hopefully) to raise them to be hard working, responsible adults with a conscience and a loving heart, ready and willing to serve God and their fellow man. They are adults now. They must choose to live right. Your relationship should and will change. Let it.
  • They are not your peers. If your adult children try to treat you as a peer, don’t allow it. You are the parent and they should respect and honor you. Period.

This was a long one. No pictures. No fancy doo-dads, quips or quotes. Just reality. Let me know your thoughts. But only if you are kind. I’ve had a rough week and it’s only Wednesday.

 

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Categories
Educating Our Children Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

6 Ways to Keep Electronics From Frying Your Kids’ Brains

Kids & Technology {Mom of Many}

Should we let our children jump into the tech world? Is it safe to let them online? Will their brains get fried? Will they turn into electronics zombies? Will they be socially retarded? Will people think you are a lazy parent?

It’s a fairly new debate. Should your kids play games, search the net, talk to Siri on your iPad, iPhone or laptop?

How much is too much tech?

If we do, how much supervision do they need? How much, how long and how often should they be allowed on the zeroes and ones superhighway?

Let me start out by declaring that each family is different, each child is unique and each parent has different experiences and different opinions based on those experiences.

Some of MY kids (I have 15) were very responsible and could be thrown in the middle of a cesspool and come out clean. Others would struggle, knowing it was nasty stinky but still become a modern day Pig Pen (remember Pig Pen from Charlie Brown?). Others would jump in, lather up in the muck and smile.

So what’s the right answer?

Balance is Key

  1. Know your child.
  2. Tailor your expectations to your family goals and to your child’s talents and propensities.
  3. Consider the Internet and your devices to be tools, not a babysitting service.
  4. Establish rules/guidelines and stick to them. Regulate!
  5. Participate – know what your child is doing and why.
  6. Keep the online activity in an area of your home that is well supervised. Keep the monitor facing out and check on them often.

Should small children own devices?

I know families who have given their four year old their own ipod for watching cartoons. I know others who feel strongly that their child will not own a device and allows only a half hour/day on any type of media. So who is right?

Both of them/neither of them (How’s that for a decisive judgement?).

It’s not our job to judge others. Every child is different. Every parent is different. Our only responsibility is to decide for our own families. We all decide based on our experiences and goals. Those are different in every family.

 

Pros and Cons of the Tech World

If I have trouble figuring out my iPhone, guess who I ask?  Yep, my 9 year old grandson, Isaac.

Don’t judge me! I’m not one of those old grannies that doesn’t know how to send an email or know what a font is.

I’m fairly techy and can pretty much navigate myself around in cyberspace, but I don’t really take the time to learn the minute details of my devices. I have too much else going on to spend time on it.

But my grandson has a naturally inquisitive nature that makes him a prime candidate for the tech world. He’s not afraid to experiment and investigate. I’ve had to hand my iPhone back to him and tell him to undo what he did because he messed it up (In his mind he made it better.).

  1. To become familiar with devices is a very good thing. To know their way around the web and have experience with searching for answers and solutions to everyday problems can only help a child grow and learn. Formal schooling is good but not the answer. Developing an inquisitive mind and a penchant for searching out answers is extremely beneficial.
  2. Like it or not this world is high tech and your children will need to know how to maneuver their way around all those 0’s and 1’s.
  3. Encourage them to learn technology with guidelines, regulations and supervision…lots of supervision. Obsession with technology will become a problem if you are not careful.
  4. Don’t forgo the other means of educationreading (real tangible, hold in your hands books), playing (this a child’s vocation), experimenting (hands on learning) and watching and interacting with those around them (make them put the devices down and connect with real, live people!).

Kids & Technology {Mom of Many}

B.A.L.A.N.C.E.

What say you?

Do you think technology is a good thing?

Do you regulate and supervise your child’s online activity?

I am concerned about people today – not just kids. There seems to be less personal interaction. If we are to preserve our sense of community, we need to keep in touch (more than just on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram ).

Shoot me a comment and tell me your opinion.

(I do find it mildly amusing that you are reading this on your laptop, iPad or iPhone.)

Have you read my FREE parenting tips ebook yet? Check it out HERE.

Val @ Mom of Many

Categories
Ministry Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Are your standards dictated by your church?

Church roof logo
 
This has been an age old controversy. Or maybe we can call it a debate. All I know is I have put a ton of thought into this and finally feel like I have a handle on it.
 
I'm 56 years old and finally can say I am enjoying true freedom in Christ. Oh, I always had it, just wasn't free to enjoy it. It took me many years to get to the place where I understand that statement and to be confident in applying it in a practical manner.
 
Freedom in Christ is the freedom to serve Him – but I want to go a step further and say that freedom in Christ is the freedom to serve Him with a fearless and content happy heart. If we truly exercise our freedom in Christ we will have a happiness like none other. Some would call it "joy" but I call it "free to be me."
 
When I ask, "Are your standards dictated by your church?" I'm referring to everything from skirt length (or manner of dress in general) to what you eat, where you go, what you say and who you spend time with. Yep, the whole shebang.
 
My DH and I have served in several churches, both on staff in pastoral/school teacher positions and as lay people working in ministries ranging from custodial to preaching and teaching. We have served under several pastors and have had a variety of experiences doing so. I'm in a "been there done that" position.
 
Here's an example of how twisted my thinking was after leaving one of our ministries.
 
Just after leaving one church where we served for 9+ years, I was at the mall with my husband (wearing jeans in public for the first time in years) and he said, "Oh, look there's (insert name of the pastor's wife)." He thought he was funny. She wasn't really there. He just knew my heart would jump 10 feet. I constantly tell people not to laugh at him because he's not funny. This falls on dull ears. People think he's so funny. I didn't think he was funny that day.
 
I knew I was in bondage when I quickly looked where he pointed in a panic. I knew I had freedom in Christ, but I didn't "feel it." I didn't have the confidence I needed to live in that freedom. I was stuck in a set of rules laid out for me. I had been so stressed out for years trying to be the perfect little pastor's wife that I stopped thinking for myself and just followed the rules – which by the way was made very clear I had to do if I wanted to serve in that ministry.
 
When we finally arrived to the church we are in now, I was shopping with my daughter, Jillian, when I saw our new pastor's van pulling up, everyone waving a hello to us. Uh huh. I was in jeans. But the pastor and his wife had never seen me outside of church and they were skirt only people. Of course, due to my past experience, I was curious to see what their reaction would be to our non-skirt atire. I was happy to discover that they didn't miss a beat – they rolled up with big smiles on their faces, greeting Jillian and I as if we were long lost relatives. Over the past 4 years I am happy to announce that I have a gracious and accepting pastor's family and am perfectly content to be allowed to enjoy my freedom in Christ without pressure to conform or obey a collection of works based standards.
 
Guess what? I did everything expected of me and more, but we still lost our ministry in that standards oriented church. Why? Because you can do your best and if your leadership has their own agenda you have no solid footing – you are at the mercy of the "man of God." It's not how well you follow the rules, or how valuable you are to the ministry, it's about how gracious and spiritually mature your leader is and if he allows you to follow God by hearing His voice rather than worshipping the "man of God" in the place of the real God, our God Jehovah, the Creator and LORD of all things.
 
If He is our Lord then why do we have to obey the "man of God" and put him on a lofty pedestal? You are as much a "Man or Woman of God" as he is if you are walking in the Spirit as a believer. Why do we need to be controlled by a man? If our heart is right would we not be right in man's eyes too? If our vertical relationship with God is right, would not our horizontal relationships, those with the people around us, be right too? Should we not choose those to be on staff based on their spiritual maturity and ability to follow God's call and direction rather than putting them in a box and pulling their strings to show we are in charge?
 
Are Your Standards Dictated by Your Church? {Mom of Many}
 
We ought not to choose a ministry to serve in that must control us. We must choose a ministry to serve in that supports us and creates a better environment for us to be able to serve in the way God that calls us. I tell my kids that they should marry a person who compliments them and is fit to be the type of partner that eniches their ability to serve God – not inhibits or traps them into a lifestyle that makes it difficult to serve. Each step in our life either leads us to or away from God and His purpose for our lives.
 
Don't get me wrong. We truly believe we were called by God to go to each ministry we have served in, but that doesn't mean everything that went on or the pain we endured was right or approved of God. If we had truly exercised our freedom in Christ, things would have been different – either by our leaving sooner once we detected things going awry or exhibiting the confidence to maintain our freedom in Christ by being more assertive. Either way, I do know this – I will never allow myself to be in that situation again. I am free now and once a person is completely free, they will never go back to bondage.
 
Freedom isn't free. Someone earned that freedom and it is a shame when we don't live in that freedom. Why did Christ die if His people can't enjoy the freedom He suffered and died for? Standards are great, but they are not a true measure of our spiritual maturity. Remember the verses, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." I Corinthians 13:1? Follow all the man made rules you can, but it will never make up for a lack of charity (love for your fellow man).
 
Let's focus on the good stuff – loving one another, supporting fellow believers, sharing the love of Christ, faithfully following God in all we say and do. These things should be our main focus – not making sure our neckline is only two fingers below the hollow in our neck. Sure, modesty and such are important but they are not the measuring stick of our validity. I know a believer who will not talk to a lady that is wearing pants. Is this why Christ gave his blood, so we could treat one another with contempt? I say, "Nay!."
 
Val @ Mom of Many
Raising Real Kids Ebook {Mom of Many}
Categories
Family Events Ministry Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

How Much is Too Much Loss?

How Much is Too Much Loss? {Love My DIY Home}

Our family and friends have experienced so much loss, pain and suffering lately.
 
Everywhere I look I see loss.
  • My father-in-law passed away a year ago. My mom 6 months ago.
  • A friend lost her youngest son in a car accident yesterday.
  • Another friend is caring for her youngest son who was in a head-on collision two days ago. Thankfully he is still with us – they came so close to losing him. He's in traction with 6 months of recovery ahead.
  • My Marine son, Andrew, is planning to go fight ISIS this fall independently of the military – because our country isn't doing much to free the world of this threat. I don't want to lose him.
  • My son-in-law just lost his job – out of the blue, no warning.
  • Last month my other son had to be cut out of his truck after after being broadsided – but thankfully got out with just a hurt shoulder.
  • How much loss is TOO MUCH LOSS? Loss is everywhere. How do we survive it? How do we prepare for it?
What can't we do?
We can't stop our loved ones from getting hurt or dying. We can't stop time or stop the pain of loss. We can't forsee disasters or emergencies. We can't control our government, other people, the weather, or our circumstances.
 
Word has it our country in for a major financial disaster soon. There is unrest everywhere in the world.
 
BUT, I know from experience that a person can live through hardship or tragedy and come out a better person, stronger and better equipped for life – the life they must learn how to live without whatever/whomever they have lost.
 
What can we do?
There are things we can do to survive and ANYTHING…and even thrive.
 
We can prepare ourselves emotionally, physically, spiritually. Do you have all your ducks in a row?
  • Get your finances in order – pay off debt and get your spending under control. Have an emergency fund. PLAN ahead.
  • Find out who God is. Really find out. He can supernaturally carry us through the darkest days.
  • Treasure everyone who means anything to you. Don't stay away for any reason. Life is short and it passes quicker than you realize. One day you will get a call and it will be too late. Work is good but it's not everything. It will still be there after you go fishing with your son or shopping with your sister or hang out at your parents house. Help your mom in her garden, it will lift both of your spirits. (hint, hint my children)
  • Treat others with respect. Regret is a bugger. You will some day need a support system. Develop and strengthen your relationships.
  • Eat right, get enough sleep, know your limitations but strive for the best – not OK or good, but the best. Take care of your health, quit your vices, focus on what is important. Care about doing right and follow through.
  • Don't dwell on the negative, disappointments, problems or sinful thoughts. Debi Pryde once gave me a tip: Don't dwell, if you have a problem think about it for 5 minutes, decide what you will do about it and then move on. Dwelling never helps and can cause other problems. I have found this to be good advice.
  • Only get biblical counseling – man's opinions differ but the Word of God is solid and trustworthy.
  • Set goals. Make lists. Accomplish. Get organized.
  • Find out who you are and be that person. Seriously. Many years I fit the mold that others made. I don't do that any more. Be the best YOU that you can be. Develop good character and a good reputation. Live clean. Don't break your mother's heart by living riotously and hurting your family name. But realize, always, that your mother still loves you, regardless.

If you are prepared, when tragedy strikes you will have the strength to get through anything. Strive for a solid foundation with confidence in yourself and your support system. God should not be an afterthought. Put Him in your life so He will be there when you need Him. Put your support system in place now.

Alone is not fun. Alone is bad. Alone stinks. None of us needs to be alone.

We won't be alone if we prepare.

The Will of God by Jim Elliott {Love My DIY Home}

8×10 printable (just click and save), take to your favorite photo printing
place and then frame it. It will be a good reminder.
 
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." II Corinthians 1:3, 4

Val @ Mom of Many

 
 
Categories
Ministry Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Ladies, YOU need to hear this… Listen up!

Hey ladies, my valuable, worthy ladies who love God and put yourself out there every day for others. Yes, I mean you.

Melody2 by Jesse Therrien from freeimages freesxc

I have something to tell you, something you NEED to hear. I’ve gotten so many letters, texts, Facebook messages, phone calls, and frustrated, “I need to talk to you,” face to face encounters that I have to address this. Urgh.

There is something you may not know and I’m going to tell you right now.

So listen up.

You are valuable.

You are loved.

You are who you are because God made you that way. That makes you special… special to God… special to me.

Yes, I mean you.

I see you day to day putting yourself aside and working for others, dropping by a vase of flowers for a sick older lady, changing diapers in the church nursery, going out to work to help support the family, caring your grandchildren, sacrificing for your children, washing dishes after a fellowship in your church, raising an adopted child by yourself, taking your kids to sports practice, blogging tutorials for strangers on how to save a dime, tutoring the student who just doesn’t get it, caring for a sick husband, encouraging others to keep going…

You do so much for others that I couldn’t possibly list it all. And yet, you are discouraged, feeling unloved and disrespected.

To quote a phrase in the Bible, because it is so simple yet profound, “These things ought not so to be.”

It makes me angry (yes, I can be angry and sin not) to see the women around me live discouraged, defeated lives because of how they are regarded by those around them.

It ends now.

Every woman who belongs to Christ (if you’re not sure, go here) must claim their position in Him, realize their value, and act like it!

No more questioning. No more letting people walk all over you. No more wondering if you can be used.

NO MORE!

You are not alone.

When you met Christ, you not only were forgiven, but you became brand new. You became His child, valuable and complete.

Did you hear that? You are complete in Him. He VALUED you enough to hang on that cross – FOR YOU.

So how is it that we wonder if we are enough? How is it that we question our value?

Um, no.

Right now you are going to realize you are valuable, complete in Him and to be regarded as such. No more are you going to accept the notion that you are not as good or capable or usable as that woman you think is better than you (or that woman that thinks she is better than you and lets you know it).

If someone tries to make you feel small, you just stand tall and tell yourself, “I am a daughter of the Most High God, I am valued, I am complete in Him.” Notice I said, “tries.” No one can put you in your place but God, and if you belong to Him, you are already placed in His hand and He is in your heart.

Repeat after me, “I got this.”

Photo by Stephen Davies freeimages

I don’t mean, “I got this,” as in “I’m perfect,” I mean, “I got this, I’m complete, I’m valued by God, I don’t need your approval, I don’t need you to put me in my place. I’m good where I’m at, in my God’s hand, loved and valued.”

Stop comparing yourself to other women. Stop trying to compete. Just be whom God made you. Accept who you are. Realize your value. Stand up and say, “I got this.”

Being submissive doesn’t mean we are a little mouse that walks around afraid to speak. If you’re not sure this is true, go read in the Scriptures about how all the women that served God were strong, confident women with purpose.

Being a good woman doesn’t mean you stand by while others smack you around with their words or actions. Others will not respect you if you don’t respect yourself. Stand up and say, “I got this.”

One friend recently said, “I’ve decided I will just stay in my room when they are home.”

Um. No.

You are not going to hide. You are not going to step aside and let them devalue you, take advantage of your insecurities or let them make you feel unloved. You are the daughter of a king. You step up and say,

“I got this.”

You are going to claim your position in Christ, say to yourself, “I belong to the King,” and take your place as a valued child. You are going to set your boundaries and claim your spot. It is your home. They are visitors. They will respect and cherish you or they will go.

I have a family of 5 living in our home and my 87 year old mother. None of them treat me like I am worthless. None of them push me around. None of them disrespect me. In fact, it is just the opposite. I have loved every moment my daughter’s family has been in our home for the past 5 months. I have gained much by having my mother in our home. We help each other, we laugh, we enjoy, we respect each other. When they move out in the next few days I will feel a loss. When my mother goes home to glory, I will feel a void.

If this is not the case with those around you, then you need to reevaluate your relationships, disconnect from those who do not value you and find some who do. Pray for a girlfriend who will uplift you and support you. Find someone who can encourage you and walk with you. Set your boundaries with everyone in your life and make it clear you know whom you, to whom you belong are and who you are not. And then tell yourself, “I got this.”

You are a daughter of the King.

You are valuable.

You are loved.

You are who you are because God made you that way.

That makes you special… special to God… special to me.

And yes, I mean you.

Blessings to you,

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Musings recommendations

Remember the Waltons?

Remember watching the Waltons when you were younger? Click here to watch a recent video of an interview of the cast members.

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Musings Uncategorized

Men and Boys

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Educating Our Children Links Musings My Kids recommendations

Swearing – an Epidemic

Over the years I’ve asked many people not to swear – co-workers, family, friends, and even strangers. It’s not a matter of judging others. It’s all about what is appropriate. I’ve taught my kids to use proper speech, both that pleases God and allows them to be received properly by others whether it be in a home, social or work setting. I’ve explained why it displeases God to utter expletives, how it offends others and even told them it hurts their mother’s heart to hear such things. I’ve explained that people will think less of them, be offended or even exclude them from being hired because of offensive language, whether it be in person or on a social networking site. None of it seems to matter – it appears we have an epidemic of swearing. To tell you the truth, I just don’t get it. Swearing has been such a taboo to me that I’d never consider allowing it to enter my vocabulary. It’s so offensive, yet it seems this doesn’t matter any more.

I guess when it comes to young people trying to assert their independence or prove their autonomy or even maturity to the world, they unwisely choose profanity to try to make their point. When asked to not swear, they say, “I’m my own person,” “That’s how I am and I don’t care what anyone thinks,” or, “It’s my life and I can live it any way I choose.” Well, in a spiritual sense, no, we don’t have the right to live how ever we want, we were bought with a  price if we belong to Christ. It is our responsibility to represent Christ and glorify Him with our speech. But let’s put that aside for a moment and look at it in a purely secular view.

I did a search on “swearing” and found a few secular sites that deal with swearing and why it’s detrimental to the individual as well as society in general. Below I’ve posted thoughts from  a site on the Internet called “Cuss Control” about swearing and how it affects a person and those around them. I found it interesting and very much like the things I’ve told my kids over the years. I found a really good article on an Internet site that is solely for men and it supported the list below as well. Basically that article said it’s not cool or mature, let alone attractive to swear. I’d give you the address of the site, but it had links that I’d just prefer not to pass along, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Please don’t swear. It’s offensive and hurts society in general. Common courtesy should rule. I’ve been assaulted so much lately with profanity that I’ve had to limit my news feed on my Facebook. This ought not so to be. It especially brings me great sorrow when it’s my own children – they certainly know better. They say the more you love someone, the easier and more you can be hurt by that person. I personally know this to be true. I long for the day that they desire to please the One who gave them a life worth living. But, I digress…

Below is the list and if you’d like to see the Cuss Control site that contains this list as well as other comments, click here. Used with permission.

What’s Wrong With Swearing?

Swearing Imposes a Personal Penalty
It gives a bad impression
It makes you unpleasant to be with
It endangers your relationships
It’s a tool for whiners and complainers
It reduces respect people have for you
It shows you don’t have control
It’s a sign of a bad attitude
It discloses a lack of character
It’s immature
It reflects ignorance
It sets a bad example

Swearing is Bad for Society
It contributes to the decline of civility
It represents the dumbing down of America
It offends more people than you think
It makes others uncomfortable
It is disrespectful of others
It turns discussions into arguments
It can be a sign of hostility
It can lead to violence

Swearing corrupts the English language
It’s abrasive, lazy language
It doesn’t communicate clearly
It neglects more meaningful words
It lacks imagination
It has lost its effectiveness

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Musings

It comes from the heart…

Right now I’m sitting in one of my favorite stores – Barnes and Noble. Since my family bought me a new battery for my laptop, I can sit in the comfy chairs and launch into my techno world without looking for a nearby plug. See, things can bring happiness. (All the while understanding only a loving God can bring us joy). And I am completely happy and content uploading precious pictures of my Isaac and Hudson while watching those around me.

A couple of minutes ago a young father tooled into the store with a shopping cart and little baby in his arms and sat down right across from me. I have to admit my first thought was, “I bet he’s babysitting.” Well, honestly, he can’t be babysitting, it’s got to be his baby because he had love woven into each action. He sat down, put his baby sideways on his lap and pulled out a bottle. He plopped it into the baby’s mouth. Of course my cynical mind thought, “Yeah, plug it in so you can have a break.” But once again this young father surprised me.

He lovingly looked down at the baby and wiped a dribble off his chin with his thumb after reaching for his own bottle – a slurpee drink. Right at that moment the baby looked up at him and took the bottle out of his mouth. The father took the bottle and set his down on the table and held the bottle for his little boy. In a moment the father connected with his child and forgot all about his own wants. Then the most precious thing happened. The little baby, not over 6 months old, reached for his daddy’s hand as if to say, “Oh Daddy, I love it when you hold me!”

A second or two later the father pulled the little one’s blanket out of the shopping cart and laid it alongside the baby’s face and side in a gentle, protective manner. All this happened and just a couple of minutes, but it was enough to see that this father wasn’t babysitting. He was building a life. Our children can tell when we KNOW them. They can tell when we LOVE them. They can tell when our needs are not important when we see they have a NEED. They can see just like I saw. It’s not anything you can script. It has to come from the heart and is obvious to all around. It’s nothing that can be counterfeited. Love is obvious and REAL. Love makes all the DIFFERENCE.