Last year I started a new tradition in our household. I incorporated random acts of kindness with our advent calendar (or countdown to Christmas). As we countdown the days to Christmas, beginning December 1st, we do one random act of kindness each day until Christmas morning.
On my birthday, my husband hacked my personal Facebook page and left the most beautiful, uplifting post about me. It was a message that probably gave the impression that I am a perfect woman. Which I am not! Regardless, he went on describing how I am this “superwoman” doing all these amazing things. As I read his post I kept thinking, “How is this me? I am in no way the woman he is describing!” Although his message was sincere and sweet, I had the hardest time reading it. My judgmental radar was up and I began to criticize every word he wrote. I wasn’t looking for any errors on his part, rather it was I who was on the surgery table to be scrutinized.
Honestly I’m shocked! Perhaps not for the reason you think. No, our little Macee hasn’t arrived, which I’m ecstatic about because I really want a September baby. What I am amazed about is my weight gain!
I recently took an 11-day Babymoon at 23 weeks pregnant on a cruise to Alaska with my husband and two toddlers. After traveling to Ireland, Scotland, UK, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France and many other countries with my toddlers, I have to say this has been by far one of my top vacations as a family. Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Cruising to Alaska is One of the Best Vacations with Toddlers “
Throughout my adult life, I’ve made it a priority to be fit in every area of my life. Of course this is easier said than done. Nonetheless, I’m up for the daily challenge and I’m quite determined! I may not be the skinniest girl on the block or the happiest person every second of the day, but I’ve learned to be content, confident and willing to make changes as needed.
I remember a time in my younger married years, following my husband around the house like a puppy dog begging him to plan our next year together. I wanted to set marriage, financial, spiritual and physical goals together. However, at that time he wasn’t fond of setting goals or planning. He admittedly was ignorant about the benefits of goal setting and planning. He thought they were restrictive and that they would chip away from his independence. He didn’t want to be accountable, limited or bounded by any words printed on a paper or on mounted on the wall.
In a self-centered world I aim to raise my children Christ-centered. Sadly this is a far more difficult goal than one can expect. We are all bombarded with influences to overspend, be materialistic, look a certain way, and be self-absorbed. Despite the peer pressures of the world, my husband and I work hard to guard our hearts from these influences and steer our children to be strong enough to swim against such currents. With our children alongside us, we are constantly looking for opportunities to stay focused on what really matters in life. Whether its reaching out to a neighbor, serving our community or helping the homeless; we endeavor to share the love of God with others and build up our treasures in heaven (Matt 6:19-21).
As we draw closer to Thanksgiving many of us will be encouraged to reflect on the things for which we are thankful. Although it’s great to count your blessings at the Thanksgiving table, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to read how incredibly beneficial having a thankful attitude can affect your life.
In fact, Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of the division of biologic psychology at Duke University Medical Center, said “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.” Thankfulness has tremendous advantages that not only affect us biologically, but enhances us psychologically, extrinsically at our work place, in our marriages and our friendships too. Here are 8 major benefits to having an “attitude of gratitude” that can change your life throughout the year:
How we met…
Our love story begins the Summer of 1998. We were both accepted into a math summer program for minorities at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) prior to beginning our first semester. Oddly enough, we were both on the fence regarding whether we’d be attending CSUS in the Fall. I sent my application to Oral Roberts University and I was eagerly waiting for my acceptance letter. I later found out they never received my application. Juan on the other hand wasn’t even sure if he was “College worthy” (something I’ll need to blog about at another time). Through what may have seemed like the eagerness of CSUS’s organization to recruit minorities, because neither one of us actually applied into the program, we both received invitations to participate with all provisions supplied. I now acknowledge it for what it was-the hand of God leading us on His path for our lives.
Both of my children were napping near me while I was folding laundry; and all of a sudden a thought hit me like a ton of bricks…“What would I do if something tragic ever happened to my children?” In that moment my heart sunk into my stomach. Tears begun to fill my eyes and fear tried to grip my soul. In that instant I recalled my first brother.