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.
I often hear from friends my life appears to them like “I have it all together!” I don’t mean to give the idea I don’t ever go through tough times, because I absolutely do. EVERY ONE DOES!! In regards to my struggles, I simply have learned to lean on and trust in God with everything; and rely on his grace to get me through my trials. I may not announce my battles with a bugle horn but I definitely share some of my battle scars in my blogs.
In my Mommy Life logs, I like to give my heart some medicine and look back at some of those trying days with some comical relief. I might as well. It sincerely helps having a sense of humor when raising kids. If you haven’t read my Mommy Life: Log Entry 1, you’ll crack up after reading about what I woke up to one morning. I think that image will haunt me for the rest of my life! Now that I have two toddlers, I’m thinking motherhood and humor are synonymous.
So enjoy my Log Entry 2 in my Mommy Life. I hope it will lighten up your day! You’re never alone in your Motherhood journey!
My husband came home one day with a heavy heart. We were so busy with the kids, church and other tasks, he had to wait until the end of the day to share with me what had happened. As he began to pour out his heart to me, I felt grief consume me. I was offended by what happened to him but I kept silent. I struggled to keep my thoughts to myself but I knew I had to. He went further into detail about what had taken place and I kept thinking, “How could this happen to him?” I was appalled but I felt the Holy Spirit refrain me from speaking. One of our kids called for my attention, so I left my husband’s presence without muttering one word to him in response. Typically my husband would follow me around as I cared for our kids, asking for my thoughts but this time he didn’t. God needed to speak first.
As I was scanning my Pinterest home feed I came across this quote:
“Based on how you spoke to (or about) your husband, today, what did you teach your son to look for in a wife?” – Matthew L. Jacobson.
After reading it, I immediately stopped and reflected. I honestly in that moment didn’t know if I was happy with the image I’ve been painting for my son, specifically what I wanted him to look for in a wife. Of course, I could go on and on about the characteristics of a good wife and what I’d hope he’d find in his future spouse. Still nothing can outweigh the constant display I’ve put before my son day after day. Whether I like it or not, I’m defining and creating for him a perception of what a wife is and what he may look for when he’s searching for her.
It seems like the ultimate struggle in life is balancing it! Honestly, how can we balance our lives without pulling our hair out? From work responsibilities, house chores, caring for our elderly relatives, parenting our children, being involved in our church and/or community to maintaining our relationships, we have more than enough tasks to occupy every hour of the day without any breaks. God forbid we neglect our health or hygiene along the way! Why does a mother feel like she has to be the Pinterest Queen of all things Martha Stewart, the Supermodel to keep the eyes of her husband, the Rachel Ray in her kitchen because the family gets bored with the same meals, and a walking Google search engine, since we’re expected to know and do everything at home? It’s absurd! We’re inundated with so many responsibilities and we’re pulled in multiple directions. To add to the madness, our society pressures us to look and be a certain way. We experience pressures of being successful, always giving the perception we have everything put-together, appearing prosperous, and ultimately achieving the American dream. There’s judgments about how we do everything! It’s like there’s this vehement water current rushing at you without any mercy. You feel inclined to flow with it, but you’re losing ground and sinking seems inevitable. If you stop, you’ll be overwhelmed by waves and drown. No wonder we deal with such immense emotions of indecision and worry. We feel empty, exhausted, and drained! What can we do? How do we balance everything?
I’m so excited!! My little man has memorized all his ABC Bible Verses! Take a look at my video of him reciting each one. It’s too cute! I’m one proud Mama!
My original plan for him was to learn two verses every month and be done by the end of the year. My son was so eager to learn them all; he was pushing me to teach him the last four scriptures within a week!
If you’re looking for tips to help your little ones memorize scripture, check out my blog post here. I go over some of the methods and tips I used in helping my toddlers memorize scripture.
Because some of you inquired, I also posted the verses I used below. I’ve also converted all of the verses into flash cards, so I can clear up some space on toddler’s playroom cork-board (where they are presently posted). Plus it will make it easier for me to review the scriptures with them now that they’re in a flashcard format.
If you’re interested in a FREE download of my ABC Bible Verses Flashcards contact me by filling out your information below. You can also pin them to your boards on Pinterest for other families to use.
Enjoy and God Bless!
ABC Bible Verses
A: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matt 7:7
B: …Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Eph 4:32 nlt
C: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
D: Do everything without complaining and arguing. Philippians 2:14 nlt
E: Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4 nlt
F: Fear not, for I am with thee… Isaiah 43:5
G: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 nlt
H: Honor thy father and thy mother then you will live a long full life in the land the Lord your God has given you. Exodus 20:12
I: Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Eph 5:1 nlt
J: Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matt 7:1
K: Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Psalm 34:13 nlt
L: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4
M: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Ps 98:4
N: Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Romans 12:17 nlt
O: Children, Obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Eph 6:1
P: Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Q: Quench not the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19
R: Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8
S: Seek ye first the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33
T: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path. Proverbs 3:5-6
U: Understanding is like a fountain which gives life to those who use it, but foolishness brings punishment to fools. Prov 16:22 ncv
V: Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. Romans 12:19
W: Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov 13:20 nlt
X: Exceeding great and precious promises are given unto us. 2 Peter 1:4
Y: You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14
Z: Zion heard and was glad. Psalm 97:8
Motherhood is filled with so many moments. Sometimes those moments are wonderful, sometimes you’re like “Oh-God-help-me.” I know all you mothers can relate. My brother (single, without kids) from time to time will get a sneak peek into my life. I think he often finds my life entertaining but once and awhile I’ll get a question like: “So, when are you going to hire some help?” Needless to say, I am looking forward to seeing him get married and having kids.
Since I enjoy hearing about other mommy stories, I’m going to share some of my own. It’s always nice knowing I’m not alone in the adventurous journey of motherhood. Plus, some of my non-parent readers will have something to look forward to. God bless their hearts!
Before you read the following, please be warned! The content will be graphic and very personal. Judgement ends here!
That moment when…
Continue reading “Mommy Life: Log Entry 1”