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I Don't Know When, I Only Know That it Happened!

Tonight, I am filled with His Joy! I am filled with His Everlasting Love! I am filled with His Mercy, His Goodness and His Incredible Peace! I am Victory!

While sitting in the quiet of my home, after doing the final touches of cleaning the kitchen, den and dining area, I am filled with an incredible and extraordinary peace! Today was nothing out of the ordinary. Today was basically my same routine of sending McKenzie to school on the bus, dropping Madison off at school and running errands. Isn’t it amazing how we seem to be on “auto-pilot”? As I sit here now reflecting over my day, I honestly can not remember when I did what. I just know it was done and here I am, now, sitting here feeling quite wonderful and content!!

Isn’t this the way it is when we are waiting on God to fulfill a promise? We pray and make our requests, cares and concerns known to Him. We then begin to trust Him and carry on in hopes of Him answering our prayers in a timely manner (sometimes simultaneously!). It does not matter the length of our wait time, whenever His promises are fulfilled and His prayers are answered, we often look back and marvel at how we made it. We do not know how, the only thing we know is that He supplied our needs, desires and wants and we are feeling quite wonderful!

Mothers, as we schedule and plan our days to make sure our family will run like a well-oiled machine, know that in the end, all will fall in place and will be perfect for “that” moment. Sometimes we will remember every possible thing there is to do. And yet, there are times, we will miss a thing or two. In those times, when something has been forgotten, it is okay. Remember, all is well. God already knew…your steps and schedule were already ordained by God. He already knew everything you would forget to handle. And for this, He is prepared and quite capable of stepping in and giving us the strength and guidance of how to manage despite innocent mishaps! He cares for us! Until next time, Love yourself!

Dear God,

May your peace, happiness and joy continue to fill our hearts. May we continue to lean on your during times of chaotic schedules, as you ordain our steps and thoughts. Amen.

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A Call to Action!

Hello Mothers!

I am compelled to encourage you to love your children like never before. We are living in a time when children are faced with insurmountable experiences that attack their self-image, confidence, beliefs and identity. Today, in my blog, I posted “Dear Mothers:  There’s more to do.”  It was God’s plan for you to be called, “Mom”. With this title, as you know, comes much responsibility. This was prompted by a talk show I was listening to this morning. A mother and father were sharing the details of their young daughters murder. Their daughter was murdered by her “friends”, who decided to stab her to death. The talk show described these girls as “mean girls”. They later discussed how to prevent your daughters from being “mean girls”.  I begin to pray, “Lord, help me to raise my daughters to be emotionally sound”. Help me to impart into them not only how to embrace their individual uniqueness, but also the uniqueness in their peers, as well. Show me how and help me build my daughters from the inside out in building their self-esteem and confidence. It is crucial that it comes from “within” the child.

What are we teaching our sons and daughters to be emotional healthy? Will they know how to love? Will they know how to find the beauty in others? Will they know how to respect themselves, as well as, others? Will they know they are special, unique individuals, fearfully and wonderfully made? Do they know and believe God loves them? Will they understand that not only are they special, but so are their peers? Do they know and believe we will love them no matter what they do in life? Are we building them or tearing them down? Are we giving our children good gifts? Gifts of hope, life, family, warmth, peace and stability?  Will our children know it is okay to reject friendship if it hurts who they are? Can they identify hurtful behavior from their peers?


On last year, I was reading an article in which Prince William was being interviewed. He described the love of his deceased mother, Princess Diana. He talked about how she loved on them constantly. He begin to say that even after her death, he could still feel the warmth and depth of her hugs. Love is strong.... it withstands the test of time. As mothers, we must incorporate the love of God in our relationship with our children. We love them via speaking life into their hearts, providing wisdom and discipline, and building them up in every way imaginable. We love them with our hugs, our kisses (even when they say YUCK! and GROSS! Lol) LOVE NEVER FAILS....


“Train up a child in the way he should go”.......I believe we all know how the verse ends. Like never before, the time is now for mothers to stand against the tactics of Satan to defeat our children. We must pray and intercede on behalf of our children. We must demonstrate the love of God before them towards others. Love, love, love..... pray, pray, pray......for the sake of our children.

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Dear Mother... There is more for us to do.

This morning, as I listened to parents, on a morning talk show, discuss the devastating event of their young daughter being murdered by her “friends”. They shared their daughter had a bright personality, caring spirit and strong sense of self. Somehow, someway, her group of friends suddenly turned into “mean girls” and decided to take her life. How dreadful! How develastating! Oh, how my heart went out to this mother and father. My spirit was grieved and I began to weep and pray. 

The talk show host began to share how parents can keep their daughters from becoming a “mean girl”. As they discussed this, I simply begin to think of how I am always pouring into my girls so they will grow into strong young ladies. Young ladies who have a strong sense of self and a positive attitude and self-image. However, I did not think to also include teaching them that “all girls” are special! They are not the “only” ones fearfully and wonderfully made... but “ALL” are fearfully and wonderfully made. I want my girls to respect themselves, respect their uniqueness, as well as, the uniqueness of other girls! I set the tone for this! I must model this. Who else will they learn this from?? 

The same is true for mothers of boys. We teach our sons strength, as well as, gentleness. They learn how to love, by the way we love them. They learn how to treat others by the way we treat others. 

How do we get this value to stick? Children are under so much pressure when they are surrounded by peers, who may or may not share the same belief system. It is important for us, as mothers, to make it routine to “love on” our children. No matter the circumstance... love on our children. They need to know that no matter what they do, they will ALWAYS be loved. They need to know that the same way they respect and love themselves must be duplicated toward their peers. 

This, mothers, is pleasing in the sight of God. That we teach our children how to love themselves and others. We can do this one day at a time. Consistently.  

Until next time, love yourself! 

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, help us to demonstrate Your love in the lives of our children. Help us to demonstrate Your love for others, as we raise our children.  

Father, we look to You for strength, guidance and wisdom to lay the right and solid foundation for our children. Help us to trust in You with all of our heart, and lean not unto our own understanding.  You called us to be mothers and we thank You! We thank You for the big and small things You are doing in our lives. 

in Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

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Think of His Goodness!

This morning I awoke with a spirit of praise and thanksgiving. I begin to think of the many things He has done in my life. I thought about the many times I have made a genuine mess of things. Somehow, some way He covered me. He protected me. He shielded me. There are times I have fallen and have been broken. Yet, He loved me enough to chastened me while still having mercy on my soul.

I went a little further. I begin to think of the many hurtful experiences and things I have lost throughout my life….personal possessions, friends, income, painful childhood memories, and the death of loved ones just to name a few. There were times He chastened me. He pruned me. He molded me and shaped me. He would not let me give up. He would not let me cast myself into the shadows. He would not let me take my life. He guided me to the right people…and I obeyed His voice. He covered me. He strengthened. He protected me. He was the lifter of my head. Today, through His grace, mercy and power, I lift my head. I do not lift my head in pride or in arrogance. I lift my head knowing God is the lifter of my head. I lift my head to acknowledge His strength in my life. I lift my head in admiration of His grace and mercy. I lift my head to see others who may be living the same experience I was living and to support them. I lift my head to look towards the hills from whence cometh my help - all of help, strength, peace and joy comes from Him!

Philippians 1:3 states, “Every time I think of You, I give thanks to my God”. Oh my….How awesome it is for the scripture to have come alive in my life. How awesome it is to know that every time I think of you, I give you praise instantaneously! It does not matter what you are going through or have experienced in life, God is near. He is near to us! He provides His guidance and love through our loved ones, true, “real” friends and professionals who have studied science, just to name a few. God is the lifter of our heads….only Him!

Prayer:

Oh Lord, Our Lord, how I adore you! How I look back and embrace Your guidance, Your peace, Your grace, Your mercy, Your chastening and Your Love. These things are Your goodness! My soul cries out Hallelujah! My soul cries out “Thank You!” My Soul cries out “Hosana!” My soul cries out “Elohim!” My soul cries out “Yireh!” My soul cries out “Shalom!”

As I look back over my life, there were times Lord I did not know what to do. I was broken. I was ashamed. I felt unworthy to live. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you! Thank you for loving me in my brokenness.

Lord, I ask that you continue to guide me into your truth and knowledge. Continue to chasten me and prune me. Continue to show your grace and mercy towards me. Lord, I ask that you continue to mold and shape me to be the woman you created me to be. Give me the stamina to endure the pruning and molding! This vessel belongs to you! I was created for your service! In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen

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Not Having a Plan promotes Failure

For the past 16 years, I have worked in the early childhood education and family services sector. For the last 5 years, I have done such while being a wife and mom. Approximately 3 months ago, I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Actually, for the past 8 months, I had been debating and entertaining the idea of leaving my career behind, in order to be at home, to raise my little girls full-time. With the need for me to be at home becoming more and more apparent and quite obvious, when the opportunity presented itself, it was easy for me to let everything go and embrace the life of being a stay-at-home mom.

At first, it was challenging transitioning into my new role! I had to remind myself that I did not have to worry nor be concerned with work. I had a “new” job to perform…and this job was far more important. This job involved nurturing and rearing two innocent lives that the Lord blessed my husband and I to have for the past 5 years. This job also involved maintaining a marriage and family. What a journey it has been!

The funny thing about this is that I have learned so much about myself. Some of the things I have learned, I did not like. With God’s grace and mercy, He is demonstrating His Strength in my weakness and brokenness. I truly am grateful to Him. He has provided encouragement, guidance and uplift throughout this transition. I am thankful for the godly and supportive women and mothers He has caused me to cross paths and develop relationships with during this transition. He knows just what we need…and when we need it.

One of the things I have had to learn and even “re-master” is planning. As a new stay-home mom, the days seem to fly by quickly! Before I knew it, it was bedtime and yet, another day had passed without me accomplishing tasks. I wondered if I needed a “daily schedule”? Did I honestly need to put myself on a schedule? Did I need to also put my daughter (who is home during the day with me) on a schedule, as well? Yes! Absolutely! While talking to my Aunt one morning, this was confirmed. She asked me about my daily schedule for me and my daughter. Later, that week, I sat down and made a schedule out for me and my daughter.

Planning is really helping me. One morning, while in prayer, the Lord had me to start studying the word, “plan”. "Proverbs 21:5 states, “ The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage , but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” WOW! What an eye opener! This scripture was life changing! Planning is a skill I needed to continue to develop. Little by little, I have made revisions to how I manage my day. After breakfast, I begin to prep lunch, for my daughter, and dinner, for the family, simultaneously. My daughters daily activities are scheduled to promote early learning skill development, as well as, to prevent excessive amounts of screen time! I thought to myself, do not stop here…let’s add a cleaning schedule! It is truly amazing what God will show us about ourselves, when we have our eyes open to see and ears to hear. Lord, I thank you for enabling me to have a receptive spirit during this time.

I am not perfect, as I still become frustrated on days I feel there is simply too much juggle. I am also still trying to schedule an ongoing fitness routine in my schedule. (still in progress! lol) However, God constantly assures me that He is in control and as long as I abide in Him, I can manage….I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Sometimes, as busy mothers, we may think we do not have time to plan. We even think we can keep it all in our head. I’m here to be transparent and say, “no”…I could not do it! “I was not successful in keeping it all in my head!” “I failed miserably using that technique!” Kudos to all the fantastic moms who can! Keeping it all in my head did not work for me. By being intentional with planning, it has allowed me to reduce stress and chaos, while promoting organization, consistency and peace throughout my household. Until next time, Love yourself!

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

I thank you for your strength, power, grace and mercy. I thank you for your generous love you show toward me. I thank you for the wisdom you unselfishly give to me, even when I have not accepted your wisdom and guidance and chose to do things “my way”, you did not forsake me. I thank you Lord for always listening to me as I vent about all of the tasks I need to manage and control. You remind me that You are in control and that I only must abide in You. Father, I love you. I can do nothing without you.

Father, you made me. You know everything about me. You know how my brain operates. You know my challenges, my strengths, my temptations and my heart. I am not always the best planner and organizer. In my weakness, you are demonstrating your strength and power like never before. I do not want to go the left nor right, without your permission. The only way I will succeed is to forever abide in You.

Father, I ask that you continue to make your instructions plain to me. Continue to correct and groom me so I will become the mother and wife you have called me to be. I ask that you continue to give me the will and desire to be a planner, as this benefits me, my family and the overall household 100%. Your word tells me that You will never leave nor forsake me. Your word also tells me that they that wait on the Lord, shall be renewed - and they shall mount up on wings as eagles. Lord, I desire to wait on you. I desire to wait for Your guidance, Your correction and Your grooming. I desire to be worthy of Your blessings and favor. Father, I ask that you continue to control my daily schedule, my husband’s daily schedule and my family’s daily schedule. Father, even the adults, who are caring for my children, I ask that you take control of their daily schedule and plans, as well. I ask that you cause each of us to think and reflect on Your goodness and Your word throughout the day. I ask that you cause each of us, after thinking and reflecting, to thank You for Your goodness! In Jesus name, Amen.

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“Motherhood is a Ministry- Proverbs 22:6”

I recent blog, I posted, “Letters to my M&M’s” displays a picture of me and my daughters. I used the quote, “Motherhood is a Ministry- Proverbs 22:6”. I did not come up with this quote. I’m not sure exactly how it originated. This quote was on a T-shirt given to me as a gift. Nevertheless, the quote is sooooooo true. It validated my beliefs regarding motherhood which really caused me to connect with this philosophy immediately.


Although, I did not come up with “Motherhood is a Ministry”, I can say that it is indeed a ministry.... think about that for awhile.🤔❤️❤️

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Letters to my M&M's.....

Hello Madison and McKenzie,

The day you were born brought about so many mixed emotions.  I was happy, sad, excited, confused and filled with joy simultaneously.  I knew God had chosen me to be called, “Mother”.  He had loaned me two of His precious children to rear in the earthly world.  What was I to do?

Your great-grandfather, Rev. Roy McSwain, use to always quote, “The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world”.  It was not until I carried you both for 9 months and gave birth that I understood this quote in its entirety. 

From the moment of conception, God designed my body to nurture and protect you. I enhanced this by having consistent prenatal doctor visits, adhering to my doctors advice, eating healthy foods and beverages and reading and lots of laughter to promote an overall healthy well-being and strong sense of self.

You are now 3 and 4.  We have had great times and not so great times!  There were times you cried and cried too.  (lol)  There were times you did something for the very first time and left me breathless and in awe of God’s creation.  There were plenty of times you imitated my actions or behavior.  And at times, it made me laugh, made me proud and yet sometimes “CRINGE”.

On today, I want you to know that God has given me His strength to be your mother.  He had never left me.  Among other things, I try my best to honor Him through my parenting and rearing of you.  I want you to know there will be times when you will not get it right, as you might simply fail sometimes.  However, I want you to know that it will pass.  God will prove Himself strong in your weakness and He will guide you to higher ground. You only need to trust Him.  There will be many times you will succeed!  I want you to know that it is okay to give God the praise, credit and honor for your success! It is okay for you to admonish Him for His good and mighty works!

I also want you to know that through my discipline, I am honoring God’s will and plan.  I am demonstrating to you my highest level of love.  This has, by far, been the most difficult task of motherhood….knowing when to laugh and not laugh at your “cute” antics.  The times I say, “Walk please”, “Inside voice please”, “Repeat the words to this scripture after me”, “Let me put your bow in”, “You have had enough”, “Use your words”, “No more iPad, time to read a book”, “Let me place a bracelet on your wrist”, “No more pink lemonade”, “Wake up, let’s get ready for church” or “You can choose between an apple or banana” is simply me trying to be the best mother I can be to you so you will grow into a productive and god-fearing lady in this world.

On today, a high school acquaintance gave me great encouragement.  She said, “ I want to share with you what our pastor said many times in sermons over the years.  It was written on my heart so I would never forget it. As a mom to younger ones, I’ll share with you.  Jim would say “ as a parent, you have been entrusted with an eternal soul.  Nothing is more important that pointing that child to Christ.”  Wow.  No pressure, right???”  This truly blessed my soul!  As I thanked her and wished the continued Blessings of God on her and her family, I knew this was confirmation from God.  So see girls, this is the reason I take motherhood so seriously.  As a woman, I have been given a great task……motherhood.

One day, you too, will have children.  I do not want you to be afraid to love your children with all of your heart and admonish God to give you the strength, guidance, sanity and peace to be the mother He called you to be to His children.  DO NOT be afraid to “Train up your child in the way they should go”.  It is the will of the Lord. 

From time to time, I will continue to write you letters to share the life lessons, you too, will face. 

With much love to my M&M’s….your mother. 

Prayer:

Father, I thank you for the children you gave to me. Thank you for choosing me to be a mother to your precious little ones. 

Father, in your word, you remind us to be strong and courageous, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Being a mother is not always easy, it takes patience, sense of humor, prayer, common sense, wittiness, prayer, prayer and prayer! I thank you for your power that enables me to be a strong and courageous mother!  

I thank you for upholding me through your word. I strive to train my children up in the way they should go. You promised that if I do, when they are old, they will not depart from that training.  

Father, I ask that you continue to guide me in every understanding of my children. Help me to be able to motivate, love and discipline them according to their individual needs. Show me how to teach them to walk in Your Will for there life. Show me how to create a hunger in them for your word and your truth.  Father, show me how to discipline them without breaking the zeal, self-initiative, confidence and curiosity you placed into them. Give me the wisdom to impart into them as they grow up and enable them to make wise decisions. 

Father, I pray your angels watch over them in every place they may be. Uphold and protect them when they are surrounded by individuals who may not have there best interest at heart. In the name of Jesus, I rebuke the antics of satan, who only comes to steal, kill and destroy. 

Father, you are good. You are faithful. Thank you.  

In Jesus name, I pray, Amen. 

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