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What I’ve been learning lately

Woman lying on upper back and holding her lower back in balance. Image Source: Istock

Beautiful woman lying on upper back & holding her lower back in balance. Image Source: Istock

Summer is here and it’s a good time to reflect on and reevaluate how the year is going. You and I may have had bodacious plans for 2020, such as traveling to another country, getting fit and losing 20 pounds, or becoming debt-free. We certainly didn’t expect to be in the middle of a global pandemic and seeing riots, looting, and violence over George Floyd and racism. 

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Blog, Faith, Parenting, prayer

The Gift of Motherhood

Happy Mother's Day

Today, Sunday, May 10, marks Mother’s Day of 2020. It is one of the most special days of the year and is the most popular holiday of the entire year to dine out, with nearly half of all Americans hitting a restaurant, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Mother’s Day started as an anti-war movement, with Anna Jarvis credited with founding it in the U.S. to promote global unity after the horrors of the American Civil War and Europe’s Franco-Prussian War. I can see why it was started that way–after all, we as moms are in a war with the enemy satan over our children! That’s why it is so important to pray every day over them!

Our three beautiful daughters Eden, Leah, and Heather

Our three beautiful daughters Eden, Leah, and Heather

When I was a child, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a mom and a writer. That’s exactly what happened. Today I am the mom of three beautiful, precious daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah. I’m also the author of 20 books. I believe that being a mom is the most important, sacred job in the world.

mom and her baby

A mom and her baby

No worldly success that I could ever achieve as a speaker and a writer would matter if I didn’t have a close relationship with my children. Next to my salvation through Jesus Christ, my children are the greatest gifts God has ever given me. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” I so agree with this!

Jesus Christ oil painting

Jesus Christ oil painting

I’m 110% positive that I’ve made lots of mistakes as a mom. Our daughters are grown now and on their own. Since they moved out, I repented to God and our kids for any sins I committed as a mother as Ray and I raised them. I think it’s important to let your kids know that you’re so not perfect and you mess up, too, and that is why we need Jesus as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our Helper. As I saw on a T-shirt on Etsy, it’s often a“Messy mom bun, Coffee Run, Get it done” kind of day!

Our beautiful daughter Eden with her "mom bun"

Our beautiful daughter Eden with her “mom bun” & her daughter Piper

But I also let our daughters know how very much I love them and how important they are to God and me, and that He has a great plan for their lives (Jeremiah 29:11). They may be grown now, but they’re forever on my mind. Sophia Loren said, “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

My precious daughter Leah and me and flowers for Mother's Day

My precious daughter Leah and me and the flowers she bought me for Mother’s Day

One of the hardest things about the Coronavirus and the Shelter in Place orders has been that I haven’t been able to see my kids and my grandkids for over a month now. It’s been so hard! With the curve flattening, Missouri’s governor has begun to re-open the state for business. Yesterday I was able to see and hug our youngest daughter Leah! I picked up cheeseburgers and fries at Freddy’s and we went to the park, eating at a picnic table in the sunshine and fresh air. I was so happy to finally be able to hug her! To my surprise, she bought me some beautiful, fresh Azaleas flowers. 

I was so blessed she did this for me, but I told her the best gift was seeing her! I wasn’t able to see Heather and Eden too, but hope to see them and my grandkids very soon.

Ray also bought me some nice gifts: long-stemmed red roses, a Dove chocolate bar, Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel squares, a pretty coffee mug, and a sweet card. 

Gifts that Ray bought me for Mother's Day

Gifts that Ray bought me for Mother’s Day

Washington Irving said, “A mother’s love endures through all.” This is so true. It’s not always easy being a mom. It is both the greatest and hardest thing in the world.

When they’re sick, all you want is your child to be well. When they hurt, your heart hurts. If they’re stressed out and worried about a relationship, their job, their finances, or the Coronavirus, then you’re worried for them, too. And if they get mad at you over something and stop speaking to you for awhile, you feel as if you’re going to literally die. Yes, this has happened to me with each of our kids at times when they got upset with me over something!

As their mom, I can get on their last nerve sometimes, especially when I’m being a “helicopter mom,” hovering over them and being overprotective. One way I know that I’m irritating them is they will say, “Oh, mother!” (They only call me mother when they’re annoyed; otherwise, I am just “mom” to them!) I’m still very much in process with this, learning to let go and let God, entrusting them into His tender care. He loves them even more than I do!

I’m so glad and grateful that we are closer now and that God reconciled us from past hurts. My children are my very heartbeat and I don’t know what I’d do without them in my life. I praise God for them!

Our family, Ray's 50th bday Left to right: Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me

Our family
Left to right:
Heather, Eden, Ray, Leah & me

Each of our daughters is so beautiful, spiritually gifted, highly intelligent, talented, funny, wise, and their own person. God made them “wonderfully and fearfully.” (Psalm 139:14) Heather being the wise, kind person she is, the adventure gal, and a leader. Eden with her Sanguine, zany, funny personality and her amazing singing voice. Leah with her quiet, peaceful ways, her love for her cat Jax and all animals, and her incredible artistic and musical gifts. I admire and enjoy our daughters. They are unique people, and I love how different they are, made in the image of God. 

Today on Mother’s Day, my prayer for our daughters are these verses:

3 John 4:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

Ephesians 3:20, The Message: “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

Heart on beach  Source: Unsplash

Heart on beach
Image Source: Unsplash

Thank you so much, Heather, Eden, and Leah, for the beautiful gift of motherhood. I love you with all my heart!

For all moms, whether biological, stepmom, adoptive, foster, or mentor to children, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day, one that is relaxing and fun. You deserve it! Your influence and your unconditional love are so important to your children. 

You can listen to my podcast, Nothing Like a Mom, by clicking here

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Blog, Faith, Family, Fitness, Marriage, Parenting, prayer, Time Management

Fall’s glorious colored leaves: The beautiful lesson of letting go

fall tree's orange leaves

fall tree’s glorious orange leaves

Good morning (or afternoon, or night, depending on where you are right now!). Today I’ve been awake since 3 a.m. Insomnia is no stranger to me; I’ve been battling it occasionally for several years now.

Melatonin helps. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland, a pea-size gland located just above the middle of your brain. When the sun goes down and light turns to darkness, the pineal is “turned on” and your body produces melatonin, released into the blood. This usually happens around 9 p.m. and you start feeling less alert and sleepy. 

Sleepy man. Source: platinumtraininginstitute.com

Sleepy man.
Source: platinumtraininginstitute.com

Melatonin levels stay elevated about 12 hours through the night. After sunrise, they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 a.m. Some people don’t produce enough Melatonin.

Taking Melatonin works sometimes to help me fall and/or stay asleep. You can get the capsules at Walmart or on Amazon. Taking Melatonin doesn’t work for everyone. It even gives my friend Stephanie nightmares! But you can try it to see if it helps you sleep. (DISCLAIMER: Check with your doctor first if you have any health issues or you’re on any medication!)

I didn’t take any last night. I fell asleep and when I awoke at 3 a.m., I tried what I usually do when I have insomnia: pray. I did this for about an hour. I prayed for my family and myself. 

Asian woman praying

Asian woman praying

Praying is at least doing something good and useful if you have insomnia. Sometimes I hate nighttime, because if you do wake up, there’s not a lot to do and I really dislike being unproductive (and laying there, staring at the ceiling!). Restaurants and stores are closed, too. It’s boring!

When I still couldn’t sleep after that and felt “bright eyed and bushy-tailed“, I decided to get up, dress (meaning throwing a comfy sweat shirt over my black yoga pants and putting on sneakers), and drove to get a cuppa’ caffeine. Usually that is my morning coffee, but today a cold Dr. Pepper (with chocolate doughnuts) just sounded good!

Dr. Pepper and doughnuts

Dr. Pepper and doughnuts

It’s rare that I drink a soda any more (I quit drinking Coke years ago), but not as rare for me to eat doughnuts. I’m working on conquering sugar, just not this morning! Not the breakfast of champions and so not how I want to set the tone for the new year. Please pray for my self-discipline, would you? I know I have to make the choice, daily!

Yesterday I worked on my 2020 Vision and my Personal and Business Goals for 2020. I got this workbook in Diane Cunningham’s free webinar, promoting her Life Change Club. Have you started writing down your vision and goals for the coming year?

Vision 2020

Vision 2020

90 Day Business Goals

90 Day Business Goals

I’m so happy that I completed Diane’s workbook and set my 2020 Vision and Goals. One of my personal goals is about praying for our grown children and our grandchildren, but learning to let go. To trust God. God loves our kids even more than I do!

Ray and I with our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah, & Eden

Ray and I with our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah, & Eden

I’m a recovering control freak, and I’ve been working on this one, letting go and letting God, for literally years. It’s so hard. But if I don’t let our kids go, they’ll never mature and grow. They’ll never learn to fly, and to soar.

eagle soaring

eagle soaring

A great verse to pray over your children and grandchildren is Isaiah 40:31.

Our beautiful, precious granddaughters Violet & Annabelle

Our beautiful, precious granddaughters Violet & Annabelle

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

I love this quote about Autumn. It is so timely and appropriate right now with me facing empty nest, learning to let my grown kids go, and fall’s gloriously colored leaves here in Missouri. “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”

Autumn

Autumn

tree with yellow leaves

tree with yellow leaves

red, yellow, & orange leaf

red, yellow, & orange leaf

To cope with empty nest (I really love and miss my kids!), I’m focusing on cleaning, organizing, decluttering, and purging. Also for 2020, I’m concentrating on my health (despite this morning’s junk food breakfast!) and on my business and personal goals, such as writing my first children’s book. It is about my and our daughter Leah’s black cats Natalya and Jax becoming “friends.”

Jax and Natalya

Jax and Natalya

I just hired the illustrator for this book to draw the pictures inside the book this week and I’m so excited and happy! She does beautiful work!

To be first to hear about my children’s book’s release as an eBook on Amazon, be sure to sign up as a subscriber to my newsletter (ezine) at the top of the page on the right hand side.

freedom

freedom

What do you need to let go of this coming new year 2020?

  • Your grown children;
  • Your spouse;
  • Your excess weight;
  • Anger, depression;
  • Fear, worry and stress;
  • Control;
  • Broken dreams;
  • Forgiving someone;
  • A sin you committed in the past;
  • Excuses;
  • Laziness;
  • Sugar or carb addiction;
  • Alcohol and/or drugs;
  • A toxic relationship;
  • Self-doubt;
  • Poverty mindset or other mindsets hindering your success;
  • ____________________ (you name it).
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