As a parent we all have regrets. Buying that too noisy toy, buying white furniture, letting your 13 year old study debate…yep, we all have some regrets.

Recently I heard a story about a man holding a sign saying pro choice. When he was asked why he said that he has a disabled son and he hates him. Hate, in the Biblical term, means you wish something didn’t exist. It broke my heart. Here it is.

I have the choice, each and every moment, to choose to love or hate my children. It never occurred to me before that I could have chosen to hate them. I still can’t fathom it. My children, even when they drive me crazy, are a joy.

Do they know that?

This man’s son must know he is not loved. His father stands on a street corner with a sign because of it.

What kind of sign am I holding up for my children?

How do I speak of my children?

How do I encourage the?

How do I pull them down? Discourage them?

I know I will have regrets. May it never be that my children did not know they were loved.



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Greedy Mama

Our church is following a one year Bible reading plan. This is part of this weeks reading.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows [a]bountifully will also reap [b]bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written,

“He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness [c]endures forever.”
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the [d]saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your [e]contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

I am cheap. I look for a bargain any time I can. It has served us well in the sense that I grocery shop on a small amount, cloth the children on an even more crazy small amount and we live well. I don’t jip God, or so I often tell myself.

Here is the BUT.

We all jip God. When I read the above passage I read it from a mother’s perspective. I read ” Now this I say, He who sows sparingly into his child’s heart will also reap sparingly from his child’s heart, and he who sows bountifully into his child’s heart will reap bountifully from his child’s heart. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (Italics are my words).

I am not always a cheerful giver when it comes to sowing into my children’s lives. It is hard work! The fighting and bickering make me just want to yell for them all to stop. This is where I am tempted to be cheap. I am tempted to take the easy way out. If I were generous I would take the time to sit them down, find out what is going on, point them to what Jesus says and pray with them. I would GIVE of my time and my self-control to grow in them patience and self-control of their own.

I just shared with a friend this past weekend how I had grown so weary of the children’s bickering that I had yelled. Loudly. My neighbor’s are so kind they always say they have never heard me yell. They are kind. I don’t do it often, but when I do, well, I do.

All mama’s yell at some point, I think. If you don’t then I need to come learn from you!

The funny thing is, I reap what I sow. They yell and because I get cheap and I yell. I am working on being more “generous”. I am working on giving up “my” time to invest in them.

The same applies to time in His Word WITH my children. My “plan” is to do devotional time every weekday morning with the children but once again, I get cheap sometimes. I look at the cooking, cleaning and schooling I “need” to get done and think, “just today, we will all just do our personal reading time. Tomorrow we  will be caught up and read together and study again.” Just today turns into just this week sometimes, or even, just this month. Then I am not just being cheap with my kids, but with God!

Thankfully, He is patient, teaching us to sow better each day as long as we go to Him for lessons.



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The Great Myth

Yesterday was an easy parenting day for me. The weather here was BEAUTIFUL. I needed a beautiful day. We sat outside most of the day, littles playing with their cousin, older talking with me. We had recess most of the day. The kids fought much less because of the change of pace. I was more relaxed because of the vitamin D.

Parenting isn’t always that way. We are often told as Christians that God won’t give us more than we can handle. Let me tell you, that is a LIE.

Matthew 11: 28– “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

God gives us what we need. And sometimes, all the time, what we need is to come to Him. To not forget our source of strength.

I have seen this played out in my own life. Years ago when Z was just 5 days old she ended up with and extremely high fever and a horrible rash. Sitting in the ER, watching the do a spinal tap on my tiny baby, being told she might die, I guarantee you it was not what I wanted, it was not easy. I had to walk out and have a good cry in the bathroom.

God did NOT give me what I could handle at that moment. If you told me God only gives us what we could handle it would not have been pretty. And it would not have been true.

What God did do is hold my husband and I up. He comforted us and sent others to comfort us. The team that came to transport her to the Children’s hospital was wonderful. The cardiologist SANG to her while he got her ready for transport. (More tears on my part at that moment, my heart was being ripped out.)

I prayed that day like I had never prayed before. I grew DEPENDENT on God. The Dr’s didn’t know what was wrong, they just knew it was bad. They were shooting in the dark.

God showed us his provision through people sending me care packages at the hospital, food, & money for meals. People coming up to pray with me and sit with me. Meals for my husband at home who was taking care of four small children so I could be at the hospital with our child.

None of it was what we could handle. It was HARD. HEART-WRENCHING. EXHAUSTING. I won’t give you all the details but God did teach us so much about Himself that week. He is FAITHFUL.

We had a happy ending to our story. After a week in the NICU, lots of meds., lots of testing, lots of scary moments, Z was well enough to go home as long as we were CPR trained. January 1 2007 2 007

CPR trained….

Not everyday parenting is easy but He is there everyday to help us, teach us and hold us up. We just need to remember to turn to Him. Sometime it is a big thing but sometimes it is only,

“Dear Lord, I am tired. The kids didn’t sleep well and neither did I.  I am cranky. Help me show them You today. Help me teach them good things. Give me strength and energy to parent well today. I love you. Amen”

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Grocery Budgeting

One thing that blows people’s mind away is when I tell them what we spend on groceries, cleaning supplies and paper goods per month in our house. Not because it is so much but because it is so little for eight people.

So I am going to share some of my secrets. The plan is nothing special.

#1 have a household budget and do your best to stick to it.

God gets the first portion, no matter what. Cheating God really cheats ourselves. He doesn’t need our money as much as we need to show Him our love and obedience. We will be blessed for it.

The second portion, in our house goes to mortgage, utilities and insurances. Gas money, money for gifts and  car repairs is all saved up from this portion too.Summed up-our bills. We keep our electric bill lower by keeping the heat down in the winter and the air off as much as possible in the summer. Our comfort has to fit our budget. We have dumb phones, $10 a month or less, and we budget our use of them, minus my hubby who has a phone from work. But before he had a work phone, when we were working our way up the ladder, he had a dumb phone too. Remember, you have to put your time in to get to that comfortable place. We have just hit edging into it about 2 years ago. By American standards we are still considered poor with our income.

The 3rd portion goes to food, clothing and education. We have to use what is left and divide it the best we can and make it work. What does that leave us to eat off of? I’ll tell you in a minute.

The rest? If I can keep myself from going over the budget in other areas then we can save towards a vacation. Because we love family camp we try VERY hard to make this happen every year.

#2 Buy meat on sale

This month I buy next months meat on sale. If hamburger goes on sale for a really good price, or chicken, I buy it. I set myself aside about $60 a month to buy meats for dinner at most. The rest we fill in with beans and legumes, which are cheap.


#3 Plan meals & snacks

If you don’t have a plan your eyes and stomach will betray you at the grocery store.  A good plan keeps food from rotting in the fridge also.

To make my $800 a month cover all the food, cleaning supplies and paper goods I have to plan. I take stock of my freezer and see what meats I have. Then I plan meals with them, filling out a calender for each dinner meal each day. Off of that I create my grocery list.

Along with that I know, from years of practice, about how many boxes of graham crackers, bags of pretzels and jars of salsa I need a month. I shop accordingly.

For fruits and veggies I buy what is cheap and in season. I don’t buy grapes when they are $3 a lb. I aim for around a dollar a pound or less for fruits, depending on the fruit.

If the bread in on sale for 1/2 price I buy a bunch and throw it in the deep freeze.

Just as a side note-we buy mostly whole foods. I don’t buy mixes, which tend to be much more expensive. I buy individual spices or grow them. Home made enchilada sauce is MUCH better than canned, costs about 10 cents for me to make for my whole family and it contains no high fructose corn syrup!

It may take 3-6 months to get this process figured out but it is very worth it!

#4 When your budget allows-buy in bulk

A few years ago we started buying 1/2 a cow. This is a once a year purchase that is not reflected in our grocery budget. The money usually comes from tax returns right now. It costs us roughly $800 for enough meat to last us 10 months. It is pricey on the surface but look at the breakdown.

I figured out the cost per lb. of meat. It was $3.55 a pound. I NEVER pay more than $2.70 a pound in store, so it sounds like a lot BUT I am not just getting hamburger. I am geting stew meat, roasts, & every cut of steak imaginable! So, if you don’t just but hamburger this is actually a huge savings. Well worth looking into.

#5 Shop Aldi and other less expensive options

Aldi has saved us hundreds. The food tastes just as good as other stores for a fraction of the cost. They also have organic and they are raising their food standards far above most other grocery stores. Need I say more?

#6 Have a Plan for Leftovers

If I plan a simple meal of baked chicken (seasoned with herbs of some type), veggies and a starch then I will plan something like chicken fried rice or chicken pot pie the next night. That way everyone is still excited about dinner and it isn’t really leftovers. You will find you throw away much less food if you do this.


Hope this answers some of the questions some of you have put to me. Good luck budgeting!


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Today I don’t have anything to share. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, God just hasn’t told me to share anything more yet. Knowing when to share and when to be quiet has been a challenge to me in the past. God talks often about how our tongue gets us in trouble. So today I will be quiet. When I share I want it to be from God and not from me.

I hope all you mamas are having a good week. Be blessed.




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Mommy’s Quiet Time

One thing I said for years and I hear mamas say all the time still is “When or how do I get my quiet time with Jesus?” There is no easy answer. It may be different in every household but I do have some food for thought to go with that.

Does it have to be quiet?

Should it be alone?

Those are loaded questions and I understand there can be two sides to this coin. Maybe the answer is both, just at different times. Here is what I mean.

Years ago in a Growing Kids God’s Way class my hubby and I learned about couch time. Essentially it means that after Daddy gets home from work and greets everyone the kids are to go play on their own and Mommy and Daddy take 10 minutes or so to connect and catch up with each other.  The premise is that if the kids see Mommy and Daddy putting a priority on their marriage the kids will feel more secure. We tried it and it turned out that our child who’d spent almost 3 years sleeping in our bed suddenly was ok to sleep in her own bed. She was secure.

Now transfer that over to your relationship with God. Maybe our kids need to see us reading His Word, praying and worshipping everyday. Maybe that will make them feel more secure in the fact that we really do love the Lord. It isn’t something we just say we do, but it is something they witness us do.

Not to say that our kids don’t see us love the Lord but if I were to only tell my kids to read their Bibles and pray everyday but they never or rarely saw me do it they might not realize that I really do read and pray everyday.Kids learn by example.

I am thankful that God took care of this before I realized it. I was so frustrated at not ever getting my quiet time alone with him that with in the first few months of our firstborn’s life I decided to read out loud to her. My quiet time was with her listening to my voice read scripture and pray with her. The sound of my voice soothed her, sometimes. Other times I had to nurse her for her to be quiet. The result? At 3 or 4 years old she would ask me to read the Bible to her and her baby sister. At an older teen she doesn’t have to be reminded to read her Bible, she just does it. She has developed her own quiet time. Our other children are all on the same path, thank to God leading me to do this even before I knew why.

Train up a child in the way they should go…

Now that my kids aren’t babies I try to make sure I read once they are up and out of bed.  Yes, I get interrupted, but more often than not when they see my Bible they will yell, “Mama is reading her Bible! Be quiet!”

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A Handfull of Sea Glass

Sabbath (/ˈsæbəθ/) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to Exodus 20:8 the Sabbath is commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, as God rested from creation.

I guard our Sabbath Day with tenacity. God ordered it not because He needs it but because He understood we need it. As a mama you know it is true.

Plan ahead. Pack the diaper bag the night before.

Pick out the church outfits so you know they are all clean and ironed, or in my case wrinkle free. I don’t iron.

Plan an easy meal. If you are on a tight budget do a crock pot lunch or sandwiches. At this point in our life we allow ourselves once and awhile the treat of bringing home lunch. Today it was 2 BOSS subs from Pick n Save. $12. Fed 10 of us (we brought home 2 friends) with some to spare. Opened a bag of chips from Aldi (less than $2) and we were set.

Paper plates are a Sunday treat so no one has a pile of dishes.

Then go collect sea-glass with your children. Or take a nap. Have a cup of coffee with you hubby. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure it is relaxing and refreshing.

Lets face it, when the kids nap on Sunday mama rushes around to get a things done. We feel like we never have enough time so we squeeze in a bit more. We hear people say that we need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families but we think we have to wait till the kids are older, things slow down or something changes.

BUT if we honor God and rest and reflect on Him He can give us that time back. If we chose to take the day HE set aside for us to take care of ourselves a bit He will make everything work out. He IS God. Try it next week. Not only will you be a better wife and mother for taking it easier on the Sabbath but you will be living in obedience to your Savior AND setting an example for your children to do the same.

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