In Other Words....

"'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!'" We smile as we read
the wall plaque in the novelty store. But our smile quickly turns to a frown if
truly "Mama ain't happy." This is because the wife and mother in a family often
"sets the tone" in the home. The "tone" God wants her to set is one of joy,
optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family. If your family were
called upon to describe you, what would they say?"~Martha Peace, "The Excellent

Oh, my! Have you ever experienced a time when God was really driving home a point with you and everywhere you turned, you kept seeing/hearing the same thing? I had to chuckle when I read this week's quote because at last Monday's bible study, we were discussing this same thing and mentioned the exact saying, "If mama ain't happy....!" Is God trying to tell me something?

I was confessing that night that when I am mad or frustrated, I want everyone around me to feel the same way. If I am upset, then I make sure others are, too. I hate that! I hate that about myself. I was sharing that I was doing my best to aggravate my hubby, but that he wasn't "biting," and how that made me even madder! Oh, how childish I can be.

But, it is so true that we, as the mama, do set the tone in our families. If I am calm in the middle of chaos, then my kids aren't as upset. If I am happy and joyful, that spreads to them. But, if I am grumpy, not getting along, criticizing....that, too, sets a tone and they usually follow in kind. We as mothers have such a great responsibility and we all know that much more is "caught" than "taught." I can tell them to "be slow to get angry, be slow to speak, and quick to listen," until I am blue in the face, but unless I am DOING it, the words lose their power. That is why James tells us to be DOERS of the Word, not just hearers.

It is interesting because my 12 year old Andrew has noticed this idea of me "setting the tone" and has even "called me on it." I remember once, when we were having an awful morning and "Monster Mom" had reared her ugly head, Andrew said something like, "Gee Mom, if you would have been calm and 'laughed it off', everyone else would have, too." Ouch. It is very humbling when the Holy Spirit uses our children to convict us.

So, what are we to do? Well, the good news is that we already have the ability to be calm, gentle, joyful, and loving within us. We HAVE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT LIVING WITHIN US! Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, we have the fruit in us, too. We have "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control" abiding in us already! We need to ask God to help us in the midst of our trial, when we are tempted to blow up. I can't do it in my strength, but I can do in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord, I want with all of my heart to be a Light shining for my family. And, with all of my heart, I want my kids to remember our home as a place of joy, love, peace, and fun. I know God, You have raised me up to be the "mama" and to set the tone within our home. I can't do it without You, Lord, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" Lord, I pray that our home would be a place of refuge, a welcoming, safe place that always brings myd family joy. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, April 29th
Visit Christin to read her take on the quote and to leave your link along with the other participants.

Miracle Monday

It's Monday! And, it's another opportunity to look around in our lives to see how God has worked and is working in our lives. Lord, give me eternal eyes to see You! May I never miss Your hand working in my life. May I NEVER forget or become too proud to give You glory, Lord.

I had the awesome opportunity this past weekend to spend time with my precious mom. She lives "across the miles" and we don't see one another as much as either one of us would like- especially this past winter with all of the bad weather. So, it had been since February...long over due!

My mom is an incredible person and I wish I had more time to tell you how amazing she is. Hmmmm.....maybe another MM. Over the weekend I sat down with mom and asked her to share all she could remember about her childhood. We sat for hours as I asked questioned and she remembered long forgotten details.

I want to share a miracle that mom told me about and that reminded me of Denise when she shared her fire story last week.

When my mom was a teenager she did a lot of babysitting. Once when she was babysitting, she went down to "bank the furnace," which meant she had to put coal into it. When she opened the furnace door, it exploded in her face, burning her badly. Her sweater caught fire and when she put it out, her hands were also badly burned. She said she ran upstairs and put cold water on her face and hands. In those days, doctors did not recommend COLD water on burns, but warm water. Now though, doctors have told my mom that it was the cold water that probably helped her not to scar.

My mom was in the hospital for several weeks with her head wrapped in bandages. She said everyday a nurse would come in and put ointment on her wounds. She did not like being in the hospital because she was lonely and scared. But, she said she turned to God for comfort and prayed constantly for God to heal her and that she wouldn't have scars.

It is amazing- my mom doesn't have one scar on her face or hands. It truly is a miracle!

And, what a miracle to comfort and heal a young girl, both physically and emotionally. Our God is an amazing, gentle, caring, and loving God. He is a God that answers prayers.

I pray, just as the nurse came in to put ointment on my mom every day, that you will turn to Him and allow Him to put His healing ointment on all of your wounds. He wants to heal you of every "fire" and "explosion" you have experienced. Allow Him to comfort you today.

For more amazing miracles, please visit Beth at a Mom's Life!

Answered prayer- God is so COOL!

Good morning, all! Just wanted to thank you all for praying for me yesterday and for my parents. They arrived safely and said they didn't hit any storms, which was a MIRACLE, as we had terrible storms and flash flooding. Thank You God, for Your protection!

Have an awesome day in the Lord today and be blessed! We are off to soccer games on a beautiful, sunshine-y day!

I need your prayer today!

Father God, AAAAHHHHHH, help me! I got up late!!! It is 7 AM and NOT 5 AM. I don't have time to get in the Word or spend as much time in prayer as I'd like. I have such a busy day. My parents are coming......for the weekend! I need to finish laundry and clean the house, prepare their room. Lord, it is POURING down rain- both outside and in my heart and mind... Please calm me down and calm the weather down. I pray for their safety on the road. I know it can be scary to drive in thunderstorm like it is. Father, I pray for a hedge of protection around them. Lord, I pray that Your angels would surround their car. Lord, please help me accomplish all that I need to today. I know they are not coming to see my house, but I want it to be, now it's hail.... Father, calm me, fill me with Your peace. I surrender it all to You today. I surrender ME~ my heart, my thoughts, my time. I surrender my chores. Lord, I give myself anew to You today. Yesterday a friend who was so down and frustrated asked me "how I did it." She said it seemed like nothing bothered me- that I was calm all the time. I told her that was definitely NOT true, but that I needed You every moment every day to be at peace. Lord, I choose to do that now. I am not going to stress out. I am not going to "lose it" and start ranting and raving. I am going to choose to trust You. Lord, You are glorious. You are good. You are awesome Creator. Lord, You are so amazing and so AWESOME and so sweet that when Joshua needed more daylight, You stopped the sun in the sky! Lord, You are Creator of time. I trust You with my time today. Whew, the rain is calming~ both outside and in my heart. I love You Lord. I love You. I love You. In Jesus' precious name I pray.

Thankful Thursday

Because yesterday was Andrew's birthday, I would like to give thanks today for him! Andrew turned 12 yesterday and he is our oldest. This picture is him dressed up as a pirate to "scare" the little boys at Aaron's birthday party a couple of weeks ago. He was so sweet at that party- letting them chase and jump on him. They all loved Andrew and it made Aaron's day to have his big brother part of it- playing with all of them.

Thank you, God for my Andrew, who is sweet, kind, funny, and caring. He has a deep sense of justice and gets angry when things are not the way they "should" be. He makes us laugh constantly and has a deep desire to make people happy.

Thank you God, for Andrew my helper. He has always been such a "little man," always helping me. He helps take care of his younger siblings, will help clean the house. He vaccuums, dusts, sweeps, washes counters, and even does his laundry! He helps his dad and will even clean and sweep the garage without being asked.

Thank you, God for Andrew my thinker. He is a deep thinker and will often have us pondering issues that we wouldn't have. He is often thinking about the "whys" in life.

Lord, this child is such a blessing to us and I am so thankful for him. He is such a good boy. He has a heart for you and loves you.

Lord, I also pray for Andrew. I pray, Lord that Andrew would "love the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength." I pray that Andrew would grow strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. I pray that you, Lord, would pour out your wisdom on Andrew and that you would grow in him the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. Lord, I pray that the favor of the Lord would be upon him and all that Andrew touches will prosper. I thank you for your protection around Andrew and that "no weapon formed against Andrew will prosper." Lord, fill his heart with a relationship with you! Lord, grow his love for you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!

For more Thanksgiving, please visit Iris at Sting my Heart! Blessings!

Wordless Wednesday

What's in there??????????????????

In Other Words...

"To be intimate with others is to reveal our innermost selves to them, including
our emotions, thoughts and desires. For such deep sharing of the soul and spirit
to occur, people must respect and trust each other. ... In a world controlled by
sin, however, to choose to be intimate is to choose to be hurt. Yet Jesus calls
us to this kind of intimacy with Him and with one another."~ Kenneth A. Schmidt

This kind of intimacy requires honesty. Honest is NOT something we are always willing to be....Sometimes we put on masks- our happy face. Our "everything is really OK face". "I really am not such a failure" face. "I am really not hurt" face.

Maybe it because we are embarrassed or ashamed of the deepest whispers of our hearts. I don't want anyone to see that ugliness- the jealousy, the envy, the critical spirit.

Maybe it is because we haven't even admitted our true feelings to ourselves.

Maybe it because I don't want to disappoint.....Shouldn't a Christian be "above" such pettiness?

Maybe it is because I am afraid of being hurt. I may be rejected if I share this.

The enemy loves for us to keep such things secret, in the darkness of our hearts. He encourages us to bury our feelings, our emotions, our ideas, our "mess ups." We begin to believe we are the only ones who fail, who have temptations....It is in the hidden places where we feel shame.

But, God who has created us to be relational (especially as women!), knows that we must share, encourage, and be honest with one another to flourish. There is risk involved, because, like Schmidt points out, we live in a fallen world, full of real people who will make mistakes- people who will hurt us either intentionally or unintentionally. But, this is what LOVE is all about. Love is not just a beautiful feeling from a Hallmark card, but a behavior that we choose to walk out.

"Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1Corin. 13) ...clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against on another." (Col. 3:12-13) We need to extend to one another the same grace we have been given! We need to "bear with one another" and believe that as humans, we will make mistakes.

Why? Why take the risk that we will be hurt? Because this is what authentic relationships do! We need to be genuine and REAL with one another. This is how our friendships grow and bear fruit and flourish, but it is also how we grow and flourish and bear fruit. "As iron sharpens iron," friends sharpen one another. As Hebrews says, "we spur one another on." We encourage one another in faith. We grow together in our relationship with one another and our relationship with the Lord.

God calls us to this intimacy with one another, but more importantly with HIM! We need to be honest with God and with ourselves. God already knows the deepest whispers of our hearts (He doesn't NEED us to share them with Him), but we only grow in our walk with Him when we surrender them to Him.

But, the difference of being honest with God, being intimate with Him, is that He will NOT hurt us, like we risk people doing. God will never make fun us, reveal our secrets to anyone, or even be critical of our mistakes. ("Therefore, there is now NO condemnation in Christ Jesus). God says in James that He gives wisdom to anyone who asks, that He gives it generously and WITHOUT FINDING FAULT! We can completely trust God. The Bible says that God is trustworthy.

When we choose intimacy with God, we NEVER "choose to be hurt." God only has our best interests "at heart." God knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows our end from the beginning. He loves us more than we can even imagine. There are times that God leads us to deep honesty with Him and with ourselves, and this can be painful. But, He only does this so that He "can bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted" and so that He can heal us, set us free, and make us victorious!

Father, I want to have a deeper intimacy with you! I love you! Help me to be honest with you, sharing my deepest feelings with you- my hopes and dreams, my failures, and my hurts. Lord, I pray that you would bring trustworthy friends into my life that I can be intimate with. Lord, I thank you deeply for the dear sisters in Christ that I love and who I trust completely! Father, thank you for friendships. I praise you. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Miracle Monday

I was out walking in the gorgeous Sunday sunshine when God reminded me of this precious miracle from 15 years ago.

Brian and I were young and immature, both in life experience and our faith. Brian is and was a dedicated and hardworking employee. He had been working for five years at his company straight out of college. A colleague told Brian of a great company looking for "new recruits" in lower level management and that he was going to interview for a position. This person was much more experienced than Brian and had a good "shot" at getting a position. Brian thought this would be a good experience for him, but did not expect to get hired for this position- he was too young and too inexperienced to even be considered. The only thing was this company was located in the Chicago suburbs about 3 hours from our southern Illinois home. It meant starting over in a brand new location, but one that was much closer to all of our family.

Brian really had the attitude that he was going to interview "just for fun" and to gain experience in the interviewing process. But, both of us had this secret hope.....did we dare breathe it? This job would mean a promotion, better pay, more benefits, and a home closer to family. It would be a huge leap in Brian's career. So, we prayed. It was about a 3 hour car trip to the suburb where Brian would be interviewing and as we talked about our future, possibilities, and the fun of getting to take a little "vacation" for a day or two, we prayed to God over this job. I don't think either one of us could have quoted any bible verses except for the Lord's prayer and praying was definitely not a "normal" practice for us. But, in our childlike faith, we knew that God held the "answers" for our future and we turned to Him. We surrendered this possibility to Him. We prayed that if it was "meant to be", He work it all out His way. We were so excited!

Then, the most incredible thing happened. We saw a rainbow! Now, this was not any normal rainbow, but one that had people pulling off the side of the road to get a long look at it. Some people had cameras and were taking pictures. Oh, how I wish we would have had a camera! It was a rainbow that stretched from one side of the highway to the other. It was magnificent!

At that moment, we knew God was giving us a sign! We felt incredible peace about this opportunity and we knew it was in His hands. Brian interviewed for the job and got it- despite his inexperience and his "lack" of qualifications- he got the job! We knew that rainbow was God's way of blessing this new beginning. It was a MIRACLE that Brian got this job!

But, the biggest part of the miracle and the part that not everyone knows, is that God saved me through this miracle. I know He picked me up and literally moved me out of the lifestyle I had been living. I was trapped in a double life, a secret life of sin. I continued to go deeper and deeper into it and I believe it was His Hand that intervened and scooped me out. I don't know where I would be today if we had stayed there. God had different plans for me. He had plans for hope and a future, plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Even though I was not walking with Him, He knew the end from the beginning. He knew that He set me apart for great things. He knew that I was chosen. I am so thankful for His protection and deliverance.

Oh, Lord, how I thank you for your miracles! We don't always see a "rainbow" the way I did, but we can always take comfort that you are forever watching over us, leading us and guiding us. May we continue to surrender our lives to you. Thank you for the miracles you continue to shine down on us. Praise you, Lord. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

For more Miracle Monday, visit Beth at a Mom's Life!

Indian Princess Campout

"Indian Princess" Sisters!
Sisters Aly and Ashley with Daddy

Ashley got to lead the parade beating the drum.
The girls and Daddy had lots of fun camping out this weekend, but Mommy and the boys are glad they are home!
Many blessings!

Less of me and more of you......

Father God, I come before you, lay myself at your alter. I desire to empty myself of ME- every selfish part of Tracy....every impure thought, every selfish motive, every thing I HATE! Lord, I want to fill up with you. I want to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of Christ. Jesus I want to be more like you. I DO have the mind of Christ- I purpose to think like Christ. The old has gone, the new has come. I put off everything of my flesh nature- "anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from my lips. I will not lie, since I have taken off my old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.....Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, I will clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."

Lord, I thank you that today is a new day. I give myself anew to you today. I love you, Lord. You are the air I breathe....

Thankful Thursday

~I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit! I am thankful for His ever present help this week, leading me and guiding me. Thank you, Lord for a week of victory over a sin that has plagued me! I know that victory comes only through you and surrendering all to you! When I listen to the Holy Spirit, that soft, still voice that speaks to my heart, I can OVERCOME! "I am more than a conqueror! I am a new creation in Christ! The old has gone and the new has come!" Hallelujah!

~I am so thankful for my husband this week. I thank you, Lord, that after 25 years with this sweet man, we still "gross out" the kids being mushy! :) I am especially thankful for his kindness as he shared some things with me about work. I thank you, Lord, for Brian's kind, gentle heart.

For more Thankful Thursday, please visit Iris today at Sting My Heart

Father God, thank you for the Holy Spirit who leads us and guides us into all Truth. May our ears be open today to His leading! In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

Wordless Wednesday

Cool, baby!
For more Wordless Wednesday, visit

Please Join in Prayer with Me

Will you please join with me to pray for this family?

This is Lori's request for her family:

Family with 5 small children faces possibility of losing our home. Husbands construction business is failing. Please pray:
-our children maintain a feeling of safety and security
-our marriage
-husband finds favor with those needing work
-husband embraces role of spiritual and financial leader
-that we maintain an attitude of thankfulness despite the outcome
-financial miracle as God sees fit
I hope you can continue to pray for us for the next 30 days, even though I’m sure there are many other people to pray for!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Lord. Then the peace that passes understanding with keep and guard your hearts and minds in
Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7

Miracle Monday

I can do all things through Christ!!!!!!

Now, I usually am very careful when I claim this verse because in our generation, it can be an "excuse" to pile on more and more and more and more.....And I have to admit, I have been the "chiefest of sinners" in this area.

"Should do this."

"We really need to do this."

"Everyone is doing that (who IS everyone anyway???)

I have often put unnecessary pressure on myself to volunteer, participate, be involved in ALL things available. I have felt guilt when I have said "no" or when we "skipped out of things."

But, praise God, He has taught me to slow down, how to say "no," and how much is too much. I have learned to let the peace of God rule my decisions. If, as a believer, I am to experience the "peace that passes all understanding" in "all circumstances" (as Paul did), but am feeling "stressed out," then something is wrong. I am either depending on SELF to do the things He is calling me to do, or I am doing things that are out of His will. Ladies, for me, this revelation in and of itself is a MIRACLE! I was the mom who stayed up to 3 AM baking sugar cookies for a preschool class, decorated with each child's name in icing calligraphy!!!!! Crazy! One of my first revelations was that soccer was NOT mandatory, and if Andrew didn't like it, we didn't HAVE to do it!!! God has delivered me from this worldly mindset and it is a miracle! I have had to say "no" to kids at times, volunteer coordinators, and friends. There is a temptation to feel guilty, but when I am filled with the Holy Spirit and depending on Him to lead me, I have been released of that!

Now, after saying all that, I have to say what my miracle was last week! With 5 kids, there will be times when life is busy. And for some families, our lives may seem crazy. That is why I have had to learn to depend on God to show me WHAT and HOW. We had so much going on, but by His grace, I was able to "do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I was able to do the things He was calling me to do, completely at peace, NOT STRESSED out, without any occurrence of Monster Mom. I didn't yell at my kids. I didn't "lose it." Thank you, Lord, because that is a miracle for me! Our week started out calmly with soccer practices Mon. and Tues.

On Wednesdays, we host an after school club with 6 girls (2 of my own) called "God's Girls." It is so fun! We read a bible story about a woman from the bible, learn a verse, journal, and make a craft. This is Aly with her prayer journal basket we made.

On Thursday, we had a birthday party for Aaron, who turned 5. I used to have a children's birthday party business, so I had all of the pirate party supplies. What LOOKS like a lot of work, really wasn't! And, Iris, I did NOT make that cute cake! I was tempted (but knew it would have been too much to do- thank you, God!), but purchased it from Target!

On Friday, Aaron' preschool class took a field trip to the garden center. I helped drive to the field trip and had a great time! We came home and took a nap!

Friday night brought the "Fun Fair", the kids' school carnival. We had a blast!

Saturday, Aaron had a bowling party to go to.....

And later the same day, we had a family roller skating party to attend. By this time, Aaron had had enough and had a major meltdown at the roller rink. Again, by God's grace, and knowing that this little guy had done one too many activities, we "let him be." The "old me" might have been embarrassed and made him put on his skates, but not the "new me"! The old has gone and the new has come, praise God! We gave him some space and he had fun pretending to play pinball. Afterwards, we came home and snuggled and watched a movie. Everyone but Dad and Ashley fell asleep in the middle of it!
Thank you, God, for a wonderful week last and many family memories. Thank you for the miracle of making us new creations. Thank you that transform us. Thank you that your peace rules us, and when we are feeling "unrest" or lack of peace, we know that something is wrong. I thank you for the Holy Spirit and that "your sheep hear your voice." Thank you that when we turn to you, you help us every step of the way. Lord, your way is truly miraculous! Praise you, God! Praise you!
For more miracles, please visit Beth at A Mom's Life:

A prayer for today

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,

Live in me from day to day,

By His love and power controlling

All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly

In my heart from hour and hour

So that all may see I triumph

Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father

Rule my life in everything,

That I may be calm to comfort

Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me

As the waters fill the sea

Him exalting, self-abasing:

This is victory!

-Kate B Wilkinson

Happy 5th Birthday, Aaron! Aaaarrrg! Pirates!

Ashley made Andrew walk the plank!

Aaaaarrrrrg! Me maty!
Mommy showing the treasure map!
Walking the plank.....

Thankful Thursday

Dear Lord, I am so thankful for my good friend, Sister in Christ, but most of all, my "Spiritual Mama," Donna. She is such a blessing to me! We had the rare opportunity to go out to dinner together last night (thank you, honey, for watching the kids!) and just fellowship! We talked and talked (did we ever get one conversation finished before we sidetracked into another?LOL!) It was a precious, relaxing, fun evening! Thank you, good, kind hearted, loving God for arranging a wonderful time together, and thank you all-knowing, precious, sweet God for giving me Donna.

Donna is "especially special" to me for so many reasons- she will be truthful with me, not just "tickle my ears," she will grieve with me when I am sad, she makes me laugh, she is so wise, and she is a kind, loving, and caring person. She is a grandma, so she has experienced more life than I have, and she is willing to share her successes and failures, especially in parenting.

The most precious thing about Donna to me, though, is that she is my "Spiritual Mama" and my "fill-in mother/grandmother." I live far from my mom, so Donna is often the "mom" I call when I need someone. She is the one who could visit me in the hospital, check on me if I am sick... Her sweet husband has come over to mow our grass when we needed it. They have come to see my son in a school concert since he didn't have any grandparents here. Her husband even came over and freed me when I was locked in the bathroom!!!!! How fortunate that I was locked in with the phone- does that surprise you???? Because she is in my Bible Study group, I get to see and hug Donna once a week! So, it is a blessing to have a "mom" physically HERE.

But even more than that, Donna is my Spiritual Mom, a true Titus 2 woman. My own dear mom loves God and prays about everything, trusts God, and has a simple faith. But, she doesn't know the Word. She doesn't read the Word. Donna, on the other hand, KNOWS the Word and studies the Word daily, and LOVES the Word. So, when I need advice, I often ask Donna, instead of my mom, because Donna will give me Godly advice, based on the Word and then we always pray about it! She is so wise! But again, it is Godly wisdom. Truly, much of her advice is "foolishness to the world." Forgive that person???? How could I???? Because in His Word He tells us to and that it will bring His blessing. Be joyful in this situation? It will bring peace. Feeling not at peace about something, then, should you be doing it? The "world" would definitely give me different advice than Donna gives me!

Oh, how thankful I am for my dear friend and mentor. A mentor isn't some distinguished professor, but just someone who is a little "further down the road" than you are. Actually, Lisa Bevere says we DON'T want mentors- we want "mamas." A mentor teaches you what they know, not necessarily wanting you to do better than THEM, so they may hold back a little. (Think of the business world. Would a person want their "underling" to excel?) But, a Mama wants her children not only to do AS WELL as her, but BETTER than her. She wants her children to soar to greater heights than she did. This is Donna- she wants even more for me- especially spiritually.

Do you need a "mama"? Look around. There are many in blogland. I am sure there are many at your church. Be bold- ask a woman to "mama" you. Pray and ask God to bring you one.

Be a "mama". There is always someone who hasn't come as far as you yet. Build relationships. Help one another. Be an example.

"Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they should
live.... and teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to
love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at
home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will
malign the word of God."- Titus 2:3-5

Father, thank you for blessing us with friendships. God, you made us as relational beings to crave companionship, friendship, and fellowship with one another. Thank you, Jehovah Jireh, "The Lord Who Provides" for providing us with mothers and "mamas." Thank you, precious God for caring about us so much that you give us friends, and thank you, Jesus, that you call ME friend! Lord, help me to be a "mama" to those you place in my path. Help me to see when you do. Help me to NOT be so busy that I miss it! Also, Lord, help me to be bold when I need a mama to ask someone. Lord, you are so good, so good. In the Savior's precious Name, the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

For more Thankful Thursday, please visit Iris at

Is Oprah a Christian? What is this "New Earth" and it's "Secret?"

I have been asked several times in the last few weeks, "Do you think Oprah is a Christian?" This question is often asked with a hint of disappointment in the person's voice. Oprah has such a large following and many are Christian women, so I am feeling compelled to speak His Truth.

If you haven't yet viewed the youtube video on "Oprah's Church", please take a minute and watch this eye opening video at:

Some of the things she says:

talking about how to "get to God"/salvation, she says a woman on the show being "loving, kindness, generosity brings her to the same point" as a Christian.

She also says, "there couldn't possibly be one way," but there are "many paths to God."

I think part of the confusion in our culture is that we are mixing up "Christianity" with "religion" or "spirituality." We read in our bibles about other religions, other "gods" and we mistakenly think this is only happening in Bible times. Well, there are religions out there, New Age being one of them, and it is finding itself in the Church of Jesus Christ. Believers are being deceived and following after other "ways" instead of The Way. This is not something new and Paul addresses it many times in 1Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Galatians.

So we are confusing being spiritual, having a form of religion, with Christianity. Being a Christian means that you are a CHRIST FOLLOWER. It means you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord of your life. Christ gave His life for us. I'm sorry, if someone says that there are many ways to God, not just Jesus Christ, then they aren't a "Christian."

CHRIST makes it clear.

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Is Oprah religious? yes! Is Oprah kind hearted? yes! Does Oprah do many kind, generous things? yes! Does she love children? yes! Does she try to help women? yes!

But, does Oprah accept Jesus Christ as her Savior, the Risen Lord, the only Way to salvation?

We have gotten sloppy as Christians and we are unclear and unsure about God's Truth. When we continue to mix our faith in Jesus Christ with other things, things that sound "good", sound "reasonable", things that popular people are embracing, we have lost our true faith.

We can't get to the Father, to God by our good works. We can't be kind enough. We can't love enough. We can't give enough. We CAN'T DO IT! If we could, why would God send His one and only Son to die for us? To BECOME SIN for us? To suffer for us?

What would that say about God? Would that mean it is hopeless for those who could never be kind enough, give enough money, do enough???? And, can anyone be GOOD enough to earn salvation? Even Oprah?

If there are many ways, then why would God make a way- a way of SUFFERING for His Son, and then allow other ways. What would that say about our God? Wouldn't that make Him the most cruel of all? To make a way, a way so horrendous, then to accept other ways?

Did I die on a cross? Did I pay the penalty for my sin? No, Christ did. He made the way for me.

I could never be GOOD enough, give enough, love enough to earn my way to the Father. Thank God that I don't HAVE to! He has done it all for me! Christ died on the cross for me. If you deny the CROSS, then you aren't a Christian! The CROSS defines Christianity.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through FAITH- and this not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by WORKS, so that no one can

Grace is a gift of God! It is NOT something we earn!

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes you just have to be silly!!

For more great pictures, check out!

I want what you have!

I brought some cut-up pears over to Andrew who was home sick, playing PlayStation on the couch. I saw Abigail watching me, so I told him, "Watch Abigail so she doesn't grab your pears. She can't have them- they're too hard for her." As soon as I said that, she zoomed right over trying to get those pears!

I thought this was so LIKE ME!!!!! First, how many times do I want something that I am not supposed to have????? The temptation of the forbidden..... I want IT simply because I can't have IT. Oh, how I hate that in myself!!! Did Abigail WANT those pears because she couldn't have them? Or, did she make a mad dash for them because Andrew HAD them????

I think of my 5 kids (and I also had a home daycare for several years) and I saw a law at work: If you have it, I want it! Doesn't matter that this toy was "available" 5 minutes ago and I had no desire for it. But, you have it now, so I want it!!!!!! I want what you have!
Unfortunately, I see that ugly trait in myself as well. Oops, I guess I should call it what it is: SIN. It is envy. No wonder God tells us in the ten commandments, "Do not covet anything that is your neighbor's." I hate envy. I hate envy in myself.

I may not envy "stuff" or "toys" that others have, but I envy other things. For example, my good friend just lost 18 lbs. She looks GREAT! I am envious because I want to lose 18 lbs.! I am the one who just had a baby. Well, not JUST, Abigail is a 1yr. I have been changing my diet to be more healthy. Hmmmm. I still eat out of frustration, though. And, I have been greedy with my eating. Instead of just a taste of something yummy, I finish it all and lick the plate clean! I have been exercising! Well, in all honesty, sporadically, not consistently.

The truth is my friend has been working very hard trying to lose weight since last August. She has faithfully been exercising for 40-50 minutes daily. She has denied herself sweets. And, it has taken 8 months. I don't want to wait that long. I want the results, without the work, NOW.

So, we can envy many things- other women have great husbands, great kids..... Susie is successful in (weight loss, her career, decorating her home, her relationship with God)....Mary has the cutest clothes.....Jane is so outgoing....

envy envy envy envy ..................

It made me think of James.

"Submit yourselves to God. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? you want something but don't get it. you kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. you quarrel and fight. you do not have, because you do not ask God. When you do ask, you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures."

God, I know when I submit myself to you, surrender my heart and my desires to you, you will lead me and guide me in all righteousness. I know you have GOOD things in store for ME when I keep my eyes on you, on my own walk with you, NOT on what you are doing for someone else. God, I know you are a generous God and you are able to provide for all my desires. I know when I am seeking you, abiding in you, it is your pleasure to give me all things- the desires of my heart. I don't want to envy someone else. I want to experience your blessing in the ways that you want to bless me. When I come to you in prayer, you will answer. Thank you that you forgive my immature, selfish heart. I repent of envy. I receive your forgiveness! Help me God, to keep my eyes on my own race and how you are working in my life. I love you, Lord. I love you, Lord. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

Miracle Monday

What a Miracle!

It was amazing to see my tulips peeking through the ground this morning! It has been a long, hard winter with record amounts of snowfall. These tulips are planted around my mailbox near the street. I wasn't sure if they would come up with the mounds of snow, ice, and salt piled on them all winter. Praise God!
To read more of God's amazing miracles, please visit Beth at
Blessings to you on this miraculous day!

New blog!

I love my new blog! Thank you, thank you Amy from In Pursuit of Proverbs 31 and Split Descisionz! If you need a new look, check her out! She is awesome!