Monday, September 22, 2014

Knowing It's Okay to Take Time Off

Have you ever forgotten to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer? That smell is not a particularly pleasant one! What about forgetting about something cooking on the stove or in the crockpot? Eww! Too many things going on are sure to bring mishaps with one or more of them!



Most moms I know try to do a lot in their normal, everyday lives. They homeschool, are involved in church activities, possibly involved in their children's outside activities, participate in Bible studies, prepare weekly menus, clean the house, and some work outside the home on top of all the things they do for their family!

I fall into many of these things, too. But sometimes we need to take a step back and say, "I need to take care of me instead of  continuing to (insert that thing you can or probably SHOULD step back from for a bit!)" and we need to know it's okay to take some time off. That can be difficult to do, but it is oftentimes necessary.

That's where I am at with Super Mom the Illusion. I know it has ministered to many of you over the past three years. But I have neglected some areas of my life that I know God has called me to do. I love to write these blog posts because they not only speak to the situations of many women, moms and homeschoolers but they also allow me to work through some of those things in my own life in which God needs me to listen to Him more.

What does all this mean for Super Mom the Illusion?
Well, I have decided that I need to take a break. So while there may be a weekly post here and there or some SHARING of things via Facebook, I will not be posting regular posts. I will start up again in January 2015 with a new logo and more and more things to encourage, empower, engage and entertain you as women, moms and homeschoolers!
What can you do in the next few months? 
Pray for me, send me emails if you need me to pray for you, and listen to the Lord for anything else He would have you do during this hiatus. If you find yourself in need of some encouragement, read back on the past blog posts. I've gathered three years of my own experiences as a mom and homeschooler and those things are just waiting to be shared with you and others!

So while it is not what I would like to do, I know taking some time off from writing is necessary. Don't be discouraged! I'll finish posting this month and start my break in October!
What things are you continuing to do in your life that maybe need to be temporarily put on the back burner?

Blessings!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It's Okay to Step Away from Some Things...

Knowing Your Priorities and Making Them First

I love to play around on Facebook. I enjoy checking in with friends and family, getting those wonderfully encouraging Scripture pictures, and laughing at cute animal videos. But sometimes I just have to make myself step back and ignore those posts I look forward to seeing.
You may have heard that it is important for moms to take care of themselves in order to best take care of their families. I definitely agree with that! All too often we put the kids ahead of ourselves, our husbands come first, and the friend groups we are a part of take precedence over what we need.

  • We need time to go to the bathroom alone.
  • We need time to pamper ourselves.
  • We need time to get alone with God, uninterrupted.
  • We need time to refresh and renew our minds.
  • We need time to build our faith.
  • We need time to feel pretty.
  • We need time to feel that we are of high value to our families and to God.
  • We need time for us!

As the weekend approaches, don't feel like you have to say "Yes!" to everything, to LIKE and comment on every friend or family member's Facebook/Instagram/Twitter update, or to always be available for others. Remember to take time for yourself  to feel pampered, loved, and valued as a daughter of the Most High God. Make YOU a priority in your life!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Do you ever feel like you are living in a state of chaos? School books are still on the table, dinner is late being made, the baby needs a diaper change, your devotional time with God was cut short when your middle child woke up with an upset stomach just in time to throw up down the hallway on his way to the bathroom, and didn't you just clean and vacuum a few hours ago?
Well, I found a wonderful planner to help get busy moms. It won't help with the diapers and sick little ones, but it will help you schedule your time with the Lord as well as the rest of your day.
It's the Abigail Weekly Planner and Journal by Diadem Planners.

There's 5 pages of Scriptures in the front  that include declaring who the Lord is, what He says about you as His child, prayer requests, menu planner, appointment calendar, a journal for challenges you've had throughout the week and even a place for a weekly budget!
It's a 6-month planner and the only thing I would like to see the publishers change is to make the book spiral bound so that it can be laid out when journaling or writing out menu plans, etc.
If you're a busy mom or a busy woman, this planner is great for organizing the chaos in your life!

You can order this planner through Diadem Planners' Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DiademPlanners.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Pumpkin Face Mask

It's that time of year when Pumpkin Spice lattes come back, pumpkin bread is in high demand and we want more of all things PUMPKIN!
Our friends Patti and Tawsha at Organized Chaos Online are sharing their recipe for a Pumpkin Face Mask today.

Ingredients
-1/2 cup fresh pumpkin pulp
-2 eggs
-2 teaspoon almond milk (for dry or combo skin)
-1 teaspoon honey (for dry skin)
-2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice (for oily skin)


Instructions
Purée the fresh pumpkin pulp.then add the egg.
If your skin is dry, stir in a splash of omega-rich almond milk and the honey.
For oily skin, instead stir in apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice.
Mix well.
Apply the mask on your face, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes.

Rinse with cool water and moisturize.

Enjoy!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Expecting the Favor of the Lord

Over the weekend, my youngest son was playing football with his friends. Long story short, he landed wrong on his wrist and felt that something might be wrong. I was out picking my older daughter up from dance rehearsal and when I got home, my 17-year-old son told me what happened. I knew the only way to tell for sure if it was broken was to go to the Emergency Department and have it x-rayed.

Now let me just say, we don't often get sick, hurt or injured to the extreme of needing to be seen by a doctor, let alone needing to go to the ER. Although I used to be an EMT, I am not a big fan of this department in the hospital, and unfortunately, that weekend night was no different. The triage nurse informed us they were "backed up with tons of people," obviously an exaggeration, but I began to pray that we would be called back to a room sooner than anticipated. Thankfully, we were called back ahead of a few people who had come in before us! That was the favor of the Lord, and I knew it!

How often do we find a parking place toward the front of the grocery store when we want one? And when we find that great spot, how often do we stop and acknowledge it as God's favor? What about when we're waiting in line and our line goes a little faster than we expected? Or a job is offered when we were in need that fit perfectly with what we've been wanting? Or what about when someone says, "Well, I don't normally do this, but for you, I will"? That's the favor of the Lord working in your life! The favor that we should be expecting because we hare His children.

This week, I want to focus on this aspect of the Favor of the Lord:

The favor of the Lord brings me prominence and preferential treatment. (Esther 2:7-10).


When that great parking place is open, that's preferential treatment!
When a job is offered to you that aligns perfectly with what you've wanted, that's prominence!
When you're waiting in the Emergency Department to be seen among several sick and injured, but your name (or the name of the person you brought in!) is called sooner than expected, that's preferential treatment!

In this series, we'll explore some of the aspects of the Favor of the Lord so that we can begin walking in that expectation of God's unexpected favor in our lives!

And my young son, the new 13-year-old young man, broke his wrist...This week I will call the orthopedic doctor to set up an appointment to get his hard cast put on. And I'm expecting God's favor on us as we call to get in sooner than we expected!

Blessings!





Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday 'Fess Up

Today I intended on getting this post out early. I was obviously late in doing so, but I didn't allow myself to just brush that off and give up on writing today. I made a commitment to myself, to God and to you, my readers to be intentional about writing blog posts. So today's 'fess up is that I didn't quit or give up! That's what Satan wants us to do though. He wants to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the purpose God has for us. But you know what? We are overcomers! So don't quit and don't give in!!


What did you do today to keeping moving and not allow yourself to quit?

Blessings!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Satisfied...but Restless

Okay, okay. The title is a bit off. You see, it's not that I'm restless because I'm not satisfied with where I'm at in life. It's more that I know there is something more coming and more that I should be doing! Today, I realized why I'm restless about some things in my life and calling: I haven't really done anything to move to where I want to be!

Since this is the anniversary of the planes that were taken over by terrorists and thousands of innocent people were killed, I've been thinking about those men and women who were restless to get back control of the aircraft they were in. And how they didn't hesitate to rush the terrorists, run into a collapsing building, help people who were trapped and put their lives on the line for the sake of others.
I think of the families that were left behind and how they didn't hesitate to begin creating foundations and organizations to help those who were affected during the attacks. They sought out means to provide for those who were in need. That's what I want to be able to do, too!
Image by Jodi Cotten

I don't know all the answers to the questions I have: Where do I start? How can I get moving toward my goal? Is this part of God's plan for my life? What if no one is interested in what I'm trying to do? And the BIG question: What if I fail??

But you know what I've come to realize? The reason I am restless is because God put something in me to fulfill that goal, that dream, that vision. And until I am heading more confidently and specifically in that direction, I will remain restless. So I will take my own advice from last week and I will make a list of things that I can do to start moving in the direction of my vision!

The last thing I want is to become stagnant in my striving for my goal!

Have you decided it's time to take action and move toward your vision and goal? What can you do today, this week, this month that will propel you toward that goal? Now GO and DO!!

Blessings!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Today, I will present you with THE perfect formula for your homeschool environment.

Stay inside.
Go outside.
Use workbooks.
Use textbooks.
Use online curriculum.
Use no curriculum.
Have desks for your students.
Have a place at the dining room table for your students.
Let your children sit on the couch to do school.
Let your children lie on the floor to do school.
Let your children sit on their beds to do school.
Have graded tests.
Have evaluations.
Have no formal assessments.
Follow a grade level scope and sequence.
Follow no scope and sequence.
Use only pencils.
Use only pens.
Use sidewalk chalk.
Use crayons.
Don't use technology.
Use technology.
Teach your children to write in manuscript.
Teach your children to write in cursive.
Use the Classical Approach to schooling.
Use the Traditional Approach to schooling.
Use the Charlotte Mason Approach to schooling.
Use unschooling.
Focus on Literature.
Focus on mathematics.
Focus on science.
Focus on history.
At a theme park.
On vacation.
Exploring your city,
Journeying to a nearby state.


Seeing a pattern? It doesn't matter what your schooling environment looks like as long as it works for you and your children as you school them. There is no right way and no wrong way! Teaching your children to learn to learn and to want to continue learning is what it's all about.
Don't worry about what other homeschooling families are doing. Do what works best for YOUR family!

Blessings!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Homemade deodorant

I am a big fan of homemade products! Laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, deodorant, weed killer, and so many other things. Today, I'm sharing MY recipe for deodorant with you. It's so inexpensive and you KNOW what you are putting on your skin when you're done.

Here is the basic recipe:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder/flour
5-7 tablespoons coconut oil
3-4 drops of favorite essential oil (I use lavender!)



Blend all ingredients and place in empty solid deodorant container or jar with lid. If the coconut oil begins to go from solid to more soft or even liquid, just put it in the refrigerator for a few hours.!

Blessings!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Stop Wishing and Start Moving Toward Your Dream

Have you ever wondered why some people are living their dreams while others only wish they could do that? I used be like that. I used to see women starting their own businesses and writing books and speaking to MOPS groups and creating new curricula, and I thought, "I wish I could do that!"
As I've shared before, I have always enjoyed writing. It's one of my passions along with working with youth and women. What are your passions? You know God put those things in your heart to be used in some way to touch the lives of others. He gave you a purpose that only you could fulfill and a story to tell that only you could tell that would reach a specific person or group of people. Consider this: someone is waiting to hear what you've got to say that will touch them in a profound way.
Many years ago I met two of my dearest friends at separate women's retreats. The retreats were in Orlando, Florida and here I was a mom from Colorado attending these events. God orchestrated our meeting so that I could hear their messages (each very different, yet very similar!), and He put us together for a particular reason.

Beyond a vision, what is your passion and what can you do today to continue moving toward that passion becoming just a "wish I could do that" to "I'm living the dream God gave me"? Write out a list of things you can do and choose one a day, a week or a month to accomplish. Maybe you can call that one person that God has put on your heart to disciple. Maybe you will draw and sketch, write, journal, start a blog. Maybe you create a "5 years From Now" plan to keep the goals and dreams you have on the front burner of your life. Do whatever you can to move forward!

Blessings!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday 'Fess Up

For this Friday 'Fess Up, I must confess that while helping my sister move this week, my house has taken on the look of a family who is moving...but we aren't! How is it that our homes can become so clutter-prone when we aren't even there to make messes on our own?!
This weekend will be a time of cleaning, purging, organizing and removing clutter! Remember, we have to set goals or we won't accomplish anything!

What are your weekend goals?

Blessings!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Serving and Helping Others

Stop Making Excuses for Why You Can't


The past few weeks I've been helping my sister pack her house for a local move. I wasn't sure there was much I could do since I had been recovering from foot surgery since June, but I went over and started to pack a few boxes. The next time I went over, I was able to pack more than the time before and soon, many of the areas she really needed help with were done. Then came the day to move everything to the new house!
Again, I wasn't sure what I could do since there was a lot of up and down stairs involved. But I was able to do so much more than I could have imagined! God gave me strength to help beyond what I thought I was capable of and I know that my willingness played a part in that. You see, I could have just said, "No, I can't help because I don't know what I can do (what my limitations would be, if I would experience any pain, if I might hinder further recovery, etc.). But I believe that since I didn't use any sort of excuses about my physical abilities, the Lord gave me the endurance I needed to help my sister and brother-in-law and together with a few other friends, we were able to get the job done!
The Scripture says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NKJV).

Don't be afraid to step out and give of yourself a little more. You many be surprised how the Lord will use you to bless others!

Blessings!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Great homeschooling days begin with daily devotions and regular Bible study time. Even if you accomplish nothing else for the day in the textbooks, workbooks or other curriculum, you can always start your school day with the Word. It is good medicine for the soul and brings knowledge and understanding of things beyond this world.

So, Mom, if you have younger kids and are looking for a great book for Bible studies check out Kelly Pulley's book "Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times." In his book, Pulley brings to life the most told stories from Scripture to entertaining poems for children. Kelly Pulley is the author of The Beginner's Bible, Noah, Good News of Great Joy, and a number of I Can Read books!
This is just one example of a great book for the basis of your homeschool Bible program! You can read more about the book at Amazon.com!!


Blessings!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Fall Decorating

Patti and Tawsha passed along this guest blog post from Lauren! In today's tip, she gives us 4 ways to bring nature indoors for fall decorating!

Photo credit by grongar on flickr


1. Make a table centerpiece
2. Make a wreath
3. Create fall artwork
4. Create a fall bunting 
          --Get a long piece of string and carefully attach leaves to the string at intervals, by either threading the leaves through or stapling them to the string. If you’re using bunting bought from a store, then attach leaves to the triangular shapes on either side, by using glue or staples. Hang up, and enjoy!

Read more at Organized Chaos Online!!


Blessings!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Last Big Summer Cookout

Patti from Organized Chaos Online shares tips for making foil meals to be cooked over the grill or in the oven and since this weekend is Labor Day, what better way is there to end the summer?!

"You basically just rip off a piece of heavy duty foil, dump your ingredients in the middle of it and package it up. You can cook them in the oven or throw them on a grill. With little prep, minimal tending, and zero clean up, everybody’s got a customized meal that can be dumped on a paper plate and eaten with plastic silverware."

For more ideas on foil meals, visit: Organized Chaos Online!

Enjoy!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

How Did I Get Here?

Realizing When You've Strayed Off God's Path

I closed my eyes as our pastor began to prompt us to repent for getting off track, off the path and plan God had for each of us. Oh, my gosh! I have strayed off that path! But when did that happen and why didn't I realize it sooner?!
It's true. I know that my calling is to influence woman and encourage, empower and edify them as wives, mothers and homeschoolers. I thought I had done pretty well by keeping up with my daily blog posts. But the reality is (as many of you already know!), I wasn't doing as well as I thought or as I tried to pretend to be. I have gotten behind over the past several months because my focus shifted to something else.
I made a crockpot of homemade vegetable soup the other day. But soon, events of the day took us away from home and the soup sat, simmering on low for the rest of the evening. The next morning I awoke and knew I needed to put the soup in the freezer for another night. But again, the events of that day became hurried and the soup was left yet another day in the crockpot, now set to warm. By the afternoon of the third day, it had turned rancid from neglect and I had to dump it out. A wonderful meal wasted by my own neglect. And that is what happens with our lives sometimes.

Satan likes to take those moments when we are so busy, so overwhelmed to blind us to what is really going on. He tells us lies that make it seem okay to continue even though each time we give more face time to that other thing, we're really pulling ourselves from the one thing God wants us to be doing.
It's alright to stop and re-evaluate where you're at!

  • Are you still on the right path? 
  • Has something else taken more of your attention, something not part of God's plan for your life right now? 
  • Have you stirred and paid more attention to one pot while another sits and sits and gets stale and rancid?
Take the opportunity right now to repent and ask God to forgive you for neglecting the call on your life. As moms and wives, our calling might be to school our children and take care of the home. It's not too late to set yourself back on the path God planned for you in the first place. Get back today!

Blessings!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Controlling the Chaos

Tawsha and Patti over at Organized Chaos Online have come up with 5 steps to help you get control of the chaos in your home!


  1. Make a list
  2. Organize a small space
  3. Write a schedule
  4. Complete a chore
  5. Spruce up your home
(C) Organized Chaos Online




















For more on getting control of your chaos, visit: Organized Chaos Online!!


Blessings!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Defeat is NOT An Option

I really enjoy writing. I've written three books, one that has been published, and plan to write more. I am an independently published author which simply means that I publish my own books. I know I was created to write. It's what is in me to do! A talent that I know is a gift of God and I will write even if I never catch the eye of an agent or publisher. Defeat, not succeeding, failure is not an option.
What is your heart to do? Maybe it's writing. Maybe it's creating a group for young mothers. Maybe it's a mentoring organization for youth. What's stopping you from achieving that goal? Are you listening to the lies Satan is spewing at you? The lies that say, "Who are YOU to think you could do this?" "That idea won't get off the ground. Why are you even bothering?" "No one in your family ever amounted to a hill of beans and you won't either!"
Are you going to continue listening to those things and let them bring you down and take the focus off your goals? NO! So fight back...with the Word of God. What does God say about your idea or goal?


I'm not going to show you the Scripture references for these, but I want you to look them up! You find them, say them, get them in your spirit and don't let Satan into your life to lie to you anymore!

Blessings!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday 'Fess Up

My 'Fess up begins with an apology. I MISSED Friday 'Fess Up last week! I'm sorry, but it happens occasionally that I get overwhelmed with our busyness and simply get too tired to write posts.
But today, TODAY I remembered!
My 'Fess Up doesn't end with confessing that life gets in the way. I must confess that I often get fed up with the attitudes of others, especially when they increase stress in my life and add to the chaotic busyness that consumes my days and weeks.
But rather than fighting them or getting an attitude myself, I pray for those who persecute me. That's difficult to make time to do. I wrestle with my flesh-man and want to spout out snarky words. But in my spirit, God speaks to me about what the right thing to do really is:


Blessings!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Asking Permission: Thoughts on Our Quest to Homeschool Perfectly

I've been privileged to introduce some new homeschoolers to a wonderful world of learning and engaging their children on a completely different level than in traditional school. One of the themes I often hear is, "Is it okay to do this or that?" To which I almost always reply, "Well, why not?" I'm not sure why or when those requests for permission to do something began to bug me, but I have meditating on that for the past few days.
When I began homeschooling, I sort of felt like I had a very basic idea of the homeschool laws in our state. I used curricula suggested by friends or just handed down to me for free. I went to training sessions to learn how exactly to count certain classes or activities as school, and I found myself bound by so many rules...at least that is what it felt like to me.
At some point in my homeschooling journey, I started learning more and more about unschooling. One of my sons had been tested and the evaluator spouted phrases that began, "This child does know how to..." My poor second oldest was devastated! He knew the things the evaluator was saying he didn't, and worst of all, she was a direct cause of his academic confidence nearly completely tanking. I knew we needed to change how our children learned, so we slowly explored the idea of unschooling...for some classes.
If you are new to homeschooling and you are not sure what you are allowed to do under your state's laws, research them. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a great resource for understanding the laws in laymen's terms. The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy:

Just as there is no right version of the Bible that everyone should be reading, there isn't one curriculum that all homeschoolers should use. I encourage you to read, investigate, and just trust the Lord for the path of your homeschooling journey. As HIS permission for what you can and should teach your children, and then be faithful in that teaching.

Blessings!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Homeschooling Hump Day Encouragement

If you are like many homeschooling families, you are starting school this month. Congratulations! Whether this is your first year homeschooling or fifth or even tenth or 15th year, it is important to know that each year is a time for reflection and evaluation.

  • Is the curriculum you are using keeping your child engaged?
  • Is your child being challenged academically?
  • Is there a subject your child seems to excel in?
  • Does your child enjoy the curriculum you are using?
  • Do you like the curriculum?


You see, as you begin homeschooling each year, you are in control of the content and focus of the education your child is receiving. If you don't like something or a particular curriculum isn't working, change it. You have that freedom in homeschooling to change what isn't working and to learn new ways to engage your child that will make him or her want to learn more and more.
I remember an old story I heard in church once...

A young woman was getting married and so on her wedding day, her grandmother passed along her famous recipe for pot roast. The young woman read through the recipe and made plans to recreate everything in it. The grandmother passed away before the new bride could make the meal for her husband, but when she did, oh, did he really like it!
So she made it every month for him knowing she was carrying on the tradition of her grandmother. But one day, the young bride's mother came to visit while the woman was preparing the roast. She carefully took out the meat, cut it into two pieces and placed each half into its own pot. The bride's mother was a bit confused by this and stopped her daughter during the preparation.
"Why did you cut the roast and put it into two separate pots, dear," the mother asked.
"That's what Gram's recipe said to do. I always thought it was strange, but Gram was a wonderful cook, so I knew there was a reason," the young bride said with a smile.
Her mother began to chuckle, and the daughter was confused. "What's so funny, mother?"
"Oh, sweetheart. There was indeed a reason Gram cut the roast into two pieces and cooked it in two separate pots...she didn't have a pot big enough for the full sized roast!" The two enjoyed a laugh and from then on, the bride used her big pot to cook her grandmother's recipe.

The moral here is, just because someone has been doing something a certain way, doesn't mean you have to do it that way. Investigate, explore, and see what works best for you and your family rather than trying what worked for others. This school year make it a point to assess your curriculum and seek out recommendations from other homeschoolers.

Blessings!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Back-to-School DIY Spa Day



With school starting again, it's time to slow down, moms, and treat yourself to your own Do-It-Yourself Spa Day!
Patti and Tawsha from Organized Chaos Online have these tips for creating your own ambiance for a relaxing day.

Included in the DIY Spa basket:
  • Hand Scrub
  • Lotion
  • Face Peel
  • Celebrity and women's mags
  • Scoops
  • Loofah
  • Face Towel
Read the full article here!

DIY spa basket gift for Mother’s Day or any other occassion!
(C) CherylStyle.com


Blessings!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: Rock Bottom is a Beautiful Place: Testimonies of Triumph by Diane Cunningham

I love to read books. In the past, I stayed more within the fiction genre, but the last two years the Lord has opened doors for me to be able to work with a variety of publishers and writers to review their books. 
diane nacwesign About NACWE
This book was a free one by a friend and amazing role model to me. Diane Cunningham is the owner of National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs, a group that encourages women as business owners as they live out the lives God has planned for them. 
In her book, Diane talks about her own fall to rock bottom and her climb to the Rock of Salvation, Jesus. She also realized that she wasn't the only one who had secrets and had hit rock bottom. And so this book was birthed.
There are stories of family secrets and struggles with addictions. Of being raised in the church, being believers, yet having to fight to overcome Satan and the hold he can have on the most precious areas in the life of Christians. It's a daily fight we must stay in and conquer through our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
The stories are necessarily "feel good" stories, but they will encourage and inspire you that where you are right now isn't where you have to stay! 

Find Rock Bottom is A Beautiful Place: Testimonies of Triumph at Amazon.com!


Blessings!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: An Organized Refrigerator



As we head back to school, our friends at Organized Chaos Online, Patti and Tawsha, remind us that starting the school year off with an organized refrigerator will help when long, busy days end and your family is wondering that age-old question: "What's for dinner?"

organize-your-refrigerator
(C) Organized Chaos Online

Here are 7 tips for organizing "the fridge"!

1. Empty
2. Clean
3. Sort
4. Survey
5. Line
6. Contain
7. Label

Read the full article on organizing your fridge at Organized Chaos Online!!


Blessings!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Understanding the Spiritual Battles in Your Life

Yesterday was a weird day. Chalk it up to the fact that my husband had worked almost 24 hours straight at his job and I had been up just as long waiting for him or delve deeper and realize what was really going on was a battle not of this world.

We had gone out to lunch after church as we always do, but this time my husband seemed to get easily irritated with me. He began to snap back at me over little things...at least it seemed like little things to me. After coming home, I had asked our boys to mow the lawn. This is one of their weekly chores, but our youngest son hadn't been trained on the ins & outs of mowing the backyard yet and had asked my husband for help. When my husband didn't reply, our son went downstairs to watch television. I the mean time, two of our other children wasted no time in mowing the front lawn, pulling weeds in the pansy bed and weed whacking along the front curb. Those devoted children were allowed to go on a bike ride.
The youngest son returned and wanted to play soccer out front, but I told him he couldn't since he hadn't mowed yet. He got an attitude, still didn't want to mow, and rather than stopping and taking the time to adjust him, I simply went out and mowed the backyard myself. My husband tried to get me to stop and let our young son to finish, but I informed him that no one would show our youngest how to navigate the backyard to mow it correctly. (There are branches and other "hidden treasures" in the backyard that must be avoided!).
When I was finished, my husband and I had some words. Not hateful, but the kind you know will be an intentional dig at the other person. Before I knew it, I was in my van and going. See, when I get upset, I clean, but when cleaning no longer satisfies my inner conflict, I go for a drive. As I was driving, I heard the Lord say, "This isn't about who would teach your son to mow, what your husband could have or should have done, or even about the words you said to each other. It's a spiritual battle. Satan is trying to divide you on the day before you celebrate a commitment to stay married no matter what." 
I drove home and my husband and I immediately made up, asking forgiveness and apologizing to each other for the words, actions and attitudes we each had. You see, this isn't an isolated incident in the life of a Christian. We daily battle things thrown at us by Satan. Sometimes it's little things that go by barely noticed, if at all. But sometimes, it takes a toll on the Christian warrior and we drop our swords not wanting to continue to fight the spiritual battle and taking on an unnecessary one in its place.
So next time you have an argument, or dare I say a fight with a loved one consider the real reason behind it. It's probably not you and the other person not loving each other but rather Satan ramping up the spiritual battle against you that is taking place.
If you keep God at the center of your relationships, you can fight any battle that comes your way, spiritual or otherwise!

Blessings!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday "Fess Up: Taking A Stand Takes Courage

This week, I shared a post on Facebook. It created a heated debate between me and a young, new Christian. In the end, she called me horrible names and not only unfriended me, but blocked me as well. I was so hurt because really it wasn't a big deal, and I thought that as a Christian she would and should see the truth.

What the Lord showed me instead was that it wasn't me she was upset and angry with; it was a battle with her flesh-man and her spirit. There were concepts and ideas that the world called normal that she still wanted to cling to, but that as a Christian we now know aren't part of God's plan for His children. I took a stand to continue sharing the truth, and in the end, lost a sweet friend who desperately needs mentoring and to be discipled in her walk with the Lord...but she also wants to have that accountability, too. I can't make her have a relationship with God, just as He couldn't make me choose Him as my Savior.
It takes courage and strength to be a Christian. You may lose some friends. You may gain friends. And you will definitely have plenty of opportunities to share Jesus with others. So don't be afraid to take a stand for Him!

What have you had to take a stand for recently?


Blessings!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I have a few friends who are new to homeschooling. Some are using tried and trusted curriculum; some are trying a couple of different ones to see what works well for their children. The bottom line with choosing a curriculum for your child is that it is okay to change if something isn't working. Kids don't fit into cookie-cutter learning styles. What works for some of my children, doesn't work for others. And it's okay to try and find that one style that will engage your child and open new worlds of learning, knowledge and understanding for them.

You're doing a great job, momma!!

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Back-to-School Hacks

Our friends at Organized Chaos Online, Patti and Tawsha, have so many clever life hacks for back-to-school! Here are just a few:


All photos (C) Organized Chaos Online



Do you have life hacks for back-to-school to share?

Blessings!



Monday, July 28, 2014

Moments with Moms

This article was originally posted in October 2011. But the message is still timely. I hope you remember to spend time with the women in your life and allow yourself to be something beyond "mom"!

Today, I spent the afternoon with one of my best friends I have made since moving to Florida.  I have known her for less than 10 months, but I feel as though I've known her for years!  We have so many things in common and are different in so many ways, too.  We know lots of things about each other and still just a little.  But we are sisters in the Lord and I believe that God put us together for a reason.  And the fact that it feels as though we've known each other for so much longer than we actually I have I am convinced is because of our like-mindedness in Christ.

I heard someone mention that soul mates don't exist for Christians because that would indicate that a part of us was really missing and that God didn't construct us in that manner.  I agree with that!  I also agree that when sisters and brothers in the Lord are literally put in each others paths by God, they experience a familiarity and comfort with each other because of a communing of our spirits.
Today, I had a latte with my wonderful friend, got soup at one of our favorite restaurants, bought goodies for our puppies and spent time with each other being something other than MOM!  Don't neglect your time with the moms and women the Lord has placed in your life.  You each have something the other one needs today and only you can share that!!

Blessings!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Fess Up: Better Late Than Never...

This afternoon, I had an opportunity to sit and reflect on my week. I must confess that I had many things on my mind this week with regard to my work with Civil Air Patrol. We had our regular meeting, but I was teaching a leadership class which I rarely do. Then on Tuesday, I was trying to gear up for our squadron's trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming for Cheyenne Frontier Days' Air Force Thunderbirds presentation.
I fully expected to write my blog posts through the end of the week, but before I finished, I realized I hadn't written them...when I was already up at the air show. I felt as though I had let all of you down, and I am truly sorry for not getting Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement out this week. For next week, I'd like to know what encouragement you can share with us to get us geared up for starting the new school year.
So my fess up is that I failed this week. I didn't meet my own set deadlines. But next week is an entirely different week! One that I can strategically plan for and not let you all down again!

His mercies are not only new every week, but they are new every single morning! Praise God!!

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Home-made Pore Strips

Our friends, Patti and Tawsha, at Organized Chaos Online shared this tip for acne!.
TIP OF THE DAY: Create your own pore strips with only a small pack of gelatin (not the entire box) and a bit of milk.

(C) Organized Chaos Online

*WARNING: If you have peach fuzz, this stuff will GRAB it and make your eyes water. Test on a small area of your face before doing your whole face!

Blessings!

Monday, July 21, 2014

God: The Great Creator

Do you like to sew? Knit? Crochet? Write? Draw? Make jewelry, scrapbooks, take photos, paint (not just the living room!), make sculptures, design buildings, dance, act, sing or anything like that? Do you know why you have the desire to create within you? It's because God made us in His image and His image is the Creator of all things!

We see God's creations everywhere around us, every day. It's beautiful and wonderful and so incredible that words can describe. That's how He sees the things we make, too.
God spoke the Earth into existence with His words. He created us with His words and put a desire to be like Him inside each of us. And to be like Him, we have this desire, this innate need to create something! It might be computer graphics, drawings, photographs, or any number of things, but the need to create comes from the Lord!

  • Genesis 3:7 says (Adam and Eve) sewed fig leaves together.
  • Genesis 4:1-2 says that Eve conceived and gave birth to Cain and then Abel. Adam and Eve created offspring.
  • Genesis 25:29 says Jacob cooked a stew. He created fine meals!
  • In Exodus 36 the Word talks about "gifted artisans.
  • I Kings 6:4 And he made for the house windows with beveled frames
  • Exodus 36:14 He made curtains of goats’ hair for the tent over the tabernacle; he made eleven curtains.
  • I Chronicles 9:30 And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
  • II Chronicles 4:14 ...he also made carts and the lavers on the carts;
  • The Proverbs 31 woman, as you will read, works with her hands, makes meals, and sews.

I could go on and on, and these are only a few of the many verses that you will find that show us that we create because that is what the Lord put in us to do!

What things do you enjoy making? That's a talent He's given you! 

Blessings!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Fess Up

I have to confess that this week, I struggled with forgiveness. Long story short, a friend of mine told me that someone was painting a poor picture of me and my husband. I knew the information was wrong, but I also knew that people who know me believed some of the information that was being touted.
I've cried over the situation feeling disappointed, hurt, angry, and embarrassed. I've talked to God about the things that were said and He reminded me of one of our church's "10 Benefits of the Favor of the Lord" that our pastors wrote out a couple of years ago.

(C) Captured Memories 365
I realized I don't have to get upset! I don't have to be embarrassed! I don't have to be angry or disappointed! I just have to give it to the Lord and He will fight for me!

Blessings!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Love.Period. When All Else Fails by Rudy Rasmus

The Bible says that God is love. It goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3:


Rudy Rasmus' book talks about just that. When it really comes down to it, love is the foundation of all things. Rasmus discusses the depth of love. It is designed to be used individually or in a book club with discussion points called "Responding" for further thought presented at the end of each chapter.
What I like about this book is Rasmus' use of his own, real-life struggles with learning to love and learning to lean on the Lord in all situations of life knowing that He is love and His love NEVER fails.

If you are interested in learning more about  how we can walk in God's love, this is a great book to gain that foundation. Rasmus ends the book with his own Love Revolution that says that our love:

"Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best, 
Never looks back, 
But keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13:7)"

Find Love.Period. on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

So, homeschooling momma, how are you doing? Are you enjoying the summer off of school with your children? Have you already started back to school?

Today, I want to encourage you that whatever course you choose to take with your homeschooling, it is the best for your family! Some families I know take off the whole summer just like traditional schools. Some, like our family, only take off a month in the summer. Still others, take no summer break at all. Any none of these families are right or wrong, compared to what you choose for your children and family.

Keep trying different things until you find what works best for your own family. Don't worry about what other homeschooling families are doing, what curriculum or grade level their children are in, and don't compare yourself to other families because your family is unique and not like any other family. Even if you use the same curriculum, your children are in the same grade levels as other children their ages and you take off the same amount of time in the summer, only your family has the parents and children in it that yours has. Embrace your family's home school adventure!

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Plants to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay This Summer

Our friend, Patti, over at Organized Chaos Online, shared these bug repelling plants for a more bite-free summer!

First off, I’m arming my deck. I love to sit outside and read in the evenings. I learned that mosquitoes hate the smell of certain plants. Out of a long list I found, I’ve picked the ones below (that I can also use for seasoning) to plant in pots scattered all over my deck. (I’ve heard you can also crush their leaves and rub them on your clothes – but not directly on your skin).
Plants Mosquitos Hate | Hey Mosquitos, Suck THIS!
Read the full post at Organized Chaos Online!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why Do We Pray? Part Two

Last time we talked about why Christians pray. New Christians are often taught to pray and to ask God for things through prayer. But as we learn more about our prayer life and its necessity in our walk with the Lord, we realize that it is a daily communion much like time spent with friends. The more time we spend together, the more we get to know our Father intimately.

We understand prayer is communication between us and God. Looking at the Strong's Concordance, it also refers to one's complaint, talking, babbling, meditation and thoughts in the Old Testament Hebrew references. In the New Testament, it is the intercession, request and vow. With this knowledge, we pray for things beyond ourselves. We make intercession for family, friends, the lost, communities, particular people groups or even whole countries. We vow, through prayer, to be willing vessels to be used and we meditate on the character of the Lord and all that He has for us.

When we pray, we do so knowing He can change our current situation and refresh, restore and redeem us instantly. We pray out of the love we have for the lost. We pray that His love would be developed in us. We pray also because He gave us the ultimate way to proclaim that we are servants to Jesus and desire His will in our lives. And through this one prayer, we have all we need:


Blessings!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

One of the best ways I have found to save money on homeschooling, is to buy used textbooks from other homeschoolers. We have accumulated all the materials we needed for teaching all 8 of our children with very minimal expense.
Some of the places to look for used curriculum are:

  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Homeschool blogs
  • Facebook


I have found other sites that I enjoy using to go along with some of the other curricula we use, too. Two of my favorites are Khan Academy and Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. They are available online as a supplement or in some cases, as a full year curriculum. Don't be afraid to check them out, use them, and change them. Your school is just that: YOURS!

You see, you have chosen to provide your children with a unique education. No two homeschooling families are alike. No two children using the exact same curriculum will yield the same results. You are exploring the possibilities of which curricula to use because you truly care about the education your kids receive. And that is a great, selfless act on your part, Homeschooling Momma!

Keep on going and growing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Smelly Beach Towels? Try THIS!

Our friends over at Organized Chaos Online, Patti and Tawsha, have got a great idea for freshening up those smelly beach and pool towels!




Find other ideas for simplifying your life, chores and home in practical ways. Visit: Organized Chaos Online and tell the Super Mom the Illusion sent you!!

Blessings!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Five Years From Now

Do You Have a Plan?

Have you ever thought about where you will be five years from now? What about where you want to be five years from now? Do you plan to finish a degree? Have more children? Begin homeschooling your children? Own a home? Take a family vacation? Buy a new car? Get out of debt? Have the perfect job? Follow the call God has put on your life?
Do you have a plan?
My sister and I are in the process of creating our own independent private school for homeschooling families in our area. We have a plan in place that lays out just what we want to accomplish each year and have an effective means of measuring those goals. We have a plan in place.
I have a plan in place for the next three years for my books. I know essentially what I will write about, when I need to the book to be completed and ready for editing and when the book will be published. I did that with my first book, too. I wrote down my plans and goals for that book. A measurable goal with a deadline that would signify that I accomplished the goal and if I met the deadline set. You can do that with your dreams and goals, too!
We've talked a lot about vision boards and this accompanies that in a very unique way. You see, you must dream in detail for your five year plan. Far more detail than setting a goal on a vision board such as "publish 2 books by 2013." Now there is nothing wrong with setting those goals. But if you are planning a goal of remodeling a kitchen, for example, what does that look like? You may very well have a goal of completing the remodel by November 2014. It is measurable, but what does it look like? How much will your remodel cost? What sort of cabinets do you want in your new kitchen? What will the color of the back splash be? Will there be a back splash? This is where a plan book can come in handy. You can clip or print off pictures of particular aspects of a kitchen that you like and get pricing for them. If you're planning a vacation or anniversary celebration, you can get details and put them in a notebook. Then you must act.

Action is a required part of your plan. It's not just enough to write down your goals. You have to look at them often and do things to move yourself closer and closer to accomplishing that goal. And you have to expect favor as you move toward completing the plan. Hebrews 9:11 says, "Jesus Christ has become the High Priest of good things to come." We need to confess that and believe it as we pursue our plans because we don't want to stay where we're at five years from now; we want to see goals achieved and dreams coming true!

Blessings!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday "Fess Up"

I tried this about two months ago, and I just did not follow through with it. I apologize for that, but I do want to get back to checking in with each of you each week!
So, every Friday we are doing a "'Fess Up." This is one place that we do not judge others but rather support each other in all that we are going through. This is the day we will confess to our sisters in the Lord how our week has truly been!

What I want to know is how your week went! 


  • Did you have some unexpected successes? 
  • Maybe you fell short on a school day. 
  • Do you need help or encouragement in a certain area? 
  • Have an idea to share that changed your homeschooling? 
  • Was your week less than perfect? 
  • Hormones got you feeling up one minute and down the next? 
  • Would your husband say you nagged him this week? 
  • Did your devotional time and time with the Lord in general increase this week? 
  • What victories did the Father give you? 
  • Do you have something to share to encourage your sisters?


This is where I want us to share all of those things!! No limits, but I will moderate rude comments. That sort of thing just isn't allowed here.



This week I want to encourage you to keep pressing on! No matter what it is you are going through, the Lord sees it and He has your solution on the way...in His perfect time! I needed to hear this myself this week as I sat wondering how I could better help my husband provide for our family. I want to help, really I do! But I get so exhausted just thinking about running the house and then turning around and going to work on top of that. But the Lord showed me He has better things in store for me! One reason it seems so tiring even before I think about going into corporate America is because I am already working! I write a daily blog, contribute to two other blogs, write my books, take online college classes (I start my last one on Monday!), homeschool, I am the Women's Ministry leader at our church, I'm on the social media team at church, and I am a wife and mother. Anyone who doesn't think that is work, needs to, as the old saying goes, "walk a mile in my shoes"!!


Your home life may not look like work to the outside world, but lady, you ARE working and doing a great job! Keep at it and keep pressing on!!


Blessings!