God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

Magnificent Moms in May

 

 

 

Do you have questions about motherhood?

Are you a working mom, mother of boys, stay at home mom, or mother of a large family?
Do you have a special needs child or perhaps a child you are sending off to college?

Do you have a child who is entering the dicey waters of the teen years?

Are you a mom in ministry?

We will be discussing these topics and many more in our May series.

Do you find it difficult at times to be in this season of parenting?

Do you wish you had someone wise, who has been there?

Someone who just makes you feel as if you aren’t alone in this journey?

Do you wish you could talk to someone and get some real answers?

Wisdom.

It’s hard to come by.

It seems that many want to spout their opinions, but do not provide any real encouragement.

My friends, you won’t find that judgement here.

I want my blog to be a judgement free zone.

No friendly fire here!

What you will find is real answers from real moms.

Moms who have worn knees from anxious nights praying and compassionate hearts because they know it’s not easy.

If you feel as if you are just treading water or even sinking as a mom, please understand that you aren’t alone.

Can I toss you a life preserver or two as you try your best to keep your head above water?

The goal is not just to survive motherhood.

The goal is one word.

One simple word.

THRIVE.

The goal of this series is to help you thrive and to help you raise children who thrive.

That’s what magnificent Moms in May is all about…Encouragement…plain and simple.

A little wisdom passed on from one  mom who has been there to another.

A hand held out to hold onto yours for a moment and a voice that says, “I’ve been there, sister! There’s light at the end of that tunnel.”

I will interview many mothers this month from many backgrounds.

I feature a different mother every few days.

Think of it as a panel of moms at your fingertips.

What questions do you have?

What topics would you like to see discussed?

Obviously, I can’t cover all topics related to motherhood in May, nor do I intend to, but I would love to have your input so this series can be truly helpful, encouraging and inspirational to as many moms as possible.

Comment below and let me know what’s on your mind.

Sending you much love from one dog paddler to another,
God’s Girl

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World’s Best Mom

I’m not writing anything in my blog today. Instead I’m reposting “The World’s Best Mom”. Pray for this precious family! This really touched my heart.

Alive In You

That’s a lofty title, I know. And believe it or not, I know her. Even more amazing (to me) is that I’m married to her.

One might think the world’s best mom would be someone with years of motherly experience and a number of kids — someone who has been doing it for a long time. My wife, Katie, doesn’t come close to qualifying under those terms. You see, we’re new parents. Our first son, Randol Thomas, was born on Thursday at 12:56 a.m. at the incredibly young gestational age of 25 weeks and 4 days. That happy moment had a sad ending when our baby boy lost his life later that morning at 5:20 a.m. after struggling for hours to try and breathe with what we knew were severely underdeveloped lungs — something we knew would be an issue after my wife’s water broke at just 18 weeks.

So how could…

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The Big Bang Theory Guy and a Lesson in Humility

 

The Big Bang theory guy is a genius, no doubt.

Today I met someone who makes him look like the village idiot.

I took the kids to a talk for families on size of the universe.

“It will broaden their horizons.”, I said.

I think it might have broadened mine.

I understood exactly half of what the speaker, a former NASA advisor, was talking about.

Here’s the main thing I learned:

The “I’m smarter than the Big Bang Theory” dude showed us the pictures below.

Scroll down a bit.

You’ll see what I’m talking about.

The earth seems big compared to a few planets.

Look at the first picture below.

I knew we were big stuff, right?

After all, we are the earth.

Hello!

Scroll down a bit more.

We got a little smaller didn’t we?

Now scroll down some more.

That’s the Earth compared to the sun.

And folks, it only gets worse from there.

 

 

 

Planets for dinner

Remember, the story “Horton Hears a Who”?

At this point, I felt like yelling: “WE ARE HERE!! WE ARE HERE!!”

Maybe that would not have been quite appropriate in a room full of people.

I resisted the urge.

Sometimes I think I’m big stuff.

I compare myself to a few other people.

I don’t look too bad at all.

After all, I don’t have that habit.

I don’t do those things.

I can’t compare myself to others.

It’s just not fair.

It’s like the Earth compared to a few other planets.

It’s not the full picture.

To get that I have to go to the One who created the universe.

Now considering He is even bigger than anything He created, I would say He is big stuff.

I can’t get over it, really.

The universe is so big and we haven’t even discovered all of it yet.

We can’t wrap our minds around it.

God is even bigger.

Yet how small do I make Him?

How big do I make myself?

Do my problems seem bigger than Him?

Should they?

Kinda reminds me of David when he spoke these words in Psalm 8:

“3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

Why God would care for itty, bitty me on this tiny little planet?

I have no idea.

I will tell you this.

I am thankful.

I am thankful for my big God.

I am thankful for his big love because it sure means a lot in my little universe.

“He must increase. I must decrease.”- John the Baptist

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Is it the real thing? What would you do with 30 Million Dollars?

 

 

I stood across from 30 million dollars this weekend.

Yep, that’s right…thirty...milliondollars.

Do you know what I could do with 30 million dollars?

It would probably involve a maid, a chef, unlimited massages, and a private jet.

 

I bet you know what you could do with it, too.

I could not believe I was standing across from real money!

All I wanted to say was” get out of that case and get into my purse please!”  

 

My family and I went to the money museum in Kansas City.

It was amazing to see all that money.

Seriously, where else can you stand across from millions of dollars?

 

Know what amazed me even more?

The people who worked with that money.

I can’t even imagine the temptation involved!
Part of the examiners’ training includes identifying counterfeits.

 

How do they train?

They spend time with the money.

LOTS of time.

They spend hours upon hours in a room studying a real bill, so they can quickly see the difference as they go through so much money everyday.

I can’t remember how much money they examine each day, but I do know that they find four to five counterfeits.

It must be like looking for a needle in a haystack for the untrained eye.

For the trained eye, the fake is obvious.
Lies are thrown at me everyday that look exactly like truth.

They come from friends, media, social media, co-workers, family and even my own mind.

They look so real.

How do I keep from buying into them?

I spend time with the real thing.

I train my spiritual eye.

I want to see that needle!

Diabetics often have their feet checked because if they step on something, they may not notice.

If  their feet go unchecked they could have something embedded in their foot that results  in a life threatening infection.

That’s why I can’t go lots of days without spending time with God.

When I pray, read his word, and spend time with Godly friends, God pulls the stuff out that is embedded in my mind.

He shows it to me.

He quickly stops an infection that begins in my mind, but could spread to every area of my life.

That’s why I check in regularly with God.

I soak myself in His word.

I think on it all day.

You know the difference between the word “WORD” and the word “WORLD”?

Can you find it?

One little letter.

Just one little harmless letter.

It is the letter “L”.

“L” stands for lies.

 

There are no lies in God’s word.

It contains only truth.

 

One tiny little thing that sounds right can be a complete lie.

Want to test this.

Look for “God helps those who help themselves” in the bible.

 

Maybe I should stay away from all that day dreaming about 30 million dollars.

After all  “Money is the root of all evil”.

The bible does say that, right?

 

 

 

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Finding Easter

My family and I were sitting around the table after enjoying our Easter meal together.

My parents were visiting from out of town.

The kids were in the backyard jumping on the trampoline.

Suddenly, we heard a noise.

“She started it!”, my son burst through the door to defend himself.

We all laughed.

My daughter had come inside a few moments before to get a drink.

She had not said a word about her brother.

He was ready to defend himself when he needed no defense.

It’s easy to get a little overly defensive when we have a guilty conscience, isn’t it?

We know we are to blame.

But who really wants to fess up?

 

When Eve took the fruit from the tree and ate it,

Did she run to God and say, “Hey, I really messed up.” ?

Nope.

There was a lot of pointing of fingers that day.

Trouble was no one was pointing it back at themselves.

God, said no.

Satan said, “Are you sure?”

Eve said, “Well, maybe it’s okay.

She rationalized her sin.

“Just this one time.”

“No one will notice.”

“God is holding out on me.”

“It will only affect me anyway.”

Truth is we started it.

A cycle of sin that breaks God’s heart.

A cycle that begins with broken relationships.

Broken families.

Broken hearts.

A broken world.

All in one moment.

That’s all it took.

That’s all it takes.

We started it, but thank goodness we didn’t finish it.

God sent his son to earth.

At his birth we found him wrapped in linens in a humble stable.

At his death we found him wrapped in linens in a tomb.

On the third day, we didn’t find Him at all.

That is the wonder of Easter my friends.

We picked the fight, but Jesus died to finish it.

He took on the school yard bully that we had picked a fight with, and He won.

Now, there is no power in earth or heaven that can separate us from the love of Christ.

Think of a reason why God can’t love you.

Think of a reason why he won’t accept you.

There is none.

Not one thing can make God go away.

Well, one thing can.

What is that one thing?

YOU.

You can choose not to invite Him in when he knocks on your door.

You can.

But, why would you?

Easter eggs hide.

That’s just what they do.

But, their true purpose is to be found and enjoyed by their creator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Encouragement for the Hurting Heart

You are special.

You are loved.

You are meant for more.

You really are.

I know you have heard it all before, but that doesn’t make it any less true!

 

There is a beautiful purpose for your life.

You were created with that purpose in mind.

It’s a great purpose.

One that fits you exactly.

I can’t fulfill your purpose.

Only you can.

 

Don’t compare yourself.

You are beyond comparison.

One of a kind.

 

You are like a puzzle piece.

Without you there is something missing.

You are needed.

This world is a better place when you give of yourself.

It suffers without your presence.

 

I have no idea what you have been through.

I do know that what you have been through doesn’t make you who you are.

You hold your story in your hands.

(photo courtesy of Huffington Post)

The book you hold isn’t complete.

You have a choice about who are you becoming.

Live the next chapter bravely.

Live it on purpose.

Live it with passion.

Make it the best one yet.

 

You are loved beyond words.

 

I am praying for you.

Yes, you, the one reading this.

The one who might be wondering if God really does love you.

The one who wonders if others would love you if they really knew you.

Get out of your head.

Stop over thinking it.

Quit caring what others think.

Get moving.

Take your puzzle piece and make it part of a beautiful picture.

 

Above all, do not give up!

Don’t let the bad stuff win.

You, my dear, were made for more!

 

Remember when you  feel discouraged that bad days do not equal a bad life.

You are blessed, even when you don’t feel blessed.

It’s okay not to be okay.

People around you don’t like fake anyway.

When you and I are real, that’s when healing happens.

Not just in your life, but in the lives around you.

Your pain has purpose, friend.

Don’t ignore it.

Sometimes the very best moments in life come when all you can do is throw your arms up in surrender.

God works on you, through you and in you when you open your life to Him.

 

 

 

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Camo: God’s Will for Me?

 

I parked my car and did one more makeup and hair check in the mirror.

I could not wait to meet my husband for lunch.

It had been a busy week, so we had scheduled a little time for just the two of us.

As I walked into the food court on the military post, I suddenly felt like I was staring at a

page in a “Where’s Waldo” book.

I could not find my husband aka “Waldo” anywhere.

I knew the food court would be busy today, but I had not anticipated looking

into the sea of camouflage that stood before me.

Soldiers….Everywhere.

My husband was dressed in camo, too!

How would find him?

I walked around the same way I do when I have misplaced my car

 in the parking lot.

I looked confident, but I was lost.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long before my husband saw my confusion and

 walked over to me.

“Over here!” he called. 

As he came closer, I recognized him by his walk.

A moment later his face became clear.

When he came into focus my confusion quickly ended.

Time to be with my partner and my friend, just the two of us lost in a sea of camouflage.

 

So many times I find myself lost in a sea of confusion.

Unsure what the  next move in my life should be.

I look around at so many options that seem right.

 

Which one is best? 

 

“God, is that you?” I find myself asking.

 

“What do you want next?”

 

“Where do we go from here?”

 

“Could you  just be a little more clear?”

 

“It’s me April.”

 

“Remember me?”

 

“Have you forgotten?”

 

“You don’t seem to be answering in a way I can understand.”

 

I’m getting frustrated!”

 

“WHERE ARE YOU, GOD?”

 

What do I do at a time like this?

 

I remember.

 

I remember His promises.

 

I remember how He has been faithful in the past.

 

I soak myself in His word.

 

I remember to remove myself from the crowd.

I may not always be able to do this physically in all situations, but I can do this mentally.

James 4: 8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

 

I remember that I was not created to wear camo.

Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be

 transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test

and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

 
 I Peter 1:14

 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when

 you lived in ignorance.

 

 I remember to seek Him before all others.

There are many wonderful people in this world.

People full of knowledge and wisdom.

The things they say may seem right.

They may even be right.

God certainly uses people and circumstances to point us to Him.

Never at any point people and circumstances be substitutes for time in His word and prayer.  

 Proverbs 3:5-7 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
 and lean not on your own understanding; 
 in all your ways submit to him, 
 and he will make your paths straight.

 

If you are following God today, you don’t have to worry about what His will will be tomorrow.

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Last

Chrysanthemum

Last.

It’s a position no one really wants to be in.

Were you ever last to be picked for the team?

Have you been stuck at the end of a long line at the store?

How do you feel when you are last?

I am the youngest child in my family.

My life was full of lasts.

Last to get to ride in the front seat.

Last to drive.

Last to be able to stay out late.

Last to graduate.

I remember saying more than once: “But my brother gets to do it! Why does he get to have all the fun?”

Yep, not much fun.

I lived most of my life at the “kiddie table” just waiting for my turn to join the “big kids”.

 

Yet, there is a time I always want to be last.

Can you guess what it is?

 

The last word.

I want it.

I want it badly.

When tempers flare or someone treats me unfairly, it has to be mine.

So many times, I will walk away and think of what I could have said.

“What a zinger!”, I think to myself.

“That would have really put them in their place!”

Why do the good comebacks seem to arrive so late?

Could it be that my “great comeback” would have pushed that person away?

Of course, that’s what I want to do at the time.

I want to push that person away.

I want to be right.

Funny thing about last words.

They last.

As a Christian, I can’t afford to operate the way the world does.

Pushing others away does not draw people closer to Christ.

My negative words plant a seed that can easily become roots of bitterness in others.

Long after I have forgotten what I said, others may be reaping the harvest of my bitterness.

What kind of harvest do I want others to reap because of my actions?

I have responsibility here.

My words, my thoughts, my actions, have temporary power.

I want to have the last word.

It’s not the kind of last word I think of right away when someone wounds me.

It’s not a snappy comeback.

It is the One who is coming back!

Jesus, the word made flesh.

God’s thoughts, his actions, his words have everlasting power.

Only He has power to save.

He is the first word.

He will be the last!

That brings me comfort.

He is the defense attorney.

I don’t have to keep defending myself.

Let that soak in.

I don’t have to keep defending myself.

I heard a friend tell her daughter recently, “Weed your own garden.”

Do I want a garden with thorns and vines that tangle and injure or one of beauty that invites others to enjoy and relax?

The choice is mine.

It’s yours, too.

God,

Please teach me what to say and when to say it today. I need your help.

Amen

 

 

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The Wall

The Magnificent Moms series begins tomorrow!!
To kick off this series, I thought I would re-post this in my blog. I hope you enjoy it.
Tomorrow’s guest blogger, Betsi Smith, will be blogging about “The Stepmother Dilemma”.
Be sure to join us!
One day I was having a tough time with my particularly strong willed child.
This letter was the result of a talk I had with my daughter.
Dear precious child,
There are a few things I want you always to remember:
 You are my child. 
 I am your wall.
Walls stand firm.
Walls don’t move.
I stand firm in my love for you.
My love for you won’t “move” either.
It doesn’t shift based on your behavior.
I will never, ever stop loving you.
Remember that.
Let those words never leave your heart.
I… will… never… stop… loving… you.
Walls are boundaries that define the space in which a person may live.
Because I am your parent I will define the boundaries in which you may live.
As you get older I will help you create healthy boundaries for yourself.
But for now you will have to trust me.
I have your best interests at heart, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
When you run into a wall, it hurts doesn’t it?
It will hurt when you when you decide to break the boundaries I have set for you.
This is called discipline. 
Walls protect.
They keep you dry when its wet.
Warm when its cold.
They keep you safe from storms.
That’s my job, too. 
My child, you live in a world that shows too many things too quickly to your innocent eyes.
I promise to protect you from growing up too fast.
You are a child.
Have fun!
Enjoy your innocence.
Once you lose that, it can not be regained.
It’s a precious gift.
I promise to do my best to protect you from things you are not yet ready for. 
I promise to let you try new things and make mistakes.
That’s what life is about.
Just know, precious child, that you are welcome and cherished here.
These walls are your home.
Parents, what is the main thing you would want your kids to know if you wrote a letter to them?
If you could write a letter to a parent what would you want them to know?
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Faithful in the Fall

Image
The kids were excited.
We had just piled into the car for a surprise.
It wasn’t long until we opened our mini-van door in the roller rink parking lot and got out.
Once inside the kids quickly got their skates on.
After several minutes on the rink, my son’s enthusiasm began to fade just a bit.
He had fallen more than a few times and was ready to give up.
He realized falling just hurt too much, so he resigned himself to skate on the carpet just beside the rink.
I skated over to him and tried to get him to come on the rink with me. He wouldn’t budge. “The carpet hurts less Mom, let’s skate here.”, he said. 
I skated on the carpet with him because sometimes it is just good to meet people where they are at.
Soon we were racing in our little carpeted world.
We even danced a little.
Things were going great.
Then I decided to take him on the rink for a moment.
He followed me with caution.
His feet slowly moved out onto the rink.
His eyes suddenly widened. every ounce of courage he had mustered up dissipated.
He turned to leave the rink.
His legs began to spread out under him.
He fell sideways and hit his ear on the corner of the brick barrier that stood between the rink and the carpet.
I took him to sit on a nearby bench.
He looked at me with an “I’m never skating again” grimace on his face.
I looked at him with eyes that knew.
I know what it is like to muster up my courage.
I know what it is like to bravely step out on shaky legs and I know what is to fail.
I sat with him for a moment because at times like these, it is best to remain silent.
In my silent state, something hit my heart.
“This boy needs to practice falling.”, I thought.
As I stood up, I began to fake fall in my best slap stick style.
I stumbled all over the place.
Soon, Daniel and I were laughing so hard that his ear became a distant memory.
Each time I fell, I included a little pointer on how to fall so it didn’t hurt quite so much.
Soon he was skating again, not nearly as afraid as he was before.
He had learned how to fall.
Maybe I need to practice the art of falling, too.
If I expect that at times I will fall, maybe I can do it with a little more grace. Maybe I can even give a little more grace to others when they fall. 
In what area could you use a little bravery?
What have you learned from failure?
Please feel free to share. You might just encourage someone today.
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