Date Your Spouse Frequently

I have been thinking lately about how our society, friends, and even our own selves can emphasize a big dating event…

Working with children and families, I had a dad excitedly respond to a question of mine if he takes his daughter out on dates and he answered, “Yes, once a year! I take her to the Daddy and daughter date.” My heart sank.

He was serious. I was seriously sad.

Do I stop and walk away with my head hanging? Ever? No…

My friends. I usually choose to fight and encourage with my words. I choose to speak life! So, I am doing that today…

Husbands and wives: marriage is a gift. Marriage is a union that two fallen human beings get to display a love and service to God–draw others to the Cross. Marriage is hard–we have to fight for it. We need to fight for our family and spouse stronger than any other relationship. Too often we fight for the wrong relationships.

Well, speech out of the way. Let me offer ways to date your spouse with limited time and money–I speak from experience. I work part-time, am involved in ministries, and have my wonderful hubby to love on and three baby girls to nurture and train and teach. Yes, just a little busy. Things my husband and I do to keep our friendship and love alive:

  1. Game night–pick three games, vote for one and play it… play that one a couple of times or play all three: time allowing
  2. Show night–we decide on a show or two to watch together
  3. Work near each other night… we’ll actually do something we both want to do but near one another
  4. Plan, save and set a date night… actually have a date night once a month.
  5. Talk often (connect right at the door or upon entry home)–communicate. Give and get info and make heart connection.

Fight for one another–love on one another and water your “grass”… make it beautiful!

Cultivating Thankfulness In The Moment

People who are thankful and grateful are pleasant–fragrance arising!

Are you ever offended when someone is kind and grateful and recognizes what they have been given? I hope you answered a big loud “NO!” Truly, grateful people are sweet. I want to being a series of gratitutde as we went into the Thanksgiving season.

Through a series of circumstances and a bit of digging into the Holy Bible, I found that a life of thanksgiving is vital for the Christian. I found that when I dwell on what God has done for me hour by hour to day by day, I can’t stop! When I go a day without physically writing down something God has done for me, I feel off. I enjoy writing. I enjoy penning blessings into my journal.

After reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I was challenged to have a gratitude journal and aimed to pen 1,000 gifts. I can share that it took about a year (perhaps a little more) and now, I cannot stop!

This season, as the weather cools and the leaves change, will you begin to quiet your heart and listen and search for those things today which are gifts? I think of the five senses, mobility, and breath–without breath, I would not be alive, without senses I would not be able to experience well the world and I am ever so grateful to be able to walk, run, skip or dance. After all, I am a young mom and care of a home of five. I am so grateful. How about you?

What can you begin to list today? Might I challenge you to keep a journal this fall. Check back in with me and we’ll go a little further and pick up on some Scripture to cultivate the heart of a blessed life.

 

 

Watch out for… the ants!

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. (Proverbs 13:20 NLT)

Anyone allergic to insect bites? I am talking about blisters and swelling but without the shock and hospitalization. We went to the park for an evening playtime and immediately this tired mama went to sit on a nice flat surface and started unpacking the beloved snack bag. My husband, my dear husband–wise and kind, alerted me to the row of ants I was near. I am so glad he warned me! You know: I got bit about two weeks ago and those bugs got me two areas on my feet and they were PAINFUL. Boy, am I ever thankful for my husband who watches out for me. I ask God to surround me with wise people to warn me and keep me out of danger–most of all, I ask that I would be sensitive to his leading.

So today I avoid painful, blistering ant bites. I have also avoided doing the whole “rage” and dragon mama. I came home with so little time for anything around the house and asked for God’s power to do what He wanted to do… we can check off dinner, playtime, and kisses and hugs off the list. No yelling or regretful words–thank you, Lord.

Reflect: is there an area in your life that you could use “alerts” and “warnings”? I urge you to find wise and caring friends. Listen to your spouse (if you are married). Call on God (if you believe that Jesus is Lord). I believe it for you today: He cares for you, God wants Freedom, Fullness, and Fruitfulness in your life.

 

Friday, July 22nd

This one is for you mamas out there in internet land…
Young moms. Older Moms. Mama!
Moms with infants, toddlers, elementary kiddos, pre-teens and teenagers…

(other moms are included… I just felt heavily for the ones with kids in the home and doing the day-to-day…)

It’s the evening… it’s bedtime… time for some quiet…do you ever question “Am I mom enough?” or “Am I doing it right?” or “Did today go well?”
I want to encourage you with words which I have been encouraged.

Recently, I started asking those questions and more; however, I directed them to God. In Him I find my self-worth, value, and purpose. I find strength and joy. Wanna know what God says about you and me, moms?
**He says, “You are mom enough because I strengthen you.”
He says:
I am proud of you.
Great job, today!
Keep your head up and your eyes fixed on me.
Look to me for strength.
Let my Words dwell richly in you.
Let your light shine.
Do it all without grumbling. Let that gentleness show…

I am so grateful.
For the days where I feel like “What is all this for?” or “Will it ever end?” or just the grumbling/complaining rears its ugly head… I WRESTLE IT DOWN… 2 Cor 10… I wrestle those thoughts and take them captive to Christ Jesus… and he says… I keep 1-T-5 (1st Thes. 5) to rejoice always, be thankful in every circumstance, and prayer about everything…

I am reminded in the Word of God, the Bible:
Sorrow may last for the night but joy comes in the morning.
He says to remember all He’s done.
He says that His Grace is sufficient for me and in my weakness, His power is made perfect.
He says that He is the Good Father… I can trust Him.

I am so grateful.
I am grateful all I do doesn’t all depend on me–it all depends on Him. Ephesians 2: all my “good”, God has prepared for me in advance and what? I am HIS WORKMANSHIP… I am a masterpiece, baby!! That means for you: you’re a gem! You’re awesome, you are HIS WORKMANSHIP, a masterpiece, mama!! You and me?? We can depend on Him. Thank you, Jesus! *It doesn’t depend on us (we do our best–and believe me, I try! Cols 3:23-24– and ask for His leading) but we need to depend on Him. It’s the only way!

Would you take a moment to do that? God is able to create the world by speaking into being. He can lift your weary soul tonight.

Thinking of you, mama and saying a prayer for you. You can say a prayer for me, too!

Doing the good things together,
Sudea

Maximizing Feeding Times

Do you feel like you get all bothered and frustrated when it comes times to feed your children?

Again? Are you serious?! I just fed you. You’re not hungry! Just eat it! Why me?

 

Feeding your child(ren) doesn’t have to get you down anymore! Let me help…

I have hope for you. I can help you. Only read further if you think you want to take the step forward.

First, you’re going to have to change your attitude. Yes, I did just go there. I want the best for you! Did you know that all that we do: action/reaction is mostly how we choose to face it–attitude!

So, with that out of the way. I will help usher you in the doors of “better feed times” whether that’s making the food, spoon feeding, bottle feeding or nursing or all of that staggered or all at once.  I want you to think–what if this ALL went away… no kid, no husband! Seriously… you’re going to have to move from grumbling and complaining to gratitude. Choose to be thankful… you GET to feed your child(ren). You get to provide! What a blessing. Think of the trouble some families (they could be living next to you or they could be the ones you saw at the park earlier) have trouble even buying food due to financial hardship. My friend, you have to get yourself out of the grumbling crowd and into the grateful crowd. Do it! Move yourself, excuse yourself, or flee from the grumblers and glad join the grateful ones. You’ll notice your attitude changes… why? You’ll realize that you have a lot of be thankful for and feedings won’t be so annoying. You’re not going to be peppy all the time but you’re sure to be “happy to do it” more than before.

Former thoughts that went through my head during past feeding times:

  1. Man, this is feeding #…
  2. I made all that food and it’s already gone…
  3. Why do they eat so much…
  4. Wow, they eat a lot…
  5. I am going to be stuck in this bed for years…

What they are now…

  1. I am going to thank God that I get to nurse my baby…
  2. I am glad my girls eat (and I got a few bites)…
  3. I am thankful we have enough $ and enough food (God provides work and $ and food)…
  4. I don’t need to hassle my girls to eat
  5. This is not going to last forever…

Moms, the work you do is hard. The work you do is incredible. We do hard things and a lot of it and for a long time but you’re seen! You are appreciated and loved. This mama knows the work you do! I do it, too. I have my three girls and I get to serve right along side of you. Cheering you on! Drop me a comment. ‘Love to hear from you.

 

Half-New-Years Resolution 2016

Goals. Dreams. Plans. Ideas. Pins… We all have it. If you’re breathing and alive, you’re probably thinking of such things. I have been thinking about what I have been resolving to do, think, and be… since June 1st. Along with creating new resolutions, I have been thinking on how the year has gone. A few things that have played in my mind is I remember hearing people talk about “not resolutions but revolutions” or not “resolutions but to make a plan or resolve…”

Before I share what goals I have for the last half of the year, let’s look at how I’d highlight this first half of 2016.

January 1st to June 1st:

  • Completed Bible Study Fellowship study of Revelations–Ah-maz-ING!
  • Overcame my anger and fears–no more just getting mad about things but mourning, praying, planning, etc
  • Read a series of books… –learn my best “yes.”
  • Discovered “best yes” practices and have felt so free–I have been sat down before to say “no” to things… I have a “yes” condition. I love saying yes and helping and doing and doing and doing some more. I am no longer a slave to people pleasing.
  • Homemaking and part-time work plus ministries in a good balance–I have a routine/rhythm of taking care of my family and friends and church. I am feeling good!
  • Spent time daily and created a rhythm of quiet time with God (mornings) and a re-charge moment in the afternoon–I have been enjoying my kids even more (if that’s possible) and able to connect with God throughout the day. So awesome… just sayin’!
  • I started getting active–tried out FitnessBlender via my sister, worked out one week… yes, only a week but I did it! I have been walking more and getting out and about. I am not afraid to work little by little on my body.

Summary: What a great first half! Bring on the next half! 🙂

So the plans for the other half of this year… to make BEST YESes (shoutout to “The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” by Lysa TerKeurst. mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically:

  • Exercise–do some walking and running and jogging. Check out some FitnessBlender videos
  • Daily morning and afternoon connect and recharge–meet with God, be full so I can say my cup runneth over…
  • Be an awesome homemaker–I consider myself pretty decent now… just need to work on the enjoyment and delight and honor to serve. I’d say continue to seek the Lord on how he’d have me go about each day… little by little.  To say no to being out of my home (when it takes me out too many hours of the day…) so I can focus on little cleaning/tidying/organizing projects. Beautify and keep peace in my home.
  • Take the break from ministry for the summer–write in the margins and recharge in the Lord to build passion for God and his peoples. Pick it back up and go strong!
  • Go on more dates–yup, I am writing it down and putting out into webberspaceness… We are going to go on more dates, Clay and I. Aiming for twice a month–is that too much? I am going for two a month–CONFIDENCE, I say.

Anyone out there reviewed or reviewing their first half of the year? How would you rate it? What would you highlight? Think on the things that are good, pure, right, and noble… it will encourage you and build up your joy.

Blessings to you, friend.

 

Mom, You’re An All-Time Producer

*A blessing to moms: You’re seen, you’re loved, you’re cherished. Most of all: You’re a child of the King. Make it a goal to be about God and His Kingdom. Live, Love, and Serve (serve out of your riches!) Our first is always Jesus; remember that your circle of influence starts with your home and to clarify that would be husband, first, and children, second. Live out your faith there.
*Moms, you’re the Greatest “Producer”… you set the stage in your home and attitude, you make the calls and cuts. You know what fits and what doesn’t… In your life and in your home you set the scene: props, actors, music, and you are concerned about the aesthetics. You’re making a beautiful movie each day. May it be unto the Lord–your audience of one. Don’t do the dishes, laundry, or any other service FOR the kids or husband BUT use it as an act of praise and worship.
*Ladies, would you pray? Would you be women who talk TO God… who talk ABOUT God? Ladies, share today with a friend what God has done for you. Be, what I call, “One T Five” ladies (one T five is how I remember 1st Thessalonians 5:18)… In everything gives thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus [paraphrased].

–originally posted on Facebook but I want to share with anyone who may need this encouragement.