What Was Your Biggest Problem Today?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my problems or rather the lack thereof. It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the USA so I usually make it a point with my kiddos to teach gratitude. We’ve been dealing a lot with our daughter who really thinks the world revolves around her. The most recent debacle was because she wants to buy a computer now. Keep in mind we have two computers in our house and she, personally, owns an iPad and an iPod. Dad and I were just trying to probe her to think of wiser things she could spend her money on. We tried explaining how some other children live in the world. In the middle of this conversation she whiningly asked,”When are we going to the mall again?”If you have any ideas to teach her about the important things in life PLEASE comment!

Sunday, my pastor, Duane VanderKlok, said “If your car sleeps in its own house at night, you are rich.” (You can watch the sermon here if you’re interested.) I guess that just hit me. Some of the things that we take for granted here could change someone’s life elsewhere. Did you know that if your annual household income exceeds $10,000 you are wealthier than 84% of the world? And if it is over $50,000 you make more than 99% of the world! This is almost unfathomable to me.

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So today when the kids got off the bus, out of curiosity, I asked them what the biggest problem in their life was today. Here’s their responses along with their ages:

  • “Listening to directions from my teacher.” ~Kayla (6)
  • “Cole S_______!” (A boy teasing her.) ~Alyssa (9)
  • “I didn’t get to play reball as long as I wanted on my field trip.” ~Madison (12)
  • “Other kids throwing snowballs at me this morning.” ~Sophia (6)
  • “School.” ~Noah (6)
  • “I left my snow pants on the bus.” ~Malachi (9)
  • “I got hit in the eye playing dodge ball.” ~Elijah (10)
  • “Getting woke up in the mornings and waiting in the cold for the bus.” ~Hailey (10)
  • “Nothing. It was all easy.” ~Brayden (8)

I also asked my husband, Nick, who said, “Annoying people at work and working overtime but getting paid for straight time.” Then, I thought about mine. My biggest problem right now is how broken out my face is from this awful new makeup I ordered. Zits everywhere! I tried that Younique makeup and I hate it! I will be going back to Este Lauder as soon as my face heals. Ugh! I know, when put into perspective it all sounds so vein or simple. I found this incredible website that puts this into perspective. It’s called The Global Rich List. Just click that link and punch in your income and it will snap you back to reality really quick! I love this site.

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Most people in the world have much bigger problems such as not having money. Most of the world lives on less than $1 a day! Can you even imagine that? A vast majority worry about finding water to drink and if it will kill them if they do drink it. Believe it or not, there are places where water doesn’t come out of the kitchen sink. There are actually 1.6 billion people in the world who have no idea what electricity is. Agriculture is an issue since half the population of all developing nations rely on farming for two meals a day and their livelihood. Could you imagine your survival depending on how well your garden does each day? HIV/AIDS and other diseases and lack of access to health care. Eleven million children die each year from preventable illnesses like malaria, the flu, phnemonia, or diarrhea. War is prevalent in many countries. Hunger since 870 million people have no food to eat. Child labor is very common among developing nations. Kids can’t go to school because they have to work to support their families to survive. Pollution is huge! We don’t see it but in a lot of places kids literally dig through trash dumps to find anything valuable so that they can trade it for food. Hmmmm where does our trash go?

I think about questions like this all the time and I also teach my children about real world issues. I read a lot so I am always learning about these things but I also absolutely love documentaries. I have a list of suggestions for parents to show to your kids to make them think. I also have a list that’s relevant to this article specifically. I will include those at the bottom of the page. Most of these are right on Netflix or You Tube. I have only included those that I have personally watched. Depending on the age of your children you may have to show them bits and pieces since we all know how kids attention spans are. Also, you’ll want to view it first to make sure it’s appropriate for your child. I am constantly using documentaries to open my kid’s eyes to things they wouldn’t otherwise think about. It helps them to be empathetic and to also express gratitude for everyday things like the dinner you just spent an hour preparing, mom. It’s so nice to hear “Thank you, mommy.” isn’t it? I’m definitely not bragging but my kids say thank you all the time and it does make me very proud.

So as you’re sitting in your comfy spot reading this on your phone or iPad, I ask you- what was your biggest problem today? Take a minute to think about all of the things you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!

Documentaries About Real World Problems:

Documentaries to Inspire Your Kids to Think Outside Themselves:

Follow Your Dreams and Ignore Scrutiny

 

I just had my 29th birthday. Again. In light of the big event I guess I’ve been thinking a lot about my accomplishments in life or the lack thereof. I started to think about all of the things I dream of doing and all of the desires in my heart. I want to learn to fly airplanes. I want to really do something to impact humanity in a positive way. I want to travel the world. I want to work in an orphanage in Africa.  I wan to backpack through the mountains (again). I want to publish a book. I want to motivate others to be the best versions of themselves. I want my children to obtain all that God has planned for them too.

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Then, I started to think about the things that I feel most proud of in my life. Ironically, these are the same things that the most important people in my life look down on me for. Why is it that our family is often the most draining? Why do they hurt us the most and not believe in us? I am almost certain that it’s not intentional. Nonetheless, it hurts. I’m a grown woman and I still want my parents to be proud of me. I think everyone does. Yet, the things they are most proud of are the things that bore me the most. I have somehow conformed to this mundane life of mediocrity in order to keep everyone around me “proud”. Or are they? Or do they only voice their opinions of distaste and never their feelings of fondness?

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Did you know that Jesus was discouraged by his own family? The greatest man on Earth with the biggest purpose of all said “A prophet is not without honor except for in his hometown and in his own household.”( Matthew 13:57) He also said his own brothers didn’t believe him. (John 7:4-6) He even went so far to ignore his family when they tried to talk to him while He was teaching. (Matthew 12:26-50)  I know that the plan for Jesus’ life was ordained by God. He had a purpose that was bigger than everything else. So I’m wondering, did God place these desires in my heart? If He did then He will help me walk them out right? Philippians 2:13 says that God does plant those desires within us. He also says in Psalms 37:4 that if we delight ourselves in Him He will give us the desires of our heart. So my desires inside can be devised by me but are ordained by Him and He will help me to fulfill them. (Proverbs 16:9)

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself that I should just give up so I quit making mistakes. That way everyone can be proud of me and I can fit in with everyone around me living out the “american dream”. I was reminded of a quote I heard once and I’m not sure who said it but it was something to the effect of “It is easier to pull someone down the stairs than to drag someone up.” Sometimes, I think, because people don’t dream or think or strive to do more with their lives they can’t understand why you want to either. Jim Rohn said, ” You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I believe there is a lot of truth in this. The Bible backs it up too. Proverbs 27:17 tells us “as iron sharpens iron one person sharpens another. But it can go the other way too according to 1 Corinthians 15:33 which says, “bad company corrupts good character”.

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So my dreams and desires matter because they are ordained by God. The people I  spend my time with matters because they will influence my ability to either grow of shrink. I also thought it was important to remind myself that dreams and desires aren’t fulfilled overnight. Joseph had to wait 15 years, Abraham 25, Moses 40, and Jesus 30 in order to walk out the purpose for their lives. Just because it’s not happening right now doesn’t mean there isn’t a plan for what is happening. As I was reflecting on these thoughts, my kids called me to the window to check out the amazing rainbow which an absolutely perfect reminder of his promises. Thank you, God. Selah.

 

More Resources for encouragement:

  1. Quotes from Rich Dad Poor Dad
  2. 19 Reasons to Ignore Everyone and Follow Your Dreams
  3. People Around You Effect Your Success
  4. Deciding Who Deserves Your Time
  5. Quotes to Motivate Growth

Can a Racist Be a Christian?

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Someone said yesterday “Can a racist be a Christian?” My initial response was yes. Yes, because we all fall short of the glory of God and we are all flawed. As I continued to meditate on this topic I have discovered many things in which I feel empowered to share. I know some of my statements will be cause for much controversy but know that these are my opinions and you are also entitled to yours.

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The reason that this topic resonates so deeply within me is because of this. There are my children. Malachi and Noah are my heart living outside of my body. My reason for living. My pride and joy. They are two amazing, empathetic, giving, loving boys. They are also black. Well, half black but what’s the difference because to everyone else they are black. I grew up in a small community where racism is pretty much the norm. So is Catholicism. I knew from deep within, at a young age, that there was something flawed in the views of those around me. I just didn’t know how or why and I certainly would have never said that these people whom I loved so dearly, who influenced my life from birth, and impacted my paradigm forever could not be Christians. God says we are not to judge and that we will be judged to the degree in which we judge others. Click to see the verse here.

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There are over one billion people in the world who believe the Catholic church will save them. They also believe they are Christians. Most of them don’t understand the consequences of praying to Mary and all of the saints. As opposed to praying to God in Jesus’ name. Most believe they can go to a confessional and be forgiven by another man with 15 Hail Mary’s. Also, most of them are good people who have basically been deceived. Still, because of their blind faith placed in the wrong place, scripture says they cannot enter the kingdom of God. The pope said that “A personal relationship with Jesus is dangerous.” This is completely contrary to what the word says. Yet, Catholics have been deceived and truly don’t know it.

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What are the chances for a person who is racist, and holds prejudice views against others, breeding hate? This is the opposite of love. A racist person’s views conflict with so many teachings of Christianity. For a moment, imagine yourself in the shoes of a black person. You are the same exact person inside but your skin color changed. You are in a racist society. I’s probably the worse scenario one could endure: hate, fear, injustice. You are only seen for how you look instead of for the person you are. Thank God for those who have embraced all people as equal.

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Just think, The United States was founded on “Christians” who, as a mass majority, embraced slavery. Racism is more than a sin. It is a way of life. It is a mental illness based on hate. The 2nd greatest commandment is to love thy neighbor as thyself. The 2nd commandment by God! The creator of the universe and ALL people. Can a racist (black, white, or other) ever accomplish this? Could they be Christian, a believer, or be saved? The KKK claims Christianity. Are they Christians?

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Phil Robertson, from the show Duck Dynasty, which made rating history as the most watched show on television ever, constantly quotes scripture and claims Christianity. He has endless followers who follow his philosophies and enjoy his show. Phil considers himself a devout Christian yet he claims black people were happier before the Civil Rights Movement. Read the story here. Isn’t it amazing to think about how many loved this popular Christian show?

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Barbara Bush was a Christian right? Did you ever take the time to find out where she came from? Her father was Aleister Crowley, who was the closest human to the devil himself. Self acclaimed, “Beast 666”. All I keep thinking is how in the world did we allow this blood line to lead our country? Not once but twice! The media would have an absolute field day if that were Michelle Obama’s father. But, like so many other things in our government, it was so conveniently kept quiet.

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My point is, as a society, we have a perverted idea of what a Christian is. Satan has been extremely busy deception the minds of people. So we have to be very close in our personal relationship with Christ or we too could be easily lead down a wrong path, believing we’re Christians. Then thinking innocently that just because we didn’t know everything we will be ok. We can justify our ignorance. The Bible says very few will enter the kingdom of God. If few enter, then there’s many more than quite a few who will not. Should you choose to embrace racism/hate towards others, when it is so clearly Jesus’ number one teaching, then you are choosing a path contradictory to Christianity. Racists cannot be Christians.

This is the perfect video to sum it up! Please take 5 minutes to watch. Click here to view Diet Racism

Thanks for reading. 

 

 

Sleeping is a Dream, Waking a Nightmare

I haven’t been sleeping good. I stare at the ceiling wondering where I went wrong. It seems like a series of bad decisions that make up my life. When I sleep at least I can dream because waking feels more like a nightmare. I can dream when I’m asleep about the desires God’s placed into my heart. I want to learn to fly airplanes. I want to do mission work in Africa. I wan tot help people. I want to travel everywhere. I want to love deeply. The kind you feel and are so passionate about that it consumes every part of my being.

I have felt this love before. It’s the kind that is a connection on such a deeper level than day to day living. I’m talking about spiritual, mental, physical… a bond felt over miles and a feeling like something is missing when you’re apart. You can feel each others thoughts by looking into their eyes. You enjoy the same games and movies and pass times. The conversation can go on for hours and it’s so invigorating that it energizes you like caffeine. The passion runs deep. It consumes you and fulfills you. Something untouchable to anyone but the two of you. His touch awakens your soul. Leaves you wanting more no matter how many times you feel it. Together, you make one another stronger. You can defeat this war in life. Just the two of you. You get their jokes even if no one else is laughing. You are genuinely interested in their hopes, dreams, and desires. But this love- this love ended. And life went on and without this love I feel dead inside. I have God but God can’t touch me. God can’t hold me. God can’t audibly speak back.

A waking nightmare is when I look back and wonder where I went wrong because there’s no passion. There’s no hope. My dreams have been crushed. This love I’m living is real. It’s there every day. But this love doesn’t know me. I am screaming inside to be understood and respected and encouraged to strive for greatness. I am not. I am pulled down. I cannot be me. I am stupid for wanting these desires so deep within. To him, I am a failure. I am worthless. I am supposed to be a mom and that’s it.

So I pray. I want more from this life. I know Christ didn’t pace any of these longings inside of me to watch me squirm because I can never reach them. He placed them inside of me because when I walk in them I am in my element. I am me. I am refreshed and alive and I can’t stop smiling because I am living my dreams. I am walking toward my visions. I am a better me so I can help others be better too. God uses us. He turns our pain into power. Gives us beauty for ashes. The struggles that we face we can use to help others who face those same struggles and maybe help them to make better decisions in the midst of them so that the outcome isn’t their nightmare. I want to use mine. I want to reach out. I want to get my story out there so that I can touch someone with what I’ve been through. But I am dead. Where I am right now I cannot help anyone because I’m not allowed to grow. I’m not allowed to even be me. Is this what He wants for me? God, I mean. Or did I make a decision that wasn’t in alignment with His will?

I just don’t know. What I know is I feel like a caged bird. I know he’ll use me where I’m at if I honor him. Today, for example, I was teaching 5th grade. A boy passed me a note saying that he didn’t want to live and no one liked him and he was different so he just wanted to die. He also would not talk to anyone but me. I know prayer isn’t allowed in public school but I prayed over him. As I did, his tears slowly stopped streaming down his face and he began to smile. I know that was my job. I know I was there for a reason. I knew how to handle that because I have been there. I told him that. I also told him to not be afraid of being different. I said everyone is made for a purpose and he is going to do something great with his life. I said if you were a goldfish but you lived in the forest and everyone expected you to fly like an eagle could you? He said no. I said that’s because if ur a fish  you’re meant to swim in the sea. That eagle couldn’t swim either. But you, you could swim so fast! I’m thankful that I was there today. But I guess it’s got me wondering why I am in the sea? I am meant to fly. I am meant to soar so all of the things and people that can’t see why it’s because they’re not me. They’re different. They’re content in their niche. I am not. If I don’t do something I am no good to anyone. I can be a great Betty Homemaker but it’s not my niche. I need to find where I belong.

Woes of a Lonely Step Mom

I guess I never really knew much about step parenting except for what I saw on Cinderella and The Step Mom. I never thought I’d be a step mom. But then I guess there’s not a soul who does. You see, I had plans. My ex husband and I were going to have our kids and then I always had it on my heart to adopt a little girl. There’s so many beautiful children in the foster care system that really need a loving home. But then life happened. Noah was only a year old when my divorce was finalized. My ex had abused him and cheated on me repeatedly. He even had another child …with someone else. So I struggled with everything eery Christian going through divorce does. Can God forgive me for this? Am I allowed to be with someone else? I know it’s acceptable because of infidelity but only because of “hardness of heart” so what if I could get over it. Then my situation was slightly different because with him having hurt Noah the courts were involved. CPS said that I must divorce him or lose my kids and I thought that my kids don’t have anyone else. My ex is a grown up and he will survive. And it wasn’t a decision that was hard because in this broken world we live in I had no choice. Despite how much I loved my ex and the fact that I’m still to this day uncertain if it was an accident or not, our lives together had to stop there. Our family was torn apart.

That is when I grew closer to God than I had ever been. I was alone. Again. Suddenly a single mom. Again. I just felt like my world was ripped apart. I didn’t even really get to say goodbye to my husband. There I was. Just me, two beautiful baby boys, God, and a lot of healing to do. I did heal. I forgave. My kids were totally fine. My faith got stronger than ever. I didn’t really have an interest in dating. I met my husband at church. Turned out, he went to my high school and grew up one street over from where I grew up. We dated 3 years. He has two beautiful children as well. We got married last year. We are now a blended family of six: Nick, myself, Hailey (10), Malachi (9), Brayden (8), and Noah (6).

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I had visions of being a “real” family when we got married. He would be dad to my kids, I would love his kids and be the best extra mom I could be, our families would do holidays together… everything would be complete. Yeah, well, lets just say that a blended family is definitely not how God intended for things to be. Ours has a bit of extra drama than your “normal” blended family for a couple of reasons. One being that my boys are mixed and his family is racist. They won’t even step foot into our house because of my black boys. They never even gave me a chance. I made peace with that. Their loss right? But it hurts. Like hell. Another is what I will call the “ex factor”. I don’t want to judge anyone. I especially can empathize with how difficult it must be to have another woman in the picture spending time with your kids. But to put it politely, it’s a nightmare.

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As much as I’d love to get into specifics so that all my readers can completely understand what I’m dealing with, that would defeat everything I’m striving for with peace in my daily life. What I do want to do is say what I wish she’d understand from my point of view.

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I love my kids. All of them. I truly want what’s best for them. I believe I have given them a lot of opportunities they otherwise would not have been given. I will fight for what is their in their best interest because that’s what good parents do. I have spent hours dealing with issues I’d prefer to not touch. I read with them, bathe them, feed them, teach them many things. I am raising them. For about 3 years I was the primary parent in the picture even though I’m not the biological parent. I tuck them into bed every night I have them. I tell them I love them every morning that I get them on the bus. I have spent endless hours investing into their well being. I have spent money and time on them. I was the one home with them cleaning up their puke when they’re sick. Me. The evil step mother. I distinctly remember the first time Brayden called me mom. I actually cried tears of joy. That meant the world to me. I remember 2 years in a row that I got stuff to make with them for their mom and grandmas for Mother’s Day. Both of my step kids decided (with no persuasion from me whatsoever) that they did not want to make anything for their mom because, and I quote, “she doesn’t do anything with me anyway”. When that special day rolled around they both surprised me with amazing cards and homemade gifts that still hang in my room to this day.

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This past year mom has come a long way in personal growth. She is involved. She actually has them 50% of the time like she’s supposed to. She volunteers at school. She is what a mom is supposed to be and I am so proud of her for that. We started to talking and I actually considered her a friend. I had sent so many prayers up for her and I am convinced that God is working in her life. I thought it was an answered prayer. And then it fell apart. I feel like we have taken 5 steps back. But I will keep praying and hoping that we will get past this too.

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One thing about being a step parent is that my feelings never seem to matter. I know I don’t have any legal rights. I know I will never replace mom and I’m not trying to. But am I allowed to say what is hurting me? Why do my kids and I constantly have to be referred to as the “fake family”? Why is it that the color of my kid’s skin is even a factor? They’re kids. Why can’t anyone ever see that I am genuinely good? I just want what’s best for everyone involved. We don’t have to be friends, mom, but your beautiful kids love us both. How is it fair for them to feel like they have to hate someone to make you happy? Why do you despise the fact that they get a bonus mom that wants the world for them? Why do I have to work 20 times harder to prove that my intentions are good? I am not perfect. I am human. I am doing my best in a not-so-ideal situation. I have a lot on my plate. I don’t get to be a parent 50% of the time because I am mom and dad to my boys. I don’t get child support. And no, Please remember that when it’s our weekend I don’t just have 2 kids I have 4. My workload as a mommy doubles. I do it all without complaint. I wash the peed on bedding, clean up the toilets, make the meals, make the extra lunches. I do it all and I wouldn’t trade it for the world because, in my heart, those are my kids too. I just wish someone could see that.

Dream on Dreamers

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I guess you could call me a dreamer. Or you could call me crazy, illogical, or unrealistic – I’m use to being called all those things. It’s been that way my whole life. Do other people not have dreams? I mean I know great people have dreams but your average Joe. Does he not dream? I don’t think anyone around me does. It gets so frustrating. I just want to be me. Walk out the plan for my life but everyone in my life thinks I’m just stupid and unrealistic. I have a lot of dreams. I have a vision for my life that, to be honest, I’m completely unsure why God has placed some of these desires in my heart. My biggest “dream” though is to travel. I mean everywhere! It’s more like a need than a dream but I’m not sure how to explain that.

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I often get this urge to just leave. Go somewhere new, try new foods, meet new people, and explore a new place. This desire is so strong that I get restless until I can go. I examine every possible avenue in which I can travel. Saint Augustine said “The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” This really registers with me because, after high school, I became a flight attendant. I can tell you with all honesty that I learned more in those few years traveling than I learned from my entire education. Being a flight attendant was that job that didn’t feel like a job to me. I was excited every single day to go to work. I love airplanes, people, hotels, and new cities. I’d have co-workers ask me constantly why I was always smiling. Why I was so happy. Because I was.

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Then, I got pregnant out of wedlock- FAIL. I got married to an abusive husband who cheated- FAIL. I got divorced- FAIL. I started a business that went under- FAIL. My life is a series of failures. So many of them. But then I started thinking about all the extraordinary people that have failed. Albert Einstein couldn’t learn traditionally. R.H. Macy had many failed retail venues before launching Macy’s. Walt Disney was fired from one of his first writing job because his editor said he had a lack of imagination and no good ideas. Thomas Edison was told repeatedly that he was too stupid to learn anything. JK Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she wrote Harry Potter. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television anchor job foe getting too emotionally involved in her stories. Steven Spielberg was rejected from the School of Cinematic Arts several times. An executive from Harrison Ford’s first movie, told him he’d never make it in the industry. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. Lady Gaga was dropped from her first label after only 3 months. Theadore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 publishers. Sir James Dyson had failed 5,126 prototypes before his 5,127th model was a success. He’s now worth an estimated $4.9 billion. It took him 15 years to get a prototype that people wanted. Stephen King threw “Carrie” away. It only got published because his wife took it out of the trash. Henry Ford had several failed business before developing Ford Motor Company. And the list goes on and on and on. What if any of these people listened to anyone around them? What if they just gave up after their first fail?

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I guess I just refuse to give up. I get so drained from all the put downs. Why am I so different than everyone else? Why can’t I be content just being here?  Why am I so spontaneous and adventurous? Why do I embrace change when everyone around me seems to want things planned out, to never change, and be content with life as it is? I found out there may actually be scientific evidence to back up my struggle. It’s called the Wanderlust gene.

David Dobbs of National Geographic explained that 80% of the population has the DRD4 gene while 20% of us have a mutant form of this gene DRD4-7r. This mutant gene is linked to human migration. People who posess it tend to be incredible resourceful, pioneering, creative, and predisposed for wanderlust, Dobbs says. People with DRD4-7r are naturally curious, restless, and have a passion for travel. They are more likely to take more risks, explore new places, ideas, foods, relationships, drugs, or sexual opportunities. Bearers of this gene generally embrace movement, change, and adventure.

Wow. So there. Scientific proof that I am different and that’s ok. Dream on dreamers. Don’t give up. God made you that way for a reason. Mark Twain said “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

A Letter to The Teenage Me


Dear Young Girl,

I understand. I know how badly it hurts. How it feels to scream inside but no one can hear you. I know the confusion, the anger, the worthless feelings. I know what it’s like to hurt so bad that you cut yourself because you could never imagine hurting someone else. I know how it feels to hate who you are so much that you don’t want to live. You don’t see the point. You think you have nothing to offer this world and everyone would be better off without you. You lie and say you’re fine because no one really cares – or so you think. I want to tell you that you’re wrong. I want to tell you because no one ever told me.


I wish someone had told me I was beautiful. You are beautiful. You think you’re fat. You think you’re ugly. You think you could never be good enough, but the truth is that you are amazing! You are so pretty and probably in the best shape of your life right now. When you smile and exude confidence it makes you look even hotter! You are different and that’s ok. God created you to be you and no one else. High school just puts all this pressure on you to be like everyone else. The truth is that everyone in high school is struggling. Those girls that make fun of you, they’re just jealous! You make them feel inferior.


I wish someone had told me there was a purpose for my life. There is a purpose for your life! God has a plan for you that only you can fulfill. Plans to prosper you and not harm you to give you a hope and a future. That emptiness you feel inside can only be filled by your creator. All you have to do is ask! Ask Jesus to come into your heart and mean it and He will. The hole will be filled and He will heal you. There is hope. Stop cutting. Stop starving. Stop hating yourself because if you end up in a mental institute you will regret that for the rest of your life. That “crazy” stigma will follow you. You can overcome this! Get on your knees and ask the only one who can help you to help you now! He says we are of a sound mind. That means crazy has no place in you. You can be healed.

I wish someone had told me to stop pushing people away. Stop pushing people away! Your parents aren’t perfect. They’re human. They probably don’t know how to handle this. It’s hurting them so much more than you know. They love you. They would be absolutely devastated if they lost you. Let them help. They don’t know that you’re pushing them away and acting like a complete terror because you’re in so much pain. They probably just think you’re acting out and being an irrational teenager.


I wish someone had told me that my boyfriend wouldn’t fix it. He won’t! He cannot love you enough to help you. And he shouldn’t have to. You need to be whole and healthy before you can ever have a relationship that will fulfill you. I wish someone had told me to not even date until after high school. I wish I would’ve understood that there are reasons for God’s “rules” like not having sex before marriage. I know you want that and you want to feel desired and loved but I promise you that, even if you’re in love, that boy will not be able to fix your pain. He will make it worse. He won’t mean to. But he will hurt you. Sex belongs in marriage because two souls become one. You will never forget that boy or fully get over him once you are one with him. If he really loves you he will wait! If he doesn’t, he is not worth your time.  God doesn’t punish us for our actions but we live in a broken world and there are always consequences for our actions. We reap what we sow. If you sow into premarital sex you could reap a baby or a STD. Honey, love yourself enough to sow into your future. I wish someone had told me that.

I want to tell you to follow your heart. Do what makes you smile. Go on as many trips as possible. Meet new people. Learn a lot. Not what school is teaching you but learn about what interests you. Love yourself, laugh, have hope, find a youth group or a church that you can belong to. Walk in love. When I am really sad I do something nice for someone else. What I never realized was that being suicidal is selfish. Get yourself off your mind! This world needs you. There’s a purpose for your life. Go find it!

Five Ways to Keep the Peace

The alarm went off at 5:45 today. I don’t have to work so I lay there a couple of minutes and ask God to guide me in my words and actions and to help me be productive today and to help me walk in love. My feet touch the floor and I’m off. Two kids wet the bed so the house is filled that amazing smell. I go to get one load of bedding in the wash but oh wait my oh-so-helpful hubby put a load of wash in before he left for work so I have to put that in the dryer first. Two of the boys are in the bedroom fighting. I tell them to get dressed. I do before and after school care so three extra kids arrive. I get breakfast on the table for all seven kids. One won’t eat because he doesn’t like what I made. I feel slightly guilty. I had the dishwasher cleaned out but of course no one used it. So now I have a sink full of dirty dishes. My ten-year old, Hailey, is wearing leggings as pants again. I tell her to put on a longer shirt or change the bottoms. She has a meltdown. Is this really what I went to college for?

It’s like a whirlwind around me. Complete chaos could consume me if I let it. Deep breaths. “Mom, can you sign my agenda?” Why did he not ask me this last night? Ugh! I say “Goodbye, have a great day!” To my (step)kids with no response as normal. I notice Hailey forgot her lunch so I chase her down the driveway. The first group of kids are off to school. The other four kids go to a different school and so they finish getting ready and out the door. My oldest son, Malachi, gives me a long hug and says “Bye mom, I love you so much!”. I take in the embrace, take a deep breath and know that I’m doing something right. Thank you, Jesus, I needed that.

This was a good morning. I love hearing the little conversations and guiding their young minds. They are my world. I walk through the house like normal to find clothes on the floor in the bedroom, toothpaste in the sinks, splatters on the mirror, and more clothes next to the laundry basket. It must’ve been too much work to actually put them in. But, hey, that’s what I’m here for right?

Five Ways to Keep the Peace:

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  1. Don’t think about the small things. My peace comes from above. Deep breathes. Even while I’m washing peed sheets AGAIN or feel like it’s pointless to remind the babies yet again to please rinse out the sink. Those are small things. One day I will probably miss these mornings.

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2. Seek Him early. I’ve tried getting up even earlier to seek Him first. I can’t tell you how many New Years Resolutions involved that goal. It just doesn’t work for me. I do, however, talk to Him first. Before my feet touch the ground I ask for help because I know I can’t do it myself. As soon as the kids leave (on the days I don’t work) that’s when I get my devotions done. I know I need Him. I was a mess without Him! So every day looks a little different but I’m ok with doing anything to help me grow. Some days that’s 10 minutes and some days it ends up being three hours.

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3. Don’t worry about tomorrow. This is probably one of my favorite verses. Today definitely has enough trouble of its own. Pray about it. Be wise. But don’t worry. If we worry we aren’t walking in faith. God already has tomorrow handled, mom. Just focus on today and let Him do His job.

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4. Don’t worry about anything for that matter. Be thankful even! In the midst of the chaos I am thankful that even if I don’t want to get groceries, I can. My kids might not always remember to pick up their clothes but they’re healthy. I might not want to clean the house but I have a house to clean. Gratitude can change your attitude. Find things to be thankful for.

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5. Aim to be the best you for your family. This is a lot. The Proverbs 31 woman seems perfect. None of us are perfect. But there’s only one you and you’re made that way for a reason. With the Lord’s help you can do this! Always put Him first. Be a good example to your kids and demonstrate what you want them to be. Walk in love even when you feel like screaming. Continuously feed your mind. Never quit learning. Take breaks because you need them! You can’t help anyone else unless you’re healthy first.