Friday, January 30, 2009

The Shaping of Mother

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Melinda: From the pains of childbirth to the pain of watching your child struggle with something in life, mothering has taught me how to hurt, really hurt. But it has also taught me how to love, unselfishly, deeper and stronger than I ever thought possible.

Tracey: Motherhood has shaped me by changing the way I relate to women. A complete re-model from competitors to compatriots. (I love this answer!)

Cheri: Where do I start? Motherhood transformed my natural bent. I can now slow down, listen actively, put others first, and encourage priorities other than my own. My children are better for it and so am I.

Elizabeth: As a mother with only one of four still at home, my first thought is of trials as our children grow older. I've learned that I can be flattened like playdough on a comic strip, peeled back with an imprint of "What was that!" Then be rolled gently back into shape a little tougher on the outside, but still soft and mushy on the inside. The tough and tender love of a mother's heart. Somehow we manage to keep bouncing back.

Lauren: Being a Mommy has shaped me in innumerable ways. I used to live my life without a thought as to the consequences of my actions or what my parents went through as parents of their "wild child". When my son was born, I was suddenly a Mom. I wanted him to have a mom he could look up to and be proud of. One that he could really talk to, about anything, without fear of judgment or riducule. It made me look at my lifestyle, my relationships, my career path, my faith. Having someone call me "mommy" has shaped me into a much better person that I could ever hope to have been and I am profoundly grateful and proud to say that is the relationship I do have with my son (and daughter) who are now 15 and 13 respectively.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Q & A Thursdays!

I'm starting a new series here at the blog. Woot. Woot.

Since my Focus on the Family interview I've been getting heaps of questions about marriage and relationships, so I thought I'd answer a few.

Look for a new question each Thursday. And, do you have a question? Send it here!

Did your husband have a hard time getting over the fact that you had prior relationships? If so, how did he get through it? How did you help?

John and I both had prior relationships ... although he was never physically intimate with his past girlfriends. It's been much easier for me knowing that he'd waited for me and doesn't have a sexual past. It's been harder for John knowing that I have a "history."

For many years I think we both tried to ignore my past. We didn't talk about it. I thought it meant that everything was fine.

It was after the phone call from an old boyfriend, Steven, that these things started coming to the surface. I discovered there was healing I needed.

John has been able to work through those past relationships because:
1) I have sought healing myself. Praying that God will "search my heart" and clean out all the crud.

2) I've been very open to John that I'm committed to him completely. I love him on a daily basis, in ways that he appreciates. I know his top love languages are quality time and physical touch and closeness, so I try to show him love those ways.

3) I leave the door open for him to talk to me about any concerns or struggles he has. For example, he recently mentioned he was worried about us attending my 20-year reunion. When I mentioned that I hadn't dated anyone in my class he was greatly relieved. I think it helps him just knowing he can come to me with questions/concerns.

I hope that helps!

What about you...have you dealt with this issue?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Shaping of Mother

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Amy: How motherhood has shaped me? Being a mother has taught me to be patience and laugh at the silly things in life. Appreciate people for who they are and what they do for us.

I have learned that not all people are alike-my girls are all different and distinct personalities. Just like a box of crayons, multitude of dimensions.

Mary: One way-- my twelve kids and six miscarriages -- have stripped me of any idea that i am in control of my life, or should be. But rather every day i spend my day sending little prayers up to God for my living children. Prayers of petition, and thanksgiving and awe!! Asking Him to help me, help them, return to Him. They are His on loan to my husband and me. "All things work together for the good for those that love God."

Michelle: One way that motherhood has shaped me....Motherhood has shaped me in many ways, full and round ready to burst with joy, a simple heart totally in love, squished flat in defeat, a confused messy blob....but through all of this shaping, motherhood has made me tough. I can deal with tons of work, little sleep, endless surprises, big scary spiders, things that grow in the fridge, monsters under the bed, poop and puke, boo boos, sickness, loneliness, heartbreak, hanging on tight, letting go-all with a heart so full of love it is ready to burst.

Robin: Motherhood has shaped my life by giving me a new revelation of Christ's love for us His Children! Being a mom has really changed everything in my life. My first thoughts in the morning are about my girls, my last thoughts at night are about them. All I want to do is see them smile and hug on them. I thank God daily for this wonderful blessing of being a mom! Even though some days are hard and I think 'What have I gotten myself into' -- there isn't anything in life I want more than to be a mommy:-)

Michelle: Motherhood has taught me to let go of perfectionism. The house will not stay clean, the laundry will always be there (even if I've done 10 loads today!) and my kids will still love me! They want to be with me, not watching me clean.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Rebecca: Motherhood has shaped me by showing me my weak areas where God & I need to work. I thought I had it pretty much together until I had kids. Then I learned otherwise! I believe that is all part of God's great plan.

Melody: The most significant thing about motherhood for me was better understanding of how God sees me. I can be sooooo angry with something my kids have done, and yet I still want to give them good gifts, I want to see them restored-not cast aside, and my love for them never wavers. It\'s easier for me to understand God\'s grace toward me when I fail as I know that He loves me even more than I love my children, so His grace is that much greater as well! :)

Marci: Motherhood has shaped me into a vessel that is usable. God has used my kids and parenting as a way to draw me closer into a relationship with Him. I grew up in a Christain home, but after nearly dying in childbirth where I hemmoraged to the point of having my veins begin to collapse, I realized what mattered most. I was in God's hands. Whether here on Earth or up in heaven He promised I will never leave you or forsake you. Knowing the peace of being in God's capable and perfect hands is what I was able to draw comfort from when our son was in Afgahnistan with the Marines. We learned over Father's Day weekend that four men from his unit were killed, but the names were not released for 48 hours. A lot goes through a mother's mind as you wonder, worry and wait. The comfort for me was knowing that God's hands are bigger than mine. Just as I was in God's hands, so are my kids.

Krismar: With arms outstretched, my appearance often resembles the cross. Fittingly, as I need to lay down my burdens at the cross, that cross where He died for my sins. And so I am reminded in motherhood of his redeeming grace, daily, as I struggle to raise my boys in His light and even in the shadow of His cross. Motherhood has shaped me . . . but that shape is humbling in His eyes.

Audra: I think being a mother (of two girls and a boy) has given me a greater understanding of how God can forgive His children over and over again and continue to love us unconditionally. There are days when one or more of my children are stomping on my last frayed nerve and I wonder why I ever wanted children in the first place! However, even in those moments, I love my children and want what is best for them. If I, imperfect as I am, can love my children even when they try my patience over and over, how much more must God love us? Matthew 7:9-11 means more to me now as a mom than it ever did before I had children.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Where did this tummy come from???

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

April B.: Our children shape who we become from the moment they are born! We look into those tiny new eyes, hold those tiny new fingers, trace those tiny new legs, and our imaginations, dreams, and hopes come alive in them. We are suddenly filled with a new wonder and a new love we've never experienced before. How we respond to that love, and how our little one responds to it and gives it begins a new chapter in our lives. When those children have children of their own, its a new discovery of fresh love. It enlivens us. Its hope re-newed. What we do, where and how we go and to whom we connect all goes back to those fresh new hearts at home. Grandparenting begins a new thread of connectivity and heritage that binds us tightly and never lets go.

Pam A.: Motherhood has made me REALLY appreciate my mom and has made us fast friends. It has given me a patient and understanding heart and has shown me what love really is. I never imagined the depth of God's love for me until I had my kids.

Sabrina F.: When my son was born I made a choice to be the mom I wish I'd had as a child. I get to do things with my son that I sooo wanted to do with my mother. I think he keeps me normal. =) When life would have dictated that I be this messed up adult who was not treated well as a child, being a mom I can be proud of gives me a purpose and a reason to keep trying to be the person he sees me as. It's been very rewarding and even healing in some ways.

Deena P.: I don't expect to win (because I rarely do:-), but motherhood has made me less judgmental. Before our oldest daughter rebelled against God, I thought that only bad kids from faux Christian homes did stuff like that. We homeschooled, were faithful in church, lived out our faith, did home studies, talked "real" with our kids about sin and about our pasts...and she rebelled. Now, I don't judge any parent on how their kids behave. I just listen and pray.

Jill: Besides literally reshaping me (where did this tummy come from???), motherhood has taught me that success can't always be measured the way it was before. Sometime success is just getting a shower in or making it through the day without yelling. And that those are quite the accomplishments to be proud of.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I've learned! Join Me.

Please join me TODAY (January 25th, 2009) as I am the featured Inspirational Luminary on is a website that provides the best inspiration daily, each day from a different Luminary from the fields of empowerment, health, business, family, loving relationships and more. You'll enjoy reading my 'Today's Brilliance', my personal 500-word text of the best things I've learned in life. The 30 minute interview with me and Gail Lynne Goodwin is amazing!

As my gift to you, just use the affliate code provided on this invitation to access the free inspiration! Please stop by, check out the site and help us inspire the world, starting with you! Thank you for your support. We greatly appreciate you!

When you register, please remember to use my referral code:


Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Flashback!

Oh the dollars those smiles cost me over the years. I'm sure I could have bought a second home with all the dentist bills!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Letter to Homeschool Parents of young kids:

Dear Homeschool Parent,

If you have two minutes to read this note, I hope you do. I'm writing it to encourage you, because I remember there were days in my homeschooling journey when I thought, "What am I doing? I'm ruining these kids. This is a a big mistake." Maybe you feel the same.

If you are homeschooling young kids you are in your TOUGHEST years. Things WILL get easier. Just remember to make it fun and don't get too stressed about the academic part of it. Homeschooled kids will learn. They DO excel! Interacting with you on a daily basis (learning faith and truth and love) will matter more than memorizing the presidents, honestly it will.

Just today Nathan (14) thanked me for homeschooling him. He watched a video about George Washington and was upset to learn that kids in school don't learn about the faith of our Founding Fathers. Yes, what you teach is important. Equally important is what your kids WON'T learn--humanistic philosophy, evolution, false history.

My kids are normal kids. Our school days were normal days. I'd give them work, they'd complain. I'd teach lessons, and they'd get bored. We read together, and we memorized Scripture. The kids entertained each other, and they fought daily. But we kept at it. They kept learning and growing. As high school approached, they did most of their work independently. I became more of a mentor rather than a teacher.

This year, Nathan (14) is watching DVDs from The Teaching Company for his curriculum. It's college-level, but he doesn't know that. All he knows is he really enjoys the lectures. And what I've learned is that his learning style is auditory, so this is the best teaching method for him!

Cory (19) graduated last May and he's in his fourth semester of college. He will get his AA this year and (God-willing) will have his AS and a certificate to be a personal trainer by next summer. He should have a BS in physical therapy by the before he's 22.

Leslie (16) is in her 2nd semester of college. She has a 3.7 GPA. She has always tried to keep up with her older brother, and her goal is to have her AA by the time she graduates high school.


Homeschooling trained my kids to learn and to work independently. It gave them a foundation of faith. It fostered close relationships between the members of our family. It allowed our kids time to explore the things that interested them. It connected them with other amazing, homeschooled kids. It allowed them to grow and learn according to their unique needs.

So, yes, today you may be ready to pull your hair out. Today the words Grammar, Geometry, and Geography make you shudder. But tomorrow you will have a kid who will be well-adjusted, loving, and will thank you for giving your time and your heart. Trust in that!

Keep it up!


The Shaping of Mother

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Carrie T: Being a mom to my five kids has been a wonderful journey, but it has also been stretching and sometimes agonizing.

Watching them grow from sweet little babies to amazing young adults has expanded my heart in ways I never would have guessed. Sharing their joys and heartaches and watching their struggles and victories has added a new dimension to my life and allowed me to experience a deeper love than I had known was possible.

But some days....when they lose their homework, forget their lunch, stay out past curfew, get another ticket, lose their wallet - again for the third time - or any number of other memorable catastrophes, I am reminded that love covers a multitude of sins, and grace and forgiveness will often soften a heart that would otherwise remain cold and indifferent.

God has used my kids to mold me and shape me, and in the process, he has given me a peek at how much my Heavenly Father loves me.

Michelle: can I has totally changed me as a young naive girl to a more mature and confidant is still constantly changing me everyday. As my kids grow I grow and change and learn more about myself as well as how much I can influence someone else! Motherhood has given me a sense of pride in how I raise my children and also keeps me thanking God each and everyday for trusting me with my 4 little blessings!

Marti: It's made me feel more creative. (Is there a pun in there?) But more importantly, motherhood has taught me so much about God ... about how He must feel when we succeed ... how He must feel when we fail. Being a human parent pales compared to what God experiences, but I think parenthood is one of the ways we are created in His image.

Jessica: Motherhood has shaped me in a lot of ways. I think the main way is seeing more of how God sees me. I love my kids so stinkin' much; I can hardly stand it sometimes. And when I think of how God loves me MORE than that, with a PERFECT love, WOW! I just well up with emotion. Being a mom makes it more clear what kind of a father God is.

Crystal: Mothering has shown me exactly how selfish I am. It's made me rely on God each day for the strength to say no to my selfish desires and say yes to the calling of a homeschooling mom.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Shaping of Mother

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Dena: Motherhood has shaped me into a more lighthearted person. My two boys (three, if you count my hubby!) make me laugh all the time and not take myself so seriously...a real gift to this melancholy gal. :)

Monica: Mothering hasn't just shaped me, it has completely changed me and my relationship with Christ. I have learned so much about myself and grown right along with these children. It has definitely been the most humbling, most rewarding, most time consuming, most revealing job I've ever had. Daily, I am reminded of what God wants me to be to these three beautiful souls and it has made me seek Him more than ever. It has made me less self reliant and more God reliant. It has literally transformed me. I constantly desire to become the woman, the wife, and the mother that God has laid me out to be but the one that is the most important is mothering because that affects three lives that are not yet able to discern for themselves or have not yet come to know saving faith in Christ.

Patricia M.: Motherhood has changed me by giving me more patience than I thought I would ever have. I have a disabled child whom I homeschool. Some days are small triumphs, other days are a study in patience.

Christina M.: My first response about how motherhood has 'shaped' me was the different shape of my body!! However, I have learned that having these 3 active, sweet little boys each day is SO worth everything I had to go thru to conceive them!

Jenni S.: Motherhood has taught me about how very selfish I can be. First, through years of infertility, I wanted only what I wanted, not what God had planned as my best. And then, once my blesings came, I relized how very not ready I was for motherhood and it's 24/7 demands! I am thankful for the ways God is continually teaching me to rely on Him and make their childhoods about God and them, when I could very selfishly try to have it "all about me". I'm so thankful for motherhood, and so VERY thankful that I don't have to do it without Him, because it's so much harder than I every day-dreamed it possibly could be.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Shaping of Mother

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

(scroll down for more)
Karen P.: Motherhood has taught me I don't have to be perfect and that I can be a unique mom, rather than follow another's pattern of motherhood. Not only did God create me to be a one-of-a-kind mom and accepts me as I am, but I've learned my children accept me as well.

Alta: I became a mother at 16,had four children and started again at 52and brought home 6 more. Had two sons die inthe last two years. Motherhood has taught me GREAT Joy and Unbelievable Pain. But that God is in control, and will hold my hand through all things.I like to be in control but I am not, HE is.

Kellie: How has motherhood shaped me? Motherhood has given me a sense of accountability to a degree that I didn't know what possible!

Abi: How has motherhood shaped me? Well in many ways. My physical shape has change drastically. I\'ve built up my resistance to pain does that count. :0)

Danielle: Motherhood has shaped me in many ways. The most profound change has been in my view of God. Before I had children I knew I was a child or God and I knew God loved me. I never knew how deep that love went. When my girls were tiny, I marveled at every little detail...tiny toes, chubby legs, sweet sounds from perfectly formed lips. When the sun hit my daughter's hair it was like spun gold. Even asleep they could amaze me for hours. When they discovered their tiny fists and brought them closer and closer to get a better look, I laughed when they bonked themselves right between the eyes. As they grew I was delighted when they learned my name and now I thoroughly enjoy a sweet conversation about "hethen" (my daughter's word for 'heaven\. When they make mistakes or plain disobey, I get frustrated, but I still love them indescribably. The amazing realization that God loves me, little old me, with that depth is incomprehensible. He loves every feature of mine, even my chubby legs. He loves when I say His name. He loves having conversations with me even when I don't make sense. When I cry and my heart feels empty, He feels it, too. When a burden is just too heavy, He carries it for me, just like I carry heavy burdens for my girls. Even when I disobey, God loves me. Motherhood has shaped me in some unfortunate ways, thanks stretch marks and saggy parts, but knowing and growing closer to God is worth every moment, good or bad.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Shapeliness of Motherhood series!

In November and December I ran a contest asking:

What is one way motherhood has shaped YOU?

I'm taking your answers and running a series called "The Shaping of Mother". I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

If you didn't get a chance to give your two cents, do so now. Just leave a comment. I'll be choosing one random commentor to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

The Shaping of Mother:

Loring says: Motherhood has shaped me into a muffin-top, pear shaped, stretch marked, wrinkled mom of three.

Jody T says: Motherhood literally saved my life! I was running full speed away from God while I was in the Army, got married to an unbeliever, and got pregnant right away. During my pregnancy, God kept speaking to me about raising this child in church. I struggled with this because church was the last place I wanted to be found. When my son was 5 months old, my husband left and we were on our own. The next couple of years passed with me working 3 jobs and barely making ends meet. Again, I felt the need to at least get him into Sunday school so I started taking him to a little church in the neighborhood. I'd sit through service because it was too much bother to drop him off and then come back and pick him up. One day, the sermon sunk in. God got a hold on me on Father's Day, 1997 and I haven't looked back! I'm now remarried to a wonderful Christian man who adopted my son and we added 3 more boys to the mix. But if it hadn't been for that little boy and that sense that he needed to learn about Jesus, I might still be lost today! So, yes he saved my life by getting me into church so God could save my life. Thanks be to God!

Tanja says: Motherhood has shaped me most by forcing me to see myself through God's eyes and not the world's, or even my own. I've been a stay-at-home mom for eight years, and I struggled with exiting the work force. I missed my job and interaction with adults, but mostly I missed the fact that I viewed myself as a success largely because of how well I performed my job. Motherhood has held many days, for me, in which I would fire myself if I were the Ultimate Boss. But I am not. The Lord made me a mom, and He sustains me. Every day... good days and bad days alike.

Linda says: Motherhood has changed in me to have a bigger, more encompassing love--unconditional. No matter what your child(ren) get into or do, you still love them. Sure can hate what they've done at times, but you still love them. I think people who choose not to have children or are unable to, miss out on that kind of love--a mother's love.

Nicole K.: One way motherhood has shaped me is that it has deepened my understanding of God's unconditional love for me. If I can love my selfish, sometimes frustrating 2 year old to the point that I would die for him...I can finally dip a little into the love God has for me.

Anita Says: Motherhood has made me a less selfish person. I can't say that I am completely selfless, but I now make decisions based on what is best for my child and not what is best for me.

Come back for the next two weeks for more!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Flashback!

Cory and Leslie were in their homeschool choir uniforms. Nathan learned all the songs attending practice ever week!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Be the Change!

Here's a repost from It's Real Life

Lately, I've been thinking there's a lot of things I'd like to change. 1) I've actively started exercising and using a food journal to lose weight and get in shape. 2) I've been trying to curb my spending. 3) And I've been be trying to be more thankful. All of those things aren't easy!

#1 and #2 are things that I now realize need to stem from the inside out. I've tried for a long time to "make myself be good." Now I'm praying for a heart change. I'm praying that God will fill me up so much of Him that I naturally strive to do the right things in His strength and with His wisdom.
#3 started because I've been reading Something More by Catherine Marshall. It's an older book, but a good one. In it Catherine talks about "thanking God in all things." She goes on to encourage readers to thank Him even for the challenging/painful stuff. I've started doing that more, and it's amazing what a different outlook I've had. Usually, I'm a joyful person because I try to ignore the hard stuff and instead just focus on the good. But lately I've been thanking God for everything easy and hard, and somehow He's been showing me the good IN it.

For example, the other day I was upset because our exchange student didn't tell me about a schedule change at school so I had to reschedule my day to pick up her. I was grumpy as I drove to her school ... then I remembered what I'd recently read, and I started thanking God for this opportunity. By the time I got to school my attitude was much better, and in the end we had a GREAT conversation on the drive home. In fact, the conversation connected us in new ways. A God thing!

I know these are simple lessons. They are things God has tried to show me in the past. In fact, one of the lessons He's taught (and retaught me) is that I don't always need to look for change from external means ... sometimes I'm called to BE the change.

This lesson first fit home after our family moved to Montana and were looking for a church home. There was one that God was connecting us to AT EVERY TURN, but personally I didn't like it much. In fact, even when John and I felt God calling us there, I REALLY didn't want to go to that church. Even though the people were nice, the music wasn't that great and there was no children's program for the kids. Yet, instead of complaining about it, John and I felt God telling us to do something about it!

Once we became members, WE started doing children's church and new families started pouring in. Over the years the church grew and changed. It has become the type of place I longed for. We've been going there for thirteen years now, and it's home. Yet at the time, I didn't realize that I was part of the change!

Today, you might be thinking about changes in your life. Don't stop. Don't become complacent! Remember that God wants to fill you and help you. He wants you to offer Him thanksgiving in the easy stuff and the hard stuff, too. And mostly, if there is change that needs to take place remember that often YOU are called to be the change. What you want most is out there in the future ... have faith in that! Have faith in Him!

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Real Mothers"

Real Mothers don't eat quiche;

They don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils

Are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors,

Filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough

Doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what

The vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?'

And get their answer when a little
Voice says, 'Because I love you best..'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth

is not measured by height or years or grade...

It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother...

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 YEARS OF AGE - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEAR S OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could tal k it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,

Because that is the doorway to her heart,

The place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,

but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she
shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Flashback!

Note the candy (bribe) in Leslie's hand! This was our years before Growing Kids God's Way!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Today is the day!

I love history. I really do. I’ve written seven historical novels. I adore The History Channel. But I’ve been pondering the fact that what happened in the past isn’t nearly as important as how I live my life today.

In my role as a parent/wife I’ve looked into the past, too. I’ve taken note of the type of world Gen Xers were raised in. In my books, I’ve helped Gen Xers understand why we think how we think and why we do what we do. But I didn’t stop there. Hopefully, my insight into all-things-Gen-X also spills over to sage advice for parents/married partners on how they should live their lives … today. After all, today is the day we can make things different/better/right.

All these thoughts were rolling around in my head like marbles in a blender when I read this Scripture from my daily reading:
And the Lord said to Noah, Come with all your household into the ark, for I have seen you to be righteous (upright and in right standing) before Me in this generation. Genesis 7:1

When I read the second half of that verse something resonated with me. I WANT THAT. I want God to look down on me and say, for I have seen TRICIA to be righteous (upright and in right standing) before Me in this generation. I imagine you would like the same too (except with your name inserted, of course!). (Want to read more from Noah? Go here: I love Grace's thoughts!)

For the most part, it doesn’t matter that Gen Xers had stinky childhoods and were given a bad rap. The truth is that at this moment we can made good decisions to be upright and in right standing with God. What happened in our past doesn’t compare to what can happen if we submit everything in our lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Have you taken this step of faith?

Do you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose again to pay for your offenses so you can live in eternity with Him? Do you want Him to be Lord of your life? Do you want to discover what salvation is all about? If so, tell Him that in your own words. And when you’re through email me to tell me about your decision! (fromdustandashes @

Or maybe you’ve already accepted Christ but you’ve been so focus on the past (of your life, of your relationships, of your mistakes) that you haven’t dedicated every moment of your future to following God. You can also pray (yes, right now!) and ask that God will help you become upright and right standing before Him in this generation. God will LOVE to hear that prayer, too. And if you do make a re-commitment, let me know that too.

I’m a Gen-Xer, remember, I’m always available for a good celebration!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A dream realized!

In every person's life there are "big dreams." They are the ones that seem unreachable, yet are fun to think about just the same.

This week (1/8 & 1/9) you'll have the chance to experience one of my dreams with me by listening to my broadcast on Focus on the Family Daily Radio!

Listen in to Focus on the Family on your local station! Or ... if you can tune in, request a copy of the broadcast here:

Part 1 (Jan. 8th)

Part 2 (Jan. 9th)

Also, as a BONUS I'll be chatting on the Focus on the Family Marriage Forum.

Come chat with me!

Finally, if you like the broadcast, please email FOF and let them know you'd like to hear more broadcasts for Gen Xers ... and those in our generation! Also, thank them for having me on!


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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Today is January 1 for Me

Yes, I know the calendar says January 6, but today is January 1 for me. December was filled with ... well, you know December ... it was filled with everything! This included a vacation to Southern California to visit my four sisters and my dad. We drove back, arriving home the 4th. And then January 5th my novel Sunflower Serenade was due. Can you say EXHAUSTING?

So since it's January 1, today I wrote my "January List" of healthy habits, and I'm starting them. Today I'm going to resume my exercise routine (after I finish this blog). And today, I'm starting my Bible reading plan. I'm doubling up until I get caught up!

This is the reading plan I'm using.

I already started reading in Genesis, and I just had to pause to write this blog. Why? Because I had to share with someone ... God our Creator is amazing! (And since the rest of my family is still sleeping, I thought I'd share it with YOU.)

The creation story is one of my favorites in the Bible. I love it because God is so subtle, yet there is so much behind His Words. For example Genesis 1:24:

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so." Amplified Version

In those two sentences is packed within a million Discovery Channel/Animal Planet episodes. Just think about that.

Yet, I cannot rejoice about creation without also marveling at the Creator:

[But] in the last of these days [God] has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom he created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]. Hebrews 1:2 Amplified

Do you know what I thought of when I read that? I am in the middle of that mess. I am part of His creation. I am in the world He made ... and even though sometimes I feel lost in the reaches of space (not literally) He knows me. I can even go as far as to say that when I allow the Son His rightful ownership Jesus WILL make, produce, build, operate, and arrange my days in order. My MOMENTS in order.

Today may be January 6th, but I'm pretending it's January 1, just to get on track. And this New Year my main goal is to learn moment-by-moment to hand over all over myself and to give Jesus His rightful place. It's only when He holds the keys to my year, my mind, and my heart that I will run--my life will run--as it ought to.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Flashback!

They're making a pact not to completely destroy the room BEFORE company arrives!

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