Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fresh Air Fund!

This is so cool...I wish I lived closer to NY so I could participate. Check it out!

Host a Child

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air vacations. More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.

Fresh Air Fund Host Families
There is no such thing as a "typical" host family. If you have room in your home - and your heart - to host a child, you could be one too.

Learn More

Fresh Air Fund Children

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 12 years old, who reside in low-income communities in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city.As one child says, "I can’t wait to get on the bus every summer so I can see my family and go swimming and hiking!."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Motherhood has shaped this WINNER!

"The Shaping of Mother" series has come to an end. I was so blessed by your answers. Some serious, some laugh-out-loud funny! Priceless.

The winner of Blue Like Play Dough is...

Amy said...
I find myself mothering other people, my co-workers, my girlfriends and the funny part is, I do not feel like a nurturer.

I am not a touchy feely person but I do service acts-little things to make their day.

As a mother,motherhood has shaped me to see life in a different view point. Life is more important than the cleaning and such. Today was going out sledding in the beautiful, cold sunny day.

Congrats Amy...send my assistant Amy ( your mailing address and she'll make sure you get a copy of BLP when it releases this summer.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Shaping of Mother - Last Chance

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 TOMORROW! to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Janet: I have been a mother for 32 years. Although my four have long gone, the pitter patter of little feet continue to echo in the memory chambers of my heart. I may not have them home but being a mom never stops, nor do I want it to. Through the journey I have seen the unfathomable love my heavenly Dad has for me. The things I would do and have done for my children is the reflection of His love, what he would do for me. The shape of motherhood is to me the face of Jesus.

Jennifer: Can Canadians enter your contest? I hope so :).
How motherhood has shaped me. WOW. I have three little ones now and motherhood has taught me how to be there for others, how to love every day all the way, how to be a teacher, how to set myself aside in the insanity of changing diapers and nursing all day long. Motherhood is one of God\'s best ways of refining women I think :).

Christina: Motherhood has shaped me into a more giving and loving person. It has taught me that I can protect small lives and revealed the small dangers that are around every corner as well as the wonderful delights in a dandelion. Motherhood has shown me that there are many things to be seen if we slow down enough to see them and that peanut buttery kisses are among the best you can get!

What has motherhood taught you? Leave a comment!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We have an official "blurb"!


In the squash and squeeze of a mommy's day, could God be shaping something beautiful? In this spiritual memoir, Goyer invites women to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary! Learn to see God's hand lovingly at work in every aspect of your life---from laundry-folding to the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon. 208 pages, softcover from Multnomah.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stories of Extraordinary Caregiving

CVS/pharmacy Announces National Contest for Stories of Extraordinary Caregiving Second Annual “For All the Ways You Care” Contest

Invites Participants to Share and Celebrate Accounts of Caregiving

CVS knows how much time you devote to being a mother and caregiver, I wanted to let you know that CVS/pharmacy announced a “For All the Ways You Care” contest as a way to celebrate and honor caregivers in America. An esteemed panel of judges will select ten finalists that will be honored for their inspirational stories at a luncheon and luxury weekend in New York City in May. In appreciation for their commitment to caring, nine finalists will each receive $10,000 and the grand prize winner will receive $25,000 from CVS/pharmacy.

Last year’s grand prize winner, Judy McAtee, has fostered 30 children, is a mother of 12 including 10 adopted children, and has provided counsel for 18 families going through the adoption process. Judy is not only an advocate for children, but also their education. As a result of caring for a child with special needs, she was forced by circumstance to examine the virtues of home-schooling. Seeing the merits of home schooling, over the past 15 years she has taught every grade from Pre-K to 12th grade and has tutored children other than her own. You can view a video of Judy’s story here:

Youcan go to to join the community of caring and submit their stories through March 1st. Below is a release for your reference.

WOONSOCKET, RI, January 29, 2009 – CVS/pharmacy, the nation’s leading retail pharmacy, today announced its second annual “For All the Ways You Care” contest created to celebrate and honor caregivers across America.

CVS/pharmacy invites caregivers and others to submit stories of caring online at, a growing community that strives to celebrate the unsung caregivers in our society. The site provides a forum for people to share a story about someone who has touched their life or how they personally have touched another's.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to caring for women and those they care for. We are pleased to see the For All the Ways You Care community continue to grow as people exchange stories and discuss all aspects of caregiving,” said Rob Price, senior vice president, Marketing and Advertising, CVS/pharmacy. "Thousands of stories have been shared on since it launched last year, and we continue to be truly amazed by the selfless devotion demonstrated by so many caregivers.”

From the stories submitted from October 5, 2008 through March 1, 2009, CVS/pharmacy and an esteemed panel of judges will select a group of finalists and ultimately a grand prize winner whose stories best represent a nurturing spirit and dedication to others. The finalists will be honored for their inspirational stories at a luncheon and luxury weekend in New York City in May. In appreciation for their commitment to caring, nine finalists will each receive $10,000 and the grand prize winner will receive $25,000 from CVS/pharmacy.

Panelists selecting the winners include Lee Woodruff, author and wife of ABC News Correspondent Bob Woodruff; Dr. Roseanna Means, founder of Women of Means, a program of volunteer doctors who provide free medical care to homeless women and children; Tina Sharkey, BabyCenter chairman and global president; and Rosemary Ellis, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief. The members of the panel have also posted their own personal caregiving stories on

“I am privileged to be part of this growing campaign,” said Woodruff. “Our family continues to receive an outpouring of love and support, and I am grateful to help give back by honoring special caregivers across America.”

To join the community of caring and enter the For All the Ways You Care contest, please visit: .

About CVS/pharmacy
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's largest retail pharmacy. The Company operates more than 6,800 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at .

Monday, February 16, 2009

Glamour Magazine and Abortion

I was surprised and excited to read that Glamour Mag did an article about post-abortion stories. (See press release below) I often share my personal story when I speak--years of emotional pain, regret, darkness, and burdens ... and I struggled with all those things as a Christian!

Like Lisa Gaylord, I too found healing through the Bible Study Forgiven and Set Free. After the FIRST NIGHT of going to the study, and seeing the other women in the room, I felt LIBERATED. There were other women like me. Jesus forgave me, but I had permission to forgive myself.

I found so much healing that I later went on to teach the Bible Study. After that, I felt God's call to help launch Hope Pregnancy Center. My freedom also spilled over to all part of my life. I'm a joyful mom and wife. My writing as flourished as I write in freedom and peace from deep in my soul. I've written on Christian book for teen girls: My Life, Unscripted (Zondervan). And another book for teens to help them NOT get in that situation: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson). Also, two of my novels have stories of women abandoned by men after pregnancy. I've written articles about my experience, too.

When Children Have Children:

Silent Suffering: Post-Abortion Trauma:

Awaiting the Transformation:

Radio interviews and articles from Focus on the Family:

Read Lisa's story ... and if you know someone who needs this Bible Study encourage her (or him!) to attend. When Christ sets us free, we are free indeed!

Care Net: Glamour Mag Abortion Stories Point to Need for More Recovery Groups
LANSDOWNE, VA, Feb. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- In its March issue, Glamour magazine explores the real life stories of women who have had an abortion. Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde thanked the magazine for giving voice to women whose abortion was a traumatic experience and has caused them emotional pain. However, she called on Glamour to do more to point their readers to the healing found through a post-abortion recovery group. Sadly, only one of the women featured in the article found such help, and no information was provided for readers about where to find it. That woman, Lisa Gaylord, now leads the recovery group at Hopeline Pregnancy Resource Center, a Care Net center in Danbury, Connecticut. Read Lisa's full story. "

All too often, magazines like Glamour will shy away from publishing women's raw abortion stories," Delahoyde said. "By allowing some women to share about the 'emotional hell' they have gone through, this issue treats the abortion experience more honestly. However, it does a poor job of presenting a balanced viewpoint about where to find healing. The only resources Glamour refers readers to are those offered by abortion advocates."

Read the rest of the press release here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hope + Healing Tonight!

I have 17 points I'm talking to parents about at tonight's True Love Waits Parent Seminar.

1. Be a Role Model. Kids will follow where we lead. Consider your life. Are you living with integrity? Are you only having sex within the bounds of marriage? Saying, “Do what I say not what I do” never works. Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we are immune to sexual stimuli, temptation, or any other struggles the Bible discusses. Parents cannot shield their adolescences’ eyes and ears forever. As they grow, kids will have to make their own decisions. Help them make godly decisions from the start, by modeling these decisions yourself.

2. Find Healing. Do you have pain from your past that you haven’t dealt with? Your teens will be able to tell. Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Take your mistakes to God. Bring them to him in prayer. Attend a post-abortion Bible Study.

3. Share Your Story. You don’t have to go into all the details to share your successes and your failures. Teens appreciate transparency and honesty.

4. Talk about what love is. Love is not sex. Going “all the way” with someone doesn’t prove your love. (No matter what they show on television.) True love is shown through life-long commitment and by valuing the other person. Remind teens that they are the one responsible for setting sexual limits on a relationship.

5. Remind kids it CAN happen to them. Having sex, even so called "protected" sex, can lead to pregnancy. It can happen even to kids from a good family. The only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is to not have sex. Also, you can get an STD from physical contact alone. If any part of the other person touches any part of you … you can get an STD.

6. Emphasize that even “good girls” get pregnant. Likewise, being a “good guy” isn’t enough to stop you from getting your girlfriend pregnant. Having a good report card, being a good person, having an important parent, or being conscientious will not protect you from pregnancy. According to, 1 in 3 young women get pregnant at least once before they turn 20—good girls included.

7. Let your son or daughter know that most teens wished they had waited. Sex before marriage can lead to pregnancy and STDs, but there is also emotional baggage. According to, 60% of teens “wished they had waited longer” to have sex.

8. Encourage your teen to plan his/her actions BEFORE the situation arises. Do: set boundaries. Do not: get into situations that will cause him/her to compromise decisions. Help your teen make good plans for his/her future and stick to goals.

9. Talk about media’s wrong messages. The media (television, radio, movies, music videos, magazines, the Internet) are chock full of material sending wrong messages. Just because we see everyone in Hollywood having sex and having babies, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Babies are a responsibility, not a fashion accessory.

10. Encourage secondary purity. Teens can say “no” even if they’ve said "yes" before. Today your daughter or son can make the right choice and choose abstinence.

11. Realize parents can only do so much … but make sure it’s done! As a parent, you cannot be around your child 24/7. Yet, we can do our best to prepare our teens. Don’t wait.

12. Be available. If kids see that you’re not available to take a walk or sit down for a board game, they will view you as unavailable to communicate about the important stuff, too. Tune into stories about cute outfits and video games. It’s often these talks that lead into other, more serious issues.

13. Open up a two-way conversation, not a one-way lecture. Parents can do this by turning the above topics into questions such as: What are your boundaries? Do you think sex proves you love someone? What do you think of media messages? Talk in non-threatening ways, walking side by side, riding in the car. Not having eye contact helps teens open up.

14. Interview your teen’s date. Ask him/her about morals and boundaries. Tell him/her your expectations. Be a presence. Build a relationship.

15. Become your child’s ally. An ally understands the battle. Parents need to know even more about their children’s world than they do. Read magazines, listen to music, and watch shows targeted to adolescents. Get a Facebook account. Volunteer for carpool. Invite all the teens over to your house.

16. Use the media to prove your point. Sit down and watch shows and commercials with your teen and point out why these things break God’s heart. Ask questions like, “Is this reality? Do people on TV look and act like people in real life? What is the difference?” Remind teens that media is a false reality created by actors, producers, directors, advertisers and others who are trying to get across their views, and beliefs.

17. Seek God … often. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b (NIV). Listen to His still, small voice.

Books for parents and kids to read together:

· Preparing You Son for Every Man’s Battle: Honest Conversations About Sexual Integrity, Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker (WaterBrook)

· Every Young Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge (Waterbrook)

· Preparing For Adolescence, Dr. James Dobson (Regal Books)

· So You’re About to Be a Teenager: Godly Advice for Preteens on Friends, Love, Sex, Faith, and Other Life Issues, Dennis and Barbara Rainey, with Samuel and Rebecca Rainey (Thomas Nelson Books)

· Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty, Dannah Gresh (Moody Publishers)

Books for parents:

· Parenting Today’s Adolescent: Helping Your Child Avoid the Traps of the Preteen and Teen Years, Dennis and Barbara Rainey (Thomas Nelson Books)

· “Mom, I Hate My Life!” Sharon A Hersh (WaterBrook Press)

· Gentle Passages: Guiding Your Daughter into Womanhood, Robin Jones Gunn (Multnomah)

· Talking to Your Kids About Sex, Mark Laaser (WaterBrook Press)

Come Chat! TODAY!

Join me live on CWAHM Radio. 1.5 hr radio interview ... TODAY!

You can send in your marriage questions for the interview to:

Monday, February 09, 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.

Cheryl: Motherhood has change me in more ways that I ever thought possible. Most recently, God is using my children to refine characteristics in me to shape me more into His likeness. I'm a biological mother of two, step mother of two. Three of the four are ADD/ADHD. It's like God said, Cheryl, two weren't enough because you're a slow learner. :-)

Pat: I learned self-sacrifice at a level I've never known before or since. A love so deep I can feel it. A joy and pride in watching my son become the man God created him to be. That was my prayer every night of his life when he was home. And now, at 24, he IS becoming the man God created him to be. I'm in awe at who that is and who God is in him. I am blessed beyond all measure.

Lori: After being married for 11 years we were blessed with our 1st child. Soon after our second child was born. They are now young men who love the Lord. What can be more of a blessing than that! Watching them grow with the Lord and learn new things has made me more in awe of what a great God we serve.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I've started 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!

Martha asked: I wish I could be half as productive as you. Reading your note about homeschooling was realling encouraging to me as I feel like I am a really rotten teacher lately, when do you know when you need to ask for help before you have ruined them?

Tricia: I have faith you're not ruining your kids! Yes, you're probably not perfect ... no one is ... but love and laughter go a long way.

If you have weak areas maybe consider trading time/talents with a friend. Also, know that kids grow and change, and what may be hard this year for your kids may be easy next year!

I know the rest of you have some wonderful advice for Martha! Please leave a comment with your suggestions and I'll send them to her.

Wednesday, February 04, 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 commenter to receive a copy of Blue Like Play Dough when it releases in July.

Ginnie: I became more outwardly focused when I became a mother. Even though my daughter is an adult and a mother in her own right, I still feel a great deal of responsibility for her.

Christy: As my son's mother, I've learned how to listen and be a good friend. He craves time with me and for good friends. As my first child, he's the one who made me a mom and changed my outlook from inward to outward. As a teen mom, I was determined not to fall into a stereotype. I read every parenting book I could get my hands on and tried to be the best mom I could be. I read to him constantly and wrapped my entire life around him. Until his sister, Molly, was born. I truly did relish my role as mom. Molly taught me patience and she has made me enormously proud. While I often feel like an ATM and chauffeur, she is fiercely motivated to be the best at whatever she does, and I admire that about her. My youngest, Mia, has shaped my spirituality the most. Mia has a deep, amazing faith that astounds me. She teaches me something almost daily about what it means to truly trust in God's love. Recently, after a pet's death, I was devastated and could barely speak. Mia reacted with joy that Jesus had taken Dotty home and healed her body. Mia talks regularly about the "third Earth." For her the first earth was the perfect one that Adam and Eve had, the second is what we are living in now, the third is the kingdom that Jesus will bring when he returns. Mia can't wait for the third kingdom, because she knows that my arthritis will be healed, and I will be able to run and play with her. Mia pricks my conscience and forces me talk to God more than I would on my own. My children have taught me how to live with my heart walking outside of my body and they have restored the heart living inside of it.

Kristie: Motherhood has changed me in so many ways I never expected. God is constantly molding and teaching me things through my experiences with my children. I am so grateful that He has entrusted them to me.

Dawn: I used to be a very selfish young person. I did what I wanted to do without thinking about the consequences. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I still put my parents though hell when I was a teenager.
I really didn't grow up until I gave birth to my first child. Immediately it wasn't about me anymore. I had to care for this life that needed me. It was amazing to truly understand how my mom felt being a mom - I was a mom too.

Being a mom has helped me to understand what love is. It helped me to see the importance of family. It also helped me to understand how much God loves us, because WE are HIS children.

I am so blessed to now have 3 precious children and a wonderful husband who loves the Lord. God continues to shape me as I learn how to be a better mom each and every day. Yes, there are mistakes and failures - but He uses them to make us stronger.

Thank you Jesus for giving me the gift of MOTHERHOOD.

Mandy: Since becoming a mother, I realize that I am powerless to control anything in this world. It causes me to rely on God so much more than I ever did before kids. As a mother, there is so much that we can't control the older our kids get. I have to trust God to get our kids thru it.

Tuesday, February 03, 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.

Angela: Motherhood has encouraged me to grow into the woman God designed me to be...the journey started as one to benefit my kids, but now I am in it to glorify God. It's changed my life.

Shannon: Motherhood has made me a more selfless person. Instead of thinking of serving myself seconds at mealtimes, I like to make sure everyone around me has had enough to eat. Instead of buying myself clothes, dvds, or other items when there is extra money, I make sure my kids have their needs met or sign them up for sports activities such as soccer or swimming. I have also developed greater patience - although I still have a long way to go.

Carol: Motherhood has made me a better person in every way....a more exhausted person, but a better one nonetheless. I have learned patience, tolerance, and the endless limits of my ability to love because of my children.

Gina: How motherhood has shaped me? I instantly became aware that I'm not just responsible for a young life, I'm responsible for a young soul. And a kid learns by watching. So improving myself, with God's help, is the only way to be a better mom. Now, I like myself, I know God loves me & I'm following my purpose.

Leticia: I need to start from the beginning. When I was teenager I hated babies and toddlers etc. They used to irk me. In fact, I won a debate supporting abortion. Thank the Lord Jesus for setting me straight.

Fast-forward to 1996, married three years, decided children were a blessing not a curse. And was told by physicians that it would be impossible for me to have children. Ever. I cried my heart out, I was 26-years-old, and told my family the bad news. I prayed to the Lord to let me have a child before the age of 30. Low and behold at 29, I was pregnant!! I cried so hard at the doctor's office that I made the nursing staff cry with me with joy.

Pregnancy was very, very difficult and painful and I was in labor for 32 hours. But worth it. When Nathanael was placed into my arms, blood and gook and all, it changed my life forever. I had never in my life felt so much love for anyone as I did holding my precious little boy. The Lord blessed me again in 2001, with Ethan. Then unfortunately, in 2003 I was urged to get a hysterectomy. Being a mother, to me, is the greatest and most important job in the world. God entrusted to me with two priceless treasures. They have been my greatest blessing and joy. Every day brings enlightement and trials, but through it all, I couldn't ask for two better babies. I love that I can share my faith with them, that I can dance, sing and play with them. I cannot help but gaze at them sometimes and think to myself "Wow! Those are mine." And I thank the Lord all over again for them.

Motherhood is a hard job, but it is so worth the wonderful journey.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Body and Soul Makeover

Whether striving to become a New You this year or just looking to Beat the Blues and strengthen your faith, is full of uplifting content featuring inspiring people and inspiring stories sure to raise everyone's spirits.

Guideposts is inviting people who are looking to take positive steps in their everyday lives to visit the New Year, New You contest page during the next two months and enter online at: for the chance to win a makeover for the body and soul. A Guideposts Dream Team of experts will work together with one grand prize winner as their inspirational allies to develop a life-changing personalized plan - for the mind, body and spirit. These experts are leaders in their fields and have had personal life-changing and inspirational experiences that led them to help and inspire others. Now they want to share that inspiration with our winner.

Theresa Rowe, Fitness Expert, wellness coach and author of Shaped by Faith, published by Guideposts, will tailor an easy-to-follow fitness plan based on the winner's lifestyle and goals.

Rebecca Katz, Healthy Cook and author of One Bite at a Time will demonstrate easy to follow nutritious meals and healthy eating habits.
Julie Hadden, The Biggest Loser Contestant and Inspirational Mom, will share her secrets to balancing everyday life with practical tips for weight loss, maintenance and perseverance.

Kevin Carroll, Motivational Expert, is an author, speaker and agent for social change. Author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life's Work, Kevin will help the winner sustain their motivation for personal growth and change.

If you're in the need for a quick pick-me-up or a total attitude change, is loaded with tips to Beat the Blues in 2009...just one more example of Guideposts spirit-lifting content that helps inspire and build positive feelings. Beating the Blues at is filled with great food ideas to improve energy and outlook, laugh out loud videos, places to renew the spirit, and more.

Do Good, To Feel helping others improves your outlook on life.

5 online videos to watch for an instant pick-me- up.

Exercise Yourself tips to help boost your mood.

Funny Films...a list of top movie star's all-time favorite comedies.

Super Foods...6 delicious good-for-you foods that taste good, too.

Inspiring Personal others have overcome obstacles in their lives.

Inspiring Travels...truly spiritually fulfilling destinations.

Funny Business...jokes, cartoons, humor and other stuff to tickle the funny bone.

Loaded with web-exclusive content and free tools, has a full spectrum of features, functionality and multiple entry points giving users the ability to enjoy, learn from and interact with inspirational material in many ways. is part of the nonprofit Guideposts organization co-founded by the husband and wife team of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale.

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