‘Tis the Season to be Stressed? No . . . Blessed!

You know how some folks bicker after a loved one is gone and some rational person says, “I just don’t think this is how Momma would want us to act”?

Well, I just don’t think Jesus would want us all stressed out trying to figure out how we gonna buy somebody else gifts for HIS birthday. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Come on Sis! Come on Brother! You are absolutely, certifiably to blessed to be stressed. It’s okay if you can’t get your kid the iPhone X! Really, it is!

So here’s what I want you to do instead:

1) Find the craziest photos you can of you with your loved ones. (Not those picture perfect posed ones). 📷

2) Make a collage and thank God for them while doing this exercise. (This alone will bring a smile to your face). 🙏🏽

3) Make a list of activities to do this Christmas with them. (Believe it or not even teenagers still enjoy doing stuff). ⛄️

Pinterest is great but let’s go way back. Can you make a gingerbread house, bake some cookies, build a snowman, play Monopoly? I’ve seen my teenager put her phone down for this stuff! 😮

I PROMISE YOU by mid-January every year, half the toys I bought are either broke, or put away from lack of further interest antyways. 🙃

But, the memories we make will last a lifetime. 🤗Focus on what you DO have. I CHALLENGE you to make this a ‘memorable’ Christmas.

Thankful Thursday

Man, I’ve been meaning to share this story with you, but time kept escaping me. This #tossbackthursday gives me the perfect opportunity.

When I was preparing for leadership retreat a few weeks ago, I needed a pair of nude shoes but found the small tap on one of the heels was missing on mine. So I searched on the map and found that a local dry cleaners performed shoe repairs.

I dropped them off and was promised I could pick them up the next day, which was perfect! The plan was to get them before heading to bible study. Then my flight was 6:00 am the following day.

 

Problem arose when I came to pick up my shoes and they looked awful! Though they were NUDE and had a tan or light brown sole and taps, these people went and put a big bulky BLACK tap on a thin stiletto heel! And still wanted payment!

 

I was mortified. I was in disbelief about the AWFUL customer service and subpar work and more importantly, I was out of time to fix it. It was time for bible study and I had kid duties that night (which involved loads of homework), last minute grocery shopping, preparation for the trip, packing, etc.

 

(I was so swamped that I never even made it to sleep that night…I had to work all through the night right up until the 4:00 am arrival of the Uber for the airport transportation).

 

So imagine how highly agitated I was with my husband when he didn’t return home immediately after bible study ended, like I asked. I figured he was chatting it up with the members instead of honoring my request and I was texting and fussing. All the while, he was playing it cool saying “Yes, Honey. Sorry I am late. I’ll be home soon.” He just took it like a champ.

 

Soooooooo, imagine my surprise when he lay asleep in the bed at 2:00 am and I reach for my neatly folded stack of clothes and piles of shoes to pack and find a BRAND NEW PAIR OF NUDE PUMPS!!!!

 

OMG! So you mean to tell me after you finished teaching in Bedford, you raced to Nordstroms in Beachwood and went shopping for a pair of heels after a long hard day of work???

 

After what will be 16 years of marriage on 11/24, I am shocked that I still keep falling for the okey doke. I should have known he was up to something. #smh Feeling #thankful that after all these years he still makes my happiness his priority and will stop at nothing to provide for me.

Supplement Swap

Friends, I really do appreciate all of your support.
When you switch from your store bought vitamins, omegas and probiotics to my supplements, you not only upgrade to a superior product, but you support a friend.
You contribute to sports lessons, Christian education and my dream of financial freedom. 
That’s why I provide you such stellar service. I’m so grateful for you. Thank you for supporting my business.

Today I Choose Thankfulness

Oh boy. I don’t always blog, but when I do it’s because I feel an overwhelming obligation to share something the Lord revealed to me in more characters than would be appropriate in a Facebook post. And, this moment is one of those moments. I sent my two oldest children off to school today and felt so many emotions.

Yes, partly because my oldest daughter is entering the ninth grade this year. I think I just didn’t process that until just this moment. Just the other day I remember giving birth to her and changing her diapers and nursing her and what? Where was I? Seriously, how did she become a high school student??? Incredibly puzzling moment.

Then, my youngest daughter just departed for the seventh grade retreat. It’s a bit much for me. This is a new journey for her and she was just so happy and so excited. She has worked so hard to get to this moment and overcame many obstacles. I have seen the hand of God move to provide and I am just in awe of His Faithfulness.

The Lord truly is My Provider. I cannot begin to express financial commitment of having an elementary school, middle school and high school student going through private Christian education while a preschooler makes their way through private early childhood education. The cost is extensive, but it is the investment we were led to make.

It’s an investment we do not regret that comes with many intangible benefits, but many sacrifices as well.  When you accept a call from God that results in closing your law practice to build a ministry, it is not without financial consequences. Not every ministry is a mega church, and not every church is in a position to compensate its leadership.

My husband and I have graciously accepted our assignment to pastor at a church of the latter kind.  Yet, God has provided for our family like He provided for the prophets of old. It has taught us to lean and depend on Him in ways I would likely have never experienced if financial hardship had never been a part of my journey.

But it has, and yet God has and continues to supply. So, I can’t take finances to privately pay for their education for granted . .  . I give Him thanks. I can’t take uniforms and book bags and school supplies for granted . . . I give Him thanks. Every year my children stop and smile for the ceremonious photo before walking through those doors . . . for this I give Him thanks.

And, the fact that they walked through those doors is yet another miracle in and of itself for which I praise Him.  Hardly a day goes by that I don’t forward the post of a parent’s plea for help in finding their missing child.  Daily, I read an article of a child lost to illness, accident or crime.  My heart aches in unexplicable ways for a parent that is now without their child.

So, how can I complain that the cost of private school education is increasing? Or that the school supply lists are exhaustive? Or that they need new clothes and new back packs? Glory be to God that they are healthy and continue to grow. Praise be unto God that they are alive and well and able to return to school this year. Yes, I choose thankfulness!

I choose public thankfulness because someone else needs to be reminded to count their blessings. I choose public thankfulness because someone else needs to know the struggle to provide better for your children is nothing for which you should be ashamed. I choose public thankfulness because I desire to bring hope to someone wondering this very moment how they are going to get make it.

Yes, there are organizations and charities out there that provide aid . . . our church is one of them. But, I thank God we learned how to plug into the Source and I pray that you will do so today. Let God show you, as He has shown my family, that He is an Awesome Father and He can do exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask or think to ask in your life. Turn to Him today and let Him become the Source of your Strength.

I also pray today that you will be open to whatever way God desires to provide for you. The Lord gives us the power to get wealth. My husband and I are very grateful that we have had success in our entrepreneurial endeavors to augment our income. Much of what we do is not easily duplicatable because of unique assets or talents God has provided. But, our network marketing business is indeed the exception.

I take great joy in sharing this with you because you too may be believing God for finances to fund your vision for your family. I have the ability to work my business around my obligations to provide for my family and when I am not preparing to teach at our church. It’s such a blessing to have a business that complements my ministry and my family-oriented lifestyle.  I am grateful God provided this opportunity and equips me to help others seize it as well.

I would love to hear your feedback in the comments. Are you the product of Christian Education, and if so how did your parent’s sacrifices impact your life? Are you juggling the demands of meeting the financial obligations of private school, and if so how did you create an additional stream of revenue for your family? Have you experienced God’s Faithfulness to provide in your life, and if so in what ways? Let’s learn from each other.

God is Able! If He did it for me, He can do it for you! Be encouraged.

Attitude of Gratitude

We are approaching that time of year again . . . I will be celebrating my birthday again on March 12th.

Strangely, I am not desiring a bash or any fanfare. I’m desiring time to worship my Father for the gift of life and an amazing family to share it with.

What a beautiful gift? What else could anyone give me? What could compare?

On any given day, any person pictured here with me is getting on my last nerve:

Who takes my cell phone charger without my permission?

Who has a mouth that makes you want to rearrange their face?

Who only follows instructions after the thirtieth request?

Who knows how to agitate somebody to the point of no return?

Who will do something they know is forbidden but then offer the sweetest apology?

At any given moment, any member of my family can fit these descriptions to the T!

And yet, there is not one of them that I wouldn’t risk my life to save. I adore this peculiar group of people that God has joined me with under the heading “family”. The love is indescribable.

If the Lord blesses me to see them another day, make more memories, have new arguments, accomplish new goals, overcome new obstacles, then my birthday will be a blessed day.

I am grateful for another year. Happy another year of life aka Happy Birthday to me!