Monday, May 7, 2012

Quick Update

Did you miss me?

As a girl, I would often find myself starting a journal/diary... Did you catch that?... often starting...
I have never been a consistent journal keeper. Always start with the best of intentions, but...

So, by way of an update...

Our friends' twin babies are still in the hospital.

We are still working towards a drive for the RMHC with our children's church.

We are still doing the little things with our children (and sometimes on our own).

We are still striving for balance in our life so that we can do more of the things that we want to do to share our Lord's love with others while teaching our children at the same time.

We are eagerly anticipating the end of our school year & summer break!

And, not to worry... I WILL become more regular with blog postings... in HIS time. After all, He laid this on my heart. But for now, we are focused on a few things that I'm just not prepared to discuss right now (real world or blog land).

Thanks for understanding! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

An Outreach with the Children from our Church

Hello dear friends!

Do you remember me telling you about sweet friends of ours and their premature babies?

I hope you have been keeping up with them through their blog updates.

These friends have been active helpers/leaders in our children's ministry at our church. Our church children really miss them! They ask about the family each Sunday and want to help in some way.

I have been blessed to be asked to help the children host a 'drive' (in honor of the family) for the Ronald McDonald House where the couple is staying while their babies are in the hospital.  Do you remember we were planning on doing that as a family? Now, we can all work together to bless this charity even more! I can not tell you how much that makes my heart sing! In choosing to help this family... they are also helping MANY OTHER FAMILIES!

These children will be collecting toiletries, household items, and individual food items... all to be used as needed by the families staying at the RMHC.

I will be updating our progress as we move forward :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Continued Prayers

My last post told of our sweet friends and their premature twins.

I encourage you to check out their blog: How God Shows His Love. One of the parents is updating almost daily, sharing their journey with us.

My friends... the PRAYERS ARE WORKING! Please keep it up for these precious little gifts of God! They BOTH have a long road ahead of them and need our continued prayers.

And IF you would like to help the family in some way... consider THIS. You'll look great, too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Love Them Like Jesus

So love them like Jesus,
Carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus

~Love them Like Jesus ~ Casting Crowns~   

This song has been stuck in my head for a week now. 


Sweet friends of ours were expecting twins ... due in June, but thinking probably a May arrival.  Last Sunday morning, our friend gave birth... approximately 15 weeks early. It happened so quickly, that hours later, everyone was still in shock.


"You don't need the answers to all of life's questions"

What do we do? What do we say?

"Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus"

We don't need the answers. They don't expect us to have the answers. They just need our love. Our support. And most important: Our prayers.

Today, we had the honor to deliver a couple of cards from others to our friends. We also dropped off a care package full of all sorts of goodies.

What sort of things does one need in medical emergencies like this? Honestly, I don't know. I simply walked the aisles of the store while trying to think.  As always, God was there by my side, guiding me. I pray that our friends will find every single bit of that package to be of help in some small way.

  • Food (easy-fix non-perishable healthy items, protein bars, and some fresh produce)
  • Journals (one each... to use for prayers or letters to their children)
  • Address book, note cards, and stamps
  • Notebook & pens to jot down things they need to remember
  • Reusable cups with straws for both mom & dad
  • All packaged up in a handy book bag for easy transporting of their needed items when they visit those babies
  • Travel size tissues

This couple is now staying at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital.  I have learned that the RMH operates mainly by donation... both monetary and other items:

Ronald McDonald House

Our family will be working towards collecting items to donate for this wonderful charity.  If you would like to do the same, click on Wish List above. It provides a detailed list of what the home needs for its families. If you would like to make a monetary donation to RMH, click on Donation Options.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with this young family, the doctors, and the nurses...

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's the Little Things...

I have found myself feeling down that February is almost over and we still haven't completed our family outreach project for the month... between illnesses and extra work hours for my husband, we actually have not even planned one out!  (Told you we were very human!)

However, the more I thought about it...

Our plan is to be intentional... To look for opportunities...

And the Lord gently reminded me... it isn't about doing big things, well thought out things, elaborate things... It really is simply, the little things...

  • taking a restaurant gift card to the new neighbor
  • checking in regularly with friends who have had sick little ones
  • praying for friends who are looking for better jobs
  • sending a care package to my mom with blank cards and stamps (she loves to send out a ray of sunshine!)
  • a husband working an extra shift so a coworker can attend a funeral
  • giving a few dollars to the couple standing near a busy stop light who are having a tough time
  • a listening ear for a young mom trying to face the challenges of a blended family
  • a daughter who is working on a joint story with her grandmother (they are both enjoying this project so much & get so tickled when the other's installment of the story arrives in the mailbox)
  • praying for family friends (plural!) who are working through the foreign adoption process
  • a daughter who sends 'Get Well' cards out to sick friends
  • a husband giving a ride to a coworker

    Wow. I just surprised myself with how many little things we have done. 

    No, I am not patting my family on the back here... just pointing out how the little things can add up. Those little things, seen often by little eyes and heard often by little ears, will become embedded into the hearts of our children.

    THAT is our goal.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Seeds Family Worship: Purity

    My husband and I have really enjoyed the music from Seeds Family Worship.  The music is a great tool in helping our children (and ourselves!) memorize Bible scripture.

    Seeds has partnered with FamilyLife for a youth project.  Seeds has released a new digital album entitled Purity. Songs include:
    • Hope and a Future – Jeremiah 29:11
    • Do Not Awaken Love – Song of Solomon 8:4
    • Your Word – Psalm 119:105
    • Keep Your Heart – Proverbs 4:23
    • Not Your Own – I Corinthians 6:18-20
    • Bad Company – I Corinthians 15:33-34
    • He Humbled Himself – Philippians 2:3-5,8
    • Preeminent – Colossians 1:18

    The new album will be part of FamilyLife's Passport2Purity curriculum in MAY.

    This is a serious project directed toward youth... and their parents.

     Parents, you are challenged to take the Parent's Purity Pledge. When you do, you will receive a free song download from the Purity album AND a free devotional download from the Passport2Purity curriculum by FamilyLife.

    Please take a few minutes to read through the pledge and then make the commitment to walk with your children as they learn about and live out a life of purity.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    A Sweet Moment in Time...

    I awoke this morning with a foggy head.  It soon erupted into a full blown headache and the children were so full of exuberant life... and I admit... I got grumpy. Very grumpy.

    My sweet daughter brought me some medicine.  Ibuprofen and two cups of coffee later, the headache began to lift.  I quickly realized my normally loud home was rather quiet... which can only mean two things: 1) A small miracle has happened or 2) Trouble is afoot!

    A quick tour of our small home found my youngest (7 months) and oldest (11 years) playing quietly in our daughter's room.  Sweet! (She is such a great big sister to her little brothers!)

    Next I found our other three children (9 yrs, 4 yrs, & 2yrs) all gathered around the kitchen table drawing.  Sweetly helping each other as needed.  Kind words. Kind voices. Encouraging and lifting each other up... "Great job on that truck!" "Oh! That's an awesome fish!"

    Living out this week's memory verse (Ephesians 4:31-32)... right here in our home.

    Now, as a homeschooling mom with 5 children in her home almost constantly, my prayers throughout the day tend to be 'arrow prayers'. You know... "Lord, help me!" "Lord give me the words." "Lord? HOW am I supposed to handle this?"   Quick. Simple. Pleas for help.

    But today... My 'arrow prayer' was different.  "Oh Lord, how precious. What a sweet blessing, thank you, Lord!"

    I also sent a quick text to my husband telling him of this wonderful moment in my day, lifting his spirits as well. 

    A small glimmer of sunshine, letting me know, that yes, my efforts are taking hold...
    Reminding me...

    "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." ~Galatians 6:9~

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    The Family in the Mirror

    "If you want to change the World...
    Start with your own Family."
    ~Mother Teresa~

    Got that cup coffee ready? Let's chat.

    Our Mission is to teach our children to serve our Father.  We are working monthly on family outreach ideas... some simple, some more complex... but all working toward servant's hearts for our children.

    Yet, first and foremost, they must learn to love family.  It is the learning blocks to the future relationships.  But, boy, oh boy! It's tough to teach children to love each other!

    Our older children have very kind hearts toward others and often surprise us with their sensitivity.  But, at home? With each other? Some days I think they have declared war on each other! 

    Lately, attitudes and tones of voices have been... um... rocky.  I find myself sounding like a broken record!!  "Speak nicely. No yelling.  Be kind......." 

    So my dear husband has decided that since simple apologies do not work at correcting the behavior and establishing the desired behavior...
    • Mistreating a sibling (either verbally or physically... either mild offense or strong offense) = timeout (regardless of their age!)
    • An apology is required (Not just a mumbled "Sorry", but "I'm sorry I yelled at you for standing near my door")
    • For EACH undesired behavior, the child must do TWO good things for the offended child... they decide the two good things, not mom or dad (Ex: "NO! THAT'S MINE!" while jerking away a toy... "I'm sorry I yelled at you and grabbed the toy. (1)Would you like to play cars in my room? (2)Here, this red one is my favorite, but you can play with it for now.")
    The goal being:  To make them STOP and THINK before REACTING to their sibling. 

    They are also guided in the 'right' way of handling the situation should it arise in the future. (Ex: Instead of "GO AWAY!!!...  "It really bugs me when you stand over my shoulder like that while I am on the computer. Could you please find something else to do?... Mom, I've asked him/her to please find something else to do while I am doing my math lesson, but he/she will not go away. Could you help?" - without whining or bratty attitude, of course!)

    God has given us such an amazing, awesome, HUGE responsibility in raising each of these precious Blessings!  So we continue to pray and seek His guidance in this crazy, exciting, rewarding path of parenthood.  We continue to do our Monthly Family Outreach projects. And we continue to focus on the heart of each of our children, daily... teaching them to love each other, daily.

    “Thus I command you to love one another.
    John 15:17(MSNT)

    When we change our hearts at home... we CAN change the WORLD!  It will just spill over into every thing we do! So, in the words of an old song... (go ahead, sing along, I did...)

    "If you wanna make the world a better place
    Take a look at yourself and then make the change
    You gotta get it right while you got the time
    ’Cause when you close your heart, then you close your mind
    With that man in the mirror , oh yeah
    I’m asking him to change his ways
    Better change, no message could have been any clearer
    If you wanna make the world a better place
    Take a look at yourself and then make a change"

    Man in the Mirror / Michael Jackson

    And oh, if you have a great idea to use in training these hearts... be sure to leave a comment for me and the other readers... Thanks! :)

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Feeding the Fire Fighters!

    First, just let me say... perhaps I got a little over excited with my menu plans... a hubby at work... 5 kids under feet (or attempting to seriously damage each other!)... Therefore... no selection of goodies... just cupcakes for dessert.  ;)

    • Taco Soup with Chicken
    • Corn Muffins
    • Corn Chips
    • Chocolate Buttercream Frosted Cupcakes
    • Soda
    Still a great sounding menu, right? :)

    I had originally planned to have my two oldest children help make the desserts... but, they were still working on chores that were supposed to have been accomplished earlier in the week.  I was determined not to let our plans be changed again, so I made it all.  Besides, this is the first outreach for the year... I don't want to be demanding of the children in regards to our outreach... I want to set a good example.  I believe the more we reach out, the more excited the children will be to help.

    And boy, were they excited when we got there!  A little on the shy side at first, but two super friendly fire fighters broke the ice when they said, "Would you like to climb inside the truck?"

    And that is how our wanting to show appreciation to our fire fighters turned into a home school field trip! :)  The children have NOT stopped talking about it!  My Blessings #2 and #3 want to go back tomorrow! LOL!

    The fire fighters were very appreciative of a warm hearty soup with corn muffins.  The children were very appreciative of the special tour of all the fire trucks.  A good day!

    PS... We did take a few pics... I will edit this post to add them as soon as I find the camera and figure out how! ;)

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    January Outreach Prep

    Today will be a busy day in our home!  After returning from our homeschool co-op, we have chores and schoolwork to catch up on...

    Later we will be cooking and baking!!  We have decided to provide a complete meal for our local paid firefighters tomorrow.  A chicken taco soup with corn muffins and frito chips... a selection of cookies and cupcakes... and a selection of soda. 

    Yum! I think I will need to make a REALLY BIG batch so we can have some too! :)

    We also plan on providing goodies for our local volunteer department, but their next meeting isn't until February.

    We plan on taking some pictures when we deliver the meal (and perhaps get a little tour while we are there!)  So come back later this weekend and check for a new post with pics! :)

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Ooops! I did it, again!

    Training up our children is such a huge undertaking... one not to be taken lightly. 

    However, being human and far, far from perfect... there are many days I fail.  Yes, you read that right... I fail.  I fail to fill up those sweet little 'love tanks' in their souls.

    Two days this week have been that way... Little sleep... interrupted sleep... almost constant 2 yo tantrums... I could give lots of excuses... And if I am honest with myself, that's exactly what they are: EXCUSES.  Yes, we get tired. Yes, we get worn down. Yes, we get frustrated. However, God gave me one of the most important jobs on the planet! 

    I wouldn't let my lack of sleep or poor mood get in my way if I were out in the paid workforce!  No, I would leave those problems at the door and go about my workday with a smile on my face (even if there is no joyous song in my heart).  I would gladly serve my customers or my managers... I mean, my paycheck would depend on doing a good job each day!!

    Benefits of motherhood are so much more rewarding than a check!!  Hugs, kisses, "I love you's"... seeing those lessons that we hammer into our children start to take hold... seeing their hearts being molded into caring, loving servants for our Father!

    But it takes time... LOTS of time!  I am someone who loves to see quick results (one reason I have never taken up knitting!) but motherhood is NOT about quick results!!  Nine months to have a baby... two to three years until potty trained... Eighteen years til they reach adulthood!!  Wow!!  It's a long journey that requires LOTs of time, LOTS of energy (am I the only one lacking here?), LOTS of.... I don't like this word very much... PATIENCE!

    I fully believe that is why so many mothers, myself included, feel so weary.  We can't do it all on our own... We need our Father's help!!  He will give us hope, grace, patience, strength... and everything else to keep us going!

    I have been placing index cards with uplifting scriptures throughout my home... places I will see as I go about my day...

    Galations 6:9 (NKJV)
    And let us not grow weary while doing good,
     for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart

    Jeremiah 29:11-13 (The Message)
    I know what I’m doing.
    I have it all planned out—
    plans to take care of you,
    not abandon you,
    plans to give you the future you hope for.
    When you call on me, when you come and pray to me,
    I’ll listen.
    When you come looking for me,
    you’ll find me.

    Just to name a few :)

    I am also seeking out encouragement... such as Hope for the Weary Mom and Raising Arrows.

    Because raising my children's 'Heart and Hands to Heaven' begins with me.  Thank God for his grace and mercy in giving me another day to try again, to keep working toward our goal of servant's hearts for our children.  Thank Him for forgiving me when I fail... for forgiving me when I forget to leave it all with Him and try to do it on my own!

    Now, I am off to fill some 'love tanks'! :) 

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Blessings Bag Thoughts

    In my Welcome! post, I mentioned Blessings Bags. 

    With thoughts of the homeless... Here. In America.

    Or those really struggling... Here. In America.


    Upon reading a friend's blog, I was reminded that the Bible urges us to share His message with EVERYONE (Mark 16:15).  It also urges us to care for the orphans (James 1:27).

    So... Why not send Blessings Bags to other struggling countries?

    Read my friend's blog.  Learn how to be an ordinary hero.  Invite your friends to party.

    I challenge you to see what you can do...  It's a small thing, really. No passports required.  No airfare or long layovers.  Simply slip some clothes in some bags.  Mail them to Kentucky and let the missionaries handle the rest. 

    And Oh! By the way... Gently used clothing is OK for those bags! :)

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Who am I?

    Now, you may be asking yourself... "Who is this Blessed Mama who wants her family's 'Hearts & Hands to Heaven' as servants of our Father?"

    Great question! Have you got that coffee or tea handy?

    Blessed Mama came from a 'broken' home (parents divorced when she was only two, 'mom' walked away and never really looked back), spent some time in the foster care system (a very humbling situation), and then finished out the growing-up years living with her father, step-mother (who IS a true mom!), and 2 brothers in a small southern town. Blessed Mama asked Jesus into her heart at a tender young age and grew up in church. However, she sort of  'forgot' about that relationship for awhile in early adulthood (but was still a good girl!).  Nothing like a few years in the trenches of motherhood to make one realize they NEED His help!  Today I homeschool the 2 older children as I tend the needs of the younger 3 children.   Blessed Mama is in awe that our Father has entrusted so many little hearts into her care... and so very thankful for each and every one!

    Perhaps you noticed that no names have been shared?  Oh, I know some of you know me in person... but, understand... this blog is about us, but NOT about us. Confused?  No need... We are but a very small part of the greater picture that our Father is weaving together.  What we do, what you read... well, it could be about any of us... all of us! 

    The life of Jesus here on Earth... that is our role model toward servanthood.  Not the "Smith's" or the "Jones'" (although I know some of each who are pretty great folks!). 

    My point?  Read & enjoy this blog.  Allow it to inspire you. Challenge you.  But do NOT look to me... I WILL let you down, no matter how hard I try. Instead,  "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace."

    Now you know me just a little bit better... Tell me a little about yourself?

    Saturday, January 7, 2012


    Welcome to our new family blog!  And Happy New Year!!

    We don't "do" New Year's Resolutions. They are too easily broken. 

    This year we are doing Family Goal's for the New Year, with prayers that some will become lifestyles. Such as our biggest goal:  Family Outreach. Small things and not-so-small things that will show our children just how easy it is to have 'Hearts and Hands to Heaven', ready to show our Father's love to everyone.

    We do not have a large list yet... just a few ideas that our older children helped to compile.

    • Goodies for our local firefighters (They have unfortunately been quite busy lately.)
    • Blessing Bags for the homeless or those having very tough times
    • An anonymous payment on an utility bill
    • Bingo at a local nursing home
    • Movie Basket for a family (filled with a gift card from a local movie rental store, some popcorn & candy, and a couple of sodas)

    See? Nothing very difficult. Just being deliberate about keeping our eyes & ears open while listening for a prompting from our Father.

    Am I patting us on the back? Oh, no, no, no!  We simply want to share our journey. Share ideas and inspiration.  AND... Ok, I admit it... sometimes I can start with good intentions and then let things be pushed to the back burner (I am human, ok? And I have 5 wonderful blessing that call me Mama and keep me very busy.)  So, this blog is my accountability partner (you, too!).

    Now, add us to your favorite blogs ;) and have a cup of coffee (or tea!) with me as I chronicle our family's journey to have a servant's heart.