Pride and Prejudice

I met one of my absolute best friends the summer going into grade 5, at the ball field.  If you know my life at all, it really centers around gymnastics and baseball and this is really where I met many of my close friends.  This particular friend was the same age as me, and our fathers played ball against one another.  We hung out all summer and then come the fall, we turned out to be in the same homeroom class.

This friendship is still holding strong and she is my rock.  I have a bond with her that is strengthened by God, and I am very thankful for her and all her tremendous attributes.  She is the most amazing person I know.  She is everything that the bible verse, Galatians 5:22-23 is.  Love.  Joy.  Peace.  Patience.  Kindness.  Goodness.  Faithfulness.  She’s incredible!

We are however not the same denomination and her beliefs and mine don’t always line up.  She is very black and white when it comes to the scripture, and myself, I like to look for the deeper meaning and also think that God is not the judging God that her religion feels that he is.  To me if you are a good person, living in God’s word the best you can, he is going to be his loving self.  Nobody has all the answers, we all sin and we try to better ourselves.  That’s how I roll.  My religion is very open-minded and I love that about it.

Her religion on the other hand is very strict and almost scares people into thinking that their way is the ONLY way to get to heaven.  Maybe they are right and I am wrong, who knows.  Someday I might find out from the depths of Hell, but for now, I love to think the best about everything and everyone!

During the time in my life when I had my first born child, she was my first choice to be the Godmother of my child.  Her religion doesn’t believe in baptizing infants, and so she had to decline my invitation, thinking that her religion would frown upon her for being involved with such a crime as baptizing a child in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  EEEEEK!!!!  Sad, right?

It was shocking at first, but I love this friend and understood her moral struggle and respected her decision.  Another kind friend of mine stepped up and had no issue filling these shoes.  I told my friend that I understood that her religion didn’t honor children the way mine did, and that was fine, but at the same time I did find it strange that a religion would be so judgemental of other religions beliefs.  In my mind, I find it hard to call yourself a Christian, condemning other religions in this manner. In my friend’s defense, she was young and trying to be the best person for God that she could be, and I don’t blame her for that.

I loved reading the book, “Dying to be Me…My Journal From Cancer, Near Death, to True Healing” by Anita Moorjani.  She is a Buddhist and she made it to heaven!  Imagine!  My friend’s religion might be shocked, but I’m not!  There might be still hope for me to get to Heaven after all!

Studying Acts 10, I learned that God had to work in Peter’s heart and soul just like he worked in my friend’s heart and soul.  God broke through to Peter and made it clear that the scripture is not just for the Jews but the Gentiles too.  Acts 10:44 explains, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” 

Years after the baptism of my first child, my friend did apologize for her decision to decline my invitation, and was very remorseful of how she was so close minded, but admitted she was trying to find her way with God.  Of course I never even really thought about it after, and thought she was being silly even apologizing.  This was her belief and I respected her for standing strong on her belief—I didn’t understand why, but respected none-the-less.

I’m glad that she eventually realized that God shows no favoritism, and that she recognized maybe she was being close-minded but was fearful for what God would do to her if she honored my child’s baptism.  That is the great thing about finding your spirituality, and why I have a strong belief that we all have to read the bible for ourselves and not have people form our hearts to be prejudice against other people, religions, race or cultural beliefs.

During Peter’s sermon in Acts 10 he explains that Jesus is Lord of All.  That includes denominations that baptize their babies; that includes different cultures that might have multiple gods they pray to; that includes the other religions who may pray to saints and other people of the Bible!  It’s a crazy way of thinking but being open to the fact that Jesus is Lord of All and loves us all isn’t going to hurt anyone.  We are instructed to love our neighbors, even if they baptize their babies, or do something else you might find is not in your belief system.

Rip the layers of prejudice off your heart and open it up to see how big our God really is and how much love he has to spread around!

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Defense! Defense!

Defense!  Defense!  Defense!  Have you ever been to a basketball game?  I’m sure as you read those words, foot stomps echoed in your memory because everyone at one point of their lives have heard that song.  It is the most frequently sung chant by both teams, in any sport really.  Teams try to defend their net, or territory and make sure their players don’t let the other team to score.

Sports have an incredible amount of lessons that they can teach people of all ages.  It teaches how to work with other people.  It teaches how to deal with disappointment and heart ache.  It teaches parents that they have to let their children experience loss and frustrations.  It teaches parents and athletes how to make sacrifices, because sport takes a lot of time and energy and if you have more than one very involved athlete in a family, it also teaches time management.  The list of what sports teaches is really an entirely different lesson, but what I am trying to get at is that sport is a great tool for many life lessons.

The lesson that I wanted to highlight today is that of defense.  I really feel that we have to think of spirituality in the form of defense.  I really think that God is constantly on the defense for us.  He has set up our world so that we have our own free will to do what we want to choose to do with our lives.  Many times, however, we are given choices.  Choices to do the right thing, or the temptation to do the wrong thing, almost like evil spirits and angelic spirits.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you are taking the wrong path in an area of your life, all of a sudden something or someone shows up to interfere with what you were about to do, or say?  That would be God acting defensively for us.  Trying to stop us.  I know myself, there were many times that I didn’t let these interferences stop me and still made a bad play in my life.  Looking back it is easy to see the hand of God trying to intervene, and then I realize my error.

God is never setting us up to fail, and is always on our defense, whether we make the correct shot and defend our net, it is up to us to make the right play.  Many times we might trip and fall, or shoot and miss, but that doesn’t mean that the game is over.  Pull yourself together, and refocus your energy towards your goal and God will once again help you in the defensive side of the game, making sure that you don’t let that bad play happen again.

The Divine Creator is with us every step of our journey and our game plan is already drawn out for us. He wants us to win!  I’m studying Deuteronomy this month, and in Deuteronomy 20:4, it tells us, “For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’”  Each play can go down the way God is trying to coach us towards, or we can use our own player’s judgment and try to go against the coach’s advice.  Either way, we learn from our choice and move onto the next game of life.  After you go against the coach long enough, you will eventually learn that his defensive strategy is second to none, and you will win every game following his strategies.

I’m not a basketball expert—I honestly, have no idea about the game—but I do know that my son’s coach is very vocal from the sidelines.  Not only is his coach vocal, but his teammates on the bench are always encouraging, and chanting, “DEFENSE!  DEFENSE!”  God is very vocal too, and is the best defensive coach you will ever find.  It just means you have to train yourself to listen to his whispers, learn from your mistakes, and try to follow his lead the next time around.

In the sporting world, there are athletes that coaches refer to as, “uncoachable”.  Are you one of those people?  Are you going to be stubborn and think your way is the best way to play the game?  Are you uncoachable?  Or are you going to let the Great Divine lead you to a sweet victory in this game called life or are you going to try and coach yourself?  Many people try, but eventually they learn the power of the Great Divine!

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The Climb

My daughter was prime age to enjoy the world of Hannah Montana.  Miley Cyrus was pretty precious when she was a childhood star.  I even enjoyed the episodes and it taught some great life lessons.  Miley’s last big hit as Hannah Montana was Hannah Montana The Movie, where she was all grown up and was moving on to bigger and better things.  Miley was trying to make the huge decision if she should reveal her hidden identity and expose the fact that Hannah Montana was really Miley or keep Hannah Montana hidden.

On the way home from school the other day, my daughter, who hasn’t watched this show in years, spoke very wise words to me, and it really got me thinking.  She said, “Mom, you know Miley Cyrus’ song, “The Climb”?  That is what I feel like I am going through, trying to reach all my gymnastics goals.  I looked into her beautiful blue eyes that she inherited from her father, and I melted right there and then.  This 12 year old has taught me so much in her short time on earth and is wise beyond her years.

We both started reminiscing about the song and started to sing the first verse, “I can almost see it. That dream I’m dreaming, but there’s a voice inside my head saying, “You’ll never reach it.” Every step I’m takin’, every move I make feels lost with no direction, my faith is shakin’.  But I, I gotta keep tryin’ gotta keep my head held high.  There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move.  Always gonna be an uphill battle sometimes I’m gonna have to lose.  Ain’t about how fast I get there ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side, it’s the climb.”

I could see how she was relating these words to her dreams on her gymnastics goals, and I am there to help her in any way I can to help her reach these goals.  I am loving what the sport is teaching her about life, because there is always going to be another mountain that you want to make move.  Life is always an uphill battle and we can’t win them all, but that is what makes life so incredible…the climb.

As I reflected on our conversation that day, and thought about how this song also applies to spirituality.  Everyone’s dream is making it to heaven, but then your faith gets shaken by something that happens in your life to make you doubt your beliefs, and you will have that voice inside your head feeding you doubt about all that you’ve learned about spirituality.  You just get over one hurdle that you thought was going to tear apart your world, and life seems to be going great, and then BAM!  You are slapped with another battle that you now have to try and overcome.  It really is nonstop.  Just like Miley Cyrus explains in her beloved lyrics about this song.

I love all the verses in Proverbs!  There is an incredible amount of wisdom squished into one book in the Bible.  Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  I know that I don’t have all the answers, but raising my children has been a rewarding journey.  I can’t save them from hurt or disappointment, nor should I, because this is how they grow and learn.  The same with adults and our spirituality.  We have to get hurt to learn, and as long as love and wisdom are the bases of our family’s mission statement, my children should turn out OK.  As long as love and wisdom is the bases of your spirituality, you should be OK too.

The second verse of “The Climb” continues, “The struggles I’m facing, the chances I’m taking, sometimes might knock me down, but no, I’m not breaking.  I may not know it, but these are the moments that I’m gonna remember most, yeah just gotta keep goin’, and I, I gotta be strong just keep pushing on.”

Miley Cyrus sung very true words, because this is exactly what we have to do!  Keep pushing on.  You may not realize it now, but you will look back in a few years and think that those trails you went through…the climb…were the days that shaped you into you.  Just like my daughter is learning through her sport.  There is heart aching disappointments when things don’t turn out the way we wanted, but in the end you will become a better gymnast, or person because of them.  You just have to keep focusing on the future, and don’t dwell on the disappointments…it’s all about the climb!

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Pro-Active Problems

Pro-active.  Isn’t that a great word?  It’s used in the world of education quite frequently.  We are trying to be pro-active this time of the year to keep on top of the behavior problems that arise because this time of the year students are getting tired of one another, are fed up with school and are ready for their summers to begin.  You would think this would be an easy time of the year, now that the homestretch is in sight, but honestly, it is the worst part of the year.

Being pro-active is a good way to be for any part of your life.  Let’s take marriage for instance.  We have to constantly be pro-active in keeping our marriage fresh and alive.  It is easy to let your marriage take the back burner in life, and neglect it.  We all think that our spouse is happy and life is just busy and getting in the way of your time, but this isn’t always the case.

How many of us put everyone else before our husband, or wife?  I know I’m guilty of putting everyone ahead of my husband.  I just think that his needs aren’t as important as our children’s.  I have life-long friendships that I want to keep alive and have to put energy into keeping them.  I have gymnasts that I coach and I want to help them reach their gymnastics goals.  I have students that I am responsible for and have to help reach their outcomes in the 195 days that I have them.  I have deadlines that I need to reach.

The list of our responsibilities are endless.  Everyone knows the feeling, but how many of us think pro-actively?  How many of us reevaluate our lives frequently so that we can ensure that we are setting our priorities straight?

Being pro-active in our marriage is the first and most important step in our daily living.  Why, you may wonder?  Without a strong marriage, what do we have?  Nothing.  It’s easy to give up on marriages that aren’t going the way we dreamed.  Television, songs, and movies of today are all about promoting adulterous behavior.  Matthew 13:4 explains, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

In today’s society, the importance of marriage is overlooked.  We seem to deem everything more important so you can see why adulterous behavior could happen.  If we are pro-active with our relationships and put some energy into them, this might be preventative.  Just like being pro-active in the classroom and making sure behavior issues don’t have the time to arise, we can do the same with our marriages.  It is more work than letting things roll the way they are rolling but in the end, you will be thankful of your efforts.

A lifetime is a long time to be with one person.  If you don’t put the energy into your marriage, you will have your struggles.  You will have your struggles even with putting energy into it and being pro-active.  Put your own selfishness aside, and make your spouse’s life all that they deserve to have.  Make them your number one priority in your life after God.  That is being pro-active and you will witness your marriage become all that God created it to be.

This isn’t going to be easy.  Juggling life and a marriage is a balancing act that even the greatest of circus performers can’t even handle, but you have to try.  Being pro-active will help make the juggling act easier.

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Morning Hugs

Are you a coffee lover?  Do you need your coffee fix to get you energized for the day?  I’m more of a tea drinker myself, but I do love how my cup of tea in the morning gives me a big hug to start my day, and eases me into the reality that is going to slap me in my face as soon as I leave the comfort of my home.

Who wouldn’t love a morning hug?  I know I sure do.  I love that I ease into my day.  Sure, I have to wake up earlier to do it, but it is well worth it, in my books.  My morning hug includes a nice cup of tea, curled up in my lazy boy chair with my bible, and my ipad ready to go through my morning spiritual routine.

Lately I was in Newfoundland for a gymnastics competition for four nights, and my morning routine was broken.  I didn’t have the hour alone with by daily bible reading and 20 minutes of meditation.  My entire world seemed astray.  I still got in my time, but it was when I could squeeze it in during the day, and sometimes, I wasn’t alone in my room as I had to share the hotel room with another coach.

Sometimes when our routine becomes shaken, so do our worlds.  We don’t feel right since we are proven creatures of habit.  We have good habits and bad habits, and these habits are sometimes hard to break.  Often we have to look at our habits and maybe evaluate which ones we should continue and which ones we should eliminate.

I have many bad habits, but I am striving hard to change them in myself.  Little by little, I am making slight changes so that I don’t feel lost like I did when I was in Newfoundland.  Change is hard, even when you are trying to change for the better.

I’m trying to have more patience with my children.  I love a clean house, and my son loves to make a mess.  This is a habit that I have to learn to change so that I don’t make my son feel inept.  He is independent and enjoys making his own meals, shakes and other items in the kitchen, but many times his independence leads to a huge mess.  One time he made a protein shake with strawberry milk and to this day I am still finding splatters of pink on my maple wooden cupboards, because someone forgot to put the top on the blender before he pressed the high power button.  He did his best to clean it up, and I did my best to stay patient, but I know it is an area that I need to work at.

I’m also trying to stop gossiping, but man-oh-man, this is a hard one.  Someone opens with the line, “Did you hear about so-and-so?” and I grab the bait every time!  Why?  Because it is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to know about other people, even if it means their world is falling apart before their eyes.  Or maybe I’m only getting part of the story.  Either way, I am trying my best to ignore it and move on, but I know I am still a work in progress in this area.

I have many other bad habits I am trying to work at, but I won’t bore you any further with the details.  I just wish that people would start to concentrate on bettering themselves instead of belittling others.  We all have areas of our own lives that need work, and that is where we should focus our energy.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13, it is told, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Coffee was one of my many bad habits at one time of my life, but I had to stop drinking it because if I didn’t get it, I would have really bad headaches.  I really didn’t want to change my habit of drinking coffee, but eventually, once I switched to tea I realized what a wise decision it was.  If I miss having a tea in the morning, I don’t get that horrible throbbing in my frontal lobe, which is a great change.

All habits are hard to change at first.  There are many things in our lives that sometimes we have to adjust, but over time, life becomes normal again.  One baby step at a time.  I know now, I love my tea first thing in the morning.  Little by little I added in my time with God to that tea time.  At first it was only 5 minutes, but now I am up to 50 minutes, and I’m still craving more.

God is faithful and he will help you transition into the person you want to be.  Free will is part of being human, and not bowing down to our flesh is something that can’t be done easily without the helping hand of God.  Did you want to change a bad habit of some sort?  Start the change with a prayer, and he will help you out.  Trust me!

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Panning for the Gold Gymnast

Have you ever panned for gold?  I love watching “Gold Rush” on Discovery channel with my husband.  It is incredible how they find this and how plentiful gold actually is.  If you aren’t sure how it is done, you dip the pan in a stream, then remove the pan, ensuring you keep as little water as possible in the pan. You place a magnet on the bottom side of the pan and slowly move it around the pan. Black sand is magnetic and will be attracted to the magnet, and the gold not being magnetic is then separated from the black sand.

Coaching gymnastics is honestly just like panning for gold!  You have to determine the gold from the black sand.  Not everyone is made to be a gymnast, and this is what parents really find hard to understand.  Just like everyone isn’t a ‘AAA’ athlete.  Everyone can enjoy the sport of gymnastics, but not everyone is going to make it to be a National Level Athlete in this sport.

We also have gymnasts in this sport that can do the sport physically, but somehow they run into confidence issues for certain skills.  Physically they are more than capable of doing the sport buy mentally they hit walls.

It really is frustrating as a coach when an athlete goes through this, because you can see their potential, but they are holding themselves back from their true potential because of a skill, or the confidence to do the skill.  There is something in their brain that isn’t letting them move forward to their true potential.

Do you realize that God feels the same way as I do as a coach?  He has created every one of us to reach and to do amazing things in this world, but so many of us never reach our true potential.  For some reason, we’ve let the evil spirits in our heads convince us that we aren’t wonderful, that we can’t reach our goals.  Maybe someone has stated their opinion about us, and that made us feel little or inferior, but why?  Why are we letting someone’s opinion about you dictate what you will do, or who you become?  They aren’t the creator of this universe!  They aren’t the ones who already have our lives mapped out for us.

Just like I try to explain to my gymnast, they can’t let this one skill stop them in their progression and let it determine who they are as a gymnast.  The same holds true for us.  We have to stop letting things that happen to us, or things that are said to us determine our destiny.  We have to realize that we are all created equal, and that isn’t a myth.  Acts 10:34 tells us, “So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,”  We are all the same in God’s eyes!

Just like panning for gold, we have to realize that even though the waters might be muddy at first, when the water clears, we are all made of gold.  We are all priceless in God’s eyes!  God gets frustrated at you, just like I get frustrated at my gymnasts, because I see the gold in them, but many times, they don’t see the gold in themselves.

I try to bring the best out of all my gymnasts.  I try positive reinforcement, reward systems, negative reinforcement…one of my gymnast even comes over to me when she sees me working with a struggling gymnast and recommends, “Give them your speech, it always works for me.”  She makes me chuckle, but they have empathy for each other and know what it is like to have mental blocks.

I can see the gold in them as a gymnast, but until they realize their own worth, none of my tricks will work.  Until they realize that they are just as good as they believe they can be, my power is useless.  I saw the transformation in my daughter by using God as her power in her times of struggles, and now, I know that she is learning to pray for patience when she is struggling, or praying for strength when she gets tired.  Her go to verse is, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

Nobody knows how much I wish I could use this verse with all my gymnasts.  If they would only believe that they can do all things by using the strength of Christ I would have a group of rock star gymnasts.  It’s no secret, but until we believe that we are made of gold, and that we are all created equal, I am fighting a losing battle, and I just keep repeating my daughter’s go to verse myself.  I wonder what verse God chants to himself whenever we are frustrating him not reaching our own potential in life.

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Spirituality Science

Have you ever read or heard about a Near Death Experience or an NDE?  They fascinate me!  I can’t wait until science finally finds a way to tap into this spiritual world that these people have experienced.  These people all give great accounts of their journeys and it is an area that we still can’t fully explain.

I’m finding it mystifying how the people that are experiencing these NDEs are many doctors or scientists that were 99.9% sure that they had all the answers through science and their knowledge of the brain.  Eben Alexander’s “Proof of Heaven” was mysterious.  He was a Neurologist and goes into a coma from meningitis for a week, and has amazing encounters with the spiritual world.  Or Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight” is another great book, explaining her walk in the spiritual world while she has a stroke, and because she has her Ph. D. in neuroscience she uses this to investigate her experiences.

These are just two of my favorites, and I’m anxiously anticipating the release of Dr. Raijiv Parti’s book “Dying to Wake Up: A Doctor’s Voyage into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back” that is to be available to read August 22, 2016.  I’ve listened to him on Youtube and his story is an unforgettable journey too.

Through all of these experiences, I feel it is God’s way to help the scientific world realize that there is life after death, and that just because scientists can’t explain it, it does exist.  As I was studying Deuteronomy 5 this morning, it made me think about this again.  There is a section called “The People’s Fear”, and it is all about Moses reviewing the commandments with his people, and the mountain being on fire.  Deutronomy 5:24-27, “’The Lord our God showed us his greatness and his glory when we heard him speak from the fire!  Today we have seen that it is possible for people to continue to life, even though God has spoken to the.  But why should we risk death again.  Has any human being ever lived after hearing the living God speak from a fire?  Go back, Moses, and listen to everything that the Lord our God says.  Then return and tell us what he said to you.  We will listen and obey.’”

These people that experienced God talking to them in their NDEs.  They then let their old mindsets and lives die, and they gave birth to an entirely different lifestyle.  Each and every one of them realized that they were wrong about what science had taught them about life, and that the spiritual world really does exist.  They didn’t die in the literal sense, but their previous lives and beliefs definitely did.  Their selfish EGOs died.  Their need to convince people that their way of thinking was the only way of thinking and that spiritual people are crazy had died.  Their need to have materialistic lifestyle perished.

Just like in my gospel chapter I studied this morning, where the Lord showed his greatness and spoke from the fire to the people many years ago, he is still talking to us.  He’s now choosing these doctors to assist in his efforts to try and change the mindset of the scientific world.  They are fascinating!  You should read them for yourself and watch how their lives were transformed to realizing how little they really know about life after death and the spiritual world.  It was humbling for these super intelligent individuals to learn how much they really didn’t know.

I have people in my life who are very vocal on how there is no God and that there is no life after death.  One person, I can’t even say, “God Bless” to after they sneeze! Their dominating personality, forceful nature, vocal beliefs and high desire to be right just proves to me that their EGOs are running their lives and they are in a sad, sad place spiritually.  Do I have to be overbearing with my beliefs?  No.  I’m humble and confident that I have God inside me working within me on a daily basis.  If they choose to miss out on this incredible relationship it is their loss!

When you finally realize that there is a huge, inexplicable realm that exists, you would never have such a selfish, forceful opinion because it is the devil who is making you into this egomaniac.  Ask each and every one of these overly intelligent people, who’ve experience the dimensions of hell.  Truth and wisdom will prevail, and if God has to send you on a NDE to make you realize this—he will!

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Mother’s Day

In lieu of Mother’s Day edging in on us this Sunday, I’ve been focusing on what I feel all mothers and women should be focusing on, and that is being a Proverbs 31 Woman.  This woman didn’t need a holiday to feel important, she knew she was important, because she was everything that God wanted a woman to be—and I feel that in her eyes having a special occasion to honor this would be a no-no.   Special occasions are always nice to recognize people for their efforts, but God promotes a humble heart.

Don’t get me wrong, before my own Proverbs 31 journey, I longed for Mother’s Day, but it was always a disappointment.  My husband went out of his way to make the day special for me with cards and gifts and lobster was always on the menu.  I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I will ever feel as appreciated in this world to recognize what I feel deep down that I am.  Being a mother is hard, freaking work, and one day is not going to reward me for the 364 other days of the year that I selfishly give myself up for my children and their needs.

That was the old me.  The new me thinks totally different now.  This week, I’ve examined the Proverbs 31 woman hoping that moms will realize that their worth in this world is never going to be appreciated like it will be in our afterlife. It is always great to feel appreciated, but the only person that you have to worry about knowing your loving and selfless heart is our incredible Lord.  Proverbs 31:13 directs us women, “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”

Be honest with yourself—how many of us roll out of bed eager to face our world of mundane chores and are enthusiastic to serve our family and put all their needs above our own?  This is where the entire concept of having Mother’s Day was birthed.  Honoring moms for all the work that is done, with eager hands is what this holiday stands for, right.

Honestly, eager is not a word I would use to describe my feelings about housework.  I have to wake up an hour earlier than the rest of my family just to pray that God fills my heart with this attitude, meditate for a happy serving mind and then study scripture to give me more strength to fuel my flame or I am nowhere excited about this task.

Mother’s Day is a great way to be honored for all that women do for their families.  I love showering my mother with love and gifts.  Myself, however, I don’t need a day to be honored for what is part of living and walking with God.  I chose to have children, I am choosing to be a Proverbs 31 Woman, and I’m choosing to realize that God expects this of me, and with his strength I can be as great as I want to be.

I’m finally realizing that becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman is a change that is made from the inside out, and I know now that the inside of me doesn’t need a day to feel appreciated, because I know God is seeing my changes, and seeing my intentions.  My real Mother’s Day will come when I finally get to see my Lord and Savior when my life serving my family on earth is over.  That is when I will receive all the gifts and rewards I ever need!

If you are feeling the urge to be disappointed this Mother’s Day, try looking at it from my perspective.  What’s more important?  Having a day in your honor, or having an infinity of recognition from our Divine Leader?  I know my answer, and when I think of it this way, my heart is more than eager to serve my husband and family!

Happy Mother’s Day my Proverbs 31 Friends!

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Good Not Harm

My school is closing after being open for 149 years.  It really is hard to wrap your brain around how much has changed in this time period, and as we start to plan for our “Say Goodbye to Harkins” celebration I’m really realizing just how much really has changed.

I decided for my classroom activity, we would do a live wax museum, and have six different time periods.  The late 1800s, the early 1900s, the 1950s, the 1970s, the 90s, and of course today.  First thing I had to do is teach my children about what life was like in each of these eras, and to be honest, I really enjoyed going more in depth and learning more about each time period for myself.

The decade that struck me the most was the 1970s.  This is the decade I was born, but it was a very pivotal time for life as we know it.  Woman’s liberation really came alive, and the government stopped the ban on abortions and gave the right to the woman to decide whether she wanted to keep the baby or abort it.  There were huge jumps in technology, and industry as well, but the woman’s movement was the part that really echoed in my heart, probably because I have set a personal goal of reaching to become a Proverbs 31 woman.

Since this movement in the female race, we have been promoted to be self-sufficient and liberated from men.  Equal rights was their claim to fame!  We want to be treated as equals to men, but is this a reality?  Men are always going to be stronger, that is the way they are made.  They have strengths that we don’t have and we have strengths that they don’t have, but honestly, why does it have to be a competition?  We were created different for a reason.  We can fight this all we want, but human nature is going to fight back, because it is something that we can’t change.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t be allowed to make our own decisions?  Absolutely not.  I am proud of the women that stood their ground in the 70s and fought hard to win the battle of abortion.  Do I think it is right?  No, but should my beliefs be dictated onto someone else, who might feel that they want to have an abortion?  Again, no.  Just like I wouldn’t want anyone interfering in the choices that I make in my life.  That is why God gave us choices, so that we can make our own mistakes and grow from them.

Proverbs 31:12 is a great verse teaching us, “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”  As women, we are to bring our husband good, and never harm him in any way all the days of our lives.  Woman’s Liberation might have something to say about this statement, right?  Maybe.  But in God’s eyes, and the only eyes that matter to me, we are to look after our husbands first and foremost.  Even above our children!  I know I’ve been desperately guilty of that one, but am slowly transforming myself I’m getting my priorities straightened out.

Before this quest, I honestly muttered under my breath and kept score of what I did and what my husband did.  What a horrible selfish heart I had.  Why did I have this heart? Foolishly, I believed that marriage is a 50/50 agreement.  I still believe this, but realize that I am not serving my husband for my husband—I’m serving my husband because it makes God happy.  Lucky for my husband, he reaps the benefits here on earth.

Now I willing and happily cook, clean, care for my children and geeze—I’m even learning how to stretch a dollar for my husband, which I never would have dreamed of doing before.  I even submit to my husband.  Does this mean he tells me what to do?  That is the furthest thing from the truth, but when a tough decision is to be made, I value his opinion and will do what he suggests.  I’ve hung up my nagging, begging and manipulating hat and now I allow him to lead our family, which he does with such ease, it amazes me.

How long am I going to try and live like this?  All the days of my life, because I’ve tried living married life the other way, the way women fought hard for me in the 1970s, and it didn’t function so well for me.  Since I made these changes, I have to admit, my life, my husband’s life and my children’s lives have totally transformed for the better.  You can judge me, just like those women who judge other women for having an abortion.  We all have our choices.  To me, my choice is the choice that God would want me to make, and now I am reaping the benefits.

Put caution to the wind, and try it for yourself.  Look at it as a walk with God and your husband just gets the benefits of this exercise!  Your marriage will become the fittest and happiest it has ever been.  Who would have ever known?

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Mother-In-Law Pride

I love my morning routine!  Being away in Newfoundland for gymnastics makes me appreciate this routine even more when I return and get the love and joy of my family.  Even my husband sent me an endearing text stating how much he missed me growling at my son in the mornings while I was gone.  My son is a very intelligent young man and just pushes my buttons in the morning to watch my rage rise…I’m sure of it.  Any case, I do love our mornings and all that it entails!

In my pursuit to become a better person in the last year, I have been drawn to Proverbs 31 and I am trying my best to be this amazing woman that every mother wants her son to marry.  I often wonder if my mother-in-law would be proud to say that her son married me.  Am I treating her son the way that she would want him to be treated?

When I am away, does my husband really miss me?  I know he was joking about my morning disposition, but do I make his life easier by being around?  Proverbs 31 is about a husband having confidence in his wife to make good decisions and building a trusting relationship.  To me that hits many areas.  Am I a trusting wife?

I have to admit, I wasn’t always.  I have to admit if my son married a woman like me, I’d be a bit shaken.  I was a very selfish person in my earlier life.  I loved my husband, and children, but still couldn’t let go of my own selfish desires.  I was very bitter about how my life changed with children and my husband’s didn’t.

Now that I have formed this new role-model in the Proverbs 31, I strive to cover all the verses.  In Proverbs 31:11 it says, “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”  I try to do a self-assessment periodically.  Does my husband trust me with money?  Does he trust me that I am making wise decisions for his children?  Does he trust me in keeping our house orderly, clean and comfortable for his family?  Does he have confidence that I will never speak poorly of him behind his back?  Can he trust me to build an emotional relationship with only him and that he will always be the number one male in my life?

Do I ever fail at some of these questions?  Of course I do—especially when the money is concerned.  I’m very attracted to bling, but I am trying hard to fix my areas of weakness.  Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes.

In the beginning of our marriage, I struggled making wise choices, but since I educated myself and found the value in the verses in Proverbs 31, my choices are now more important to me and I am rewarded for my proper choices.  The choices that God wants to see me make.  I am striving daily to become this incredible woman whose husband has full confidence in her.  I’m still making mental notes after I make the wrong choices so that I can be more conscious the next time, and with many prayers and praising God for how far he has brought me in this area, it is my hope that before my time on this earth is complete, I will complete my husband and my walk with the King!

Where do you need guidance in this area?  With Mother’s Day being this weekend, think for a moment on the kind of woman you would like for your son to spend the rest of his life with.  Can you be this woman for your own husband?  Would your mother-in-law be pleased with how you are treating her son?  The best way to better yourself, is study the word of our divine creator and follow his direction.  It’s a no fail approach!

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