Sunday, December 13, 2015

Countdown To Christmas...11 days!


That's right, we are only 11 days away from Christmas.  Most people schedule's are packed with holiday parties, social events and family gatherings.  The weather has not been as cool or dry as it normally is in December, so it has lulled people into thinking they have more time to prepare for Christmas than they do.

As you rush around to beat the holiday rush, find a way to truly just ENJOY the season.  We only have a few more days left in 2015.  The days left on the calendar are evaporating like the mist on a foggy morning.  SLOW down, BREATHE and relish in the fact that you are alive.

I recently had the opportunity to join my sister on her annual "Christmas photo session".  It was a blast and thankfully the weather turned out perfect.  As we went to a park overlooking a lake, the water was serene and the sky was the perfect shade of blue.  Our mom joined us, which was icing on the cake.  My oldest is 15 years old, and this is the first time that all of us slowed down, rallied together to make this photo shoot happen.

My sister and her family are a PRO at this.  They knew exactly where to stand, how to smile, what to wear and what tree provided the perfect backdrop.  I am blessed this holiday to have family and friends.  It takes a village to raise children and stay sane in this fast paced world.

Renee and Alton are pros at taking Christmas photos

Recently, I read a story that showed me that I need to approach each day with "eager expectation". 

Sometimes we think life won't improve, finances will stay the same, or the family member with an addiction can't recover.  Well, give yourself the gift of EAGER EXPECTATION this Christmas.  Expect that God will perform miracles in your life.  Don't allow your biggest enemy to be YOU and your negative thoughts - shift how you view the world, despite what you physically see.

Faith is believing in something you can't see - so this Christmas, positively BELIEVE and watch what changes in your life. (Posted by Roslyn)

Monday, November 23, 2015

I've Never Eaten.......

As we head into Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to repost one of my favorite Thanksgiving posts.

ENJOY!

******************************************************************************************************

We traditionally gather together with a large sampling of our family members.  Everyone under one roof is loud from the football games playing on the tv, kids playing games, and the rest of us reminiscing and catching up with each other.  Seeing cousins, uncles, and aunts, that you haven't seen in awhile is such a joy.  

The agenda for the event is simple.

Bring a dish.

Say a prayer of thanks.

Eat like tomorrow may not come.


We have a traditional southern Thanksgiving meal.  However, the other day I realized, there's some traditional items I've never enjoyed.  Some would say it's a tragedy but I would say, why add something new to the menu?  If you think I'm missing out, leave a comment and convince me to try something different.

Here we go.  I've never enjoyed.......


  • Pumpkin pie
    • Our tradition is to enjoy sweet potato pie.  My mom and aunt make the best pies I've ever tasted.  Pumpkin just wasn't in the cards I guess.

  • Green bean casserole
    • I'm just not big on the thought of cream of mushroom, green beans and french fried onions on top.  I prefer just a fresh green bean with a little meat in the pot for seasoning and great flavor.

  • Fresh cranberry sauce
    • The cranberry sauce is not a big component of our Thanksgiving meal.  I typically don't eat canned foods but if cranberry sauce is served, it's the kind that's right out of the can. If that makes you cringe, share a great recipe for me to try.

No matter what you eat on Thursday, take time to give thanks for your blessings.  If we allow ourselves, we would only focus on the things we don't have.  What about the things you do have?  

Shelter.  Food.  Family.  Education.  Water.  Finances.  Stability of mind and the ability to wake up and enjoy it all again the next day.  Most importantly, a loving God who longs to bless you with even more.  I leave you with this amazing promise from Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
 
 
Happy Thanksgiving (Posted by Renee)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Prayers For Our World #prayforparis

Pray For Paris

The news around the world today is shocking as we learn more of the details of the shooting in a concert hall and soccer match.  Our world is unsettled, leadership has resolve to deal swiftly with this tragedy but people are still afraid.  

As the images play out across the National news, the stories of yesterday (ex. Starbucks red cup, political polls, etc.) don't seem as important, until the executors of this type of violence are found.  

HOW DO YOU FIND PEACE IN A TIME LIKE THIS?

God is the answer.  There is no other peace we can find outside of Him, nothing else will work.  I was reading a story of a father that was informed his daughter died.  He was with the "Teacher".  He was walking with the very One with the power to save his daughter, yet the report that came to this dad was, "she was dead".  Would he believe the report that just came to him about his daughter's medical update OR would he believe in the healing power of Jesus.

Jesus quickly said, "Do not be afraid, just trust me, she will be alright." ~Luke 9:50

Those same words encourage me today and I hope they encourage you as well - Do NOT be afraid, just believe in God! Those secure about their eternal life in heaven knows, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hardest Speech Of My Life

I enjoy being a speaker.  I'm addicted to words and love to share words that inspire and uplift others.  The entire purpose of this blog is to "inspire the whole world" since life can just get crazy.  I rarely have writer's block because words seem to flow seamlessly when I'm in my creative mood.

Recently, I unexpectedly lost a cousin.  Born the same year as me...I remember the phone call that changed everything.  It was early morning and I was on a treadmill exercising.  The words heard on the other end were shocking.

"He's gone".... and just that quickly, life took a sharp turn.

NOTHING prepares you for a day like this!
As the funeral plans started to unfold, I was asked to speak at the funeral to give reflections.  I struggled to deal with my own hurt, loss and anger but to speak seemed TOUGH.  I didn't sleep much that night thinking this is truly one of the hardest speeches of my life.  What do I say, what if I break down, what if my tears outweigh my words...

God got me through it.  You truly can't sum up someone's life in a few short minutes.  You also can't say words that comfort when the pain for family and friends is so new, tragic and painful.

Many of you might have faced deep loss in your own life.  Your world STOPPED but everyone around you kept on going - it made you mad.  Our family is still grieving but there is HOPE - soon there will be a place where there aren't anymore tears or sorrow.  My cousin has finally discovered that sweet place.

"He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain." ~Revelation 21:4

I cling to this scripture because it provides a blessed assurance and HOPE for me. For those of you dealing with memories or recent loss, be encouraged that we have HOPE.  A new earth and heaven are coming soon. (Posted by Roslyn)

"Don't be troubled.  You trust God, now trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.  And you know where I am going and how to get there."  ~John 14:1-4



Monday, October 5, 2015

Are You Sharing?


The other day I headed out of the house to rush off to the grocery store.  Out the corner of my eye, I could see a group of teenagers walking the streets.  When they saw me moving toward my van, they quickly approached me.  To my surprise, they wanted to offer me the gift of salvation.  They were middle and high schoolers from the local church.  Evangelism was probably their topic of discussion for the past few weeks and tonight was their time to practice winning souls for Christ.

 

They were sharing their faith……how about you?


 

Each day we encounter numerous individuals and it’s an opportunity to share our faith.  Be mindful though not to impose/force your belief on others.  Read God’s instruction in Romans 14:22 (MSG):


 

Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others.

 


Here are some ways to share your faith:

 

  • Invite your neighbors to church.  Make it an “easy” ask by extending an invitation around holidays.
  • Forgive others.
  • Ask your server at a restaurant if you can pray for them before you bow your head to say grace.
  • Forgive others.
  • Serve others in your community.
  • Forgive others.
  • Offer coworkers to pray for them if they are dealing with difficult situations.
  • Share your testimony (story of victory) with other
  • Be mindful of your actions and words in front of others
  • Did I say forgive others?

 

Forgiving others of past mistakes and hurts is a profound way to share your faith.  It’s not always easy but VITAL.  Have you heard this saying? ”Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  Colossians 3:13 reiterates this point:



Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

 



Be intentional in your efforts to share your faith.  It’s easy and life changing! (Posted by Renee)

 

 

 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Worst Nightmare Came True

What happens when your worst nightmare comes true!

One of my worst nightmares came true - the air conditioner being broke in August.  Do you realize how hot it is in August? I'm pretty sure this is every Floridians nightmare.  It's amazing how fast your house can heat up when you don't have on the AC.  The temperature in our home reached 90 degrees.  Your body is drained and you can't move because you are so lethargic from the heat.

The worst part, I made five service calls about the same problem.  I ended up not having air for almost six days.  YES...you heard me, six days.  As they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  My AC is back on and now I thank God everyday for something that I so easily took for granted.  Once fixed, the house took 4 hours to return to a normal temperature of 77 degrees.

During the process of having my AC fixed a pipe in my ceiling burst (who knew water pipes were in your ceiling).  This left us with 2 holes in our roof as the technician tried to "find" the broken pipe.  As you can imagine, I was already steaming about my AC not working but now I had to explain to the hubby how we needed to pay for new drywall - not a great situation.
One of the holes in the ceiling

At the end of the day, MISTAKES happen.  

We make them, we deal with them and we must forgive them.  It's a part of life because we are ALL perfectly imperfect people.

I could have spent so much time being angry but that wasn't aiding in my AC being fixed.  I intentionally chose to stay calm (scream on the inside) and professional as I patiently dealt with the "person" creating this mess in my home.

Your loved ones or coworkers might be the culprit of a "mistake" happening right now in your life.  Don't be so quick to slap a label on them or consider them a "lost cause" because of that ONE mistake.  Mistakes don't define who we are - learn from it and MOVE on. (Posted by Roslyn)

James 3:2 ~ "We all stumble in many ways..."


Monday, August 24, 2015

Your Baby is Going to College! Now What?

If you're like me, it's hard to believe that summer is almost over.  We'll have to say goodbye to staying up late, summer travels, and homework free nights.  As I get ready to send my kids off to first and eighth grade, I feel secure knowing that I will pick them up from school each day, tuck them in at night and prepare for the next day.  Some of us won't have that blessed assurance.  In the excitement of my kids returning to school tomorrow, I recognize that there are parents everywhere that just left their babies at college for the first time.


Their kids are excited, but they aren't.


How are they supposed to deal in this new season of life?  For years, they've cuddled their children and coordinated their schedules.


What are they supposed to do now?


I can't begin to say that I know what they're going through.  I can, however, share scriptures that give strength and hope when we find ourselves transitioning into new seasons.


Ecclesiastes 3:1


There is a special time for everything. There is a time for everything that happens under heaven.


Proverbs 22:6


Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.


When our parents dropped us off to college, they had to deal with both of their babies leaving at the same time.  I can't even begin to imagine the depth of loss they felt as they drove away to head back home.  My mom often shares that they surrendered to the knowledge found in Proverbs 22:6.  They raised and trained us in God's word and now it was time to trust God at His word.


I'm ending this post with some additional encouragement from scripture.


Proverbs 3:5-6


Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God!



Ephesians 6:10


In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource.  


(Posted by Renee)




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Scenery


Summer is officially here.  Many of us enjoy having longer days, no schedules and lighter traffic on the roadways when school is out.  There is value in taking time to rest, especially in our culture that repeatedly says, "keep going".  Rest is how the body is renewed and refreshed to tackle what comes next.

I recently went on a trip with my family and although it was a short 2 days it was one of the most memorable experiences.  It doesn't take much for us - sand, water, sun and we are in our happy place as a family.

But, this time was different.  We were surrounded by people with the exact same agenda as us - REST. They were people who have demanding jobs but realize the need to just get away.  When that happens, everyone senses are down and you start to unplug.

I walked around with people willing to say, "good morning".  In our land of rush and hurry, you barely find anyone wanting to say "hello".  Everywhere we ate or walked a conversation would arise.  It was nice to connect and feel a sense of community with other families.

Renee and I wish all of you a safe Summer.  Don't be afraid to let your senses down and just relax.  This hectic world will continue to function even when you take a few days for yourself.

Set your intention on planning that trip.  

Don't compromise if something pops up to distract you from taking that vacation.  Trust me, you won't regret it. (posted by Roslyn)




Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Can't Relax!

Confession…….relaxing is hard for me.  That’s why the message at church today was just for me.  My pastor talked about the necessity and benefits of relaxing.  He pointed out that even God rested from creating the heavens and earth. 


Genesis 2:1-3 (TLB)
Now at last the heavens and earth were successfully completed, with all that they contained. So on the seventh day, having finished his task, God ceased from this work he had been doing, and God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he ceased this work of creation.


I've come to realize that I can be a workaholic.  Gosh, I can’t even believe I’m saying that out loud. 


It’s amazing how much we can deny certain truths about ourselves.  Between being a wife, mommy, career woman, blogger, involved community member, church volunteer and runner, there’s not room for much more.  My days normally begin at 6:00 am and end around 1:00 am.  If you do the math, that’s only about 5 hours of sleep each day.  I figure, I can catch up on sleep whenever God transitions me to Heaven.   I realize now, that’s not the best mindset to have.  Over the years I've slowly learned and tried to let go.  After turning 40, it became very evident that I can’t be all things to all people.  I have to remember that saying “no” isn't a bad thing and I shouldn't feel guilty for saying it.


Even though I know all of that, it’s still a struggle.  There are times when I feel guilt-ridden if I’m just sitting around doing nothing.  The other day I caught myself even trying to instill my hurried lifestyle on my daughter.  She was relaxing in her room and I wanted to know why.  Then I tried to figure out why she wasn't doing something.  I have to make a conscious effort to model better behaviors.  I need my kids to know that every minute of every day doesn't have to be scripted and scheduled.

My pastor pointed out that even Moses struggled in this area.  Moses found himself leading over a million people (the Israelites) in the wilderness.  He was their leader and that position lead to struggles and times of unrest.  He lacked structure, systems, and processes. Exodus 18:13-23 shares the story:

The next day Moses sat as usual to hear the people’s complaints against each other, from morning to evening.  When Moses’ father-in-law saw how much time this was taking, he said, “Why are you trying to do all this alone, with people standing here all day long to get your help?” (verses 13-14)

His father in law, Jethro, realized that Moses couldn't continue on the path he was going. 

“You’re going to wear yourself out—and if you do, what will happen to the people? Moses, this job is too heavy a burden for you to try to handle all by yourself. (verse 18)

If you continue to read the Bible story, you will find that Jethro recommends that Moses delegates responsibility to lighten his load.



Relaxation mode at the beach!


I’m still a work in progress but made a big step in the right direction on Saturday when I went to bed at 8:30 pm!  Like my pastor said, when you find time to rest and relax, you will find time to connect with God and enjoy His beauty. (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Being On Time is LATE

We are SO close to the end of another school year.  I can only imagine how every educator, student and school employee must feel because I am beyond ready to start Summer.  I will enthusiastically embrace a more relaxed schedule in my home.





Recently, I was attending an appointment with my older son.  I arrived 7 minutes before the appointment time but noticed that my son was STILL rushing me.  I said, "Jeez Tyler, we are on time" (in my frustrated voice).  His response blew me away.





"Being on time is late mom, being early is being on time."




I had a perplexed stare on my face as he jumped out of the car completely convicted by his statement.  I sat and pondered what he said.  Tyler has always been the child to "rush" me out of the house when he knew he needed to be somewhere.  I am thankful to be raising a son that values TIME.  After that statement, I understand the hurry he has before any appointment, school day or practice.





PREPARATION will one day meet opportunity.  If you value what's most important and prepare with the God given talent you possess, that my dear friends will lead to SUCCESS on this journey.



It's fun to see how the spoken words of our kids can be so profound.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Son's Cheerleader!

I normally try and put my kids to bed with a book or Bible lesson.  The other day our Bible lesson came out of Psalms 103.  This text of scripture is full of description about God's character.  Here's just a sampling from the chapter:




He is merciful and tender toward those who don’t deserve it; he is slow to get angry and full of kindness and love. He never bears a grudge, nor remains angry forever.  (Psalms 103:8-9)


I knew my 12 year old understood the words that illustrated God's character but I was pretty sure my little one didn't.  I wanted to make sure he knew just how much God loves him.  I wanted him to know that God's love is constant whether he made good or poor choices.  There's nothing he can do that will cause God to love him less, just like there's nothing that causes God to love him more.  His "works" won't change God's love.  He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

He has not punished us as we deserve for all our sins, 11 for his mercy toward those who fear and honor him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west. 13 He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him. 14 For he knows we are but dust 15 and that our days are few and brief, like grass, like flowers, 16 blown by the wind and gone forever. (Psalms 103:10-16)


When I asked my youngest to explain to me about God's personality, his words were poignant and thoughtful.  In his eyes, God is his cheerleader.  He said, "Mommy, God is always there to cheer me on!"  "He tells me, come on Jordan, don't make that bad choice."  "You can do better." 

Wow!  What a beautiful portrayal of God's kindness and encouragement for each of us.  When you feel like you need a cheerleader on life's journey, remember my son's portrayal of Christ!  God is there for you....ALWAYS! (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fantasy KIDS = Fantasy WORLD

My boys enjoy video games, like most kids.  This generation is so stimulated by those interactive games that it has seeped into our classrooms.  My 4th grader has to complete homework every night on a private educational website that looks similar to Facebook.

Normally, when my boys play on the weekends, I snuggle into take a nap.  It is one of the RARE times in my house that it is quiet.  The other times at home are filled with rowdy boys making crazy noises with their body parts.  

With a simple xbox controller they can CREATE themselves in this fantasy world.  They choose from a plethora of features like eyewear, skin color, hair style, shoes, body type, etc.  They have the ability to build the perfect athlete, with the perfect skills and stamina.  No work has been done to achieve all this, just a little boys creative imagery.  My youngest always HAS to win.  If he doesn't, he carries around an attitude all day, as if he's played a real game - but remember it's all FANTASY.

In the middle of the game, they can switch out players, determine what they will say in the "post news conferences" and even watch as their fantasy player is traded or becomes MVP.  I just shake my head and think, we are raising a society of children and adults that don't know how to deal with their current realities.

What's happened to critical thinking?  Have a problem - find a solution!  

Everything can be altered to create the perfect storm for success in the fantasy world.  It's not just kids but even adults who embrace this illusion of reality.  Have you heard of FANTASY FOOTBALL?  Ok, I think I've made my point.

The reality is, life is a process.  It is a series of experiences that have the ability to grow and mature us.  God, thankfully, does not work on our timeline. We can't become frustrated when "miracles" don't happen overnight. 

The REALITY is - God has eternity as His arsenal of timing.  We live in a world where, hard work should still be valued OVER a spirit of entitlement.   

Colossians 3:23-24New International Version (NIV)

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.


As you start this week wishing for that fantasy job, press on knowing that your hard work does not go in vain.  You can be changing diapers, directing school traffic, flying an airplane or an environmental engineer on a major project - your work and service is unto HIM.  Put in the hard work, understanding that your reward will come in due season.  (Posted by Roslyn)


Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's Time to Pick!

Roslyn (left) & Renee (right)

Spring is in the air!  Can you feel it?  Longer days, shorter nights and warmer weather are just some of nature's beauty this time of year.  Roslyn & I decided to take in some of the great weather this weekend by taking the kids to pick strawberries.  Everywhere you looked there were rows and rows of strawberries (and even a few blueberry bushes).

The winter strawberry season begins in the summer.  The farmers prepare the soil to receive the strawberry plant that will require watering, near perfect weather conditions, and fertilizer.  Extra attention is given during the brief periods of frigid temperatures that can harm the crops. 

The highlight of  my day wasn't so much the harvesting component, but knowing that I could reap a bounty with very little effort on my part.  We didn't have to till the land, water the soil, or apply the fertilizer.  We just had to gently bend over, give a little tug, and reap a bounty of goodness.





Seasons of generous harvest normally follow extremely difficult periods in our lives.  Listen to what is shared in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (MSG):






~When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you're going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn't build, well-furnished houses you didn't buy, come upon wells you didn't dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn't plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don't forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt. ~

This was the promise given to the Israelites after 400 strenuous years of slavery.  Moses declared the season of harvest that was available because they were chosen and God desired to bestow blessings upon them.



Harvest Time!


Hold fast to your faith. A season of harvest will occur in your life.  No matter what you are going through, it will come to an end, and there will be victory on the other side of the journey.  Maintain your confidence in God's ability to transform your situation.  Similar to your own life, despite varying weather conditions, the strawberry plant blossomed into a sensational creation of nature! (Posted by Renee)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

REJECTED - Who Me?



Sad but true, rejection is a natural part of life.  There are many parents that might have a problem saying, "no" to their children, but eventually that child will experience the bitter sting of rejection.  In the month of February, many anxious high school seniors found out if they were accepted or denied an opportunity to attend the university or college of their choice.  You can believe there were many that were experiencing extreme happiness and some unfortunately felt the pain of being rejected.

Even as adults, we struggle to find meaning on why someone rejects us in a relationship or our workplace.  We have all the qualifications to add value to a company but they intentionally move on to another candidate.  In the midst of the emotion you will feel, realize that:

The rejection does NOT define who you are!

There is not one person, organization, club, team, competition, school or university that holds that much control over us.  My mom has always told me, "wear this life like loose clothing".  Don't become attached to your material stuff, titles or people because it can be quickly taken away.

There are stories of so many athletes that have been thrust into the spotlight and with a few weeks of unfavorable statistics those same fans are rejecting their athletic performance.

After rejection occurs, spend time focusing on where you want to BE, not where you are today.  Remain positive.  Rejection does not mean denial.  It could just mean wait until another time.  Many of you have experienced closed doors, only to now thank God for closing a door that would have led to uncertainty and just wasn't the right timing.

"Whatever you focus on today, you give permission to exist in your life tomorrow". 
~Cindy Trimm

Move forward positively, intentionally choosing not to focus on the rejection.  Focus on the many blessings that surround you - YOU are strong!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Boyfriend I Want My Daughter to Date!

It's hard to believe that in just a few short months, I will have a teenager in my house.  People always tell you to treasure every moment with your child because time flies.  I now realize....they were right.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms for the very first time. 

Where does the time go?

At a tender age of 13, she's only five years away from adulthood.  I only have a few short years to teach her all about life and the challenges it can bring.  We've surrounded her with positive friends, taught her God's word, taken her to church, and engaged her in extra-curricular activities.  Out of all the experiences we've provided her with, my sincerest desire is that at the end of it all, she has her OWN relationship with Christ.

As parents, we must encourage our children to nurture their OWN relationships with Christ.  Their faith can't only come through us.  They have to learn how to stand on God's word and believe His promises for themselves.  They must pick up the Bible to read God's word even if they don't always understand every single word.  If they just make the first step toward Christ, He will meet them at their need.




I want her to "date" God.  A season of spending time with Him and learning more about His promises.  Through these interactions, her faith will increase and give her confidence to make the right choices even when she's pressured to do otherwise.

James shares with us in the 2nd chapter of his book that our faith makes us a friend of God. 

23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.
 
 
 
 
If I want her to have a close relationship with Christ, I must encourage it early in her life.  All relationships take time.  I must also set the example for her.  As parents, our kids need to see us reading our Bible, studying God's word, attending church, and living life surrounded by a circle of believers. 
 
Here's my question for you.....when was the last time you had a "date" night with Christ?  Have you encouraged your children to begin or maintain their OWN relationship with Christ?  When we’re alone with God, we draw closer to Him and get to know Him in a different way than we do in group settings.  He's waiting to spend time with us.  Won't you let him? (Posted by Renee Scott)
 
 
Proverbs 3:1-4 (NIV)
 
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, or they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

She GOT Braces!

Roslyn with braces

This is my new look.  I've had so many people comment and say, "You had perfect teeth, why did you get braces?"  I'm sometimes shocked at the overwhelming honesty of people.  We all make decisions at times that others might not understand.

Trust me, there have been moments of me thinking to myself...Why did I go and get braces?  My mouth and teeth were so tender for the first week.  Eating a cracker or even a bite of toast made me wince in pain.  But as time has moved forward, I've become more accustomed to the metal cage in my mouth.

The process to put them on was SO easy!  But when the ortho assistant added the connectors (look like pink rubber bands), that's when I said, "ouch".  She nodded her head and said, "that discomfort Mrs. Rice, will soon turn to PAIN".  She was absolutely right.  I'm excited, that in a few short months, I will have an absolute winning smile.  It will be complete with aligned teeth and a corrected midline. But it won't happen until I get through this uncomfortable, tender, can't eat nuts or chew gum, squeezing process type of experience.

Everything in life that causes pain provides some purpose. Pain from a fall reminds us to be careful when we are walking.  Pain from a burn teaches us to not touch items that are hot. Pain from a broken relationship lets us know that everyone doesn't always have our best interest at heart.

Just like those connectors on the brackets of my braces, the squeezing of life causes pain.  

But we can always look forward to a new alignment in our thinking, outlook or future.  Stand strong, grab some soup and watch how quickly you will align to a new YOU in 2015! (Posted by Roslyn)

..."In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Five Ways to Spend Time with Your Kids!


Let's admit it. We all lead busy lives. We can often find it hard to spend quality time with family, especially our children. If we allow it, our community responsibilities, careers, and church activities can take away a large amount of our time. I thought it would be great to share some cool ideas to spend quality time with your children while navigating life.

  1. Games. Have them available close to your family room or kitchen area to make it quickly accessible. I keep Scrabble, Uno, and Puzzles in the family room because my youngest always wants to play a game right when I'm trying to cook. So that he feels momma's love, I play a quick game with him first and then return to cooking.
  2. Park. Being outdoors with your children is exhilarating. It also provides a great opportunity to get in some physical exercise so that you can skip the gym and make memories with your babies.
  3. Movies. There's nothing better than a great movie and popcorn. Use the time after the movie to talk about the characters and plot. It's a great way to reinforce the importance of comprehension.
  4. Vacation. This is such a great way to create long-lasting memories with your children. They may not remember every gift you give them but they will remember places they've visited over the years.
  5. Books. Try to read to your children on a nightly basis. If you have older children, sit down and talk with them about what they are reading in school. Engage them in conversation about books they enjoy and the books they didn't like.

Here are some time wasters.

  1. Try and schedule appointments during the week while your children are at school. This will free you up on the weekends and evenings to spend time with them.
  2. Complete household chores once they've gone to bed. Trust me, the dishes can wait.
  3. Stay off the phone, tablet, or laptop while in the presence of your children unless it's absolutely necessary (I struggle with this "time waster" on most days). Try leaving the phone in the car when picking them up from school. You haven’t seen them all day long the least you can do is greet them without interruption.

I'm not here to say I'm perfect at parenting. I do however, try to engage and spend quality time with my children every chance I get. I turn down most evening engagements so I can cook for them and help them with their homework. My husband and I recognize that our time with them is limited. Before we know it, they will be out of the house and headed to college. I never want to look back and regret that I didn't make the most of every moment with them.

I want to leave you with a powerful scripture that shares the importance of our children in God's kingdom. They are a REWARD!  Make sure you are a good steward of the gift you've been blessed with. (Posted by Renee)

Psalm 127:3-4 (MEV)

3 Look, children are a gift of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 As arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Are you keeping your promise to YOU?

We are almost 15 days into this new year.  2015 started with us intentionally making promises to ourselves.

Do some of these sound familiar - improve finances, stop shopping, build an emergency cash fund, spend more time with family, weight loss, better eating, more organization, more exercise, clean out a closet, etc. Whatever it is, just a few short days ago we were fired up and ready to invoke positive change in our lives.



WHAT HAPPENED?


Some of us didn't even keep the promise for a day without falling off the wagon.  Truth moment:  a box of Godiva chocolate that sits in my refrigerator keeps me from keeping my promise.  The sad part for me, I find a way everyday to justify why this little pleasure or distraction won't derail MY success.

Think about it, one little slip up doesn't hurt that much does it?  Well overtime that little slip up, compromise and justification can quickly lead to me gaining 20 pounds. The funny part, at the end of it all I will be wondering, what happened?

Guess what - It's not to late!  Refocus yourself and get serious.  Every time you cheat, justify or compromise you are the one that ends up hurting in the end.  Get back on that wagon, buckle your seat belt and KEEP that promise you made just a few days ago.

I'm so happy that God does NOT handle promises the way I do.  In fact the Bible says:

God is not man, so He does not lie.  He is not human, so He does not change His mind.  Has he ever spoken and failed to act?  Has He ever promised and not carried it through?  Numbers 23:19


God does NOT change.  The essence of who He is never changes. God is unchangeable (hope I'm getting my point across).  The purpose for why you were created does NOT change either.  The details of how you journey to that purpose constantly unfolds but the original assignment (purpose) is immutable.

Think about a GPS, if you take a wrong turn it will quickly reroute you but the destination remains the same.

Start today anew!  Keep that promise, don't lie to yourself anymore and watch how 2015 becomes a year of determination and fortitude.  (Posted by Roslyn)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!