every single detail

2 Isaiah 26 3

Three weeks ago, my husband, Lon, came home from work with a swollen knee that was painful and hot to the touch. We both knew exactly what it was…a staph infection. Lon has had five of these infections since 2009, all on the left-hand side of his body in three different locations.

In the next couple of weeks, we would go through a nerve-racking set of circumstances on the path to my husband’s recovery.

Throughout this entire experience, we saw God’s fingerprints all over the situation. A testament that the Lord cares about the big and the small things in our lives – and all the details in between.

After two weeks of oral antibiotics and IV treatment, both while admitted to the hospital and outpatient, Lon’s infection was not improving. As a matter of fact, it was getting worse. It had spread at a rapid pace down his entire leg to his ankle and foot. The orthopedic surgeon ordered and MRI.

The next day, Lon and I went to the hospital at the orthopedic surgeon’s request to meet with him. We thought we were to meet with him in between patients and find out our game plan. I suspected a surgery might be in order at some point, but I didn’t suspect the news we found out when we entered the doors of the OR.

The nursing staff placed Lon in a room and said they’d be in soon to prep him for an emergency surgery based on his MRI. The doctor would be performing a surgery to remove the infection from his knee. That gave me very little time to pray and to contact the insurance company to get pre-authorization for the surgery.

But God knew all this was to happen, and He knew the outcome.

The night before Lon’s emergency surgery (that we didn’t know he was going to have) he came upstairs late at night (his night owl wife was still up reading,) and said he had a super serious craving for popcorn. This was highly unusual, so after teasing him about being like a pregnant woman, I grabbed him some Skinny Pop. God knew that night that the Skinny Pop would be the only thing Lon would be eating for over the next 17 plus hours due to the emergency surgery. Lon would have never been able to make it if he hadn’t had that popcorn, since dinner had been several hours earlier.

A testament of God’s loving care for His children.

On our way to the surgery on Tuesday that we didn’t know Lon was having, we were pulled over. The officer told us, that unbeknownst to us, we had no brake lights – they had both gone out at the same time.

No brake lights.

At all?

At first, I was like, “Really? You had to pull us over outside of the hospital?! And right now?!” But then I realized what a blessing that was as we could have been rear-ended.

During Lon’s long post-surgery recovery in the OR, the nurse told me to take a break and run some errands, so I ran to get light bulbs for the brake lights. I was chatting with the guys at our local Napa store, when one of them walked outside with the light bulbs. “Your man is down, so we’re going to fix this for you,” he said.

God knew I would be running around town like a crazy person driving back and forth from the hospital, picking up Lon’s medicines at the pharmacy, etc., with no brake lights, and placed a kind guy in our midst to help us out. I am always amazed and again reminded at how God cares about the small things, as well as the big things in our lives. 

lon knee

Tomorrow is exactly three weeks since Lon was diagnosed with this most recent staph infection. Throughout this time, we have had big concerns, such as, that the infection spread to Lon’s heart or other organs. Thankfully, it hadn’t.

But through it all, whether the concerns were small or on a bigger scale, God had our backs. He went before us and guided us every step of the way. He heard our prayers and the prayers of our dear family and our faithful friends at church.

Today, Lon continues to recover.

And I will never forget how the Lord showed me once again how much He cares about every single detail in our lives.

Thank you, Jesus, for Your tender mercies.

 

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6 Ways to Encourage Other Moms

mom13Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love ~Mildred B. Vermont

Motherhood has been said to be the best, yet sometimes hardest job in the world. And I agree. So how can we come alongside other moms and encourage them in this job?

Here are six ways to make a difference in your mom-friend’s life:

Schedule mom time. Whether one-on-one or in a group, plan some mom-time. It can be as simple as meeting at the playground, taking the kids for ice cream while the moms chat, or spending some time at the public pool. What a nice break to chat with and catch up on all the happenings (we moms benefit from playdates too!) Here are some great ideas for arranging a girl’s night out for a group of your mom friends.

Offer to babysit. Date nights can be few and far between, especially when children are babies and toddlers. Present a coupon to your friend offering to babysit her kiddos while she and her husband re-connect. What an awesome gift for your mom-friend and her marriage!

coupon

Be a listening ear. Recently, through tears, I spoke to a fellow mom about something close to my heart. I was grateful for the time she gave me and the down-to-earth suggestions she offered to me with unparalleled grace. Ask a mom-friend how things are going, take the time to listen – really listen without judgment – and to be her sounding board. Sometimes we moms carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. To have a trusted friend with whom to share those burdens is priceless.

Offer to pray. What a powerful thing prayer is! Ask your mom-friend what her specific prayer needs are and then dedicate to praying for those needs. Sometimes telling someone we’ll pray for them can sound so cliche and can often be forgotten in the midst of our busy days. Remedy this by not only truly praying for your friend each day, but also praying with her whenever you’re chatting on the phone.

Accept her as she is. For some reason, it seems as though mothers often receive the brunt of the criticism and are held to higher judgment. Why do we moms judge each other so harshly? I’ve seen moms judge other moms regarding choices and number of activities (or lack thereof) of another mom’s children; judgment about the way other moms are raising their children; the differences in priorities in families and what they choose to allow or not allow their children to participate in; or even how many sugary snacks fellow moms allow their children to eat in a week.

Moms, this should not be so! Instead, we need to come alongside fellow moms and accept each other the way God made us. Not to say we can’t offer suggestions when warranted (or asked for!) but unsolicited and unkind advice is never appreciated.

Sadly, there also seems to be so much rivalry between moms. Case in point: stay at home moms vs. work-outside-the-home-moms; homeschool moms vs. those who send their children to public school; moms who feed their kids organic health foods vs. the macaroni and cheese moms; sports-minded moms vs. the musical moms; jeans and t-shirts moms vs. business attire moms, married moms vs. single moms; and the list goes on. Put a group of women in a room and this becomes a sad reality as we size each other up in ways we should never do.

Commit to accepting your mom-friend as she is. Be her biggest fan and her most trusted confidante.

moms

Send an encouraging note. What about mailing a thoughtful note to your mom-friend telling her she’s doing a great job and how much you value her friendship? Such a gesture is sure to make her day.

Never more in our lives will we need close friends than as we journey through motherhood. And moms are some of the most awesome and important friendships God will ever bless us with.

How do you encourage your mom-friends?

 

 

the top 11 curriculum choices for high school students

back to school

School is just around the corner! Here are some suggestions for top curriculum choices for high schoolers:

Math:

Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1

Literature/Language Arts:

Skills for Literary Analysis – James Stobaugh (Master Books) Note: This book is written for seventh and eighth grade. However, it is extremely thorough and would be excellent for ninth grade.

Creative Writing:

Wordsmith Craftsman (Common Sense Press)

Science:

Exploring Creation With Biology (Apologia)

History:

World History and Cultures in Christian Perspective (Abeka) Note: I recommend Abeka books, however, I would not recommend their tuition/DVD/streaming program.

Civics:

Constitutional Literacy (Apologia) Note: Be sure to purchase the DVDs that accompany the workbook.

Government:

American Government in Christian Perspective (Abeka) Note: I recommend Abeka books, however, I would not recommend their tuition/DVD/streaming program.

Bible Study:

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist Curriculum by Frank Turrek and Chuck Winter (Apologia)

James Under Pressure by Pam Gibbs

Vocabulary:

Vocabulary from Classical Roots (Educators Publishing Service)

Psychology

Psychology: A Christian Perspective by Tim Rice (Homeschool Psych)

Health

Total Health: Choices for A Winning Lifestyle by Susan Boe (Purposeful Design Publications)

Best online classes:

Schoolhouseteachers.com Provides online classes for preschool through high school with everything in between and in nearly every subject.

Best go-to website for everything homeschool:

HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) includes homeschool laws for each state, consultants, forms and sample letters, and current information regarding homeschooling issues.

What are some of your favorite curriculum items?

 

 

 

 

12 songs to get you through the tough times

We all go through hard times and struggles. This life is not easy.

In no particular order are 12 songs to get you through those difficult times life throws your way.  A perfect addition to any playlist, these songs speak of God’s love. His faithfulness. His tender care for His children. The fact that we are never alone.

A click on the song title will take you to the Youtube lyric video.

sad guy2

I Will Lift My Eyes – Bebo Norman

Look a Little Higher – JJ Weeks Band

Even If – MercyMe

Hills and Valleys – Tauren Wells

Oh My Soul – Casting Crowns

I Will – Citizen Way

Worn – Tenth Avenue North

You are My Rescue – Royal Tailor

Rescue me – Selah

Found – Seventh Day Slumber

Just Say Jesus – 7eventh Time Down

Let the Waters Rise – Mikeschair (I couldn’t find an official video with the song by Mikeschair, so I linked this to the Amazon sample).

 

We all go through difficult times. But we are reminded of the promise in Hebrews 13:5:

Hebrews 13 5

Delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

choc muffins

Looking for a snack? My oldest daughter makes these in large quantities and freezes them in baggies of three. In the mornings, my husband grabs a bag out of the freezer for a mid-morning snack. Delish!

Preheat oven to 345 degrees.

Ingredients:

3/4 c. sugar

2 c. gluten free flour (I use Pillsbury GF)

6 tbsp. softened butter

2 eggs (if you are egg-free, egg replacer works well. Be sure it mix it first in a separate dish before adding into recipe.)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 c. milk

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 c. chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life mini chips)

Mix together all ingredients by hand except chocolate chips. When mixture is mixed well (do not overmix), stir in chocolate chips.

Place in cupcake wrappers in tin and bake for about 18 minutes, checking every few minutes after the 10-minute mark.

Enjoy!

 

 

7 tips to help safeguard against an entitlement attitude in your kids

Consider the following:

An adult in her late 20s was fired from her job for not showing up for work several days in a row without a valid excuse. Her dad proceeded to go to the place of business and share his feelings, albeit abrasively, with the boss.

angry man

A teenage boy disregards the rules at the local movie theater and puts his feet on the seat in front of him and sends texts during the entire movie. He doesn’t think the rules apply to him.

A 10-year-old really wanted a puppy. When she didn’t get the one she wanted, she made sure to make her disappointment well known by having hysterical fits and giving her parents the silent treatment.

A child loses in a competition and his mother persuades the judges to award all of the participants a trophy, stating that it is unfair for there to be a “First Place.”

A teen is angry because her friend won the award she wanted. She decides to spread false rumors about her friend as “payback.”

bratty teen

A dad yells at a coach because his daughter was not put on the team he thought she “deserved” to play on.

soccer

What do all of these examples have in common? They fit the definition of entitlement.

According to the Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary, entitlement is the “belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges.”

In a society where the “me first” mentality is becoming ever more prevalent, what can we, as parents, do to help safeguard an entitlement attitude in our kids?

Teach your kids the importance of respecting authority. The Bible has a lot to say about this topic. Romans 13:1 says, Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

The first authority children have is their parents. The Bible is clear about this topic in Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-3, Proverbs 1:8, and many other verses. If a child has not been taught to honor and respect their parents, how will they be able to honor and respect others placed in authority over them? Teachers, coaches, police officers, etc.?

Encourage a teachable spirit. Pride is a forerunner to a selfish and entitled attitude, so reinforcing a spirit of humility is key. The Bible talks of the importance of a teachable spirit in Proverbs 9:9 and Proverbs 12:1. No one knows everything and it’s important for children to learn that early in life.

Proverbs 12 1

Teach your children compassion. Jesus had great compassion in the Bible for those who  suffered, were ill, struggled, and were mistreated. John 13:1-7 details the account of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. What an act of service! Teach your children to serve others less fortunate. By doing so, this takes the focus off of themselves. Soon, it will become a habit to serve others, rather than themselves. Make it a point in your family to do regular volunteer work.

Remind your children the dangers of jealousy. Each time a story of jealousy is in the Bible, it never ends well. Think of Cain and Abel, Joseph of the Old Testament and his brothers, and Saul and David. Whenever envy rears it’s ugly head, encourage your children to pray about their struggle so that it does not give way to full-blown envy, which is a sin.

Teach your kids to have a heart of gratitude. If your children have gratitude for what they are and what they have, there will be no room in their lives for jealousy. An excellent way to do this is to encourage them to give thanks often to God and to those around them for the things they have.

Psalm 118 24

Enforce proper consequences. The perfect way to promote an entitlement attitude is to avoid giving your kids consequences for bad behavior.

Don’t coddle your kids or do everything for them. At some point they will be adults, and at that point, they will need to take responsibility.

It’s not easy to combat selfishness and a “me” attitude, especially in the current climate in which we live. But with prayer and perseverance, we can break the destructive cycle of entitlement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 13 Types of Facebook People

Ever given thought to the different types of people on Facebook? Perhaps you might recognize a few of these from your timeline feed. 🙂

13 types of facebook people

  1. The Daily Diary – She chronicles everything in her life in play-by-play fashion. Everything from what she ate at her last meal to what she wears, to the things that irritate her…everything is journaled as a Facebook post every hour on the hour nearly every day.
  2. The Encourager – A somewhat rare breed, the encourager’s main goal in life is to post Scripture verses, quotes, and images to inspire others. She is on Facebook, not for herself, but for the benefit of brightening the days of her Facebook friends.
  3. Contrary Larry – You weren’t looking to get into a debate when you posted that harmless photo of your dog, but Contrary Larry always has a contradictory or disagreeable statement to make about everything.
  4. The Stalker – This lurking-type individual rarely posts anything of her own, but continually stalks the posts of others. She quite often says things, such as, “Hey, you were on Facebook last night at precisely 9:45 p.m. How come you didn’t answer the message I sent to you?” Could be because stalkers are well…creepy.
  5. The Perpetual Poster – You know the type. He posts constantly. Did I mention constantly? Seven, eight, nine posts within a two-hour span is not uncommon for the Perpetual Poster. Looking to find the one in a million posts of his that was actually interesting? Good luck. You’ll be sifting through a gazillion posts.
  6. The Never Like-er – Quick to admit that she prefers not to like anyone else’s posts, the Never Like-er demands you like her posts in a strange double-standard sort of way. Of course, if you don’t like her posts and she corners you at Walmart, she’s sure to let you know she’s offended by your lack of social interaction on social media.
  7. The True Friend – A rare breed indeed, the true friend appreciates the value of interaction on Facebook. Not only does she value such interaction, she’s the first to offer to pray when you post prayer requests.true friendship
  8. Vanishing Vance – One minute this odd friend is active on Facebook. The next minute, he has taken a break and closed his account. The following week, he’s reactivated his account and so on. Poor guy can’t make up his mind.
  9. Chatty Charlie – It doesn’t matter whose Facebook wall he’s on, Chatty Charlie is sure to carry on a conversation starting in the comments. Before you know it, Chatty Charlie has engaged in conversation with another “commenter” on your wall about nothing that even pertains to the original post. Thankfully, about 35 posts later, C.C. realizes the conversation is going nowhere and moves on to the next post.
  10. Selfie Sally – As vain as they come, Selfie Sally is sure to have several posts of herself each week. Word on the street is that she actually invented the selfie stick.selfie person
  11. Mr. Political Sure, I like a good chat about politics every now and then, but Mr. Political is way overboard. Every. Single. Post. Is about politics and if you dare disagree with him? Your friend count just went down one.the white house
  12. Perpetual Test-Taker Tammy – What type of flower are you? In what state should you live? If there’s a personality test on the internet, Perpetual Test-Taker Tammy has taken it –  and has posted about it.
  13. The Photo-Shop Queen – Not a wrinkle or spot of cellulite on her, the Photo-Shop Queen painstakingly removes all imperfections, including the tiny mole on her forearm.  In short, she looks like a model. At first, you think perhaps she hasn’t aged at all since your high school graduation back in 1954. But then, when you see her at your 40th class reunion, you think maybe her account has been hacked and someone has changed all her photos. 🙂

What types of Facebook people have you encountered?