6.30.2011

God's Perfect Timing

"For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day." Habakkuk 2:3 Amplified Bible (AMP)

There I was sitting on a closed toilet holding my daughter while very upset because I restricted her from wearing a new fancy outfit the next day.

"It's not that I'm trying to be the boss or a meanie. Sometimes even though I want to give you everything, when you want it, I can't because it's not good for you."

"I know mommy, I understand."

In an instant, when tears flowed from both of us, I put myself in her place.

I can't count how many times I prayed and asked for my daughter, and then only reassured on occasion through faith in small portions. There were years I yearned, and no matter my long wait or deep sadness, God in His infinite wisdom knew when it was the perfect time for me to conceive.

I am captivated when God is making known hard life lessons I’ve learned as an adult into teachable and relevant moments with my daughter. It's a transcending feeling that I cannot articulate in words, nonetheless beautiful and blessed!


6.29.2011

Stranger Danger

Last night I finally scheduled the long awaited Stranger Safety video that's been collecting dust, which was purchased more than a year ago. My daughter is attending a new summer camp next week with folk that we don't know and that's worrisome for this mom of one. Through experience we know that people we kinda know can hurt children too.  I reflect on all the ugliness in the world and misfortunes children are exposed to, and I remain diligent about guarding my daughter from any of that, always.

Do yourself and the kids a favor this summer and together watch this Emmy Award Winning Stranger Safety video created by John Walsh and Julie Clark, founder of The Baby Einstein Company. The kids will chuckle at the antics of Safe Side Superchick, but her message and tips are clearly serious. This is one resource that could make a difference for your child.

Stranger Safety Clips (YouTube)
The Safe Side (Website)


Blast from The Past: Stranger Danger
Circa 2007 (approximate age 3)

My daughter is becoming more independent in public and sometimes puts up a good fuss if I need to hold her hand. The mall is a perfect scenario for crazy folk to steal children. Therefore, I'm careful to keep her close and watch for strangers around us.

"Give me your hand!" I grab her with less finesse than usual. She wiggles and pulls, trying to break free. Then, I purposely move my grip to her wrist holding that much tighter.

"Nooooo!"

"You need to hold mommy's hand!" With persistence and maneuvering, she breaks my Kung Fu grip. My little girl is strong willed and expresses everyday more and more what she's about. I can't fault her for that. Nevertheless, it's so difficult knowing how much free space our children need with minimal risk.

"Here, you can hold my hand." A woman in her 60's had come up beside my daughter and was keeping up with our pace.

Well, isn't that quaint! I think not, and was enraged at the audacity of this woman.

"No! No! No!" I expressed with a harshness that was hopefully getting my mental message across. Who are you?

I grab my daughter's other hand with a fierce quickness.

This grandma instantly figured out I wasn't happy with what just occurred and never questioned why I had dropped my good manners right where she entered our personal space among the cavernous mall corridors.

"You hold her hand." She lets go of my daughter's tiny fingers and looks in my direction. Then she took a hard right and I immediately checked over my shoulder. She looked like anyone's grandma, but the fact is she wasn't my daughter’s or mine.

6.28.2011

Good Deeds & Great Deals

"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom." Luke 6:38

I am a giver by nature. Meaning it's natural for me to give. I don't hesitate, and don't need to usually pray about it either.

Last year, God nudged me in giving my time in a way that was unusual for me, and to trust Him for my needs. I will tell you that God always keeps His promise, and my needs were met to the penny, with a little left over for some fun with the family locally.

This year, I'm still confident that God will meet my family needs while we do our part to be diligent working, being frugal minded, putting needs before wants, and giving. All the while with an audience of one particular person -- our daughter. I believe she has a front row seat to managing money right and the benefits to good decision making.

Sunday, I ventured off to Kohl's with two coupons needing new perfume for myself. I settled for an older scent that was pleasing, with a final price of $20 to include discount and coupon. Not too shabby for an ounce of wildflowers!

While there, my daughter and I did some "window shopping." Fortunately, at an early age the economic upheaval changed her perception, with my help of course. Nevertheless, it was quite a sight when it all began. Like most, I resembled a novice juggler at the circus—fumbling and dropping balls everywhere dealing with less income, my spouse’s stressful job, credit balances increasing, and the rising costs of gas and groceries.

It was difficult to share with my second grader that a $16 Fashionista shirt wasn't going home with us. I explained to her that the week before I had to put back a $7.00 funky black blouse because though I liked it, I didn't need it.

As a follower of Jesus, I never know when my obedience is a set-up for a life lesson for my daughter.

To be continued…

6.27.2011

Walk Around Heaven

Whatever our burden or despair, remember that this is only our temporary home. We must be confident in the promise of a permanent address. Yes, someday we’ll walk around Heaven! Keep keepin’ on, and in Jesus name, we press on!

Walk Around Heaven by Patti LaBelle

6.26.2011

He Cares

No matter what storm you're in, Jesus is still at the helm of your boat and soon He will "rebuke the wind and the raging water. And they will cease, and there will be a calm" sea once again.

"Does Jesus Care/God Will Take Care Of You" (Video) By Mark Lowry 

Scripture Reference: Luke 8:22-25

6.25.2011

Psalm 56:8

Some seasons in life are a struggle and can become very dark (even for Believers), but on those days that are too difficult to move through...cry out...and ask Him to carry you.

6.24.2011

Blast From The Past: Sing To Me Mommy

Blast From The Past are archived blog posts hidden and held hostage elsewhere, but like I mention on the Why? page (see header above) some might come out of the dark.

Circa 2008 (approximate age 4)

Singing and humming to babies goes back centuries and does a child good.

I’ve hummed a tune to my daughter since birth that came from my heart while rocking her to sleep. Just recently, she blessed my socks off when I began, and she finished it!

We must be intentional about our parenting role because children are always listening and learning from us.

6.23.2011

Answered Prayer

You ever go through a season where your world is crumbling, everything wrong is magnified, you have no joy, and no hope for the future.

Been there, done that, and have the t-shirt—but I've got great news:


"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:1-3

6.22.2011

Stronger



I recently said to someone special in my life, "We'll bend, but we won't break!"

Life can sure dish up some serious mess! However, I do believe that we'll be stronger at the end of our trials. Whether we find it’s a mess we've made or the mess others brought upon us, we'll come out stronger—and hopefully in better shape spiritually for the next round of life’s messiness.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Stronger by Mandisa (Video)

Move by MercyMe (Video)

6.21.2011

Mama Needs a New Pair of Shoes

I surprised my daughter with a couple of hours at an indoor amusement park to have some fun. The surprise was not only that we were going, but that she had to pay with her own money for the admission. Fortunately for her I paid the remaining balance to include extra for a pass for future visits.

She didn't take lightly that all her cash would be used, but I took advantage of a "mommy moment" to put into practical sense (for a child her age) what it means when parents say, "We can't afford it."

When the money is gone—it's gone! No longer is my family walking around in a foggy state of mind thinking we can worry about money another day. Ahem! The dream is over.

While my daughter frolicked between rides and the indoor play area I found myself treading lightly in my mind about the burdens of finances and the future. When we left, I decided I needed some me time and moseyed on over to Goodwill next door for a peek—and look what my daughter found for 50% off.


Yeah, mama needs a new pair of shoes...for only $3.49!

6.20.2011

Discouragement

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV)

Discouragement can be detrimental to our faith so try your hardest to be positive and cast out anything that would rise up against the Word of God in your mind. Speak those things that be not as though they were—no matter what reality looks like!

As believers we know that God is able, He is our Way Maker -- and makes a way out of no way -- and has the ability to change the countenance and disposition of anyone (even us!).

I am a living testimony that God who says He can, will!

6.17.2011

Top Ten

Blessings n Couponing: Weekly Top Ten generously gives her readers 10 companies to email. She gives links and encourages you to share your "like" for the product along with a personal story.

I have been blogging for years, and followed fugal/savings blogs as well, but never have seen this posted or suggested anywhere.

A BIG THANKS to Amy because it works!

Faithful People

"God is not looking for ability; He’s looking for availability!"

Saturday morning I'll be sharing the spoken word at a coffee house more than a few miles from home. My artist friend and I are teaming up with a mission to be an expression of love, compassion, and grace while sharing our God-given talents.

It's a God thing!

6.16.2011

Legacy: Did I Point To You Enough?

As a mother, there are so many principles and life lessons I can share with my daughter, but the most valuable to me is faith in Christ.

This morning after dropping her off for VBS, I decided to stay and catch a glimpse of the whole bunch singing about JESUS.  Filled with joy to the tippy-top I swayed for a few stolen moments hidden in the back. Then I left with tear-filled eyes so blessed by watching my princess sing praises. Truly, there is nothing more satisfying to my soul!

“A good and honest life is a blessed memorial.” Proverbs 10:7a

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” - Charles Swindoll

Nichole Nordeman \ Legacy
I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically

And leave that kind of legacy

6.15.2011

Cup of Coffee

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee. After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, THAT is the source of your problems and stress"

"Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other's cups."

"Now consider this: Life is the coffee. . .and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups . . . enjoy your coffee."

-via Internet

6.14.2011

You Can!

If you’re on the move, but feeling that life is putting up barriers and hanging signs, “You can’t!” Be encouraged that God says different, “You can!”

"...with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27

Take a gulp of goodness in by watching Secretariat, and then watch it again.

Faith is being sure that what God has whispered in your heart can become a shout as you run the race.

6.13.2011

Building Up Your Husband

I made sure to call my husband last week to tell him not only how tired I was, but that I realized that he is truly exhausted. In a nut shell, I told him, "I get it!"

Validating our spouse is so important, and it gives way to tender moments.

Building up is so much better than tearing down.

Challenge: Call your husband in the middle of his morning or afternoon just to tell him something good about himself that you admire, or affirm his need for R&R. Warning!  This is not the time to add anything to the conversation that he should do or should not be doing.

Scripture: Ephesians 5:22 - The Message (MSG) "Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ."

6.12.2011

Sayings & Quotes

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

GOD Wants To Pump You Up!

What starts your engine in the morning? Is it sipping on hot coffee or chewing a granola bar—or maybe it is feeding on God’s Holy Word. As the day continues, seasoned believers can easily tell when their spiritual gauge is nearing empty.

Start right, and fuel your spirit!

6.11.2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Each year I’ve adjusted our lifestyle to coincide with the ever-dwindling economy. Even with a family of three things needed to change, and this year was no exception. I stumbled and found Blessings n Couponing through Extreme Couponing casting reels posted online—intrigued primarily by Amy’s testimonial. Since then I visit frequently to see what’s new and exciting that she’s sharing with her readers.

Recently I took a risk and made homemade laundry detergent* that BnC featured more than once. At first my husband wasn’t very receptive to the idea and commented about the “itchy” factor. He had a valid point -- undergarments washed in an unfamiliar substance could wreak havoc on a 12-hour workday.

Fortunately, for our family the laundry detergent is a winner! I’m paying a small fraction to clean my dirty laundry that’s without added and harmful chemicals.

With a background in finance, I know well how to move numbers (money) from one column to another. Now I snicker at the colorful soldiered bottles of high priced laundry detergent in the grocery aisles, and even when there’s a mega deal on an end-cap—I turn up my nose.

Pros and Cons
The large container with detergent making paraphernalia sits in our small laundry room taking up needed space. Furthermore, count on a good 10 minutes to grate ½ bar of Fels-Naptha, and waiting over night for the finished concoction to set can be an inconvenience,  Nevertheless, in comparison to the joy I feel of doing it myself and saving dollars, really makes good cents sense (pun intended!).

*You may want to cut this recipe in half depending on your personal needs.

6.10.2011

Summer Fun

It's full-on summer already with school out early and VBS (Vacation Bible School) scheduled and paid for.  Summer camp is coming up in July and we're enjoying a rather large inflatable above ground pool with a filter and ladder just off our patio.

When I told my first-grader a few months ago that we were going to have the best summer, I merely said that in faith.  I had no idea what was in store for our family who have struggled each year to adapt and make adjustments due to the economy.

Things are looking up, but not because of any windfall—we have grown as a family finding out that the little things matter most, that what we have should be enjoyed and shared with others, and to be thankful.

Wealth can be defined differently.  Though I'm not currently (or ever was) a high net-worth individual, lately I feel like a rich woman. I'm rich with flextime, free days, being loved and loving, health, quality of life, being inspired, faith, freedom, peace, and a few bucks in the bank. My cup runneth over!

Buy this poster here.

Have a fantabulous summer!
© Cup of Goodness. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.