Addicted to Instantaneous

Microwave MOM

What does instantaneous mean? That one is easy, isn’t it? It means an infinitesimal or very short space of time, a moment.

It means fast. Quick. Accelerated. Snappy. Pronto. Rapid. Swift. Hurried. Lickety split.

Infers easy. Cinch. Effortless. No bother. Smooth. Uncomplicated. Painless. Simple.

We are a nation addicted to instantaneous and easy.
We cannot wait for something to happen, so we have things to ease our schedules, like…

*self-serve
*microwave
*drive-thru service
*instant internet search
*cell phones and texting

In a hurry to do other things, we use…

*instant soup
*express lanes
*frozen dinners
*instant oatmeal
*online shopping
*instant coffee and tea
*powdered orange juice
*and instant camera images

We don’t want to wait anymore…and we don’t know how.
We want instant results to everything. And, unfortunately, because kids and adults cannot wait to pull over on the side of the road or until they reach their destination to text or call someone back, we have unfinished cell phone texts and lives that have ceased in an instant.

Oh, yeah, and there’s that prayer for patience, Lord, give me patience and give it to me now!

Impatience rules our soul.
We have instantized so many things and stuffed our schedules with so much that we have shortened our time with the Lord, if there is any time left for Him. And then, we expect instantaneous answers to our prayers. Because we leave so little time to be refreshed in His presence, our spirit weakens and shrivels.

Do we really want fast, snappy, lickety split time with God? David wrote, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.” (Ps. 37:7 NLT)


Stillness of soul eludes us in this world of speed and noise.
Overstimulation of our physical senses is the bane of this world, blocking our awareness of our spiritual sense.

When we sit still in the Lord’s presence, then He “quiets the raging oceans and all the world’s clamor.” (Ps. 65:7 TLB) He will lead us to those still waters, those quiet waters of rest, as David said, “He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.” (Ps. 23:2-3 NLT)

May you know the revival of your heart, soul, and spirit as you make time to sit and wait, undisturbed and silenced, in God’s presence.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
(Matt. 11:28 NKJV)

lynnmosher.com

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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The Dark Place of Addiction ~ for Moms Whose Children Struggle with Addiction

TheDarkPlaceofAddiction

The M.O.M. Initiative is going where some moms live so that we can offer hope and encouragement to those who are there now… for those who have children who are struggling with the dark place of addiction.

Before you begin to read I want you to know that I believe there is always hope in every situation. I only write from what I have seen and experienced through my children and others who are on this journey.

As addicts progress on the path of addiction, the partial light that once illuminated from the shadows gradually fades away.  The darkness begins to creep in and capture them. 

This is what I call “‘the place of darkness”. It lurks in the shadows of addiction.

Let’s look at some signs that brought them to this place.

  • Usually one of the first signs you will notice is that there is a change in their demeanor.
  • Some will start to withdraw from their long-time friends and from family.
  • Their activities will also change.

See, most addicts do not like to hang out with straight people for fear someone will recognize what is happening in their life. Even though they know right from wrong, they still do not want to be judged or for others to find out their life is a mess.

Most really think they are in control of their life. How many times have you heard, “I can stop anytime I want to, I don’t have a problem.”

Now, there are those who believe the lie of the enemy that no one knows they are high. They can’t see how drastically their life has changed. This lie allows them to mingle with others and have no remorse for what they do.

Another sign is all the lies that now come forth. Not only do they lie to everyone but they lie to their own self.

They begin to live in a web of lies. It starts out with little lies, and then the lying escalates. There are more and more lies spoken. It comes to a place that lies are now told to cover the lies previously said.

At some point, those who are close to them find it hard to believe anything that is spoken. The trust has been broken. Yet they still continue to lie.

I believe they come to a place that their whole life is a lie. They have lied so much that the reality of truth is buried deeply below the lies. They find a safe haven amidst these lies.

I have heard numerous people (addicts) say, “I am in a dark place in my life. I don’t know what to do”

This is the darkness that takes over. They know they need to stop the drugs (or alcohol) but they don’t quite know how. Some enter into a deep seated depression during this time. 

There is a fear that looms within their heart as they enter this dark place. They have no real life. Most of the old friends and acquaintances have walked away. Only those few true friends and family remain.

They feel as their life will always be like this and they have no purpose in life. Their survival is based on the next fix. That is all that matters in this season of their life.

You have to understand it is not that they don’t love you and want to do right, but this is where they are. THIS IS REAL. THIS IS THEIR LIFE.

You can get mad, put them in rehab, cut all monies off, and threaten them to no avail. But there is nothing you can do except pray. You have to realize it is their choice where they are. They traveled the path of addiction, now they have to come to the place that they want to be set free.

I have seen the guilt and shame flicker across their face. But I have also seen the look that says, “You can say what you want, but I am going to do what I do.” It literally breaks your heart.

Let me try to give you an image of the darkness so you will better understand where they are. It is like being in a deep, deep hole where there is no light, no shadows. You can’t find a way out. There is no ladder to help you climb out of this hideous hole. You feel as though you are totally alone with this overwhelming darkness that surrounds you.

Moms, this is a real place that exists in some of their lives. But we know who the Light is. And His name is Jesus. He is their only answer. We cannot really help them, although everything within us tries. Their help comes from Jesus, He is their Deliverer.

I wish I had magical words to give so you could speak to your children so they would stop, but I don’t. I have to trust God in all of these situations. There is always hope in Him. Don’t give up on your children they need your prayers more than ever.

John 12:46 “I am the Light that has come into the world so that all who believes in Me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.” (Message)

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (NKJ)

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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Can I Play with Your I-Pad?

Kidz Time Devotional

Kidz Time Devotional

KING of KINGS“Mimi, can I play with your I-Pad?”

asked my precious 5 yr old grandson, Logan. 

I paused. I hesitated.  I had heard his footsteps and risen from my early morning prayer time to  greet him.  

“Well, do you know what I like to do when I first wake up, Logan?”

Gazing into his big eyes, I continued. “I like to read my Bible and pray to God. Would you like to do KIDZ TIME?

“YES!” he happily responded.”  

Soon, the KIDZ TIME 2: PRAISING GOD A-Z DEVOTIONAL was open and scissors, crayons, and tape covered the kitchen table. We chose KING for our

    DEVOTIONAL & ACTIVITY. 

 

“The Lord is a great KING above all  gods.” Ps 95:3

Cutting CROWN for KING

The Lord is a Great KingActivity Craft: 

Let child cut out the crown in the Appendix, then color it or decorate it if they would like to. See Figure D. Either you or the child then tape a strip of paper from one side of the crown to the other to make the crown fit the child’s head. 

Teaching:  

Jesus is the King above all gods.  We will lay our crowns at Jesus’ feet when we meet Him in heaven.

Logan’s desire to play a game on the I-Pad was forgotten as we shared precious moments talking about what a wonderful King our God is. He memorized Psalm 95:3. Then, wearing his crown, we went outside and continued our discussion about our King, marveling at how He had made the birds, trees, and sky.  

KIDZ TIME is a way for you to quickly, but powerfully teach your children or grandchildren Biblical Truths and hide God’s Word in their heart. 

Why not offer your child or grandchild an option to the I-Pad today?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of our children. Thank You, also, for the privilege of teaching them Your truths. Help us be faithful to help them hide Your word in their hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.   

Love, Debbie  Kidz Time 2Praising God A-Z           The Plan A MOM in a Plan B World: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Flawed Society

kidztime2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plan A MOM in a Plan B World: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Flawed World

The Plan A MOM in a Plan B World: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Flawed World

 Looking for parenting help? Short chapters nourish your soul & give 18 PLAN A MOM TIPS to HELP YOU PARENT.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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Tyranny of the To-Do List

 

to do list

I rehearsed my checklist in my head, “Too many to-dos, not enough checkmarks, not enough time.”

My throat tightened and electricity shot through my shoulders into my neck. “Great, my eye is twitching again,” I muttered.

My to-do list loomed big and heavy around my shoulders. When my daughter touched my hand I jumped and pulled my arm away.

“What,” my voiced knifed through the air, “do you need precious girl?” My words did not mask the frustration in my voice.

“And now I’ve hurt her feelings.” The weight around my shoulders doubled as my inner monologue continued. “I’m messing this whole thing up. I can’t do it. I make a mess of mothering, being a wife, taking care of our house, I’m a terrible friend…”

“Mommy?” She looked at me expectantly.

“I’m sorry,” I grimaced and shook my head, “can you repeat that?”

Being a wife, daughter, friend, mother, etc can be overwhelming. Kids have minds and wills of their own. Houses don’t have self-cleaning functions. We cannot conceivably do everything.

And let me tell you a little secret. You don’t have to do everything.

God loves you no matter what you accomplish or don’t accomplish. He loved you enough to die for you. And His amazing gift of forgiveness can’t be earned or forfeited. It comes through faith in what Jesus has already done.

Moms once we find our identity solely in Christ alone two things happen.

1. We no longer have to achieve perfection or work to protect our identity because it is secure in Christ. Through faith in His sacrifice we are co-heirs of Christ, God’s chosen people, part of His bride whom He adores. We are free from the bondage of performance and loved.

2. All the things we do become offerings of thanks to God. Since we no longer have to be patient to please God we now get to be patient to thank God for His grace. Our to-do lists no longer validate us. Instead we are privileged to humbly do good things to bring honor and glory to God.

This is what Jesus meant when He said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Moms, we will make mistakes. We will not do all things well. But we serve a God who forgives us. If a perfectly righteous God can forgive us, perhaps it is time to forgive ourselves when we don’t live up to our own standards or to-do lists.

 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

BetterTogether728x90 copy

Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

 

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Detour – Teenage Motherhood – How to Survive (sneak peek of Better Together Session)

 

Me and Chy TMI
This wasn’t the part of the plan. You and your daughter were planning for high school graduation, but now you’re trying to get used to the idea that she is going to be a mother. You’re both trying to sync schedules around baby. How exactly will she do this mom thing and how do you help her?  

It happened to me. One day I was cheerleading for the football team and the next–I was fighting with my mom, feeling oh-so tired and scared as I held a positive pregnancy test in my hands. 

What did my future look like?

What about my boyfriend?

What about college?

What is everyone going to think?

What about my mom? She can’t take care of me and my five siblings? 

Even though my mom couldn’t bring herself to talk to me after she learned I was pregnant, her questions mirrored mine. My mother was filled with mixed emotions she tried to process the news and grieve the plans, dreams, and life she had for me. At the same time, I was trying to adjust to the idea of high school with motherhood. And what about college? What about the rest of my life?

How We Got Through It — A Pep Talk for the Soon To Be Grandma

Once the initial shock wears off, you and your daughter need to grieve the dreams you both had but remember life is not over. Instead, it’s time to dream of the new life being formed inside your daughter and what is best for baby. Open adoption or raising baby–either way, you both will need to dream new dreams and look at the future in a new way. Here are a few tips to help create a support network for you and your daughter. 

  • Seek Counsel –godly counsel. This can include speaking with your pastor or to a Christian counselor — someone equipped to provide wisdom and instruction as you deal with the emotions and disappointment you may be experiencing.
  • Mediation – Professional counsel does more than just help you process; it also provides mediation between you and your teen as you clarify the decisions she will need to make
  • Pray with her, asking God to guide her as she makes decisions regarding this baby.
  • Accept a New Reality. As this new reality settles in, keep in mind your baby girl is hurt, frightened and needs your acceptance. Assure her of your love and your commitment to help her through this difficult time.
  • New Dreams. It’s okay to grieve the dreams you had for her, give yourself a chance to grieve and then begin dreaming of a new future with her. Sit down with your daughter and ask her what her dreams were, how can she achieve them now? How can you help? 
  • Set Boundaries. As much as you want your daughter to succeed, you will need to create new boundaries and discuss them with your daughter. For example, even if the father of the child wants to be involved, it is NOT okay to continue a sexual relationship. Even if your daughter has class and work, it is not okay for her to expect YOU to get up at all hours of the night. Take these things into consideration and talk about how you can support your daughter and grand baby in a healthy manner. 
  • Let her grow up. She may be 15, 16, or 17; not quite an adult but she is a mom. Let her be a mom, when you see she is struggling to get baby to stop fussing, it’s great to offer her advice but try not to take over. She needs to learn what her baby needs but she still needs you for encouragement, advice, support and to be her biggest cheerleader. 

 me and chris

Teen Mom – OWN IT – A Pep Talk 4 U

Everyone told me there was no way out. I wouldn’t graduate High School, I wouldn’t go to college. Chris (the father) would leave me. I wouldn’t have a good life or a great future. I heard it over and over.

But I thought, Why do I have to fail? Why can’t I make a life as a teen and a mom? Something in my soul shifted, it was as if I felt God nudging me and saying, I have a plan and you can do this. It was if he was taking this failure and creating a successful, bright, beautiful future. 

So little mama, here is your pep talk!! 

Failing is when you learn a million ways not to do something. Moving past failure is when you use the lessons you learned and finally find the right way. 

Yes, you made a mistake. Yes, there is a mountain looming in your path right now—and it’s steep and fraught with snowstorms and rocky paths. But it is not insurmountable. I want to encourage you NOT to look at that mountain—steep as it is—and simply resign yourself to staying at the bottom.

Start climbing!  It’s what you do now that will make all the difference. 

You have two choices as you step off of your planned path and onto this detour: you can put your car on cruise control and let this mistake destroy your dreams and be a not so great mom, or you can grab the steering wheel and drive over the mountains to see what’s on the other side. I get it: being a teen mom is messy, tough, and overwhelming. But it’s also wonderful and empowering.

  • You can ensure you are the best mom possible.
  • You can make a pit stop on this detour to make it to your dream career or even college.
  • You can take responsibility for you and your baby.
  • You can change your attitude about your view of motherhood.
  • The key to moving forward is adjusting your view of not only change, but failure also. The key to this new story is YOU. 

In the big picture, it doesn’t matter what is going on in your life compared to others. What matters is how you respond. If you respond with self-pity and “Why me,” these will be some of your worst days. If you respond with, “I can do this; it may not be fun but I can try,” life will get better—not all the time but it does help decrease the stress.

So say a prayer and grab a pen. Answer these questions: 

  • What do I want to be when I grow up?
  • How can I achieve my dreams?
  • College or work?
  • What kind of mom am I going to be? 
  • Where can I go for help? 

Coming soon – a book for teen moms and a leader’s guide for mentors and a website dedicated to encouraging and equipping young moms. www.detour2motherhood.com. About Detour: Together with Erin MacPherson (Christian Mama’s Guide), Heather just finished writing Detour: Surviving (And Loving Life as a Teenage Mom) and is putting the finishing touches on the Leader’s Guide created for churches, small groups, MOPS groups, crisis centers to encourage, equip, and mentor young moms.  Our thoughts are this, “When we support young moms, we can the power to reach the next generation for Christ!”

Sneak Peek of the book. 

Introduction – Detour: Surviving (And Loving) Life as a Teenage Mom 

Some little girls dream of having a big brick house with a giant swirl staircase, a white picket fence, a husband that looks like Ken, and (of course) a cool hot pink convertible to drive around town. Some girls I knew in school even had names picked out for their 2.4 children and big plans to adopt an orphaned Labradoodle. But not me. I wanted to be a lot of things—an attorney, a professor, a journalist, maybe even the CEO of some big company somewhere—but being a mom wasn’t even on my radar.

I was talented in arguing my point (ask my mom).  I knew what I wanted and knew what I needed to do to make it big. She used to tell me I was born screaming orders at the nurses.  And, while I did occasionally dream of prince charming (what boy crazy teenage girl doesn’t?), I figured my prince charming would fit in the picture after my happily-ever-after had already happened. I had better things to do, like go to college and make money so I could buy my first pink convertible.

Everything was planned—or so I thought.

But all of my best-laid plans came crashing to a halt on February 9, 1999.  It was one of the worst (although in hindsight, one of the best) days of my life.  For weeks, I had thought the reason why I was so tired was because my mom and I were not getting along.  I figured the emotional stress coupled with the fact that I had dropped out of cheerleading was leaving me drained, tired, and cranky.  But the tiredness nagged me to the point that my sweet Grammie noticed and dragged me to the clinic to find out what was going on. We both walked into that appointment thinking I had probably contracted something that was going around at school.  Neither of us expected those two pink lines.

I brought the test home, still not believing it. I remember twiddling the test around, staring at the tiny plastic stick that symbolized my new reality.  I couldn’t wrap my head around it. How could I—the girl who had all of the big dreams and even bigger plans—be pregnant? What about what my doctor told me when I was fifteen and having horrible cramps, he said I would never have kids on my own, so now what? As I laid on my bunk bed, staring at the test, other thoughts spun in and out of my head. What about school? How was I going to hide my blossoming belly? Would my friends ditch me? What about college? What about the house and the car and the swirling staircase and the golden retriever?  My life was over.  Or so I thought.

The future I had dreamed of since childhood started to blur.  The college degree, the Cinderella wedding, the exotic vacations, the plaques from my accomplishments, even the house with the white picket fence where I would sit sipping lemonade with the man of my dreams snuggled up next to me on a porch swing.  All of it faded away.  And a new picture started to emerge.

I was 17.  And pregnant.

My dreams had suddenly taken a very sharp detour.  The dream-lined path to college and beyond was suddenly uphill and fraught with tough decisions.  And the tiny life inside of me suddenly beckoned me more than the plans I had so carefully laid.

Questions rolled through my head:

  • How was I going to take care of my baby when I still needed to finish high school?
  • Was my relationship with my boyfriend going to survive this?
  • What would my friends think?  Would people still want to hang out with me?
  • How was I going to make my paycheck stretch to pay for diapers and bottles, much less than new dress I had been eyeing at the mall?
  • Would I ever be able to go to college and get that degree I had been dreaming of?
  • Would my parents forgive me and embrace their grandbaby?
  • Would my life ever be the same?

Everything changed for me that day.  I went from confidence and exuberance to loneliness and guilt.  My entire perspective shifted.  I went from wondering where I was going to go after the game on Friday night to wondering how I was going to raise a baby who would depend solely on me and the choices I made.  And while I’m by no means a perfect mom who has all the answers, I do understand how it feels to walk down the detour of teenaged pregnant.

And I hope that my experiences—the good, the bad and even the ugly—can help you to survive and thrive in your own detour.  I want to partner with you to help you through these next months—to show you how you can embrace your new reality in a way that’s healthy for both yourself and your baby.  Because I know from experience that no matter how you are feeling right now, you can, in fact, trudge down this road to reach a different, but equally happy future on the other side.

 

Other article resources:

The Mom Initiative - Dealing with your Pregnant Teen  

Thriving Family - Coping with Your Pregnant Teen 

Today’s Christian Woman - Is Your Teen Becoming a Parent? 

Visit Erin’s Blog: Christian Mama’s Guide

 

Don’t forget to grab a copy of Stephanie’s book, The Making of a Mom. It has my story in it plus hundreds of ways it can help grow you and your daughter as moms. 

 

To connect with Heather on the Detour 

Facebook page: Detour to Motherhood

Pinterest: Detour to Motherhood

Coming soon: Detour2motherhood.com  

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

BetterTogether728x90 copy

Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

Share

The Greatest Lesson of All

thegreatestlessonofall

 If you were to ask me, “What’s one of the most important lessons I can teach my children?” I’d have to answer: Choices have consequences.

While visiting Washington D.C. last week I was reminded of many choices our founding fathers made hundreds of years ago–including the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Each decision they made had consequences we as a nation still feel reverberating today.

I’d probably receive little debate from a parent who understands this lesson well. But, as a mom, we are nurturers at heart. We are known for wanting our child to experience only joy and feel as little pain as possible. We guide our sons and daughters towards the path with the most light and the least thorns. We give tender hugs and cushion the falls  any of our children make…sometimes to a fault.

When my four were much younger I reminded them, “Don’t come near the stove when I’m cooking, you could get burned.” Not understanding the pain of a burn they’d dance closer and closer to the open flame and boiling pot. Over and over I’d warn them, “Get back, I don’t want you to get burned.”

My husband would say, “For goodness sake, Joanne, stop warning them. If they get burned they’ll learn.”

There’s much truth to this lesson no matter how old our children are and it’s one I still struggle with. The Bible is clear about our choices having consequences. King David and Bathsheba are a good example. When King David sends Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, to the front lines of battle and to his death, Psalm 51 expresses the heart of a regretful King David and full of pain at the wrong choice he made.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

While David seeks and receives forgiveness from God, we see there are still future consequences. When King David desires to build a temple for the Lord -God explains why he is not a candidate for the job.

“But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth.” 1 Chronicles 22:8

While poor choices bring unwanted consequences there is also the lesson of good choices begetting good consequences. When our children make a selfless choice, we make sure to notice. We want to remind them God blesses those who make a choice that honors Him even when it’s hard.

These lessons start young. Sharing a toy with a playmate is a choice. The consequence is the child becomes the beneficiary of a playmate’s joy and gratefulness. Acknowledging these choices is very important. While travelling the metro in Washington D.C. recently, I watched my thirteen year old son offer his seat to a woman. I overheard as she thanked him. I smiled and thought if this woman only knew how many hours my son had been walking she would have been even more amazed at the gesture. I knew -and encouraged his choice later.

As our children have grown up, the reminder of choices and consequences has been a golden lesson. With each decision they’ve learned to make on their own, I pray they understand God can use each choice as a sculpting tool to mold and shape them into the people He wants them to be.

We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.—Kevin Levine

Allow your child to make choices and let them experience the consequences attached to their decision. The second part is fundamental. When you allow your child to make a choice but then protect them from the outcome you raise a dictator, instead. Never allow them to make a choice unless you allow them to feel the consequence that follows.

With each passing year, our protective arm must take our hand off their shoulder and make way for the Lord’s hand of guidance in their life. They will only learn to lean on Him if we stop protecting them from every outcome that may cause discomfort. This is how they learn to lean on God instead of us.

My advice to you precious mom? Don’t steal your child’s testimony. Allow consequences to be felt—both good and bad ones. Only then will they grow up to learn the greatest lesson of all—to lean on the Lord instead of their mom.

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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How To Find The Peace Of God In The Midst Of Your Stress

HowToFindThePeace_MelissaMashburn

 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV

Oh sweet mom, is it me or does it seem that there are things pulling at us from just about every angle of life these days.

It’s either the kids, our spouse, the job, our ministry, our friends, our finances, or even our health, sometimes all at the same time.

It’s enough to make you feel like that mom from the Incredibles movie, what’s her name…ElastaGirl?

The problem with that is that we aren’t ElastaGirl, and she’s not real, so we can bend and move but eventually something will break or fall.

I love what it says right before this verse though, because we need to be able to find the peace of God in the midst of our stress.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 NIV

Ok, now it’s starting to make a little more sense. Do not be anxious about anything; problems, stresses, kids, finances, health issues, and the marriage…everything. All of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, give it all back to God through prayer and petition.

Then, when we do,we will receive the peace of God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 NIV

  • Do you mean that by giving all that “stuff” over to Him we will actually have peace? Yes!
  • Do you mean that by praying about it we will begin to have peace? Yes!
  • Do you think that is possible for you and me? Absolutely Yes!

Well, what does that “peace of God” look like?

I went over to my friends at Dictionary.com to look up the word peace and here’s what it says;

- a state of mutual harmony between people or groups
- a state of tranquility or serenity:
- a state or condition conducive to, proceeding from, or characterized by tranquility:

Then I took it a step further and asked Dictionary.com to define for me the “peace of God” and guess what, there were NO results for “peace of God”.

Is that surprising?

No, not really, especially since it says right there in the verse that the “peace of God” transcends all understanding.

I love that we don’t have to completely understand it but can accept it as the gift that it is.

At the end of the verse it also says that the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is actually a beautiful thing for us because it says that even in the midst of our stress that not only will you have peace from Him but that He will guard your hearts and minds while you still try to figure out all the other stuff.

Let’s face it can be tough to have peace when everything around you is pulling at you at the same time, but when you present your requests to Him, lay them down, and accept the gift of the peace from God, then you will be able to rest in knowing that He is there with you every step of the way.

So, let’s get practical.

What do you need to take before Him right now so that you too can have the peace of God?

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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For Those Days When Mothering Is Hard

The-Making-of-a-Mom_quote-09

I LOVE being a mom but sometimes mothering is hard! Being a mom is AMAZING… but mothering isn’t always about butterfly kisses, tickles and giggles! 

Can any mommas relate?

We don’t always know what to do or what to say or how to act and react to every situation we’re faced with as moms.

In The Making of a Mom, I wrote about those days when mothering is hard… those times when we feel overwhelmed as a mom. The times when we struggle with how much attention is too much and how much attention is not enough…

  • How do we dole out just the right amount of attention for our kids without creating a child centered home or an attention starved child?
  • How do we love our kids well?
  • How do we protect them without overprotecting them?
  • How do we know the right things to say and choose the right things to say when we’re frustrated and frazzled?
  • How do we shield them from the world while we’re trying to teach them to live in it and be strong, courageous Christians whose faith will stand even if their world falls apart…and even if everyone stands in opposition to them?
  • How do we instill character in a world that embraces sin and is calling wrong right and right wrong?
  • How do I help my children grasp how significant they are when I feel so insignificant?
  • How do I set goals for my kids when I can’t even set goals for myself? 
  • How do I navigate the tumultuous seas of motherhood when I’m struggling with my identity as a mother?
  • Why do I blow it with my kids when I love them so much and how do I handle it when I do?
  • How do I pray for my kids when sometimes I can’t even tell what they’re thinking or what they really need?
  • How can I leave a lasting imprint on their hearts and instill in them a deep desire to return home long after they’ve left the nest?
  • How can I be a good mom when I feel like I’m failing my kids?
  • What is biblical motherhood anyway and what does it look like in real life?

These are the struggles almost all moms face. These are many of the issues I deal with in The Making of a Mom. And these are the issues I’ll cover in my workshop at BETTER TOGETHER!

I hope you can come to the conference… and remember… don’t let financial constraints keep you from coming!

But today, I want to share with you 3 things to help you in a few key areas when mothering is hard.

1. Understand your identity as a mom TheMakingofaMomsmall

There’s great power that comes from realizing you are not only a mom, but you’re THE mom for your kids. Knowing your role creates the reality of your significance as a mom and the importance of taking it seriously. You may not be the perfect parent, but, if you’re a Christian, you KNOW the perfect Parent and He has made you the mom of your children on purpose and for a purpose.

Knowing that helps you see yourself, your role as a mom, and the task of parenting your children as a gift and a huge responsibility that God has equipped you to do.

It also helps you embrace your authority as their mom, so you don’t have to loose control, but can calmly create an environment of respect, patience and obedience wrought from a firm foundation of faith and love.

2. Make seeking your Father’s face your ultimate priority

INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… SPEND TIME BASKING IN HIS PRESENCE… SATURATE YOUR HEART AND MIND IN THE WORD OF GOD… LET YOUR PARENTING BECOME AN OVERFLOW OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH AND WISDOM FROM GOD! Hands down.. number one piece of advice I have ever received and could ever give!

We can’t be the mommas God created us to be unless we seek His face, spend the in His Word, and look for ways to live out His principles and precepts.

3. Give yourself and your children room to fail and room to grow

You won’t always get it right. You won’t always say the right thing and do the right thing. You won’t always be the perfect mom. But having a bad moment doesn’t make you a bad mom. Not responding well to a circumstance doesn’t make you a failure as a mom. It’s an important part of your parenting journey… to fall down and get back up and to allow your children to do the same. I’m not perfect and I’m going to fail. So are you.. and so are your children. 

When they see you fall and get back up without allowing that failure to define you, then they can see what it looks like to walk in victory and you equip them for their own failures and flaws when you don’t allow your failures and flaws to define you.

Being a mom is amazing but sometimes mothering is hard! I hope today’s post encouraged your momma heart and I hope to meet you at BETTER TOGETHER!

EVER HAD ONE OF ‘THOSE’ DAYS? WHAT DO YOU DO ON THOSE DAYS WHEN MOTHERING IS HARD?

I’m sharing MUCH MORE about THE MAKING OF A MOM at BETTER TOGETHER! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it! We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

BetterTogether728x90 copy

Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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Two Important Announcements from TMI for You!

# 1 – Important Announcement

TheMakingofaMomsmallEvery day of the year we come to you as mentor mommas with hearts to meet you where you are in the middle of your mom journey…to help answer the questions you send in and to be a hub where mentors and mentees can connect!

Just last week, THE MAKING OF A MOM came out and it is the book this ministry has been waiting for. THE MAKING OF A MOM was written to be real help for real moms and to also serve as a unique, all-in-one resource for mentors and ministry leaders.

The launch started out well, but after about 2 days, I began receiving emails from those who had pre-order THE MAKING OF A MOM telling me that they had received emails from Amazon saying THE MAKING OF A MOM was out of print. 

Turns out that EVERY PRE-ORDERD book that was ordered on or before July 14th was lost in the shuffle of switching publishers from Regal to Revell.

So, the books you sweet friends pre-ordered under the Regal brand and Regal’s ISBN will not be shipped because it now no longer exists. It’s now under Revell and has a new ISBN and even a new website link. And I have no way to know who pre-ordered, or how many or how to get in touch with those who did. 

The only answer can be to ask YOU to help!

I’m asking you to help this launch fulfill its mission. If you pre-ordered The Making of a Mom on or before July 14th, please cancel that order on THIS AMAZON LINK (which says, “Out of print”) and order your new book on THIS AMAZON LINK (which is the new Revell link).

I’m SO SORRY for the confusion and inconvenience, but I’m super excited about how the Lord is already using The Making of a Mom in the lives of moms everywhere.

Recently, a mom who had read The Making of a Mom  contacted me and said, “No one writes books like this any more. This has really helped me be a better mom in so many areas. You have no idea how glad I am you wrote this.”

And I’m SUPER EXCITED about the M.O.M. Groups, small groups and single mom groups beginning to use The Making of a Mom for their next study!

I hope you’ll get a copy and be encouraged in your mom journey and if you’re a ministry leader or small group leader, I hope you’ll either begin or enhance your mentoring ministry and begin ministering to moms who know Christ and reaching those who don’t.

# 2 – Important Announcement

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it! We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.com and request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

BetterTogether728x90 copy

Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned ~ by Lynn Cowell

maninrainsmall

“A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.” Luke 15:11-13 (NASB)

Go to that movie? No way! I had already seen the movie previews, and made up my mind. No child of mine was going to see that show. I had decided well before he asked the question. The answer was, “No.” It was true. He showed respect by asking for my permission, but still. The answer wouldn’t change. Without words, my son turned his back, returning to his friends.

I wrestled inside with that decision, because for all practical purposes, my son was an adult. Yet, knowing the intense heartache that could come if one unwise decision led to another, I was determined to maintain control with my eldest child as long as possible.

He could have lied and gone to the movie and told you something different, my head reasoned. Meanwhile my heart whispered, You still have time to influence his decisions; don’t give up while he’s still at home.

After seeking wise advice from my husband, we decided to allow our son to make up his own mind that day, but not without tears in our eyes. I know the decision seems rather trivial to lead to watery eyes. However, as I reflected on why we got so emotional, it wasn’t that the choice was hard; it was the act of letting go.

I imagine the father in today’s key passage wrestled with letting go, too. His son had given the speech … the speech of a child who knows more than his dad: “Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me” (Luke 15:12).

Here is where I stand amazed at the father. In Jesus’ story, the father didn’t nag, criticize or get angry with his son. The father didn’t say, “You’re not ready. This is the wrong decision. You’re too immature. You don’t know what you’re doing.”

Instead, this wise and loving father prepared to watch his son learn hard truth … on his own.

Reading this passage makes my heart break. I come to tears just thinking of the pain the father experienced as he divided his property and possessions. I can almost hear the struggle of this father’s heart. Perhaps he thought: This is all wrong. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. I’ve spent my whole life investing in these boys. This isn’t the way it was supposed to turn out.

I’ve had similar painful thoughts.

What parent doesn’t experience that frustration, as we travel through this journey of having children and then letting them go?

I think of the friend watching an unwise decision of another tear down a lifetime bond.

And the sister who struggles as a sibling heads in the wrong direction.

Each scenario makes my heart ache.

Maybe the father experienced the same type of emotions I’m sure I would have had: turmoil torturing my mind with all that could certainly go wrong.

Yet, in his wisdom, the prodigal’s father held back that swirling sadness from his lips. He knew some children learn best through experience.

And we, as those who love them, need the wisdom of the Father to know which of our loved ones are wired this way.

Then with all the grace our Heavenly Father will give, we have to get out of the way.

Out of the way and onto our knees, praying our prodigals quickly discover even a “hired hand.” Or they learn that, as Paul describes himself, “a prisoner” (Philemon 1:1) is more blessed than the one outside the umbrella of God’s protection and blessings.

Lord, we are desperate for Your wisdom. Show us, Jesus, when to speak and when to be silent. When we need to get involved, and when we need to get out of the way, so our loved ones surrender to You as soon as possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

____________________________________________

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket all you have to do is email us at info@themominitiative.com and request a FREE TICKET!

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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