Check out my first Guest Post: Time Out for Mommy: Don’s Cry Over Spilled Milk

I was very excited to have the opportunity to write an article for an amazing blog called Intoxicated on Life. The authors Luke and Trisha Gilkerson are a husband and wife duo that love to write about being a parent, healthy eating and raising a family with good christian values. Their blog includes several recipes, book reviews, breastfeeding tips, and so much more. I highly recommend you browse their site after reading my article on their page.

My article Time Out for Mommy: Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk, is all about the trials of another hard day at work as a wife, mother and follower of Christ. The following is an excerpt of my article:

“I tend to let my emotions get the best of me, I battle keeping my attitude and blood pressure in check during these intense times of parenting. My mommy time out is my way of calming myself, redirecting my emotions, and looking for guidance.”

 

If you are a mom or know a mom who could benefit from reading this post please share it!

 

Click on the button below to check out my article on Intoxicated on Life.

Grab button for Intoxicated on Life

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Armor “Me” Thursday! “Molding Mothers of the Lord” *Part 4* Nurturing

I love the fact that after last Armor “Me” Thursdays’s post on Discipline, I can talk about my most favorite aspect of being a mother….to nurture. There is nothing that I love more then to hold my child in my arms look into their eyes to tell them how much I love them and how proud they make me each day. Not only is this one of the highlights of having the most important job ever, it is a moment my child will remember, cherish and hopefully choose to continue when they reach their parenting years. Expressing our unconditional love for each other is so important. This brings me to our Mothers Power Verse:

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Have you ever met a person for the first time and in 5 minutes of watching, speaking and listening to them feel incredibly inspired? The way their face glows with peace and love, their voice speaks only what is in their heart with every word being sincere. I have met many men and women who make me instantly feel good when I am around them. These people LOVE and trust God with all they have, they are not perfect and make mistakes like me and you, but they have a desire to live and love like God instructs us to do. Please print this out and post it, remembering that LOVE is something we need to express everyday to everyone.

If you open your bibles to 2 Timothy 1:7 it reads:

7 – for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

We touched on how important it is to discipline your child so they can know the difference between right and wrong. The next crucial step is to love on them with all your heart. You want to provide your child with a consistent amount of verbal support to communicate how much they really mean to you despite what mistakes they have made. In 2 Timothy we are told we need to not fear but but be in control of ourselves out of love, love that God so graciously gifted us to use according to his purpose.

Have you heard of Willow Tree figures? I absolutely love the feelings I get when I browse through all of them in the store. Take a look at a few of these I have pictured to share with you.

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Tell me that these do not pull at your heartstrings and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. They scream patience, love, and nurturing. As mothers, God has gifted us with the natural ability to be amazing nurturers. To waste a talent of that kind of importance would be tragic.

This brings me to the common mistakes we as human beings make all to often. Read the verse out of Ephesians below:

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Speaking anger to or around your children is damaging them little by little. They learn so closely from us that we need to make sure we are not only speaking out of love to them, but also to others around us.

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We must all truly forgive each other to truly love each other. Trust that you can give your children the freedom to fail, as God does for us. Trust that you can accept your children for all the specific talents God has chosen to give them. Lastly, trust that you can give them the affection they deserve using your unconditional love.

The worksheet for this lesson is accessible HERE: ArmorMe Worksheet4

Armor “Me” Thursday! “Molding Mothers of the Lord” *Part 3* Discipline is a MUST

The word discipline can mean so many things to so many people. It is also a subject that can be very controversial in our world today. It is either an important practice in homes today, non existent  or just down right inappropriate. Thousands of opinions and theories crowd the bookstore shelves everyday trying to convince you that their way is the best way, when in retrospect the bible contains a wealth of information on how to properly discipline our children. Discipline is a hard subject to touch briefly as it contains so much emotion for the parents involved. This brings me to our Mom’s Power Verse of the Day:

Isaiah41.10

I chose this verse because so many times we have fear in making the wrong decision when it comes to disciplining our children, we need to know that God is with us in all our decisions as long as we ask him for guidance. God will continue to strengthen us as a parent and help us love our children through the discipline he teaches us is right and appropriate. Please take the time to print this verse out and post it for your daily reminder, it only will bring peace to your soul in hard times.

I have covered many important parts of parenting including being available and involved in your child’s life. Teaching and training your child is unbelievably important in their understanding of why we do the things we do, and to display how much God loves us and impacts our life. Today I am going to cover discipline, a step that cannot be skipped and must be included in teaching your children that there are lines they do not cross. If you read in Hebrews 12:5-11 :

 

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

 

Wow, what a powerful set of verses. We have to remember as parents we are really raising God’s children and we need to follow his instruction on how to raise them. In reading over these verses I looked it up in my Life Application Bible and read an important question to ask yourself.  Who loves his child more – a father who allows the child to do what will harm him, or the one who corrects, trains, and even punishes the child to help him learn what is right? As an adult God corrects and disciplines us in various ways, as we are all still learning how to live by his word and spread only his glory. As a parent we must discipline our children when they need corrected and do it in such a way that they understand what they did was harming them.

 

Reading on in Proverbs the term “The rod of discipline” is mentioned many times. This just simply stands for all the different forms of discipline or training you can use. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 22:15:

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Young children are learning so much, that sometimes they have no idea what they want to do will hurt them. May it be the glow of a bright red burner on the stove that lures them in by its beauty, a stray dog that looks like it just needs a hug or a random person offering a piece of candy, a child is not going to know what is right or wrong unless you teach them. Children do foolish things that bring them danger simply because they don’t understand what could happen to them. We must make our kids conscious of what is right and wrong at all ages.

This brings me to my last verse for you to ponder. Proverbs 23:13-14:

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.

Do not be one of those parents reluctant to discipline their child fearing that you will grow apart or not be trusted by them, be the parent that is preventing them from making foolish decisions in the future. Ask yourself if you have made an honest effort to show your children loving, consistent discipline as God instructs us to do.

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 The worksheet for this lesson is accessible HERE.    ArmorMe Worksheet3

Snug as a Bug Giveaway Hop! Win 2 Handcrafted Soft Wool Newborn Hats by: Katie Mae Designs

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Welcome to the Snug as a Bug Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. With the cooler weather coming strong, I’ve joined with over 40 other bloggers to bring you great products to keep your baby snug as a bug!

Each blogger participating has a great Baby/Toddler Prize Package for you to win, worth at least $25, so after you enter mine, be sure to hop around to all the others in the linky!  Don’t forget to enter to win one of the GREAT GRAND PRIZES for the Event as well, including a Beco Baby Carrier, Kowalli, and The First Years Feeding Prize Pack!

Mothers Heavenly Armor’s Giveaway Prize is Sponsored from: Katie Mae Designs!

You could win 2 Newborn Soft Wool Hats in your choice of color!

Congrats to our winner! Angela Thompson

 

Newborn Wool Hat

Katie Mae Designs offers so many custom hand-sewn products for your little one. Some of her products include:

 

Armor “Me” Thursday! “Molding Mothers of the Lord” ~ *Part 2* Teaching & Training your Children to live for the Lord

As if us mothers didn’t have enough to accomplish in the day just keeping our children alive, we also need to deliver the word of God to them in the most creative of ways. I for one find just the household chores someday’s enough to send me over the ledge, add a cranky two year old, fighting 7 and 12 year old and a barking dog into that equation and we are going to have an epic meltdown. Often, I feel like I need to attend a class to harness my erratic emotions my surroundings in my own home cause me. This brings me to our Mom’s Power Verse of the Day:

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I chose this verse for several reasons. One, I should be joyful always for the blessings I have including my fighting children, barking dog and a house that can be a mess. Two, I need to pray continually to thank God for everything he provides for my family, to ask for help in any area of my life that is burdening me, and to pray for others that may be in need of his unforgiving love. Three, I need to be continually thanking him even in the worse of situations since he has a greater purpose I cannot even begin to understand. Please take the time to print out the worksheet I provide for you so you can post this scripture with your other verse from last Thursday (posted at the end of the devotion). This method really does work in memorization & motivation throughout your day.

If I were to ask you what you currently do to educate your children on God’s long history of good works, what would you say? Are you making an honest attempt other then dropping them off at Sunday school or youth group? If you open your bibles to Psalm 78:5-6 it tells of God’s commandment to us as parents to share the stories of his incredible life changing work to our children, so then they can pass it on to future generations. This is not a commandment we should take lightly, religious education for our children is so important in the molding of what kind of person they  (God’s children) grow up to be.  Again in Deuteronomy 4:10 God states  “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children”. This again reiterates that we need to pass this knowledge on to our children. Now that we know how important it is to teach our children, there is an crucial element you as a parent must do first to be successful. Colossians 1:28-29 is so important I would like you to focus on this scripture for a few minutes:

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

I don’t know about you but that is telling me that without his strength, and wisdom I cannot teach. We need God’s help, we will eventually fail without it. His strength, mercy, forgiveness, guidance and love is all attributes we need to strive to achieve through him and only him. Throw your pride and fear out of the window, because with God on our side we will learn daily and be motivated by his love and only grow closer to him. Teach your children God’s word.

When you start any new job, you need to be taught how to cope with the tasks required. Along with learning the ropes of the position you are also being trained. The definition of training is:

The action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior.

We see the word teaching in that definition. This shows us how important teaching is before you begin training. Your child must understand what the purpose of the training is. I certainly wouldn’t want to go into a place and be told what and how to do something and not expect a clear answer to why they have those expectations. If you look at Proverbs 22:6 it reads: “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  The phrase “in the way he should go” means that you must know your child’s natural abilities, level of understanding and train him/her according to those. We must remember God gives us all specific gifts and we must embrace those gifts that he has built into our children. Don’t scorn their individuality or style, encourage it if they can use it to become closer to God or educate others on his word.

Combining teaching and training on a daily basis is so crucial to bringing up Godly children. So the hard part is how on earth do I accomplish all of  that while maintaining a job, house, a husband and myself when I barely have enough time for that? I have a list of 10 quick ways you can teach and train your small child in under 5 minutes each! Check them out!

  1. Pray daily before your family meals together.
  2. Read one small paragraph a day from their bible.
  3. Have color sheets on hand illustrating a story from the bible.
  4. Have them watch a cartoon such as veggie tales or Hermie, by Max Lucado.
  5. When driving point out how beautiful the scenery is and thank God for creating such a beautiful place.
  6. Pray for the needy.
  7. Music is huge for kids, purchase a cd with songs or hymns with scripture or stories for them to listen to.
  8. Felt story boards with bible characters cut out helps them learn visually while you tell a story.
  9. At night ask them what God blessed them with that day, you will get the funniest answers that are straight from their heart.
  10. Look at your child, and tell them how you thank God everyday for blessing you with being chosen to be their mom.

If you have an older child these ideas are great to incorporate in their daily lives:

  1. Pray before bedtime.
  2. Keep a prayer journal to write down what they pray about and then they can look back and highlight what God had helped them with. Such a great way to affirm that God is listening to them.
  3. Have them choose a friend to pray for each day, and have them explain to you why they feel they needed extra prayer.
  4. Let them choose a scripture a week to memorize, just one. Have them post it by their bed or on their desk for daily reminders.
  5. Soap journal, pick a scripture, observe it, apply it and pray about it. Wayne Cordeiro has created special journals just for teens.
  6. Music is huge to kids this age and they can pick any genre and find christian music they are sure to love with great story lines.
  7. As we pick them up from church ask them what they learned and did, make a special effort to take an interest in what is going on.
  8. Encourage them to use the strengths and skills God has graced them with, and make sure they know who gets the credit.
  9. Always be watching decisions they make and as they fail, lift them up in prayer together and talk about how it could have been handled differently.
  10. Same as above: Look at your child, and tell them how you thank God everyday for blessing you with being chosen to be their mom. They are never to old to hear that.

No matter how busy life is you can always find time to educate your children, and the basis of all you teach should be God’s word.

My youngest daughter at One year old.

My youngest daughter at One year old.

The worksheet for this lesson is accessible HERE.  ArmorMe Worksheet2


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You Can Rent Timeshares!

I am excited to introduce all my readers to an amazing resource for you to utilize when planning your next family vacation. I was redweekdelighted to get a chance to review a website specializing in renting, selling and buying timeshares all over the world. RedWeek.com has opened my eyes to how affordable and convenient going on a family vacation can actually be. I must caution you, please be aware if you continue to read this review you will be inspired to plan a vacation!

As an added bonus for our readers, RedWeeek.com has offered me a FREE 2 YEAR MEMBERSHIP to their website, to use as a giveaway! Enter Here!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Upon visiting their site to browse their time share rentals I was prompted to sign in as either a member or guest. I love that they give you a chance to see what they have to offer before you become a member. These days you have no idea what you are getting yourself into when typing in what seems like a page full of information only to find out you wasted your time and hate what you just registered for. As I signed in as a guest I was able to then browse their timeshares. I could either search rentals, buying or selling, exchanges or enter a great forum that provides me with a wealth of information regarding travel tips and various FAQ pages to help me understand the whole process. I chose to browse rentals and search by location, you have the option to search by resort name as well. It was much easier for me to use this search mode since I was unfamiliar with what timeshares were in the areas I would like to vacation. Bend, Oregon is a popular place in Central Oregon my family loves to visit. There were several timeshares available in that area in well known popular resorts. My favorite one I found was a room at the Mount Bachelor Village Resort for the incredible low price of $43.00 a night! Yes…I said $43.00 a night, I could not believe it.  As I viewed this property the website was so helpful in letting me view pictures of the property, listed resort amenities and features and allowed me to see the dates this room was available. Once I clicked the view link to the side of the listing I was able to see even more information and contact the owner if I had questions or was interested in renting the timeshare.

Mt. Bachelor Village Resort, Bend Oregon

Mt. Bachelor Village Resort, Bend Oregon

This is where having an actual membership comes into play. As a guest you can view this information but you are not able to contact the owners of the property to make arrangements. In order to go through with the rental process you must pay a fee of $14.99 a year, that’s it! I assure you when you are browsing these properties and seeing how much money you will actually save you will look at that membership fee and be happy to pay the low price of a years membership. At first glance you are thinking these prices are to good to be true, but if you learn about the process it will all be clear to you. RedWeek.com can work in two ways, you can be an owner of a timeshare and find out you cannot use it during your allotted time frame, of course wanting to recoup any of the costs the owner has spent they decide to rent the property. By the owners renting the property to you they can offer you up to 50% less then any hotel room you can find as well as provide the convenience of additional services available at these resorts like a kitchen in each unit! Some other great features of their site I enjoyed was the ability to see the top timeshare rental destinations. When I browsed it I was able to purchase rooms in Florida for $43.00 a night, Cabo for $57.00 a night, Orlando for $43.00 a night and Hawaii for only $21.00 a night! These location’s are screaming my name as I type, with these prices I can afford to go on a dream vacation in my very near future while not going over budget and regretting it later. Another great feature is the ability to view the newest listings as well, so you can hurry and nab up any amazing deals before they are gone.

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Sol Mar Beach Club, Cabo

Grand Villas

Grand Villa Resort, Orlando

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Imperial Hawaii Vacation Club, Honolulu

Overall, I have no complaints about RedWeek.com. I feel they are very fair in letting you try them out as a guest to see what they have to offer. Their method and process is proven and used by 1.5 Million registered users with over 4,000 properties to choose from! They are also a member of the better business bureau earning an A+ rating. I would highly recommend this site to any couple or family looking to save money on their next vacation.

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RedWeek.com also has a facebook, twitter and blog to follow the latest news and listings from!

Remember I am giving away a 2 YEAR MEMBERSHIP for free! ENTER HERE! a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Armor “Me” Thursday! “Molding Mothers of the Lord” ~ Part *1* Being Available & Involved~

As I sit here and write this devotion, I am already struggling with concentration. Although I have studied this topic extensively,  took pages of notes, wrote a handful of scriptures and reviewed it over and over again my mind keeps on wandering out into the living room. Where I hear my 3 children fighting over who is chewing with their mouth open. Finding time to concentrate on anything when your kids are home can be close to impossible to accomplish. Whether it is watching your favorite movie, reading a good book, finishing your daily devotion or just simply bathing yourself, all of these tasks come with a challenge. What I find most difficult about this situation is how to control myself from not taking my whole month’s worth of en-capsuled frustration out on each one of them. In Part one of “Molding Mothers of the Lord” I talk about how we can be Available & Involved in our children’s lives while trying to maintain our own.

Mom’s Power Verse of The Day:

Matthew 11:28-29

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I chose this verse because it covers some issues I mentioned above. How many of you have no burdens? How many of you are not tired, exhausted, or emotionally drained? If you are like 99% of mom’s I know you are weary and burdened and you feel like this often. I urge you to take a look at this verse and apply it to your life. God is telling you to come to him, lay your worries upon him and he will give you rest. As simple as it seems, it is hard to just lay your problems out there, give them to him and sit back in your bubble bath listening to Kenny G (which by the way I love, the saxophone is very relaxing). Our human nature in this corrupt world is interfering with every aspect of our faith, everyday, until he comes to bring us home. I don’t know about you but rest sure sounds good to me right now!

Bonus: Check out the worksheet for this lesson, this verse is printed just for you. Cut it out and post it somewhere you will see it and read it several times a day. (The files are at the end of the devotion)

Now that we have covered our Mom’s Power Verse, it is time to talk about how to be available to our children. How many mothers out there can say they read a daily devotional, study God’s word or journal everyday? My guess is not many. I continue to struggle with this on a daily basis, I will do so well for awhile and then BAM I think of some excuse that will keep me away from it. In Deuteronomy there are several passages about parenting, yet I chose verses 6:6-7. Please feel free to look them up in your bible for a word for word account. To sum up the passage in my own words and understanding, I think that Moses is trying to tell us that we need to be in God’s word ourselves, everyday. We also need to love God first with all our hearts before we can try and teach our children to love God. We have a set of guidelines and commandments we as mothers must follow to set a good example. We then must make ourselves available to our children to show them all of God’s beauty and love in everyday circumstances. By being available, we are reading our children God’s word, never being to busy to answer a question or sing a hymn, and certainly by watching our everyday reactions. Kids are like sponges, they remember everything, and usually copy the behavior a time or two. Take it from me, my two year old runs around saying the most interesting things at the most inconvenient times.

Once we become available for our children we then need to get involved. In Ephesians chapter 6 Paul speaks to us about how we need to care for our children even in times of disobedience and quarrel. In truly caring for our children we must put our interests, needs, and desires aside and put their’s first. We also must “bring them up in the training and instruction of the lord” Ephesians 6:4. This is really where we need to step up our involvement. This must be catered for every age of child you have. For example:

~My 12 year old daughter does a soapy journal, this journal is catered for her age but follows along with my own journal. Even though the reading is not exactly the same, we are still learning about the same topic. This way you can both individually do your journal entry and then sit together and discuss what each of us got out of it. An amazing way to connect and even get to know each other better.

~My 7 year old son loves to listen to his bible stories on cd. Most even go over scripture memorization. He listens to the lesson at bed time and then in the morning we discuss what he has learned and write down the memory verse. This is so great because not only is he going to bed in the word but he is starting his day with the word as well.

~My 2 year old daughter loves to watch cartoons. Her favorite is Hermie and Wormy a Max Lucado DVD. This teaches her what is right and wrong in the eyes of a silly misbehaving Caterpillar. Afterwards we always talk about what he did that was so funny and what God told him to do. She also loves to listen to music. This is a great way for your younger children to celebrate God’s word, they remember the words and hand movements so quickly and it brings them so much joy.

No matter how much time this takes from your day and your priorities, it is a commandment for us mothers to follow and it must be taken seriously. 1 Samuel 8:1-3 is an example of how children can turn away from God and resort to evil ways or actions. Now we cannot be the judge of what kind of parent Samuel was to his children, after all his sons were grown. Yet, while we have our kids at home under our care, who we are and what we present to them can affect their life in huge ways. Do you feel you are being the best role model for your child? I know I am not always at my best, and that is why I have to constantly remind myself to be in God’s word. It changes my whole outlook on the days events, which is very crucial when it comes to interacting with my children.

Prayer:

Prayer is so important and should be a common line of communication in your home. Family prayer time, as well as individual prayer time is a type of involvement you should have with your children. Be available to pray, listen to your child’s needs or questions and be involved in their prayer time. Along with this lesson, I challenge you to pray for patience, knowledge and desire to be available and involved in your child’s prayer time. Let’s also not forget about your mommy prayer time you need to follow what our Mom’s Power Verse of the Day reads: Lay your burdens on him and rest your soul.

In closing, I want to remind all you mom’s out there. We are not perfect, we are going to make mistakes. Just because I have studied and wrote this does not mean I claim to be the Christian Mother of the Year (wouldn’t that be a cool award), because I am not. I fail on a daily basis, being a mother is the toughest job out there, nothing is more important. God needs us to step up and follow him, so we can direct our children to do the same.

~Arm yourself in his word~

Worksheet:

Click the link below to open a new page to access the file.

ArmorMe Worksheet 1