Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Follow Your Dreams

This morning my son read his morning devotion while gulping down his breakfast as quickly as boys do everything. After he we finished reading the devotion he had asked if I had read todays devotion of his book yet. He knows I always read his devotion along with my own. I do this so I know what he is reading, being taught and also, so that if he has any comments or questions regarding his devotion; I know exactly what he is talking about.

Although he doesn't always say much about his morning devotions, Ill occasionally hear from him "that was a good one!" and before I have the chance to respond he is off to his room to do whatever it is he is anxious to get back to..... (coughing under breath) his Mine Craft computer game addiction. He knows he isn't allowed on the computer in the morning before chores, breakfast and devotion. Which often leads me to wonder if he says "that was a good one!" only to let me know he read or should I say glanced over his devotion? At least that is what I think sometimes. I don't make a big fuss over it only because I want to keep the experience of his daily devotions positive. I don't want to jump on his case about it, then get him upset at my nagging about it, only to then resent the fact I am having him read them anyways. So, even if there are days he glances over his devotion, I do not doubt that when its necessary that GOD speaks to him no matter how quickly or not he reads.

Today for an example. I do not doubt that Hunters devotion struck a cord with him and instead of reading as fast as possible, it grabbed his attention and he read it and took it to heart. This morning I didn't get the quietly walk off after the read or the quick "it was a good one!" Instead, he asked me if I had read todays devotion just yet. To my disappointment, I hadn't gotten to it. But being the quick thinking mom I am, I replied back and said "no honey, whats it about? Will you read it to me?" In which he began to explain to me the devotions topic and point in his own words, which then gave me the opportunity to talk to him and explain to him what certain things that he had read were trying to imply and say to him and all of us about FOLLOWING OUR DREAMS!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12

Hunters devotional book that I found for him over Christmas is "Heart of an Athlete." Its a FCA (Fellow Christian Athletes) Devotional book. What I like most about it, is that its written by different real athletes and coaches. The main writer of the book is NFL Kicker, Matt Stover; Super Bowl XXXV Champion Baltimore Ravens.

It's not a book just for boys. Its for ANY athlete out there. Its for coaches, parents of athletes or anyone with a completive desire or dream.

As an athlete with a passion for sports, you have a unique view of life through a competitive lens. And yet, your drive for success and commitment to your sport may lead to being set apart from other, distancing your from friends, family, church and school.

God doesn't intend for you to go at it alone. He wants to be included in your athletics and in every other area of your life. Heart of an Athlete makes it easy to receive regular spiritual training that won't take over your workout schedule. - Heart of an Athlete Book

They say "it won't take over your workout schedule" because they know and understand a devoted athlete is busy and probably have short attention spans because their minds are always focused on how to improve for the next game the next win.

Its a short read, easy read for all ages and its set up in a friendly manner for athletes. They break it down is READY, SET, GO and OVERTIME reads in each devotion. Less than five minutes to read each morning.

Todays story was about a guy who remembers calling to his parents and telling them he was coming home yet again. He had tears in his eyes, as the Clevland Cavaliers had become his third straight NBA team that he had failed to make.

He didn't understand why this was happening to him. He thought for sure his high hopes of realizing his dream to play in the NBA had arrived when he was drafted out of the University of Iowa. But it was becoming more clear that dreams don't always come true. He felt lost. His identity was basketball. It was his life. He thought "what could the future possibly hold for him now?"

Shortly thereafter that he received an invitation to play full-time with a sports ministry team. For the next nine years he was able to travel the country (and the world) playing basketball and sharing his faith with thousands of people. The tears were long forgotten as God began using him in ways that he had never imagined.

Doesn't that seem to be God's favorite thing.... doing things in away we never imagine?

Today Dan Frost still ministers to leaders in our nation's capital and he still says that daily he is reminded just as much as he did back when he was shedding those tears and thought his dreams were lost, that GOD still holds his future then, today and tomorrow... and the futures of those around him.

What Dan is simply saying is this; "Dream BIG, follow your dreams..... but hold those plans loosely, resting securely in the knowledge that our Father may have a far different plan from our own." -Dan Frost

Having a son that is an amazing naturally talented athlete of my own. Being a girl growing up with sports and with my own competitive juices; a husband that was a professional football player and Hunters dad who is one sports driven dad himself; Hunter almost didn't stand a chance to be anything but an athlete. I always joke and say he was born with a puck in his mouth and bat and stick in his hands.

Hunter is 11-years old and his dreams are big already. He talks about wanting to play hockey at Havard. He aims to be a professional hockey player when he graduates Harvard, as many young boys and girls probably dream. When I say these things, I mean them. My son (with the help of his dad) talks about it all the time. His dad is training him that sports come before everything else (not a believer in God). While I try to train him that GOD is first and then everything else after. Its very real to him and he believes this is what his future plan will be. But I know its got to be confusing for him with two homes completely opposite of one another. One is sports driven, self driven...and the other is God driven, family driven and selfishness driven. Both so similar and yet so different by one missing factor..... GOD!

My hope for getting him this book was to train my son to be a man or athlete of character. Because without character you have nothing. Be an athlete, thats fine! But be one that glorifies God. My prayer being this, that while I support my sons BIG DREAMS and I am his biggest fan, I wanted him to have GOD on his heart first so that if these big dreams are not in GODS plan for him, my son doesn't feel he looses out in life, or is a failure or looses his identity (as so many do).

And this devotion not only touched something deep and personal for Hunter.... it touched something very personal to me as his mom. I too have big dreams for my children. I too want them to be successful, happy and all their dreams to come true. But I also want to be the one to show them and guide them that there is someone who has already written the plans for their lives, and if they only trust in those plans while following their dreams.... they can't lose! EVER! Because one way or another either their dreams will be God's plan for them - they win! Or they won't be and if they know and trust God and allow Gods plans be unfolded - THEY WIN!

So I printed out todays devotion for Hunter, I wrote a note on it and I intend to frame it for him. On my note I said that this devotion was not only a good one for him as he dreams about his future, but that this devotion is still a great one for myself, Mark and his dad to also read. Being all athletes ourselves having big dreams in sports or acting careers, we all have been there where we felt high hopes of the reality of our dreams right in front of us...... and yet something happened and it didn't turn out exactly how we planned. And although we have felt disappointed, shed our own tears. We are living proof and examples of Dan Frost in todays devotions that DREAMING BIG and FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS is beautiful. Achieving them is the cherry on top. But more importantly its a ROCKSTAR feeling if it all comes about with GOD first in your life and HIM blessing those dreams (or not). And if yours becomes an "or not." You still can get that exciting feeling of mystery knowing that whatever GODS plans are (if not your own plans) its going to be an even more exciting, satisfying and full life you live because it will turn out ......

Like you never imagined!!!!

Trust me.... I KNOW!

Follow your dreams..... hold them loosely and pray for Gods will to be done in your life! Thank him for your gifts. For your dreams. Whatever you do.... do it to GLORIFY GOD and watch out, you may wake up and find yourself living your dream!!!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

What kind of Princess are you raising your daughter to be?

A great read and so many good points that I grew up being taught. (click link below)

I never read princess stories. I never played with princess dolls; and I actually cried when I received my first barbie. Not a happy cry either. In away I am very thankful I was a tomboy and that I grew up wanting to do the things that most would only think for boys to do; fishing, camping, climbing trees and learning to take care of myself. I still love to do those things today. In fact, I often struggled to fit in with a lot of girls groups growing up because I was always looking over there at the boys group wishing I could just go do whatever it was they were doing; playing tag, watching sports or tossing the football around.

When I had my first flat tire, my dad sat on the porch swing and watched as I was left to change the tire myself. I remember being so angry and mad that morning. I was dressed in my cheer uniform and ready for school and then here I was left to figure out my flat tire all on my own. It came in hand later on, for when I had other things go wrong if be my car, situation, relationships; I almost always figured them out on my own, or at least found temporary solutions until I could seek out the long term resolution. My dad sort of had this military (Marine) style in his teachings for us kids. While learning to drive our first cars, we weren't only learning how to parallel park and switch gears of a stick shift. We also were learning how to train our minds to remember our surroundings. This was done in order to help us from getting lost, be able gather our barrings and being able to trace ourselves back out of where we got ourselves in and or how to get back to that particular location again all by remembering the surroundings in a photographic way in our minds.

I grew up with fire in my heart. I was so independent and I was determined to be a women of strength and success. I dreamed big! I also grew to know the only man I would ever need to rely on was my Heavenly Father. When I started dating, I never allowed boys to pay for my dinners. It was my choice to some how work jobs to have my own spending allowance so I could be free on my dates and not rely on the guys to "take care of me" only to expect something from me later that I wasn't willing to give. My father still to this day loves to tell this story. It was my own choice to live by that rule, but it made my father happy to see how strong I was becoming as a young women. He must have felt he had done something right along the way, right? My response is "yes!"

Im glad I didn't grow up in the fluffy world of princess stories and dreams of living my whole life just to get married. As cute as fairytale stories are and I do love my daughter dancing in her tutu's and tiaras...... my tomboy upbringing has given me the ability to be who I am today. I didn't rely on attention from boyfriends to make me happy and secure. I relied on God and all the amazing things I could do on my own in my life. I loved living in my own apartment alone. I loved going to work and paying my own bills. I loved being able to travel the world. It allowed me most of all to see past all the fluff so I could see a man that would love me and become my partner and friend, not a replacement figure of my own earthly father. Or a man to silence my voice, my heart and my dreams just to have my life be only about him.

I learned early on that I do have a voice. I was given a mind of my own by my creator. I was given the physical ability to take care of myself. Now that I am married and a mother, I am still that same person, but for the first time I do get to feel like a princess. I have a husband that provides for our family so I can be available for my children and husbands needs, as well as to take care of the home. But at the same time, I am still given the freedom to work at my choice and go after dreams that I have. Too often girls forget they too have dreams and they start to believe that the only way they can be happy is to just get married and start a family...... but there is so much more to life that can be discovered in your marriage if you first learn to be GODS princess and a women full of LIFE and STRENGTH.

I look forward to helping my children grow in the man and woman that by Gods grace they will one day be. In fact we are already talking to Hunter about things that he will need to do and understand as part of being a good Godly man. Before even reading this link tonight, I laid in bed with Hunter and quietly told him as he began to fall asleep "I just know you are going to make a wonderful man one day." I didn't go into details, a simple statement to linger in his thoughts as he drifted to sleep.

I love the idea of getting to share with my own daughter the things I grew to know from being a strong Godly women. Although I must say, she is far from being a tomboy like her mother. She is as girly as they come, loving her dresses, fancy shoes and baby dolls, and thats okay. However, she can still enjoy all those girly things and while learning to be a an independent women. A women that can also allow her husband to be the man, father and husband in her life that God has called him to be too. Knowing how to acknowledge your independence as a women and not forgetting that about yourself, all the while still getting to be the princess in your role as women, wife and mother.... the lady and princess GOD has called us to be.

Are you teaching your daughters to be Modern Day Princesses or GODLY PRINCESSES?


Thursday, January 5, 2012


Welcome 2012.....

Looking back, its been a year or more since I last blogged on here. I had mentioned to my three or four blogging follower/fans/friends on Facebook that I would start back to blogging this year. Or at least that I wanted to. I knew that if I didn't get in one post, that I would procrastinate, get lazy and then the blogging would fall further and further down on my "to do" list. So here I am...

Are you ready to tackle on 2012? I am.

I don't know about you but 2011 was extremely busy for me. Lets see, at the beginning of the year my daughter at tubes placed in her ears. We since then purchased a house, renting the other house and moved. Moving is never fun and always brings many stresses, but I can say now that its done and over with it. Whew! I was hospitalized twice, once for gallbladder removal and the other was from a flare up. A Chron's flare up. Yes, I was also diagnosed with Chron's disease this past summer of 2011. As if that wasn't enough, my son had a really bad experience at being bullied by kids 5 years older than him from his school hockey team. Hunter at the time 10 years old, a 5th grader was given special permission to play up on the middle school hockey team because he was the only 5th grader student that plays hockey at his private school. My son isn't one to backdown easily, and I instill in him to protect kids that are being bullied and to never bully anyone himself. He is popular among his peers, and the teachers and parents rave about how sweet, charming and caring he is. And he is all of that. I was angry, shocked and frankly pissed off when I learned that my son was the one being bullied for almost 2 months. He didn't say anything about it for so long. But I could tell things where on his mind just by comments he would make here and there. Finally, he had enough and he was starting to feel angry and scared. I finally spent a night laying in the dark of his room next to him in bed, listening to him for an hour tell me things he was embarrassed by, upset by and afraid of that he was experiencing alone by four high school kids on his hockey team. Lets just say that I didn't sleep at all that night. My heart was on fire and burning for my son. It was not minor teasing or getting picked on by older boys in the locker room. It was full on hazing, harassing, bulling and in my opinion criminal. Ill save the details for now.

I did however address the situation first thing in the morning. His father and I put together a letter of the details we knew to the headmaster of the school. The boys were questioned, nothing was denied, and a few days later a parent/staff was called to meet and the middle school hockey team was discontinued for the year. Not that all students were being punished, this was my first thought too. It basically came down to the the boys were probably being suspended or taken off the team and it left the team short of players to continue. I was thankful how serious the school took the situation, how they handled it and how quick it was resolved. Although, I was a bit shocked and disappointed to learn through Hunters father and my husband, whom attended the meeting because I was hospitalized my second time that same day. That the parents of the boys were not apologetic, nor did they have any remorse or empathy. They were simply upset that their sons wheren't getting to play hockey for the rest of the season vs their behavior towards a child that was 5 years younger than they. What's wrong with parents these days? Not to forget to mention, we also learned that there were other things that occurred to my son that my son hadn't mentioned to me. So upsetting! So my son lost his hockey team and had to start on a new team in the middle of the season outside of his school. That is a lot for anyone to take on, especially a 10 year old boy.

As if that wasn't enough, I also had surgery on both my feet recently. It was a long planned surgery of bunion removal on my feet that was supposed to have been done over the summer. It was pushed back when I became ill and landed in ICU at the hospital for 9 days. What a horrible experience (and scary) that situation was. I am thankful its behind me in 2011.

I told you I was ready for 2012.

I am ready to take on a new healthier year. A physically healthier year for my daughter and I. An emotionally, mentally and physically healthier year for my son. I am still very thankful for 2011 as there were way more blessings and things to be grateful than all the negatives I listed here. WIth that being said, this is what I have in mind for 2012.

No, its not a new year resolution or anything like that. I've decided that I don't "do" resolutions, only to fail them in the first few days or weeks. Instead, I make a resolution just about every day. Why everyday? Because I will make plans or strive for goals but I know I will ultimately slip and break them from time to time. When I do fail along the way, I don't feel that all those days, weeks or months passed have been a complete waste now. It makes it way too easy to quit this way. Making daily resolutions, I don't lose anything and I simply start over right then and there or the next day. Which ever the situation allows me. Example: Make a resolution to be more patient. You probably lose your patience in three days. You try again and you mess up again. Then again and again over the course of the year. Before you know it, you tell yourself you messed up too many times that you give up and quit trying all together. My example is this. Simply make a resolution today that you will be more patient and see how it goes. If goes well, great. Next day the same thing. And so on and so on.... but if you mess up here and there.... just mark it off that TODAY'S resolution was a squash and make a new one right then and there.

My start for today, yesterday and tomorrow is simply 'Servanthood'.

I want to serve people more. I want to find myself more like Jesus and serve others without feeling I need something in return. That's hard for us 'all about me' humans. We too often find ourselves upset and frustrated that we aren't receiving the kind of treatment, efforts, appreciation, energy or loyalty from those that we are giving all those things to. And then it becomes about us and not what we are doing for others and it robs us of the joy that could be in these moments. I have had a couple of friends on Facebook comment on their status updates experiencing moments of frustration. Feeling being taken advantage of, or let down or unappreciated of their works, their efforts given. If we try to look at ourselves as servants and not as "friends doing friends favors".....we will slowly start being content and happy just doing, without needing or wanting those "unspoken rules and wishes" we have of being treated the same way in return.

The GOLDEN RULE - "treat others how you WANT to be treat!" That doesn't say, treat people the way you want them to treat you and then expect them to treat you that way. You will almost ALWAYS be disappointed. People will fail you. They are humans. Its not personal. It's simply they are sinners as you and I and their hearts are also focused on themselves. Its natural and the human heart by nature. Treat others how you want to be treated is the golden rule, but simply treat others Christ like and simply do so for the GLORY OF GOD!!!

Be a servant to anyone that you come in contact with simply because you choose to and for the Glory of God. If you can practice doing this, and believe me it takes practice, prayer, God given strength and effort. Then you will see a little at a time that you are not feeling so let down as much. And on the days you do feel let down or frustrated, you will move passed it sooner and not hold on to and linger on the matter. Simply remind yourself you are a servant. Ask yourself what is is you are wanting in that moment that's making you feel disappointed or let down by someone. You will quickly see that it all comes down to the "ME SYNDROME" again. "I'm not getting..... I don't feel.....I just wish......". Stop and remind yourself who it is that you are doing everything that you are doing for... to GLORIFY GOD! And then count all your blessings from HIM and you soon feel humbled because you realize God has been MORE merciful, graceful and abundantly giving to you than you have toward that person that's letting you down. God doesn't have to be servant like to us, but his whole life has been about servanthood. And he lived the perfect life.

Read this little message I read today in my devotional. I thought it was perfect and very fitting for my first post of the new 2012 year.

Happy New Year!

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