Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Setting the Example of Discipline

I have come to realize, of late, that I am failing in a very important area of parenting-discipline. Not the discipline you typically think of with children, that being reprimanding for ill behavior; but discipline in my own life. Discipline of finances, of words, of scheduling, of housework, etc.

I lack discipline in many areas of my life. I blame it on the different seasons we all go's summer-the kids are out of school, I am traveling more for work, it's the holidays...and so on and so on. The truth is, that it is so important to model discipline in life to our children so that during these seasons of change, they see that some things are constant.

I have determined that a new approach is needed...a "less is more". Cutting back on the "things" in life-clothes, cable, cell phones, etc.-and doing without for a time. Then slowly adding back in what is truly necessary and appropriate to our lives. I believe that a good way to successfully increase the discipline in my life is to reduce the amount of "stuff" I have to manage. Once I can manage a small amount, then I can slowly increase if necessary.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So you think you had to keep this up

all the work that you do.

So we think that you're good

and you can't believe it's not enough.

All the walls you built up

are just glass on the outside.

-"This is Where the Healing Begins", 10th Avenue North

Perception has always been very important in my life. Growing up, it was always important to "put on a happy face", and "be on my best behavior". Don't get me wrong, I have wonderfully parents who love me and raised me well, but perhaps put too much value on outward appearance and taught me to guard my inner-person just a little too much.

We, as humans, have a self-preservation instinct that often prevents us from putting ourselves in vulnerable situations. This can be a good thing, like when your self-preservation instinct tells you not to step in front of a moving vehicle. But it also results in a certain lack of honesty and truthfulness about who we are and what we are about. Being honest about one's beliefs and feelings often results in vulnerability which is contrary to our self-preservation instinct.

But as Christians we are called to die to self, and we are called to a certain level of honest transparency in our thoughts, feelings, and actions. God has given us a beautiful gift in the family of believers, but we have to be open and honest to share and enjoy that gift. Sharing of ourselves is often scary and sometimes, but we cannot enjoy the gift God has given us in brothers an sisters in Christ, without some level of vulnerability. To get help with our problems, we have to be willing and able to acknowledge and share them with others. In turn, we also have to be willing to share of ourselves to help others.

The walls we build around our hearts to "protect" us only serve to prevent others from getting in...sometimes even Christ himself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Moments

I have been reminded, lately, to remember to find joy in the little moments of life...

  • Riding in the car with the windows down on a beautiful afternoon with my family listening to country music turned up loud.

  • Being able to work from home when I have a sick child.

  • Watching the kids play in the backyard while I wash dishes in the kitchen.

  • Singing to my girls every night when they go to bed...and always getting an "encore" request! (Even when I am on the road, I call and sing!)

  • Laying in bed listening to sound of my husband's breathing (okay...sometimes snoring, but we will go with breathing here!)

  • Frozen custard with good friends on a Sunday afternoon.

  • Waking up every day to the family and life God gave me.

It is so easy to get caught up in the daily "living" of store trips, school, work, soccer practice, cooking, laundry, etc. But in those moments, I find my joy! My goal is to find something every day to be joyful about...some little moment that takes my breath away.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Things I Learned From My Mother

As I have grown older, becoming a wife and mother myself, I have realized what an amazing woman my Mother is. Although she may not think so, I have, over the years, gleaned a vast amount of knowledge of what it is to be a wife, mother, and woman of God from her (although the practical application of this knowledge continues to be a challenge to me!).

She has taught me.... be genuine and sincere. be a gracious hostess.

...that ladies never yell. think of others first.

...that in a family, the marriage relationship and thus, my husband, must be my top priority, second only to my relationship with God.

...that vows spoken before God are not to be broken...period.

...that honesty is priceless. love people, all people, regardless of race, creed, or religion.

...that life is not fair, and I should be thankful for that...otherwise God would not have sent His son to die for me.

There are so many things my Mom has taught me, and I am still learning from her, every day. If I had to choose one thing she has taught me that has helped me the most as a wife and mother it would be this...if I was a perfect person (or parent), I would not need a perfect God.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with this truly amazing woman. I am grateful every day that she made the CHOICE to have me in her life. Your hand in the path of my life is clear from the very beginning, that You chose her to be my Mother. -Amen

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coming Home

"So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6-8

I have been traveling a lot for work lately and it has been a challenge for both me personally and for my family. Coming home after a business trip is a mix of emotions, joy, frustration, exhaustion, trepidation...

I have struggled greatly to stay in a close, personal relationship with Christ. Often, lately, I feel far away from my life...the physical distance of being away as well as the emotional separation from my family and the Lord. I struggle to reconcile my "work" self with my "home" self...I have yet to figure out how to be one "Meridath".

But the words in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 remind me that my true home is not here on earth and when I become too comfortable in this world, I am straying far from my Father in Heaven...from my true home. I am encouraged to work to reconcile my life to one, consistent, Christ-centered existence. To truly serve Him, whether at home or at work.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I have failed to submit over and over these past couple of weeks. I know I am not following God's will for my life and I am choosing self-satisfaction (which is strangely unsatisfying) over self-sacrifice. I have come to realize that when I get upset and angry with my husband or my children, that usually I am truly just angry with myself, and that has never been more clear than in the past few days.

I am frustrated that I cannot be at home with my children, and jealous of my husband, who will be homeschooling them next year. I have failed to submit to God's will that this is the season of my life, this is His plan for me now and there is a purpose in it.

I am frustrated that we have not grown our family either through adoption or naturally...we both desire more children. I have failed to submit to God's will that this is the right size for our family right now. I have failed to submit to my husband in that he is not ready to consider adoption right now.

Quitting my job or getting pregnant or starting the adoption process would not solve my frustrations, however. Until I submit to God's will and learn to be content with what He has given me NOW, I will never understand true joy and never feel completely satisfied. I must seek my satisfaction in Him, not in the fulfillment of my own selfish desires.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kind Words

I was convicted by my sweet 5-year old daughter, Emma this weekend. She asked if my husband and I still loved each other like we did on our wedding day, to which I replied "yes, of course". Then she asked why we didn't speak nicely to one another...hmmmmm. We both tend to have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor and I could see that we have not often spoken "nicely" to one another.

I have been praying for my husband as part of my daily devotional for the past couple of weeks, and the prayer for today was regarding his speech. I have often found as I work through the "31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband" that I am convicted of the very things I am praying about for him! Today was no exception...

"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." -Ephesians 4:31-32

So my goal, dear friends, is to speak only kind words. To be quiet and submissive and edifying to my husband. I will not be upset or angry if his words do not change right away, I will not let his actions determine my own...I can only change me, God must do the work in Rick to change his words, and Rick must be willing to accept God's work in him. But I can set a good example for my daughter and I can change my words and my heart.

Friday, February 25, 2011


"Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood" -Louisa May Alcott

"In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend" -Catherine Killegrew

"Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, that no subsequent connections can supply" -Jane Austen

"Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart-oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape-of your sister" -Katherine Mansfield

"The mildest, drowsiest sister has been known to turn tiger if her sibling is in trouble" -Clara Ortega

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend of the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life" -Isadora James

For my sweet girls, Emma & Mackenzie. Always love one another, God has given you a beautiful gift in one another.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Refuge and Fortress

It has been a rough week for me this week. I have been sick and have gotten behind in my housework. Rick had an outpatient pain management procedure on Tuesday, and although this is not the first one and the procedure is rather routine, I was surprised by how anxious and stressed out I was about it. The thought of anything happening to the love of my life just set me on edge for several days before and after.

During this time, I found strength and comfort in the words of David in Psalm 91:

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust'.
Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday." -Psalm 91:1-6

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

My husband and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, we don't feel like we need a holiday to express our love for one another. But I do want to share a few things that my husband has done for me in the past week that made me feel special and reminded me why he will always be my Valentine....

-he filled up my car with gas this morning, just because he noticed it was low

-he brought me flowers last week...just because

-he gave me time to snuggle with my children at bedtime when I had been out of town, even though it meant he would not get to go to bed with me and would have to move them out of the bed later

-he was patient with me during a stressful time last week

-he did the dishes this morning after I left for work, even though I told him I would get them this afternoon when I came home

These are just a few ways my husband makes me feel special every day. I would encourage you to remember the things your husband does on a daily basis for you that may get overlooked and not wait for a holiday to celebrate those things and your love for one another.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Baking 2/12/11

Chocolate Banana Pie

1 lg. package chocolate pudding/pie filling mix
1 frozen pie crust
1 large banana

Prepare chocolate pie filling per instructions on package, set aside. Bake pie crust according to package directions. Once cooled, add pie filling to pie crust and top with sliced banana. I know-embarrassingly easy!

Banana Walnut Bread

2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 c mashed overripe bananas (about 4 bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 9x5 loaf pan.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together brown sugar and butter. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes.

Love One Another

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

"We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification." Romans 15:1-2

We spent this morning helping a dear friend whose husband has been working out of town for many weeks. The men cleaned up the yard, and the women watched the children, did laundry, and cooked a meal.

I brought my oldest 2 children with us to teach them how helping a friend in need and sister in Christ can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience even when involves tiring, physical labor. I have gained such a new and wonderful outlook from this experience. The intention was to teach my children, but I feel like I was the one who learned the biggest lesson. It was such a blessing to help a friend and it has taught me that needing help does not indicate weakness.

Helping one another is the truest form of expression of God's love. Serving one another and helping one another is a continuation of Christ's own ministry! I am blessed to have had this opportunity.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Best Is Yet To Come

My mother recently told me a story of a woman who was dying. She knew she was dying, so she called her Pastor and said, "Pastor, I have but one request for my funeral...I want to be buried with a dinner fork in my hand." Well, the Pastor, thinking this was a strange request asked the woman,"Why a fork?". She replied, "When I went to dinner parties and the hostess said 'Hold on to your fork' as she was clearing the dishes from the course, I knew that the best part was still to come. I know that is what I have to look forward to now as well-the best is yet to come!"

What a beautiful reminder of our Father's promise to us!

"We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the of the truth of the gospel." -Colossions 1:5

"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." -Matthew 6:20

God has promised us a home in heaven to spend eternity rejoicing with Him! I can't wait to see what He has in store for us. Hold on to your forks!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Early Riser

So, again, I am convicted...this time of oversleeping. Not that I slept particularly late this morning. But, being that it was Saturday, I hoped my husband would get up with the children and let me stay in bed for a while. I ended up getting up by 7:40 am, but that was after the rest of my household was up and rowdy!

"She also rises while it is yet night,

and provides food for her household,

and a portion for her maidservants."

-Proverbs 31:15

I totally blew that this morning. Note that it doesn't say "she also rises while it is yet night Monday through Friday." Hmmmmm....really, Lord, even on the weekend???

So I have two choices, I can choose to get up early and do my devotion, spend time in prayer, and prepare breakfast for may family with a positive and joyful attitude, thankful for my blessings; or I can choose to get up early and have a negative attitude and grump around and be snippy with those who love me. Either way, I am getting up early, so I might as well make it a positive experience!

So last week I started getting up at 5:45 am (the goal is really 5:30 am), and that went well...but now I need to carry that over to the weekends. I need to stop considering sleeping in a privilege, and view getting up early the joy that it is!

Kitchen Win!

I am excited to say that I have successfully created a dish that changed pierogies from a food my husband completely disliked into one he enjoys and frequently requests. Kitchen win!

I use frozen pierogies, usually potato and cheese or potato and onion. I boil them for about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, I saute onions (sliced thinly) in about 2 tbsp of butter.

Once the pierogies are done boiling (you can tell by the way they float to the top). I transfer them pan with the sauteed onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

These are great with kielbasa or other smoked sausage or by themselves for a snack.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not Now...Mommy's Busy

I am so convicted today regarding the way I treat my children, the way I speak to them, and the example I have been setting for them. It has been so busy at our house since Rick went back to work full time. Add to that I have been travelling every week for the past 4 weeks and will continue to be out of town every week through the end of February.

But really, these are excuses...Psalm 127:3-4 says "Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth."

A heritage refers to something that is of value and is passed down from one generation to the next. Children are our valuable gift from our Heavenly Father, our inheritance. They are also a reward, not a burden, not an extra responsibility, but something to be cherished as a precious gift!

How often do I tell my children "just let Mommy do this, it's easier if you don't help"? (okay, maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea). How often do I send them out of my sight/way to play while I try to do housework, or work, or blog (ahem)?

I need to work so much harder in this area, to enjoy and cherish my children. To involve my children, to engage with them, participate with them. I need to stop viewing them as more work, a start viewing them as the joy and pleasure and reward they are!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthdays and Bedrooms

It has been a busy busy month in our house! My little one, Kenzie, turned 3 on the 21st. I can't believe she is definitely not a baby evidenced by the fact that she is also now potty trained. This is the first time in 8 years we have been diaper-free in our house!

We also moved the girls into the same room and decorated it for them. New beds, new paint and new bedding are all done. A re-purposed dresser and re-purposed hope chests are still in the works (hopefully to be finished by next weekend).

It has been wonderful to make a beautiful space for my girls to grow up together in....I am excited for them to start this new season of life!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Being a "Yes" Woman

I have written a couple of posts on submission in the past, and it is definitely something I still struggle with and strive for.

In her book "A Woman After God's Own Heart", Elizabeth George talks about several ways to make submission a constant and consistent theme in our marriage. One of these is to "respond with a single positive word". The word she chose is "Sure!" (the exclamation point is important as the idea is to have a positive attitude as well). My words have varied from "absolutely" to "yes, dear" and "of course". But the idea is to always have a positive response to what your husband asks of you.

WHAT?! Always say yes? Well-I might as well just give up all of my opinions and personality now, right? The image that I get when I think of always saying "yes" to my husband is a scene from the '80s movie "Coming to America" (yes I know, I am seriously dating myself) with Eddie Murphy. He plays an African prince who seeks a wife in America after the woman who was chosen for him does not meet with his approval. In the scene, he is asking her what her likes and dislikes are and her response to everything is "Whatever you like" or "Whatever you want me to like."

This is NOT the idea behind a positive response and submission to your husband!

How often do we tell our children "don't tell me 'no'!"? We expect them to respond positively to what we ask of them because they are to respect our authority. How is that different than a wife's relationship with her husband. Ephesians 5:33 says "Let the wife see that she respects her husband." How can we expect our children to respect us as parents if we are not modeling this basic biblical principle in our marriage?

At the heart of submission is trust. I have to trust that my husband is looking out for the best interest of me and our family. But I have to remember that he is human and makes mistakes, so I also have to trust God. He does not make mistakes and I trust that He will intervene in any poor decisions my husband may make or at least provide a solution to the consequences afterward. I can trust in these things because I am blessed to have a husband that seeks God. However, God does not only call women with godly husbands to submit, He calls ALL women to submit to their husbands. If your husband is not seeking His guidance, you can still trust in the fact that you are a child of the King and He will protect you while you serve Him.

Love & Prayers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Kids Ate Broccoli!

Well-I have to be honest, my kids love broccoli....but I am not always the best green veggie eater. So, at my husband's request, I found a yummy and simple recipe for cheese sauce that is great on broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and lots of other things.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter over medium heat, then whisk in the flour to create a roux. Slowly add the milk until mixture is thoroughly combined and heated through. Add cheese and mustard and stir until melted completely. Add salt & pepper to taste and serve with your meal!

So yummy and easy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Peaceful Home

Lately, our lives have gotten more hectic due to the fact that both my husband and I now work full-time during the day. With 3 children in either daycare or school and 2 parents gone all day, mornings and evenings can be rather busy around our house!

While this situation is not ideal, it is the season we are in and God has a purpose in this; so my job, as wife, mother and homemaker, is to make this as smooth as possible for all parties involved.

Some things that I have found helpful:

-always make sure the sink is cleared and cleaned before I go to bed and the dishwasher started.

-set the coffee for delay brew in the morning...there is nothing better than waking up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing on a cold winter morning!

-make sure clothes are out and lunches and book bags packed each night before I go to bed.

-when I work from home, I make an effort to be off my computer and cooking dinner before my husband and children get home. I want them to know that they are the priority by coming home to a warm, aromatic kitchen instead of a cold, quiet house.

-I do not get on the home laptop to check e-mail, blog, or just browse until after the kids are in bed and I have spent some quality time with my husband.

-my husband and I always make and effort to go to bed together.

-I try to make the bed every day, even if it is not until I get home from work (my goal is to get it done in the morning, though). A nice, neat bed is definitely conducive to a good night's sleep.

I certainly have not mastered each of these on a daily basis, but it is what I strive for to maintain a peaceful and happy home in this hectic season of life.

Love & Prayers!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Time For Change

Wow...It has been a long time since I posted anything. I am not sure where this is going to go, so bear with me if I ramble a bit.

A lot has happened since November 2010, holidays, New Year, Rick started a new job, back to school, nursery school for Kenzie....and so on.

I am not big on New Year's resolutions, I think they can be overrated...and I tend to give up easily if a falter a bit, so I prefer to take change 1 day at a time. However, that said, I do have some things that I would like to change in my life, not just because it's a new year, but because NOW is the best time to make positive change-always!

I have joined an online devotion/bible study called "Chaos to Calm" at Learning to be the wife and mother that God calls me to be and to take my home from well...chaos to calm!

I have decided to change some of my more horrendous eating far, I have cut out soda. I would also like to see fast food go as well.

I have determined to make God the #1 priority in my life. I probably should have listed this first, as it is clearly the biggest and most important change, but...well, here it is. I want to spend time with my Heavenly Father every day. I want to seek His wisdom and counsel in EVERY decision I make. I want to give Him the respect and honor that He deserves in my life.

So here's to change and a fresh, new start. I am determined not to be derailed by Satan's seeds of doubt. I know that I will have days that I fail and days that I succeed. But I also know that God loves me on all those days, not just the good ones!

Happy New Year to all! I would love to hear about the changes you will have or desire to have in your lives this year!

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."

-Ecclesiastes 3:1