Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another fabulous review of Skinies! This mom blogger says "Don't flash your father-in-law". Too funny! Here's a review that is down to earth and honest, check it out!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Death touched the life of a young girl I love dearly a few weeks ago and changed the course of her world forever. Watching her go through this was almost too much to bear. My mommy's heart ached day and night just thinking about the pain that wrapped itself around her.

I met Emily when she was only a tender, sweet and adorable 5 year-old. She and her beautiful mother moved in right across the back yard and our hearts became connected by our touching lawns. Through the years our two lawns became one big yard as Emily and my girls crossed between homes pretty much daily. When the neighbor kids were asked to go home because we had company, that never included Emily. She even signed Grandpa's birthday card.

It was God who surprised us with this close bond we developed and it seemed planned by Him all along. In the beginning, I babysat Emily because her mommy was a single working mother. We just wanted to help out. That was our plan, but God had a bigger one. He knit Barb and Emily right inside of our hearts and lives and made us feel like family instead of neighbors. I love Him for that.

One of the issues surrounding Emily that pulled at our heartstrings was the tragic loss of her daddy right before she moved into the neighborhood. Barb had been widowed and little Emily (daddy's girl) was left fatherless. We walked through moments with her when she missed him so very much. We reassured her that her Father in Heaven would be faithful to comfort her, and we prayed like a bandit for her and her precious mom through the years.

God showed us all His faithfulness to Emily. He began to show her that indeed it was true - He was a comfort. He became hers. We watched Emily learn to cling on to God as her source and even turn into a little warrior for her mother. She was the preacher of the family and preach she did. Her mom heard the gospel through Emily. Most importantly, she saw a living version of the gospel. I remember Barb calling me one day and saying "Jodie, the change in Emily is like a miracle!"

For eleven years we watched her grow, prayed for her, and loved her like our own. On July 5th of Emily's sixteenth year on Earth, a second tragedy struck her life that I thought would completely shatter her. But I was wrong. Instead of shattering her, she became a pillar of strength that I have not seen before in a human so young. Faith exuded from her and held her whole family up. Her strength made others strong.

The call I received July 5th I will never forget as long as I live. It was Emily. She was hysterical. She told me that her mom and boyfriend were in a motorcycle accident and Bruce was killed. Barb was in critical condition. Within an hour and a half, Barb died. Emily was orphaned. Life as we all knew it was changed forever. Death touched us all and left a permanent mark on our hearts.

Over the next couple of weeks, we watched this young teenager (who is still that sweet little girl in my eyes) grow up in a way no child should ever have to. Death entered her whimsical teenage life and viciously, violently knocked the wind out of her sails. However, just when we thought she was down for the count in the dark dirt of despair, she rose up. When others would need a sedative, Emily grabbed her Bible. She chose the music to honor her mother at the funeral and, of course, it also honored God. She clung on to the hope that Heaven is just another city and we are only separated for awhile. That hope she has spread to others.

It is for this reason that I am writing this blog. I want to honor Emily. I want others to know that in the great big world, there is a sixteen year-old who had the ability to overcome tragedy and become a pillar in the most tragic of any circumstance known to man. If she can - so can we. I now have seen an example. If Emily can get through this with faith burning inside of her heart - I can get through anything.

Emily is just at the beginning gate of this walk through the valley of the shadow of death. In Psalm 23, God promised her that He would be with her and comfort her. I heard it said once that we, as Christians, are the hands and feet of Jesus. He will use our arms to hug her when she hurts, our words to speak peace to her when she worries. On her weak days, we will hold her up - on her strong days, we will remind her where the source of her strength is coming from. Jesus will use our bodies as living vessels to take care of His little girl. According to James 1:27, this is a part of pure and undefiled religion - to look after the orphan.

Maybe you are moved in your heart by Emily's circumstance and would like to be involved in helping her. Maybe you just would like to be a vessel that God uses to take care of a young girl who no longer has a mom or dad to walk through this big world with her. Maybe you are simply interested in partaking in pure and undefiled religion. Whatever the reason, an opportunity for each one reading this is available.

An account has been set up at Fifth Third Bank in Emily's name. This is for her education. The call of God is very strong on Emily and I have no doubt that she will grow up to accomplish great things, so the donation will be well spent. However, even the smallest amount given is seen by God and pleases Him because we are fulfilling what He accepts as pure and undefiled religion.

Please consider giving to the:

Emily Elliston College Trust Fund

There are a couple of ways you can do this:
1) You can go into any Fifth Third Bank and give a deposit to the teller for the Emily Elliston College Trust Fund.

2) You can mail in a deposit to:

Fifth Third Bank
1311 Bellefontaine Street
Wapakoneta, OH 45895

* Put a note in the memo of your check saying "Emily Elliston Trust Fund".


Thursday, June 4, 2009

3,128 Saturdays

My favorite place to be as soon as I wake up when the house is still and the sunshine is peeking in to say "good morning!" is on my couch in the front room of my house. My kids dubbed it the "prayer room" years ago. They knew that is where they would find me each morning. One day, not too long ago, I was sipping my coffee and having a little conversation with God. The verse "Teach us to number our days" (Psalm 90:12) popped into my head. I pondered it for a few and then, feeling somewhat curious, pulled out my calculator to literally number my days.

What I discovered astounded me as it changed me. I was 40 at the time and generously gave myself until 100 years old to live out my days. I decided if I went to meet Jesus face to face at 100 years old, that gives me 60 years left. Here is where it gets scary. 60 years times 365 days means I only have a grand total of 21,900 days left here on Earth! That's it! It seems like such a small number. 21,900 dollars can only buy a car - not even a house. Small number.

It gets worse - when I divided that into the days of the week, my jaw dropped. I have only - get this - 3,128 Saturdays left here on Earth! That is assuming I live to be 100! This number is so small I could easily fit 3,128 squares on a chart and mark them off one by one. This number makes things like dust bunnies and tummy tucks seem like a ridiculous thing to waste my energy thinking about. After all, in a mere 3,128 days, how clean I kept my house and what kind of shape my body is in will be a non-issue. How I impacted my world will be all that matters.

So the question is, with my very few Saturdays left, what do I want to do? 3,128 Saturdays left to kiss my kids and let them know how much I love them, and my hubby. 3,128 Saturdays left to encourage a friend or help someone in need. 3,128 Saturdays left to do something that makes a difference in the world. If I told one person every week that God loves them and can help them, I will have only told 3,128 people when I stand face to face with Him. I best get busy...


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So excited...another post from this wonderful boutique! Skinies makes the perfect gift for that pregnant and nursing mother! A Mother's Boutique is a fantastic place to find Skinies and other goodies for moms. Judy offers impeccable service with first class professionalism! Why not stop in for a visit:


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kiss That Boy!

OK, here is one to make a work-at-home mama's eyes tear up. I was griping about the overwhelming workload of being a business owner / stay-at-home-mom / home-school teacher this evening. In the background of my gripe session, my husband was cleaning up glass and tomato sauce that crashed to the floor and exploded as one of my kids walked by. (This is why I refer to him as my best friend.) Dinner had not been served and it was 7 pm. Folded laundry was still on my bedroom floor and had not been put away yet. It had been there for days (OK maybe weeks).

As I sat organizing all my business files and tending to paperwork I moaned "the secretary part of this business is overwhelming (I am my secretary). The business owner part is incredibly huge (again, that would be me). The home-school teacher/mom part is ridiculously daunting (yep, me too). The stay-at-home mom do the laundry and dishes part just doesn't get accomplished!"

With a voice of encouragement, my deliciously sweet son said "yea, but in the mom part - you rock!" He's getting something big for his birthday.

...children are a gift from the Lord...Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Key To a Happy Marriage

My little Morijah sprang one up on me today. I was reading her a storybook of King Nebuchadnezzar. I told her how, in order to save the two countries from potential war, the King of Persia gave his daughter to be married to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

The story goes to tell that the princess did not want to leave her own country to marry a stranger but she reluctantly agreed in order to save her whole country. To bring it to a kids level, the book read that when King Nebuchadnezzar laid eyes on her, he loved her and gave her beautiful rooms and silks and pet monkeys to play with.

When Morijah heard this part she squealed "Pet monkeys! I would marry him if he gave me pet monkeys!" So I guess that’s the key to a happy marriage from a 7 year old. Pet monkeys. This is helpful stuff.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thy Gentleness Hath Made Me Great

Hello Fellow Moms!

I hope this finds you and your family filled with lots of love and peace! Our lives have been busy with the hustle and bustle of welcoming our first grand-baby. My daughter, Gabrielle, just gave birth to the most incredible little girl in the world! Mommy and baby are doing fine. I had to chuckle when Gabrielle asked "Mom, do all babies stay up all night?". Hee, hee. We have all been there haven't we? And some of us still are!

I want to encourage each and every one of you that you were hand selected by God to be the mommy of your little ones. He knew that there would be no other mother who could meet all of the needs of this little one as perfectly as you do. You two are a perfect fit in God's eyes! Yes, it is not always easy. But remember, a hug and a kiss can heal about anything. When your eyes feel like cotton balls from lack of sleep and your home looks like a wrecking crew just blew in, keep in mind that the only thing they will remember about their childhood is love. They will look back and remember with their heart. I know because I do. My baby just had a baby. What an awakening I have had as a mom. I look back on when my Gabrielle was a little one and I don't just have memories of her childhood.
I feel her childhood with my heart.

Be blessed, ladies. The things that really count in motherhood can be accomplished with the greatest of ease. Your two arms are the only tools necessary to make your child great. Enjoy your babies while they still are!

"...thy gentleness hath made me great." 2 Samuel 22:36