Monthly Archives: October 2015

Think About That!!!

God has been working on my heart and mind on this subject A LOT the last month or so.  He has given me this verse three different times, in different settings, and by completely different people in the last week. This was also the verse I felt compelled to read aloud to my husband while we snuggled in bed last night…
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:6-9 NIV
One thing I can be absolutely sure of is that there will be hard times. There will be bad days and even worse days.  Satan loves those days.  What he loves even more is to hear us complain to everyone who can hear, just how bad we have it.
I remember one of those weeks in my life…I was a single mother of three very busy kids.  I worked full time as a teacher and went to school for my master’s in counseling at night.   I had one week left until graduation day and I still hadn’t completed my thesis paper.  I just couldn’t write any more on that topic.  I was DONE.
I left for work one morning and my daughter forgot her uniform.  I had to use my only break to go home and get it, so she wouldn’t have to sit out that night at the game.  On my way home my transmission went out of my car.  Seriously.  Now? There’s really not a good time for that to happen, but with everything else I was worried about, this was TERRIBLE timing,  especially financially.
I spent the next week driving my dad’s big ole farm truck back and forth to work  and picking up the kids.  I took off two full days of teaching to finish my thesis and seriously contemplated quitting school just three days before my graduation.  After much blood, sweat, and tears I decided to turn in my finished work.  I drove an hour away in my big ole red farm truck to turn in my paper and found that it wouldn’t even fit in the student parking lot.  I laughed at the thought of the truck fitting in any parking spots along the street.  In a desperate attempt to get  my thesis to my professor, I parked the truck in the middle of a semi busy street with the emergency flashers on and ran to his mailbox on the first-floor.  I yelled out something to his secretary about making sure he got my paper and ran back to the truck in record time. Thankfully everyone had avoided a collision with the big metal beast.  What a relief to have that paper turned in and finally be heading home!
Or not.  The truck sputtered to a pitiful stop in the middle of a rather large Ozark mountain hillside.  Did I mention it was raining?   I called a tow truck to pick up the truck and my dad to come and get me.
There I sat on the side of the rode.  I. Was. Exhausted.   Two weeks of  staying up late to finish this God forsaken paper, my car broken, my borrowed truck broken, and my piggy bank broken.  I did the only thing I could possibly do.  I laughed hysterically at the crazy situation I was in. Thankfully I had an hours worth of papers to grade on hand while I waited to be picked up that evening.
I ended up doing well on my paper.   I graduated and  picked up my repaired car just two days after the break down.  My parents were going to take me on a really great trip somewhere to celebrate graduation,  but instead paid for the repairs on my car.   God answered my prayers of despair.   I didn’t have what it took to finish that last paper.  I couldn’t have done any of those years in college as a single mom without Him. As I look back at all He did for me then, I find it really ridiculous to worry about things I go through today.  I have no reason to complain.   He has blessed me far beyond what I could ever deserve or repay Him.  I am thankful the God of this universe takes the time to answer my prayers. #no worries #talk about the good

The Gift of Marriage


On February 24th, 2013 I wrote my desires of finding my future husband to God.  This is what it said… “The ONE”
“Father I DO want butterflies.  I want tingles down to my toes.  I want to be dizzy with his kisses. (thank you Shnee Carter for helping me acknowledge this) Father I want a Godly man, who will truly desire to know my heart, and fall in love with me completely.  I want him to ALWAYS cherish my heart.  I want a man that I will NEVER make me doubt his love and devotion to me or our family.  I desire a Godly man who will be a great leader for our family.  Father, I want you to be our guide as a couple to look to you and honor you first in our relationship/marriage and family.
I want to have a real relationship, with real love, real trust, and a whole lotta JOY.  I want this man to LOVE…I mean LOVE our kids wholeheartedly and invest in our kids.  I want deep unconditional love, respect, closeness, commitment, Godly, kind, caring, etc.
I want to be married to a man who loves me in spite of me.  I’m far from perfect in any way, but I will try to be everything he wants and needs every day.
I want to welcome friends and family into our home whenever.  I just want our home to be a safe, loving, caring, FUN, enjoyable, relaxing, consistent, GOD-FILLED, PEACEFUL, welcome-to-be-yourself kind of place.”

Ephesians 3:20 ‘God is able to do far more than we could ever dare to ask or even dream-infinitly beyond our highest prayers, thoughts, or hopes.’ (thank you Leah Edwards for giving this verse to me at a time of great loss and just struggling for hope)

Romans 14:23 ‘If a dream comes from God, it will be SO BIG in your life that you can’t do it on your own.  If you could do it on your own you wouldn’t need faith.'”

Just three days (February 27, 2013)after this discussion with God, my husband-to-be asked me out for the first time.  (after meeting for the first time the night before at Literature Fun Night…a way to get a single teacher’s attention is to take your kids by yourself to school functions showing that #1 you’re responsible #2 you’re a great father #3 you value education) However,  I reluctantly agreed and immediately regretted agreeing to go out with him.  I even tried to find a way to get out of going out with him.(I wasn’t ready to date again) I recall going over several excuses with why I shouldn’t go out with him, when I finally just gave up to “get it over with.”  I’m so glad I took the chance of getting hurt again and went for it, because boy did God answer prayers. I did get everything I dreamed of in a husband and more. I am incredibly blessed.

I guess that exciting first date story and honestly first year of dating is just a blur of absolute bliss.  We spent the first few months just getting to know each other and trying to decide if we were a good fit.  Do we have the same goals???  I believe so…we want to raise loving, caring, responsible, respectful kids.  We waited two months to introduce our children.  We planned a trip to a Springfield Cardinals game with the River Families.   We took some extra precautions  and drove separately and DID NOT plan dinner just in case any of the kids expressed discomfort.   They were all super excited to meet and hangout for the first time.  We had done a lot of reading on how to introduce dating  to our kids to try to do what was best for them.  One suggestion was to not show ANY affection for at least the first 5 dates with them…no holding hands, no arms around each other,  no kisses goodnight, etc.  The ONLY reason we managed to pull this off was simply because we wanted our children to be comfortable with us getting to know each other and to start a relationship on a completely good note.  We wanted everything to be open for our children to see what a healthy relationship looked like.  

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

The kids loved each other and begged to be together all the time. My kids loved him….his kids loved me.  It was almost a fairytale come true…

Being in a “blended family” certainly has its challenges. We certainly won’t be giving them everything they desire, but would like to enlighten them with valuable life lessons.  We care less about being their best friends and more about building their character in ways they most certainly DO NOT appreciate very often.  (oh the pain of chores, homework responsibility, phone limits, bedtimes, etc….we may as well cut their little hearts out when we give them consequences.)

Moving 7 people under one small 4 bedroom roof with different rules, routines, consequences and expectations can be rather stressful for all involved.  (understatement of the year)

We have to remember how we got here…2 people fell in love.  We have to put our relationships with  God, individually and as a couple, FIRST.   Our marriage comes second.When we put our marriage second and take care of each other’s needs it spills over into our parenting and all other aspects of our lives.  After years of research psychologist and family therapist James Bray states “Marital satisfaction almost always determines stepfamily stability. If satisfaction is high, tolerance for the normal tumult and conflict of stepfamily life is correspondingly high. If marital satisfaction is low, however , tolerance for conflict is so low that often the stepfamily dissolves in divorce.”

God has blessed us with an incredible marriage and family and for that we are grateful. The day to day stress and added step family issues will come and go, but God willing this family will be standing strong in His amazing love, mercy and grace.  AGAIN…how great is our God!!!!

“So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything.  And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.” – Ephesians 6:13

Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”

1 Peter 3:1 “Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives…your beauty should come from your innerself,  the unfading beauty of a gentle spirit…put their hope in God and were submissive to their own husbands…Do what is right…DO NOT GIVE WAY TO FEAR.” (emphasis mine)