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Category Archives: Encouragement

Suicide Awareness

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Through my lifetime, I have had a handful of people that I have known to commit suicide. I had known of several people committing suicide while I was growing up and then since I have been an adult, several more people that I’ve known have committed suicide as well.

You turn on the news, you search the internet, and you just get on a social media site and you will see the statistics for suicide. Huffington Post writes

Each year, 34,000 people committ suicide, about twice as many deaths as caused by homicide– abot one death per 15 minutes. By 2030, depression will outpace cancer, stroke, war and accidents as the world’s leading cause of disability and death, according to the World Health Organization.”

How awful is that piece of information? I lost a friend here recently. She was a mother that left behind her children. She was a daughter. I see the sad posts almost everyday that her mother posts about losing her daughter. She admits that she knew nothing was wrong with her daughter. I attended that visitation and it was quite challenging to say the least. Her parents weren’t able to speak at the funeral, but one of her siblings did. Her older brother mentioned that he knew that his sister was suffering a little, but thought it was normal. Her husband had cheated on her a couple months before and ended up leaving her and the children. He said that his sister spend so many hours scrolling through Facebook. He challenged the people who attended the funeral and that had a Facebook account to post at least once a week something positive…something that if someone on the verge of committing suicide was to be reading your post, it would make them change their minds–that it would give them a ray of hope.

I know some of my reader’s don’t believe in God or an enemy, but I do. I have shared the scripture before John 10:10, that we do have an enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy. But God comes to give us life–so that we may live it more abundantly.

We pass people daily. How many are suffering? How many people are going through something? How many have though about ending their lives because it would “be better?” I have suffered from depression, and sometimes I find myself and think that there is no way out of it. But there is. I make sure to talk to my husband and let him know.

If you or someone you know suffer from depression, talk to someone. Don’t be like me and have several friends on Facebook that have committed suicide and have to read about it in your newsfeed. Everyone is fighting a battle–some may not even allow people to know. Reach out and be kind.

CHALLENGE: In honor of my friend, I challenge my readers to post something often on their social media pages something positive or the suicide hotline number! You might save someone’s life.

Lord God, I pray for those people out there that are hurting. Let us me more aware of the enemies attack’s, especially when the enemy throws up to us that we need to end our own lives. Help us to be courageous and not be scared to reach out to someone if we are hurting and depressed. Lord, I pray that we would be more aware–give us the eyes to see– people that deal with depression! Help us to be aware of the signs! In Jesus’ name!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1 (800) 273-8255

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Sexting- Talk About IT With Your Kids!

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I don’t fully understand why parents get so weird about talking to their child about sex. It is something of this world and they should know about it! I was a teenage parent, and I let my children and stepchildren know how hard it was and how I got there! I tell them that I hope that they don’t take the same path that I did. But, since I was a teenager, there is a popular thing that has surfaced between tweens (yes 11 and 12 year olds too) and teenagers…..SEXTING!
Most parents can put two and two together and figure out what sexting is. Most of it starts out as harmless texting, then comes pictures and then comes sexting! A lot of kids these days are pressured into this. Nothing has changed since you and I were teenagers. They still pull the, “If you love me you will send me a picture..” “You don’t even have to have your face in the picture…” “I will delete it once you send it..” “Nobody will see it but me..” Can you see where I’m going?
So, why is it important to talk to your tweens/teens about sexting and why it is inappropriate, disrespectful, and not classy? Teenagers should know limits. I can’t say this enough. Have limits for your children, especially on the phones! If your child has a phone and has any interest in the opposite sex, it’s time to have the up-to-date birds and bees talk.
How to be an active parent:
Talk to your son/daughter- I can not say it enough about how important it is to have a close relationship with your children! Talk to them about respecting the opposite sex! If you have a daughter, teach her to value her body and demand respect when it comes to her body. Teach her the meaning of having value and respect for her body. If you have a son, teach him how to respect himself. Often boys grow up thinking their privates are the greatest thing ever! Make sure your son doesn’t grow up with this mentality! If you don’t have serious conversations about this particular topic, your son might have this mentality!! It’s good to talk to your children about the dangers or sexting and how it can ruin their reputation!
Dads need to be involved- Having a male figure in your child’s life that is actively involved is crucial! Especially during the times that they are teenagers! Girls need a male role model to be in their lives to show them how men should treat women. Boy should have a male role model so they will know how to treat women. Girl’s should never be downgraded by being asked for a nude or very private picture. Men can be good at teaching both guys and girls this!
Monitor your children- I know some people might disagree with me, but children need limits! Check up on your child! If you ever suspect your child is going through anything different in their lives, or if your child has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it is always good to monitor their social media accounts and text messages!
Lord, we ask you to teach us how to parent during this rough time in our child’s life. It seems like daily they are faced with “the new thing.” Help us and guide us on how to be the best parents that we can be. Lord, we ask you to guide our children and the decisions that they make. Help them and give them strength and wisdom during their times where they feel peer pressure.
Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Praying For Your Children

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Remember how I was talking about how I was talking about how important it was to pray for your spouse? Well, it is just as important to pray for your children. The other day on the radio station, parents were sharing how they liked to pray for your children.

One parent admitted that her and her husband prayed and prayed for a child. Finally after they had their child, they quit praying for their child. Often times, we forget to pray for our children. But it’s important to pray for your children, pray over their day and over their lives!

I’m challenging parents who are reading this blog post to begin praying for your children! Several things to pray over:

A hedge of protection over their day- If you turn the news on, you will hear of the violence and cruel world we are living in. It’s important to pray over our children’s day and over their protection while they aren’t in our care. Pray over protection over their school and everyone that they pass along the halls. Pray for their health! begin thanking God that they are healthy!

For Decisions They May Make– The older our children become, the more decisions they will be faced with–as well as peer pressure that they will have to face! Begin to pray over your children and the decisions that they will make. Pray that if they ever face any peer-pressure that they will know and be brave enough to stand up against it.

That Their Lights Will Shine– Every day, I pray that my children will let their lights shine for the Lord. I have taught my children who God is and only pray that they will let their lights shine. I realize that not all of their friends will have the same beliefs as they will, but I pray that they will be smart with choosing their friends. And that if they have any friends with different beliefs, that they will rub off on their friends instead of their friends rubbing off on them.

For The People In Their Lives– I think this is important. I pray that my children will make good decisions with their friends. Call me crazy, I even pray for my children’s future spouses. I pray that they will be smart with the people that they allow into their lives. I pray for the teachers that are teaching my children.

It’s an important thing to to pray for your children. I hope that this encourages you to pray for your children!

Lord, I pray that as we pray for our children, we will become closer to our children. On the days we don’t know what to pray for our children, I pray that you show us how to pray for our children and what to pray for our children. I pray that you will hear and honor our prayers as it fits your will!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!

The Importance of Spending Time With Your Kids

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As kids get older, they really don’t want to “hang out.” But, we have something in our house called “parent dates” and “family dates.” I mentioned in the marriage section how important it was to date our spouse and spend time with our spouses, but it is also so important to gain relationships and become close to our children as well!
I have really liked the idea of the Daddy/Daughter Mom/Son dates, but we just do something like taking the kids out to eat. On the weekend, we will rent movies. And I will go ahead and admit, we have good intentions on spending more time with our children and buy board games, ect, but sometimes lives get busy. Our children, the older they get, they attend extracurricular activities, church events, friends, ect. But, we try to have talks with our children. We were good with eating at the table and spending at least 30 minutes without television, laptops, and cell phones, but weeknights are crazy so we try to eat at the table at least once on the weekend and if it’s possible, during the week. We have back yard time, where we go outside and enjoy our backyard and talk with the kids. I thought that the oldest would be the worse with this time, but to our surprise, he loves backyard time!
With all the busy going on, schedule if you must, to make time with your whole family! Make time for your kids. Take them on family dates, and by the way, you don’t always have to spend money on dates! Go to the park, to the lake, go grab and ice cream, or look for freebie things to do!
This week, I challenge you to spend time with your children doing something! No griping, no arguing, but really connecting with them.
Lord, spending time with each other is so important for the important relationships in our lives. Lord, please help us to make special time to spend with our kids. Help us to connect with our kids and build lifelong relationships! On our dates, help us to make special memories that we will never forget!

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Until next time…be encouraged!!!!

It’s the Little Things That Matter..

Okay, so, in all honestly, I have had a hard time keeping up with posting. The point of this month was to post about some of the things that would help, encourage, and to let other couples know that they aren’t the only one to go through things! But, I had something else I wanted to share. Sometimes, marriage can be really hard and stressful, but sometimes, we have to take a second and realize the little things because sometimes it is the little things that matter.

Everyone has just felt awful around our house. Sinuses and allergies have just gotten the best of us! We have all been crabby and short with one another. Last night, I came to bed early. I had a headache. My husband kept the kids quiet and spend time with them–tending to them and getting them to bed. I guess we get in our minds that that is the “Mom’s job..” or at least in my mind it is. I was a stay at home mom for the longest time that I guess I still feel that it’s my responsibility to do everything that relates to taking care of the kids and taking care of the house…so I really appreciates when my husband steps in!

But! That’s not what really caught my attention last night. When my husband finally came to bed, he was the sweetest man on the face of the Earth…to me anyway. He knew I felt awful, and he caressed my hair and he rubbed and ‘karate chopped’ my neck. I was really just starting to notice how sweet he was treating me. Then, he just started telling me all of these sweet things like how I was so beautiful, how that there were billions of people and half of those being women but he would not rather be laying and taking care of any other person, how I was his best friend. I felt like the most important things while he was saying those things to me. I really felt like he meant those things.

So, regardless of the hard times we have had through our marriage, times like last night really make me think more of the good times that we have had instead of dwelling on all of the negative, ugly things in our marriage. Sometimes, we need to get out of these moods of being down and thinking our marriages suck so bad!

As my husband and I were going through marriage counseling, we were taught about love languages. I think that there are 5 different (yes, 5 because I looked it up!)

  1. Words of Affirmation- Hearing or telling the words, “I love you” or “I appreciate you.” Some people just really love words of affirmation. I am really thinking that my love language is the words of affirmation. I don’t need diamonds or fancy thing to know that my husband loves me.
  2. Quality Time- Some people fall in love when you absolutely giving you their undivided attention without any distractions. I am kind of thinking this might be my husband’s love language! He loves just hanging out! He feels loved so much when we are just hanging out on our back porch or out on a date.
  3. Gift- Some people love getting gift! Sending your spouse flowers or picking them up something that they would really like. A lot of women have the love language of getting gifts!
  4. Acts of Service- Showing that you love someone by doing something for them! Picking up one of their chores that they absolutely hate! Picking up something on the way home that you know that your spouse was needing to do. Just basically saying, “Let me do it for you!”
  5. Physical Touch- Now, most people would say, “that’s my husband!” But, it’s not all about the bedroom physical-ness…(yes, I just made that a word!) This love language can be holding hands, kissing foreheads, playing footsie.

So, hearing these love languages, what is yours? I would definitely say mine is either Words of Affirmation or Acts of Service! Nothing says, “I love you,” in my opinion like letting me know how important I am, how good of a job I am doing, or picking up a chore that I absolutely hate (washing dishes!)

Thinking of the love languages, what is your spouse’s love language? What really makes them happy? From now on, or perhaps when you are thinking about the bad times in your marriage, think about your spouse’s love language. If you had to choose one of the five above for your spouse, which one would it be? Make time to think about your spouse’s love language.

There are many things out there one the big web that talks about love languages. There are even self tests if you don’t know what your love language is! Dohhh! Go figure! 🙂

Lord, if we don’t know what our love language is or our spouse’s love language is, begin to show us with our actions with our spouse. Lord, help us to use these love languages while we are connecting with our spouse. And, if we are going through a rough time in our marriages, let our spouse’s react in a positive manner and realize when we are trying to show them love languages. Help us to use our love languages to really build and make our marriages stronger. Thank you, Lord, for helping us with our marriages!

Until next time, be encouraged!!!!

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Communication is Key in Marriage

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I have talked to several of my “Married Mama Friends,” and they all have admitted that in their marriages, communication has been an issue–even after 15+ years! You would think that after so years of marriage, you would know your spouse well enough and they would know you enough to know what to say and what not to say to each other. So, if we know our spouses to well and we should have already mastered the communication skills, why do we take offense to what our spouses say? Why do we get angry and it causes arguments? Why don’t we listen to one another? Why are our communication skills so poor?

I believe that the biggest reasons for poor communication are having distractions, reacting too quickly, not communicating enough, and not respecting one another while communicating. Here are several ideas and tips on how to better communicate with your spouse.

Take away any distractions- I know that as soon as we hit date night, I have been guilty of picking up my phone and texting whoever back, looking on Facebook or turning on the radio when the conversation goes dull. Have you ever been there? What about children? Have they ever interrupted an important conversation that you and your spouse was having? Think about a conversation that you and your spouse have had in the past where a distraction came up and it made communicating with them turn bad.

  • Have a technology-free date night. Leave the cell phones, iPads, laptops in the other room at home while you are communicating with your spouse. There is nothing more annoying than trying to communicate with someone while they are on their phones. You are unsure if they are hearing you. Do you continue to talk or wait until they are done scrolling? It shows complete disrespect to people that you are communicating with when you are stuck on your technology! Put it down, make eye contact and make up your mind that you will not have any distractions from Facebook or text messages while trying to communicate with your spouse!
  • Teach your children not to interrupt your conversations. My nearly grown children STILL try to interrupt while my husband and I are talking..and they know better! Instead of cutting your spouse off, cut your children off (unless they are bleeding or need you!) and let them know that you are talking. If it’s a very important conversation, get away from the kids! Go outside, in the bedroom, so they can’t distract you. And if they need you in another room…teach them to knock!

Don’t go to your spouse when you are extremely mad or upset- Often times, I will get so frustrated at different things and react way too quickly. When the problem is “fresh” then we tend to be meaner when we are trying to communicate. When we are angry, we don’t communicate, we yell, we fuss, we fight! I read somewhere where if you have a problem with someone, wait 24 hours, if you still have an issue with them after the 24 hours have passed, then talk to them…if not then it wasn’t a big deal to begin with. I don’t know if I would go that extreme, because I know some people, the more you hold it in, the madder you get..or you withdraw from your spouse. That’s not good either. You know yourself and if you react to quickly or if you hold it in, it becomes worse. Find a happy medium. If you are a praying person, pray before you talk to your spouse if you think that it can turn into an argument.

Communicate daily- With some couples, their schedules are different, their spouses are out of town, their spouses are deployed..so it makes communicating harder! But, there is always a way to communicate with your spouse daily! I know when I usually talk about technology, it’s that we spend too much time on it..but if you don’t have a lot of opportunities to communicate with your spouse, make a point to text with them during the day, an e-mail. If you and your spouse are at a point in your marriage and you don’t know what to say to them, let them know you are thinking of them, mention a happy time in your marriage, if you have children, let them know something that they have done recently. Make a point to say something POSITIVE to your spouse EVERYDAY even in the midst of an argument or even if you are separated. Positive words can be just what makes a marriage turn around.

Respect your spouse- I have been guilty of when my spouse is trying to tell me something that has bothered them, I will instantly get offended and fire back at him! If your spouse is coming to you and trying to communicate with you, whether it be general communication or actually needing to talk to you, respect them. Try not to take offense so easily. Listen to their words, because they could be hurt and lacking communication skills themselves. Not during this conversation, but at a later time, express how they hurt or offended you during that argument and how they can change how they approach you.

I believe that Satan knows how to use communication as a weapon in marriage. He uses it in every single marriage. He might serve it differently in different marriages, but he wants us to have issues on communicate. Satan does not want us to communicate, but fight. Satan wants to see us taking offense to our spouse. Remember that if you are having issues with communication in your marriage, that flesh and blood (your spouse) is not your enemy!

When you and your spouse realize you are on the same team instead of on separate sides, your marriage will become stronger!

Lord, I pray for communication in all marriages because I know all marriages have had struggles with it. Lord, help us not to take offense to what our spouses have to say, but rather see it as they are hurting and not knowing how to communicate it to us. Help us to recognize distractions in our marriage and learn to lose those distractions during communication time with our spouse. Help us to make more time to communicate to say. I pray that when we communicate that what we are trying to say will not be disturbed and come out wrong to our spouse. Help strengthen our marriage and our communication skills! Thank you, Lord, for the marriage you have blessed us with!

Until next time….be encouraged!!

To the Person Who Has Had an Affair.

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To the person who has had an affair.

For whatever reason the affair has ended, it doesn’t matter. I wanted to post this for the people who have had an affair. Maybe you were married and had an affair on your spouse and maybe you aren’t married and had an affair with someone who is married or maybe both parties were married–if you have been a person who has had an affair, if I could give any advice to you, it would be, not to beat yourself up too bad. When we make any kind of mistakes, we tend to beat ourselves up, feel stupid for our actions and really just downright beat ourselves up!

Usually people who have had affairs that have ended knows the pain that they have caused people. They know what they did was wrong. They feel bad as well. Just because you made a wrong decision, doesn’t make you a bad person. We all might not have affairs, but we all do wrong things from time to time in our marriages.

If your marriage has survived an affair thus far, then treat your spouse with respect and allow them time to heal what they feel was destroyed from the affair. Show your spouse the love that your marriage lacked in the first place. Vow to your spouse that you will never do it again and never meant to make such careless mistakes in the past. Give your spouse a reason to trust you again. Be very open with your spouse, because that’s what they need. Stay connected with your spouse. If you ever feel yourself leading back towards being tempted, pray about it and seek help. Never make the same mistake again. Learn from this mistake!

Affairs are messy, they hurt people, break people, make people feel worthless in the end, but I believe whatever Satan throws at us that is meant to hurt us, God can turn it around into something good.

If you were ”the other person” and run into the man/woman’s spouse, sincerely tell them that you are sorry, because they deserve an apology. Sometimes, that apology is what they need in order to move along because in their minds, they believe you are not trustworthy, they hold anger and hatred towards you and what you’ve done. Find a way to let them know how sorry you were. Don’t make excuses for your actions, but be open and just let them know you are sorry for your actions. If you can’t tell them face to face that you are sorry, then find a way. But pray about it first. They might not take to it very well, but later on, I believe that they will honor your apology. But, never apologize if you have any intentions on messing with the man/woman again!

I hope that this has helped people who have been apart of affairs. I have spent almost the whole month talking about affairs, but I really think that marriages struggle with getting over them and it was really on my heart to share.

Lord, I pray that the people that have had affairs can find self worth in themselves. I pray that you will help them Lord to not make the same mistakes again. Maybe the affairs they were in were set up by our enemy, but Lord, help them to turn this MESS into a MESSAGE! To you be the glory! There are many people on the verge of having affairs, and I pray that people that have already had affairs can minister to them and to tell them that it’s not worth it! I pray that you give them the strength and courage to apologize to the people that they have hurt along the way, whether it be the spouses of the men/women they were having affairs with, family members that they have hurt or disappointed along the way. I pray for restoration in this situation! I pray for healing in this situation! Amen!

Until next time…be encouraged!