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How Can You Help Someone With Your Past/Present Hurts?

As you all know, I’ve shared a lot of my past with you. I have shared my most deepest cuts, but also my triumphs. What are you going through today? 

I have several close people very dear to my heart and also some that I’ve reached out to because of their posts on their social media pages. Just to share a few, one lady is raising her granddaughter because her daughter is in jail. Another lady has two children and trying to make ends meet with her husband that is incarcerated. Another family who is dealing with a loss in their family who committed suicide. And another, who is battling cancer. 

These are all hard stories and situations that God has allowed them to go through. Why? While I was asking myself and the Lord, “God, why do we have to endure such trouble and heartache in our lifetime?” A scripture came to mind. James 1:2 says “Count it all joy when you fall into trials, knowing that testing of your faith produces perservance.” It goes on saying that we should let the perseverance finish its work because it will make us complete and mature. 

So, God wants us to let these trials run it’s course because he has a plan for it-and those plans are good!!! I know whatever you are going through may not feel great, it causes tears and pain, but God promises to turn it in to something good. 

Have you ever heard Joyce Meyer’s testimony? Her father abused her sexually for years. But look at her now! The same story could be us. We serve the same God. 

I’m not saying run out and put your business on full blast, but share your story with people who need to know they aren’t alone in this battle they’re fighting. 

Lord, help us to find joy in the midst of our pains. Help us to find peace. If we have a story, let us find people going through the same or similar things. Let us use our testimonies to better ourselves and encourage others. In Jesus name!!!

Until next time….be encouraged!!! 

When Your Marriage Doesn’t Work Out..

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me about divorce. What I thought of divorce, how to cope with divorce, what to do if your spouse doesn’t want you anymore…ect. Even though I have never experienced divorce first hand, I have had witnessed many of my friends and family go through divorce or divorces. I was a child that witnesses her parents getting divorced.

I was talking to one of my friend’s, who recently got served with divorce papers. I often ask them how things are going and how the kids are coping with it. My heart really goes out to marriages who are cracked or completely broken and aren’t getting repaired. Divorce is truly the most devastating heartbreak next to death. Divorce is often compared to death because something inside you dies along with you when you read that your divorce is final.

So, what do you do when your marriage ‘just doesn’t work?’ I hate reading people’s posts on Facebook about them getting divorced and people tell them, “Well, there are more fish in the sea!” Yeah, there are more people out there, but that’s probably the last thing on someone’s mind when they are enduring such a heartache, So, my advice to you if your marriage just didn’t work.

Make the best of it- If there are kids involved, then try to stay strong for yourself so that you can be strong for them. IF you are the custodial parent, don’t play games with kid’s. Just because you are hurt doesn’t mean that you can use the kids as bait. Be fair. When you make decisions, keep your and your children’s best interest at heart.

Pray!- If you believe in God, take this hardest time in your life to get close to God. Pray that he will give you strength. There are many scriptures that talk about God’s strength, and His power. I know that at the beginning of your divorce, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s there! Hang on my friend.

Don’t be too quick to look for the ‘other fish’- Yeah, you will always have that one friend who wants to go out and get crap faced to celebrate divorce. That’s twisted! Divorce is nothing to celebrate unless you have been in an abusive relationship and have gotten out alive! Don’t try to go out and get a rebound, have one night stands, ect.. That’s never any good and most importantly…keep in mind “Will I regret this later?” “Will this set a good example for my kids?”

If your are too low, get help!- I have talked about suicide on this blog, and I am not necessarily talking about people committing suicide..but a divorce is heartbreaking. Yes, there is a time for YOU to grieve by yourself, but if the pain gets even ALMOST unbearable, seek help! Get with some positive friends, someone that will hold you accountable. If there are no positive people that you can turn to, go find a church and there are plenty of pastor’s that will counsel with you!

If you are going through a divorce and need prayer, please don’t hesitate to message me at encouragemovement@gmail.com.

Lord, I pray for all those marriages that just haven’t worked out for whatever reason. It says in Your word, Lord, that whoever is brokenhearted, that you draw close to them! Lord, draw close and let these brokenhearted people feel your love. Give them strength on how to deal with this heartbreaking time. Give us wisdom.

Until next time….be encouraged!!!

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Guard your Marriage!

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I know that in April, I dedicated the whole month to talking about how to protect your marriage, how to overcome major issues in the marriage, and how to do things to better your marriage. This article is similar, but something I felt that I really needed to talk about because I see it all too often people making the mistake of making their relationship issues public!

If you have married friends that are on your Twitter, Facebook or even Pinterest account, you can sometimes tell or assume when that person is having marital problems. They don’t always have to come out at say, “My husband or wife is the biggest piece of crap!” No, but it happens too often were people drop subtle hints that their marriage is awful or going through a dark time–even separated.

Speaking of separated–I hate the Facebook feature on the Relationship Status ‘separated’ and I hate even more when people who are separated make it public that they go from married to separated. I understand, marriages need or require separations from time to time. Like I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I have separated before…and yes, I was one of ‘those people’ who made it known. I swear, within an hour, I had multiple men message me asking if I was okay, or if I needed anything….. Do you see where I am going with this?

If you and your spouse or having an argument, don’t go social media with it. It’s nobody’s business. When you  list your problems on social media, it opens doors for the enemy to come in and send a picture of the other side that appears to be greener. I saw a post the other day on Facebook that says, “Be careful who you share your problems to..because sometimes it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.” It so the truth!

We are people that share too much information! We are people that bad mouth our spouses a little too much! Every marriage will have their problems, but Facebook isn’t the place to let it be known. Take it to the THRONE before you take it to YOUR PHONE!

Also, be careful what you say around the opposite sex. If you are a miserable person, the last person you want to do is let the opposite sex know. If you’re having problems with your spouse, let them know and suggest ways to help your relationship. Don’t always look at what your spouse has done wrong, look at ways that you’ve done wrong as well!

Lord God, I pray over all marriages right now! I know all marriages have their issues but Lord, help us to be smart about what we say and who we open up to when we have our issues. Show us the best way to deal with our marriages. Help us to be on guard and aware of the opposite sex and temptation when our marriages aren’t going like we think it should.

Until next time….be encouraged!!!

Don’t forget to like, share, comment! 🙂  I want to hear from you!

Teaching Your Children to Serve Others

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Now that it is summer, I am sure you have already heard, “I’m bored” at least one time, right? Well, what better time is it than now to teach your children about serving and helping others–even if the ‘other’ is pets! I think it is really good to  teaching them what it  helping others and really teaching them what it means to help others.

It’s really been put on my mind that I wanted to write about this topic, because I have recently been talking to my children what life is really like and that it’s okay to teach our children that life isn’t always pretty. In life we experience happy, sad, mad, hurt, along with many other emotions. I got the idea that I would start teaching my children about life the day that we saw the man on the corner of the street, no shoes, scraggly beard, oily hair, holding onto a leash tied to a dog that was extremely skinny. I passed the man because I am not the person to really give money. All of a sudden, my youngest child began asking questions about why this man didn’t have any shoes, where did he live, why was he sitting there…

I felt like I needed to do something, even if it wasn’t giving him money. I went through the drive-thru and ordered several burgers and fries with a drink, passed the man and let my oldest child hand the man his food. The man began to weap tears and begged that we didn’t take his 9 year old dog. It was then, I explained to my children not all people have houses, food, clothes or shoes. It was then that my family began wanting to serve and help more people and pets!

(Please never do anything to put yourself or your children in harms way)

There are so many ways to help and to serve other people. Here is some ideas that might be suitable for you and your family to do.

Helping the Homeless-

There are many ways that you and your family can help the homeless. There are many homeless people that are living in the United States and around the world. You can help by doing things like making care bags to keep in your cars for when you run into homeless people on the streets. Care packages may contain deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, a wash rag, a $5 gift card, peppermints, ect.. We also love animals so keep small bags of dog food as well for homeless men and women who have pets that mean the world to them!

Donate items to homeless shelters. Homeless shelters are always taking donations from clothes and shoes to blankets.

Soup Kitchens-

Some shelters and soup kitchens are always looking for people to just serve food for them or greet people that come in.

Food Pantries-

There is plenty to do at food panties, such as helping separate food or handing food out on the days that people are allowed to come and get them.

Animal Shelters-

Yes, we are big suckers for animals at our house! We tend to visit the animals shelters just to love on the animals or puppies that are at the shelters. Some shelters become so full and are looking for foster parents for animals!

Nursing Homes-

Anyone who has ever been in a nursing home knows that they can be very sad. Maybe you and your family can brighten the place up by making some of the residents some crafts and going to hand them out.

Red Cross-

It doesn’t necessarily have to be Red Cross, but some of these organizations help flood, tornado victims as well as homes that their homes have burned. Things can be collected and sometimes these organizations hand out teddy bears to children. This can be another project for small kids, donating some old stuffed animals or going shopping for some. (Sometimes they can be found cheap at second hand stores)

Soldiers-

There are several websites that are overseas love to get letters or treats! Find a soldier overseas and write them and send them a care package.

Donate!

Instead of having a garage sale, donate your clothes, old toys, and food to some of the places that I’ve listed above.

These are great ideas and if I didn’t mention one, I’d love to hear from you on how you and your children serve! So, share your stories on what you and your family do!

Lord, help us to teach our children to serve and not judge them. Help us to see their heart. Help us to have a heart to help people and pets that are in need and need to see love and someone who cares. Lead us and let us be Your hands and feet! In Jesus’ Name!

Until next time…be encouraged!!

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Update

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Life has been absolutely crazy in this past month from end of the school activities to having a crummy computer to crummy internet! I am hoping that I can get some motivation to blog and that life and technology will cooperate as well! 🙂 It’s nice being able to share things with the world and to get things off my chest! God’s laid some hings on my heart in this past month that I am looking forward to sharing with you!!!

Stay tuned!!!

Apps Parents Need to Know About

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My husband and I have gotten on the discussion several times about how technology has changed so rapidly over the past 10 years! We literally hold the world in the palms of our hands! It’s convenient, yes, but at the same time it can be very scary for someone who has a teenager holding that ‘world’ in the palm of their hands!

As soon as our children started hitting Middle School, my husband and I thought that they would need a cell phone. It became pretty inconvenient when the first child got to middle school, was staying late after school. So, a 12 year old having a cell phone is a little bit scary. Especially, when it is a cell phone with internet access.
I am constantly hearing these horror stories from parents who are parents to tweens/teens and their children have cell phones and are doing awful things on them! I decided to do a little research myself to find the most popular apps that most parents aren’t aware of that may or may not be on your child’s phone right now!
Here is a list of common, popular, yet dangerous apps that parents should be aware of:

1. SNAPCHAT-
Information on Snapchat- Snapchat users can send pictures or videos to people on their friend’s list. The user can allot how much time someone views their video/picture, once that time is up, the video/picture is erased. This app has a yellow background with a white ghost figure in the middle.

What parents need to know- This is the #1 used app for people use for “sexting.” People using Snapchat thinks that it is safe before videos/pictures ‘disappear’ within a short amount of time–BUT, a lot of people are realizing that the person viewing the video/pictures can screen shot the image to their phone and save it. This is how pictures are being spread. Many lawsuits have been opened because the sender thought that the image would disappear, but instead, the viewers are saving the images by screen shots.

There are other apps similar to Snap Chat, that allow users to find people to Snap Chat with. This can also be dangerous. Another dangerous app that is connected to Snapchat is “Snap Porn.” This goes back to the sexting through Snapchat and getting your stuff shared through “Snap Porn.”

2. Kik Messager-
Information on Kik- Kik Messagers has millions of downloads through the app stores with millions of users that log into the app multiple times a day. In this app, users an share videos, pictures, memes, ect.

What parents need to know- Kik Messager is also a popular app used for sexting. A lot of the youth are using the term “Kik Buddy” orj “Kik Friend” instead of saying “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Being a Kik Buddy or Kik Friend can  be a pretty big thing when you are a teenager! This app is labeled “Kik,” so you can easily point it out on your child’s phone!

3. Vine-
Information on Vine- This app is for short videos. You can view short videos or record short videos.

What parents need to know- A lot of teenagers may have this app, and it may be completely innocent. There are a lot of goofy videos posted. There is a cute cat section that can catch people’s attention but there is also a lot of pornographic  video clips that can be found on the app as well. If you type in certain phrases or words, pornographic things can come up easily. There are ”code” words on looking up these clips and there is a website and apps dedicated to teaching people how to find the content they are looking for! Disgusting…I know. The Vine app has a green background with a white “V” in the center of it.
There are also apps associated with Vine, like “Best Vines” or “Funniest Vines” and these apps as well are known for having inappropriate images on them as well!

4. BLENDR
Information on BLENDR- Make sure you are spelling it correctly. It is missing the ”E.” Blendr is an app that many people use to meet up with new people. Blendr has millions of downloads with a lot of daily users.

What parents need to know- Blendr does try to set an age limit, but a lot of teenagers are using Blendr because like many websites/apps, you can easily make up a fake age. After you download the app, it uses your GPS location to look up people around you who are also looking to meet people. Like I said, many people of different ages are using this app. This app has been used by sexual predators because you can easily meet. In this app, you can also send pictures or videos, so this app has also been used for sexting as well.  You can have many people message you asking to meet, chat or flirt! This one would be rated in my opinion, one of the most dangerous apps mainly because of it being used by predators. This app has a blue background with a white flower in the middle.

5. Tinder-
Information on Tinder- Tinder is very similar to Blendr. You can flirt, chat and meet on there as well. I think this app is more of a tell the app your interests and it matches you up with people who have like interests.

What parents need to know- Tinder can be used to meet strangers. A lot of known predators are using apps like Tinder as well because it is free and you don’t have to have a lot of information to join it. And of course, sexting is involved with this app as well! Tinder has a white background with a red flame in the middle of it. Tender has also been used for cyber bullying because you “rate” the people on there.

6. Whisper-
Information on Whisper- Whisper is an app that people can remain confidential or tell people your user name and basically you can tell secrets socially.

What parents need to know- Whisper can be dangerous because it allows kids to say whatever they want to the world. You can search “whispers” within 5, 10, 15, or 10000 miles away from you. When kids are putting things like, “I want to meet and have a good time…” and put their picture or any picture behind the text that they write and that’s how doors can be opened because people are looking for that kind of activity in their area. Whisper is a purple app with a white W.

7. Yik Yak-
Information on Yik Yak- In this app, you can only do texts. It only allows so many letters and only a certain amount of people can see what was wrote determined by GPS tracking. It is very similar to Whisper, only without using pictures.

What parents need to know- In this app a lot of language, cyber bullying, and sexual content is in this app. You may remain anonymous, but a lot of users are putting more personal information as they get close to other “Yakers.”

8. Omegle-
Information on this app- This is a video chatting app that doesn’t require users to identify themselves. Users can connect to their contacts through Facebook or through contacts listed in their phones. If you aren’t connected, the account will say “You” or “Stranger”

What parents need to know- A lot of sexual content is found on this app through video chatting. It has also been used for sexual predators to pin point the location and target who they want to find easier. This app does use GPS location services.

9. Ask. FM
Information on this app- Ask.FM is a question and answers site that you can ask different people different questions. You can remain anonymous on this site.

What parents need to know- This app has been linked to several teenagers and them committing suicide. It can be a playground for cyber bullying because some of the answers to the questions like, “Am I pretty,”can be very harsh. A lot of personal information has been known to be leaked out on this app as well.

10. Facebook/Twitter-
Information on this app- Most popular social media sites.

What parents need to know-  know, I I probably don’t need to tell much about these two social media sites, but I just encourage parents to be aware of what their children are doing on the social media sites, who they are talking to, ect. I know that these sites might not seem dangerous, but if your child is the one being bullied or doing the bullying, I think parents should be aware. Most parents do not know that their children are being bullies or that their children are being bullied. Monitor your children’s time spent on these two websites!

11. Hot or Not-
Information on this app- It is basically like it sounds. People can add pictures to the app and people rate if they are hot or not.

What parents need to know- This app, I guess, isn’t dangerous, but it  can be devastating when the people are not considered ”hot.” Girls flock that app, so the post that I made about girls and how they see themselves deals with apps like this! So this isn’t a great app for self esteem!

12. Poof-
Information on this app- There are several Poof Texting apps on the Google market. This app allows you to share pictures, videos, or text and within a couple seconds, the texts disappear. But, like Snapchat, there are always screen shots!

What parents need to know-This app is being used in secret! A lot of sexting and R-Rated pictures!
Of course, I didn’t get all of the apps because, today, as I was researching these apps, I was getting suggestions of “like apps” that were like the apps that I listed. I know that some apps like Facebook and Twitter, your children don’t need apps to access. They are actually websites so they can be activated from computers

I strongly suggest we work together to protect our children because there are new apps and websites created daily that we should be concerned about when it comes to our children and their protection. If there are any apps or websites that I have missed, please feel free to share in the websites. Also, please talk with your children about their time spent on their phones, respecting themselves not to start sexting or sending R-Rated pictures, and to know who they are talking to!

Lord, I know that we probably won’t catch all of the things that our children do, but if we happen to miss something, Lord, whatever is done in the dark, may you bring it to light! I pray a hedge of protection over our children as they are on their phones. Give us the right words to speak that our children will hear us! Teach us Lord on how to teach our children to respect themselves!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!

What We Need To Be Teaching Our Daughters

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If you Google “Most Popular Females of 2015,” you will see  names like: Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cirus, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Rihanna. If you ask your daughter who these people are, more than likely, if they are old enough, they can tell you who these women are and these are the women who are considered to be “excellent role models.”

Growing up being a female is exhausting and now more than ever! We are compared, we are encouraged to be a certain size, we are encouraged to look a certain way. It can be scary raising a daughter in this world, but there is hope. If you are a parent to a daughter, here is several pieces of advice to help you parent a daughter that is dealing with self esteem issues.

Talk it out– If you see that your daughter is having an issue with her self esteem, don’t try to brush it under the rug and thinking that the problem will just work itself out because, let’s be honest, a problem is never fixed by just brushing it under the rug! Talk to your daughter about why she is feeling this way. Did somebody say something to her? Did she hear something that made her feel this way? Did something or someone influence her? Talking with your daughter will bring you to a point in your relationship where you can be open with each other. Don’t overreact to much because that strays away her feeling open. Maybe have a girl’s date so you two can talk it over at lunch or something.

Constantly tell her she is beautiful and has worth– Sometimes when parents aren’t together and Dad’s aren’t around, girls sometimes start looking for that self worth that they are missing or have missed along the way. I am not saying that dads are doing a poor job–and I am not saying that only divorced parents have daughter’s with self esteem issues. It’s important for both parents to express how beautiful their daughter is and let her know she has self worth. If the dad is in the picture, encourage him to take her on a date. Make her feel special. It’s good for Dad’s to respect and be there for their daughter so that when dating time does come, she will demand respect, because that is what she has gotten from the man in her life.

Be aware of the magazines and television shows she watches– Often times, young girls begin to really watch how these celebrities dance, sing, dress, wear their makeup and hair. It really influences them! Make yourself aware of what your daughter is viewing and comparing herself to.

Be a good role model for your daughter– Being overweight even bothers me–to the point where I wanted to be SKINNY! I wasn’t worrying about my health. I was thinking of how I was being a role model to my children just talking about SKINNY all the time. The world says us women should be a size 2 to be normal. Don’t let your children see you talk about your flaws and blemishes. Of course, we all have them, but they don’t define who we are are a person! Watch what you say around your children and how they act.

Find books– If your daughter loves to read, or even if you love to read, there are so many influential books for tweens/teens that are going through the same thing. A lot of the Christian book stores will have a section just for them! Maybe that is a good place to go on the girl’s date. I haven’t read it,but I’ve heard that Sadie Roberton’s book is great!

Do small activities– I was looking on Pinterest on self esteem activities for tweens/teens. There are a handful of activities that you can do with your daughter. Go get a canvas from Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby and make a picture for her room. Tell her to write down everything she loves about herself. Or make a jar! Fill it with positive scriptures, quotes, and things that are good about her and give it to her on the girl’s date. Encourage her to pull those pieces of paper out when she is having a rough day.

Lord, I pray for all the young women who are growing up in this world that we are living in where we constantly are feeling like we have to be perfect. That if we are too skinny we need to gain weight, if we are overweight, we need to lose. Lord, help us and help us to teach our daughters that it isn’t about what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. Lord, help us to raise confident daughters.

Until next time…be encouraged!!!!