RSS Feed

Guard your Marriage!

Posted on

wedding-515983__180

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!

A Letter to the Teenage Parent

Posted on

baby-428395__180

To the Teenage Mom,

I know that finding out that you are pregnant can be so scary! How do you tell your parents? How do could you have let this happen? How will you raise the child? I know! I have been there and done that. If I could sit and have a chat with my teenage self after I found out that I was pregnant, I would say– own up to your responsibility, but remember to keep the respect for parents. Be more kind towards parents as they find out and not aggressive, but it does hurt them to see us travel down this road. Even though you think your world is ending, it’s not, it’s just beginning. Just because you are a Teenage Mom, maybe your life isn’t going as planned, but it’s okay to not have the same ending as you planned. Don’t get too caught up in “making things work” with your baby’s daddy if things aren’t going as planned. I used to beat myself up because neither of my oldest two children had their dad…we didn’t have the family I thought at the time we should have. If it doesn’t work with your baby’s father, don’t ever use the baby as a weapon. Never let your child hear you bad mouth their father. Respect them too–even if they aren’t doing right by the baby.  Give them the opportunity to know their father if their father’s are willing.  You can still be young, but be smart and remember that you are a role model for your child. Don’t drop your kids on other people. I know we still want freedom, but remember to be responsible. Don’t worry about what people say about you. They don’t know your situation and the people that talk worse about others are those who are the most miserable. Let your child know how much you love them. I know the “easy” way out may cross your mind, but no decision about your pregnancy is ever easy–the quicker you realize, the better off you will be. I don’t think women should abort their babies just because they don’t want them. If abortion has crossed your mind, be sure to pray about it and think of all the women who would die to be in your shoes right now. A baby isn’t a mistake–you’re not a mistake. Whatever problems you are facing will eventually go away. You will and can be such a great mom! 🙂

To the Teenage Dad,

Teenage Dads get such a bad rep–they really do. I know a lot of men say that they will take care of their babies, and I really think they have good intentions of it, but seriously, if you get a girl pregnant, take care of your responsibilities. I know many men who encourage abortion, don’t ever use the line “I can’t take care of that baby, get an abortion.” Never encourage abortion. I don’t care how hard the situation may seem! If you encourage anything, encourage making an adoption plan! I can think of countless babies that have never met or known their fathers–or they have fathers that want to be a father when it’s convenient for them. Make a vow to yourself and your child that this will not be you. If it doesn’t work out with the baby’s mom, don’t let that keep you from your child. Support your child always, and always know that even after they are 18, they will still need their Daddy. I know it can be easier said than done, but respect your child’s mother and never let that child hear you say a cross word about their mother. If you have to work at McDonald’s–get a job and support that baby! I don’t care if your whole paycheck goes to taking care of that baby! If you get visitation rights, take advantage of them! If you don’t get visitation rights, fight for them! Your child NEEDS you! If you don’t get visitation rights because of “how you are” then realize that it’s not ALL about YOU!  So many men walk around with nice shoes and the latest game systems, but remember it isn’t about you anymore. Respect your baby’s mother’s parents. They are hurt and let down–end the end remember it’s not all about you, even though they may put it like it is. Put your baby first. I know dad’s don’t have all the responsibility of carrying, delivering and caring for the baby, but try to be a part of every bit of it. You can and will be a good father! Don’t accept anything less than being a good father!

Suicide Awareness

Posted on

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

depression-20195__180

Teaching Your Children to Serve Others

Posted on

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!!

people-279457__180

It Pays to be Fit! Apps/Websites That Pay You to be Fit!

Posted on

I know this is a little bit out of the norm of what I usually write about, but I know that being healthy and losing weight is something that a lot of people struggle with. I have struggled for years with my weight, especially after having children. And even though I have decided that I needed to do something about my weight and unhealthy living habits, I still struggle daily with doing right as far as getting healthy!

active-84646__180

I’ve always been interested in ways to make extra money, even if it is just a little here and there and I don’t have to put an effort into making the money. I have a smartphone and I use Fitbit Fitness Tracker, and recently I have been looking into ways to make money JUST FOR BECOMING FIT! If money and rewards don’t motivate you to get healthy, I don’t know what will! Here is a list I’ve compiled of apps/websites that reward you to get healthy and to stay fit! If I’ve missed any, please add in the comments!

Rewards for using your tracker-
Walgreen’s Balance Reward Points-
If you have a Balance Rewards card with Walgreen’s, great! If not, it’s super easy to do so through their website or their Walgreens app. You can connect your tracker to their app, and start earning reward points just for getting your steps in each days! If you are a shop at Walgreens and love their deals, you know getting reward points is a great thing!
FitStudio by Sears/K-Mart-
This is a website (I couldn’t find an app on the Android market!) But, you get $5 for every 14 miles that you walk. A lot of people say that it’s very easy to earn $5-$10 per week if you wear your tracker daily. You will need to go through the website and it will say “add device” and you will then be directed to your trackers website to connect both accounts. This is a great way to stock up on $$$$! Especially if you shop at K-Mart or Sears. Great for stockpiling for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or just because gifts!
Earndit
Earn points the more active you are. There are also challenges tied to this one. You can set up challenged with friends who also use this site or do worldwide challenges. I don’t know why, but challenges motivate me to push harder. Maybe that’s the competitive person in me coming out! This is just a website, no app yet!
EveryMove-
This is similar to Earndit. Both are promoted by Fitbit Fitness Tracker…and the best part. There’s an app for it!
AchieveMint-
This is also a website which allows you to earn points and redeem for rewards such as giftcards. You can also add MyFitnessPal to earn more points! This one will cut you a check once you get to $50! It might seem like it will take awhile, but if all you have to do is walk, how easier could it get?
Pact-
This app pays you to go to the gym, track your fitness activity and food intake through apps like MyFitnessPal. BUT, if you don’t keep your pact, you pay up! That’s right. It is hooked to your Paypal account and if you commit to 3 days of being active and only do 2, you pay money. That will motivate ya, huh?

Non-tracker apps/websites that reward you-
Nexercise-
This is an app, but you don’t need a tracker. It is pretty neat, but just started using a couple of days ago and haven’t ran into any issues. You do have to go into the app and push in that you are walking, running, ect. The app will keep running in the background so you can listen to music or Facebook while you are exercising. AND, a plus to it, you don’t have to hold your phone the entire time.
Mango-
This is also a new one that I’ve only been using for a couple weeks. I have already redeemed a Redbox movie from it. There are different levels. This tracks your activity, water intake, weight, and medicine. I don’t take daily medicine, but do take vitamins. It alerts you and you earn points as you ”check in” each day.
If you are cashing out for Christmas or a special shopping, you might want to do it several months in advance because I’ve seen where some might take a couple months to get your reward!
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Lord, I pray that you give us the strength and willpower to get healthy for ourselves and for our family. Help us to instill these healthy habits on our family members and our children. Help us to live healthy lifestyles and not just concentrate on ”being skinny.” Help us to remember that skinny doesn’t always mean healthy. In Jesus’ name!

Sexting- Talk About IT With Your Kids!

Posted on

blogcell

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!!!

Cyber Bullying-Parent’s Guide

Posted on

I wanted to touch on this subject for parents because whether we realize it or not, cyber bullying is happening all around us. Research shows that many parents don’t even realize that their child is being bullied or is being a bully until it is too late.

cyber-bullying-122156__180
I had a friend recently share with my about her daughter being cyber bullied for months and she had absolutely no clue about it. She found out because her daughter had left her phone in the car and her mom heard it continuously vibrating. She picked up her daughter’s phone only to see so many texts and Facebook notifications that were saying awful things about her daughter. Some of the Facebook messages were so harsh, that she felt that she needed to call in to work and go get her daughter immediately. After getting the other girl’s parents involved, to my friend’s surprise, they knew nothing about it either. One of the girl’s was even a teacher’s daughter and her mother taught at the high school and she still had no clue her daughter was being a bully right under her nose!

I think that bullying is awful. I was somewhat bullied in school and this was before social media and text messaging! In my post from yesterday, I talked apps that your child may have on their phone and some listed are used for cyber bullying as well.
So, how can parents know if their child is being cyber bullied or being a cyber bully? How can we ensure that our child will not be a bully?
Have a relationship with your child- So many parents these days have no clue what their children are doing because they are letting technology be the babysitter! You may say, “Well, my child doesn’t want to hang out with me!” Or, “I don’t have money to spend on my child to take them to do anything!” Find a way to gain a steady relationship with your children. Make time to have conversations with them DAILY. Know what is going on in their lives. As they get older, yes, they will go through phases, but be there for them!
Monitor your child’s technology devices- Some parents may not agree with this and think that that is “their private stuff.” Children do need privacy, I agree with that. That is why our bathroom and their bedroom’s have doors. When it comes to a world in the palm of their hands, then it becomes my business! I do check my children’s phones. I am not saying that I am a stalker and check it daily, but I do check it. As a matter of fact, I have settings on their phones to let me know what apps they are downloading from the app store. I don’t sit there and read their texts word for word, but I glance through it. Know what your child is doing on these technology devices!!
Have limits for your child- This goes back to letting your child’s babysitter be the technology devices and television. I am not saying all phones and televisions are bad, but they can be. If we just allow our children to come home, get on their phones or in the television and have very little or no communication with the rest of the family, then we are giving our children too much freedom! Set time limits for your children. Consider a “technology free” day and do something outside! I am not saying that you should take away the deviced, but have time limits. It’s not healthy allowing your children to stay on their phones and in the television 90% of the time they are home.
Talk to you children about bullying- It is always a good idea to teach your children young about bullying. I’d say when they start stealing all the toys and not sharing when they are 2 years old is a good time. But, really, it’s never too early to start teaching your children about being a bully. Let them know how it can really hurt someone. If you are talking to your teenager about bullying, let them know that sometimes people even commit suicide because they are bullied so much. We also encourage our children to stick up for those that are being bullied, and if they don’t feel like they can stick up for the child, then they need to tell someone. Encourage your child.
Teach your child to serve- I will be doing a blog post at a later date on teaching children how to serve and be there for others. It is good to teach your child to hold the door for someone with their hands full. It is good to teach your child to be polite and respect others around them. It is important to teach your child about other children with disabilities and how hard it is for them. Teach your child to be polite!
These are just some of the things that I suggest. If you see any changes in your child, investigate it and question them about it. They may or may not be being bullied. But that goes back to you having a good, steady relationship with your child. Don’t be scared to ask them questions. And don’t be scared to upset your child! You are the parent and the authority and they need to know what authority is for when we get to the real world!
Lord, we know it’s difficult being a parent, but it’s not impossible. Help us and show us how to be a better parents as we go! Help those that are being bullied. And whatever is being done behind our backs, may it be brought to light so that we may be aware of it. Help us to teach our children how to be kind, courteous children to others. Help us to teach them what it means to serve others.
Until next time…be encouraged!