Two years ago, almost to this day, I received a text from my mom that said, “Bethany’s in labor. Please pray.” See, that morning I awoke to the crisp London air and met the world&…
I was at this wedding 26 years ago. Stacey was my role model. My neighbor growing up, my “big sister”. She is a model of grace and dignity and I am so blessed to call her friend. Take a moment to read this beautifully transparent post and be blessed TODAY. Thank you Lord that you hold tomorrow in the palm of your hands.
Right now, exactly 26 years ago, I was sitting in the bridal room at Sagemont Church waiting to be wed to my best friend whom I had dated for over ten years. We had done everything “right”. We had followed all of “the rules” of dating in a Baptist church and upbringing. We had planned an amazing future together that would be made easier by our amazing families, friends, college degrees from Texas A&M University, and lifelong planning for our futures.
There was literally nothing I would have changed about that moment in time. We celebrated our wedding day with 450 guests, family members, and friends. We had been extremely blessed for our entire lives leading up to that moment. I am thankful that I did not know what the future held for me on that day. I was able to bask in God’s abundant blessings on that day. There…
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This morning in the kitchen while bagels were toasting, I asked my kids what I should talk about for my next blog article. Without missing a beat, my 21 year old son, says to me, “Mom, you should tell them why it’s so important to teach your kids to be politically active”
I certainly was NOT expecting that response at all. He went on to tell me how much he has learned about the process over the past five years as our family has volunteered in different races locally.
I grew up in a home where we were taught NOT to talk politics and religion in the home. I currently LIVE in a home where it’s abnormal if we are NOT talking about politics and religion at some point during the day
In early 2012, my close friend, and mother of ten kids at the time, contacted me and asked me for help. Her husband was running for office and they needed some volunteers. Little did I know what the next few months would look like.
Our family was “baptized by immersion”, into the political process. After meeting with a campaign consultant, all systems were a GO and we began campaigning. Our kids helped to set up a phone bank: taping phone call scripts to the walls and tag teaming between dialers and callers, recruiting more volunteers, providing cold water bottles and lunches for the campaign workers.
My friend and I set up Saturday neighborhood walks with our kids, pushing strollers up and down different blocks getting our exercise. We would partner an older teen with a younger sibling and door knocking with registered voters. They held up signs at polling booths for both early voting days as well as election day, attended fundraisers and local speeches at community events, and delivered signs to people’s yards and businesses, and most importantly, they learned to ask questions from candidates. They learned about the political process and how hard it is for a citizen to run for office.
A couple of years later, our pastor ran for office. He was running for a representative seat in our district. We were ALL IN when it came time to help him. My kids learned how important door knocking is in campaigns and why meeting voters makes a huge difference in voter turnout. They learned what it means to stand alone at a voting location holding voter guides for hours on end, sometimes asking themselves, “why am I here again?”
They learned a valuable lesson, even when it looked like they were surrounded by apathy. They learned that freedom isn’t free. They learned the importance of staying informed, the value of community activism, and giving selflessly of their time for a greater good, and how volunteerism promotes stronger families and communities.
Helping out politically teaches kids to ask the right questions while looking into candidates.
They also learned to treat others with respect even if they disagreed. I’ll never forget standing at the local high school for 12 hours right next to volunteers who were supporting our opponent. My kids witnessed what it looks like to show kindness even if you disagree.
Political activism also teaches them the power of one – One person can make a difference.
Additionally, they learn important job skills.
Helping out with campaigns is a terrific way to fill idle time with productivity. My son in law’s father has a saying, “A tired boy is a good boy”!
Nothing wears out sons faster than block walking in the hot Texas sun all day long.
Finally, Volunteer hours help meet college requirements and also introduce young people to scholarship opportunities.
“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10
What seeds have you been given?
In late December of 2015 I was blessed to cross paths with the Patriot Journalist Network, where I met the founder, Mark Prasek. As a former coach, I quickly learned that his passion is to add value to others, and whether he realizes it or not,
he is influencing the influencers.
By providing a 24/7 forum online, like-minded people who are burdened for our nation, can come together and make a difference collectively online. During several chat room discussions with the other members, Mark set an important example. He encouraged others to use what you have already been given.
As I was praying for my family, church, community, and nation, the Lord pricked my…
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There is nothing like a good coach to teach you to live a life with no excuses! Excellent post!
People who are good at making excuses are seldom good at anything else.
If a coach is to build a winning team, excuses must be eliminated – PERIOD. It’s the first and foundational step to building personal accountability. Excuses are born of FAILURE. Failure is the opposite of success. If we’re going to move toward success, there can be no excuse for excuses.
Let’s look at the anatomy of excuses.
We’ve established that failure is the incubator of excuses. Failure is undesirable, so we must rationalize – that is, tell ourselves rational lies – it away. Otherwise the failure is attributed to us and our self esteem is diminished. Excuses are more than a method of avoiding the consequences of our choices, they are a defense mechanism to preserve our self esteem.
Excuses form a bridge between the practical and the hypothetical. They obfuscate the observed factual evidence and introduce…
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On April 17th, my parents celebrate 54 years of marriage. Full of spunk and life, my mom is the ever-ready bunny and never stops MOVING, while my dad is her anchor and enjoys a good book snuggled up with his four-legged best friend, Molly. Together my parents have weathered decades of joys and heartache; trials and triumphs, leaving a legacy behind for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
That legacy is FAITHFULNESS.
Even when the waters were choppy and the road seemed impassable, my folks weathered every storm and stayed together. While loving and serving one another unconditionally, these two will make anyone laugh till your side hurts. Our kids will randomly just start laughing as we recall comedic stories my parents have lived! (Ask them to tell you about one early morning broken car horn and a convertible!) It will leave you in stitches.
Most importantly, my parents have modeled for me and my kids what it means to stay.
And for that I am forever grateful.
Happy Anniversary Ken and Nancy Bowen.
You are LOVED!!!
With every baby comes a loaf of bread under its arm … Ancient Proverb
Have you ever wondered if you should even have children? Do you look at the world and think, “Why would I bring a child into this crazy world?” Or maybe you look at the bank balance and think, “There’s no way we can afford another child!” You may have one child and you are not sure about a second. When do you know you are “done”?
I firmly believe that only the Lord and your spouse can guide you in this decision. God showed us early on to trust Him with our future family size.
My journey is not unique, maybe my story will be yours.
I’ve recently been reminiscing on my life as a child and how child-less my upbringing was. In a few days, we will celebrate the 5th birthday of our eighth (and looks like our last) child.
She was born at home with five other sisters in the home awaiting her arrival. The brothers were not too far off with friends that day.
When Adaya Mercy arrived in April of 2011, I observed all my girls just watch in complete awe and amazement at what God had given them.
A new sister…
With a three-year-old in the home they were familiarized with all the ins and outs of newborns.
Don’t mess with the umbilical cord, careful with her soft spot, only mommies can give baby a bath, etc.
What struck me like a hole in my heart and literally made my breath stand still those first few days of her life was the realization that I grew up having never – not ever, been around babies or even very young kids.
Looking at all my kids at their ages when she was born….3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 16, and 18….I had to think back of where I was at all those ages.
I was living a self-focused, self-absorbed, me-centered life. I had no idea as a child, what it meant to just want to pick up a sleeping baby in order to smell her freshly washed hair and feel her cuddly newborn body up against my chest.
After she arrived, my kids would go out of their way just to find where the baby is and pick her up to feel her gentle breath on their faces.
I knew nothing of that joy as a child.
So I really didn’t miss it. Not only that, but I realized, that no one I knew had babies. None of my friends had any younger siblings around.
Even our small church seemed to be void of a nursery (or at least I never saw it as a young child). Growing up in the 70’s was like that, you may have had the same experience. I never remember even seeing a pregnant woman, let alone any babies growing up. Of course I’m sure they were around, I just never noticed.
It was my sophomore year in college before I had even seen a woman with several small children, before I ever saw someone nurse a baby. That mom’s name was Laura, and when I met her and her children in 1990, it was the first seed that God planted in my heart for having a family, a big family. I say all this because now, at 47 I am humbled and awed by God’s decision to bless us with a large family. This is a script I could have never written in a million years.
Babies were foreign to me.
As a teenager, I was selfish, and up until Jesus became the center of my life, I was headed to a life of careers and Lord only knows what else. When I gave my heart fully to Jesus, I abandoned every preconceived notion and trusted Him with the rest.
Including my womb.
He really does know what He’s doing.
He really is the Sovereign one, and He really can make the right decisions for us and our body no matter what His answer is concerning having, adopting, or simply mentoring more children. By trusting Jesus with our future, we can live a life of no regrets. Recently, my husband Joey looked at me reflectively and said, “What if we would have stopped at two kids? Then there would be empty seats at our table!” If we choose to stop, we can’t even imagine all that we would have missed out on.
I know there is comfort in control. That it is human nature for people to want to control their environment and by controlling a family size, it makes couples feel a sense of security. It can be counter-intuitive and it requires more faith to have more children than we might feel comfortable with because it can mean we must surrender control. Trusting God with your family size is a faith walk because you can’t see what’s on the other side. We can’t predict the outcome.
We must, “sow with a vision of righteousness.” Hosea 10:12
Whether you are a young mom and exhausted because you are chasing around toddlers, or maybe you are in the hospital having just delivered your second child and the doctor asks you if you want to be “done” with having kids, please take some time to prayerfully surrender to God’s leadership and direction in your family’s life, and let God choose your quiver size.
Finally, a wise mentor told me as a young bride that the two most important things you will ever give your child outside of introducing them to Christ Jesus,
is a strong marriage relationship
Special Thanks to https://www.etsy.com/listing/123613905/discounted-price-archery-quiver-leather?ref=market