The Importance Of Being Intentional In Relationships-An ABC Series- B Is For Building Up

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, Motherhood, Uncategorized, WomanhoodLeave a Comment

Relationships don’t thrive by chance. I know that media can often paint an untrue portrait, showing love, romance, and friendship being effortless, and always enjoyable, but in real life-that’s not the case. Healthy, mutually enjoyable relationships generally require intentional interaction to endure the test of time. The level of intentional effort required to keep things mutually enjoyable, is unique to each relationship-some require more, or different things, but all relationships benefit from intentional investments and interactions with one another.   In last week’s blog I talked about the importance of how we think about the people that matter to us.  For me, it’s easy to think about negative things, especially if I’ve been hurt along the way.  Sometimes I get selfish and think the other person should try harder for one reason or another, or there are even times I get ungrateful, and take things for granted.  Last week I challenged myself, and those of you who follow my blog, to intentionally think of the things you admire about the people that are important in your life.  I realize that in some circumstances, thinking of 3 admirable things may have been extremely difficult for you.   While there may be others who are able to write a novel or two about those they … Read More

My Lumber Mill

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

I’ve been a mother for over 10 years now, and I can honestly say, I think I was a better parent before I had kids. My perfect parenting ideas came with perfect children. The ideas came with smooth routines, scheduled bedtimes, full nights of sleep, organic and home cooked meals. My ideas included a meticulously clean home (and vehicle) children who admired me and obeyed. I had this parenting thing completely figured out… until I became a mom.  If you opened the door to my car right now, you’d have a pretty good idea of what hell might smell like. Sulfer and brimstone anyone? Actually, it’s just the lingering scent of popcorn my kids left in the car over the weekend. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that smell out and that definitely contradicts the meticulous idea I had.  There have been lots of things over the last 10 years that have contradicted my idea of what parenting would be like for me.  Our first child was born just a few weeks before I turned 21. Although we were young, she was a planned baby and we were intentional about her little life on this earth. There hasn’t been much … Read More

A Love Letter to Alaska

Heather GillisFaith, Uncategorized2 Comments

It comes with mixed emotions and bittersweet feelings that my stay here in Alaska has come to an end. Oh how I have loved it here, the memories we have made will last a lifetime. But it is time for this military family to embark on our next journey. It seems we have just said hello and now it is time to say goodbye. This post will be a little different from my previous ones. I hope you have enjoyed reading the Monday messages God has placed on my heart each week. This is my love letter to Alaska—between hello and goodbye. I don’t think a person could ever really say goodbye to Alaska once they experience it. It’s a place I would like to return in one way or another. Alaska has been so good to us in every way. You can see how creative God is when he made Alaska. It is like no other place I’ve ever been.   My Love Letter to Alaska: Oh Alaska, I will never forget the first time Ilaid my eyes on you. The pictures I tried to take with my phone, never gave you justice of how mighty and great your mountains … Read More

When Moms Get It Right

Jen CudmoreMotherhood3 Comments

She complimented my son. She said he packed the Operation Christmas Child boxes well, didn’t get sidetracked by friends, worked hard at making it all fit nicely together. And my mama heart swelled. That’s what we want to hear, right moms? That when our children are away from us, they behave with honor and integrity. That somewhere along the line, we did something right. The scripture tells us in Hebrews 3:13 to ‘encourage one another daily’ so we don’t become hardened by sins deceit. A kind word can make all the difference. Like when I assured a friend of mine that she was doing a good job raising her daughter, even though all she could see were her failures. Tears burst from her eyes as she struggled to accept my compliment. I had no idea she needed the encouragement until I saw her reaction. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 The other day, I witnessed a mom failure. And while I tried to help, all I succeeded in doing was drawing attention to her mistake and telling her how to do it better next time. That would have been the perfect … Read More

When Motherhood & Ministry Collide

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

I haven’t written a new blog post in several weeks, and if I’m being honest, that really bothers me some days.  I have committed to contributing to this blog and serving in this ministry on a weekly basis, but as time goes on, and my seasons of life change, sometimes motherhood and ministry collide.  I have good intentions, I have a brain swirling with thoughts that just beg to be shared, but sometimes it’s really hard to make sense of anything at all when you haven’t slept in a really long time, and you have a screaming toddler in your lap slapping the keys on the keyboard faster than you can push her little hands away. The insecurities deep within me shout the loudest in times like these. “Look at you! You signed up for this, and once again you can’t follow through. All of these other women have busy lives! They have families, jobs outside of the home, and other commitments just like you…so why can’t you keep up? They keep up! They’re faithful week after week, but then there’s you. There you are writing something last minute again,  as night creeps into another day.  You say it’s because it’s the only time you have, … Read More

Moms, Sons, and Growing Up (A Love Letter To My Son)

Jen CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

This Valentine’s Day, I’m thinking about my first-born, and how he will be moving away from home sooner than I’d like. I’m normally not this sentimental, but today I’m doing something a little different; I want to share a letter I wrote to my son. I believe there is a beautiful Mama out there who needs this. Blessings, Jen February 2017 To My Son, I don’t know why, but I have been emotional lately as I consider what little time you have left at home. Soon you will move out and start a new chapter of your life, and it’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s so strange, because I’m not normally a touchy-feely kinda gal. I wonder if people will think I’m being silly and dramatic. This isn’t really who I am. And yet, I have never experienced a child leaving home. So maybe this is exactly who I am. As I prayed for God to help me get ahold of myself, He reminded me that I am a writer. So here I sit at my computer, trying to figure out how to get all these thoughts and emotions under control. I had no idea that a mother and son could … Read More

Do As I Do

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

mother-daughter

Before I even begin, I think it’s really important to share something with you-my precious reader.  I’m not a perfect mother.  *shocking right?!* I don’t want to begin this blog with any false pretenses or paint myself with a hue that’s different than the truth.  I’m not a perfect mother, and I never will be.  I don’t say that to excuse my inadequacies or ungodly behavior.  I don’t say that as a way to justify my mistakes and shrug them off as a “meh, I’m not perfect, so who cares?!” I don’t say that as a sugar coat to the parts of me that are burnt out, and ugly.  I say that because there are going to be times that I get it wrong… really really wrong.  However, it’s my prayer that when I mess up, when I’m not the woman God is calling me to be, I will do the best I can to reconcile those moments with people, and ultimately at the foot of the cross.   Growing up I heard a phrase on a regular basis that made me roll my eyes so hard that I’m pretty sure that my actual eyeballs fell out at some point in my … Read More

…it’s still raining

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

Text after text flooded my inbox, and it wasn’t until I was just about to go to sleep for the night, I realized it wasn’t coincidental.  Early in the morning, a close friend talked about her newest baby, and how greatly she misses the one she lost. It’s been four years, but it still hurts just the same. Evening came, and my sister sent me a picture of the scenery over my nephews soccer game. There was no rhyme or reason for the picture, she just thought it was pretty so she shared it with me.   It wasn’t until a really dear friend asked me an innocent question, that I realized that maybe God was trying to get my attention. After all,  I have been asking Him what I should write about, for over two weeks now.  The question was:  “I was wondering how you are, with life with your rainbow?” When she said rainbow, she was talking about my baby, my rainbow baby.If you were to google “what is a rainbow baby?” the response you would get is this: A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows … Read More

Calculators, Kids, and Complications

Jen CudmoreFaith, Motherhood, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

“Kids are a complication.” That’s what the pastor said. Right before I whipped out my Mama Bear claws. But then I paused, because the way he explained it caught my attention. I was puzzled when he said complications are not actually bad. I had always defined complications as being negative, but he made me see that they can actually be positive, too. Like when we went to Disneyland and had to wait for an hour for the ticket counter to find our reservations. For our trouble, we were given several passes that let us skip lines, making our visit to the adventure park much better! I realized that what had complicated my day had become a blessing. But at first it felt like a problem. Taking care of children means that moms have to give up time, money, and energy. A lot of it.  Kids are loud. (You can’t talk on the phone when they are in the room because you can’t hear the other person. What’s an ‘inside voice’, anyway?) Kids make messes. (Items dropped all over the house, drinks spilled in your car, rotting food in the bottom of backpacks. Gross!) Kids interrupt. (Your conversation. Your book. Your … Read More

A love letter to my daughter on her first day of 6th grade

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

Dear number one baby girl, It might seem strange to you, that I’m writing you a note on the internet rather than on paper, but the note on paper will probably get lost sometime over the course of your life. The Internet however, is forever. (Let that be lesson number one my love.) I’ll write to you here, so someday we can look back, and remember all that you’ve taught me, since you were a little girl only 11 years old.  As you started your first day of 6th grade (which is your last year of elementary school) I found myself struggling more now, that I did the day you started kindergarten.  How did the time go so fast?! It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago, I waddled my VERY pregnant self down the hallway to your kindergarten classroom, and your journey of elementary school began.  You were still an only child back then…that week is when God gave you, your first sister. What a big week that was! You have been the best big sister I have ever seen, and the way you love and care for your sisters makes me love you that much more. Your … Read More

Dear Younger Me

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

 One of my favorite things to do is to think about how life has ended up for me.  I know I’m still young, and my story is still unfolding, but when I look back at how things have gone so far, it’s so different from what I had imagined it would be.    I love to think about times like before I fell in love with my husband, before I even liked him.  I love to think about how life has changed over the last 16 years.  I think about that young girl, the high school freshman who thought he was a total jerk.  I think it would be fun to whisper to her “you’re going to marry that guy someday…and have his babies.” I’m certain the look on my 14 year old face  would have been priceless. Every time I think of our love story I smile, and thank God that He had better plans for me than I could see for myself.  The funny thing is that before I started really getting to know my husband (back when he was just a guy in my P.E. class I wasn’t fond of) I had been praying about our life together.  I didn’t know it at … Read More

Review: Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson

Jen CudmoreBook Review, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

“You don’t become a praying parent by default. You do it by design, by desire, by discipline. Spiritual disciplines take sheer determination, but if you determine to circle your children in prayer, you will shape their destinies…” Mark Batterson Before my babies were born, I knew I had to develop a prayer plan to help shape their futures. Parenting is a big job and we can’t do it alone – we need God’s help. It can be physically and mentally exhausting some days, but God is bigger than our mistakes, and can guide us with His wisdom if we ask. I sought out books for help, and recently came across Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson. Based off his best-selling book The Circle Maker, it’s fairly short but full of truths, and has plenty of powerful tools for parents to use. Mark also offers some great ideas for sharing your prayers with your children! Summary: Mark Batterson shares a perfect blend of biblical yet practical advice that will revolutionize your prayer life by giving you a new vocabulary and a new methodology. You’ll see how prayer is your secret weapon. Through stories of parents just like you, Batterson … Read More

Review: Your Girl by Vicki Courtney

Jen CudmoreBook Review, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

“Our worldly culture is exposing our girls to situations they are not equipped to handle. They are being forced to grow up too fast.” Vicki Courtney I’ve been shocked more and more over the years with the amount of adult attitudes that little girls express, the physical attributes they copy, and the material items they possess. Why does an eight-year-old need a Facebook page (especially when the rule is age 13)? Why does a third-grader need an iPhone? Why does a sixth-grader need thong underwear? Because everyone else is doing it.  Because they want to emulate women they love. Because it makes them feel grown-up. But then what do they have to look forward to when they get older? I often felt a little lost as a parent, which is why I asked God to show me books that would provide good, Biblical advice. One author I absolutely love is Vicki Courtney. She has many books and Bible studies to help moms understand how to navigate raising children. In her book Your Girl, Raising A Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World, Vicki states “As mothers, we must accept the reality of current times and live in today’s world, all the … Read More

Mom vs. Mom

Jen CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

Not long after my son was born, I overheard two young mothers from my church discussing another woman with a toddler. The conversation centered around potty training and how this woman had done it all wrong; she regularly took her son to the bathroom rather than letting him make the decision on his own. What I learned from that discussion: I’d best do everything right as a mom because all the ladies in church would bad-mouth me behind my back if I didn’t, and I wanted them to approve of me. Isn’t this a struggle for most moms? Although at my bridal shower the pastor’s wife warned me to never compare myself to other women, I didn’t listen. I tried to live up to the standard of the “perfect Christian mom” I created in my head. I studied a lot of parenting resources provided by Christian organizations because I was determined to raise my kids right. And sadly, I judged other moms who failed to parent their kids the way I thought was best. Gradually, God showed me that my attitude was all wrong. He wanted me to give other women the freedom to make their own decisions, even when the choice didn’t seem right to me. Sometimes … Read More

Why Every Family Must Get Away

Jen CudmoreMarriage, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

It’s that time of year when many people leave town. Last summer my husband and I planned an amazing vacation where we took our children on a road trip through three states. Although we were exhausted from the busy activities, we’re so glad we made the sacrifice to go. Because time away from home is essential for families. But why? Does it really matter? Should it really be a priority to get away? When I was growing up, my family was poor. We didn’t have electricity or running water, and all wore hand-me-down clothes. Yet my mother always made sure we took little adventures such as tent camping or huckleberry picking. Although we never went more than a couple hours’ drive from home, I look back on my childhood with fondness rather than disappointment because of times like those. For a little while, I could forget about my troubles and just enjoy myself. In those moments, life was good! It’s easy to make excuses as to why we can’t take a vacation, and sometimes we just don’t see the value. When I was first married, I really didn’t understand why taking trips was important, but now I’m glad my husband … Read More

Buried Treasure

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

When people speak of treasure, I often think of pirates.  Pirates are always on the hunt for treasure.  In movies you see them scour maps looking for buried treasure and I always wondered to myself, if people valued their treasure so much, why did they bury it? Wouldn’t they want to enjoy their treasure? I asked this question on my facebook the other day: “What would you say you treasure the most in this world?” a majority of the people who responded said their treasure is their family.  I would agree that my greatest treasure on this earth is my family.  If you would have asked me when I was a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say “A wife, and a mom.” having a family has always been my greatest hope and dream.  The bible says to not store up treasures here on earth, but we ALL have something that is valuable beyond measure, something we treasure.  Maybe your treasure is your home, or your career.  Maybe your treasure is a pet, or a friendship.  Treasure doesn’t have to be something of monetary value, I think the greatest treasures are things that money can’t buy, … Read More

The First 5 Minutes: Why Our Mood Matters

Jen CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

As wives and moms, we have much influence over our family. We typically establish the mood in the home (or the car). And we have only a few minutes to set the tone.   Do you want to have pleasant interactions with your family? That first encounter – that first 5 minutes – is very important. Our family members will respond to our positive, affectionate manner just as much as our negative, busy, and frazzled manner. Here are some tips to create a peaceful, loving atmosphere.   Waking from Sleep:Be courteous when you wake your children, and be sure you’ve given them enough time to prepare for their day. Greeting them in their room is a matter of connecting with them and making them feel loved the moment they wake. Don’t holler into their bedroom–be present and personal. An alarm clock is impersonal no matter how old they are, which is why my husband, still prefers my voice to the blaring alarm. However, if your child wants an alarm clock to feel grown up and wishes you to stay away, then you may need to do it that way.How you handle each person will depend on  their personality and preferences, whether they are are morning … Read More

To My Youngest on his 5th Birthday

Jennifer BullardMotherhoodLeave a Comment

  It is a well known fact that I am going to cry on each and every one of my children’s birthdays.  So much so, that they begin to taunt me about it weeks before the actual date!  (Rotten children)  When my oldest son turned five, I cried off and on all day.  Five is something of a milestone.  You are no longer a baby, you are ready for school, ready to have a taste (!) of independence.  So as my youngest approaches his fifth birthday, I find myself saddened by how fast he is growing up and thoughtful about his future.  I thought that I should put down these thoughts for him.  Dear Oliver,As your fifth birthday is approaching, I wanted to share some things with you.  My memories, my hopes, and my prayers for you.  Someday you may need these words and someday I may need to remember saying them.  Your Father and I prayed for you.  As a family of three, we were happy, but we knew we needed you.  Your brother needed a sibling, and we needed someone for him to play with!  For nearly two years, we prayed for God to bless us with another baby.  … Read More

Power in the Blood!

Jennifer BullardMotherhoodLeave a Comment

Power in the Blood! I don’t know if it is a curse or a blessing. I guess it depends on the day or the way you look at it, but every single day of my life I wake up with a song in my head. Every. Single. Day. Some days it’s as fabulous as “The Lip” song by the Veggie Tales.  Sometimes it’s as thought provoking as Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young”.  And sometimes I am pretty sure God is trying to tell me something.  That’s the way my oldest son’s last birthday went.  God can be pretty sneaky, you know? “There is power (power), wonder working power, in the blood (in the blood) of The Lamb”….was how my day started. A bit sarcastic to my core, I immediately thought of the mosquito meme from Facebook. (In case you haven’t seen it, It says, “I want to be so full of Jesus that when a mosquito bites me he flies away screaming “There’s power in the blood!” “) The meme stuck with me because mosquitos seriously seek me out for their feasts. If you see me out and I am in a long skirt, it has nothing to … Read More

What ARE We Teaching Our Kids?

Carol DunfeeMotherhoodLeave a Comment

A couple of years ago in our MOPS group, a guest speaker challenged us moms to decide what kind of adults we want our kids to be and to train them in that direction. Her words stuck with me. What DO I want for my kids? 4. I want them to be kind and loving.  3. I want them to be hardworking and responsible.  2. I want them to love Jesus and follow Him. 1. I want them to know first-hand the power available to them through the Holy Spirit.  I did not say that I want them to have many friends who make them feel comfortable and popular.  I did not say that I want them to win awards and recognition for their achievements.  I did not say that I want them to be faithful church-attenders who know how to follow rules, memorize Bible verses, and do all the socially acceptable churchy things.  I did not say that I want them to be able to state the proper doctrines of the Trinity, eschatology, atonement, etc.  BUT WAIT!!!!!  Which set of outcomes am I actually working towards??? What do they actually SEE me model? What do I reward? What do … Read More