Mindfulness – Being In The Present Moment

Mindfulness | By a God-incident, I recently stumbled upon an audio book on mindfulness, being in the present moment. It spoke to me in a way that I can not describe. | #podcast #christianpodcastMindfulness – Being In The Present Moment – Episode 13

By a God-incident, I recently stumbled upon an audio book on mindfulness, being in the present moment. It spoke to me in a way that I can not describe. Parts of the book had cautioned that we might not be happy with what we were hearing, but truthfully I was praising God for the God-incidence in the ability to hear something I craved.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

When we are not mindful:

  1. Info overload: We are overcome by so much information in our lives and being in the moment is something most people struggle with, myself included
  2. Restless sleep When it was quiet my racing mind caused my thoughts to become scattered. In this podcast we will discuss Are you one of those people who are exhausted but can’t sleep because your mind is racing?
  3. Arriving at a destination when you had no idea how you got there.
  4. Praying and not remembering what you were saying.
  5. Talking to someone and not sure what is being said.

Our minds seem to have a life of their own and we are overcome with thoughts many that are negative in our lives. Mindfulness allows you to be in the moment and I will share with you how important this is for anyone who professes Christianity.

Why am I sharing this with you?

  1. It can make you really understand yourself.
  2. It is not psycho mumbo jumbo – it makes sense in that we are trusting God.
  3. It can change your life by not allowing negativity (yourself or others towards you) from affecting you or letting it rule your life.
  4. It can help you to corral overwhelming thoughts
  5. It can make you happier!

Sounds like a win-win!

Mindfulness is a psychological term for what is truthfully a Christian principle.

  1. The Lord lives forever
  2. God is here in this present moment.
  3. God was not created.
  4. God is eternal.
  5. Grace abounds where God is – and He is now – He is here.

Simple right?

Some basic tenants of mindfulness is to be in the present moment without judgment or criticism.

Movie – Percy Jackson – ate the lotus flower and didn’t realize how much time has gone by –

Our lives are wasted by negative thoughts. What is going to happen today, tomorrow, twenty years from now? This happened to me when I learned my oldest was learning delayed I couldn’t imagine what his life would be like with a handicap and NOW I know that I worried for no reason. All that  I imagined was false.

Being mindful is taking charge of harmful thoughts and realizing that what MIGHT come also might not come. Does this mean we never think or plan – absolutely not! Of course, we do, however, we must realize the reality that our thoughts do not define who we are.

  • Just for today realize that God is here, now. It is a grace-filled moment!
  • If you have trouble sleeping because your mind is racing, get up – get a drink of water, go to the restroom – lay back down, and pray. Thank God for the time to pray for someone else. Sometimes that little bit of movement helps.
  • When you feel like you are in a situation (thoughts overwhelming you or life) breathe. Recently – share DMV story –
  • Realize you are NOT your thoughts –if there are negative thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith, Family And Holy Spirit

Faith & Family | When my faith in the Lord grew I knew I was a new creation, but I didn't realize the effect of faith and family as a life-changing event. In this episode, I will share how my faith in the Lord caused my husband and I to grow from trusting ourselves to trusting God. | #Podcast #christianpodcast #faithandfamily Faith and Family Episode 13

When my faith in the Lord grew I knew I was a new creation, but I didn’t realize the effect of faith and family as a life-changing event. In this episode, I will share how my faith in the Lord caused my husband and I to grow from trusting ourselves to trusting God.

Sponsor:

I often recommend that people keep a prayer diary for many reasons, but one of the biggest is to see your spiritual growth. We did all the right things as a family. We went to church together, we prayed before meals, we prayed each evening before bedtime. We attended religious retreats and went to spiritual teachings at Church. We thought we were on the right track in our lives and with God.

I loved the Lord – I had followed Him my entire life – but I soon realized as my faith grew that I was following Him on my terms. Wow. That was a time to sit back and to re-evaluate my life.

It came after becoming aware of the workings of the Holy Spirit not only in the time of the apostles when Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things. But also today in our lives today. (A friend shared this with me – she said I could kneel beside my bed and ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit!)

(John 14:26) But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

God had other plans for me – and I was invited to hear a friend’s teaching on one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I soon remembered reading in the Bible the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This teaching was called a Life in the Spirit Seminar.

I wanted all of the gifts! I wanted the Lord to come into my life and guide me as He did the apostles. My heart was ready and so was I! The Lord surrounded me with committed Christians in my homeschool friends and in my extended friends that I met through Church. We were invited to a Bible Study and guess what we studied? Acts of the Apostles. All of these things combined changed my life.

I was more understanding as a parent, more loving and kind. I was calmer and my husband noticed a change in me, as well as my parents who lived nearby. In fact, my parents were so amazed at the change they saw in me and then my husband they wanted to learn more so they attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar to learn more about the Holy Spirit and soon joined a Charismatic Prayer Group.

Faith is contagious when you share the good news and share your faith not so much with words but with actions. When I wrote my book I thought my story was about the decision my husband and I made to extend our family size, but as I continued to write the book and the pieces came together, I realized it was a story about my growth in faith and the outcome of this faith in our decision to have more children. I know I’ve said this before on this podcast that I can’t imagine life without my youngest three children.

The fabric of our lives are known by the Lord, but not by us – we can’t predict our futures, and for that, I am truly thankful. We – you and I get to explore our lives as we live them each day. Praise God that we opened our hearts to more of God’s love – that we believed the Gospel message that the Holy Spirit was instrumental in changing our hearts!

Vasectomy Reversal Reality

Vasectomy Reversal Reality | Open to life was a term I never heard of before but that became the outcome when the vasectomy reversal reality hit. | #podcast #christianpodcast #vasectomyreversalVasectomy Reversal Reality – Episode

Open to life was a term I never heard of before but that became the outcome when the vasectomy reversal reality hit. Being open to life described our openness to more children in our family as well as a realization that life is precious and that means all life. The born and the unborn. Children are considered a blessing–or they should be considered a blessing!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

In my book, One More Child there are nine chapters that signify each month of pregnancy. One focuses specifically on the event leading us to a vasectomy reversal as well as the reality that came with it.

Life isn’t easy – it is messy. There are things that happen each and every day that challenge even the most faithful. And this is what happened in my life. I go into this more in my book, but suffice it to say that I was not always open to more children. In fact, my husband and I made the decision to have a vasectomy – but later, after I believe my eyes were open to the love and providence of what God has in store for my life, my husband had a Vasectomy reversal.

A vasectomy seems to be a much easier choice for most families than a vasectomy reversal. One gets praise and wide approval while the other is looked upon with disdain. Even the doctor who was scheduled to do the procedure wasn’t in favor! Friends, if you are a parent I get it – we are tired, we have so much going on in our lives, and kids are expensive! So, why do it? In our case, it was a decision of obedience. We felt that the Lord was leading us in this direction. We wanted to be open to whatever God had for our lives and that included in our ability to have children.

Vasectomy Reversal Reality vs. Myths

Reality vs. Myth #1 

Most families can afford a vasectomy but not a vasectomy reversal. While this is true to some extent there is much that can be said with research! We priced the reversal and found that it was going to cost over $10K including travel. That meant leaving our family and telling our extended family, our babysitters, something we were not prepared to do! It ended up costing us a little under 2K with a local doctor only two hours away. Some people have lowered the cost by offering to pay cash.

Reality vs. Myth #2

Recovery is long. It depends on the person, but our situation had my husband back at work after the weekend. He is owner of a construction company and ordered not to lift anything heavy – which he did not, but his recovery was relatively quick.

Reality vs. Myth #3 

Vasectomy reversals don’t always work. While this is true for some, it was not in our case. Even though it had been ten years, we have three more children. We do have one friend whose reversal was unsuccessful, however, they experienced great peace of mind after the procedure was completed, and that is true success. One more thing – for us, it worked rather quickly. I was pregnant with months of the procedure. For others, it may take a full year or longer.

Reality vs. Myth #4

Vasectomy Reversals are required as a Christian. This is an untruth. My situation is a long story – which lead me to a book for others who struggle as I did. However, I do not believe if you had a vasectomy you must have a vasectomy reversal. It is between you and God and your pastor. Most Christian pastors have opted for vasectomies in their own life. As a Catholic, it is not permitted, and therefore confession and speaking to your pastor is important. If you believe God is leading you to a vasectomy reversal, speak to your spouse!

Vasectomy reversal to us meant to encourage more kids. I realize that a big family is expensive, but I have watched our own situation with five children and the downturn of the economy. How was I going to pay for college for my youngest three? The Lord provided for the youngest two who opted for a college with a scholarship! (Thanks to Jean Burk with CollegePrepGenius.com/podcast – listen in if you want to learn more).

Big families allow us to become less focused on self-centered activities. We had to think before we headed out to eat, or took a vacation. It wasn’t easy grocery shopping with all the kids, and even with two older and three younger, it was still a challenge. It meant trading in my car for a conversion van and then an SUV. It meant sacrifice. The things of this world – those worldly things are short lived. However love and family are forever or for as long as we are on this earth.

Yes – love and family may mean a sacrifice to some, but not to me. And, if you consider it a sacrifice is short lived. Kids grow up so quickly and when they are gone, you will miss them! I tell parents all the time to hug your babies!

The decision to be open to life opened up questions from complete strangers. Some of our friends who pushed how we had the big age span between our two oldest children and our three youngest also shared their desire for more children and opted for a vasectomy reversal as well.  I pray that my story is an inspiration and not a condemnation. I also pray that the Lord leads you to peace, not matter what your decision. Until we meet again.

Family Size Struggles

Family Size Struggles | Family size is something you discuss at different times in your life. And, if you have other struggles in your life it may add additional pressure to your decisions. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastFamily Size Struggles Episode 11

Family size is something you discuss at different times in your life. And, if you have other struggles in your life it may add additional pressure to your decisions. Have you struggled with family size? In this episode, we delve into this topic with faith as our foundation.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

Topics to consider when discussing family size:

  1. Families struggle over family size.
  2. Family dynamics are considered.
  3. Added pressure from well-meaning family or friends.
  4. Harmful effects of birth control on women. Dr. Janet Smith
  5. Seek outside counsel – pro-life doctor and clergy.

Take responsibility for your decisions about family size. Our faith grows to a point where we want to honor God in everything we do, every decision and every way we can in our lives. We are always under God’s will, but God gives us free will to make our own choices.

 

 

Parenting Under Trial

Parenting Under Trial | Parenting under trial happens to most at some time or another. Parenting, in general, is a skill not for the faint at heart, but when you add a child with some developmentally delayed or ill child the answers can be elusive. | #podcast #christianpodcastParenting Under Trial – Episode 10

Parenting under trial happens to most at some time or another. Parenting, in general, is a skill not for the faint at heart, but when you add a child with some developmentally delayed or ill child the answers can be elusive.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

Parenting Differently
My husband and I were raised totally opposite and our parenting skills also reflected this in so many ways. I am the disciplinarian and if you are the one in your family then you know you are typically the “fall guy” while the other parent seems to get away without any of the blame.

I am the doer, the researcher, the let’s try this and see if it works because we have a problem. My husband, on the other hand, was oblivious there was even a problem. Having a special son took major patience, something I found myself extremely short on — and my husband had this in droves. he was so patient, so kind, so encouraging. I expected my son to listen to instructions yet wondered at how much he really understood.

Parenting Under Trial

  1. Keeping God around just for emergencies.
  2. Expecting more from our spouse than we are willing to give.
  3. Thinking you know more than your spouse.
  4. Quoting an article or book as an authority.
  5. Undermining your spouse’s discipline.

Parenting with Grace

  1. Pray – pray – pray. Prayer is the answer for everything. Put your children under God’s authority. He will provide.
  2. Parent together discuss first what you would like to do together before you approach your child. Yes, this takes planning.
  3. Realize your spouse does have an opinion and listen. If you disagree explain why with grace and love.
  4. Educate yourself, and share the information you find helpful only if your spouse wants to hear it – or read it himself.
  5. If you disagree with your spouse’s method of parenting or discipline, discuss it later -not in front of the children.

Parenting is a team effort and my husband always says that kids are gamblers. They will take the chance to push the limits

 

Marriage Under Trial

Marriage Under Fire | Marriage under trial happens each day. This can be due to finances, or family issues such as health and in these cases, the pressure just becomes even more difficult. In this episode, we learn the true test is not what you think.| #podcast #christianpodcastMarriage Under Trial – A True Test of Love: Episode 9

Marriage under trial happens each day. This can be due to finances, or family issues such as health and in these cases, the pressure just becomes even more difficult. In this episode, we learn the true test is not what you think.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

True love can be fleeting or it can last a lifetime. When we meet and fall in love our world seems to change. Our mood lifts, we are happy, and everything is more in life become easy or at least more manageable. Yet there are so many things that can rob our peace and the main one in most marriages is problems with the children. Even the best marriages struggle with different parenting styles or even different opinions on what is important.

Yet I learned the hard way that if I didn’t have open communication with my spouse and patience with my children then there would be a very hard road ahead. I am not a marriage authority, nor have I written any books on the topic, but I can tell you that after being married for almost forty years, I can tell you a thing or two about what works and what does not!

We made some horrible decisions in our marriage that I am not happy about and one of them is deciding on a vasectomy. We thought it would make our life easier and in the long run, we realized it was something we needed to change. There will be a future podcast on this topic.

My husband had ideas that I went along with for the sake of peace. Several were marriage retreats. We attended a marriage encounter, for “good marriages,” and a Cursillo retreat for a deepening of our faith. My husband attended one weekend and I attended the next. This was wonderful in many ways, yet it took me many years to see the fruits.

Marriage Under Trial

  1. Forgetting to put God first in your life, your spouse second in your life – above kids or work.
  2. Thinking you are always right and it is everyone else’s fault.
  3. Holding grudges and failing to forgive.
  4. Not respecting the other person.
  5. Forgetting the romance.

Marriage with Grace

  1. Putting God first in your life, spouse second.
  2. Remembering that you are not in this alone. It is a partnership.
  3. Realizing love means sacrifice.
  4. Forgiveness is key
  5. Dating and rekindling your relationship. Respect your spouse!

Marriage is under attack on a daily basis and we need to pray for the grace to continue on, and to persevere.

God Provides In Our Grief

God Provides | God provides in the midst of our grief. In this episode I give you some real life examples but also ways you can see the hand of God in your life, when you don't think he is here. #podcast #christianpodcastGod Provides In Our Grief

God provides in the midst of our grief. In this episode, I give you some real-life examples but also ways you can see the hand of God in your life when you don’t think he is here.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – visit the website at MediaAngels.com

When I learned my son would have struggles all of his life my heart broke and yet I had a husband and a young daughter who needed me, plus my son. When I began the process of contacting doctors and learning to what the next steps were in my son’s remediation it began at the hospital where he received occupational therapy and speech therapy.

My days, every day, revolved around the hospital – three days a week sitting and waiting. And that is where I met a friend, a kindred spirit who was also there for remediation for her daughter. Somehow we connected and spoke and became friends. God sent me friends someone who would understand me, who knew what I was going through and who could be there to encourage me.

God Provides Friends:

We had different ideas about how we would proceed after this first step, she decided to send her daughter to a full-time school for the deaf, while I decided to homeschool. Homeschooling was not something I considered lightly – as a certified teacher after spending years in education classes I never imagined I’d go this route. Obviously, God provided as I successfully homeschooled my son through high school. My network of homeschool friends were amazing, strong Christian women who made me think about my faith, what I really believed and how I would approach our differences in doctrine. Yet, we agreed on one fundamental point and that was salvation through Christ. I will be forever thankful for these ladies and their loving hearts!

It was also at this time that my mother gave me the book, Humane Vitae an encyclical written by the Pope Paul VI. It was written in 1968 and while I read it in the late 90’s today it is considered a prophetic book. It talked about the effect of birth control on people and how this would lead to other things such as promiscuity among families, euthanasia and more. Now we know that one of the leading cause for people who have abortions is a form of birth control or failed birth control. Again, it was prophetic in that birth control did change our culture and the rise of divorce and infidelity is now considered rampant.

God provides for us time and time again, yet when we are in the middle of our grief we can’t often see this help. In retrospect, I can see it so clearly now! I can see the times he lifted me up through the phone calls from a friend who said they were thinking about me, for the friendships he provided and for the love of my husband and support of my family.

God Provides! If you are in the middle of a difficult time in your life I recommend the following:

  • Do not make any major decisions.
  • Pray when you feel at your lowest – even a brief, “Dear God, help me!” is sufficient. God knows.
  • Do not worry about things you can not control. God has this.
  • Look at the small things, each and every day and chose to see the good.
  • Surround yourself with positive people, if this is not in real life – do it with us on Facebook – we are there to support you.

Please realize that our prayers are not always answered in the way that we want or wish they would be answered. I have struggled with this for years and that brings anger and unrest during a time when the situation requires my complete focus. I believe it is the enemies way of getting our eyes off of what is important. I have had many prayers answered and many prayers answered in ways I least expected not always in a way that I wanted! (podcast you may want to listen to here on prayers God answers — and prayers unanswered.)

 

 

Unplanned

Unplanned | My life was going well until something unplanned happened. Life keeps twisting and turning. In this episode, we discuss how we as Christians can stand together when life happens. | #christianpodcast #podcast Unplanned ~ Episode 7

My life was going well until something unplanned happened. Life keeps twisting and turning. In this episode, we discuss how we as Christians can stand together when life happens.

The movie unplanned has had a ripple effect upon the general population both for and against. It is the turn of the conservative media to take ownership of the ability of a well-told story to change hearts. Especially in this case when the movie depicts a true story.

In this film, it is the true story of a young woman, Abby Johnson becomes a clinic director of Planned Parenthood and is vehement about her stance on abortion. She is asked to assist during an abortion and what she sees changes her life forever.

How did this young woman come to the decision that abortion on demand was every woman’s right was such a proponent that she took a job as the clinic director?  We base our decisions on life experiences and for the young, those experiences are limited to what we are told or what we experience.

We are a product of our education and the forces behind education today are fighting for the minds of our children. In my book, “One More Child,” I discuss the decisions I made based upon preconceived notions and ones that were drilled into me as a product of the 1970s. It was a time of freedom from the shackles of the past. Women were equal to men if not better and our decisions should be based on “what feels good,” vs. what is good for our souls.

The decision for my husband and I was not abortion, it was a vasectomy to limit the size of our family. Just like abortion is common so is birth control. And, again I ask — how did we get here? Our story ended happily in that we had, “one more child,” and two more after that as we decided that a vasectomy was not what God intended for our family. A child is not unplanned it the eyes of God.

The silent majority is silent. But no more. This movie has peeled back a layer of what has been kept under wraps for way too long. And there is another layer of truth that the actress in the feature film learned that her mother almost aborted her! She didn’t learn this until she had accepted the role and was on set. Her mother called to chat and ask what she was doing and when she shared she was on set and staring in a role, and the topic of the movie her mother began crying. She told her then that she had a previous abortion and when she was pregnant again went to the clinic to have an abortion but couldn’t go through with the second.

 

‘Unplanned’ Actress Ashley Bratcher Learns Dark Secret: ‘I Was Almost Aborted’

What is an amazing turn of events and one I would call a “God incident.” With God, there are no accidents. There is nothing unplanned.

We as Christians and people of faith cannot be silent any longer. How do we do this?

  1. Pray – pray – pray for an end to abortion (shared a prayer on the podcast)
  2. Support pro-life films.
  3. Vote for pro-life politicians.
  4. Stand at pro-life marches, rallies and at abortion clinics in prayer.
  5. Sign petitions and support pro-life organizations.

It only takes one person and that person is you! We have the ability to change the world, one person, beginning with yourself at a time.

Handling Devastating News

Handling Devastating News | In life, at some point we must deal with handling devastating news - in this episode, I share moments from life and lessons I learned and the hope we all have that today's devasting news is our future praise report! | #christianpodcast #podcastHandling Devastating News – Episode 6

In life, at some point we must deal with handling devastating news – in this episode, I share moments from life and lessons I learned and the hope we all have that today’s devasting news is our future praise report!

I had a boy and a girl – and people, well-meaning kept telling me I shouldn’t have any more children. Everyone has an opinion and they were willing to share it with me. On top of this, my son was not progressing developmentally. I had a background in education with an emphasis in early childhood education and I was interested in playing educational types of games with my children.

Share points about Neal

Slower at walking, smiling, he seemed to understand but in slow motion – everything took longer. When my daughter was born, my once compliant child didn’t want to go to bed. My husband was a saint and came to help. He was very strong-willed and disobedient. Only years later would we really question how much he understood of what we said? His speech was delayed.

Testing – had blood work done at the result of my pediatrician

Told the devasting news that my son had Mosaicism – not life-threatening, praise God but still life-altering. I didn’t have the advice I will now share with you – and this is so important for anyone receiving information that is hard to process.

Tips for handling devasting news.

  1. Take a deep breath, panic is not an option.
  2. God is in this present moment. Not the past and not the future.
  3. Take the time to process the information and ask questions.
  4. Anxiety may come, and tears, allow yourself to grieve.
  5. Turn to prayer – the Name Jesus is powerful.
  6. Surround yourself with loved ones.

List of things NOT to do when handling devasting news:

  1. Decisions. Don’t make rash decisions.
  2. Get good counsel but double check your options.
  3. No major decisions especially if they are life-changing.
  4. Do not turn to drugs or alcohol

I didn’t have this information so soon after we had the results of my son’s diagnosis I went to my regular women’s health appointment where I shared with my doctor the news. He immediately recommended that my husband get a vasectomy. Skipped bc discussion because he knew I didn’t want to be on the drug.

We got counsel – spoke to a visiting pastor giving a retreat and he advised us that this was a good option. It wasn’t.

The good news is while we did go ahead with the procedure and then years later had it reversed, the subject of my book One More Child, I learned that we are ultimately responsible for our decisions and if we get bad advice we need to check with others.

I had three more children that wouldn’t be here if I had allowed the devasting news to shatter my world and rule my life. How many of you have allowed the things that happen in your life to define you? We talk about the things that we have in medical terms. You are not what you have, it is a symptom!

We have one life to live and I plan to live mine to the fullest, to spend each day praising God and all He has done in my life. My son has lived a great life. He is happy, adjusted and he has owned several vehicles and currently drives an SUV and has a job that he likes in the construction industry. He has a healthy bank account and while he still lives at home, it is his choice for now. He has lived in his own place for a time. And I know he can support himself.

I am not a super parent, I am a parent who takes one day at a time. Please share with me ways you have been able to overcome your devastating news and perhaps tips that will help us all!

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage With Children

Marriage and Children | I didn’t dream of marriage with children in the sense of planning for this day, yet when it came I was open and excited to the possibilities. Marriage Tips | #podcast #christianpodcast #marriageMarriage with Children – Happily Ever After Episode 5

I didn’t dream of marriage with children in the sense of planning for this day, yet when it came I was open and excited to the possibilities. Many of you listening are married – and perhaps some of you are considering marriage. Each of us has a different story and I’m sure it is unique to your situation.

Sometimes our expectations are not what we hope, and sometimes they are greater than anything we could possibly dream. In my case, it was the latter. This man that God brought into my life was amazing in every way. I was undeserving and truly blessed at the same time.

If I learned anything from the situation it is to trust but also to take action. I want to talk more about this in upcoming podcasts – but let me say here to fulfill God’s plans for us we have to make an effort and sometimes get out of our comfort zone and take action.

As I shared in the least episode I was lonely – yet I turned to God. My final thought in prayer was that if the Lord wanted me single all my life I would accept it. And, this admission and surrender gave me great peace?

Surrender To God

Have you ever surrendered a situation to God and felt the same peace? The peace that surpasses all understanding? It is wonderful! I urge you to try it.

Co-habitation is an epidemic. Living together was not an option for us – nor would I have agreed and I know my parents would have been totally against it – I’m happy in my case that it did not come up – and ladies if you are urged to “live together” or sleep with someone to prove you love them, I would say stand up for yourself and say no.

Yet before the marriage, I made a decision I have since regretted – and at the encouragement of a friend I went to an OBGYN since I had not previously been and he advised me to use birth control. I had no idea going into this appointment that I would ever use BC but it made sense. His reasoning was, “You don’t want to get pregnant immediately, you want to see how this marriage goes.”

Birth Control

Friends, I did not question him – I did not pray about it, I did not seek Jeff’s input I just did what the doctor said.

Of course, once we were married I shared this information with my husband and he was unhappy with the decision. I didn’t consider the Catholic church teachings. Before Jeff asked me to get off of birth control I read a very short book that my mother gave me. She was a reader of anything religious and she shared a book, Humane Vitae – this book summarized the teaching in 1968 by then Pope Paul VI that reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it was always wrong to use contraception in any manner to prevent children from coming into existence.

What few people realize is that up to 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed to condemn contraception as sinful. However, in 1930 at the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican church, was under social pressure to change their stance and they did. They said it would be allowed in some circumstances. Yet soon they allowed contraception across the board. Now all Protestant denominations have followed, and today, the Catholic Church alone stands by the historic Christian position on contraception.

At first, I was upset with the church’s teaching … why was the Catholic church the only one to make this decision, and not change their stance like all of the other Christian faiths? But then I agreed with my husband. I also listened to a talk by Dr. Janet Smith – her talk was eye-opening for me and I was shocked at her findings on the effects of birth control on women and wondered why this wasn’t common knowledge. Friends, we didn’t have the internet then and we could not find the information readily.

Contraception: Why Not – Link Here

Birth Control – Why

Myths about living together: Living Together – Why or Why Not

When I gave up on bc I felt free – and soon became pregnant with my first. I used this as a perfect reason to stay at home and raise my son, and then two years later (exactly another Christmas Eve baby) my daughter.

Friends I was living my dream, my happily ever after with a man I truly loved and I was so happy to wake up each morning and see him and I couldn’t wait until he got home each and every day. He was equally happy and it was a gift from God because this relationship that we had would be tested. My husband is a rock and I pray this for my children to have a strong spouse. One who will stand beside and support you in every way.

Life isn’t perfect and in my case, that imperfection soon was evident in my son’s delays. For those of you who struggle with special children, the next podcast is for you!

One more thing – marriage isn’t perfect. Mine takes a bunch of work on both sides. Yes, I love my husband but he and I are two different personalities —extreme in a sense. Where he is laid back and easy going to a fault. He loves to procrastinate, “Why do today what you can do tomorrow,” and I love to get it done, now. I’m strong willed, I want my own way, and I am tenacious! Our first year was touch and go and many of our arguments stemmed from immaturity on my part. Thankfully, the Lord was there in our lives. We attended church as a family and we prayed and we looked at our lives in the sense of growth and change. Which turned out to be good because I had an inclination that Neal was delayed but didn’t know the severity until later. And that my friends are a time when I really had to cry out to God for help.

We face challenges in life – sometimes they are more difficult than other times. We have to hold on to God as a life-line, but how can you if you do not have a deep relationship with Him? In my life, my relationship can be best described as an ebb and flow of the tides … sometimes it was strong and unwavering and other times it seemed to take a back seat to more pressing needs.

My promise to you is that when you follow God – all in, He will not fail you. He may not answer your prayers exactly as you hoped. But, believe me when I say the way He answers them are perfect in every way.

Loneliness

Loneliness | Loneliness hits when we least expect it - solutions that work. | #podcast #christianpodcastLoneliness  – Episode 4

Loneliness hit me just as I realized, “I’m now an adult.” In this episode, I share some life lessons I learned along the way to adulthood and how we are never alone.

After graduation, I returned to my home town and while my parents were truly loving, and they had the best intentions for me. My dad, however, took the entire, “Italian father,” job literally and stepped in with the acceptance of my first job. I wanted a job teaching elementary school but the job my dad accepted was in middle school – in fact, the one I had attended as a kid when we first moved to town.

God, however, knew what He was allowing and it turned out to be a perfect fit for me. Yet one thing stood in the way of my happiness with my life, and that of a teacher, loneliness.

Loneliness is an Epidemic

The statistics for loneliness are astronomical and it tends to lead to depression. Have you ever felt lonely in the midst of a busy life? I had a wonderful family surrounding me, a bustling Italian restaurant I could escape to if needed with plenty of customers who knew me since I had lived in town since middle school. Yet I felt out of place. I was finally an adult with a piece of paper that said I earned a degree and I had a job, a good job.

The problem was my relationship with the Lord and that was the first thing that needed fixing. Loneliness for me was real and without the grace from God, I would have been lost. It was an interior sense that there was more, that God had someone for me but if He decided to wait then I was fine with waiting or never having anyone if that was God’s will.

I was thankful to a college friend who gave me what I call the True Love Prayer – I’ll read an excerpt to you now…

It was after truly praying and believing that God was in control and surrendering my will to His that I found my loneliness lift. I was no longer focused within, I was focused on others. Giving of ourselves is one way to combat loneliness. I gave to my class and I enjoyed my students. They were wonderful!

2 Corinthians 4:17

While I know I was not alone in feeling loneliness I realize to that it will come and go as I age. However, at this time I believe that it was in letting go that God worked out the details of my life and brought what would turn out to be the love of my life into town – a boy I knew from my college days who lived two hours away. God took care of it!

Now that my kids are grown and the youngest two are in college I’ve felt that loneliness again. During the day instead of the 100+ demands on my time and attention, I found myself wandering around the house wondering, and thinking, and yes feeling lonely! Just think I run a business, and help my husband with his business and still write and speak – can you imagine if I really didn’t have anything to do?

Loneliness is a state of mind and I think the enemy likes to use it against us!

If only we (I) could release more and trust in Him. Can you do that in your own life? Trust? Let go of loneliness? Allow God to work in your life as He has worked countless times in mine? I am learning to do that each and every day. God has this – I trust and I believe!

 

Survival

Survival | When I think of the word survival I think of the term, “Survival of the fittest.” We survive life’s curves in different ways. #podcast #christianpodcast #faithSurvival — Episode 3

When I think of the word survival I think of the term, “Survival of the fittest.” We survive life’s curves in different ways. We look at things during different lenses and I hope after the last podcast you are looking at your family roots with a focus on the positive. In this episode, we will look at the ways we survive with ideas on helping you cope, have hope and yes even have joy out of the process.

Before we get started … can you please share this podcast with a friend, and give me a star rating on your favorite podcast app – here we are in our third episode and I completely forgot to ask you previously. Amazing that I teach people to podcast and can’t follow a simple outline myself!

I believe we learn our survival skills as a kid. I know I did. Kids are resilient and I believe our survival stems from this very fact. Kids can bounce back from life changes so much easier than we can. When we get to be adults the silliest things set us off or throw us off like for me it was scheduling my kids —  The things that drove me nuts was juggling the schedules of three kids that play sports all at the same time in different places, yet this didn’t faze my kids at all because they knew I’d figure it out.

Our kids survive life’s changes because they know we have their best interests in mind. The adults will take care of it – what happens when we become adults who handles it for us now?

As a kid, I moved from my loving home with my parents and grandmother to a home far away leaving my grandmother behind. It is a tragic story of family drama. My grandmother didn’t want us to leave but the extended family got in the way. Of course, they had her best interests in mind…yet it backfired.

I have no idea what my parents were thinking as they packed up a car, with a trailer and moved me and my two little brothers from Long Island, New York and all the way to Toronto Canada. Both are in heaven so I can’t even ask them.

I think my parents were fearless. Can you imagine packing up three kids and moving across the continent in a few days? I can’t. We are planners, aren’t we? We are worried about taking a vacation or even going on a day trip. I have friends who decided to sell their house and become full-time RV’ers and it took them three years to plan for this lifestyle change, and rightly so!

I was very upset with my parents and very young. I was entering the fourth grade when we moved and they took me out of public school and placed me in a very strict Catholic school. No, I didn’t have the mean nuns. Our nuns were nice and we even had regular teachers.

I knew my parents cared about me but it wasn’t my friends I was sad to leave; it was my grandmother. I didn’t even care that we went to Canada. It was a pretty awesome place to live especially if you liked snow and what kid didn’t.

My parents knew they could work hard and had an amazing skill set. They didn’t mind being self-employed and were not afraid to take any job to pay the bills. They also had a small nest egg, or I assume they did because we bought a house at the top of a horseshoe subdivision on a hill. My mother was a fabulous seamstress, a great cook yet her baking was by “eye” and it was either great or not. My father was a handyman and a seamstress. All self-taught. Canada was a blessing to my family, my parents did very well sewing custom clothing for a wealthy crowd. My mother and father made my clothes well into college.

In fact on the rare occasion that my mother took me shopping, she would turn the seams inside out first. Mom taught me that to determine how long the outside would last you had to look at the inside first. A good life lesson!

Three years later they did it again. This time I didn’t care about moving from Canada to Florida. Across the continent, we went! We drove around the town of Winter Haven, (My mother said anything that had heaven in the name had to be wonderful), until my parents found first a house they wanted to buy and then a business. A fried chicken place – I mean what else would an Italian family buy?

Seriously. I’m astounded. Of course, they quickly added Italian sides like spaghetti. Two pieces of chicken, a side of pasta and garlic bread. The combo platter. I created custom signs, I loved art and was a bit embarrassed that they traded out the fries for pasta, but the customers were delighted. They soon outgrew their little place – and when the pizza place owner next door forced the building owner to not renew their rental contract it was understandable.

My mother prayed and prayed for a solution. I remember her going to talk to the priest because the other owner was Catholic as well. My mother prayed for God’s will. Nothing worked until they looked across the street. Well, not exactly across but at 2:00 – over there. I’m pointing but you can’t see me! There it was. A stand-alone building in need of remodeling. Hmm, anyone know a handyman? They purchased the building and remodeled and business was wonderful. They grew so big my dad had to remodel again, later while I attended college.

My parents made friends with one of the owners of the major league baseball team, the Red Sox that use to train down the street and we had a stream of winter visitors and famous players at the restaurant.

One door was closed and another opened for them!

It was a life tragedy for my parents. They had to move their thriving business. How could they survive and provide for their family? Yet, God provided. Not only that but grew their business tremendously! And guess what? They could now offer pizza on the menu because there were no lease restrictions!

Where do you get that will – that determination – that drive to survive? It comes from need. The need begins when we are kids and then develops as we get older and into adulthood. The urge to eat, sleep and provide for our families is very real and I believe it is instilled in us, this survival instinct.

Where do you get your survival instincts from? Have you thought about it? Is it due to the example of your parents or is it from someone who you admire?

I think it also is based upon what we think is important.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What has happened in the past to hone your survival skills?
  2. How do you survive life tragedies?
  3. What is your example in surviving in the midst of adversity?

I know what happened in my life – through moving I had to learn to let go, yet we are created to bond to others, our family or friends.

 

Family Roots

Family Roots | Have you studied your family roots? We all have a history we are either proud of or want to shove back in the closet. In today’s episode, I’ll share how we can use our heritage to our advantage and bring healing out of situations that truthfully should make us cry! | #podcast #christianpodcast #faithFamily Roots – Episode Two

Have you studied your family roots? We all have a history we are either proud of or want to shove back in the closet. In today’s episode, I’ll share how we can use our heritage to our advantage and bring healing out of situations that truthfully should make us cry!

In my book, One More Child I write what I believe to be a truth – “We don’t get to choose our parents, something my kids probably lament in private!” They did get a kick out of that line – when our kids are little they adore us and write us “I love you, mommy,” notes. When they get older we can be embarrassing or you hear the line, “Moooommmm” at the end of anything I ask.

My parents are now both deceased, and my life was not your average American kid story. While I was born into an Italian immigrant family in New York City, I had no idea I was different until I entered school.

Has that happened to any of you? Your background, morals, truths that were taught by your parents just were, because they said? Then you wake up to find out, wow, things are different out there.

I go into more details about my upbringing in my book, yet in this podcast, I want to focus on our roots.

What are your roots? Have you looked back, and I’m not talking about a DNA test or a family tree history. While those may be interesting it tells you the ancestry parts of your story but not the full picture. Your family tree doesn’t tell you what is important to you. It doesn’t tell you how your upbringing, your family, your parents or lack of good parental influence colors your life decisions. It doesn’t explain the hurt you feel.

Our roots have a way of explaining a lot. I want to challenge you to look back on your upbringing like I did, but not with sad eyes but with eyes that see the good. We didn’t have money growing up but I didn’t know it. We didn’t live in the best neighborhoods or eat the right food. We didn’t even have friends (or very few) outside of our family circle. My best friends were my two cousins, both guys, Sal and Joe. We grew up in the same apartment complex. When we played, we played together.

In fact, my mother was divorced, something that is forbidden in an Italian Catholic family. It wasn’t her choice. My father left. But it left a big hole in her life and you can imagine it had a rippling effect not only on me but our extended family.

Do loving people, who love the Lord get abandoned. Yes. Sometimes through no fault of their own. These things remain a mystery in families that won’t talk about the issues that bother them, they are swept under the carpet.

But if you ask me to describe my family to you and my upbringing I would say it was loving, loud, and after God family was the most important thing and it was happy. Can you do that? Look back upon your family with rose-colored glasses and see the good?

It is a matter of our survival to focus on the good, the happiness, the joy. Even if it is a relative, a neighbor, a teacher who brought you that joy. In curriculum series, I published I had a co-author, Jill. I loved Jill. She was a boisterous evangelical Christian and I was a cradle Catholic and we agreed to disagree on several faith-related discussions but not on the things that mattered the most of which we agreed, our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. She had a horrible relationship with her father, and when she found God she said she could not equate a loving God as a “Father” because her idea of the word Father was skewed. Yet, when she realized they were two separate entities and forgave her earthly father, she was able to move on and embrace the love and joy from her spiritual father.

That is true joy friend. When we can leave those icky things in our past behind and move forward. Maybe you are not at a place where you can do this – but you can. I have faith that you can. Maybe not this second but soon.

Here are some practical steps to get you started.

  1. Look at your roots. What do you see?
  2. If you see hardships, acknowledge those but look for the good.
  3. If you are stuck on the icky stuff pray to God to forgive. Only through forgiveness – can we move on.
  4. Future – look at the future with hope.
  5. Let go! Joy comes from releasing things that are upsetting to God and letting go.

This is a ton of work to get you started and believe me it doesn’t happen overnight. It took me many years to grow in faith and that was a process and afterward, it took me another five years to write my book.

Why do we delay in letting things go, in allowing God to work in our lives? If you have the answer, please let me know! We all make mistakes and in the next episode, we will discuss survival – the way we regroup and survive difficult things.

Maybe you can’t do any of the five things I’ve listed. Fine. Make up your own list. If you are struggling and hurting there is only one way out and that is to look for the root cause.

A quick side note here. Taking responsibility. In my case, my distress was because of a decision I made, not lightly but along with my husband. I had to take responsibility and own it to move on.

Bad things happen to good people. And…

Good people do not need to let those bad things define them.

We are responsible for ourselves for our decisions and for our own feelings. If we allow ourselves to stay in a self-pity party for very long it begins to define us – we look at other people and see their lives as perfect. We begin to compare ourselves to others and guess what? We think we fall short – everyone else’s life is so much better than ours, right?

Wrong.

There is no perfect life. Believe me, I know. Just think of any friends you’ve gotten to know whose life you thought were perfect. I usually walk away happy that is not my life and thanking God that He has given me what I can handle with His help!

Can you do it? Can you look at your roots, your past and not allow it to define who you are?

Yes, I’m Italian. Yes, I grew up in a faith-filled Catholic family but we were more cafeteria Catholic that true Catholic – selecting and choosing what we wanted to follow. Yes, I watched as my family practice the fine art of guilt – making others feel guilty when they didn’t want to visit or eat the food prepared. It was subtle but oh so effective technique – and the drama! There was always drama.

I let these roots define me for way too long! Take the good, get rid of the bad. Learn from past mistakes. I’m not into guilt or drama. But it was a process. When my parents retired in a community thirty minutes away, I would feel guilty if I was within ten miles of my parent’s home and didn’t go to visit. Even after my mother died I began to fill guilt that I hadn’t visited enough. Why didn’t I go see her more? My husband reminded me of all the times we visited all the meals, of all the family celebrations. My parents actually baked homemade pizza for lunch and brought it fresh and hot to my house for the kids. Retirement was an extension of the Italian Restaurant they owned in Winter Haven, Florida. They just changed the menu and fed the neighbors and family that lived nearby.

When my cousin wanted to take his wife on a getaway (the same cousin whose mother, my aunt lived in their home and his wife made welcoming) and he wanted to visit my area in Florida I told him that while I’d love to see him – this was a surprise for his wife who lived near family and it was okay—he didn’t need to come to visit. Needless to say, he was delighted and shocked.

In the past, there would have been all types of drama told about being so close and not coming over for dinner. Every. Night.

Growing up anyone who walked into our house was greeted with the same words. Hello. Welcome. And, you look hungry. How do you look hungry?!

Friends, let it go. If you come to my house I’ll say, “Hello, welcome,” and then proceed to forget to offer you even a glass of water. The glasses are in the drawer near the water cooler help yourself!

Please connect with me on social media, I want to meet you, and for us to get to know each other. The information and details are on the podcast page at One More Child Podcast.com – or if you are not on social media please share your comments and questions with me at Felice@MediaAngels.com.

I pray God’s blessings upon you and your family. Until next we meet

 

Invitation To Hope

Invitation To Hope | Do you need an invitation to hope? Well I did, and I’m convinced that everyone has a story to tell. #podcast #christianpodcastInvitation To Hope – Introduction Episode One

Do you need an invitation to hope? Well, I did and I’m convinced that everyone has a story to tell. Every single one of us struggles yet we don’t want anyone to know about it. We want to paint a rosy picture and let everyone know we are living the dream. My life was just that way; I was struggling on the inside yet smiling on the outside. There is hope and joy in life and I am here to share this message with you.

I will discuss real concerns that you have as a woman, as a mom or someone who is learning and growing in their faith. I want you to know you are not alone. This podcast is meant to support, encourage and to give you hope! Some of you are stay-at-home moms some of you at our work at home moms and some of you work outside of the home, yet we all have common struggles. Anyone who tells you that life is great all the time is not being truthful. Life has struggles, this is not heaven, and I often have to remind myself of this very fact. Happily ever after does happen in real life but it happens not necessarily in the way you think.

You might think this is a strange name for a podcast – One More Child – but it has impact and meaning. Once I was open to God’s will in my life, in everything–even being open to having one more child, I felt as if my eyes were opened to the truth. I could no longer compartmentalize my beliefs and my life. I also found that my daily life struggles were manageable because I was not doing it alone.

In this series of podcasts, we will discuss so many topics that affect our happiness. And you will see a reoccurring theme one of trust, of truth and of focus. Can you use more of that in your life? I know I can!

As I record this episode I am just beginning to share my book with the public, it is a story about faith and redemption, and how my last three children are a miracle story. I thought God might bless me with a third child, but he decided I needed a fourth and a fifth as well! My God is abundantly gracious.

In this series for the One More Child Podcast, I’m going to discuss different topics that relate to openness to children, family, faith, and relationships – I also want to encourage you to find joy and hope no matter what your life’s situation may be.

So who am I? My name is Felice Gerwitz, and I have been online in some capacity since 1999 representing the company I created and founded Media Angels. I’ve been writing and publishing for over 24 years.

When I started, there were no podcasts, no online forums or even social media as we know it today. But I am so happy we have these things so I can connect with all of you!

Now that my five children are grown up, with my two youngest currently in college, I find myself at a crossroads. I wrote a book that I felt compelled to write through the urging of the Lord, in writing this book I found that I had much more to say than the 100 pages of the book, so since I am no stranger to podcasts, I decided, “Why not?”

I know this podcast would have helped me as someone who was struggling, as someone who  had no one to talk to about private issues — well let me amend that, I had plenty of people I could talk to but no one I wanted to tell my story to nor was I open to any solutions at that time. I held a secret in my heart that was eating away at the very fiber of who I was as a woman as a mom and as a wife. Sometimes there are things you just can’t share with anyone. And this feeling was something I couldn’t even share with my husband even though if you had asked me I would say we were very close.

I don’t want this podcast to be a one-way conversation. I want you to join me with questions and perhaps as a guest on this podcast if you are open to this idea. If not, I totally get it! No one believes I am shy—no one. But truthfully I’m a private person that the Lord has stretched and taken me out of my comfort zone. Has that ever happened to you? We grow when we are stretched and believe me I have grown and continue to grow in my relationship with the Lord.

At one time I believed that if I shared my secret I would admit my inadequacies and I was not in a place spiritually to do this. My walk with the Lord was one-sided—I followed Him on my terms. You may wonder about my secret what was it that had me in turmoil? It was regret. Regret over a decision that thousands of people make each day and that is to limit the size of their family with a surgical procedure. For us, it was a vasectomy.

Once my faith grew and I began to understand what it truly meant to be a Christian in the full sense of the word, I began to regret the decision. My husband was also feeling the same way but he didn’t tell me either until years later.

If this story didn’t have a happy conclusion I wouldn’t be sharing this right now! I know the wonderful outcome could only happen by the grace of God – His mercy and His love for me. My last three children wouldn’t be here unless we had a change of heart, and I can’t tell you what a blessing they have been. Has it been easy? No – but can you tell me one thing in your life that has been worthwhile that is super easy?

What I want to share in future podcasts is that God does answer prayers and His answers are so much more glorious than anything you or I can imagine – and believe me, I have a very vivid imagination! God poured out His grace on me, my husband and my family and I can’t wait to share the good news with you!

One thing you can be sure of … there will be no pretense in these episodes. I have learned so much and I’m happy to share helpful solutions and encourage you along your journey in life if I truly have lived it — and my heart’s desire is to share the wonderful and amazing hope that comes only my relationship with the one true God! And, you know what? IT is available to all of you.

Welcome my friend. If you are a long-time friend and listener of my other podcasts I thank you in advance for coming over to yet another podcast I host and your loving support. You know who you are. If you are a new listener, I hope to meet you and for you to become a friend. My hope is that you will join me on social media so we can have a chance to connect, meet and get to know each other. The information is on the podcast page at One More Child Podcast.com – or if you are not on social media please share your comments and questions with me at Felice@MediaAngels.com.

I’m excited about this new journey the Lord has me on …and I pray it is a hundred-fold blessing to all of you. Until next we meet…