Joyful Family Celebrations

Joyful Family Celebrations | Joyful family celebrations take planning. No matter what time of the year we are in we can find ourselves overwhelmed! In this episode of One More Child Podcast, we will discuss how to look for the good in our family life. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast Joyful Family Celebrations Episode 28

Joyful family celebrations take planning. No matter what time of the year we are in we can find ourselves overwhelmed! In this episode of One More Child Podcast, we will discuss how to look for the good in our family life.

Thanks to our sponsor – The Star Movie – limited run December 7 and 8th 2019 – the DVD is still available for purchase.

Faith brings us together. Happy Anniversary to The Star, which debuted on this day in 2017! Celebrate the film by seeing its re-release in theaters this holiday season, December 7 and 8! Tickets here: http://www.thestarmovie-tickets.com

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My pastor has it right when he says that those who see good in others or situations always see good and for those who don’t they only see bad. It seems that the busier we are the more we become overwhelmed and less satisfied with life. I think it is all a matter of perspective.

When it comes to celebrations sometimes we put so much time in effort in impressing others that we lose sight of the real focus of the celebration. One year my then four-year-old daughter attended a birthday party hosted by a family with some amazing resources. When we drove onto the property we were greeted with balloons lining the driveway and signs leading the guests to park and a clown that greeted the children at the door. Of course, the inside of the home was on high-birthday-alert with signs, banners, balloons, and games. And yes there was even a pony ride. My daughter was so overwhelmed she did not want me to leave.

This one incident showed me that the key to happiness for our family was not in overwhelming the senses but in focusing on the joyful family celebration aspect, and if we invited a few friends then that would be fine.

We cannot please everyone and when we try to do this we will feel frustration. Joyful family celebrations are those in which we create memories.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I want my family to remember from this celebration?
  2. What is the overall goal? Is it a birthday memory or a milestone such as graduation?
  3. Are we celebrating a holiday? What is the one thing I want to do to make it memorable?
  4. Can I reuse things I have around the house?
  5. Can everyone participate in the setup and prep?

A friend recently shared that she didn’t buy gifts for her children once they reached a certain age for Christmas because they took family trips instead. She even did this for birthdays. The idea in her mind was to create a memory instead of buying an object they would eventually break or grow out of. Each family needs to make these decisions themselves and as with most things, whatever decision you make is probably right for your family.

Remember the focus is on the person, not the event. I doubt the four-year-old whose party we attended even remember that one event because more than likely her fifth, sixth and so forth were more spectacular. Talk to your child, your spouse and find out what they envision for that day? At one time my kids told me they did not want parties other than the immediate family, instead, we took a trip to an amusement park or their all-time favorite, camping.

As we approach the holiday season keep this in mind. Focus on the reason for the season and remember the joy begins with what is in our heart. Refresh your time with the Lord and He will provide an abundance of joy for you to pass on to your families! I pray this for you and yours especially as we head into our daily lives which are often filled with spills and tears. Know you are doing the best thing for your family taking the time to be with them. No one loves your kids the way you do and that my friends is the biggest blessing you can give them! Until next time – God’s blessing be upon you and your family.

 

Pro-Life Minsitry

Pro Life | Have you wanted to help the pro-life ministry? What can you do with love and compassion? With today's special guest is Father Frank Pavone known for his work with Priests For Life, he shares ways we can be involved to help bring in the culture of life. | #podcast #christianpodcast #pro-lifePro-life Ministry with Fr. Pavone Episode 27

Have you wanted to help the pro-life ministry? What can you do with love and compassion? With today’s special guest is Father Frank Pavone known for his work with Priests For Life, he shares ways we can be involved to help bring in the culture of life.

Thanks to our sponsor – One More Child available here.

Visit Fr. Pavone at his website:

About Father Pavone – Father Pavone is one of the most recognized pro-life advocates. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion.

Listen to the first interview with Father Pavone on Pro-Life

We often hear about the pro-life movement, but we’re really not sure what to do.

In the previous episode, we discussed Roe vs. Wade the legal decision that brought to the forefront the issue of abortion. Father Pavone knew Norma Mccorvey and was familiar with her decision to become a Christian. Father points out the pain and emotional hurt involved with those who would have an abortion. And that is something that we can’t forget, the person behind the decision. He encourages us to be empathic instead of being angry and pointing fingers. However, we want to help people realize there is a choice and many entities available to help.

Points to Remember:

  1. You can save lives.
  2. Realize those who feel they have no hope feel like they have to have an abortion.
  3. There are alternatives available and you can connect people with those alternatives.
  4. There are many websites for help!

Helpful Information.

  1. PregnancyCenters.org   You can type in a zip code and it shows the centers closest to where that person lives. They assess the needs of the individual and this is 24-7 and bilingual English. Just giving that information assures you that you can save someone’s life and spread the information in your community, have your churches put it in the church bulletin, talk to school counselors, make sure they know about it, spread the word in any way that you can.
  2. Rachel’s Vineyard is for people that have had abortions and they’re in great pain and are suffering deeply. This center helps people who are suffering the pain of an abortion to find healing and forgiveness and peace.
  3. A link on Priest for Life.org – Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More Testimonies

There are ministries, retreats, and resources close to where many people live – there is help out there. The greatest thing that anyone can do is to have this information at their fingertips. You can save lives and help to heal the wounds in people’s hearts. We are not being judgmental here, we’re not pointing fingers, we’re not to condemn. Once people realize the positive spirit in which the pro-life movement operates, then they’ll be ready to get involved in a whole bunch of the other activities, which we can also discuss as we continue here.

Abortion is such a deep wound that at first, the person who experiences it doesn’t even want to acknowledge it happened. They shut down a whole part of themselves, their relationships, etc. So many couples that we have dealt with this whether they were married or not, once they went to get the abortion we constantly hear them say, “Well, we never spoke about it again.”

And, and it is a whole dimension of the person and of the relationship that just shuts down, that’s not healthy. And that’s not the path to healing. It doesn’t go away just because we ignore it. And then once people do start facing up to what they realize is something that is holding them back from healing it will help them recover.

Questions People Ask After Abortion:

  1. What does that mean for my future?
  2. Can I trust myself anymore?
  3. Can I trust those around me?
  4. Can I trust God?

This leads to a terrible downward spiral and devastation. It leads to all sorts of other problems, self-destructive behavior or substance abuse sometimes suicidal behavior. It leads to broken relationships, inability to make decisions or to carry on with one’s education or career. And on and on. Not to mention various physical damage that’s done overall. One of the things we can do to help people find the path to healing is to go to Abortion testimonies.com.  This is part of our silent no more campaign. Many people have survived abortion and hey want to share their story.

Those stories are out there precisely for us all to use so that people can understand how, how terribly painful and destructive abortion is. And again, lead them away from that path.

What is Planned Parenthood?

Let’s put it this way. If you ask the question, “What is the largest business in the world that sells the most abortions?” It’s planned Parenthood. It is the largest abortion business in the world. It is furthermore an organization that has been involved in many illegal activities. It’s under investigation by federal and state governments. And it is a very political organization. Planned Parenthood pours, tens of millions of dollars into the campaigns of politicians that want to keep abortion going.

The title sounds very nice, but it’s not about planning to be a parent. It’s about planning not to be a parent. It’s how to kill the child inside of you. This, unfortunately, is the biggest commitment that planned Parenthood has. So, you know, we need to learn more about it. But the good news is that there are many more health care facilities for women and for all citizens in America that do not perform abortions. Many more of those facilities exist than do the planned Parenthood facilities. There’s plenty of ways to give healthcare without killing children,

Right? I mean, there are many free clinics that are set up in my own town. If you cannot afford you know, help there, there are places that you can go. So you know, when we know that on an intellectual basis, but sometimes it’s kind of nice to reveal. I mean, I love again, how you put that, you know, what is the largest business in the world that does abortions. And so that does, again, very clearly a father Frank Pavone is known for his clarity of words and really bringing simplicity to, you know, what it actually does. So if someone wants to get involved in the pro-life movement, I’m very blessed. Where I live, we have a very strong organization and you know, these ladies are tireless and we are able to, you know go on a regular basis even if people want to at least once a month. You know, different churches are praying outside of an abortion clinic that is in town. Sadly, we still have them here. So what are some things that people can do if they want to learn more information on how they can help. I know you have the priest for life.org/volunteer and again, I’ll have these on the show notes.

How To Volunteer:

  1. Visit the Priests for Life volunteer page. – The volunteer page gives people an opportunity to let us know what they would like to do, especially in regard to elections. We have want to help pro-life candidates get into office. We need good law makers. And if we want the laws to protect the unborn! We need to elect lawmakers that are willing to do that. So we help people to get involved in that way.
  2. There’s also a website we have called stop abortion now.org and what we have there are action alerts, especially if there is going to be a law passed, for example, in Congress that would advance the protection of the unborn. You know, we need people to make a little call, call into their representative, let them know that they support that bill or, or vice versa. If there’s a bad bill in the Congress or in an individual state that’s going to expand abortion. We need people to get on the phone, and make some calls and say, “Hey, I don’t believe in this.” You don’t have to be an expert on the bill. You just have to say, Hey, I’m a voter. I’m a taxpayer and I don’t like this. And that’s really all you have to say. But we guide people on how to do that and stop abortion.
  3. We have prayer campaign.org where people can participate in different activities, for example, prayer vigils that take place in the community 40 days for life, etc.

We pray that Father Pavone continues to be blessed and the Lord fills him with all that he needs to continue on with this very important ministry. I know it is difficult. There’s a lot of opposition. Even among leaders who should be helpful and supportive and you have persevered.

 

 

Pro-Life & Family

Pro-Life Family | Education in the pro-life family with the expert in this movement. In this episode, we are going to discuss the history of the pro-life movement and why we need to learn the importance of the ministry. | #Christianpodcast #podcastPro-Life and Family Episode 26 with Special Guest Fr. Frank Pavone

Education in the pro-life family with the expert in this movement. In this episode, we are going to discuss the history of the pro-life movement and why we need to learn the importance of the ministry for life and what we are up against. Secondly, in the next podcast, we will discuss what we can do become more involved why now is the time that our voices are needed in this important movement.

Visit Fr. Pavone at his website:

About Father Pavone – Father Pavone is one of the most recognized pro-life advocates. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion.

We will discuss the history of the pro-life movement as well as ways to get involved (in the next episode).

In 1973, the Supreme court legalized abortion throughout pregnancy in the United States by its decision Roe versus Wade. And right after that pro-life efforts began there. In fact, there were some pro-life efforts that began before Roe V Wade. But the movement really began to grow as people said, children in the womb need protection. We need to do something to reverse this policy.

During that time, Pavone was in high school and became aware of abortion of the pro-life movement.

  1. In 1976 Pavone went to Washington DC on the first annual March for Life. He was impressed by the crowd, by the diversity of it, by the determination of these people, by the fact that even though they were confronting a very tragic and sad reality, they were very joyful and positive and prayerful.
  2. Began to get involved in local pro-life activities. And at the same time I felt the call to the priesthood. Long story short, I ended up getting ordained and through all my seminary years and into those first years of the priesthood, abortion was always front and center.
  3. Fr. Pavone preached about it frequently as a new priest. And then I came to a point where I experienced what I can only call a call of conscience. I was very happy doing the work in the parish and doing some teaching as well. But pro-life work became the dominant alarm going off in my mind. And I came to the point where I said, Lord, I, I need to devote myself to this full time.
  4. Felt the need to give his focus to defending the unborn. Cardinal John O’Connor of New York gave him permission to do that in 1993 as the first full-time director of priests for life. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

Pro-Life & Family – There is so much pain for those involved.

People become so emotionally volatile because there’s so much pain involved. Everyone is hurting from one for one reason or another by abortion either because of direct involvement, indirect involvement or just because of the fact that it’s happening all around us. It’s very painful.

  1. So we have to acknowledge that pain.
  2. We have to let people know that we are on their side.
  3. You know, we’re not judging them.
  4. We’re not condemning them.
  5. We’re not against them.
  6. We’re not their enemy.

And if we can convey that by our words and by our tone and by our actions as that should be done first, calm others down. This isn’t personal. You know, this is, we were trying to discuss an issue here.

What is the Pro-Life Issue?

  1. The last thing that abortion supporters want to talk about is abortion.
  2. They talked about the right to choose. Well, that’s not a discussion about abortion. Now you’re talking about who has the right to choose something.
  3. But you have to start by talking about what the something is you, as you’re talking about, obviously the right to choose abortion
  4. Start by talking about what an abortion is.
  5. That cuts through the fog and the distraction and the slogan.
  6. The good news about asking that question is we don’t have to figure out what it is. We just have to read the medical textbooks on how you do abortions or the public testimony of all kinds of doctors and nurses and physician assistants and others that have taken part in an abortion.
  7. When people get right down to it – they do not agree with the abortion procedure.

The strength of the other side comes from their despair, they’re scared.

  1. The of the pro-abortion side has always used the courts to advance their agenda. Starting with Roe V Wade itself, this has never sprung from the will or the vote of the people.
  2. On the other hand, the pro-life movement has always used the legislature’s, including in the States to advance the protection of the unborn, even in the light of Roe versus Wade.
  3. What’s happening now, thanks especially to President Trump and his administration is that more and more pro-life judges are being put in place all across the country.
  4. The other side is saying, “Hey, we want legal abortion. We’ve always wanted legal abortion all throughout pregnancy.” And it’s the courts that have protected that. If the courts are moving now in the wrong direction according to them the wrong direction, we’re going to have to see what we can do in those legislatures that are controlled by Democrats because they are the party that favors abortion without any limits.

Norma (from Roe vs. Wade) was a friend of Father Pavone and he had the privilege of not only getting to know her, he received her into the Catholic church back in 1998. In the early seventies, the lawyers that wanted to change the laws on abortion recruited her. She was pregnant for the third time, didn’t know what to do. And they basically promised her that they would help her. And for her, that meant they would help her, not that they would try to change the law for the whole country. So she was used, they never did help her. She ended up giving birth to the baby and placing the baby for adoption. But meanwhile, in her case, Roe vs. Wade ended up striking down the laws protecting babies. And when she found out about that by reading the Dallas morning news, she learned she was technically the winner of the case.

She wasn’t happy. She was devastated. And, and, and she always was ambivalent about abortion. And, and even in those early years when the pro-abortion groups said to her, Oh, you’ve got to tell the world who you are and write a book and they championed her. Even in those days. She was uncomfortable with abortion. And then as time went on, she became more and more pro-life until the point that n 1995, she got baptized as a Christian. Fr. Pavone started working for the pro-life group. Three years later she decided to become a Catholic. She spent the rest of her life working against abortion. And she, she passed away a few years ago, but was very, very committed to overturning the decision that bears her name.

  1. Abortion is becoming less and less popular, but it’s still happening at alarming rates.
  2. Even though those rates are going down, people have to work hard together to save lives.
  3. In the meanwhile to change the laws and policies, we must become educated.
  4. Join the winning team and save more lives.
    1. Equip yourself with knowledge of the issue, not only how to talk about it, but how to actually do the things that do save lives.
    2. Do things that change the laws and public policies. Because we have the opportunity now to do that. More and more people are waking up realizing how bad our abortion policy is, realizing how bad abortion itself is. If we don’t seize this opportunity now, things could get harder later on if the political winds change again in the wrong direction, or if people forget.
    3. Elect pro-life candidates
    4. Get involved in the movement. Everyone can save lives. And here’s the thing I always say is that everyone listening to us has to understand there are certain lives that only they can save, certain people only they can reach. And so life literally depends on it for us getting involved in this great movement.

 

 


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Mega Planning

Holiday Planning | Ready to get your life organized, it is time for mega planning. It is a season of joy, no matter what time of the year, but more so near the holidays. With this season comes stress! One of the best ways to relieve stress is to plan...| #podcast #christianpodcast #holidayplanningSeason of Joy! Mega Planning ~ Episode 24

Ready to get your life organized, it is time for mega planning. It is a season of joy, no matter what time of the year, but more so near the holidays. With this season comes stress! One of the best ways to relieve stress is to plan and get ahead of your busy schedule. In this episode, we will look at to organize your time so you have more time for your family.

Thanks to our sponsor —

We can not get back the time we do not spend with our kids. If we have the cleanest home or the best meals and find we are not spending time with our kids then the question to ask yourself is what is more important. Let’s begin with those questions first:

  1. I am a planner? Yes or No?
  2. I have a daily check-off list and prepare it the night before.
  3. At the end of the day, I am happiest when_________.
  4. If I do not complete this one task I feel like I have not accomplished much _________.
  5. I put my husband and kids first: A. All the time   B. Most of the time. C. After I finish my to-do list. D. Sadly I don’t.

Look over those questions and think about it. I don’t believe anyone purposely neglects their family to have a clean house or get the laundry done, but I have been guilty of allowing the kids to watch a movie so that I could get things completed when they were younger. My kids never took the long naps other moms talked about, and often I would clean up and they would proceed to mess up the house again. So, how do you stay ahead?

With prayer. Prayer is the one force in my life that I can say has kept me solidly balanced. It is the one thing that is first on my to-do list, especially now that my kids are older. However, in this simple planner, I want to share with you that I created, you will find you can easily organize your life with one sheet of paper.

I like to see a year at a glance.  Mega planning begins with an overview. What dates can you fill-in?

  1. Birthdays
  2. Major holidays – will you plan to take time off?
  3. Special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, etc.
  4. Vacations or Family Plans such as family reunions, anniversaries, etc.
  5. School dates and vacations

You can do this online in a free calendar that is provided by Gmail – or perhaps on your phone – or better yet, synch the too.

Once you have an overview of your year you can look at each month. My printed calendar is a month at a glance. I first look at a monthly planner and place all of the important dates on the calendar.

Place the following on your calendar:

  1. Church and events.
  2. Any dates for appointments that are upcoming.
  3. Kids schedule – any events, sports, lessons
  4. Date night (yes! plan it even if it is at home)
  5. Household

Four Square Planner – Mega Planning Fine Tuned:

Once you get your overview laid out you can begin fine-tuning the day. One of the quickest ways to do this is with the Four Square Planner. I love to take a piece of paper and divide it in four.  Faith | Kids | School | Household

Take each one of these to quickly make plans for the day.

  1. Faith: Under faith, list ways that you pray, read the Bible, go to church, etc.
  2. Kids: Under kids list things they have to do that day. Chores, lessons, etc.
  3. School: Times, what needs to be done?
  4. Household: Groceries, meals, cleaning, shopping?

Here is a sample and a blank to give you an idea of how to use it: 4-Square-Planner-MediaAngelsInc.

You can add to your main 4-square planner day to day if you do not have many things going on or actually use one for each day. It is the way I plan birthday parties, kids sporting events, the podcasts I record, and more! It is also the way I plan my mega shopping or mega cooking days. I consolidate to a date and time so that I am not overwhelmed.

If you can do this your life will be so much easier! It puts your to-do list in priorities. In fact, one of my friends calls this the priority planner! It is wonderful and so helpful. It is the way I keep my life organized. I hope it helps you in your life as well!

Season of Hope

Season of Hope | Five Sure Fire Ways To Avoid Stress | We are approaching a season of hope! Here are five things to really help you to reduce the stress, make a quick plan and get rid of those things that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Get ready to enjoy any season, with these five easy to answer questions. | #podcast #holidaystress #holidayplanning #christianpodcastSeason of Hope Episode 23

We are approaching a season of hope! Here are five things to really help you to reduce the stress, make a quick plan and get rid of those things that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Get ready to enjoy any season, with these five easy to answer questions.

I was never a big planner until I got older, and the reason was self-preservation. I would just plain forget if I did not plan things out. The older my children were the more planning that was necessary, in fact during the phase of sports we had a shared digital calendar so we could plan family events around their sports schedule. Sound familiar? Maybe you kids don’t play sports but have other lessons to attend, and once again the family is pushed in this direction or that.

Then, when you turn the calendar there is a collective gasp as you realize we are in the countdown mode – the countdown to Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, then what happens? Panic.

We can choose to be joyful, but that is harder to do when we are up to our eyeballs in meals, laundry, and kids. We can play praise and worship music (that always makes me happy) – or we can just pray our way through the day.

I have some experience at parenting…my oldest was born in 1980, and I have five kids. So, if you do the math I will be logging in 40 years of parenting and still going as of 2020! So, in my experience, I have learned to examine my stress factors that take away my hope and my peace.

Ways To Combat Holiday Stress! Remember this is the Season of Hope!

  1. What is making me stressed – write these down.
  2. What things on my list can I cross out?
  3. What things on my list can I delegate?
  4. What things on my list can I do today?
  5. What things on my list can I do – and here is the date/due by.

Do I have a plan? The next podcast will be about planning and how you can make any holiday, event, and schedule in a way that is manageable.

Recently I saw a preview of the upcoming Mr. Rogers movie – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and I cannot share details but let me say it is a life-changing movie. I will share more about things I learned (without any spoiler alerts) in upcoming episodes as well – so be sure you subscribe to this podcast to receive new shows.

Through the struggles of the characters, we learned nuggets about life. And, truthfully our hope is not in the things of this world – our hope is in the things that truly matter.

List those – what are those things that truly matter to you? Take a few minutes to do this now, or plan a time later this evening before bed, or when you wake up in the morning or at lunchtime… but do it!

For each one of us, those things look different depending on our station in life! I remember as a young mom thinking that just a few minutes of quiet, or getting the laundry washed, folded and put away in one day was important. Now that my kids are grown, the house is quiet and you guessed it – I can do many loads of laundry in one day and get it put away! Those things are no longer important.

Upcoming is a season of hope – Thanksgiving is coming, then Christmas. It is a time of fall harvest, going to visit a pumpkin patch, enjoying fall leaves (think of me when you do it is the only thing I miss about living up north), or sipping apple cider, or hot chocolate while bundled in a blanket watching a campfire. These things are special, the upcoming celebration of the birth of Christ is special – these things bring us joy they bring us hope and they lift up our faith.

Friends, be sure to look at this season of hope and take the time to stop and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the season. Take time with your family, snuggle up with a good book, and be sure to tell those you love how thankful you are of them!

Next week mega planning! Be ready.

 

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative Parenting | It's not easy to parent today, because there is a blog, a tv show or your neighbor, relative or best friend who knows of a better way. In this episode, we cut through the fluff and talk about the importance of being the parent in this time of anything goes. | #podcast #christianpodcastAuthoritative Parenting ~ Episode 22

I first heard the term, “authoritative parenting” when glancing at an article and seeing that it fit pretty closely to my parenting style. It’s not easy to parent today, because there is a blog, a tv show or your neighbor, relative or best friend who knows of a better way. In this episode, we cut through the fluff and talk about the importance of being the parent in this time of anything goes.

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels, Inc. visit the website for One More Child

Parenting takes time, parenting takes commitment and parenting takes backbone, but it also takes heart. Our children are precious and I believe on loan to us from the amazing Creator God! Little children tend to look up to their parents, and love unconditionally so what happens when they grow-up?

I always say that God knew what He was doing when He created teenagers, don’t get me wrong, I loved all of the teen years, but sometimes I felt like when the time came for them to leave, I’d help them pack! When your children are young you or they may have separation anxiety, our little ones want to be with us, close to us and that is normal, that is good. But all of our parenting stems around the ability to use our love for our children in a way that is healthy for now and the future.

I’ve heard friends say things like, “It’s a good thing that child number one was so easy going because if I had child number two first, I might have only had one kid!” (And that child was standing within hearing range.) Friends your kids are sponges they have eyes and ears everywhere, just like they can’t often pull one over us they same goes for them! If you are talking about a baby, then maybe the toddler is listening.

Being an authoritative parent doesn’t mean being overly strict but it also doesn’t mean being permissive. Being a parent means following through and I believe each one of us has an area we need to work on, the latter was always my area of struggle. I was what was called a threatening-repeating-parent. Do this now… if you don’t do this now you are going to be in trouble … do it RIGHT now, or else… you get the picture. If I had given instruction and gotten up when the instruction was not followed with some sort of punishment I can guarantee I would not have to repeat myself next time. Sure, it sometimes takes practice with a little one, my husband says that kids are gamblers, they gamble you won’t follow through!

Here are some tips of what I believe fits an authoritative parenting style:

  1. You are strict, but you are flexible. It isn’t my way or the highway – but it is, this is how we are going to do things in our family.
  2. Our kids know what we want them to do, there is no guessing. Bedtime is at 8, we brush our teeth first, get a drink of water, say prayers and then off to bed. Or, no snacks before mealtime. Etc.
  3. We hear them when they speak. If they want to input when we are giving instruction, we can ask them to wait until we are finished – but we hear them. What they have to say may not necessarily sway our instructions but we give them a voice. (I would say when a child argued: “Have you ever had me change my mind when you argue with me? (“No. But it should.”) I would just smile and my child would drop it or suffer the consequences.
  4. Our kids know there are consequences. Our kids learned Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words, if you mess up you will pay for it in some type of punishment and more than likely you won’t like it. (Corner-Mike)
  5. We don’t say hurtful things. Never character assassination. It is not worth it – the hate word was not permitted even among siblings.
  6. We are fair and just.
  7. We provide emotional support and love. Need to know they can count on us.
  8. We are consistent.
  9. We ask for forgiveness. Even we are wrong.

We do our best, we don’t always get it right, but we do try. Our kids need to know this, that we love them and can trust us to say what we mean and do what we say!

 

Daily Joy

Daily Joy | How do you start the day with daily joy? Some days it is easier than others, but in this podcast, I'll share ways that are helpful and will encourage you to begin with a smile. Shh! It is contagious. | #podcast #christianpodcast How do you start the day with daily joy? Some days it is easier than others, but in this podcast, I’ll share ways that are helpful and will encourage you to begin with a smile. Shh! It is contagious.

Episode 21 – Daily Joy

Thanks to our sponsor, MediaAngels.com – where you can find Christian books and classes.

Family life is hectic to say the least. Especially in families where faith takes a back seat. I’d like to say that faith is the one thing that has sustained, guided and brought me to a point where I see the Lord’s hand in everything.

God is all around us and busy moms and dads can’t see it because, well, they are busy! But here is a quick list for you to begin your day with joy a daily dose of joy… and guess what? It is contagious! Your family with be joyful as well.

How can we begin with a dose of daily joy?

  1. Start off with prayer. We always pray before meals. We prayed before school and we prayed as a family at night. We also prayed a blessing on each of our children.
  2. Song! A joyful and encouraging song can be such a blessing. I can’t tell you how it touched my soul! It is soulful, but it gave me such peace and Joy! Is there a song that makes you joyful? It works, today I listened to Hillsong’s Oceans here.  Lyrics: My faith will keep me stronger in the presence of my Savior… I will call upon your Name. … I am yours, and you are mine.  Just a few words that can only make you smile!
  3. Trust. God’s got this. Why are we worried, concerned, upset? Give it to the Lord.
  4. Still upset. Call a friend, pray with them. If you can pray with your spouse that is the best!
  5. Journal. Tell the Lord what you are thankful for and have all the kids start their own prayer journals. This is wonderful.

Look at what steals your joy. What is it? One thing? A pile-up of things? Don’t let things or business rob your joy. Take a breath, sometimes we all need a time out. While we want to be a good example to our kids, that doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. We can’t be perfect!

If we make mistakes we ask forgiveness and move on. Remember, focus on today.

Joyfulness is a choice. It is a decision to think the best of people to have a positive outlook and to look upon our situation in life with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever. Nothing. I know some of you listening may be ill or have circumstances that would cripple someone less faint of heart. For those of you, I send a virtual hug and know that you are in my prayers. We pray for all of our listeners on this network and another network I run.

This is meant to encourage you that joy is attainable and not to heap guilt upon you if you are not joyful today. That is okay! There are days when I want to crawl back in bed. Today I had to deal with a difficult work situation and all kinds of thoughts went through my head – some not very kind, but ultimately I found the reason for my feeling badly was because I was hurt. I think identifying hurt helped me to deal with it in a nonemotional manner, deal with it, and move beyond it. Do things hurt us, of course, every day. But what we do about it is the ultimate question. Do we sit in the hurt or claim our daily joy?

I for one will claim Joy!

Fruit Of The Spirit In Families

Fruit of the Spirit | Does your family need the Fruit of the Spirit in your lives? Join me and a special guest, Deanna Bartalini, the author of "Invite the Holy Spirit Into Your Life," and shares with us how you can encourage spiritual growth in yourself and in your family. | #podcast #christianpodcastFruit of the Spirit In Families ~ Episode 20

Does your family need the Fruit of the Spirit in your lives? Join me and a special guest, Deanna Bartalini, the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit Into Your Life,” and shares with us how you can encourage spiritual growth in yourself and in your family.

Deanna Bartalini can be found on her website here – http://www.deannabartalini.com/

To purchase Deanna’s book – visit this website for more information.

She is the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.” This is a Journal for Catholic Women. (This book can be used by women of all Christian denominations.)

The growth in spiritual gifts and fruits are important! In this episode, we continue to learn more about ourselves and how we can improve in our spiritual walk.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit…” Galatians 5:22-25

We can grow in our daily life and have more peace, love, and joy. This is foundational to knowing who I am with Christ and being “good” with it! ~ Deanna shares more on the audio of this episode.

Fruit of the Spirit:

  1. How the Fruit of the Spirit is different from the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Where do the fruits come from?
  3. Why it is important to have and grow in the Spirit.
  4. How this is different than being a “good person.”
  5. How do we get and grow in the Fruit of the Spirit?

The Lord has gifted us and to grow in the gifts we already have we must practice. Typically we are “falling down,” in a fruit that we need. In this way, we practice to attain or achieve this blessing from the Lord.

Deanna Bartalini, M.Ed., M.P.A., is a Catholic writer, speaker and presenter, and educator.

Taming the Tongue

Tming The Tongue | In James 3:3 he talks about the power of the tongue. In this episode, Felice discusses how some of us need a good dose of taming the tongue in our everyday lives. Can you imagine a world where we are encouraged and uplifted, it can be done and it begins with you! | #podcast #christianpodcastTaming The Tongue – Episode 18

In James 3:3 he talks about the power of the tongue. In this episode, Felice discusses how some of us need a good dose of taming the tongue in our everyday lives. Can you imagine a world where we are encouraged and uplifted, it can be done and it begins with us.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

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How often have you said something you regret, to your spouse, your children, or someone else close to you? Why is it that we hurt the people we love the most? Often, as parents we often find ourselves saying things in anger, frustration and then wished for a do-over? The good news is we do get a do-over each and every day, but truthfully our frustrations often occur in direct correlation to our experience and relationship with God.

Recently I was in church and praying. As I was praying to the Lord, a strong thought of anger came over me of an injustice that happened in my life. It wasn’t a big thing but it was something that hurt me. In my mind, I knew it was silly to be upset because I understood the action behind the cause of my pain was not intentional, yet the more I thought about it the angrier I became. So angry in fact that I almost got up and left the church!

I realized my mistake, repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness and the Lord relieved me of the burden of hurt. When we talk about taming the tongue, the same goes for words that are left unsaid. Sometimes we don’t know what to say and even our silence can cause harm to those we love.

God said the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. These are what I call heart issues. We know things in our heart but our minds are a different story.

Faith changes our heart. It fills our heart with every good thing. If God’s will is in your heart you will know what to do in difficult situations, and in times when there is nowhere else to turn but to God for the answers. Life often throws us into situations where we feel totally out of control. Ask any parent of young children. One minute everything is going well and the next minute chaos! You can’t help but cry out to God in times such as this rather than losing your temper. It never helps.

I use to say, I have to yell because I’m Italian, and once I yell I feel better. This might be true, but I can guarantee while I felt better my kids didn’t.

Taming the Tongue: Great Scriptures:

  • Colossians 4:6:
  •  Ephesians 4:29
  • Proverbs 10:19
  • Proverbs 15:4
  • Matthew 15:11
  • Psalm 34:13
    Proverbs 15:1-2
    Proverbs 6:16-19

So, how do you apply this to your life? Taming the Tongue 101:

  1. When you want to lash out, take a deep breath – pause.
  2. Prepare a statement – I’m so angry I don’t know what to say right now, but let me pray about it and I will let you know later.
  3. Avoid confrontation – yes, you need to address bad behavior (with your kids) but, avoid arguing. Start with – what you did is not right, Avoid character assassination. Address the sin, not the person.
  4. What is really going on here?
  5. Relationship – it is all about love, the love of God within us and the fruits of the Holy Spirit – the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the peace and joy that only God can give.

I believe that many times when we lose it and we are upset many times it is because of what we believe the problem is rather than what it actually is – what I mean by this is often when we listen, (which we don’t want to because we are angry!) then we realize much of what we were upset about really isn’t valid. And if it is, take a breath and use a prepared statement!

Listen, no one said life is easy, there are often ups and downs in each person’s life that is a struggle, but if we take the time and make a plan, we can sure work toward taming the tongue and having fewer regrets in life!

You won’t want to miss the next upcoming episode – with Deanna Bartalin who wrote a book on the topic and has a wealth of great ideas that are applicable

5 Characteristics of Healthy Families

5 Characteristics Of A Healthy Family | Being open to having more kids comes with understanding the characteristics of healthy families. There are five main characteristics we will focus upon as well as realistic goals to achieve peace and harmony, what parents and children both crave.| #podcast #characteristcsofhealthyfamilies #familylife #parenting5 Characteristics of Healthy Families Episode 17

Being open to having more kids comes with understanding the characteristics of healthy families. There are five main characteristics we will focus upon as well as realistic goals to achieve peace and harmony, what parents and children both crave.

Thanks to our sponsor!

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Trailer URL for Overcomer Movie: 

Site URL for the Overcomer Movie

The family is the safe zone, it is a place where the children can grow and flourish into the people that God designed them to be. A family offers the children emotional security free from self-doubt, incrimination, and guilt! Does this sound like a fictitious ideal? Well, it shouldn’t be, God designed our families to be a strong unit, something the enemy hates! For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20  God also formed the family in his image – the two become one and nine months later a baby is born. I realize life is not that simple but thinking of the family in the context of God and his creation and plan for a family it brings it to an entirely new realm.

5 Characteristics of Healthy Families:

  1. Faith: A relationship with God that is strong is a foundation to everything that comes next, love, kindness, loyalty, and trust. Faith is a gift that is given freely, God waits with open hands for our “yes” and invites us to true peace.
  2. Love: this comes from above! God is love and the source of all love. If you do not know God, that is a priority. Secondly loving others as you love yourself. Yes, this may seem narcissistic, but you can’t love others if you hate yourself. Love is the glue that keeps a family together.
  3. Kindness: We can train ourselves to be kind and think the best of others even if this does not come naturally. A healthy family is one that thinks before they speak and thinks the best of people before jumping to conclusions.
  4. Loyalty: Will we stand by our family members, nurture and train them to be the best person as God designed them to be, using their talents and gifts for others? Loyalty to the family can be expressed by encouraging unity during discussions and when disunity happens have tools in place to bring the family together for open and honest discussion. This relates to trust as well.
  5. Trust: Trust is earned and it can easily be lost. Trust is given and it should be cherished, explain the importance of trust and understanding why this is something that must be demonstrated again and again. This is especially important when the child is young, that the child takes ownership of situations as presented and shows they can do what is required.

The family bound is important and it is part of a family legacy. What do we want our children to remember? A good home life and a family that cares is much more important than what your family can buy. Some families think it is quality time vs. quantity time – and think there is no difference.

Each family needs to figure out their own solution for this, and for us, I chose to stay home with my children vs. furthering my career. My career came later when the kids were older when I could fulfill my dream of writing, publishing and public speaking. My niece and nephews have a different family solution, my niece an attorney works and her husband stays home with the kids and then works on the computer when they are in school, my other niece and nephew both doctors split a week with one working two days and the other three days a week. For each family, time with their kids is important because it goes so quickly.

Some quick keys that will help your family is to have open communication – kids need to feel they can talk to their parents no matter what. This also means listening. Forgiveness is another key, bad feelings need to be resolved and saying I’m sorry is different than saying, please forgive me.

Links to other podcasts on forgiveness:

Forgiveness: An explanation and solutions.

Asking for forgiveness – the key to healing.

Lastly, be appreciative of your family and happy for what God has put together. We do not have a choice in the children we are given but the ultimate Creator of the Universe knows and has carefully selected you – and me to be the parents of the amazing children He gives us. We can be appreciative of our kids and work on encouraging them but it takes an effort. Words are cheap, people, and we can use our words to uplift or tear people down. Uplifting is so much better!

 

 

Raising Great Kids In One Easy Lesson

Raising Great Kids | We want to raise great kids that we are proud of, let’s face it isn’t that hard, or is it? In today’s podcast, we discuss raising great kids and how it really can be done in one easy lesson! | #podcast #christianfamilies #greatkids #parenting #UCPNRaising Great Kids In One Easy Lesson! Episode 16

We want to raise great kids that we are proud of, let’s face it isn’t that hard, or is it? In today’s podcast, we discuss raising great kids and how it really can be done in one easy lesson!

Thanks to today’s sponsor – OvercomerMovie – don’t miss the family-friendly handout on the website.

I’ve parented since 1980 when my first child was born. If you do the math you can see it is quite a few years. My five children are all different, and my eight grandchildren have the same trait, they are unique. So what do parents do with all of these different little personalities God has gifted them with?

From my experience with my own children, teaching other children and speaking to hundreds of parents of children it is one of two things with everything in between. We spoil them, we are harsh disciplinarians or we fall somewhere right of center, or left of center, or the worse, in the center.

Raising Great Kids by Example

In a nutshell, if you want to raise great kids it takes modeling good behavior and dealing with bad behavior. I believe that God created man to be good, his Creation (read Genesis) was all about seeing that what He created was good. Sure we are tempted and sure our kids tend to protect self over others, but if we believe our kids have goodness in them, that is helpful!

We must model the behavior and encourage our children to do the same. We want our children to have honorable values, be respectful, love God, and be happy.

The problems begin to happen when we don’t correct behavior that is not acceptable. I think one of the biggest issues is when kids lie. I know for some of us lying is the ultimate sin and we can’t handle it when our kids are less than truthful. But what about us? Do we lie? Do we always tell our kids the truth?

The erosion begins when our kids hear things (and our kids have great hearing when they want to!) and they begin to lie.

Have you ever caught your child in a lie and they vehemently argue that you are wrong? (Story about being a kid and this happening to me.) It was a God moment in my life.

Issues with Raising Great Kids May Stem From:

  1. Uncorrected behavior
  2. Making excuses for our kids
  3. Being too understanding

Our kids will soon learn that they can get away bad behavior and that my friends is why we see kids that are brats, we especially see this in other people’s children!

Take a hard look, and look within:

  1. Can your children handle disappointment?
  2. How do your kids do when you discipline them?
  3. Is your child me focused?
  4. Does your child blame others?
  5. Does your child take responsibility or apologize?

Look at yourself:

  1. Do you deal with lies for example when they happen?
  2. Do you have a clear cut disciplinary procedure?
  3. Do you make excuses for misbehavior to yourself or others?
  4. Do you blame others?
  5. Do you expect your child to make restitution?

If your children are little that is the best time to begin teaching our children the difference between right and wrong. We should never discipline in anger. Our kids need to realize we love them but we will not put up with bad behavior. Yes, talk to your children but be sure there is a punishment that will deter future problems. I usually pray when I am at a loss of what to do! Prayer has helped me tremendously in dealing with situations that I felt were out of my control or I felt the usual discipline wasn’t going to work.

The idea of discipline is to get better results, so if the results are not changing you need a change!

You cannot raise great kids alone, it takes being on your knees and understanding that ultimately God is in charge! God gave us these blessings and He handpicked YOU as the perfect parent for your child, whether you believe this or not you are the perfect parent. We all make mistakes but each day is a new day!

 

 

Mindful Kids

Mindful Kids Being present for your kids and having mindful kids is the topic of today's podcast. The last episode of One More Child Podcast we discussed mindfulness and being present. | #podcast #christianpodcastMindful Kids – Teaching Kids To Be Present Episode 15

Being present for your kids and having mindful kids is the topic of today’s podcast. The last episode of One More Child Podcast we discussed mindfulness and being present.

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.

*Please note: the education system has hijacked the term mindfulness to make it into an new age propaganda, filling kids heads with nonsense, asking kids to “empty their minds,” so the system can fill it with the negative (to a Christian, anyway.) This show focuses on the now – with God, as a Christian. It is in no way linked to anything not of God, as God created our minds and God is in this present moment.

God made us different in the sense of likes and dislikes, personality and how we demonstrate our love for each other. So many things in our lives are distracting and our focus is on our phones, the things on our to-do list and what we need to do tomorrow. We miss the details of today.

Look around when you go out to dinner. People are on their phones instead of talking to each other. No one is talking or laughing or discussing the events of the day.

Mindful Kids Know:

  1. You are there for them now.
  2. We care (show it instead of just using words).
  3. To be present. Do not judge or criticize.
  4. Learn to appreciate the now.

Our kids remember things differently than we do as adults. When my children get in trouble I often ask them if they know why they are in trouble. Many times they do not know or the reason they say the wrong reason. This is one of those areas you can work through and help them to understand the real reason.

We should teach our kids to live each day as if it is our last. Do this exercise with your kids.

What would you do if this was your last day?

  1. What would you do or say?
  2. Don’t worry about the future.
  3. Enjoy each thing – taste, drink and enjoy the sights around you.
  4. Appreciate your environment.
  5. Focus on each other.
  6. Appreciate the moment.
  7. Realize God is in this present moment.

 

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 14

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.

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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…