Saturday, March 31, 2007

And the Winner Is.....

I had 20 people comment this week and everyone was put into a drawing for a $10 e-gift certificate to Christian Book Distributors. J drew this morning and the winner is...(drumroll, please)....

Everyone go and tell Laurel congratulations! Congrats, Laurel! I hope you pick out something very cool and interesting! Blessings to everyone! Thanks for participating!
Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday. I have missed a week or two of this, so I am glad to get back into feeling thankful. Here is my list for this week:

1. I am thankful for my Father. He is always there. He never leaves me or forsakes me. No one else is like Him and no one else knows me and my heart like He does. I am so thankful that He loves me and sees me through His eyes and not the eyes of the world.

2. I am thankful for my husband. He is so patient with me. He knows that God has been dealing with me concerning some submission issues and he doesn't beat me over the head with it, he is allowing me to learn from God. I love him for this.

3. I am thankful for my children. They each have a part of my heart that hurts when they hurt and is happy when they are happy. I don't think that they realize how special and precious each one of them is to me.

4. I am thankful for my church girlfriends. We are each very different, but we are unified through Christ. I am thankful for their love and encouragement. They pray for me and I pray for them. It is hard to find friends like that.

5. I am thankful for my life. God has big plans for me. He is sharpening me for a great purpose. I thank Him for reminding me of that.

6. I am thankful for you! Each of you bless me with your encouragement through comments, your blog posts, and your prayers.

Be thankful for what you have. God has richly blessed each and every one of us!

For more lists of thankfulness, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Respect Revisited

I had hoped that the lack of respect in children and teenagers was just limited to my tiny part of the world, but from all of the comments that I received, I realize that this is an issue that is growing more prevalent everywhere. Trying to come up with ways to teach your children how to respect others is not easy, because it is an abstract concept. I did some research, however, and came up with these ways that we can try to teach our children to respect adults and other authority figures, as well as their peers. Of course, the earlier you start this, the easier it is, but if your teenagers are giving you a hard time, then you may want to try some of these tips as well.

- Be an example. Model respect to those in authority over you and your family. This is one point that was repeated time and time again in my research. It is important that we treat others (including our children) with respect so that our children will learn from us. This can be difficult, but you need to watch how you treat others and what you say about others. If you are ill at the teacher, you need to be careful about what you say about the teacher or you could be a tool in their losing respect for this person. This is an essential part in teaching our children to respect others.

- Expect respect from your children. If they are disrespectful, then call them on it. They will not learn how to be respectful if they don’t know what you expect from them. Just saying, “Be respectful” will not mean much if they do not know what that means concerning how they act.

- Consistency. This is a difficult thing for me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like taking care of an issue, but by me not being consistent, we lose ground on their teaching. I am going to have to work on being consistent with what I expect, rather than allowing how I feel to dictate how much I “see” and confront them about.

- Respect your children and their space. I am not saying that you should never go into their room, but I am saying to be respectful of their space. Respect their opinion and listen to their opinion. This does not mean that you have to always let them be right, but it does mean that you listen without cutting them off as if their opinion is not important. This is difficult sometimes, especially when life is swirling around you, but it is important to make them feel respected, so that they will, in turn, respect you.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it was just a few ways that I have found in researching and talking to parents that we can help our children learn respect. If you have more ideas, then leave me a comment!

We are parents to:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Smiles and Loves! Janis

P.S. Don't forget about the contest for this week celebrating J's birthday and my 50th post! By commenting, you will be put into a drawing for a $10 e-gift certificate to Christian Book Distributors! Send me those comments! Blessings to you all!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy 11th Birthday!

Today is J's 11th birthday. It seems like yesterday that I was holding his sweet 6lb 2oz little body. He is the one that made me a mommy. I always wanted to be a mommy. I am so proud of him. He is turning into such a wonderful guy that amazes me with his insight and knowledge. Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!



Happy Birthday!

I love you, Mom

P.S. This is my 50th post! In honor of J's birthday and my 50th post, I am having a giveaway! Everyone who comments will be put into a drawing for a $10 e-certificate to Christian Book Distributors! This is my very favorite place to shop for books! If you want to be in the drawing, comment on posts this week (make sure that I have either your blog address or email addy) and I will put your name in a hat and have J to draw on Saturday morning! Have a good week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T..Just a little bit

"Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you." Exodus 20:12

Have you noticed the lack of respect in children these days? I have. Take our youth group, for example. They are a great bunch of kids who really seem to love God, but they are very disrespectful to adults. I see this every Sunday in how they act in church. No, they are not talking during the message or something like that. Here is what they do. You put your stuff down in your seat and go to talk to someone. You come back to find teenagers in your seat and find your stuff stuck under the seat, pushed down the seat, or moved to a different row entirely where someone else is sitting. This may seem small, but it is extremely irritating to have to hunt your Bible and purse. They don't even apologize. They just laugh. This happens quite a bit in our church.

This is not the only incidence of disrespect that I see. I see it in stores with how children talk to their parents. I see it in my own children sometimes (but I quickly nip that in the bud). I am just wondering what happened? If I had talked to my mom the way that I hear other kids talking to their parents, I would have been picking myself up off the floor. I just knew better. I hear parents saying that they want to be "friends" with their child. I don't think that my children need more friends. They need a parent. They need someone that will help mold them and guide them so that they become an adult that loves God and respects others. This does not mean that I am not there for them, it just means that I am there through the good and bad-not to just have fun with.

What are some ways that you teach your children to respect adults? Do you see this problem where you live?

Let me know what you think!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Saturday, March 17, 2007

God Speaking...

What has God spoken to you about this week? Saturdays are a lazy kind of day for me and the kids (hubby is at work) and I have been contemplating what I have heard from Him this week. He speaks to me through so many different sources lately. From blogs that I read, from the Word, from songs, and from the quiet time that I spend with Him. Here are a few things that I have been pondering this week.

Busy-ness. I don't think that God likes it when we are busy with things. This does not mean that I am doing anything sinful, but busy-ness takes away from my time spent with Him. This busy-ness can come in many forms, from volunteering at the church to volunteering at the school. It is not bad to volunteer, but it is so easy to become so busy doing "things" that you miss the important things. I am trying to determine what the important things are.

My ministry. God has been showing me that for this time in my life, my ministry is right here in my home. I have not been doing very well in this ministry. This includes the running of my home and the taking care of my husband and children. I have never seen it as a ministry, really, just as my life. I have been thinking on this quite a bit. This does not mean that I am not to minister to others, just that my main focus should be on God and my family at this season in my life.

What has God been saying to you? What insights can you offer me concerning the two things that God has laid on my heart? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Have a blessed weekend!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Friday, March 16, 2007

Impacting Others

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 13:14

Today, I went to the cemetery. Actually, two cemeteries. I went to leave flowers at the grave of my best friend, Kelly. She was 20 when she passed away on March 17, 1992. I visited the graves of my grandmother, grandfather, great-grandmother, and great-grandfather, as well as my nephew's grave and my father-in-law's grave. As I was walking through the cemetery, looking at the headstones, I began to think, "Each person here was important to someone. They each had an influence and impact on how someone else think, feels, and acts."

That is a deep thought, but everyone that you come into contact with has an influence on you in some way, either good or bad. You are the sum of all your parts and many of your parts were made and influenced by the people in your life. This is a scary thought, in some ways, because you want to influence people positively and we all have bad days when we are not such a good influence. Each person that I have loved and lost have made some sort of impact upon me and how I think and feel.

What kind of impact do you make on others? I want to make a significant impact on them-especially concerning their relationship with God. I want them to look at God through me and want to have a relationship with Him. I want them to feel His love and His mercy through me. I cannot do this without Him. HE IS LOVE. HE IS MERCY. I cannot do it under my own power and neither can you.

If you have not made the impact that you would like to on the people closest to you, it is not too late. God gives us a new beginning every morning. It's a good thing, too! I am a slow learner!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thursday, so it is time to make up my list of things that I am thankful for. My heart is so full of thankfulness to God. He has been my rock and sustainer through many trials and heartaches. Here is my list.

- I am thankful for His Word. It encourages me, chastises me, and guides me all in one book. No other book can do this.

- I am thankful for His death. He gave it all for me. How can I give any less?

- I am thankful for His resurrection. Without it, we would have no hope.

- I am thankful for my husband. Even when I am in a bad mood, he still loves me.

- I am thankful for my children. Each one of them is a gift that I am so blessed by.

- I am thankful for friends-both bloggy and in real life. I even made contact with a friend from high school that blogs this week! It just makes you realize how small the world is.

Many of you commented on my picture from yesterday. That picture reminds me how precious life is. That is a picture of my nephew, Blake, who was born at 28 weeks weighing 1 pound 1 ounce and 11 inches long. He only lived three weeks, but he was perfectly formed and beautiful. What a miracle children are!

Blessings to you all! Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

"For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday - In Other Words

“One of the secrets to a happy marriage is remembering the source of our joy, which is not one another. The source of our joy is the Lord. Yes, we share tons of joyous moments, but we don’t expect, let alone demand, endless joy-filled moments from each other.”
- Liz Curtis Higgs from her devotional "Rise and Shine"

When I was growing up, I always imagined that my husband would be this mythical, perfect man that would take care of me. I also dreamed that marriage would complete me and make me the woman that I wanted to be. THEN I WOKE UP AND GREW UP! My husband is a wonderful, godly man that I love intensely, but he is not the man that I imagined when I was younger-he is even better. I found that marriage is work and can be difficult to keep together if you do not stay on top of it.

God knew that I didn’t need this perfect man that fulfilled my every wish, because I would then take him for granted and forget where my focus needed to be-on Him (God). Of course, every now and then, I would like to have the mythical man for an hour or two-especially when laundry needs to be done or there are dishes in the sink. The mythical man would have done them himself or hired me a maid, now wouldn’t he? Instead, I have this wonderful man who supports me in every thing I do. Who allows me to make mistakes and picks me up when I do. Who listens to me cry when I don’t feel like I am a good wife or mom. Would the mythical man do this? No. He would want me to be perfect like him and this I AM NOT.

Marriage is a sweet and sour adventure. Most of the time the sweetness is what I feel and taste going through my days, but every once in a while, the sour rears its ugly head and it makes my mouth pucker. I don’t like sour-not in my relationships or in my candy. Too much sweet can make my tummy hurt. The mythical man and mythical marriage would have been much too sweet. My husband gives me joy-but he is not my source. You see, my source is higher than him. My source is God, for He is the only one that can truly give me everything that I need.

My husband and I have been through a lot together. We have seen the bad side of friends that we thought were loyal, we have seen the despair that comes with the loss of a nephew, we have seen the pain that comes with the loss of a parent, we have survived the near death of a spouse, and we have seen the beauty in having three beautiful children. All joy? No, but I wouldn’t trade my life with him for all the chocolate sweets in the world.
For more takes on this quote visit Darlene Schacht here. Have a blessed day!
Smiles and Loves! Janis

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mommy Monday

To borrow from a television commercial, being a mom is "the toughest job that you will ever love." I find that more and more true each and every day. Trying to find that line between allowing them to assert their independence, while still trying to guide them is sometimes difficult. I am finding that this line is especially blurry concerning my almost 11-year old son. He has decided that he is grown-after all, he is a "pre-teen" now (or so he tells me every ten minutes). This "pre-teen" age means that he knows it all and understands it all, doesn't it? Well, to him it may seem that way, but to me, he is still that 6lb 2oz baby boy that I brought home 11 years ago this month. He is still dependent upon me for everything-or so I think. I find that this stage is quite amusing and scary for me. I enjoy the fact that he is a bit independent, but if I sit still too long and think about it, the fear starts building up in me because I realize that he is growing up. Why?

The main reason is that I don't want him to hurt. I don't want him to make mistakes. I don't want him to realize that life is hard and not fair. All of these things will happen regardless of how much I try to protect him, though, sooner or later. That is why his dad and I have to take time with him now and in the future to teach him what the Bible says about different things. We have to stress to him that the Bible is his guidebook and will give him direction for anything that he is facing. What would happen if this was not a priority with us? He would not be able to deal with his life in a righteous way. Life throws so many things at our children that we cannot even imagine or fathom. Things that I probably do not understand. By giving him the tools to find the solution through God's Word, then I am giving him the tools for life. I thank God for giving J to us and our responsibility is to equip J to live and work for God. After all, J belonged to Him first!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Weekend Wanderings

AHHH. The weekend is here-finally! I am over the stomach virus that claimed so many of my hours. My hubby is over it and no sign of the kids getting it again. That is so wonderful! Between colds, back problems, and stomach viruses over the last three weeks, I have not got much done around here. My house is cluttered on a normal basis, but taking a few days off makes it hard to live in and look at. I am about caught up on the laundry and I am starting on the rest of the house today with the help of my slaves, ummm, my children. I made them a list before I even left my bedroom this morning, which destroyed their fun, but there are only three things on each of their lists, so they can do them pretty quickly. Here are some things that are swirling in my head this morning.

Submission. Why do I have such a hard time with this? My mouth can get going so quickly and then I realize that I have made my husband mad. I feel so bad when we are ill at each other. I don't like that feeling. Here are some verses that I am contemplating this morning.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

Nope-this is not me.

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

I like to be in control. I have never realized it as strongly as I have over the last year, but I don't like to sit back and let someone else take the reins. Lord, help me to submit to You, first, and then to my husband. I don't want to do it alone, anymore.

That is my wanderings for now. What do you think about submission? Shoot me an email or comment to share!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Tuesday's "In Other Words"

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing”

Breathing is essential to life. If you do not breathe, then you will die. Many people take breathing for granted. I do. I don't have to think about it-it is an automatic response. I don't have to think about it to do it. I just do it. There are people who have to put a lot of thought into their breathing, however, due to respiratory problems. In the area of prayer, we are much like both groups of these people at some time or another.

If I don't pray, then I begin to break down. I lose my focus. I lose my joy. I lose my peace. I lose myself. Prayer is something that I have to continually remind myself of. I am not proud of that, but it is true. I have to set time aside to pray to the One who gave me life. That is sad to me. Why? Because I take Him for granted, just like I do breathing. However, if the storms of life begin rolling in and my life gets rough, then I don't have to think about praying.

Prayer should be an essential part of a Christian's life. Without it, we will cease growing in Him. I don't want to be in the same spiritual place next year that I am right now. That is why I am trying to dedicate myself to prayer. It is not easy, but it will be well worth the time that I spend with my Jesus. He gave His life for me-how much more should I give to Him?

What do you think about this quote? Join Iris at Sting My Heart to read more!

Smiles and Loves! Janis

Monday, March 5, 2007

Mommy Monday

Where have I been? It does not seem like it has been over ten days since I last posted, but it has. Nothing bad has happened, I just didn't have enough hours in my days the last week or so. Actually, everything has been pretty good. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Bible study and prayer each day and that is helping me tremendously. By putting God first in my life, everything else seems to be just falling into place. I have not "arrived" by any means, but I am working on getting my priorities back on track. My first priority is to God and that is the one that I seem to put on the backburner some of the time, so I am working on starting my day off in the right direction and then allowing my day to unfold after that. Here are some of the things that God has spoken to me this last week (from my journal).

Most of these quotes are from "A Woman's Journey to the Heart of God" by Cynthia Heald.

"Our walk with the Lord is a daily commitment to identify with Jesus. If I am willing to follow Christ, then each day becomes a day of preparation. Each day, no matter what it brings, is part of the process of my journey to God's heart." I so want to stay on the journey no matter what obstacles are thrown in my way. For me to do this, I will have to make the commitment. That is the hard part for me. Lord, help my commitment to You and Your will to stay strong and true.

My journey is toward His heart, not toward acceptance from others. This is hard to remember sometimes, Lord. I am not on this earth to be accepted and "popular." I am here to be a witness and disciple for You.

"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP
I have heard this verse hundreds of times and have loved it in the King James Version, but this fleshes it out so much more. I want to trust in and be confident in You. If I will lean back in Your arms, then everything will be okay. The problem comes in when I try to do it in my own power. Make straight and plain the paths that You have for me, Lord.

Mary discovered the joy of abiding with her Lord. To "abide" is to stay, to continue, to remain. Abiding is a continual process. Out of abiding will come spiritual strength and guidance for how and where to serve. It will prepare me to be the woman God wants me to be, so that He can use me for His purposes.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Proverbs 1:7
Knowing what is right and wrong is the beginning of my journey to the heart of God. The only thing that I should fear is God. To fear God means to live a life of purity and obedience.

"Our sense of sin is in proportion to our nearness to God." Bernard of Clairvaux
The nearer and closer to God that we get, the more we recognize the hold that sin has upon our lives.

"Endurance is the capacity to stay under the load, to remain in the circumstances, without fleeing or seeking the easy way out..."Gary Inrig
Lord, help me to endure the obstacles in my path. Help me to live through them, rather than running away, for Your will in my life.

"Love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops is grace." Donald Barnhouse
Thank You for Your love. Help me to show Your love to others. I praise You my God!

No mommy issues today, but being a mommy means spending time on yourself as well. That is why God should be first in your priorities so that you can be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. Isn't that what we all want?

Smiles and Loves! Janis


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