Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Encouraging Moments" is a Keeper

 The story begins at our church Valentine’s Dinner... 

After enjoying a nice catered meal, several couples in the church were chosen to play the “newlywed” game (even though the majority of them had been married for 10 years or more). Since my husband and I had been chosen last year, we knew we were “safe” and looked forward to being in the peanut gallery this time around.

As the questions were asked, David and I would occasionally look at each other and quietly answer the questions amongst ourselves, just to see how accurate we would have been. We were doing pretty good, for the most part, but then it happened - two questions were asked that basically ruined the rest of my night...  
A question for the men: “What class would you be most likely to send your wife to?
  1. driving class
  2. housekeeping class
  3. cooking class
I was immediately thinking David would say “driving class,” seeing as how I am horrible at directions and feel very uncomfortable driving long distances by myself; but, to my surprise, he said “housekeeping class.”

What?! I admit I’m not the BEST housekeeper in the world, especially with 2 kids, 2 cats, and 1 husband to pick up after; not to mention how my time is eaten up with homeschooling, running errands, and planning and cooking meals. Sure, I have a hard time keeping the house dusted, the bathrooms cleaned, and there always seems to be a load of unfolded laundry sitting in the way somewhere. But, really..... it could be MUCH worse! At least my house is organized and I can usually find something if I need it. (Needless to say, I guess I kind of took offense.)

Then, the next question came. I don’t remember the exact wording, but I remember it had something to do with ways the wives irritate the husbands. Because of the answer David gave to the last question, I figured he would say it was the unfolded laundry basket sitting in the hallway. Instead, he air-typed on an imaginary keyboard and mouthed the word, “computer.”

Again came the, “What?!” I admit I am on the computer probably more than I should be. But, golly, why doesn’t he just understand that I NEED the computer. I NEED to write in my journals to help me process things. I NEED to update my blogs. I NEED to do research for therapies and treatments that come up, or for our homeschool curriculum. I NEED to do be online “chatting” with my friends so I don’t feel so alone here at home all the time. This Winter has been terribly hard on me, and I NEED.............  

Oh crap - he’s right! I hate to admit it, but I’m addicted to this stupid computer, and I know it! Yes, all of the things above are true. I DO need to spend time on here to write, research, and stay connected with my friends. However, there also NEEDS to be a balance.  I realiz now that the housework hasn't been getting done - not because I don't have the time to do it, but because I haven't MADE the time to do it. Instead, I've been spending all my time on here. Ugh! Why did he have to be right about this! Now, that means I really NEED to make a change - one that I don’t particularly want to make.

The next day, I listened to my conscience and didn’t spend much time on the computer, but I did take a little time to read an e-mail newsletter called “Encouraging Moments,” by Lorrie Flem. It’s a newsletter geared towards encouraging women in their choice to be wives, mothers, and homemakers; while also challenging us to strive for improvement in the areas we are lacking. A group of us gals (The Gabby Moms), who are reviewing products for Eternal Encouragement Magazine, were put on assignment this month to review this weekly e-newsletter.

Right off the bat, I liked the looks of the newsletter. The colors blended nicely, and the font was appealing. Then, I moved into the content and found that the author was speaking directly to women with a loving and encouraging tone - not with one that condescends. She even spoke directly to me in some instances, or so it seemed.

To quote Lorrie in the February 10th newsletter, she said...
The differences between a successful marriage and an unhappy one are:
  • living life "around" your disagreements
  • taking a "team" attitude toward compromise
  • loving in spite of differences
  • understanding and empathy for your husband's position
  • knowing that quietly talking about differences can strengthen the relationship and improve intimacy
  • knowing that avoiding conflicts doesn't make them go away"
Hmmm.... #2 and #4 really stood out to me as a confirmation that a compromise was in order regarding my computer time. So, from then on, I have made it a goal to try and accomplish at least one or two household chores each day BEFORE spending an allotted amount of time on the computer. That way, chores still get done, and I still get my computer time. Kinda like a reward system.  I am also in the process of weeding out several e-mail subscriptions that take up too much of my time. However, Encouraging Moments will not be one of them, thanks to the positive tone and helpful advice it gives.

For some additional information, the newsletter is laid out in various sections. First, there is a “short and sweet” moment with the author. Then, it moves into information about a “drastic discount,” things that were said on Facebook this week, Lorrie’s schedule, a Chick Flicks for Mom video, specific news and announcements regarding the affiliate magazine, and then finishes up with a “timely tip” to share.

To sign up for this FREE newsletter, go to the website for Eternal Encouragement Magazine ( and enter your e-mail address in the box that says, “Sign up for our e-mail newsletter.” For those interested, you can also find subscription info on there for the magazine itself.

Disclaimer: I reviewed Encouraging Moments as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program for Eternal Encouragement magazine. I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Five Love Languages

Every one of us is familiar with at least one of these things to either show our love for someone, or to feel loved by someone else...

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

These are the FIVE languages of love, based on the popular books by Dr. Gary Chapman. These are the languages we use to show our love or affection for our spouse, children, other family members and friends.  If you haven't read any of the books by Dr. Chapman, I would recommend them to help tune you in to what gets your "love juices" flowing. However, there is also a website you can visit that explains more about these love languages:  THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES

It doesn't matter if you are married or single, its important to understand why you give in the way you give, and why you may not feel loved when you don't get what you need. You can take the ASSESSMENTS on this website to help you understand more about yourself and the ones you love. And, after you have taken the assessment, be sure to pass the information along to your family and friends, so they will be able to know and understand you better as well.
For the record, I took the assessment and, out of a possible of 12 points for each category, mine came out with an 11 in Words of Affirmation. Second place tied with a 6 for Physical Touch and Quality Time. does that mean I don't enjoy receiving gifts or having someone do something nice for me? Absolutely not! If the way you want to show your love towards me is by giving me a gift, I sure won't pass it up. LOL. But, this assessment just shows me that "things" are not as important to me as hearing someone encourage me, or hearing why they care about me. And, a written form of encouragement works just as well as verbal. 

So, now that you know my love language, I'd love to hear how YOUR assessment scores came out also. Please feel free to share!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

REVIEW: Book Two from "The Dragon & The Turtle" Series

The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari - by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark

This cute children’s book is the second one from "The Dragon and the Turtle” series. Quite honestly, I liked the first book a little better than this one, as I think the story line had more to offer its readers, and more things to discuss about it. However, aside from this second book having a few awkward words to read outloud, my 8 year old son found it interesting. He really liked the way imagination is used in the book, and enjoyed the sound effects I threw in every now and then. (You gotta have sound effects to make a book come alive!) 

In a nut shell (or maybe it should be a “turtle shell” in this case), the book was about 2 boys who decided to go on an imaginary safari, including an overnight camp-out in one boy’s backyard. While they were camping, the unfamiliar, and sometimes spooky, sounds caused them to start imagining what types of animals the sounds came from - safari animals, of course! For example, an owl was a monkey, a squirrel was a giraffe, a raccoon was an elephant, and a dog was a rhinoceros. They eventually heard a cat (a small leopard) and decided he needed to be rescued from a tree. By early morning, they had not gotten any sleep and were heading back to “home base.” They realized a nap was in order before they could have any more fun and exciting adventures.

As with the first book, there is a page in the back that includes a Bible verse and some discussion questions to go over with your child. The first book dealt with friendships, and this second book deals with being courageous, as well as with showing concern for others. Overall, a good book to share with your little boys.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

He Never Sleeps

My brother, Dan, found this song by Don Moen awhile back. The lyrics are really good and I wanted to share them with all of you, as I think just about anyone can relate to them. We’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve become exhausted with our prayers - waiting for an answer - wondering if God is listening. We become weak and discouraged, and might not have any words left to pray with. At times like this, the best thing we can do is to rest in God’s loving arms and allow the Holy Spirit to intercede for us. In GOD’s time, our prayers will be answered; maybe not in a way we expected, but we can be comforted by knowing He DOES care for us and is working in ways we are not able to see at this time.


When you've prayed every prayer that you know how to pray
Just remember the Lord will hear and the answer is on its way
Our God is able
He is mighty
He is faithful

And He never sleeps He never slumbers
He never tires of hearing our prayer
When we are weak He becomes stronger
So rest in His love and cast all of your cares on Him

Do you feel that the Lord has forgotten your need
Just remember that God is always working in ways you cannot see
Our God is able
He is mighty He is faithful

(chorus 2 x’s)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interesting Tidbits About Me

I originally got this idea from my friend, Carie, a fellow GABBY MOM. She recently did this on her own blog and I thought it was neat, so I'm borrowing it from her. Thanks for the idea, Carie! You can find her blog here: LIVING, LOVING, and LEARNING WITH THE LORD

Before I get to it, let me mention that I recently added a subscription link to my blog page. If you are interested in receiving e-mail updates when a new post has been added to my blog, then sign up there!

Now, here goes.... 
  • I love dill pickles - have loved them since I was a child. I ate so many of them once that my family said I smelled like one! My son has also developed a taste for pickles.
  • My house is never spotless, but I like to keep things organized and in their place.
  • I went rapelling down a cliff in Wisconsin when I was in college.  
  • I used to have a desire to go skydiving. Not anymore.
  • I would love to swim with dolphins someday.
  • I am registered as a Republican, although I consider myself more Independent.
  • I grew up in a Christian home with parents who love the Lord.
  • I have one sister and one brother - I am the youngest of the three.
  • I accepted Christ as my Savior at the young age of 4, and was baptized at the age of 6.
  • I would love to visit Ireland someday and take a tour of a castle.
  • Family history interests me. I wish I could figure out who my early ancestors are, from before the 1800's.
  • I have an Associates degree in Biblical Studies.
  • I used to be a Nationally Registered EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).
  • I regret not going to school to become a nurse, or a Physical Therapy Assistant.
  • I enjoy going to dinner theaters with my husband. I think we've attended about 10 of them so far.
  • I have a hyperthyroid disorder and polycystic ovaries.
  • I think tigers are beautiful creatures - especially the white ones.
  • Birds fascinate me and I love to watch them up close.
  • I used to own a parakeet named Emi. I taught her how to climb a rope from the floor to her cage.
  • I’ve never been very interested in sports and am not an athletic person.
  • I’d rather be sweating in the sun than freezing in the snow.
  • I used to have hair down to my waist.
  • York Peppermint Patties.... Yummmm!