Is your friend good for you?

Is your friend good for you?

Are you good at choosing your friends? I used to have a problem with wanting to be friends everyone. This isn’t always good because some people don’t always have your best interest at heart. I have learned this the hard way. I’ve had to end friendships with with people that I have known for a long time. I’m not going to go into details but they hurt me one too many times. I have Hashimoto’s Disease (thyroid issue) and the stress of these friendships was making me even more sick. This is when I decided to reevaluate my friendships.

 

Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's about who walked into your life  and said, "I'm here for you" and proved it.

QUOTESLIFE101.NET

 

 

I sat down and started thinking about qualities that make a great friend.  These attributes are the ones that are important to me.  I need a friend who…

  • puts God first
  • lifts me up
  • doesn’t blame me before finding out the truth first
  • doesn’t talk behind my back
  • doesn’t judge me
  • isn’t jealous
  • includes everyone in the group
  • sends me scripture when I am down
  • prays for me
  • forgives me
  • apologizes when they are wrong
  • doesn’t always have to be right
  • doesn’t act better than me
  • doesn’t manipulate me
  • is a good influence
  • doesn’t try to make me jealous
  • keeps your secrets

 

Next, I made a commitment to God that I would try my best to acquire these same qualities. I will mess up but that is when I will apologize. I looked up what the Bible says about friendship. It validated how I felt about friends that didn’t have my best interest at heart and ones that do.

1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

James 4:11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[a] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict and a gossip separates close friends.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

 

These are just a few verses that are talked about in the Bible. This is when I added a few more qualities that popped out when I read these verses. They are compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and above all, love one another. Friendships should be cherished. Someone who makes you feel bad about yourself is not a true friend. Pray to God about who might need to be removed from your life and who needs to be inserted to your life. God cares about you and will send a good friend if you pray about it. Friendships should never be forced or faked.

 

FRIENDS BECOME OUR CHOSEN FAMILY

-unknown-

 

An infertility story that taught me patience

An infertility story that taught me patience

Infertility is such a touchy and sad subject.  I know because I lived it for years.  Watching all of my friends get pregnant while I was aching for another child.  My husband and I each had our own child, but we wanted a child together.  There were many nights I would cry out to God and ask Him why couldn’t I get pregnant again? Did I not deserve a child?  Why am I having to wait so long to get pregnant?  Will I ever have another baby?

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    I finally realized that it had nothing to do with deserving a child or not.  I decided to trust in God because He will do what is best for me and my family.  I decided if I had to wait some more then I will.

    Endometriosis was taking over my organs.  I had to make a decision soon whether or not to have a hysterectomy.  This is when I looked towards the sky and pleaded with God.  I prayed that night that if he wanted me to have a child then I would hold out until I was 32 to have the surgery.  Once I turned 32, I was having a hysterectomy if I wasn’t pregnant by then.  I had come to the realization that I might not get pregnant by then and I was okay with it. I was just about to turn 31 at the time.

    The weirdest and funniest thing happened.  We went out to eat at Subway when I looked down and saw a free magazine.  Written on it was an article about a gynecologist in town that specialized in fertility.  Now, I live in a small town so I didn’t think that we had any infertility specialist in our town.  I took a deep breath and made an appointment.  He suggested that I should take an infertility pill called Clomid.  After a few weeks of taking Clomid, I became pregnant!

    I kept thanking God for granting the desires of my heart.  A few weeks later, I was at Hobby Lobby and came across this verse (1 Samuel 1:27) to hang on the wall.  It was my verse that I claimed.  I hung it on the wall in the baby’s nursery.

     

    #infertilitytosuccess

    I thought, well that was easy and my journey will be easy from here.  Ha, ha.  I guess God really wanted me to remember this pregnancy and delivery.  See, I wanted more kids but not after this journey.  This is why we adopted after this.

    About 3 months into my pregnancy, I acquired gestational diabetes.  A few months after that I had pre-eclampsia.  I started swelling up like a balloon.  About 30 weeks into my pregnancy I was admitted into the hospital.  They had to keep an eye on me because it could of led into serious, even fatal, complications.

    Well, even more complications arose.  I started having labial edema.  It became the size of a basketball!  My pastor and his wife came to visit me in the hospital.  He asked what he could do for me.  I said to pray that I would have this baby a week from that day.  The nurse overheard me and said, “Do not pray that!  It is too dangerous for her to come now!”  I felt like I was slowly dying.  I had a peace about her coming early because I didn’t think I was going to make it.  I knew God was going to protect her.  Normally, I would of agreed and freaked out about the thought of her being early.  God calmed my heart. EXACTLY a week later my daughter’s heart rate went down.  The cord was wrapped around her neck.  They immediately did a C-section.  She weighed 3 lbs. and 4 oz. She was in the NICU in an incubator and perfectly fine.  She was on a ventilator but started breathing on her own soon after. I wasn’t able to meet her until the 3rd day because of the labial edema.  I couldn’t move.  I was so depressed and wondered how I could take care of her if I can’t even take care of my self.

    I had to remember at this time that GOD IS WITH ME WHEREVER I GO!  At this point they had called doctors in Atlanta to find out what to do with me and no one knew.  Doctors from different floors came to look at me and they were perplexed.  Am I going to live like this forever?  I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.  This isn’t how it was supposed to be.  God, you helped me to get pregnant and now this?  It was time to release me.  That is right RELEASE ME!  I can’t even walk and they want to release me?  They said that there was nothing that they could do for me.

    And then God showed up!  A nurse from another floor walked by my room.  She asked the doctor’s what was going on and then saw me.  She told the doctors to hold on and keep me there.  This nurse made a phone call then came into my room.  She explained that there was a certain place where people who have their lymph nodes removed, because of lymphatic cancer, get massages.  She spoke with one of the massage therapist there and they said they have never massaged anyone in my situation but they would be willing to give it a try.  They massaged me and it worked!  My lymph nodes had quit working.  I lost 50 pounds in two weeks!!!!  I finally had hope and could start walking again!  I finally could slowly walk to the NICU and hold my baby girl (my mom was her surrogate until I could be with her).  My daughter Courtney was a strong willed child (and still is).  They said that I could never put her on a sofa (at 3.6 ou.) because she wiggled her way out of two tightly wrapped blankets and then she scooted over to the side to prop her foot up on the side.

    Genesis 28:15, NASB: “‘Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. 

    #Infertility story

    We stayed at the Ronald McDonald house until she was released from the hospital.  Things became normal again.  Courtney thrived and finally caught up to the size of all of her friends.  She is as strong as an ox now.

    No matter how your story ends, God will use it to help others.  Please trust me in this.  I have friends that could never get or stay pregnant.  It was hard for them but they too never stopped trusting in God to stay with them throughout everything.  If this is an issue that you are having, let me pray with you.  Leave a comment below so we can communicate.

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      Our beautiful adoption story

      Our beautiful adoption story

      When I was a teenager I went to a Christian camp. I met a lot of people while I was there every year. I noticed that a handful of kids each year were foster children. I befriended many of them and became a shoulder for them to lean on as we kept in contact with each other. I knew then that I wanted to foster and adopt once I became older.

      Fast forward 15 years later. I went on a date with my now husband. On one of our first dates, I told him that whoever marries me will have to agree to foster with me. He agreed he would and I was hooked. We were married and became foster parents quite a few years later.

      We fostered quite of few children during our 6 years of fostering. One of my foster parent friends had this beautiful little girl that she was fostering. She was feisty and didn’t let anyone run over her. I fell in love with her. My friend knew that if she came up for adoption that she wasn’t going to adopt her. Right then we started trying to foster her so we would be the first person in line that could adopt her. Finally, she was moved into our home. She had visits with her biological mom for 2 years. When her mom’s rights were terminated we adopted her. It was bitter sweet. I felt for my daughter and her mom. Her mom loved her but just wasn’t capable of taking care of her.

      Fostering is a good and hard thing to do. There were many challenges that we had to overcome. At first she would cry and tell me that I wasn’t her mom. I told her that she might not of come out of my tummy but she is my daughter from the heart. She was worried about her mom because she was homeless. Her memory was about them living on the streets and sleeping on the ground. My daughter wanted her mom to live with us so her mom would have food. I kept hurting for her. As time went on she talked about her mom less and less. Now she rarely mentions her. I told her that when she becomes an adult that we would find her and let them meet again. It will be hard for me but it’s not about me.

      After quite some time we finally bonded. She loves to cuddle up in my lap even though she is about the same size as me. We love swimming and walking together. One day while we were walking, I was telling her about how a boy named Joseph that was sold into slavery by his brothers. All of a sudden it hit me. She can completely relate to him because she was taken away from her family just as he was taken away. They both mourned for their parents and family. He had a greater purpose for the suffering that he went through. I know she has a greater purpose that will be revealed to her later. If she would of stayed with her mom then maybe she wouldn’t of ever experienced God like she has and will in the future. She can share the love of God with her mom. I can’t wait to see where God leads her! She has been a blessing to us and we love her. Her name is Starlynn and she is in the blue and white dress in the picture below:

      Our family without our boys.
      Star’s DFACs caseworker Mrs. Samantha.

      If you are ever led to foster, please do so. It might be hard but it is definitely rewarding!

      A new start from separation to healing

      A new start from separation to healing

      We were heading for divorce when

      God

      came

      In this posts I am very vulnerable.  Please don’t judge me or make mean comments below.  I wrote this blog to help others that are struggling in their marriage.  Thank you.

      Our Story

       

      Do you believe that God wants to help you heal your marriage?   If you have been praying for this, don’t give up.  I am telling you to hang in there because it is worth it.  I am not a counselor and don’t claim to be.  I just want to tell you my story and how my marriage was healed by the grace of God.  If you are in an abusive relationship you should see a counselor to be advised on what to do.

      Let me start from the beginning.

       When I was a teenager I had my first child and never married my son’s father.  Years later I met my husband.  He had been married and divorced for about 7 years prior to us meeting.  We combined our family, his son 9 and my son 8.  Combining our family was hard.  We should of gone to counseling to learn how to cope with the problems that arose.  Instead we depended on ourselves instead of God.  

       

      Was it too late?

       

      We finally decided to go to counseling.  At this point we had waited too late.  I had high expectations for my husband.  I expected him to know what my needs were and for him to fulfill them.  When he couldn’t figure them out on his own  I became selfishly angry.  We tended to side with our own child when they were fighting.  We weren’t in unison with anything.

      At this point I decided it was time to separate.  I moved about 4 hours away.  We tried once a month visiting each other until my husband said either you come home or let’s get a divorce.  He quit talking to me.


      Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

       All of my dreams of a “perfect” marriage was gone!

       

       I was upset, scared and stubborn.  What do I do now.  All of my dreams of a “perfect” marriage was gone!  I questioned myself, “What did I do wrong”?

      Later that day I  was watching the 700 Club (which I neeever watch) and something happened. They were saying that if you are separated then you should work things out.  I started talking to God saying, “Who me? I just tried working this out God and look what happened.  We messed things up.  My husband doesn’t understand my needs, I control him by making him feel guilty, etc.. What good could possibly come out of this”? 

      Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

       

      We were heading for divorce when God showed up.

      I started praying and calling out to God for help!  I told God that I would obey Him and go home.  I also asked Him for forgiveness.  I started praying that God would change me.   I needed to know what I was doing wrong that might have made him react to me the way he did. So I got down on my knees and prayed for God to reveal what I needed to change. God revealed it to me quickly!  Boy did He reveal it to me.  I had a list of things that I needed to change.  Here I thought my husband was in the wrong (which he played a part) but I had to change myself too.  I took 2 things at a time to focus on so I didn’t get overwhelmed. Finally I was feeling like I was doing something right.

       

       1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

       

        Our next step

       

      Next I started praying for my husband.  God started softening my heart.  I started seeing the good in my husband.  He is patient with me, he is good at calming me down, he is tender, he is trustworthy and content with little.  My husband loves me unconditionally.  He knows how to confront me gently when showing me what is right, he is funny, giving and kind. Now, I want you to understand that he hasn’t always been this way.  God has changed him and has made him into the man that he intended him to be.  God has also changed me.  As we grew closer to God, we grew closer to each other.  I have fallen completely in love with him again.  It is better than I could of imagined.  Now don’t get me wrong, we still have issues in our marriage.  We just disagree in a different way.  We still have arguments but it’s now like it was before. I fight through prayer now. I made a prayer journal and this is what I did.  I started writing down a prayer that I had for my husband.  Each day I prayed for my husband and added new things to pray for him.  He had no idea that I had been doing this.  I love my husband so much!  My husband is worth fighting for and so is your husband He jokes and says he gets to be right a few days of the year (on his birthday).  I need to work on that, ha ha.  

      We extended our family.

      Our family grew.  We tried for years to get pregnant and finally had a girl.  Later we become foster parents and adopted a girl.  Find out about our adoption here.

       

      Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength,

      an ever-present help in trouble.

       

      Rekindle your marriage

       

       

       

      Last but not least, go out on dates with your husband.  You both deserve this and need to keep the fire alive.  Mark on your calendar the date night and stick with it.  Once or twice a month is a good number to shoot for.  If you don’t have family to watch them, then barter with someone.  You can pay a babysitter or ask friends or family to help out.  If you can’t afford to go do something then get creative and go cheap.

       

       

      Phillipians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

       

       

       

      Things to help your marriage:

       

      • Pray to God that you and your husband strive to be more like God
      • Pray for God to reveal what you need to change
      • Go out on dates with your husband
      • Don’t talk bad about your husband
      • Dress up for him
      • Listen before you talk – Tame the tongue
      • Do things for your husband
      • Read the Bible daily
      • Pray with your husband
      • Seek godly counsel if you have to

      This is us:

       

      This is a real picture of me and my husband.

      This is God’s fight not yours.  When we fight with our husband then we loose. I am tired of loosing.  Give it to God and watch Him work. 

       I still continue to pray for my marriage. Satan is here to tear our marriages apart.  You will go through good and bad times.  We as Christians are not promised an easy life once you accept Christ.  We are promised that God is our refuge when our life is not easy (Psalm 46:1-11).  He is there to walk with us to help get us through.  If life was easy once we accepted Christ then there would be no need for God anymore.  We need Him and He is there for us always!

      I would love to hear you story. If you have a success story let me know.  Also, if you are in the midst of hurting, you can leave a comment below so I can pray for you.

      *EDIT: I talk about if your husband is a believer that God can do anything. I also believe that even if your husband isn’t a believer that God can work miracles.

       

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        5 Ways to Make Mom’s Morning Easier

        5 Ways to Make Mom’s Morning Easier

         

        Are you struggling getting your child ready in the morning?  I know I did.  My daughter is so slow by nature and hates getting up for school.  I was so tired of fussing with her every morning trying to get her ready on time.  Something had to change because I was becoming wore out.  Sound familiar?  I sat down with a friend of mine and she gave me some great tips. I have made a video for you with some of these tips.

        Here is a recap of 5 things to do to make your mornings easier!

        1. Get them dressed at night
        2. Fix their lunch at night
        3. Have their hairbrush laid out for the next morning
        4. Have their toothbrush laid out
        5. Lay their socks and shoes out the night before

        My strategy has changed the older she has become.  Now she completely gets ready before she can eat breakfast.  She is ready to eat when she wakes up so she gets ready a little quicker.  We still lay her clothes out and prepare her lunch at night.  I can reason with her the more mature she becomes.  If she doesn’t get ready on time, we take something away that she loves until she decides to follow the rules.  If you have any new ideas, I would love to hear them.  Place them in the comment below.

         

        15 Outings to do with your kids for free or cheap this summer

        15 Outings to do with your kids for free or cheap this summer

        Go to your local library and check out the Atlanta Zoo DVD. Once you return it, you will receive 2 adult and 2 child tickets for free! If you live in another state, ask your local library if they have this deal.
        Go to your local library and check out the Atlanta Zoo DVD. Once you return it, you will receive 2 adult and 2 child tickets for free! If you live in another state, ask your local library if they have this deal.

        Go to the zoo

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          GO SWIMMING

          Don’t have a pool? Ask a friend if you can use theirs in exchange for cleaning their pool for them. I would LOVE for someone to clean mine!
          #Swimming Party

          See if your city has First Friday.

          The kids love attending First Friday because they cater to them! They have activities like bounce houses, eating and concerts for adults!

          Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers.

          Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers at their house and take turns. Each time do a theme. Ex:

          • One day have a slip-n-slide party with lemonade drinks (with umbrellas in them) and fruit roll ups.
          • Have a movie party with popcorn and drinks.
          • You can freeze blocks of ice in a bowl. Each child will have their own block of ice. Add some salt on top of the ice block so it will begin to melt. Watch the salt produce holes in the ice. Have the children squirt different colors of food coloring in each hole. It will be pretty. These are just some examples of some fun ya’ll can have.

           

          Go to a movie for cheap

          Most theaters have a movie day that is just for kids. Everyone has to see a certain movie that the theater picks. These movies are at a discounted price and usually serve snacks for cheaper too. If you want to choose your own movie then go to the matinee for a cheaper price. Some theaters also have a certain day of the week that they have discounted prices. Call your theater to get the details.

          Most bowling allies let kids bowl 2 free games

          There are bowling allies that participate in free bowling for the summer. Our bowling alley lets kids bowl 2 free games. You have to bring your own shoes or pay for shoe rentals. Taxes may also apply. Still, this is a cheap way of entertainment.

          Check your library for free reading programs

          Check your library for free reading programs. They usually have incentives for reading. Ask your local library what incentives they have. Here is a website in Georgia that is connected with our local libraries that includes incentives for kids. Free tickets to museums! https://georgialibraries.org/partnerships/

          Check your library for free reading programs.

          Summer Reading Program with Candlewick Press and Pizza Hut. When your child meets their goal each month, they will receive a free Personal Pan pizza. Sign up here!

          Get a free book and Bible!

          If you want your child reading Christian books, you need to do the LifeWay R.E.A.D program. Your child will read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six Scripture verses. It’s from June 1 – August 31. Turn in a completed summer reading journal at your local LifeWay store to earn a free book and a new free Bible.

          Get free Six Flags tickets!

          Ask your school if they participate in the Six Flags reading program. If they don’t, then I would ask them to. When students can complete 360 minutes of reading from the beginning of the school year to around February they will receive a free Six Flags ticket. This will have to start before summer but will be used during the summer. http://students can complete 360 minutes of reading . and http://static.sixflags.com/readtosucceed/ParentLetter.pdf

          Get a season pass to a water park.

          Get a season pass to a water park. Bring your lunch and it will make it cheaper. You can get discounts on Coke cans or some fast food restaurants if you go for the day. We have a smaller water park in our own town. We get a seasons pass so we get other people in with the free friends coupon.

          Join your town’s Facebook page for free activities.

          Join your towns Facebook page. They will post all of the activities going on in your town. Our town is family oriented and plan a lot for kids. We have a local theater where they perform plays. Ask around to see what your town is doing.

          Go to nearby beach or lake.

          If you live near the beach or a lake, take a day trip with friends. If you carpool, you can split the gas and pack a lunch (and snacks, drinks). I purchased a large canopy so we can have some relief from the sun. Also, I purchased a big cooler on wheels. Bungy chord that canopy onto the cooler with wheels and Whola! We have a beach with a rubber mat on the sand. It’s easy peasy. Plop up that canopy and you have a haven for the day!

          See what your local colleges have to offer.

          Check out your local colleges. Ours have programs for kids. We have a Raptor Center that houses animals they can’t live on their own because they are hurt. The college also performs plays and has a museum. They plan different activities during the year where families can come.

          Free park pass for 4th graders.

          I am signing my daughter up for this one. She is in the 4th grade. I will let your know about our adventures. You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks for an entire year. It is called Every Kid in a Park.

          These are just some ideas to get you started. I hope you enjoy!

          1.  Go swimming – swim at night while watching a movie on a big television outside
          2.  Go to the beach if you live pretty close by and pack lunches and umbrella.
          3.  Find a college that has a museum – They are cheaper and kid friendly
          4.  Locate a county/city water park – We have a small water park at our park so we get discounts because we live in that county.
          5.  Invite friends over and cookout – get a slip-n-slide for the kids
          6.  Go to the river to swim
          7.  Find out from your local theater what day they give discounts for movies.  We have $5 Tuesdays and the concessions are half price!
          8.  Local bowling centers have discount programs
          9.  Get a group of kids together and stations of  different crafts – Each parent can be in charge of one station.  Make sure one station is making something to eat and drink!!!!
          10. Play in a sprinkler

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