Friday, November 13, 2015

One Choice can alter the World.

This morning I was taking my son to school- we left in a timely manner and I anticipated arriving on time. I hate being late.

But someone elses choice effected the lives of all our city today.

Driving through our town requires crossing train tracks in one of two locations. Our planned route was blocked by policemen by the tracks and completed blocked with cones. I have never seen this sort of barricade in the 10 years I have lived here.

So every car heading into the center was rerouted to cross the other tracks- which resulted in very slow driving and everyone being late for something. A normal 5 minute drive (with no waiting for trains) ended up taking 30-40 min.

I dropped my son off late and headed back towards home. Because one crossing was still closed everyone was trying to get through the only open crossing- thus making for lines that were extremely backed up and with the delayed train schedule we were stopped due to crossing trains and slow traffic for another 30 min.

I was glad to reach home after the usually 10 minute journey taking me an hour and wondering what had occurred at the train tracks to have backed up an entire city all morning.

I later learned from the news that 2 women were seriously injured when having ignored the flashing lights and signal they crossed the train tracks. Their car was struck and pushed 400 metres before the train stopped.

How sad!

How sad that a seemingly small choice would cause such pain for those involved and their families and without their even knowing it they would cause frustration, rush, delay and annoyance to an entire city in the morning rush.

How often we fail to consider the results of our choices and worry more about the moment.

Jesus, be with these ladies injured so severely. 

Help us walk in wisdom today- not knowing the repercussions are decision may have on today and eternity.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My sister- the best one in the world!

My sister. 

From the day you were born I have thought of you fondly. 
Every girl needs a sister and I have YOU. 

I know growing up I was mean at times- not including you in my play or with my friends. I know older sisters can be bossy. Sorry. 

You have always been different and because of that I have admired you. 

What I feared you found most fascinating. (like end times, and Revelation, and anything having do do with spiritual battle)

What I ran from you greeted. 

When I buried my head in the sand like an ostrich you sought adventure. 

I have always loved your curls- actually I have envied them. But they seem to me as if they are a visible sign of the person you are. 

You have always been a spitfire. A bubbling, singing brook of a girl and woman. You have sass. You have fire. You have passion. You have talents quite like no one else I know. But those unique set of talents and gifts make you who you are! 

There have been days I envied your freedom- to be you- to be free- to let go of inhibition which can be so imprisoning. 

There have been nights when I cried for you. 

There have been days when you cried and prayed with me with a wisdom beyond someone your age should have. 

You have driven me crazy and made me laugh harder than anyone else on the face of the earth. 

I am so thankful to call you my sister- because of having the best sister is the world I wish I could gift my daughter with a sister- like you. 

But God gives sisters like you to only some girls- and I was lucky enough to be one of them. 

So remember I will never grow tired of your craziness, or accompanying you in song, or laughing or traveling, or shopping (even for candy) with YOU. 

I LOVE YOU you wild haired woman! 

Embrace yourself and love the person God made you to be with all that wild side- because you cannot change it any more than you can change those curls on your head which God gave you! 







and when you  need a hug

I am waiting! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The computer screen obsession, by an expat

I sit, hanging out by this black box of a machine. 

Not the kind of person who likes killing time, yet somehow glued to this screen. 

I hang out on Facebook, and my Skype window is open. I linger on these sites, while browsing and doing other "work" I need to get done online. 

Bedtime comes, my local husband is away for the evening- and I feel alone. 

I sit here; gazing, hoping, wondering. . . . dreaming. . . 

I suddenly see this screen as a window and see myself poking my head through it - searching for someone I know and love an ocean away. 

No one is online this evening, they are all busy living their lives and doing their things and I find myself longing to be overthere- with them. 

My eyes grow heavy and my bed calls me, and I reluntctly give my channels of communication one last peek- still hoping to see that lone figure waving at me across the space and lines of Internet and catching a glimpse of their far away face through the dark pane of my computer screen window. 

Nothing. . . time to go to bed.

Monday, July 20, 2015


It has been ages since I wrote and I guess I could best say that is because I feel a bit stuck.

I now have a new website- which has a blog section and I don't know whether to keep that all business focused with posts only having to do with the website topic or if I should do all my blogging there.

Actually I am so fond of coming up with titles and keeping my blogging topics separate that I have several blogs started and I am wondering if now is the time to sort of all roll them into one.

So that is the reason I am feeling stuck- keep business and personal blog separate or put them together.

What is your opinion?

Happy summer!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Power of Handmade

Yesterday I pulled out the tin of quilt blocks I cut years ago- blocks for the quilt "Double Wedding Ring" quilt. I love that pattern and it has so many memories attached to it.

It has been probably 15 years since I cut those blocks- and life has changed so much. I left my homeland; my country, married and become a Mom. Yet with those quilt blocks nothing has changed- it is as if time stopped when I laid those hand pieced rows together on the top of neatly stacked piles of still to be sewn blocks.

There are so many memories stored in that box of blocks, so many careful stitches placed years ago when I was still and unmarried maiden. There are so many pieces of fabric in prints that remind me of "home" and my Mom and our quilting days together.

There is such a power in hand work- so many thoughts, dreams, desires are sewn into the seams of quilts and other hand created items.

When I sew by hand I have time to think, to remember, to value those women who taught me to sew and the chain of seamstresses I come from.

Then too there is time for dreaming- about the ones I am sewing this little quilt for and for those so far away.

Each stitch is sewn with love- each piece planned out and carefully cut and placed.

My life of late has been full of paintings on silk, and those too are created with such care and thought. Each brush stroke containing thoughts and dreams of beauty and delight.

There are faster ways of creating these days- and prints can be bought at half the price of originals. But there is nothing that can replace the joy of creating and gifting something you poured your love and dreams into whether sewn, painted, or otherwise created.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thank you for caring

Just a little phrase, but with power to make tears jump into my eyes.

"Thank you for caring." my Mom said as we hung up the phone on a 1 minute Skype call.

My parents are moving today- and I wanted to know how its going and where they will sleep tonight.

Mom didn't have time to talk long with the moving truck coming- but said those 4 little words, "Thank  you for caring."

As I hung up the phone tears started rolling down my cheeks. "Oh how I wish I could do more than CARE." But living an ocean away makes that impossible. . . if I were a millionaire I'd own the fastest jet around and be there for all those moments and birthdays and special occasions that happen without my presence.

Yet here I am- in this blessed life an ocean away- but with the power to show I DO care with a simple phone call.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The BEST Questions

I have always loved asking questions- and when I ran across this fantastic list I could not help but share it and mark it for later and print it and put it on the fridge. Our firstborn starts first grade in September and I will so use these suggestions. ( I got this HERE on Huffington POST)

Do you have any more ideas?

1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.
3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)
4. Where is the coolest place at the school?
5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)
6. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?
7. How did you help somebody today?
8. How did somebody help you today?
9. Tell me one thing that you learned today.
10. When were you the happiest today?
11. When were you bored today?
12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
13. Who would you like to play with at recess that you've never played with before?
14. Tell me something good that happened today.
15. What word did your teacher say most today?
16. What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?
17. What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?
18. Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
19. Where do you play the most at recess?
20. Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?
21. What was your favorite part of lunch?
22. If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
23. Is there anyone in your class who needs a time-out?
24. If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?
25. Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Refusing to Worry

Today my boy has his exam in violin at music school. Tomorrow his exam in theory. And here I stand- trembling in my boots.

It isn't that he can't do well or isn't prepared. He knows his pieces on the violin like the back of his hand. But he is 6, emotional, stubborn at times and prone to silliness.

And so I have been in a growing panic since I found out his exam was today and the hours have ticked slowly closer.

Why? I ask myself do I feel so worried? Would him failing or messing up mean I had failed as a Mom? Is it the pressure I felt as a child preforming for judges still gnawing away at me? And would it really be so horrible if he did play poorly or get up and get stage fright and refuse to play altogether?

I have been there, I know the embarrassment of forgetting 10 memorized pieces which had to be juried. Yet, I was older and a very conscientious child. He is 6, and doesn't seem to be fazed by embarrassment yet or failure.

Today as I had my quiet time these words came leaping off the page at me

"I offer abundant Life; your part is to trust Me, refusing to worry about anything, . . Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life."

Wow, that hit me right where I needed it. I have fretted and fussed over this exam, and it isn't even my exam. Sure it is the first major exam a child of mine has ever had, and so I feel it very keenly. But God is in control of this- and I must try him.

So wish my boy luck or better yet say a prayer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Encouragement For Moms

Today I stumbled upon this lady's blog and it is so full of encouragement for Mom's. I cried my way through this video and it was so TRUE and so blessed for my discouraged moments. 

You are a mighty MOM! Don't give up! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Power of Kindness

So often in our rush of life we forget just how powerful a word of kindness can be. I have thought about that lot lately, and this article I read today again reminded me of that.

A week or so ago we had some missionaries staying with us from Australia. They were like a living breath of peace. They were joyful in their attitudes towards those around them and each other. They were genuinely interested in the little things and in the lives of those they encountered. They  played with my kids. They encouraged my husband and I in so many little things and they shared a bit of themselves with us- making our days a bit better because of them.

Kind words flowed from them and blessed those around them- and they shared that that is one of the secrets to having a good marriage- a covenant of kindness- wow!

Haven't you ever felt that glow of warmth that embraces you when someone says a kind word and affirms you in some way. I know I have and those kind words go with us- sticking in the fabric of our lives- reminding us to be better people and carry on strong.

Yesterday at the dentist the hygienist commented on how well cared for our kid's teeth are- she asked if I brush them or they do. I told her we both brush their teeth- she said, "You are an active Mom!" The praise in her voice reaffirming the hard work I put into dental hygiene and carrying for my kids was affirmed in that one little phrase. This woman was anti-typical to so many people I meet here. She was positive, gentle, and affirmative to both the kids and I, how thankful I am for those little gestures of kindness that make this world more lovely.

So how about YOU and me, how are we spreading kindness today?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pride and Thanks

Days fly by in this race of life. Days filled up with raising 3 kids, gardening, running kids about, painting, cooking and being a wife and all.

Spring is slowing making herself known and it is like being reacquainted with an old friend- the greenness of it all- somehow I forget every winter just how green this beautiful place is. The leaves have burst open, the tulips are waving their fiery heads. Aww. . . . how spring delights the senses.

I want to stop and express my thanks to the One who created all this. Thanks for provision, thanks for good times as well as hard- because He uses all of this to make us who we are.

We have been working hard at reading for our soon to be 7 year old, he must start school come Autumn and due to our dual language family and his learning to read already a bit in both languages his reading in Latvian is behind what it ought to be. Dad has taken over this "fight" and the Legos have been put away until he gets this mastered. He is reading, though slowly and is making improvements (though not without a daily quarrel on the matter).

I am so thankful that his teacher sees the progress and praised his good behavior this week at his kindergarten lesson. That was a like a breath of fresh air to this Mama's soul.

I am also so thankful my husband stepped in to fight this battle with out very stubborn boy who would rather be doing ANYTHING to avoid homework and reading practice. Since he stepped in our boy's respect issues have subsided and he knows his place again. We Mom's need to let our husbands rule these growing men in our homes. . .

Thankfulness - that somehow God works all things out for His good.

Monday, May 11, 2015


From the moment you discover that your body harbors a life, a growing person you become a mother.

There is something so pure, so deep, so profoundly mysterious about motherhood that perhaps no one will ever comprehend it.

We who were once babes ourselves- blossom, mature and become the vessels through which all life continues.

Mothers- when we choose to let our body become the growing home of a person we are forever changed. We can never been the carefree girls we once were.

Our bodies are grown, stretched, wrenched with pain and we succumb to this change- some willingly, some with resistance- and life is born through us.

And then begins the coddling, and sleepless nights caring for this little soul.

We shed many tears, we mothers; tears of fear, guilt, worry, concern, joy and pleasure. And these tears wash the edges and roughness from the humans we are- we become stronger more beautiful souls.

We run, we catch, we scold, we hug- and somehow these little people grow up- and their characters emerge.

We then begin to fret and worry over the people they are becoming and the lives they will live. Their failures are our lashings, their reprimands our scouring, their tears the bitter salt rubbed into wounds.

Sometimes we think we can do it all- sometimes we forget the place fathers hold and the guiding force we must let him take in these lives. Then suddenly we let go, and leave him the reins- and he guides these stubborn ones with a gentle hand and they stop their headless dashing. Let's let these fathers do more in the running of our households- our kids need that and so does our sanity.

Mothers- whose motherly power love will make her bold as a lion, whose very character seems to change in the process of motherhood, whose depths are fathomless, and love abounding. Thank you for bearing us life- thank you for guiding our faltering steps and believing is us.

Thanks for being our Mothers.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cultivating Thankfulness

At the beginning of 2015 I felt a need to work on a thankful spirit in my family.

Kids are so prone to entitlement in our times- and they fuss and complain and have a lack of thankfulness that is rather shocking at times.

I looked into my own heart and realized how much it hurts me when I ship an international gift- and never even hear a word that the receiver got the package I sent. I realized that not receiving thanks is painful to the giver and harmful to the one receiving.

I make a plan to endeavor to cultivate thankfulness in my life and in my home this year- because there is no other better way to teach our children then by example.

These are the ideas I had at the beginning of the year and that I am trying to practice.

  • Write thank you notes - I have been trying to write hand-written ones- like we used to do growing up because that is so rare in our times-and hand-written notes are so special. If the gift was something given to my child who can't yet write then I have them draw pictures on the card as an expression of thanks (if they will cooperate)
  • Be sure to thank those who assist me/us: clerks, doctors,strangers,etc. 
  • Share those items we no longer need- rather than selling them- and when the kids have too much. 
  • Make gifts- don't buy so much- use the talents I/we have and be thankful we have them. 
  • Act Respectfully- Our kids will not respect their teachers if they hear us belittle them to our spouses. 
  • Acts of Kindness- Say thanks to someone who always serves you and never gets appreciated (postal carriers, those who work in the places we always go and know their faces but not their names) by gifting them something baked or a gift card. 
How are you cultivating thankfulness in your family? I'd love to get more ideas! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

For Mom's

As a Mom there is something so special in feeling your kids appreciate you and and the work you are instilling in their lives.

I am so thankful for MY Mom who taught me to cook, sew, create art, care for babies and be womanly. In honor of Moms I am hosting a giveaway for a give certificate for YOUR Mom! Enter now to win her a gift certificate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finding Peace

John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid

It is easy to run in circles- overcome by stress. 

But this God- who draws broken, scared, angry, hurting, people to Himself seeks to give us peace. 

This peace that is beyond anything the world understands. 

This peace that is found in meeting God in calm and quiet- letting Him still our hearts. 

This is peace- the kind I find when I take a moment to be still before my Creator and let Him calm and soothe my heart. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When Parenting feels like hell

Being a parent is by far one of the most difficult tasks a human will ever endure.

There are days when you feel you will pull your hair out- or go mad or lose it.

There are days when your kids will scream, whine, make faces at you, disobey, speak disrespectfully, hit, fight and cry. In fact- these might well be the majority of those days.

But there are days when your kids love you to the moon and back and you will look at them with pride and love and such joy.

But what do you do when this moment- this phase is so hellish?

My oldest is going through a phase (at least I hope that is what it is). He is nearly 7- and getting him to obey today and act respectully and do his homework, etc IS SO difficult. He mades faces, behaves and talksrudely, and does all manner of things which leave me wondering if this is really my child.

How can we survive these days? For me prayer is tops when I face a child I no longer know how to deal with. God alone can grant wisdom in these situations.

I did some reading on parenting this evening and liked this article- on correctly behavior.

This day has come to a close- the kids are calmly sleeping and I am mentally preparing for another day. Hoping and praying that tomorrow is more peaceful and my boy gets his joyful selt back-

 Oh LORD, grant us patience as parents and wisdom to guide these little people. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Baby is 3

Today my youngest turned 3! Wow, it seems so big in so many ways. 

This sweet little boy with his happy spirit and easy smile. He is enthusiastic about nearly everything. He is going through a stage where things are AMAZING! He loved his new CAT bulldozer today and said it was AMAZING! Cute! 

He is such a little talker- continually conversing with himself at nap time- when he is supposed to be sleeping. 

He plays so well with his sister- she is like a little Mommy to him at times- precious. 

This dear child who entrance into this world healed so many fears I'd had of birth- he has so blessed our lives! 

Thank heaven for little boys! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My NEW Website

Dear friends, and faithful readers. 

It is with much pleasure that I present to you my new website. 

My husband has spent countless hours building this site and I am excited to get to share it all with you! 

So take a minute and check it out. Mark it in your favorites. Like my new Facebook page, And don't miss out on the opening sales! 

Would love to get your feedback on the Website - you can e-mail here

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Gifts that Hug your Mom

A mother is usually the most important person we will ever know in our lives. She is the one through which life comes to our fragile bodies. She is the one who sacrificed self-comfort, sleep, her own flesh for YOU. She is the one who gave hugs, kissed owies and prayed for you. 

A Mom is someone no one wants to do without! 

Mother's Day is a day when we stop and try to shower our special women with attention, to show them how much we really do appreciate all they have done! 

I don't know about you- but as a Mom I love knowing that my little ones took the time to make me a card, or sing me a song, or pick me some flowers to show they cared. 

For a lot of us our Moms are just far away that our arms too short to give that hug we long to give and money isn't enough to get us to her doorstep for this special day. 

My Mom loves knowing she is loved- in whatever way I can show it best. For me that is to create something or buy something just for HER. 

I created my silk scarves with the love and beauty of spring and peace in them. They make perfect Mom gifts- believe me- I know. My Mom loves getting them from me :) 

Perhaps you don't see a scarf in the colors  you desire, or maybe you want something so unique you need a custom order. Maybe a favorite quote, or song, or favorite flower. . . 

I have lots of new spring scarves in my shop and all custom orders need to be placed by April 10 to be sure to give me time to paint them and ship them. I can even include a beautiful card for your Mom with a special message just for you! 

So why not spoil your Mom, or perhaps send someone a hint of how you'd like to be spoiled and "hugged" with a silk scarf around your neck this Mom's Day. 

You are the best Mom your child has right now! Love yourself! And know that you are SPECIAL! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Letting Go

Lately I feel this pressures or tension envelopes mes. As if stress grips my heart with worry.

My devotional reminds me to stop and rest in HIM.

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask ME whether or not it is part of today's agenda. If it isn't, release it into My care and go on about today's duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its its time. 

From the devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. March 29

When I let HIM control my days and life then I can fall into His arms of love that will work out all things for HIS glory.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reach 600 and a GIVEAWAY

Friday, March 13, 2015

In Sickness, and Health

When we say those vows on our wedding days many of us have on these very optimistic rose-pink hued glasses. Those sicknesses we promise to be faithful through are ones (in our minds) like colds or the flu or some such thing.

But when life gets hard, and our spouse goes through "hell" -whether that be pain or some other chronic illness - are we really as true as we'd like to be?

Since Christmas my husband has been on sick leave for his back. His diagnosis is one that would seem to be incurable and one that you can only learn to curb and live with and keep from progressing.

He decided to return to work Monday- despite the pain since he was sick of being home. But this week has been worse then all those before.

I have never seen my husband so emotionally low, sometimes that frightens me. He- my strong one crumpled up in self-loathing and pain.

We believe, we pray. Yet God doesn't answer the way we hope.Why?

Last night was another sleepless night. He tossed and turned and kept me awake with all that movement. I massaged his back to try to work some of the tension out of his upper back and help him curb the pain. Because pain leads to tension- which leads to more pain- a vicious cycle.

I asked him what else I can do to help him and he said, "Pray."

And so we again went to our Father in prayer. We cried together, we ached together. Perhaps he, because of the intense pain and loss of all hope of living normally. Me, because I felt so weak and incapable of doing anything to ease his great suffering.

Somehow this prayer time was different- perhaps because we were so utterly broken and hopeless. Knowing that God alone was the only one who could bring any relief and sleep to my poor husband. Perhaps, because finally I was truly honest with God in my prayer. Honest to admit that though I have never seen God answer my prayers to heal,  I DO believe HE heals. And perhaps because we were so utterly and totally united in our prayers.

Sleep finally came and though the morning was still painful for my husband somehow this day has been different- easier. My husband came home after a very long work day- I was expecting to see the haggard, pale, tormented "glass-man" (fragile, avoiding hugs and any contact) of yesterday. Yet he looked almost "normal".

Thanks be to our Heavenly Father that though we do not understand His ways or His timing and know not what tomorrow holds- He is in charge and we need only walk by faith. one step at a time.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Kind Word

We all walk through dark valleys in our lives- where it seems nothing or very little is going right.

Then all of a sudden a kind word of encouragement, a warm hug or a gentle nod of understanding. Perhaps even shared tears and or a thoughtful note are all it takes to help us through.

This year has started with much trial for our family- yet God has been kind, good and faithful.

Thanks to those of you who have stood by us with a prayer, a note or a word of encouragement. We love and appreciate you!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy March :)

Somehow spring seems to know it has been long awaited here in the far north. The birds have even resumed their chatty tunes and today the first spring flowers were brave enough to peek their heads out for a glimpse of what the world looks like through their leafy bed.

My windowsills are beginning to fill up with seedlings and I have begun to dream again about gardening- a passtime I both love and hate.

March- the color of green- new life- growth and for some St. Patrick's Day.

This fine first day of March I wish you a cheery walk in perhaps sunshine and if not at least with the warmth of a content heart in your chest.

What do you like to add to your wardrobe when spring approaches? For me I add a lighter colored coat, and a brigher scarf. Here are a few of my spring  choices in honor of March 1, enjoy :)

Green Scarf. Fight LYME disease. Spring Scarf. New Life. Spring Green, Perfect Spring Scarf. Gifts for Her.

Aquamarine Scarf - Hand painted Blue Scarf Headcovering . Shades of Blue Scarf . Hand Painted Silk scarf.

Yellow Scarf - Paisley Scarf .  Hand Painted Scarf. Yellow Scarf. Paisley. Hand Painted Silk.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's a Party- 5 Years on Etsy

My beautiful cousin. 

Five years ago today I opened my shop on Etsy. It has been a blessed 5 years. This art on silk has been my therapy on days when I was stressed out and needed calm as a Mommy of 3 young ones. 

Etsy has been a place for me to grow and learn from other artists around the world. I have made new friends and come so far in this journey of art and online sales.

Thanks to each of you who has stopped in, in my shop and perhaps even bought something. You guys have been the ones to keep me painting and dreaming!

In honor of this special celebration I have a sale going on until the end of the week- use the code 5YEARS at checkout for $5.00 off. 

And to add to the party you can join in this giveaway!

Thanks for the best of times! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Good Movie!

I am always looking for a good movie to see. I also love cooking themed movies, they inspire me anew. So when I stumbled upon The Hundred Foot Journey I was so happy.

If you are looking for a good and funny movie, and even more one that has a cooking theme, watch this one!

Plus I loved the whole cultural aspect :) (Since I am in a 2 culture family)

Have you seen it? How did you like it?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The REAL problem in raising a child.

Yesterday I posted a link to the great program, Raising Well Behaved Children. Today a friend of mine asked me what I got out of this program personally and what I want to change.

So I wanted to share some parts of the program that really hit home with me (you can also read the transcript of the program here)

John R.: Well, here's the thing and this is what I tell parents all over the culture, all over the country. You and I'm talking you, you parents, you believe that these problems are emanating from your children and the fact it, that the overwhelming majority of these problems are a function of your parenting style.
And if you can come to grips with that and accept that, it's very liberating, because when you realize that you have been trying to change the wrong people, and that you've been making an effort. It's very difficult to change someone else, even if the person in question is a 5-year-old child, when you understand that the person that needs to be changed in this equation is you, and that's the easiest person for you to change, that is very, very liberating.
And so, I say to parents, you know, who tell me, I have an argumentative child, John. I say, no you don't. You just simply provide explanations. You are justifying the decisions that you are making to your child. You are justifying the instructions and the justification, the explanation provides the child with all he needs to push back against you with.
And so, when you stop giving explanations, when you strip your instructions and you strip your decisions down to a minimum of words, you simply say what you mean, mean what you say, you're going to find that these arguments stop.
So the real problem isn't my kids- it's ME and my style of parenting. I know I spend too much time (at times) giving explanations.

You know, and I tend to answer questions in terms of anecdotes. A mother came up to me in Easley, South Caroline a few years ago. And she said, "John, I've got a 5-year-old who won't do what he's told."
Jim: (Laughing)
John R.: And this was the actual conversation. I said, "Well, I don't believe that." (Laughter) And she said, "What are you talking about?" And I said, " I've never heard of a 5-year-old who wouldn't do what he was told." "Well, then you've never heard of my son, 'cause he won't do anything I tell him to do; (Laughter) about anything and ever …"
I said, "No, I've never heard of your son, but you've told me an awful lot about you without really meaning to." She said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, you've told me you don't tell you son to do anything, because my experience is, that if children are told, they do what they're told." But what today's parents are doing is not telling; they're pleading, bargaining, bribing. I've got this memorized, so it comes out very smoothly and I'm a public speaker. (Laughter)
Pleading, bargaining, bribing, cajoling, reasoning, explaining, encouraging, suggesting and promising. And when none of that works, then they threaten and then they scream and then they feel bad and then they do something special for the child and make up for their guilt and then they go right back to pleading, bargaining, bribing, you know, and so on and so forth. (Laughter)
And you know, I said to this woman, "When you start telling your child, your child will begin doing what he is told." It's a function of your leadership style. And this is not complicated; if you understand it that way, it's very, very simple. And the problems become clear and the solutions become clea

The whole thing about bargaining, begging, pleading. . . that is so  ME. I want to make our lives easier (I thought) and be a good Mom and in yet in reality could it be I am setting myself up for failure? I am constantly feeling frustrated and this seems so right on! What do you say?

The last part that really hit home with me is about the "Good Mommy Club."

John R.: One of the problems in American culture today and American parenting culture is what I call "The Good Mommy Club." And the rules of The Good Mommy Club, the rules of membership in The Good Mommy Club are such that they make inevitable that the female parent is going to experience a tremendous amount of stress in the raising of children and the stress is going to be expressed on some frequency in the form of cerebral meltdowns.
And you know, the rules of The Good Mommy Club, the good mommy pays as much attention to her children as she possibly can. So, my mother expected me to pay attention to her. The good mommy does as much for her children as she possibly can. My mother expected me to do for myself and on a daily basis, was for my benefit dedicating herself to doing as little for me as she possibly could.
And what I am saying to American women all over the country is, look, all of the rules have turned 180 degrees in the last 50 years. Your mother, your grandmother especially, didn't go through her parenting career screaming on a regular basis at her children. Why is this happening today?
And these are things that are problems that are embedded in our parenting culture today, that you know, I go around the country and I say, "Look, my mission is two-fold. It's mother liberation from the constraints of The Good Mommy Club and marriage restoration."

I am constantly feeling so stressed out and having "meltdowns" because I don't feel good enough as a Mom. What do you say Mom's? Would making these changes in your parenting methods restore your sanity and make your marriage healthier?

There are some points of this that I don't agree with- like doing as little for my kids as possible. But I have been understanding ALOT lately that my kids have a very bad case of entitlement. Where they think they should have what they want, when they want it and without working for it. I have been realizing they are in dire need of some good old fashioned chores and responsibilities- and not just getting everything on a "silver platter."


Monday, February 2, 2015

On Child Rearing- A great program

I just listened to a fantastic program on raising well disciplined kids- something very real and actual for those of us with small kids.

You can listen to it here

The thing that struck me the most and challenged me to change in my approach to instructing my children is to stop: pleading, bargaining, bribing, conjoling, reasoning, explaining, encouraging, suggesting and promising. . .

Listen to the program- it will be well worth your time!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January- Swimming Through Mud

I wonder if I am the only one who runs on a holiday high sea of emotions and then comes crashing down when January sets in?

It isn't that I don't like winter. In fact I delight in cold, crisp white winters and nothing could make me happier then a fresh snow and the purity of the white.

And yet this month could best be described for me emotionally as trying to swim through mud. I feel I am just trying to make it through; just trying to survive.

Where is my joy? Where is delight?

Yes, they have shown up at times this month- but I have found myself much more negative then the "me" I usually know.

My husband has been home this whole New Year on sick leave for his back.  Somehow that gets me out of whack- like totally. He is here enough for me to need to rethink my schedule so we can get our plans coordinated for his doctor's appointments which seems to pop up way too often. Yet he is in enough pain that he has spent most of the last month in bed- resting. Somehow this drives me crazy. . . (yes, I am horrible, I know).

Even writing that makes me feel self-conscious. But I guess I am used to being the home boss during the week. And now needing to plan our days and weeks in harmony is something we are still in need of learning to do better. And usually he is so active and it is hard to have him laid up.

I feel badly being so blue when I actually know I am so very blessed. I remind myself to rejoice and look for joy in thankfulness. And though it is a battle for joy- joy is also a choice, isn't it?

A choice to trust HIM, a choice to trust that HE is providing when it seems our funds are disappearing into thin air over doctor bills and medicines. A choice to look for the good and be thankful even when I don't feel like.

Our oldest boy (now 6) struggles a lot with his attitude. He doesn't want to do his homework or practice the violin. He doesn't want to go to lessons, etc. He only wants to play Legos and just do his own thing. I badger and threaten (to suspend his Legos for a day). I rally and encourage him to do his best. . . and somehow we plod on.

Then I stop and examine my own attitude and see myself in my boy. I too constantly struggle with attitude. Not wanting to do this, not wanting to do that; pushing myself to do what I must. I pout, I grumble, I react instead of responding. I hang my head sadly, knowing that my boy is mirroring me -(even when I keep it hidden inside- attitude somehow seeps out).

And so we struggle on- some days with heavy hearts; some days soaring and I cling to these words from Isaiah 40:31

31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.

A whimsical sketch I did to capture my feelings "swimming through mud." The mud here is portrayed as mud-bubbles to make it more light-hearted. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mother Power

Sparks seem to continually fly from me of late.

I feel my New Year's desires of being a better Mom, and a more patient person lie like strewn clothes about the house I inhabit.

The dog escaped again, twice. How that irritates me- like wicked crumbs under ones skin.

I can't take the noise.

Everything seems to easily annoy me.

I am sick of me; sick of being so dark inside.

Yet, when I crawl to my Father. Feeling dirty and grimy from having been impatient. Feeling ever so wretched in my self-inflicted wounds of expecting too much and failing too often- I find relief.

This Father of mine who promised to make the dirty clean. Who takes my sad and naughty heart and washes it clean. With His tender hand as gentle as any mother washing her child's face. This Father, rights my fallen steps, and like a Daddy reaching his hand out to his toddler toppled over sets me right again.

So I carry on- washed clean. Given a new chance to walk.

As I look over my day I see how my outbursts set the course of my family temperature. When I stomp about in anger over a dog who has once again escaped- vowing that this is the last straw and that she must be sold. My children copy me; they too say how they don't like our dog- she is naughty, chews toys, etc.

I stop and watch. 

I breathe. 

I calm. 

I get alone with my Father. I get that cleaning up I so badly needed- that heart wash that reminds me that this life isn't about the me or these silly little nothings (like dogs escaping and unfinished homework) ; but that it is about HIM.

Then I come back. I peep into what my children are doing and saying and I see joy pouring out of them. I see how they are glad because of the little things. I see how the peace my husband seeps and my tender and silly goodnight makes them glow and giggle.

I wonder. 

I realize that we Mamas have a power over our families, much like that of an enchantress. We guide them to good or to evil. We make the sun shine or the storms rage. Our families look to us- they copy us.

Our values become their foundation. 

Our words become their backbone. 

Our prayers become their salvation. 

You, dear Mommy, no matter how much you fail like me, you are precious! You are needed! You are irreplaceable! I know there are days we would like to vanish. Being a Mommy is hard, ever so hard. But we can do this! Not alone, but with that dear Father. Trust Him today!

Monday, January 12, 2015

4 Weeks- Post Laparoscopic Appendectomy

December 10 was a normal day, busy, full. I was running around that evening, I thought I was fine.

Later that evening I was busy painting, I was drinking tea and nibbling chocolate as I worked to fill orders. I noticed my tummy  hurting a little. But thought little of it, my tummy aches other days too.

I went to bed late after an evening of painting and couldn't get comfy. My tummy hurt and neither side was right for sleeping. I got up a lot to use the restroom thinking it would relieve the tummy pain. All night long was sleepless- I finally drifted off towards morning.

My husband was working 2nd shift the next day and sent me in to see my doctor before he had to go to work. I couldn't clearly tell her if my side ached more when she pressed on it or released it- but she said it didn't look good and sent me to see the surgeon.

I felt surprisingly calm that morning. I was really tired, having not slept. I also felt that since I could drive myself to the doctor's it surely couldn't be too serious. . .

I was sent to make blood tests and then wait for the results and then back to the surgeon. When she got my tests back she said she 99% sure it was my appendix and I would need an operation that day. But just to be sure it wasn't something else she sent me to the gynaecologist.

From there it was a straight shot to the operating room. Even as they wheeled me down the hall way I was thinking that perhaps it was all a mistake and when they cut me open they'd realize it wasn't my appendix. I thought this because I had thought it should hurt more. . .

I was shocked how peaceful I felt through all of this. I have never liked doctors or hospitals- and had in fact never been admitted to one before. God was with me through this whole ordeal and was using these health problems to deal with unseen other healthy problems that had been slowly piling up.

Later that afternoon I was in my room with 3 other elderly ladies. I vomited alot after the anesthesia. I felt safe when my husband came and sat by me and held my hand. I had a tube for removing infection which was removed the following day.

48 hours passed without my being allowed to eat anything so when the first cream of wheat came on the 13th I was very happy to eat and it seemed delicious. The next few days of food weren't great, and I wondered how food could turn out that tasteless.

I was released on Monday- the 15th and eagerly awaited home by my husband and 3 kids.

A strict diet, not lifting and various meds were on the agenda through the holiday season- leaving me 7 lbs lighter and feeling a bit left out of the holiday baking spirit. Yet, things were calm this year for our home- and for that I am thankful.

Four weeks have passed since my operation and now my dietary restrictions are lifted so I will slowly being adding vegetables back into my diet (they were out because they cause cause bloating, etc).

I must say how thankful I am for God's good timing and the healing he has brought to me both through the doctors and medicines and his gentle touch of health and rest.

I was so incredibly blessed with visitors while in the hospital those 4 days and felt so special- knowing I wasn't forgotten. Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit me, call me and text me. Friends are such blessings in hard times.

I am so thankful for my husband who once again held the fort while I was on a forced "vacation" to regain my health!

Thanks to my kids who are learning how to do things I couldn't do for them this month after recovery.

Praise God through whom all blessings flow!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Silky Gifts for your Valentine

It may seem that Valentine's day is nothing special, and to some that may be. Yet I enjoy giving a little something to my special someone and having him remember me too. It is fun to remember those we love and Valentine's Day gives us a little extra day to do so.

Another fun way to commerate the day is by doing something special together. We like going out to dinner and making time to just BE together and talk.

I have a special sale in my shop right now if you want to buy you or your loved one or BOTH of you something special for Valentine's Day. Use the code BEMINE15 at checkout for 14 % off your order over $50.00.  Something silky is always a nice gift- and especially at Valentine's Day.

Here a couple colored themed options for the occasion.

Red Scarf in red and cranberry , hand painted silk scarf. Red scarf . Silkiness

Red Valentine's Day Scarf Floral Silk Scarf- Perfect Gift for Her- Women's Gifts-  Hand Painted Silk Scarf.  Red Silk Scarf. Modern Scarves.

Or maybe your dear friend loves dogs

Bulldog Scarf . American Bulldog . Dog Lovers Gift .

Keep in mind that my items are shipping Internationally, so you need to order in a timely manner to get them on time.

Don't forget about your handsome man

Peacock Necktie .  Carnival Necktie . Wedding Tie .  Manly necktie.Peacock Skinny Tie.  Hand Painted Silk Tie.

So what do you do for Valentine's Day? If you don't have someone special to spoil, then maybe it is time you spoiled yourself a little bit?

Happy Friday!