You are a Mom ~ You are a Wife ~ You are a Lady ~ ~ Embrace who God created you to be ~
Emphasis On Moms is focused on giving moms words of encouragement and support. Our goal is to bring you hope and help for your life as parents, individual women, and wives. We know that your family means everything to you. Yet in our stressed, busy, overwhelmed world a mom can struggle with low self esteem, finding time for her marriage relationship, maintaining family values, and just being a positive parent. Emphasis On Moms is here to help you feel good about who you are, while bringing inspiration and perspective to your heart through our resources, blog, and parenting tips. You put everything you are into caring for your family - now its time to be lavished with some love, honesty and a reminder that you're not alone.
Emphasis On Moms February 2011 Issue Issn: 1529~269X
Inside: Impact: Inspirational Quote Home Impressions: You’ll Understand Heartstrings: Help From Heaven Memory Lane: The “What If” Scenario A Mom Minute: How Important Really...Is a Perfectly Clean House? Applause! (Lady of the Mont): Liesl Nurture Your Soul: The Topography of the Heart Potpourri: Idea Sparkers For Your Home Timeout: Team Parent Treasure Box: Genesis 41:38 All About Relationships: Making Our Relationships a Priority Social Graces: Kids Will Be Kids 3
Between You and Me ~ What a great response we got on switching our newsletter over to an online magazine format! This will be the last month that you get the newsletter both in your email box and online. What happens from here on out is that the „newsletter‟ will now only be viewable online. But what a great way to share it with others! I‟ve decided to keep using my email list host, so those of you who are subscribed to the email format will still get an email every month. Instead of it being the entire newsletter issue, it will include a link for you to click on that takes you right to the publication. Sound good? So you do not need to unsubscribe! However, since you will no longer get reminders about changing your email address and avoiding being bounced off of the list, you might want to subscribe at Issuu.com as well. Just to make sure you are notified each month when the next “Emphasis On Moms” publication is out. You will have to create an account for this—but don‟t let that scare you off. It‟s just to keep track of your subscriptions & is easy peasy. If any of ya‟ll are confused and want to make sure you get all future newsletter issues, just send me an email and I‟ll walk you through or explain it further! Just email me at: email@example.com. Thanks !
Keeping It Real,
Dionna Sanchez 4
There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these. ~ Michael Nolan
When you have kids of your own, you’ll understand… I’ll understand what? That I’m more confused than ever? That I realize how much I don’t know? Truth be told, I think we understand as much as we seek and want to understand. I know people who don’t have their own children who have more insight than some who do. And I know some parents whose children are “the exception” – for good or for bad – so no advice or general guidelines apply. Nothing you can suggest will help in a situation because “you just don’t understand.” We’re limited in our understanding. We’re humans. So why would we further limit ourselves by refusing to try to understand? Or, at the other extreme, why do we assume because we have a small amount of understanding, we completely understand something, which qualifies us to give advice and recommendations as an expert? On a trip to the mountains with several upper elementary girls, I experienced their curiosity to understand. Their object of understanding? Poo. Several of the girls had been raised on farms, and they knew poo, but this poo was different. So they began to identify poo. When they’d find unfamiliar poo, they’d gather hints until they could conclude what animal left the poo behind. I decided to have some fun with their curiosity. During a hiking break in an area we were exploring for the first time, I discreetly place the Tootsie Rolls I’d molded into a pile resembling poo onto a rock. I excitedly called called the girls over to the rock to examine the unidentified poo. After their bewildered responses, I told them I’d been talking to the ranger the day before, and she said if you can’t identify the poo by looking at it, you should smell it. The girls responded with variations of “eeewww, grrooosssss!” as I leaned over the poo. 6
“I can’t tell what it is. But the ranger said if smelling it didn’t work, pick it up and check the weight and texture.” More responses of disgust as I picked up the poo. And finally: “Well, I still can’t tell what it is. The ranger said as a last resort, the only way to tell what kind of poo it is – is to taste it.” “NNNOOOOOOO!” as I popped a piece of poo in my mouth. “Hmm. Tastes like…Tootsie Rolls!” After a few giggles, of course, the girls wanted to eat the Tootsie Rolls, which I personally thought was gross, since I’d handled them and had carried them in my pocket for hours. When have you trusted the information someone gave you and later found out it wasn’t true? When have you had an “a-ha” moment, when understanding clicked into place for you? Watch for an a-ha moment each day of this week. Jot down any time you learn something new, find out something you thought was inaccurate (and replace it with accurate information), or connect several pieces to gain understanding.
Help me understand, so I can keep your teachings, obeying them with all my heart. Psalm 119:34
~ Susan Lawrence is passionate about connecting individuals and teams of people in purposeful and healthy ways. Whether writing, speaking or consulting, I strive to encourage and equip women to meet the others around them while balancing their own needs. We all need support and encouragement! My first Bible Study, Pure Purpose, released Spring 2010. http://purepurposebook.wordpress.com/
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Heartstrings “HELP FROM HEAVEN” By Angie Maldonado
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the
God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. O Lord, save the king! Answer us when we call! Psalm 20 Ladies, marriages are in distress. If yours is not, I am certain you know of a handful that are. In recent months, I have heard countless realities of women who are hurting in their marriages and my heart is filled with compassion.
Aside from our walk with the Lord, marriage is our number one, top priority relationship in God’s eyes, so when it is broken or in turmoil, pain is inevitable. And it is not a pain that can be tucked under the rug and ignored. Because of its priority, it impacts everything. Our mood can be affected, our relationship with others, our walk with the Lord, even our health are all touched by the pain that is not able to be compartmentalized. I see it in friends and acquaintances; I’ve felt it my own soul many years ago. 10
The first step we can take is to turn to the Lord with our broken and contrite
hearts. Take a look at Psalm 20 printed above. I want to highlight just a few things, though the passage speaks loudly for itself. First, it is the LORD himself who is the actor here. He will answer, protect, send help, grant you support, remember you, give and make. Do you see those action words? In fact, verse one says just His name has power!! Second, look where His help is coming from: “May He send you help from the sanctuary…He answers him from His holy heaven…” Now, to put this in human terms a little bit, I think of calling 911. They are going to send help and it will be from the police department, or fire department, or whatever is going to meet my need. But what if I called 911 and help was dispatched right from the White House! God is going to send me (and you) help right from His throne! He’s not going to delegate or entrust my care to some other source. He is going to send help from the sanctuary—His holy heaven. That is exciting to me. He is intimately involved in my life, which is why I can “trust in the name of the LORD my God.”
If your marriage is hurting, take heart; help is on the way from the sanctuary— His holy heaven. And it is an active help. I am praying for you in this time of temporary distress and I am praying to the One who answers!
~ Angie Maldonado is a home schooling mom of two girls (ages 7 and 9) and an Army wife. She and her family currently reside in Fort Benning, Georgia. Her greatest goal in life is to leave a remarkable spiritual legacy to her two girls and to see them mature with hearts to serve the Lord. She enjoys crafting, decorating, reading and of course, writing. Angie has experienced the renovating power of the Lord at work in her marriage, and considers it a great blessing to use what she has learned to help build other women in their faith. Her first book, Let Your Light Shine, is now available through www.crossbooks.com or at her website, www.letyourlightshineam.com.
How Important Really….Is a Perfectly Clean House? ~ By Dionna Sanchez
Could you still have fun with that couple you invited over for dinner if you didn’t have time to dust or vacuum the floors? Would you still open your home to Bible studies, small groups, and other church functions if you didn’t have a nice couch or chairs to sit on? Would you still offer to bring food to that new mom or that family who just lost a loved one if all you knew how to make was grilled cheese sandwiches? I’m just wondering….could you be happy in your home if it were smaller…darker…older? If you had no yard at all? Would you be happy if everyone visited you without calling first all of the time….or no one visited at all?? Would you allow yourself to invite that neighbor in out of the cold if you had laundry being sorted all over the living room or toys strewn about? Would you refuse to answer the door and not open it at all? What is the motivation of our hearts when it concerns our homes? Is 12
it love – or pride? Do we focus on the “things” we own, or people? I pray that I will have the kind of home (and heart) that lets someone come in, even if things aren’t in order. I pray that people will feel welcome and loved in my home even if the toilets need to be cleaned and the groceries still aren’t put away. For home is where the HEART is and I want people to feel at home with me. I want them to feel comfortable and free. I want to be motivated to keep a clean house out of love for my family. But I don’t want to be ruled by an image I think my house needs to have. For then my heart has shifted onto the wrong things and the wrong priorities. After all, a little dirt never hurt anybody – isn’t that what we were taught?
~ Dionna Sanchez is the Founder of the EmphasisOnMoms.com Ministry. She blogs her faith at http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com and freelance writes from her home in Idaho.
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As they discussed who should be appointed for the job, Pharaoh said, “Who could do it better than Joseph? For he is a man who is obviously filled with the spirit of God.” Genesis 41:38 NLT When we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit, we can do things well beyond our normal human capabilities. But often we become so focused on our human frailties and shortcomings that we hesitate to step out and do what God is asking us to do. When this happens, we must purposefully change our focus from our weaknesses to God’s amazing power and grace. ~ Cheryl Heindel 15
The Topography of the Heart
I could create a perfect home. I could sweep and mop every day so the scent of pine always lingers. I could have my girls‟ rooms clean and vacuumed every afternoon. I could light a fire in the fireplace in the evenings when it turns chilly and make sure the dishes are always put away. I could do the paperwork filing every day after the mail comes so that nothing cluttered is ever in sight. I could organize the playroom. I could make sure the only food in my home was organic, whole grain and without a pinch of trans fat or refined sugar. I could speak evenly to my children and my husband all the time. I could make sure my words were thoughtful and wise. I could laugh at a moment‟s notice. I could try to create the ideal environment for my family to thrive. The hills and valleys of our existence could appear perfect. I could try to control and own everything. Don‟t misunderstand: I do TRY to do these things within reason. Truth is, there are usually dishes in my sink and toys on the floor and I admit I raise my voice too often. My ideal environment is less than ideal and it seems as if the more I try to control, the less I seem to own it. 16
I am realizing lately that I don‟t own my daughters‟ hearts. I‟ve tried to steal them, but they won‟t be stolen. Even from their birth, they were created by and owned by Someone else. Someone who could take much better care of them than me. I can nurture and try to impart as much wisdom and soundness that I can, but ultimately they will make their own choices. The heart has it‟s own capacity for perfection or imperfection, clutter or organization, evenness or chaos. It has ravines and rivers, mountain ranges and peaks. And it has oceans and river currents. It is it‟s own “monster”, something that can never be controlled by someone else. Even a mother. Even if I had a perfect home and created a perfect environment. The unmapped, undiscovered worlds in the hearts of my little girls are vast. I can try to know them, try to control them even, but at the end of the day, they belong to God. He is the one that knows the unique heart-topography of a little girl. He knows the little hills and valleys that reside in their souls. He knows these much better than I ever will and He cares for them much more than I ever could. I have to give their hearts up. Every day. I have to try to create an environment to thrive (but we all know our playroom will never be organized) but also know that even so, they might make poor decisions or love too quickly so that their fragile hearts are wounded. My peace is that the Creator of their hearts is also a master Mapmaker, and he knows their topography much better than I ever could hope. ~ Sarah Markley is a freelance writer and a stay at home mom. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Chad and her daughters Hope and Naomi. She blogs daily about faith, marriage and mothering at www.sarahmarkley.com. “Originally published at www.sarahmarkley.com in November 2008” 17
Name: Liesl Number of children and ages: 2 girls (7 and 5) City and State (or country):St Albans, United Kingdom How did your husband propose to you? In my favorite steak and seafood restaurant with candle light. Nothing romantic just popped the question, but he was so nervous, hahaha. If you could drop one thing from your schedule to slow down your family life and make more room for "family time" - what would you drop? My to do list - always have something to do, but I am trying to get that sorted by giving everyone something to do and just pick up after themselves. How do you give back to your church and community? By doing as the Spirit leads me, giving a word or giving someone some food, etc. What are your biggest concerns as a mom - for your children and for your family? That I am failing them by not giving enough of me and my time for them, that I prioritize other things first. Are you who you wanted to be - and dreamed of becoming when you were a little girl? Yes and no - I always said as a little girl I want to be at home with my kids and be there for them and yes I am that, I was at home with them till they started school. God has been good to me - I have found a job that I am always at home when my kids are home. No because I thought I would be this awesome mom that will be there fulltime for my kids and play with them and do things with them, but it is not possible. What motivates you? This is difficult, I think seeing my family happy and content. Finishing something I set myself to do, drives me to do more and finishing it. Compliments from others. What do you do when money is tight? Donâ€™t go to the shops, and empty the kitchen cupboards. Buying whoopsies ( Food that gets marked down in shops when its near there sell by dates). 18
Potpourri ers for your Home
~ Idea Spark-
If your house is anything like mine, the computer tends to get neglected when it comes to cleaning. One very important thing to remember is that you should never spray any liquid directly onto any part of your computer. If you need to use some type of liquid cleaner, spray it first onto a clean cloth. Another great tip is using a vacuum to clean off dust and dirt around the outside of your computer, the hard drive, or the monitor. Just remember to turn it off first! Be careful to not accidentally knock out any of the cords when cleaning your computer. Compressed air, which is made for the purpose of cleaning keyboards, is also a great idea. Just be cautious of using compressed air near fans, especially those on laptops or other smaller computers. The strength of the compressed air could cause damage to the fan. Try to keep up with cleaning your computer so the dust doesnâ€™t build up. ~ Amy McCormick 19
Team Parent ~ By Jenn Whitmer Parenting is teamwork. * Truly working together provides so many benefits for your children, namely security and certainty. Providing a steady surface for your child to discover the joy of obedience is one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids. We all know that we should work together, but how does that work? You’re not Cops
Don’t play good cop, bad cop with your kids. If someone in your house is
“the heavy” and the other parent comes in to always rescue, this creates great confusion in your child. The boundary is blurred; children begin to question the guidelines and then struggle with making the best decision for themselves. Also, it sets up one parent as unapproachable. If that parent overreacts, but never has to repent or apologize, why would a child want to pursue relationship with that parent? He will naturally choose the parent who is sympathetic. Both parents need to agree on methods and consequences for disciplining children before the situation arises. United you Stand
Presenting a united front provides clear boundaries for your children. Children will then understand the rule or principle instead of “working the system” for a seemingly better outcome. The best is to decide before how to handle certain situations, but we all know that’s not always practical. Ok, almost never! But agreeing on general principles and consequences will put you far ahead. When a situation arises that you’re not sure how to handle, tell the child you’ll wait to decide until you can talk to your spouse. And sometimes that “squirming time” is what they need while they wait. There will be times 20
when you and your spouse disagree about how to handle a situation. In these times especially, prayer is vital. Asking God to change your heart, your spouse’s heart, and your child’s heart to match His will sets the right foundation for your parenting adventure. The Comeback
If you and your spouse disagree about how to handle a discipline situation, take time to discuss it away from the child. Don’t argue about it in front of her. Resolve and come to a consensus together, then come back to the child. The same thing applies if one of you handles a situation in a way that the other disagrees. Discuss it and if the decision needs to change, come back to your child with an apology and the new decision. Apologizing for a mistake models repentance and humility to your child that leads to a better understanding of grace and humility in their own lives.
God put children in your care to work together to guide them to obedience in Him. Work together; communicate to provide the steady, even guidance for your children. Your child will have deeper security and more self-discipline in life if you do. *If live in a single parent household, your situation looks different than what I’ve described in this article. If your child’s other parent has partial custody, do your best to keep the communication open and apply the suggestions to your situation, not using your child as a pawn in any way. If your child’s other parent is not involved in his or her life, seek out people whom you respect to help you make decisions and reassure you in times of uncertainty. And more blessing and grace to you!
~ Jenn Whitmer lives and laughs with her husband, two sons, and 2
daughters in St. Louis, Missouri. Send Email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts or questions.
Making Our Relationships a Priority With a sense of sadness and great anticipation I bid you all farewell. This is my final column for Emphasis on Moms. I have personally been a subscriber for many years, and look forward to continuing to be nurtured by EOM, but am stepping down as a columnist. At this point in my life I am downsizing, and truth be told, learning to practice what I preach. The last year and a half has been an exciting journey of growth and learning. As I learn to follow the Lord's lead, I am indeed seeing how His plans far exceed our own. The Lord has directed me to focus on home. Our homeschool. Our family business (Home Safe Home). Our ministry (Hope for our Homeless). The blessings that live within the walls of our humble home. I am downsizing and concentrating on my season at "home". I am letting go of various activities that do not focus on "home", and making time so that I may be able to nurture the 22
precious relationships in my life. Relationships are the core of who we are, what we do, and the decisions we make. I do not want to stay so busy "doing" that I neglect the importance of simply being. Being a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Our lives pass before us ever so quickly, and I do not want to miss out on the most important aspect of my own life, my relationships. Thank you so very much for sharing this period of my journey with me. Please feel free to contact me if you ever need support, friendship or prayer. May the Lord lead you, comfort you and help you to become everything He wants you to be. May your relationships grow and thrive, and remember no matter where you are right now in your own personal journey, you are never alone. In the end all that really matters is our relationship with Him, and each other!
~ Jenn Rogers is learning daily to seek and follow God's will, to stay humble
and to serve others with love and gratitude. Feel free to contact Jenn directly at http://jenniferroyalrogers.blogspot.com or connect with her on twitter and Facebook. 23
Kids Will Be Kids So often, I do not feel qualified to offer tips on social graces and hospitality...after all, I am just a stay-at-home homeschooling mom...no formal etiquette training here. God has blessed me with a heart for serving others in hospitality and I enjoy each opportunity I am given, but on a day-to-day basis I struggle with teaching social skills and manners to my children just like every other mom. Some weeks there are shining moments of pride followed by moments of downright shame! One such episode was recently when my girls hand-wrote thank you notes for gifts they were given...there was not even a mistake to edit! Then, as we were heading to the car to go mail the cards, my younger daughter burped loud enough for the next door neighbor to hear as she was opening her door. Our neighbor (who has two older boys) called out, "That was a good one!" Talk about embarrassing! All of this is to say...take each day as it comes and keep teaching and encouraging your children (and remember that pride goes before a fall...)! ~ Edie Bunch
The “What If” Scenario—By Dionna Sanchez I believe that knowledge is power. And ever since my children were very young, I have talked to them about situations that could happen in life. I’ve always hoped that none of these “what if’s” would happen to them – but if they should, I’d want them to be as prepared as possible and know as much as they could, to help them stay alive or be safe. I talk to my kids about things I see in the news. If I see a news story on a child that died from the choking game, I talk to them about it. If I see a story about a kidnapping and how a child could have escaped (or possibly did) I talk to them about it. Other scenario’s I’ve talked to my kids about are: *What if…..there is an earthquake? What do you do – where do you go? *What if….you’re at school and a kid walks into your room with a gun? *What if….someone sends you a pornographic picture on your cell phone? *What if….we’re in a car accident and I’m unconscious? *What if….you’re riding your bike and someone tries to grab you? *What if….you’re at a concert and a fire breaks out? *What if….someone points a gun at you and tells you to come with them or they will shoot you? These are just a small sampling of the kinds of “what if” scenario’s I’ve discussed with my kids. Sometimes they roll their eyes at me if we’ve already gone over something and I want to talk to them about it again. But I know that in time, you can forget things and I want their responses to be quick and instinctual if they ever have to be put in an emergency situation. I pray that IF something should ever happen to my kids and I can’t be there to guide and direct them, that they will know how to think, not panic, and use what we’ve discussed to save not only their own lives – but possibly a few around them as well. And that’s worth every rolled eye I get. ~ Dionna Sanchez is Founder of the EmphasisOnMoms.com ministry. She also blogs at 25 http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com and freelance writes.
Dionna Sanchez is Founder & Editor of Emphasis On Moms. She loves to write and minister to women after her first love : raising her children. email@example.com
Angie Maldonado writes the Hearstsrings column. She is a home schooling mom of two girls in Georgia.. She just published her first book dedicated to helping women let their lights shine for Jesus.
Jennifer Whitmer writes our Timeout column. She is an accomplished music teacher, full-time mother of three and part time makeup artist. firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Lawrence is our Home Impressions Columnist. Her first Bible Study released in Spring 2001. Whether writing, speaking, or consulting, Susan strives to encourage and equip women.
Sarah Markley writes our Nurture Your Soul column. She is a freelance writer and a stay at home mom. Sarah blogs daily about faith, marriage and mothering at SarahMarkley.com.
Edie Bunch submits our Social Graces tips. She is a military wife and registered pharmacist who has chosen to stay at home with her children.
Amy McCormick submits our “Potpourri” tips. She is a single mom and a special education teacher. She aspires to be a writer and has penned a children‟s book and some single parenting literature.
Cheryl Heindel writes our Treasure Box devotionals. She lives in Idaho and is active in her church and prison ministry with her husband, Bob.
Jennifer Rogers writes It‟s All About Relationships. She is a work at home mom of four and specializes in coaching and mentoring work at home moms. She is learning daily to seek and follow God‟s will.
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dear Dionna, your site is really helpful for me...im not a mom, lady im just 16. i follow da bible... and our pastor told dat wat we watch should be pure and holy... meaning nothing bad or corrupt should be there... and it is wonderful... dat u have helped me a lot now... thank u so much... i guess u have put a lot of work into it... but im telling u its not at all a waste... thank u so much again... may god bless you! im not just simply tellling dis.. this site is a real good thing 4 me... hoping to hear from u soon!! Yours faithfully, Christeena.
On Moms 29
Does Emphasis encourage your heart?? Take a minute to let Dionna know, or support the ministry through prayer or a donation. Visit http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com or email at email@example.com ~~~~~~~~~~ The appearance of advertising in Emphasis should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the service, product, business, or program being advertised. Emphasis On Moms takes no responsibility for claims or representations made in any ads. Emphasis On Moms is for informational purposes only. In no event shall Dionna Sanchez be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of this information or its publication, including any action for infringement of copyright or defamation. ~~~~~~~~~~ No articles may be used without the author‟s consent. ~~~~~~~~~~ EMPHASIS ON MOMS is here for you as a ministry to encourage your heart. It comes from Dionna's heart and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have a prayer request or would like to find out more how you can ask Jesus into your heart to become a part of your life; email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to join our team and invest your heart into encouraging other women? If you‟d like to write for Emphasis On Moms—writers are currently needed. Email Dionna at email@example.com for more info.