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Emphasis On Moms ~ October 2011

In This Issue: Home Impressions: Crying Over Spilled Milk

Heartstrings: For the Purpose of Holiness Memory Lane: Making The Drive To

Life  is  what  you  make  it.     Take  every  opportunity   to  support  someone.   You  will  never  know   when  a  person  will  need   to  borrow  your  ears  to   hear,  or  your  heart  to   listen.  ~  Ann  Henry

School Fun Mom Minute: Never Settle Nurture Your Soul: Moving Mt. Everest Timeout: Preparing To Change Treasure Box: Job 9:32-35 All About Relationships: The Best Revenge

The Blog:


Between You and Me ~

Well, ladies. Here we are. My last issue as your Founder and Editor.

I don’t even know where to begin or what to say. I’ve watched my children grow up along with this ministry. And I’m so thankful and blessed that God gave me this gift of being able to navigate our roles as Christian parents together. It’s been such a joy and delight.

I do hope you won’t be strangers. Please visit me often at my blog – “Beauty In the Storm” ( I pray that you will continue to seek out encouragement and wisdom as you love on your family. Embrace who God has created you to be and what He has given you. It is such a gift.

I love you so very much. ~ Dionna Sanchez(


I would like to introduce myself. My name is Carie Rachele Trost. Dionna and I have been friends since high school and youth group days. It is my honored privilege to take on the baton of running her well developed and founded on Jesus website, and finish the race with as much strength and wisdom from God as possible. I can only hope and pray that you will want to keep running with me whether you are a contributing writer or faithful reader!! My heart is bursting with such joy at all the amazing possibilities for the future of this ministry. To begin with, and its already going to be tough for some, but we are renaming the website with the name "STEPPING STONES XO". The website will continue to keep its sub name of "Emphasis on Moms" and will continue to be an outreach to mothers as well as women of all ages - whether young girls on up to older women...single, divorced, widowed, married, students or alone; the mission statement will be focused as follows: "It's about who your following and who is following you!!" Stepping Stones XO in a nutshell is in the stepping stones of life its all about who I am following...and for me it's God, Jesus' dad, and who is following me like, my kids, friends and so on. So please know that you are invited to the celebration of transition from one beautiful servant of God, Mrs. Dionna Sanchez and into the care of Mrs. Carie Trost. Welcome on this journey of growing together in who God made each of us to be and encouraging each other every step of the way! XO (I like to end my emails, texts and so on with XO because well its peaceable and kind and what God calls me to do with even my enemies; it means Kisses and that way YOU always feel loved! The website address will be: (it's a work in progress at the moment will be up and running in a few short weeks!!!) ~ Carie


Home Impressions

Crying Over Spilled Milk Our family farm included cattle. When a mama cow died or couldn’t take care of her calf, feeding responsibilities deferred to one of us. I enjoyed it (most of the time). It was like adventures in adoption – but with a lot less work and worry. In order to feed the calf, we placed powdered formula in a large bottle, added milk, placed the nipple on the bottle and shook until well-mixed. Getting the nipple securely on the bottle was the tricky part. I don’t know what the bottles look like now, but back then, the only way to get the nipple securely onto the bottle was to turn the base of it inside out, hold it securely onto top of the bottle and carefully flip the base over the neck of the bottle. If it wasn’t on straight or completely, I’d have to pry the bottle apart and try again. All this wrestling went on while the bottle was full. Like anything else, the more often I’d do it, the better and faster I’d get. The morning feeding had to take place before I left for school. I like efficiency, and it seemed silly for me to change into work clothes just to feed the calf and then change my clothes again for school. I’d been feeding this calf for quite a while, so surely I could dress in my school clothes. 5

Wrong. The calf pulled on the bottle hard enough that I had to hold the bottle with both hands and counter the calf’s weight by leaning back slightly. The calf’s pulling power is the reason the bottle must be put together correctly. It looked like it was…but after about thirty seconds of tugging, the bottle and nipple flew apart, and I staggered backward, falling in the straw as milk flew all over me. Somehow, I then had to figure out a way to make another bottle, feed the calf, change my clothes and still be ready for school on time! I don’t remember if I made it or not. I’m assuming I did. But I remember not quite being able to get the smell of the milk off of me. I imagined I smelled like it all day long even though anyone I asked said they couldn’t smell it. When has something untimely happened? Something that disrupted your schedule, plans, or dreams? How do you typically respond to “spilled milk,” or unexpected messes? Is there anything about your response you’d like to change? Watch for spilled milk in your day. After the spill, consider it as an opportunity to take a different route, persevere through a challenge, or reprioritize. After all, it could be a learning experience for you to move beyond spilled milk to something better! As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is. 1 Peter 2:2-3

Susan is the author of two women’s Bible studies, Pure Purpose and Pure Emotion, and is passionate about pouring into women through writing, speaking, and training. Download study samples and get to know Susan better at 6

Nurture Your Soul

Moving Mt. Everest – Sarah Markley

Every time I close my eyes at night to sleep, I exercise faith. When I turn the key in the car ignition. When I kiss my husband “goodbye” in the morning. When i lace up my running shoes to jog. Faith. I usually think Faith is some huge, hard-to-describe thing that I’ve never really seen, but am somehow expected to show, use, have… It’s like the Grand Canyon or the Ocean if you’ve never been to visit. Or Mount Everest (sometimes I wonder if its really there between Nepal and Tibet or if film, photos and people lie to me). But Faith can be small too. When I close my eyes at night, I trust that I will survive until morning; my heart won’t stop, a wildfire won’t overtake my house, no one will break in. When I turn my car on I exercise small bits of faith that we will get to our destination in one piece, that a happy-hour drunk won’t sideswipe me and my kids, and that my car will actually start. Faith.


But I never think about these these things, and I never think about this kind of Faith being, in actuality, real Faith. The kind of Grand Canyon Faith, Ocean Faith, Mount Everest Faith. Lacing up my running shoes (and trusting that I can run to the top of the hill) is small Faith, but it is Faith. Today I realized that it doesn’t feel like Faith if I move through my day without realizing I am trusting God and others for every safe and sound moment of my life. When I sit and think about how much I’m not in control, my Faith grows. Little pieces at a time. I understand that I’m watched over. I’m protected. I’m cared for. And because of that I trust. Recognizing it brings me closer to that Grand Canyon type of Faith. The Faith that moves Mount Everest. What makes you realize you’re not in control? Do you have Faith today?

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

Originally published at in September 2009.


Grace Fox, author of several books including, "10-Minute Time Outs for Moms," has recently released a new small group resource titled, "Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-toWoman Conversation." Produced in partnership with Stonecroft Ministries, it includes a teaching DVD and participant's guide. It's available online, through

and on the author's website

where group discounts apply.


MEMORY LANE Making The  Drive  To  School  Fun  ~  By  Dionna  Sanchez     Sometimes the morning drive into school can be a monotonous one. You go the same way at the same time every day all week. If you’re anything like me and have to drive your kids to a private school or a charter school, the drive is more than 10 minutes. Mine on any given day depending on traffic is at least 20 minutes long.

I feel like any type of occasion or situation can be a bonding time with my kids. Including and especially car-time. Since that is where I spend a great deal of the schools days with my kiddos at!

There are a few ideas I have done with my girls to make car time more fun and more memorable for us on those repetitive school-day drives.

1. Name the animals. We often would pass a corner with some horses every morning. One year when we carpooled, we passed a house that had some llamas. So I asked the kids to name the animals. They’d come up with names such as “Brownie” and other fun names for each animal depending on its color, size, and shape. Every morning after the animals were named – it would be fun to keep an eye out for them. “Where’s Brownie?” Or “Look at Brownie eating” – it made an otherwise normal drive-by a lot more fun.


2. Which car is yours? There are certain stoplights in the morning that depending on traffic – seem to last foooorrrreeevver. So we started playing “which car is yours?” We did this when my girls were 12 and 14 – and on the verge of being interested in driving. Believe me, they didn’t think it was stupid…but rather fun. We’d say, “Ok. The third car rounding the corner is yours.” And we’d count until the third car rounded the corner. We’d all laugh when someone would be stuck with a construction pick-up or ooh and ahh when someone got a cute, shiny car. It was fun and it helped us pass the time – together.

3. Pick Your Music We have a music-loving family. We love a good song. I found that the girls started fighting over what music was playing or groaning if it wasn’t something they liked. So I designated certain days of the week that were “their” day to solely control what music was played on the stereo system. We were lucky enough to be able to play our ipods in the car – so each person could plug in their own ipod and use their own playlist. But if you don’t have an ipod, you could still allow each person to choose the radio station they wanted, CD, or cassette. The fights all but melted away as someone would say, “Remember? Wednesday is my day!”

These are just a couple of the ideas you could use and a few that worked for me with my own children. Car time doesn’t have to be dreaded. It can be fun.

We have such a fascinating world around us. I’ve discovered that through these games, I’ve opened up my children’s eyes to look out the window and see that the world is a fun and exciting place full of curiosities. Even as recently as yesterday, as we were all riding in the car together, my 14 year old said, “Let’s see who can find the first bird and the first bald man!” It was funny and fun at the same time.

Bonding time. Learning time. And Awareness. All incorporated in a car ride. Go figure.

~ Dionna Sanchez is a stepmom, grandma, and mom to two girls. Visit her blog and get encouragement weekly at 11

Almost sixty  Heartstring  articles  have  flowed  from   my  home  to  yours  over  the  course  of  nearly  five   years  I  have  been  with  Emphasis  on  Moms.  I  am   blessed  to  have  had  this  opportunity.  Writing  for   Emphasis  has  challenged  me  to  consider  the  health   of  my  own  marriage  along  the  way;  to  strive  for  a   picture  closer  to  that  which  Christ  has  held  out  for   me.  As  I  have  put  words  to  page,  I’ve  always  done   so  with  transparency  and  genuineness  of  heart.  My   prayer  today,  as  it  has  been  every  month,  is  that   God  speaks  to  you  (and  to  me)  through  the  words   before  you,  which  will  be  my  last  for  Emphasis  on   Moms.   As  I  made  the  decision  to  conclude  my  writing,  I   pondered  what  the  Lord  might  have  me  share  with   you.  I  want  you  to  extract  some  treasure  for  your   marriage  that  you  keep  tucked  in  a  special  place  for   use  when  needed.  What  I  believe  the  Lord  has   settled  me  on  is  the  concept  of  holiness.

For the  Purpose  of   Holiness By  Angie   Maldonado


In my home church, during a month long focus on the family and marriage, we were asked to reflect upon this question: Did you ever consider that God gave you a marriage to make you holy, not to make you happy? Holy, not happy. We spend most of our time – consciously or subconsciously – on a quest for a happy marriage, when what God is more concerned with is our holiness. And, He’s going to use you and me and the relationships we have with our mates to propel us in the direction of holiness. The quest for a happy marriage often leaves us disappointed and bewildered, doesn’t it?


We examine  our  differences,  conflicts,  and  failures,  and  question  God’s  work  in   our  relationships.  Instead,  God  wants  us  to  take  our  examinations  a  step  further,   and  seek  His  purposes  in  those  areas.  If  He’d  given  us  one  another  simply  for  our   pleasure,  might  He  have  made  us  more  alike  and  seemingly  “compatible?”  He   uses  the  uniqueness  of  the  marriage  relationship  to  mold  our  character.  As  we   are  reshaped  as  individuals  closer  to  a  state  of  holiness,  our  marriage   relationships  experience  that  renovation  power  as  a  whole.   Consider  this:    it’s  in  learning  to  keep  no  record  of  wrongs  that  we  become   merciful—holiness.  It’s  in  saying,  “I’m  sorry,”  that  we  learn  about  forgiveness— holiness.  It’s  in  bearing  one  another’s  burdens  that  we  learn  patience—holiness.   It’s  in  learning  to  vulnerably  trust  another  that  we  grow  in  faith—holiness.  No   other  relationship  brings  these  lessons  to  light  more  than  the  marital  one.   I  pray  God  continues  to  open  all  our  eyes  to  His  purposes  for  us  in  marriage;  that   we  may  see  the  opportunities  we  have  to  glorify  Him  through  our  relationship  as   husband  and  wife.  And,  I  pray  we  remain  moldable  and  expectant  of  His   renovation  power  at  work  in  all  of  us.  May  God  be  alive  and  active  in  you  and   yours!  

~ Angie  Maldonado  is  a  home  schooling  mom  of  two  girls  (ages  8  and  10)  and  an   Army  wife.  She  desires  to  leave  a  remarkable  spiritual  legacy  to  her  two  girls  and   to  see  them  mature  with  hearts  to  serve  the  Lord.  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  a  division  of  Lifeway,,  at  her  website,,  or  through   your  favorite  online  book  retailer.  

Did you ever consider that God gave you a marriage to make you holy, not happy?


A Mom Minute

By Dionna Sanchez

Never Settle I want to teach my kids so many things. I want to teach them how to forgive themselves when they’ve messed up and how to have compassion for others. I want to teach them what it’s like to serve the Lord and the amazing feeling that goes along with it. I want to teach them lots of things and I’m sure I’ll teach them a few things that I’d rather not have passed along.

One thing I want to teach my kids is to “never settle.” Because we settle so much in life.

We settle for mediocrity when we could have amazing.

We settle for “what is and has always been” when we could have “new and exciting.”

We settle for being what someone else has told us we are.

Without even realizing it (or maybe WITH realizing it), we settle. Fear grips us from reaching out to change where we currently are. We’re afraid of what “could be” because we think it “shouldn’t be or “probably won’t be” and where would that leave our bruised and scarred hearts? 14

I want to teach my kids to think outside of the box. To learn that those in charge of you don’t always know what is best for you. To take your every dream, wish, concern, and hurt to the Lord in prayer and let HIM show you what is and what is not to be. We let human voices into our heads too often and let them penetrate too deeply.

If I can teach my kids not to settle for what the rest of the world throws their hands up over…I think I will have given them something that will carry them through so many storms and challenges in life. If I can only get the point across to them that settling isn’t a sign of being content and obedient; but one of abandon and loss…I will have helped give them a valuable tool for fighting for who God created them to be.

The world wants us to settle. It wants us to give up the fight and give in to the pressures, temptations, labels, and demands all around us. It wants us to settle for materialism, the myth that money buys happiness, that “I” come first, image means everything, size matters, and so much more.

I don’t care if my children learn how to cook. It would be nice, but it’s not life altering. I’m not too concerned with whether or not they get a college degree, or if they like the same activities and things I do. I am however, concerned about their morals, values, and character.

I AM concerned with how deep their roots will be and how strong their armor will be once they go out into the world on their own.

May I teach them now. May I arm them, now. And may they never – ever – settle.

~ You can contact Dionna at or follow her on twitter at She is a freelance writer and blogs at


Social Graces

The Heart of Hospitality While pondering and praying about what to write for this closing tip on social graces, God brought me back to the basics...the Bible. I guess you could say God wrote the book on hospitality! One of my favorite Scripture passages paints a lovely picture of hospitality in action, as if we were clothing ourselves in graciousness daily. Colossians 3:12-14 says, "Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Whether we have studied and learned social skills or not, these Christ-like characteristics will produce hospitality and grace towards others. We just need to remember to wear them daily in our hearts! ~ Edie Bunch

Home Rules Always be honest (Proverbs 12:22)

Count your blessings (Psalm 34:1-3)

Bear each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2)


Forgive and forget (Micah 7:18)

Be kind and tender hearted (Ephesians 4:32)

Comfort one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

Keep your promises (Romans 4:21)

Be supportive of one another (Acts 20:35)

Be true to one another (Revelation 15:3)

Look after each other (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Treat each other like you treat your friends (Matthew 7:12)

but most important

Love~One~Another deeply from the heart (1 Peter 1:22)

~Carole Taylor~ 17

The Best Revenge

All About Relationships

By Victoria B. Jenkins

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the LORD will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21-22 NRSV)

I was positively giddy the first time I read those words. Negatively giddy is more like it. If I couldn’t exact the murderous revenge on all those supposed friends who had so brutally betrayed me, I could at least kill ‘em with kindness. After all, God Himself had just given me permission. Right?

Not so much. Killing someone with false kindness won’t bring about a lasting change in that person. That sort of transformation requires the real thing. Man-heaped coals will provide a certain level of discomfort that can deter one from certain behaviors, but God-heaped coals remove the impurities at the root of the behavior.

When our showing kindness is motivated by a desire to make someone squirm, we’ve missed the point entirely.


Forgiving others should stem from our gratefulness to God for giving His Son. It is through Christ we are made pure and that allows us to be reconciled to our Father in heaven. Our Christ-like actions are what heap the attention grabbing, imperfection removing coals on our enemies’ heads. When motivated by a desire to be pleasing to the Lord, our efforts become an offering and for that we will be rewarded!

In my own struggles with forgiveness I’ve found it is seldom a once and done thing. Oftentimes the repeating stages overlap one another, though that’s not always the case. Naturally the initial forgiveness won’t always look like the subsequent relinquishings. As much as I’d love to tell you it gets easier to give the hurt over, the truth is it varies. I will say that our God is faithful every single time. Even when we’re not.

Those times I’d rather hold onto the pain, resentment, and not so occasional bouts of self-entitlement, I’m reminded of how much healing and joy lie in the alternative.

A lot like you, I’ve had to get over my share of heartache. I want to encourage you to begin giving over that hurt today. It starts with prayer and from there come sweet opportunities for obedience. The rewards are countless and holding onto unforgiveness, pointless. Pray the Lord grows you to be more compassionate and soon this next prayer suggestion won’t seem so difficult. Pray for your enemies’ relationships with our Father. Pray for their healing. Pray for their repentance. Pray for God to soften your heart and thicken your skin in future dealings with them, but also when it comes to revisiting the past.

I promise, God will be faithful to reward you. More importantly, He promises!

Whether homeschooling, housewifing, or hiding from the laundry heap, Victoria Jenkins is grateful to be a continual work of progress in God's hands. You can join Victoria each Friday as she shares her heart for Biblical Friendship. {}


Treasure Box “God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there is none. The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment. Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength.” (Job 9:32-35) These verses changed my perspective on the book of Job. I used to think Job was mostly a book about human suffering at the hands of a very real enemy. I could look at the person of Job and see the truth…that godly people still have to endure suffering during their earthly existence—great suffering even. I could even look at this poor man and feel good about the slight level of suffering I’ve been called to endure. But now I also see how this book points to Christ—in so many ways. Job was caught up in the hopelessness of deep despair. Not because of his physical, emotional, and mental sufferings…but because of his spiritual. His relationship with God had changed and he saw no way back to Him. He recognized the inadequacy of his righteousness before a holy God, and he saw his need for a mediator…but he didn’t have a clue about the person of Jesus Christ. How fortunate we are that we don’t have to face such despair. Jesus is readily available to anyone who calls on Him. ~ Cheryl Heindel 20

Preparing to Change ~ By Jenn Whitmer


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Ben Franklin Ouch! No one likes to fail. We all talk about using failure and its importance, but no one likes it while it’s happening. I, for one, want to avoid failure if I can. So in the spirit of Franklin’s quote, this article is about preparation. I do have to admit to you that this comes very easily to some people and is always a struggle for others. I tend to fall in the latter category; I am not a naturally organized person. I have learned its value over the years, but I still have to really think about it. Preparing children for change and transition is some of the most important preparation you can do for your children’s discipline. Transitions come in many different shapes and sizes. After leaving teaching 5 years ago, I have gone back to work as a part-time Director of Assessment at my children’s school; this has been and is still a big transition for our family. Each day we go from playing to the car to eating: little transitions. Preparing your children for these transitions sets them up for success. Not that we will never fail (disobey), but you’re giving a great platform to choose obedience.


Stories Big transitions are usually expected or gradual, other than death. I have found that children do well with stories where the plot includes a relevant transition. First day of school, new baby, moving house, moving out…all these kinds of transitions happen to lots of people and many of them have told there story through a book, magazine article, or movie. Read or watch the story with your child and use the character’s experience as a starting point for conversation with your child about his or her upcoming transition. Games Silly games are a great way to prepare for transition, even for older kids. Want to get a car loan…how about a game of Monopoly and let’s discuss debt. Modified Hide and Seek is great for teaching young children to come when you call them. Practice “arguing” with a play. Yes, these games do take a little work, but practice gives children a bit of muscle memory for the appropriate response. Routine I could go on about routine all the livelong day! Routine takes so many opportunities for conflict out of play and provides structure & security for children. Build time into your routine for transition and remind your children of what’s coming next. “In 10 minutes your time with the Wii/Xbox/DS is over. After that we’re getting in the car to go to the store.” Tell them in advance, let them prepare to stop what they’re doing before you move onto the next activity. Franklin’s quote does not give us a guarantee of success, but shows us a sure fire way to fail! Preparing for transition is an important disciplinary tool that will benefit you and your children.  

Jenn Whitmer lives and laughs with her husband, two sons, and 2 daughters in St. Louis, Missouri. Send Email Jennifer at with any thoughts or questions. 22


Need some time to recharge but don’t have extra time or money? Make dinner for your family as normal, then take your plate and go into your bedroom and close the doors while your husband minds the kids for the meal. Eat with a book, the television, or simply in quiet – but getting even a ½ hour break will help you find some energy to complete the remainder of the day. When you come out, not only will you feel a little more sane, but you’ll probably get extra hugs from your children as well!


Does Emphasis encourage your heart?? Take a minute to let Dionna know email at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 your information and entertainment 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. ~~~~~~~~~~ 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 me Dionna at

Emphasis On Moms October 2011  

encouragement for moms

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