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Emphasis On Moms ~ September 2011

In This Issue: Home Impressions: Through The Window

Heartstrings: Just Too Busy Memory Lane: Blockheads

Friendship  is  born  at   that  moment  when   one  person  says  to   another:  “What!  You   too?  I  thought  I  was   the  only  one.”    ~  C.S.   Lewis

Mom Minute: In An Instant Nurture Your Soul: You Can Be Different Timeout: The Most Important Place On Earth Treasure Box: Job 6:4 All About Relationships: Listen All of Ya’ll

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Between You and Me ~

Well, here we are. My next to the last issue as your Founder and Editor. I’m so excited at what the future holds. Sometimes we fear change when in reality, it can open up a whole new world to us and provide such energy and excitement!

I’d like to introduce you to Carie Trost. Carie has been writing the character column for me over on the website and has decided she’d like to take over the reigns of Emphasis On Moms after I step down following next month’s issue. I’ve asked her to introduce herself to you this month and to kind of explain her heart and where she feels God is leading her with this ministry. Please take a few minutes to read what she has to say.

Thanks. ~ Dionna (


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

THROUGH THE WINDOW When Mom looked out the kitchen window, she saw us in the second-story barn window. My older sisters held me by my legs and arms, and they swung me back and forth several times before tossing me out the window.

What she couldn’t see was my landing. The garage obscured her view. She charged out the door in a panic, rounded the corner of the garage and…saw the hay truck stacked with straw and me rolling in laughter and delight. What a great day! Mom, on the other hand, didn’t share my joy. She was relieved I was okay, but her initial fright gave her enough momentum to yell at all of us and demand we stop the fun. Sometimes the fun ends in crying because someone gets hurt. Sometimes crying occurs because the fun ends!

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I was having a blast. It might not have been the safest way to pass the time, but many of the “fun” things we did on the farm weren’t necessarily safe. And sometimes, someone did end up crying. But some of the

most memorable experiences are the adventurous ones. We’re creative through adventures. We learn through adventures. And we often struggle through adventures. Struggling often produces growth. Think of an adventure that thrilled you. Now think of an adventure that challenged you. How did you grow through each?

Adventures often involve risks and usually involve excitement. Approach today with an anticipation of adventure. Learn. Struggle. Be creative. Make some memories. Children, come and listen to me. I will teach you to worship the Lord. You must do these things to enjoy life and have many happy days. Psalm 34:11-12

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

You Can Be Different – Sarah Markley

Get up now. You. You don’t have to do the same thing today that you did yesterday. You absolutely do not. You can make different choices today. You can love your kids better. You can speak kindly to your husband. You can stop the internet binge. You can shut the door to the refrigerator. You can stand up and get outside and go for a walk. You can clean up the clutter on your kitchen counter. You can be different today.


You can take a minute to breathe. You can take a second to pray. You can focus your mind on what you have to be thankful for. You can speak a blessing to another person. Get up and do it now. You can begin the project that you’ve been putting off. You can stop making excuses for yourself. You can make that phone call that has been weighing on you for months. You can listen to the little voice that is telling you to GIVE. You can do this. I know you can. Me? I am going to be thankful. I am going to stop the binge and be reborn into today. I am going to speak blessings. I’m going to stop making excuses. I am going to pray. What are you going to do? 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 May 2009.


MEMORY LANE Blockheads ~  By  Dionna  Sanchez     These are blockheads.

My daughter made them at school a year or two ago. I love them and proudly display them in my office. T hey are so cute. She made an owl and a cow but you could make just about any animal.


I thought they would be fun for homeschoolers to try as an art project. The blockheads are just made out of little blocks of wood. They are painted in whatever color you want and then you can add various craft supplies for the ears, eyes, nose etc. My daughter used a sponge and dipped it into paint for the owl’s nose. She used foam and glued felt on it

I think these are clever little guys. Have fun with your kids as they make them!

~ Dionna Sanchez is a freelance writer. She blogs for women at


Is it  kids  getting  older  and  more  involved  in  “stuff”?  Is   it  just  a  season  we’re  in?  Or  is  it  simply  the  current   state  of  society  that’s  just  so  terribly  busy?   I  feel  like,  somehow,  an  overwhelming  state  of   busyness  has  crept  up  on  me,  leaving  me  certain  we   must  have  it  all  wrong—this  manner  in  which  we  go   about  life.  I  don’t  enjoy  idleness,  but  a  little   breathing  room  wouldn’t  hurt  either,  and  I’ve  been   gasping  for  air  lately!  

Just Too  Busy By  Angie   Maldonado

Being constantly  on  the  go,  having  every  moment   occupied  with  tending  to  something,  very  late  nights   and  way  too  early  mornings—it  affects  me  greatly.   And  have  you  noticed  that  your  individual  life  can’t   be  affected  without  your  marriage  relationship   encountering  some  symptoms  as  well?   We’ve  recently  moved  and  just  started  a  new   homeschool  year,  so  I  know  those  things  are   contributing  to  the  fullness  of  my  plate.    But,  I’ve   found  it  to  be  true  that  there’s  always  something.   And  if  we’re  not  careful,  that  something  can  build  a   busy  wedge  right  between  husbands  and  wives.      


We must  maintain  a  priority  in  our  relationships  with   our  mates.    It’s  the  relationship  in  our  lives  second   only  to  that  with  our  Heavenly  Father.    In  all  our  “to-­‐ do’s,”  spending  quality  time  with  hubby  can  seem   like  just  another  addition  to  the  list.    And  we  don’t   have  time  for  what’s  filling  the  page  already!  I  don’t   know  about  you,  but  I  don’t  want  to  feel  like  a   burdensome  “to-­‐do,”  and  neither  does  your   husband. 11

I know  it’s  time  for  me  to  reprioritize.  I’ve  tried  to  rationalize  with  God— “But  these  things  HAVE  to  get  done…and  who  else  is  going  to  do   them.”  However,  when  I  really  prayerfully  consider  my  list,  with  an  eternal   perspective,  my  skewed  priorities  are  highlighted.  Certain  things  must  wait,   so  that  my  family  (especially  my  husband)  is  not  neglected.  I  am   surrendering  my  fleshly  priorities  to  the  Lord  for  His  restructuring.  Because   when  I  honestly  evaluate  them,  there  are  many  things  I  want  done  for  the   approval  of  man.  And  while  some  things  are  genuinely  important  and  even   essential,  they  still  rank  lower  than  my  relationship  with  my  husband.   We  must  come  to  a  point  of  saying,  “I  can’t  do  this  right  now.  It’s  going  to   have  to  wait.”    Say  “yes”  more  to  your  husband  and  “no”  or  “later”  to  other   responsibilities.  Remember  that  when  we  line  our  priorities  up  with  the   Lord’s,  He  has  a  way  of  blessing  and  even  multiplying  our  time.  Avoid  the   temptation  of  ignoring  that  your  busyness  is  a  problem.  If  you’re  feeling   burdened  and  stressed,  your  relationships  are  feeling  it  too.  Take  notice  and   take  action!   ~  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  

Avoid the temptation of ignoring that your busyness is a problem.


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.


A Mom Minute

By Dionna Sanchez

In An Instant I’m always amazed at how we try to control life. We make our plans, set our agendas, and go about setting our schedules when life is made up of so much that cannot be controlled.

I can try to be informed, plan for the “what if’s,” or be prepared but when it really comes down to it – I’m usually not. I’m usually swept off my feet and amazed at how quickly life can change in a moment. In one moment, a tornado can ruin a town. It can change the course of your life with one car accident or doctor appointment. Your priorities shift with one accident in the garage.

We can’t plan for most of life. No matter how hard we try. We are at its mercy. The burns, the cuts, the rollovers – they happen so quickly. And the effects are so long-lasting.

In an instant – everything can change. All of our plans, dreams, and wishes. All of our priorities. With every breath we take, we are survivors.

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We think we are so big. So powerful and in control. When in reality, we are so small. So weak. So powerless. I think we sometimes get a clue. We sometimes realize. When the hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados roll in. We understand – but for a moment. When the virus spreads, we realize how blessed we all are – to simply escape.

I’m in awe at how big my God is. And how much He can love little ‘ol me. I forget. I forget and think I’m bigger than I am, sometimes. But I’m not so big after all. And He still loves me.

Everything can change in an instant though. I’m so glad that in “that instant” I’m not alone. My God’s there with me.

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


Social Graces

Classroom Courtesy

Respect is one of the most important life and social skills we can teach our children. An essential place to sharpen and build an attitude of respectfulness is in the classroom. Many of us may assume our children use manners when we are not present and always address teachers with courtesy. Hopefully this is the case, but realistically, probably not always true. Now, with a new school year beginning for most children, is the perfect time to review how to properly approach and respond to classroom teachers and other authority figures. A developing trend of informality may be "cool" and appeal to children in today's society, but it will not reap the benefits of respectful boundaries set in educational environments. ~ Edie Bunch


Listen All of Ya’ll

All About Relationships

By Victoria B. Jenkins

You know that thing you find yourself doing over and over in your friendships no matter how many times it doesn’t work for you or anyone involved? Maybe you’re an overanalyzer like me, a tad too sensitive, a bit clingier than is healthy, overly demanding, full of expectations, a touch on the gossipy side, a giver more than a taker or the reverse, in need of some boundaries or in need of some wall demolition.
 Whatever our thing is, we can and should unearth the issue and yank it by the gnarly root.
 As Beth Moore put it in this video about overcoming strongholds, “We have to attack that thing. We’ve got to name it what the Bible names it. And we’ve got to begin thinking what Scripture says about it over that particular thing. ”


Personally, and in addition to many more friendship gaffs, I’ve been the girl to send left field emails and make unexpected phone calls asking friends, “Are we okay?” more times than I can admit without cringing. I’ve been accidentally gossipy in one particular friendship that is now over, due to what I thought was merely “venting”. Turns out venting repeatedly while still attempting to be friends with the one you’re venting about comes across as talking about someone behind their back. Even if it’s with a friend who instigates such conversations. I might have never seen that truth had I not been dumped over it. Of course, being called out in love and encouraged to do better would have taught the same lesson, but that’s a whole different blog post. I’m not at all bitter, friendships that end without such attempts aren’t worth the spiritual clutter bitterness creates. You live, you love, you learn. Sabotaging ourselves, and in the process, our connections with others is a very real stronghold I believe we all face in some form. Today, I invite you to join me in asking the Holy Spirit to reveal our inner saboteur as we meet Him on the pages of Scripture to take that mamma jamma out.

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 For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. He has sent his poisoned arrows deep within my spirit. All God's terrors are arrayed against me. Job 6:4 Job blames God for his circumstances. And even though we have the advantage of knowing who our real enemy is we sometimes blame God as well. We know Satan hates us and is out to destroy us, but we say, “God allowed it to happen” and we basically paint Him with the same brush. This should not be! We may not always understand God’s specific purpose, but we can always be sure it’s different than the enemy’s. Even when discipline is involved, it will always originate from a heart of love, with an intention to save—not destroy. If we fail to cling to God’s hand of love, we miss the very intention of His heart. Blaming God can be a natural human reaction, but it’s a spiritually dangerous place to settle. ~ Cheryl Heindel 19

The Most Important Place On Earth ~ By Jenn Whitmer


Discipline is not a cabinet in your life. It is so much larger than how you make rules or dole out consequences and rewards. How you discipline your children is part of how you live your life as a family. Because of that, I wanted to introduce you to a great book about that life as a family that has many gems of discipline as well. Don’t worry, I work 3 full days a week and have four kids 8 & under…it must be an easy-to-read, pick-up/put-down book if I’m going to recommend it! The Most Important Place on Earth: what a Christian Home looks like and How to Build One by Robert Wolgemuth is a wonderful book that gives a great overview of building a home that glorifies God in how we love one another. Full of stories from many generations, Wolgemuth gives fabulous, thoughtful advice about family foundations – from big ideas like grace to practical suggestions like phone manner.


But my favorite aspect of the book is the integrated approach to the suggestions. Segmenting our lives isn’t the best way to allow Jesus control of everything and this book gives very practical, small suggestions that can make a big difference.

Chapters include: • Why a Christian Home: why different is a good thing. • The Most Important People in the Most Important Place: what’s it like to walk into your home? • The Power of Words: real bullets at home • Just for Laughs: the best medicine of all • Discipline is not a dirty word: it’s the stuff of champions There are also great appendices: A to Z bible memory verses for young children, how to lead your child to Jesus, and questions for thought/discussion.

The book is available in paperback, ebook, and audio book. I’m an underliner, so I bought the paperback, but my husband really enjoyed the audio book. And no, I don’t work for the publisher! I highly recommend adding this book to your library. I think you will greatly enjoy its humor and advice on living life with your family.  

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.    



Are you struggling with the amount of time your child spends on the computer, watching television, or playing a Nintendo, X-Box, or Wii Sports game? Try allocating how much time they can have based on how much time they spend doing a chore. For instance, one half hour chore allows an hour on the computer or X-box. When that time is up, if they want more time, they have to do another chore designated by you. Chances are, you’ll discover your child finds other things to do other than sitting on the computer or in front of the television – or your house (and their room) starts to get a little cleaner and more organized.


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 ~ September 2011  

Newsletter to encourage moms