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winter 2012

mitera ministry in motherhood

A journey to REAL health

how one mom found her way to a healthier lifestyle

Speaking blessings over your kids Letting go & moving forward

123rf: Blazej Kyjak

Feeding your soul a God-based diet Hospitality in the bedroom

volume 1, issue 3

welcome to mitera! Mitera magazine was born in 2012 out of a vision from God, calling me to create a magazine just for Christian moms to help support them during their time of ministry during motherhood. Even though most moms wouldn’t think of mothering as a ministry, it truly is, and it truly is one of the most crucial ministries on earth. You and I are raising up children who will one day change the world. It is our responsibility as their primary influence on their thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to encourage them to seek God each day, to love other humans, and to fulfill God’s chosen role for them in relation to making Christ known on the earth.

writers photographers

Becky Zale Carey Scott Lisa Burkhardt Worley Catherine Weiskopf Susan Penning CJ Darlington Robin Konie Lisa Ellis Williams Rebecca Ashbrook Carrell Jaimie Bowman Angie Hott Edie Wadsworth Sharon Rubenstein Molly Lasater

Blazej Kyjak (cover) Mandy Godbehear Aaron Amat Cathy Yeulet Lasse Kristensen Nattapon Wongwean Denys Prokofyev Edie Wadsworth Jaimie Bowman Susan Penning Angie Hott Sanai Aksoy Molly Lasater

disclaimer The views and opinoins of the magazine contributors are not related to the views and opinions of mitera magazine, its editor, or its affiliates. All submitted work is assumed to be of original quality and content from the contributor and any misrepresentation from this falls on the contributor of that work. Mitera Magazine is not responsible for any actions, damages, or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through the magazine. This magazine is not a substitute for professional advice.

Mitera magazine is different than other magazines because we accept article and photo submissions from the public. We believe that people who’ve experienced real life are highly qualified in helping other people live real life. We don’t need psychologists and therapists to help us traverse through our parenting journey, but just real people...people who feel led by God to share what they know and what they’ve experienced. Enjoy the magazine, which is full of articles written by mothers, people who have mothers, or people who know mothers who help shape the little blessing at a time. And if you feel led by God to share something with our readers, please follow that call! See our submissions page at www.miteramagazine. com or inside this magazine for more details. I hope you are blessed by mitera.

Molly Lasater founder and editor

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19

123rf: Natulrich

a perfect fit

by Becky Zale

Have you ever tried on a pair of shoes before that you really liked but they just. didn’t. quite. fit? You try to make them work, but in the end, the blisters and the pain just aren’t worth the hassle of trying to fit into those shoes. You finally realize you’d be better off finding something that you did fit into...Ones that you didn’t have to force on and that really were made for you. Well, sometimes I feel like I’m trying to figure out where I fit in in this world. When I’m struggling to make it work, but finally realize the blisters and pain aren’t worth it, I remember I am always accepted in Christ. I always fit in with Him. I don’t need to cry that the “shoes” I thought I wanted don’t fit. I can rejoice that I’ve found the perfect fit because my identity is not found by fitting in with those around me, but fitting in with Christ. May I encourage you today that no matter who you are or what you have done, you will always fit in with Christ. He won’t leave you as you are though. He’ll redeem you and fill you with peace that you can’t find anywhere else in this world. So rather than cry about the shoes that don’t fit, I’m going to get on my knees and thank the One in whom I will always fit in with. All I Have is Christ Credits: Music and words by Jordan Kauflin © 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI) I once was lost in darkest night Yet thought I knew the way

The sin that promised joy and life Had led me to the grave I had no hope that You would own A rebel to Your will And if You had not loved me first I would refuse You still But as I ran my hell-bound race Indifferent to the cost You looked upon my helpless state And led me to the cross And I beheld God’s love displayed You suffered in my place You bore the wrath reserved for me Now all I know is grace Chorus Hallelujah! All I have is Christ Hallelujah! Jesus is my life Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone And live so all might see The strength to follow Your commands Could never come from me O Father, use my ransomed life In any way You choose And let my song forever be My only boast is You. Becky is a simple girl who is passionate about making a home for her family. She realizes that having a husband and children are a blessing and she wants to be purposeful in making life beautiful for them. You can find her blogging at Purposeful Homemaking where she shares recipes, homeschooling ideas, curriculum reviews, money-saving tips, and healthy living inspiration.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7


begins in the bedroom

By Edie Wadsworth (article & photos) Don’t worry. This is a family article. I’m keeping it on the up and up. But really, I’m convinced that it all begins right here. In this bed, in this room, with this relationship. The very person you love the most is the hardest one to love sometimes. They often fall to last on the list. We cook the best meals and wear the best clothes for someone else. We clean the house and get out the best dishes when company is coming. And it’s time to reorder ourselves. This person should come first; this person with whom I share my bed and my struggle. I should make it my business to know what he likes and what he doesn’t. I should make it my life’s mission to serve him, above all others.

...when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go... Song of Songs 3:4

Wanna know why America is in such wretched shape? We’ve lost the order of things. “Things fall apart,” as the poet says. “The centre cannot hold.” We kill ourselves and spend our last dime to make our children rotten but we’ve forgotten that it all hinges on this bed, and our holding it sacred. See him with new eyes and study him. How can you help him? How can you ease his burden? How can you make him laugh? Stop keeping score and just love and serve him. You know him best so this won’t be hard for you. Make him see that you hold this relationship in the highest regard. Hospitality starts here. In this room. With this man. The strength of our love for others depends on what happens here. May the centre hold and may the best be full of ‘passionate intensity.’

Love him well. ************************* “I will love with urgency, but not with haste.” From The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

...when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go... Song of Songs 3:4

To get you started, here are a few practical tips for making the bedroom more welcoming and sultry.


Buy the best linens you can afford

Remove the treadmill. And the stack of clothes currently sitting on it. You know this was never a good idea, right? This sanctuary, this sultry holy of holies, was never made for exercise equipment. It’s just wrong. We’ve gone way too analytical and practical. This room is not made for practicality. Read some poetry in here. Play some Mumford and Sons. This room was made for love. Period. You know I’m right . And I know you’re gonna hate me for this–but while you’re at it, get rid of the t.v. too. Mmmkay, quickly moving on.

Save your pennies and invest in good linens. You spend 1/3 of your life here in your bed. Don’t sleep on cheap, scratchy sheets. I’ve made a science of bed comforts. We use only feather pillows, we invested in a good mattress and I have the softest Italian sheets known to man. They were not cheap. But you can get great, high thread count sheets from Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx for a fraction of the retail cost. It’s so worth the thought and effort you’ll put into it. My husband, Stevie, and I HATE to travel because our bed and linens are like BUTTAH.

Infuse your personality

Invest in a good room fragrance

If any room in your house should reek with your personality, it should be this one. You can do this in so many simple ways. Put your jewelry or your scarves on display. Hang some art that inspires you. Paint it a romantic color. But somehow, in some way, make this room be a reflection of who you are and what you love. I violated all rules of wall hangings in my little corner but it makes me smile every single day. Of course my all-time personal favorite in the ‘make your room scream YOU’ category is the monogram. It’s my mission in life to have at least one in every room. That way, if you’re ever at my house and can’t remember my name, there will be little clues everywhere.

I am so sensitive to smells. I can detect a sour scent a mile away. So, my house is full of home fragrances, mostly diffusers. There are certain ones I like for certain rooms but my favorite for the bedroom is Archipelago’s Havana. I do still have some candles but due to family allergies, I don’t use them very much. Good quality diffusers like this are so worth it because they put out a lot of fragrance and last forEVER. I’ve had the one in my bedroom for 6 months and it’s not even 1/3 gone. You’ll be addicted to this Havana scent! Just between you and me, I also spray a tiny little bit of my own perfume on the linens before I make up the bed. Did I mention I’m very influenced by smells? I use Tocca’s Cleopatra. It’s to die for.

Now, don’t stress yourself out. Take baby steps. Make a Pinterest board of inspiration and then slowly but surely, infuse your bedroom with little parts of yourself. Okay, that’s a good start. Be thinking of the state of your bedroom and what little changes you could make to make it beautiful and inspiring for the one you love!

Edie Wadsworth decided to give up her career as a family practice physician to stay home full time with her family six years ago. Shortly thereafter and by God’s grace and providence, she found another place to channel those creative wellsprings in her heart–thus, her blog ( was born. In short order, this southern belle and mother of four became a blogger, a homeschooler, a Lutheran, and a self-proclaimed goddess of the domestic arts. She documents her faith journey, her mother love, her insatiable appetite for classic literature, lipgloss, cooking, C.S. Lewis…… and her eclectic, retro-cottage decorating style.

...when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go... Song of Songs 3:4

taking your thought temperature by Lisa Burkhardt Worley and Catherine Weiskopf

What do you think about? What thoughts roll around in your head? Imagine if someone invented a thought thermometer. It would be like a mood ring that actually works. Put it in your ear, press a button, and your thoughts would register somewhere between the boiling point and absolute zero. Would your thoughts ever have a healthy temperature of 98.6? We know negative thinking can make us sick, but we still spend too much time debilitated by its infection. Fortunately, we know we are not alone. Jonah was a man whose thought temperature registered two lines short of the boiling point. Let’s start with his assignment from God in Jonah 1:12: The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” God wasn’t sending Jonah on a vacation to the Bahamas. Nineveh was the home of one of the Israelites’ arch enemies, the Assyrians, who were known for their gruesome torture tactics. Telling Jonah to preach to the Assyrians is like God asking you to go and preach about Jesus to a terrorist group. Any volunteers? Jonah didn’t like the Assyrians, and he didn’t want to tell them to repent, because in his mind, they were bad people. Do you see Jonah’s thought temperature rising? Jonah’s first step toward righteousness was to realize something was wrong with his thinking. The same applies to us. Whether they are about our looks or our husbands, our children or our friends, we must first recognize our thoughts are not God’s.

123rf: Denys Prokofyev

If God’s thinking and your thinking do not line up, whose thinking needs changing? One reason we read the Bible is so God can reveal to us how He wants us to think. It’s not easy or immediate, but immersing ourselves in God’s Word will move us from our natural thinking to God’s thinking. Reading God’s Word becomes learning God’s Word. Learning God’s Word becomes using God’s Word. Using God’s Word becomes living God’s Word, and that is when we can see real changes in our thought temperature. So Jonah hopped a boat to Tarshish. His cruise became very

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

rocky when a violent storm threatened to tear the boat apart. Things like this always happen when you are trying to run away from the Master of the Universe. So Jonah, in an “aha” moment, said to his fellow crew members, “Sorry, guys, but I think this storm is raging because I’m trying to escape from God. If you want to throw me overboard, that may clear up the weather.” The crew, in deciding whether to save themselves or save Jonah, didn’t hesitate to say, “Adios.” Many times, God gives us a gentle push—or as in Jonah’s case, a big shove—to get us back on track. As soon as Jonah’s feet hit the waves, the sea grew calm. In most cases, a man overboard without a life vest would be good as dead but we all know that Jonah did not die. God just needed to give Jonah some time to hear His voice. That’s why He sent the big fish to swallow Jonah up for three days and three nights. Jonah went from ship-bound to fish-bound, from running time to thinking time. At this point, awareness is forming at the edge of Jonah’s brain that his thoughts and God’s thoughts are not aligned. The temperature on his thought thermometer is creeping down. There is hope for Jonah’s condition, after all.

Sometimes we need to change our surroundings in order to change our thinking. We hope that when God wants to talk to us, He will employ more-subtle tactics. Sometimes, all He wants is for us is to take a break from our preoccupation with the world. No e-mails. No phone ringing. No TV. No Facebook™. You must be intentional about separating yourself from distractions. Ask God to help you believe in His promises to you. Ask Him to adjust your thought temperature to be more like His. Jonah found the truth sitting in the belly of the big fish. He had a lot of time to think, and gradually, his unhappiness with his Maker transformed into gratitude. Let’s hear what he had to say in Jonah 2:6,7: To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. It’s amazing how living in the belly of the fish for three days can transform your thinking. Jonah went from running from God’s view to seeing God’s truth for his life.

God will give us more opportunities to think rightly. So, God gave Jonah another opportunity to go and proclaim His message to the great city of Nineveh, and guess what? Jonah obeyed God and did what He asked him to do. That’s one more quality to love about God—He gives us repeated chances to change. If we don’t get the heavenly text this time, He will resend. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should put off our changes, but it does mean He is gracious.

We must keep our focus on God to keep the negative thoughts from returning. Jonah has a few good days, full of praising God for saving him from a dire situation but then he goes right back into the pit, back into the same negative thought patterns about the Assyrians. Does this sound familiar? We have some victory days, then we start dwelling on the bad, and soon, our temperature is getting hotter. How do we stop the cycle? How do we get well? Here’s a suggestion. Try being your own thought thermometer! Take your thought temperature on a regular basis. Notice especially the hot emotions—anger, anxiety, and jealousy. When you wake up in the middle of the night, do your thoughts churn so you can’t go back to sleep? Ask the Lord to renew your thoughts if they are not of Him. Let God perform surgery and replace your thoughts with His thoughts. In Philippians 4:8, Paul encourages us, Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Take negative thoughts captive every time they cross your mind. Check your thought thermometer daily, because when your temperature goes back to normal and the glaze comes off your eyes, you will see a world out there that God wants you to reach.

Catherine Weiskopf Bio Catherine Weiskopf is the freelance author of multiple magazine articles, plays, and three books. Her entertaining and enlightening scripture based plays have entertained thousands of children each summer for five years. God has brought her a long way in her spiritual healing and now Weiskopf feels a passion to help women who are suffering. Her goal is to bring God’s peace straight to the issues in women’s lives. Weiskopf has been married for over a quarter of a century and has two children.

Lisa Burkhardt Worley Bio Lisa Burkhardt Worley has worn numerous hats throughout her life. She was both a national and local television sports anchor and reporter for 19 years. After she rededicated her life to Christ in 1993, God led Burkhardt Worley on a path that has included numerous ministry leadership positions and a seminary degree. She created Pearls of Promise Ministries, a writing and speaking ministry. Burkhardt Worley recently completed her first book with co-author Catherine Weiskopf called, If I Only Had…Following God’s Path to Your Security. Lisa is a San Antonio, Texas native but moved to Flower Mound in 2005. She has been married to Jeff Worley for 26 years and has two children, Kyle, 23, and Bret, 16. You can connect with Lisa at her facebook page for Pearls of Promise Minstries.  

Miraculously, after Jonah preached to the Assyrians, his arch enemies believed God and repented. I wish I could say there was a “happily ever after” to this story, but the ending didn’t quite go that way. After dealing with the situation, Jonah slipped right back into his own negative thoughts, and his thought temperature spiked again.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

Letting go, moving forward

by Susan Penning

I recently took on the challenge of renovating the bonus room/ office space above our garage. The room’s former condition was making it a great contender for an episode of “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” so, needless to say, some major purging was in order before the paint and decorating could even begin. One of the boxes I came across while cleaning and organizing the space was filled mostly with textbooks I purchased while in graduate and undergraduate schools. I’ve held onto these books for many years, partly because they cost me a sick amount of money and partly because they represent an immense amount of time and hard work.

Maybe it’s a hurtful comment from a friend or family member that we just haven’t been able to let go. Maybe it’s a past failure - or even a past success. The truth is that most of us have suffered enough tragedy, trauma or drama to have plenty of excuses at the ready for why we are allowing our past keep us from accomplishing future goals. On the flip side, many of us have enjoyed great success in our past and find it easy to kick back and rest on our laurels. Either way, we must remember that life is not over until God says so. No matter how many shiny trophies, plaques, certificates or degrees we have obtained or how much pain and sorrow we have endured, the Bible tells us to forget the things that are behind both good and bad - and reach forward to what is ahead. “... But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:13-14

In other words, we can’t pick out a parking spot in our past and sit there. We must keep moving on to greater things. God has placed us all on earth for a purpose. It’s like our own personal race course set in front of us, which takes time and energy to navigate. But too often our energy is spent dealing with the past and we don’t have the willpower to look ahead.

Susan Penning

Today I want to encourage you to let go of the things that are holding you back and cluttering up your life – just like those old textbooks were cluttering up my bonus room. Pray to God to be set free from what is hindering you from experiencing your best life and pray for the faith to move forward, trusting and believing that your best days are ahead.

But now, as I have been forced to take a closer look at these books (and a shocking look at the state of my bonus room), I have realized these suckers are unnecessarily taking up space in my home. Plus much of their information is now outdated or can easily be found online. So I’ve made the not-so-easy decision to donate them. And that got me to thinking ... how many things in our lives do we hold on to year after year, letting them take up space in our minds, hearts and homes even though they serve no useful purpose or may actually be hindering our progress in some area?

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” - John 10:10 Questions to ponder: Do you have anything in your past that is keeping you from experiencing freedom, joy and peace in the present? What steps have you taken to move forward? In addition to having her work published in nearly 20 different media outlets, Susan is the author and creator of the humorous frugal living and inspirational website, When she’s not sharing tips on how to experience life filled with joy, peace, freedom and fun, she’s blogging about her latest thrifty decorating, organizing or remodeling project. Her goal is to minister and bless others by sharing her secrets to “the good life.” Susan lives with her husband, children and Irish terrier in Pennsylvania.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

the tried & true

easy, tasty, kid-pleasing meals in minutes

“Drag it through the Garden” Potato Soup ingredients: 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced ½ cup butter 8 potatoes, peeled and diced (we don’t peel ours) Enough water to cover potatoes in the pot 3 tbsp Chicken Bouillon (or 4 cubes) ½ cup flour 4 cups Half ‘n’ Half or Milk, divided 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes 10 oz frozen peas Add 1 cup each of any or all of these vegetables: Sautéed Mushrooms Green Beans Shredded Carrots (we sauté with the mushrooms) Shredded zucchini Salt and pepper to taste

directions: 1) Sauté onion in the butter until clear. 2) Add potatoes to pot and cover with water. 3) Add bouillon and cook over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender. 4) Reduce Heat to medium low. 5) Combine flour with HALF of the milk (or Half ‘n’ Half) in a jar and shake well to mix. 6) Add to potatoes and stir for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened. 7) Gradually add remaining milk, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Do not allow to boil. 8) Add remaining vegetables and seasonings. 9) Gently heat through. 10) Garnish each bowl with crisp bacon crumbles. Serves 8-10

Molly Lasater

Crispy bacon, crumbled, for topping This potato soup will make you feel like you’ve been cheated and lied to all your life about plain potato soup. It adds so much flavor and dimension by “dragging it through the garden” and adding in all the veggies! Plus, seriously, what doesn’t taste amazing with bacon on it? Even my small boys eat this up! Serve yours with your favorite crackers or homemade garlic bread, and watch as all the tummies at your house devour this heart-warming take on an old classic. It’s a super easy meal that provides you with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunches, and it gets plenty of vegetables into your kiddos without hearing complaints! Personally, I received this recipe from a family friend, Kathee Jamison, who was a long-time home economics teacher at the local high school, but I can’t give credit to the original creator because this recipe can be found in many places online. I hope you and your family fall in love with it like we did! ~Molly

So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. Genesis 27:14

123rf: Aaron Amat

Unveiling the REAL you a journey toward real health

by Robin Konie For some time now I’ve felt like some sort of “in the closet” crunchy-granola, green-livin’, real-food-believin’ hippie. Sure, the people who really know me know that I believe in health. And if someone asked I’d be more than happy to share a DIY cleaning product recipe, or talk about why I love raw milk. But far too often I try to keep the things I do quiet. I don’t like making too much noise when it comes to how I live my life. Because, sometimes, I feel like a complete wacko.

forth ideals of what was healthy. In fact, I still remember the day as a young child when my mom switched to skim milk because, you know, “fat will make you fat.” (sigh.)

Even though I didn’t grow up in some sort of hippie community farm, I have always been interested in health. In my youth I would set goals to eat less candy, exercise more, and reach an “ideal” weight. I believed what society told me and purchased only the products that were “healthy,” “low fat,” and “made Most days I think I live a pretty normal life. My house is nice with whole grains.” (sigh, again.) and clean (just toxic free). My food is nice and clean (just toxic free). My body is nice and clean (just… you get the point.) I Despite my attempts at being healthy, I struggled with acne, don’t have long unwashed hair that’s parted down the side with digestive issues, and weight problems.  Even during my college twigs or flowers in it. I don’t bob my head around like I’m in days (studying dance) when I was dancing 8+ hours a day plus some sort of crazy daze. The truth is I just feel more grounded, working out, I continued to feel trapped in someone else’s “not relaxed, healthy, and energized by the very things other people quite right” body. I wasn’t sick, but I sure didn’t feel at my peak. think are “weird.” Of course, I didn’t start this way. I grew up in a “normal” home A little annoyance that starts it all… with good parents and lots of processed foods. It’s not that we had a lot of “junk food” in our house. My mom was pretty diligent in doing her best. She followed society’s wishy-washy, back-and- During my undergraduate days I suffered from severe dry skin

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:8

on my hands. Seriously, I felt like a leper. I would pour piles of lotion and frown as it just pooled in my palms, useless. This condition continued to come and go for four years. I finally went to a doctor to see what was wrong.

mid 20’s and was sick and tired of feeling like a greasy teenager. In a bitter tone I said sarcastically, “Oh yeah, I am sooo thankful for my acne.” Still desperate for solutions, I continued to read the article. The main point being this (very much paraphrased):

His diagnosis: Dry Skin.

Be thankful for your acne. It’s your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Most of us are experiencing ill health due to poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyles. Some people are “unlucky” enough to not show symptoms, riding some “genetic inheritance” that keeps their skin perfectly clear. Be thankful that your body is sending you a message to change.”

His recommendation: Put some lotion on it. Frustrated, I went home and started researching. I spent hours online, reading chat forums, nutrition journals, and other people’s experiences. After a lot of consideration I determined I had an omega-3 deficiency. (Keep in mind this was several years before omega-3′s would be a “buzz” word. Nobody I knew had ever heard of omega-3 anything.) I bought some flaxseed oil supplements and began my selfprescribed plan. Within a week or two my hands were back to normal. I soon traded the supplements for omega-3 foods. It has been 8 years and I haven’t had a problem since. And that’s when I learned my first important lesson: we must take control of our own health.

Taking control: starting the journey I’d like to say that was the end of my skin frustrations, but in reality I had other issues. I have struggled with acne since I was 11 (I’m 31 now). It was a constant source of frustration and embarrassment. I never went anywhere without makeup. Dance became my sanctuary because the only time I felt beautiful was when I was onstage and the focus was off my complexion. I had tried all sorts of “stuff”: over-the counter creams, prescription drugs, online remedies, etc. In high school my mom had the dermatologist put me on birth control, which just made me crazy (stupid pills). I remember once during my freshman year of college looking online for some sort of solution to my skin woes. I was getting desperate and it seemed my doctor couldn’t fix my acne. Maybe some sort of “miracle” treatment online would do the trick. It wasn’t a drug or a cream. What I found was an ebook. It was a way of life—mostly about diet with some stress topics as well. But the author promised a cure to my acne. Interesting, I thought (with a lot of skepticism). I showed my mom and she consented to pay the $30 and we downloaded and printed the massive book. The next morning I woke up and found my mom looking through the many pages. Apparently she had read through most of it before she went to bed. “This would probably clear up your acne,” she said (with little excitement). “BUT, there’s no way anyone could live a life like this. It’s just too complex and requires too many weird things.” I don’t remember all the particulars, but I do remember hearing the phrase “cod liver oil.” That was enough for me to blurt out “gross” and move on. Some years later, when I was beginning my journey into natural living, I came across an article with the statement “why you should be thankful for your acne.” By this point I was nearing my

This article didn’t make me stop in my tracks, but I had started my journey… even if I wasn’t aware of it yet. Eventually, step by step, I moved closer and closer to the way our bodies were designed to connect to the world. Changes came in my movement and diet. I started giving up our toxic cleaning supplies for homemade “green” versions. My husband finally convinced me that I was beautiful without my makeup so I gave that up, too (mostly). I tried to listen to my body, move it and energize it. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understand. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths. (Proverbs 3: 5 – 6)

A shift in how I viewed food I can’t pinpoint any one moment where my idea of food changed. It’s been a gradual journey over the past 4 years. But my desire to make a change went into hyper-drive when my husband and I began talking about starting a family. Wanting the best nourishment for my child mixed with some (let’s be honest) fear of screwing him/ her up forever, I began researching more than ever. I looked over what our government recommended (oh, hello politically driven food system). I read books by nutritionists (same information I’d been hearing all my life.) I began slowly purging our house of all processed foods. I researched vegetarianism, paleo/primate diets, veganism, and raw lifestyles. I even tried some of these different approaches and listened to my body. During this time I kept coming across blogs promoting the principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation. While I don’t really like  the idea of categorizing myself into any single “way” of eating, the principles made sense: Eat like our ancestors. Eat real food. Learn to cook. Learn to prepare, plan, and enjoy. Like I said, I don’t think I fit perfectly into any one “diet.” My family tries to eat meat sparingly, especially during the warm months. When we do purchase meat, we try to buy it in as whole a form as possible. We try to use as much as the animal as possible (yeah, I eat organ meats. I also make my own bone broth. Take that, Betty Crocker.) And most importantly, I am more than willing to pay the extra price for food that comes from animals treated kindly. I eat lots of clean, raw milk. I eat lots of pastured eggs and butter. I properly prepare my grains for better digestion. I buy local and organic as much as possible, from farms I know and trust. Not only does the food taste better, but I know I’m getting less garbage, more nutrition, and helping

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:8

them professional and touched up. Even then, you can see a difference. Or at least I can.

the planet. I should mention that I am anything  but wealthy (financially speaking). We live in a nice, but small condo. We have one car. We have a child. I traded my career to be a stay-at-home mom. We are (for the most part) a single income family. But I am more than willing to pay the extra price because as the cliche’ goes: I’d rather pay the farmer than the doctor. Besides, the money I was saving by not buying worthless processed fake food meant that my over all grocery bill wasn’t that much higher. I am amazed to see the drastic (and relatively quick) changes that occurred when I stopped buying food in a package and spent more time in the kitchen planning, chopping, and cooking.  I found myself losing weight, without trying.  I also noticed my bowels felt good.  My skin finally stopped looking like I was going through puberty. I noticed that I wasn’t thinking about food all the time—the cravings were gone.  After some dedication and patience, I even began to like my vegetables.

Progress, Not Perfection Not long after this I found out I was pregnant. I have never felt better in my whole life. I knew I was still on a journey to real health, and there would still be plenty of little side-tracks along the way, but I was excited to see the direction we were heading. I was especially grateful for the goodness I felt inside and out, knowing I would pass something good on to my children. If you don’t have your health, after all, you don’t have anything. As I have continued on my journey I can say with a full heart that I am grateful for my body and grateful for those shifts in perspective that have brought me to this place. I am thankful for motion. I am thankful for real food. I am thankful for the good resources of the earth. You know what else I’m grateful for? My acne.

Not too long ago, I was talking to my husband about this whole transformation that I wasn’t really trying to make, but that happened anyway.   The words that came out of my mouth surprised me, but got to the core of what I was feeling:  “I finally feel like the real me is out.  The me that I always felt was inside, but that nobody else could see.” This is the power of basic health.  When we strip away all the clutter, trends, and guilt and then give ourselves time to refocus, go back to basics, and respect the wisdom of God and His world, that is when the “real me” is able to come out. For someone who always struggled to feel beautiful, for the first time in my life I knew that I was beautiful. (I’m not planning on entering any beauty pageants or anything, but you get the point.) I also realized that there are probably lots of people out there who feel the same way I did: trapped under layers of “not me.” I’m still on my journey. I am not perfect, and don’t plan on being perfect in this life. But I am trying to keep moving in the right direction. Little by little. There are no easy fixes or instant pills to real health. It’s a process, a challenge, and an act of courage. It’s  extremely  personal with no “one size fits all” approach. It requires us to be “okay” with being weird. It requires us to slow down and reconnect. But it’s a worthwhile journey full of balance, energy, and joy. *For the record, despite my body image issues, I really had a happy teenage and young adult life. I was very lucky to be surrounded by people who never made me feel ugly. I was blessed with many friends and opportunities despite bad skin. (And I had plenty of ego to make up for my lack of idealized “beauty.” Ha!) Robin Konie is a mother, wife, dancer, and health nut. As a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA) she has been exploring ways to help others reclaim their personal power and embodied way of knowing through movement, nutrition, and holistic approaches to health. She writes at Visit her site for real food recipes, diy all natural tutorials and holistic approaches to fitness.

And he said unto me, My grace  is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12: 9 - 10) I am grateful that God was able to direct my efforts and recognize the bounty of this earth and all that it has to offer. I just started to “let go” of all those things our society tells us we need. I trusted the wisdom of those who lived before our lives were cluttered with products, fads, and chemicals. (Interestingly enough, so much of the things I now put into my body reflect the wisdom and advice of that ebook I bought those 10 or so years ago. Just goes to show that sometimes we need more time before we are ready to take the necessary steps. I take my cod liver oil every day now.) It’s been a very gradual journey with some major acceleration these past two years. But little by little I transformed. I wish I had the pictures to prove it. I threw out most photos of me between the ages of 19 – 22 because I couldn’t stand the way I looked. Sad, huh? All I have is a handful of photos, most of

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:8

It’s not you, it’s the guitar 123rf: Nattapon Wongwean

making the most of what God gives you

By CJ Darlington Last weekend found me standing in the middle of a crowd, pressed in on each side by complete strangers. All of us were waiting for the next band to start at the Purple Door Arts and Music Festival. I was minding my own business trying not to think about how much my feet were hurting (I’d been standing for hours by now). Two guys stood behind me and started talking with each other, introducing themselves and seeing if they had common interests. One guy was a gangly, fourteen or fifteen-year-old who looked like he was much older. The other probably was college-aged. Conversation quickly turned to music, and Mr. 15 couldn’t help but point out he played guitar, bass guitar and drums. I smiled to myself. I couldn’t see either of their faces, but I have a feeling Mr. College was smiling inwardly too. But he took it all in stride and kindly humored Mr. 15. Then talk turned to equipment, i.e. amps and types of guitars. Mr. 15 was desperately trying to sound like he knew everything there was to know about these sort of things. Then he said something that almost caused me to chuckle out loud. “My guitar makes me sound bad,” he said. What? “Yeah, if I had a really good one, I’d sound great.”

Um, okay. Your guitar makes you sound bad. Hmm. I wonder if it would’ve made Jimmy Hendrix sound bad. I got to thinking about this little exchange later, and it reminded me of how often we all choose to blame our equipment rather than acknowledge our own weaknesses. If I only had that iMac I could write so much better. If only I didn’t write in my kitchen but had my own office. If only I had a better this or that ... The way I see it, if we can sound good (or, excuse the grammar, write good), or do anything well on what we have, then that’s the sign of true talent. If we can develop our skills on what we’ve been given to use today, then maybe God’ll give us something better tomorrow. It’s sorta like that parable which talks about being faithful in the small things. We don’t have to have the latest gadgets or the most expensive equipment to become good at whatever we’ve been called to do. What really matters is our attitude. Will we make the most of what we’ve been given today? CJ Darlington is a Christian homeschool graduate who is also a published author. Her first novel, Thicker Than Blood, won the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. She is the co-founder of the website, which features Christian book, music & movie reviews, interviews, articles, music videos, novel excerpts, and more. CJ is also a contributing editor at Family Fiction Digital Magazine. Visit her author website to learn more about her and her writing.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10

123rf: Szefei

Burning the Christmas Cookies...

by Angie Hott

Now, I can hear a fire whistle zooming up our hill.

My woeful attempt to portray Julia Child at Christmas time is normally met with some traumatic experience either on the part of me or my unsuspecting family. Although I do enjoy experimenting a little in the kitchen and am grateful to my loyal subjects for their willingness to sometimes act as my guinea pigs, one would think the simple tasks of Christmas Cookies would be met without incident.  Right?

Me: “My neighbors?  Are they okay?”  (I am confused.  All the Hotts are fine, present, and accounted for.)

Wrong! In the middle of some holiday baking, here’s what happened when my phone rang:

Caller: “Yes mam.  Your neighbors are fine.  But they called to report a fire.” Me:  “Fire. Really?!!!  Oh my goodness! Where?” Caller:  “Well, at your residence!  We have received a report of billowing smoke emitting from your home.”

Me: “Ahlooo-oh!”  (That’s my best Julia impression!  I’m really good at it!  Just ask hott-hubby Dan!...  I do it all the time!)

Me: “Smoke... my home?  Are you serious?  Can you see me at my house?  How do you know there is smoke?”  -- Like 911 has some magic eye;  I really thought they were looking at me talking on the phone via satellite or something.

Caller: “Uh, hello?  Mrs. Hott?”

Caller: “Yes.  Emergency services should be there any second.”

Me: “Who?  Oh, you mean me?  Yes, speeeeaking!”  (It’s my Julia Child again!  I’m still not used to being called Mrs. Hott.  That name is reserved for Dan’s 92 year old mother.  I really do forget it’s me after 17 years.)

Me: Finally realizing what in the world was going on, “Oh, oh, oh!   Smoke!?  Oh no.... that’s just me.  I was burning the Christmas cookies,... again.”

Caller: “This is Morgan County 911 Emergency calling.  Is everything alright?  We got a call from one of your neighbors.”

Oh! I. am. going. to. make. those. neighbors eat these cookies!  They called the Fire Department on me!  Yikes!  When they showed up, I had to give them the only good batch I had.  Talk

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. James 5:11

Angie Hott

about feeling like a fool! There was NO fire!  The only smoke coming from the Hott house was a tray of Christmas cookies I stuck out on the back porch.  Well, they nearly did go up in flames before I got them out of the oven.  But the house wasn’t on fire, for goodness sakes.  You probably don’t believe me; so, I’ll show you a picture:

Doesn’t that look yummy? You see, Julia Child (although I love her)!  And for some unknown reason, I manage to ruin 90% of everything I bake and/or cook.  Although I am kidding about 911 and the fire truck, I seriously DID have to set out quite a few trays of smoking cookies on the back porch after my kitchen was engulfed in smoke and our house alarm went off.  Even the cats won’t touch them, much less my family. Dan is fearful he’ll break a tooth!   Thanks to my reputable cooking skills, I get really nervous about the annual family Christmas dinner at the Hott’s where everyone brings a dish. Let me tell you, my husband has a HUGE family.  There are 13 brothers and sisters.  One time I counted everyone, direct descendants, of the original Riley and Violet Hott and got 164!  That was in 2006.  I am sure by now there are at least 1215 new babies.  For these special meals, dishes show up by the dozens.  After a few years, I realized that of my many sisters-inlaws, they each bring the exact same thing every year!  Except me. So, after 17 years, it only took me 34 holidays (Christmas and Easter) to figure this out. As much as I enjoy entertaining, bringing a dish to the Hott Family Holiday is my least favorite of all!  Normally, they tease me and criticize my creations.  Occasionally, a nephew or two has faked stomach poisoning.  Sometimes, it’s just easier not to bring anything at all!  So, why is it I don’t have my “regular” dish to bring to, yes, “Mrs. Hott’s” house! Until this year!  We were having this conversation about what would be interesting to prepare and Dan, my husband, mentioned that his mom really likes molasses cookies.  He even had her original recipe written down by his older sister.  Molasses cookies.... hummmm... I’ve never heard of that. Well, neither did our then 10 year old Violet; because she erupts with an looooong “Eeeeeeeeeewe! WHY would you want to make those?”   I thought she was just pinpointing my unique cooking skills.  “Isn’t that what COWS do?  Yuck!”  

What? She thought it was “manure” cookies!  Now seriously... why would I make cookies out of manure?  Don’t answer that! So, I proceeded to purchase the ingredients, finding that molasses is some pretty nasty looking stuff.  But I made the cookies anyway.  After burning, well, a few, I managed to salvage enough to take to the holiday family event.  Secretly, I snuck them in the kitchen and placed them with the mountain of other cookies on the table.  And I told our daughter, Caity, “If anyone mentions my molasses cookies, don’t say who made them.” Following a festive Christmas meal and after a hike near the Potomac where Dan’s nephew scared the “molasses” out of me with a dead raccoon (aren’t these Hotts a hoot!), we made it back to the house for dessert.  I sat down with my sister-in-laws famous chocolate pie when I hear someone say, “Where are those molasses cookies?” I froze. Oh no!  Here it comes!  I was never going to live this down.  Beginning to perspire, I glanced at Caity out of the corner of my eye and whispered, “Don’t say a word.”  I was NOT about to admit I had made yet another dish the Hotts would find fault with!  Oh no!  Then I heard: “Wait!  Here’s the pan!  They’re all gone!  Oh no... I wanted another!”  Much to my amazement, they emptied every last one of my molasses cookies.  Well, there’s a first! “Who made them anyway?” Silence.... which doesn’t happen often at the Hott house.  I was as quiet as a mouse.  They didn’t need to know it was me!  Really, wouldn’t it be more fun just watching them enjoy the molasses cookies?!  In the meantime, Dan’s looking at me and wondering why I’m not saying anything.  And he says, “Well, Ang made them!”  Busted!  All 164 Hott heads turned to me in shock!  Oh.

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. James 5:11

come. on! They were all completely surprised that the molasses cookies came from Angie’s kitchen.  Guess me and Julia DO have something in common after all!  So, I said “Awe shucks you guys... it was Mrs. Hott’s recipe!” Guess what?  I was so proud of myself, I made another batch!  For the life of me, I am not so sure why they like them so much because they are about the strangest tasting cookie I’ve ever come across.  But they do grow on you.  

Mom’s Molasses Cookies 350 – 10 minutes 1 cup shortening

Now, I look at that tray of burned cookies and I am reminded of all the dishes I’ve burned; crazy things I’ve done and silly mistakes I’ve made both in the kitchen and over the years.  And you know what?  It’s just cookies.  Each crispy chunk of carbon reminds me of a disappointment I’ve had over the years; another mess in the kitchen; mountains of laundry; numerous trips to the grocery store; boo boos needing band aids; noses to wipe; miles of trips to town for school events; more gas for the car; midnight runs to the ER when Levi fell out of bed; mountains of bills waiting to be paid; medical needs that never quit; to mouths to feed again and again.  Life has brought the Hott Family everything from the word “Brugada” - a rare and fatal heart arrhythmia; to progressing symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease; mothers’ failing health; school bullies; financial strains; and crazy neighbors.

1 cup sugar

But like I said, they’re just burned cookies. Let’s count blessings! Here’s mine!

6 to 8 cups Flour (Which is it? I don’t know. This is what the recipe says!)

1 egg 1 tsp salt 2 cups Molasses 1 ½ tsp cinnamon 2 Tbsp vinegar (really?) 2 Tbsp ginger

1 cup boiling water 4 tsp baking soda

Beat: sugar, egg and shortening Angie Hott

Add: molasses, vinegar, dry ingredients

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Hott Family!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

I send all my troubles (a.k.a burned cookies) to God. He doesn’t mind!

Shhhhhhhh! Now, don’t tell Mrs. Hott, but here’s her secret recipe I got from my sister-in-law! Some parts I don’t understand so I just make it up. Good Luck!

Add baking soda to boiling water then add to mix. Drop onto cookie sheet. Watch them closely at 10 minutes so they don’t burn! For when God gives her giggles to goose bumps, Angie Hott shares the stories of the daily adventures of raising four astonishing children in today’s crazy world: Caity (22), Violet (12), Isaac (8), and Levi (7) with her “Hott-hubby” Dan. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Angie “writes with great humor about some of life’s greatest joys, yet touches the deepness of life’s hardships with encouragement.” In mid 2008, Dan was diagnosed with a chronic illness at just 49. Living with Parkinson’s Disease, life took an unexpected turn and Angie began blogging about it in 2010 when God whispered “Excuse me, can I tell you something?” ( As Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man… who does not walk,” honored is the mom to share these stories and experiences with you.

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. James 5:11

123rf: Lasse Kristensen

Shame on him! By Lisa Ellis Williams An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV) The Encarta English Dictionary defines shame as a negative emotion that combines feelings of dishonor, unworthiness, and embarrassment. A state of disgrace! The Bible says a wife who causes shame is like rottenness in her husband’s bones. Have you caused your husband shame lately? How would you know? I recently listened to a woman’s casual conversation about her fiancé. She told a story describing one Christmas Eve when “he went out with friends and drank too much.” He was supposed to return and wrap gifts but he went to sleep instead. She chuckled while highlighting his failure to help her wrap gifts that night. She went further noting how he left the house without getting her permission. This young woman even conveyed her disapproval of his friends calling them “bad influences over him.” At this point in her conversation, my head was spinning and her words hit my ears like fingernails scratching a chalk board. I was stunned when she pronounced him guilty of “social drinking” and reprimanded him shaking her finger. He was “never to do that again.” Finally, she lowered her voice, smiled and declared how much she loved him. My utter shock gave way to a heavy heart as my eyes glanced around the circle. There he stood before the group and hung his head down so low that his chin touched his chest. I glanced at his father, and then at the young man. I thought, “This man has been embarrassed. His fiancé dishonored him in public. She

has caused him shame.” She didn’t seem to notice that with her words, she had become like rottenness in his bones. What about you? Are you sensitive enough to recognize the destructive words you use in what appears to be innocent conversation? Are you careful not to criticize, belittle, or reprimand your husband in public? Here are three tips to keep from bringing shame on your husband. · Learn the scriptures. If you know Proverbs 12:1, then you will not speak unfavorably about your husband in front of his family and friends. · Remember, it is never OK to tear your husband down with your words. · Be quick to listen and slow to speak about your husband in public. Others usually have great things to say about him if you will listen. As this young man lifted his head to re-enter the conversation, his next move was telling. To me it revealed the beginnings of rottenness being felt in his bones. He removed his arm from around her shoulder and left the room. Lisa Ellis Williams is a writer, speaker, and creator of Wives On Purpose ministry, She specializes in touching the hearts of women empowering them with practical strategies to ignite their faith, build strong marriages and balance work and family. Lisa’s work serves communities and impacts the world. Sign up for her free newsletter and find out more about Lisa at

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12

123rf: Cathy Yeulet

Speak blessings over your kids by Carey Scott “Sara, you’re beautiful and smart… and you have Jesus in your heart! Now go be the light of the world!”

Do you do that?

Those are words I say to my daughter as she heads off to school each morning.   Usually, she smiles at me and says, “Mom, you always say that!”

By definition, a blessing is the infusion of something with holiness, divine will, or one’s hope or approval. So when we speak out a blessing for our kids, we are speaking out our hope for their lives as well as endowing God’s love, power and grace into them.

She’s right… I do. Why?

Why is it important to say these blessings out loud to them?

Because I am speaking a blessing into her life. Words are so powerful and when we speak truth and life into our kids, it helps set them up for success.


Because we love our children and want them to know we desire the best for them.


Because words are powerful both for the one who speaks them and the one who receives them.


Because doing so helps convince our kids that God cares and loves them, is present for them, and has a divine

I wonder… do you bless your children? I’m not talking about those simple words you mutter after they sneeze. I’m talking about speaking out blessings over your kids.

Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:2

purpose for their lives. ·

Because our words can override the voice of the accuser.


Because God calls us to do it. (Matthew 12:36, Proverbs 18:21)

Saying a blessing… out loud… empowers our children to step into their calling. It releases a tidal wave of favor on them.  This intentional act has the power to transform their lives and set them on the right path. My husband wrote a blessing specific for each of our kids.  Each night as we tuck them into bed, he speaks this blessing over them. They love it.  So much so, they have it memorized and correct him if he messes up.  No matter how young or old your children are, you can bless them with your words.  You can bless them in the crib or bless them when they bring their families to visit you at Christmas. As their parent, your words are powerful regardless of their age. Here’s your game plan: ·

Ask God to give you the exact words to share with each of your children. Seek Him before you commit a word on paper.


Once you have a clear direction, write or type out their blessings.


Find time each day to speak it over them. It might be on your drive to school, at bedtime, or at the dinner table.  

To get an idea of what a blessing could look like, here’s an example of one you might write for your daughter: “Sara, I bless your life as I know you will become a wonderful woman of God. I bless your mind to remain sound and for you to have wisdom and discernment in all decisions.  I bless your body to remain pure until marriage and to be healthy and strong.  I bless your hands and feet to do the work that God has ordained for you to do.  I bless your mouth where words of truth and encouragement will flow.  I bless your heart to remain loyal to God’s will for your life.  I bless your husband-to-be and your future children’s lives with richness and unity.  I love everything about you, Sara, and I am proud to be your mother.  You bless our family and your friends in so many ways.”

Love to write? Get published! Mitera is looking for contributors for upcoming issues! We accept articles and photographs that are Christianbased and appeal to moms. If you feel God leading you to submit an article or photograph, please follow that leading! Other women will be blessed by your words and experiences!

Submission Guidelines All submitted material should be original and reflect your personal work. (this includes recipe submissions) All submitted material should be Christian-focused and designed to encourage living according to the word of God. Material should be encouraging as much as possible. However, controversial issues can be addressed in a loving spirit. Submitted material will be subject to editing for length, content, and grammar at the editor’s discretion. Submitted photos can be edited through cropping, color management, or enhancement at the editor’s discretion. Mitera Magazine is a free publication and no renumeration is provided for submitted material. However, contributors who write articles will be allowed a short biography which can include a direct link back to their blog, website, or facebook page.

You have a responsibility and a privilege to speak words of life and truth into your kids. And because the world can be cruel, their thirsty spirits need that encouragement daily.

While all material will be considered for publication there is no guarantee that all submitted material can be published in Mitera.

Friends… as long as there is breath in your lungs, be intentional in blessing your children.

Mitera is currently published seasonally (4 times per year) and appropriate seasonal content is needed for each issue.

Carey Scott is an inspirational speaker, writer and life coach, honest about her walk with the Lord… stumbles, fumbles and all. She loves to challenge women to be real, not perfect. Through her blog she encourages women to stop living a mediocre, risk-free life and instead step onto the battlefield of life and engage! Carey is a bi-weekly blogger on CWAHM (link: http:// and serves as a moderator on the Moms Together (link: Facebook community. She and her husband live in Colorado with their two kids. Learn more about Carey by visiting CareyScottTalks (link: http://careyscotttalks.

follow mitera on facebook to stay up to date on the magazine’s progress and special articles we will be requesting!

Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:2

Simple Service

It’s Simple. God’s word instructs us to serve others. Beyond the scope of tending children, running a household, working inside and outside the home, and volunteering at school and church, we might just think we don’t have an ounce of ourselves left to give to anyone else. But we do. Here’s an easy and simple way to serve others without feeling like it’s a burden.

By Molly Lasater Here’s a simple way to perform service for others: serve your family…the ones you live with every day, the ones who tolerate your grumpy episodes, see you at your worst as well as your best, and always hold you in high regard. For you see, even though you probably battle yourself daily with guilt and feelings of inadequacy at this whole “motherhood” thing, these little people (and that one man who clings to your heart each day) think you are amazing. They value what you do for them. They see past the bad times and see your nurturing, tender ways. So today, we focus on how we can serve them more.

For your children, they only want you. Your time. Nothing else matters to them. So take the time to ask each child individually, “What would you like me to do for you today?” More than likely, it will be something that involves you spending time with them. That’s all they want. And that’s the one thing we seem to never have enough of. But make it work….MAKE THE TIME.

123rf: Sanai Aksoy

For your husband, there are simple ways to serve him daily. Cook for him. The old adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is popular for a reason! Men love to eat! Make the time and COOK meals for him. At our house, my husband is notorious for skipping breakfast, grabbing a coffee and not eating anything until 12 or 1:00 in the day! Then he binges on a cholesterol laden lunch because his body is craving carbs. Not good! So now, each night before I head to bed, I place a bowl of old-fashioned oats, a bag of walnuts, and dried cranberries or fresh blueberries next to his coffee maker. In the morning, he puts water in the bowl, microwaves it, and eats it before his coffee is even finished. This takes about 1 minute of my time, and is not a burden at all, yet imagine the love my man feels each morning when he sees that I’ve prepared these items for him. (Or, if you get up before your husband, you could actually MAKE breakfast....but we won’t go there because I personally am not a morning person. But we’ve found what works for us!) Another way you can serve your husband is to allow him time after work to unwind. Have the children busy with something else, or playing outside, and be busy yourself when he gets home from work. Greet him with a smile and a kiss, and then let him go rest somewhere. Some men will want to go to the bedroom to undress and relax on the bed, others will want to just sit on the couch and watch television for a bit, and your husband may want to do something entirely different. The point is, allow him time to unwind. Don’t complain or gripe about your day, don’t nag him to do anything around the house, just let him relax and feel welcomed at his own home. He will love you for it.

Set a schedule that works for you, whether it is daily, weekly, or biweekly, but find the time to just stop what you’re doing and ask your kiddo to do something with you. For me, it’s playtime. I have an 8 year old, 6 year old, and 2 year old who just want to play with mommy. So if I spend 20 minutes teaching my 2 year old to do puzzles, or even just tickle him for 5 minutes, he is ecstatic. You can FEEL the love during these activities! It’s amazing! You can feel the pure contentment radiating off your child when you are doing nothing but spending time doing what THEY love to do! My 6 year old prefers board games or video game competitions in bowling, and my 8 year old loves to color or for us to shoot our bows together outside. Each kid needs something different from me, and each kid is guaranteed to feel more special and more content after spending one-on-one time with me. And even though I feel the tremendous pressure of laundry, dirty dishes, phone calls, editing, and typical other household duties mounting, it truly doesn’t set me back at all to stop what I’m doing occasionally and ask my kids what they’d like for me to do with them or for them. Try it once. When you feel the pure joy and peace radiate from your child, you will want more. And amazingly enough, even though you are “serving” your child, YOU are the one who ends up feeling truly amazing, as if it serves YOU instead!

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

Today I Played By Jaimie Bowman (article & photos)

Today I played.... I ran in the yard.... I wrestled with my boys.... We went on an adventure, right in our backyard...

And pretended we were on a field trip.... I was the bus driver....

And we hid in a “cave�.....

We hunted for treasure....

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

For just a little while.... I wasn’t a mom.... I wasn’t a wife.... I didn’t have bills to pay.... My cell phone was inside....

And it was amazing.... The best free therapy there is..... So if you’re feeling kind of blue.... And don’t know what to do.... Go be a pirate..... Or a princess instead.... And go on an adventure..... To a far away land.... Right in your own back yard.

I forgot about work.... My to-do list was forgotten.... I was 5 years old....

Jaimie Bowman is a speaker and writer who lives in Southern California. She and her husband Martin have served in ministry for over 10 years and have two sons, ages 5 and 7. You can often find them stuck in traffic, searching for new places to explore. Jaimie blogs regularly at The Wonder Years and at

Give your kids 20 minutes today....and play! Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Looking for the

ultimate gift? By Sharon Rubenstein Give the gift that keeps on giving. Sounds like an ad for the Energizer Bunny, right? The present of which I speak is even better than a battery, but it behaves much like that. It provides a spark that goes beyond anything manufactured.

for trinkets and toys. The consumer usually does not enter this season with a pre-determined idea of the perfect gift for each person on their list, so they are willing to entertain the suggestions of the merchandisers.

This is the season when much of the world is scurrying about, anxiety driven, dragging a list that seems to grow longer each year. There is a perfect way to both attend to the list, while spending very little money. Oh, it will cost you, but it’s not about dollars and cents. I read recently that the purpose of gift giving is to express how much someone means to us. It’s easy to see why that is daunting. How to convey just the right message that will probably have to deliver a year’s good will.

A popular book circulated among my friends a few years back offering the idea that each of us has a “Love Language” that speaks to what we value receiving from other human beings. I found it thought-provoking that, according to this philosophy, most of us seek something more precious than physical gifts.

Actually you have the perfect gift that all of your loved ones desire. As I said, there is a cost involved, and in many ways that price is the hardest of all to pay. Most of us want those we love What do people want? What would they appreciate? There are to spend time with us. plenty of merchants vying for your money this time of year. You find yourself being swayed by their advertising. It’s especially We all may feel short of money, but what we seem to lack most is maddening that children see these ads and get new desires enough time. While you are out walking the mall, take a break, sit down and listen to the snatches of conversations as folks flow

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great Proverbs 18:16

by. Many a topic is centered around schedules, appointments, plans for how to stay involved in their lives while encouraging store hours, driving distances. So much running to and fro. their involvement in ours. It begins to become frantic trying to fit everything in. A suggestion: Determine the things that must be done and take a hard look at all the rest. However you decide to spend your precious time, make room for your health and the needs of your immediate family. Be ready to say no, even to yourself. Focus on the things that ONLY YOU can do or say. Ultimately, we do decide how complex and even chaotic we allow things to become.

Our worlds often involve a much wider circle. What gift can we give a friend or colleague? Plan a bike ride or hike. Take a drive together. Go to a unique place where you can eat and have conversation. Or even write a note, or cards and “use your words” to express how much that person means to you. That is actually how the Christmas card idea got started, but most of us take the pre-printed ones and just sign at the bottom. Don’t neglect some personal thoughts being part of those cards or We don’t seem to be able to simplify our lives. New devices letters. Why not let the written expression be a sufficient gift. advertised to take over mundane tasks and give us more “free time” seem to do just the opposite. When we do manage to Many of us have children still in school and we want to show open up some time slots, do we use it to be with our loved ones? appreciation to their teachers. I recently read of a parent Typically not. trying to give presents to all of her children’s eleven teachers. Being a retired teacher from many years in the classroom, the The evasive solution to the dilemma of how to show our love and things grateful parents did that spoke to me was to send me a appreciation for folks lies in us. Not just for this season, but for note, or better yet offer to come into the classroom and help all year, let’s pay attention to those loved ones. What can we out occasionally. The “love language” of teachers is usually do perhaps with them, but at least for them that will truly be “service.” a blessing. Starting with the youngest set, many a child would enjoy a spontaneous or even a regular moment of adults’ time But make sure you show your love and appreciation most readily playing a game or hearing a story. to your own family. We hit on an idea when our children were small that everyone needs a date at least once a month. Each I am sure it is not news that little ones prefer to play the week we would take out one child for usually a short time alone thrilling peek-a-boo and hear the familiar Little Red Caboose with his/her parents. It usually involved only an ice cream cone over and over. I have to confess that I was the fidgety reader or hot chocolate, but it always provided time for us to hear that of too-familiar children’s stories and would attempt to skip child and shower our love without any siblings around. or summarize parts. I got busted every time. My husband was the patient one to read the stories to our children, while I was And then it was our turn. If you are blessed with a spouse, there the one who would create spontaneous games. In the end, our is no bauble that shines brighter than having time together. Hire kids got much of our time and energy with the simplest most that babysitter or call in grandma. Do something special. My son wanted to take his “bride” on a very special anniversary trip last accessible activities. fall. With funds being short, he got creative. He sent the kids I know the older kids are more dazzled by the current electronics, to Grandma and transformed their home into his own Bed and but I was recently amazed to have a grandchild leave her iPad to Breakfast. Now there’s a spark starter. learn how to play marbles with me. It was gratifying to see that she was perfectly happy on the ground learning how to shoot her So, nuff said. You get it. Don’t throw away the shopping list, but little orbs. It seems to me that kids will enjoy whatever fun and use it to come up with ideas for how to spend more time, and probably less money, to convey your love. Don’t make gifting games parents want to spend time doing with them. a matter of how much money you have, or don’t have. Don’t worry about the Joneses! Don’t let the merchandising world conform you to its image.

123rf: Mandy Godbehear

Enough don’ts. But DO start now. Hopefully your loved ones will be so grateful they won’t even moan the absence of so many “things.” No guarantees since we are such a jaded people, but if you don’t start now, it will only get harder. Teach your family that value is in people, not things. Show others how much you care. Give them the gift that truly keeps on giving – You. Sharon Rubenstein is a middle child of seven raised in southern New Mexico. She raised four children and helps impact nine grandchildren. Together with her husband, she helped found and establish a Messianic Jewish congregation in Sacramento, CA. Her life is woven around teaching, ministering and supporting family. You can catch more of Sharon’s fresh views of common adages at her blogsite:

Since I am in a time of life where I am taking care of an elderly parent, boxes of candy will last a while, but time spent together is what she wants. As we age, our world tends to narrow. The elderly want to continue to be in the family circle. We can make

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great Proverbs 18:16

food By Rebecca Ashbrook Carrell I have a girlfriend named Lori who makes the best baked macaroni and cheese in the world. And she will be the first one to tell you that it’s pretty indulgent; butter, real cream, 3 or 4 different kinds of cheese, and topped with homemade croutons. I have little restraint in the face of such southern goodness, but it’s not one serving that gets me in trouble; it’s leftovers! One portion wouldn’t be such a big deal, but once I’ve had it, I want it again. So I’ll have a bowl for lunch the next day, a little for a snack later on, and before you know it, it’s gone. And I feel sluggish and guilty. I’ve noticed a pattern with myself: If I don’t eat the macaroni and cheese, I don’t crave it. And I do the same thing when it comes to what I feed my brain. I can remember a day when “The Hills” on MTV was appointment television for me. I’m not proud of that. A married mother of two who sings in church, writes a

Christian blog, and secretly fed her brain a steady diet of empty calories. That was spring of 2009. Something happened over the summer, when the finales aired and the reruns began: I had nothing to watch. So I started to read the Bible more. And then I started to journal about what I was reading. And then I started to blog about it. And amazingly, God was freed up to work in my life like never before. As cliché as it sounds, we are what we eat. If we’re stuffing ourselves full of Lori’s fabulous mac and cheese on a daily basis, our thighs will to get bigger. If we feed our brain a steady stream of TMZ, E! Online, and Us Weekly, our minds get mushy and our lives reflect it. Isaiah 55:1-2 – “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink – even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!” Any athlete will testify that a diet of lean meats, fruit and vegetables, and whole grains will improve your performance. Likewise, if you are trying to better your relationship with God, you need a steady diet of prayer, worship, and scripture. Isaiah 55: 3 – “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake. I am ready to make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the mercies and unfailing love that I promised to David.” God wants us to come to Him with our ears wide open, undistracted, and ready to receive His message. When we get to a place where we are listening to God and studying His word, transformation begins. Isaiah 55:4-5 – “He displayed my power by being my witness and a leader among the nations. You also will command the nations, and they will come running to obey, because I, the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.” Those words are rich with the promise of the Lord. When you live in obedience, He empowers you. And God’s power will make you a leader of “nations.” You may not be the president of the United States, or even of your home owner’s association, but if you live your life as a witness to the Lord, people will be drawn to you. Your “nations” are your circle of influence. We each have one. If you are a parent, your children are in your circle of influence. Your co-workers are, too. Are you in a Bunco group? That counts. And God will make you a leader. Watching The Hills isn’t a sin. Neither is eating a big, healthy dose of Lori’s mac and cheese. But when that’s all you’re feeding your brain, or your stomach, you start to get soft (literally and figuratively).

On The Hills, the girls get into cat fights, steal each other’s boyfriends, and spend most nights at the clubs. Their norm is to party and get drunk. Their moral standards are loose at best. And you know what? There is temptation there. That is tantalizing television. The more you enjoy the Gospel according to Hollywood, the more it becomes your norm. Sex before marriage is expected, affairs just happen, the skinnier you are, the better; the younger you look the more you’re worth. If your jeans aren’t “this” brand…if you don’t carry “that” phone…or drive “that” car, you aren’t good enough. Funny, though. The people you see plastered across the magazine covers don’t seem all that happy, do they? They need a good, home cooked meal; a hearty dose of soul food. Isaiah 44:1-4 – “But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel, my chosen one. The LORD who made you and helps you says: O Jacob, my servant, do not be afraid. O Israel, my chosen one, do not fear. For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children.” God is pleading with us the same way that I plead with my son to eat his peas. I want my kids to eat veggies because they’re good for them. And God’s Word is not just good for us; it’s essential for the fullness of life. Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.” God is extending you a dinner invitation. Will you accept? Rebecca Ashbrook Carrell is a Christ follower, wife to Mike, and mother to Caitlyn and Nick. She has been a radio personality in the DFW area since 1998, and can be heard on 90.9 KCBI. She also makes the rounds as a conference speaker and retreat leader. The desire God has put on her heart is to help women to love like He loves, serve like He served, and shine His light for all to see. Find out more at @RebeccaLSS on Twitter

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But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Mitera: Ministry in Motherhood  

be encouraged as you minister to your children as a Christian mom!

Mitera: Ministry in Motherhood  

be encouraged as you minister to your children as a Christian mom!