You Can’t Stop God’s Plan

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m a “glass half full” type of person. Some would even say that my glass is generally at least 3/4 full! It is fairly easy to be in that state of mind when you are relying on and trusting the Lord. My hope is in the Lord!!

However, I’m human. And while I try to always maintain a positive attitude, it seems that when life piles on me enough for me to get down, I hit HARD!! And I’m sorry to admit that sometimes I doubt. I doubt that God hears my prayers. I doubt that God is working all things for my good. I doubt that He even cares about what I’m going through. Yes, I sometimes have a full blown pity party!! I’m not proud to admit that.

But today, I had a reminder that while we may sometimes THINK that God isn’t there, He IS still working.2016-09-22-07-31-00

I planted one pot of flowers this year. Only one. Purple Petunias and a type of vine. The Petunias thrived until it got dry and I forgot to water, so a couple of weeks ago, I pulled them out of the pot leaving the vines behind. It was early morning when I got the urge to pull them out and I was barefooted and in my jammies, so I just pulled them and laid them on the ground. Later, I carried the seemingly dead plants to the burn pile. I THOUGHT that season of beautiful purple blooms was over. But it isn’t over until God says it is over.

This week I walked out my front door and saw this. It appears that when I picked up those “dead” plants and carried them off, I missed one. 2016-09-22-07-31-10And in His time, God sent the rains to water those dry roots, and the roots grabbed on to the ground, and the plant began to grow again. I didn’t notice it until it gained enough nourishment to produce new blooms. It reminded me that God IS always there working although we might not see it. He DOES hear our prayers….always. And yes, He DOES ALWAYS CARE about what we are going through.

So my glass is now back to 3/4 full and it took some dead flowers to get me back where I needed to be!

Who Have I Encouraged Today?

The title of this blog is a question printed on paper and pinned to the bulletin board above the desk in my home office. 5 simple words that set the tone for each day and remind me that it is not about me….it’s about what I can do for others. This paper has been pinned to my bulletin board for many years. It’s been important to me for years, but this year — 2016 — God has guided me to a whole new level in this thinking!

You may have read my blog about my quest to accomplish random acts of kindness for 1000 people this year. If not, here is a link to it. I’m currently at 386 for the year with several more in the works…..and it makes me SO HAPPY!!! As I have focused on blessing others this year, God has brought together some things that I love with some passions that I have, and given me a vision for a business that will focus on helping others in ways I have only imagined.

I’m an accomplished fundraiser when it comes to raising money for sports teams. I have helped raise thousands for the teams my boys have played for. I enjoy that….especially if you can raise money with something that sparkles and allows me to show you who I’m rooting for! Our baseball team raised money with a company called Booster Bling: Rhinestone pins and the # of your favorite player….I LOVE THEM!! 12718063_10208009109642206_6436511931893986785_n  224102_4644352503453_1190491460_n

In the last couple of years, I have also seen the need for fundraising related to medical expenses. The need is so widespread now, that it is no longer possible to put a coffee can with a picture on it at a cash register somewhere. There simply aren’t enough cash registers to go around! I had a desire to offer a product that could be used to raise money for an individual in the fight of their life, but also encourage the purchaser to remember to pray for the person fighting.

So God has merged my love for jewelry with my passion for helping others and I have started a business called “Blessings & Bling.” We will offer two fundraising lines: the Spirit Line and the Faith Line. My plan is to tailor the fundraiser to the need and desires of the group or individual fundraising.

I have purchased the remaining inventory that Booster Bling had, and I plan to create new rhinestone pin designs that have encouraging words like, “Believe, Hope, Faith, Just Pray” then offer charms to hang from the rhinestone pin. One of the charms I will create will be the cancer ribbon and be available in the color that represents a specific kind of cancer. I also plan to have other charms like crosses, angels, tree of life, hearts, etc. I’m so excited to be able to serve someone in their time of need!!

Last week as I was seeking the Lord for confirmation on my direction, and for a name for my business, He brought me to another product that I could use to help others. I have watched a company called Bravelets for a while. I LOVE their bracelets and have almost bought them for gifts many times, but couldn’t decide which ones to buy because I love them all! They have started allowing people to apply to be a Fundraising Consultant with them. So guess who is now a Fundraising Consultant for Bravelets? Yep, me!! Check it out at https://blessingsandbling.bravelets.com/. You’ll love them!

I’m almost half a century old and I FINALLY feel like I’m figuring life out!! I’m in a good place, and it is because I’m focused on letting God lead, and looking for ways to be a blessing to someone else. I’m looking forward to the next half of my life!!

 

 

A Day is Like a Thousand Years….

2 Peter 3 8

2 Peter 3:8 says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Let me promise you this…..when you are waiting for God to answer a prayer that is very important to you, a day sure seems like a thousand years! And if it takes 2 years and 11 months, it feels like an eternity!! So let me tell you a story of God’s faithfulness, God’s timing, and some pretty amazing “stuff” that happened in the meantime.

First the back story (and I’ve written about this before): In April 2013, God put it on my heart to do a 40 day Prayer Challenge based on Mark Batterson’s book “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge.” I created a Facebook Group called “Prayer Changes Things” and a group of over 400 people joined the challenge. I kept a journal of specific prayer requests, and of answered prayers. Many were answered during that 40 days. Many went unanswered. This story is of one request that was heavy on my heart during that time (actually for years before that) and continued since then.

At the time of the 40 Day Prayer Challenge, I was working from home for FAITH Jewelry Company and I LOVED IT!!! I did training and support for the Consultants across the United States. I had developed friendships with very special women, and many continue today. I was happier in my career than I had ever been. Absolutely content.

I desperately wanted my husband, Chris, to experience that contentment. He was working for a construction company, and had worked there for many years. He loved the guys he worked with, but he hated driving 30+ minutes to work every day. It was also getting harder and harder on him physically. Couple that with the fact that he was grossly underpaid, and he simply wasn’t fulfilled. (These statements come from a very prejudiced wife. It’s my blog and my story. He is the 2nd best carpenter in Southern Illinois, with the first being his retired mentor, my Dad. Lol.)

In my prayer journal, on my ‘Chris page,’ I wrote: “Lead him into your will where a job is concerned and give him fulfillment like he’s never had.” I prayed diligently that God provide a different job for him. But to my eyes, nothing happened. Nothing at all.

But the Prayer Challenge was powerful and God showed His hand in SO MANY WAYS!! I was hooked. I was a prayer addict!! So when Summer was over, I felt led to do the challenge again. I started on September 1 and again wrote this request for Chris “Give Chris a job that will fulfill him.” I had no idea what God was doing behind the scenes. It wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t what I asked for. But it was a HUGE BLESSING to me!

On day 18 of that second prayer challenge, Pastor Mark Minor caught me after Bible study on Wednesday night and said he needed to talk to me. I had been helping the church with their Facebook page and had talked to Mark about YouTube and how we might use it, so I didn’t think anything of it. We made an appointment to meet the next day. I’m not sure I can adequately describe what happened at that meeting except to say that God BLEW MY MIND! Mark told me that the church wanted to create a position for me…..a paid position….to do social media, small groups, marketing and communication. It was absolutely humbling to me!! I was thrilled!!!!….and then devastated…..

I had prayed so diligently for a job for Chris where HE would be fulfilled. I already HAD a job like that. I didn’t NEED a new job. But I also wasn’t about to turn it down! So I moved into the most incredible position I have ever had….and still prayed for Chris to find a new job. (Remember, this was in September 2013.)

After that second prayer challenge ended with no new opportunities for Chris, I wrote this in my journal, “Lord, I want so much for Chris to be fulfilled in his work the same way I am. I believe that you want that for him. Please draw him to you in the same way you have me. Speak to him. Encourage him. Give him hope for a great future. I’m so excited to move forward with my new job. I’m listening. I’m trusting.”

Since then, he has had a couple of opportunities that just didn’t feel right. We would get our hopes up, but are thankful that God gave us the discernment we needed to make the right decisions. As my fulfillment in my job for the church grew and grew, it was more and more difficult to accept that there wasn’t something better for Chris. He had so many gifts and talents that weren’t being used in his current job. (And he was grossly underpaid. Did I say that already?)

But in God’s perfect timing, 2 years and 11 months after I started the first prayer challenge…Chris has been hired at Benton High School as a bus driver with benefits and retirement!!! He passed his driving test on on April Fool’s Day no less! (God definitely has a sense of humor!) We have had terrible (or no) insurance for several years. To be able to get these insurance benefits are beyond what I could even have imagined! And to have the ability to have a retirement??? Well, now God is just showing off!!

This morning I read back through the requests I wrote down for that initial 40 day prayer challenge. There have been many more answered prayers since then, some in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the time I asked. Sometimes the road to the answer was a very painful, slow process with lots of bumps, potholes and a few detours. There are also many requests that are still unanswered. Maybe God is saying “No. That isn’t best.” Maybe He is saying that the time hasn’t come. But God has reassured me that HE IS IN CONTROL! His timing is perfect. I have no fear of the future, or anything else for that matter (except the dentist…..and snakes….and bears…. yeah, that’s about it!).

I love you, Lord!!

How Jesus Grieved

I have had a lot of inspiration for Blog posts recently and my perfectionism has kept me from completing and posting them. My purpose isn’t actually to ‘educate’ but more to create curiosity so that others will seek answers for themselves. Therefore, I have decided to simply put my rambling, imperfect thoughts out there to see what happens. Have you heard the phrase, “Just throw it all against the wall and see what sticks?” Well, here we go!

In reading my Bible a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something that I had not noticed before. In Matthew 14 is the story about John the Baptist being beheaded. I have read this story many times, heard it in Sunday School, and read Gene Edwards book, “The Prison in the Third Cell” many times. So I’ve thought a lot about this story. But what I realized today was how Jesus reacted when he heard the news. So bear with me as I give you the scene.

John the Baptist and Jesus were cousins. John was approximately 6 months older in age than Jesus. I imagine them playing together as children, but they were both very special children. Remember the story in the Bible about Mary going to see Elizabeth to tell her she was pregnant with the Christ Child? Elizabeth was pregnant with John at the time and the baby John “lept in his mother’s womb” when Mary entered the room. John knew his purpose in life from the beginning: to prepare the way for Jesus.

So if John knew that Jesus was the Savior, and Jesus knew he was the Savior, then I imagine their conversations and the way they “played” as children were different than most other children. I expect they had some deep conversations about God from a very early age.

John, more than any other person, knew what it was to sacrifice your own life for the Savior. His entire existence was consumed with preparing the way for Jesus. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” was his message over and over. He baptized people by the dozens as he preached about Jesus. He wore camel hide as clothing. He ate locusts and wild honey. Obviously, the comforts of life meant nothing to him. He never dated. He never married. He never had children. He lived for Jesus. Period.

Now, think about how Jesus must have felt for John. I believe that John was not only his cousin, but his closest friend. John BELIEVED in Jesus from the beginning….from BEFORE the beginning. John never asked Jesus for a favor. John knew it was all about Jesus. Therefore, Jesus felt comfortable with John. Jesus didn’t have to explain things to John. Jesus could be himself without fear of judgement. Jesus knew John wanted the same things as he. Jesus saw John’s commitment to the cause. And Jesus LOVED John for so many reasons!

John was arrested for preaching the gospel. The Bible says that John sent his disciples from his prison cell to ask Jesus, “Are you the one, or should I look for another?” WHAT?? How could he question Jesus after living for him for all this time? Well, because he had sacrificed his entire life to prepare the way for Jesus, and now he was in prison facing execution. Doesn’t seem fair does it?

011AI3So Jesus knows John is in prison, feeling betrayed, and I believe his heart was grieved. Grieved that his cousin, his friend, his cohort in the ministry is questioning God’s plan. Then John’s disciples bring Jesus the horrific news that John had been beheaded, and that they had buried him. Did Jesus know this was coming? Maybe — he was fully God. Did Jesus’ heart break in two? Definitely — he was fully man.

Jesus left where he was in a boat and went away to be alone. I’m sure he wanted to talk to his father. I’m sure he wanted to process what had happened. I’m sure he wanted to grieve. He desperately needed some alone time! But the multitudes followed him, and he found very quickly that he wasn’t going to get much quiet time. The people were hungry for more of Jesus’ teaching, more of his healing. So in his state of grief, his state of downheartedness, Jesus had compassion for them, and healed their sick. It was then that he performed the miracle of feeding the 5,000.

The Bible tells us that while Jesus was on the earth, he was fully man. He felt the emotions that we feel. He was tempted by the sins by which we are tempted. He developed relationships like we do. He felt hungry, tired, lonely, betrayed, and yes, he felt overwhelming grief. And we can learn from his example.

How did he respond when he was grieving over the loss of possibly his closest friend? He had compassion for others and he served them. Pretty simple response, however maybe at that point he felt completely drained…like he had nothing to give. I know I get to that point on occasion. But he did what I believe all of us are supposed to do…he drew strength from a loving Father and allowed God to carry him through as he continued to minister to those God wanted to save. Hmmmm.

This blog may not mean anything to anyone else. It may just be God speaking to me and helping me process as I pound out the words on my keyboard. But I hope that maybe it encourages someone else too. If it does, please let me know. I have felt like I’m supposed to be writing more and I simply haven’t made the time. So thanks for reading this! Be blessed!

 

When God Blows Your Mind…

 

A few weeks ago during Bible study, I had an unfortunate thought, which often happens to me during Bible study or quiet time. It’s like when you get away from the noise of the world, you can actually hear and respond to the Holy Spirit. This was my thought, “Why, as Christians, do we settle for where we are in our relationship with Christ? Why do we not continue to TRY to grow closer? Why do we not continue to SEEK Him? Why is the ‘status quo’ good enough?” I made a decision right then and there, that the status quo WASN’T good enough for me! I wanted to CONTINUE to grow closer and closer to the Lord while I was here on this earth! I set the goal that I wanted my walk with God to continue getting stronger and stronger as I aged. (I’m headed toward my 50th birthday, so I’m very analytical about my life right now.)

One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

ALL YOUR HEART. ALL….YOUR….HEART…..

So I started thinking about the things that have more of my heart than they should. These were on the list along with a few others….

  • FOOD
  • Desire for human love and affection
  • Desire for approval
  • FOOD
  • Desire to perform well or “do a good job”
  • Desire for financial security
  • FOOD
  • Unforgiveness
  • Bitterness over past wrongs
  • FOOD
  • Resentment for bad things happening that are out of my control

I think you get the picture so I’ll face the obvious problem head on. I’m a stress-eater. Any little thing doesn’t go MY way and I’m looking for comfort food – and thinking of the next thing I’m going to eat while I’m eating whatever unhealthy choice I had currently made. Salty, sweet, salty, sweet, salty, sweet….. Carb overload….

I knew that I was running to food when I should have been running to God. And all the other things on my list were the same. I was seeking approval from other individuals instead of seeking the approval of my Lord and Savior! And in the financial security area, I felt convicted that I was not trusting God for our provision. Then I was forced to admit that I had a stronghold of unforgiveness and bitterness in my heart. And somehow simply admitting that was the motivation to get it taken care of.

I’ve gotten to know myself fairly well over the years. I knew that for me, it would take something fairly drastic to break the stronghold. (It had been there for many years.) So I started researching types of fasts. Understand that I thought I needed to fast not because of the FOOD issue, but because of the stronghold. I hoped that breaking my food issues would be a secondary benefit of the fast, but that was not the purpose. I will also admit that I have never been successful at fasting in the past. I had fasted on occasions for short periods of time, but I would do good for a day or two then completely fall off the wagon. I don’t do well with food deprivation AT ALL! But I really felt God was calling me to do this.

After researching, I decided on a 21 day Daniel Fast. This included only fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts. No meat. No bread. No sugar or sweetener. No processed foods. Nothing to drink but water….which means NO COFFEE! It was not going to be a walk in the park for me. But I thought it was do-able and my desire was for God to break the stronghold and to crowd everything else that was taking up residence in my heart out! My desire was to draw near to God.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.”

So I jumped in with both feet (and read later that you should ‘prepare for the fast.’ Oops!). Looking back on it, I would say that it was relatively easy, although I did state emphatically multiple times each day “God, I love you more than coffee!” Because I REALLY wanted coffee! I honestly wasn’t tempted to cheat….at all! That’s how I knew that God truly had called me to the Fast.

One of the recommendations was to pray that God would use you for his good works during your Fast, so I did. I’m embarrassed to say that I was surprised when He answered that prayer. I mean, why are we surprised when we pray according to God’s will and He answers that prayer??? I am such an immature Christian at times!! There were days that random strangers would seek me out needing advice, usually in stores, like Kroger. There were days that I ran into old friends (at Wal-Mart) and they needed to talk. Then there was the day that I was able to pray with a young man to be saved (at school after Fellowship of Christian Students). God is amazing!!!

Then one day, God spoke to me. I was reading, spending time with Him, and He said, “You should do Acts of Kindness for 1,000 people in 2016.” I stopped. I held my breath. And my accounting mind kicked in to do the math! 1000….in 52 weeks….that’s over 20 per week! That’s 3 per day! So I did what I generally do when God stretches me. I argued a bit. I argued that it wasn’t God. That it was a random thought. That God would have given me a more realistic goal. Good grief!

So I took out my prayer journal and I wrote the following question: Can I do acts of kindness for 1000 people in 2016? It was a thought? It was a question….and it didn’t take God long to answer it. The VERY NEXT DAY in the book I was reading was this sentence: “Anything less than God-sized goals constitutes a lack of faith.” Slap! Sharp inhale! Don’t ask God a question unless you expect Him to answer. He DOES answer if you are willing to listen. He DOESN’T always give the answer you want.2015-11-23 19.43.22

So I am planning, saving ideas, preparing, making lists of Random Acts of Kindness, making lists of people whom I can bless, and I’m getting excited!!! I’m preparing to document my journey in hopes to inspire others and give practical ideas of inexpensive ideas for others to use.

I almost never do this, but I’m asking for prayers. Pray that God use me as never before in 2016! Pray that God lead me to bless the people who need it. That I might be an encourager! Because I believe that 2016 will be the greatest year of my life!

Beheaded, like John The Baptist

This post has been a long time coming. To be perfectly honest, which I try to always be, God has been telling me to get back to this for a long time. It just simply seems like I have never made time. Yesterday I began a focused time of seeking the Lord with a sincere desire to grow closer to Him than I have ever been before, and today I’m home with a flu bug…..and have ‘extra time’. Don’t you just love God’s sense of humor?

I’ve been so burdened for the people in my community, and even my family, who are battling diseases, depression, financial problems, and other tragedies. Some days it is overwhelming to simply scroll through Facebook and read the struggles of those in my circle of friends. A few short months ago, my own Mother-in-law had a brain bleed and was rushed to the hospital for emergency brain surgery. It was severe with a possibility that she would never wake up after surgery, and if she did, would never be the same. It was a scary time for our family, and we got to see the hand of God. We were so very blessed, but many that I know have situations that are very different with an ongoing fight for health and wellness.

Like most families I know, we face challenges on a weekly basis. Most of our challenges are financial and lately all have to do with a vehicle needing major repairs! It seems we just recover from one challenge, take a breath, and the next one hits. But I am a ‘glass-half-full’ person, so I look at all the reasons to be thankful and move on. One reason I am able to do that is a book that I have read a few times. It taught me a life-changing lesson, and I want to share that with you in this blog.

The book I am referring to is one by Gene Edwards called ‘The Prisoner in the Third Cell.’ It is a fictional book, based on the life of John the Baptist as recorded in the Bible. Mr. Edwards has written what possible dialog and events MIGHT have occurred but were not recorded in the Bible. It is a very easy read and one I highly recommend…..if you can find a copy. You see, the Copyright on it is 1991. It is definitely an oldie, but a goodie!

So imagine with me the life of John. He knew from conception that he was called to a very high purpose. The Bible records his first ‘meeting’ with his cousin Jesus…while they were still in their respective wombs! At that meeting, John’s mother felt her baby leap for joy in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. So I believe John knew, before he was even born, that he was to prepare the way for his Lord, his cousin, Jesus.

John’s entire life was lived to prepare the way for the Messiah…..and HE was one of the very few people who knew WHO that Messiah was from the beginning. John set aside his own desires to serve the Lord, and to tell people about Him. John lived the epitome of a surrendered life!

Matthew 3 tells of the days of John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea. His message? Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. The message itself is one of someone who knew the Messiah was coming. He was Jesus’ cousin, the cousin of the King of Kings, yet he wore itchy camel-hair clothing and made his diet not of the richest of foods, but of locust and wild honey. He cared not for himself, but only for the message he proclaimed and the job of preparing the way for the Messiah. I believe that his very lifestyle PROVED that he KNEW Jesus was the Messiah.

But God wants to make sure we have no doubt, and He did the same with John. Jesus came from Galilee one day to the Jordan where John was baptizing. Jesus asked John to baptize him….which in layman’s terms, freaked John out! I mean, he had known for 3o years or so that Jesus was the Messiah! But Jesus replied in Matthew 3:15, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” And John consented.

The Bible goes on to explain that when Jesus came up out of the water, heaven was opened, and the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove. They heard a voice from heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” When God removes all doubt, He does it in a BIG WAY!

Can’t you imagine how the rumor mill ran rampant that day? The people who were there to witness that display of God’s power couldn’t wait to get back to town and spread the news!

Soon after that, John was imprisoned. Jesus began his ministry, preaching the message John had started, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.” He began choosing His disciples and teaching the ways of God. All this happened while John sat in prison…..thinking….pondering….and yes, even doubting. John heard what Jesus was doing, and he sent his disciples to ask a question. I believe many of us today have the same question, although we don’t ask it the way John does. John asked, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Seriously??? John’s ENTIRE LIFE was about preparing the way for the Messiah, his cousin Jesus. He knew WHO Jesus was before he was even born! Yet, when the going got tough, and he was facing potential execution….he doubted! Don’t we do the same thing? Don’t we question what God is doing when times get a bit tough for us? I believe John felt like with all the sacrifices he made in his lifetime, he DESERVED better! (Ooooh, I struck a cord with some of you there, didn’t I?)

John’s disciples went to Jesus and asked John’s question. And like Jesus always seemed to do, He gave a somewhat cryptic answer. His response was, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

He goes on to explain to John’s disciples that John’s message was correct; that he was indeed a chosen messenger that was sent to prepare the way for Jesus; he also stated that there has not been anyone greater than John the Baptist. Yet, John the Baptist was sitting in prison, facing possible execution. Hmmmm. So what did Jesus’ cryptic message mean?

Jesus was performing many miracles in his ministry: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised…..but John remained in prison. It seemed simple enough to get John out of prison, I mean, compared to raising the dead! But look at the sentence in Matthew 11:6, ‘Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.’ What was Jesus saying? He was saying that the man who continues to trust, continues to believe, continues to praise Him when he doesn’t understand, when life doesn’t make sense, when the going gets tough…..will be blessed!

See, we don’t always get to understand God’s ways. In fact, I think we rarely get to understand God’s ways. But we are to continue to trust Him. And there is a peace that comes when we say, “Lord, I don’t understand why this is happening, but I surrender my will to Yours. I don’t have to have my way. I trust You.”

You know the end of the story of John the Baptist, right? He was beheaded in prison. The very person about whom Jesus said, “No one is greater” was beheaded and his head displayed on a platter. Humiliating, huh?

What do we learn from John? That it is normal to question God’s ways….yes. But Jesus says that in order to be blessed, we must not fall away when we don’t understand. We must continue to trust, continue to believe, continue to surrender to His will. We don’t deserve any better than John the Baptist did. But God loved us enough to send His Son to take our punishment at Calvary….and you know what? In my book, that is more than enough!

Letting Stella Go…

This is possibly the best blog I’ve ever read. It would be a shame not to share it with you. Enjoy!

In the still...

photo-33I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember… Ever since I was a little girl I had imagined what kind of life I would have and what kind of fabulous life I would create for my children…I wouldn’t be just any old mom either…I would be a magnificent mom!

When I pictured it all in my head, this is how it looked:

I would be HER… You know…..THAT mom! I’d be willing to bet that you know her too…the one who is absolutely perfect in every way and always has it all together! Upon giving this mom a name…I think we should call her Stella…because that’s what she is…She is OH-SO Stella! (Sorry for my corny-mom humor… I spend the majority of my days trying to make small children laugh and it has slightly ruined my once normal sense of humor)

Anyway, Stella has a…

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