Most of you know my testimony. I have five children on earth and five children in heaven. After giving birth to 2 lively, precious little boys ... we sent five babies back to heaven to the arms and heart of Jesus. Then ... God gave us another son. A blessing. A living and breathing miracle. A tangible example that God really does answer relentless and persistent prayer.
And then ... because I am selfish I wanted more babies. And because God is good He gave me the desire of my heart.
Two darling daughters were delivered into my heart. My world went from choo-choo trains and ball gloves to dolls and ribbons and lace. How could one woman experience such extravagant blessing?!
My boys have long since flown from my little nest ... and my girls are not far behind. Both of my girls are seniors this year. One in college and one in high school. They have grown into my very best friends. And, as a gift to them, I have written this blog. 21 things to always remember ... from Mom to Joy-Belle and Joni Becca-Becca.
I hope that written between the lines of my heart ... you will find this is a gift to you as well.
1 - You can always find your happy heart no matter how sad your circumstances may seem. Always.
2 - It really is more important to be kind than to be pretty.
3 - You can never read, “Little House on the Prairie”, “Anne of Green Gables” or “Little Women” too many times.
4 - Choose your intimate friends wisely. Choose women who will encourage and believe the best. Choose women who will tell you the truth. Choose women who refuse to gossip and are kinder to you than you deserve.
5 - Do not ever accrue financial indebtedness. You will regret it for the rest of your life. If you can’t pay cash for it ... you don’t need it and really don’t want it.
6 - Drink coffee, tea and hot chocolate from only beautiful mugs. It will make you feel better. I promise.
7 - Hold your babies. Don’t let them cry. Rock them and sing to them. This is the most productive and important work of your life.
8 - Go to a Bible Study. Wherever you are in life - find a women’s Bible Study and go faithfully. You will never walk in victory without a strong commitment to studying the Word of God.
9 - Tell someone that you love them every day. Laugh every day. Serve someone every day. Say an encouraging word to someone every day. The blessing is enormous. These “someone’s” could be strangers or intimate friends. Care deeply about the people whom God places in your pathway daily.
10 - Please don’t ever gossip. Gossip is worse than being in financial ruin. Someone else’s life is within the power of your tongue. Use your tongue as an instrument of blessing and not as a lethal weapon of destruction.
11 - “I am sorry” are perhaps the three most powerful words you will ever say. Be quick to repent and then ask for forgiveness. You are not perfect and will make mistakes. Although you are not perfect, you can be powerful when you sincerely say these three words, “I am sorry.”
12 - “I forgive you” are perhaps the three most powerful words you will ever say. Forgiving someone may not change the past but it will change the future. Forgiving someone will always change your perspective on the past. Do it quickly and do it completely.
13 - Don’t just read the twaddle of the day. Read the classics. Read the great works of theologians from other historical junctures. Read great biographies of men and women who lived great lives. What you read becomes a part of you.
14 - Listen to music. Don’t just listen to the funk and junk of current culture. Listen to Chopin and Gershwin ... to Beethoven and Schubert. Listen to the great hymns of faith that thousands before have sung with passion and courage. The music that you listen to becomes a part of you.
15. Remember that October 1 is the “First Official Day of Christmas Music Season.” It is a national holiday.
16. Always develop friendships with children and with older people. When you have children in your life, you will always be filled with hope, possibilities and dreams. When you have older people in your life, you will always be filled with wisdom, perspective and stability.
17. Choose a noble man. Choose a man who causes you to love God more. Choose a man of honor and integrity. Choose a man who loves to pray. Choose a man who makes your heart do somersaults. :)
18. You are a princess. You are the daughter of the King. Royal blood is flowing through your veins. Live like a princess. Yours is a kingdom of joy and peace ... of hope and goodness. Share your kingdom with everyone you meet.
19. You are not a princess. The world does not revolve around you. You are a servant who is here to make everyone else’s life easier and better.
20. I love you. I have loved you since the first moment that I knew you were growing inside of me. I believe in you and am cheering for you. Can you hear me? I will never stop cheering and I will never stop loving you. You are always ... always ... in my heart.
21 - The most important choice you will make in life is to read your Bible every day. Treasure the moments that you spend in the Word. When you indulge in this daily discipline of reading the Word, you will surely become the woman that God has imagined from the beginning of time.