Dad’s Day

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I’d like to wish all the dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day!

To be honest, Father’s Day has been a little awkward for me in that I didn’t grow up with my dad. My parents divorced when I was six years old and my brother was just two months old.

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We spent time on weekends with our dad going bowling or out to eat. However, my mom never remarried. So, we didn’t have a male role model in our home.

My husband’s parents divorced when he was nine years old, his middle brother was 4 years old and his youngest brother was 1 1/2 years old. Their mom remarried, but unfortunately it didn’t last.

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Later in life, we learned neither one of our dads had strong father role models growing up either.

Randy and I hope to break this cycle and are committed to raising our children together.  Sure, there have been bumps along the way and we aren’t perfect. Yet, we look to the Lord for our strength and guidance for our family.

A father to the fatherless 

A defender of widows 

Is God in his holy dwelling.

– Psalm 68:5

How was your relationship with your dad? I would love to hear about it.

 

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Guest Blog by Jane Isay and Book Review

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I was approached by Jane Isay’s publisher to share her latest book Unconditional Love. I was excited, because it introduces a new perspective on my marriage and family blog. I’ve not had a guest share her grandparental insight with us. It’s a treat to learn from our elders as they pass knowledge and experience on to future generations.

Please welcome Jane!

Blessings,  Rebecca

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About the Author

Jane Isay is the author of Secrets and Lies, Walking on Eggshells and Mom Still Likes You Best. As a book editor for more than forty years, she discovered Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia, commissioned Patricia T. Connor’s best selling Woe is I and Rachel Simmon’s Odd Girl Out, and edited such nonfiction classics as Praying for Sheetrock and Friday Night Lights. She lives in New York City.

You can reach Jane at:

Facebook

Twitter

Web

 

The 10 Commandments for New Grandparents

1. Praise the new parents. Repeat the praise.

2. Don’t like the name? Never complain.

3. Never criticize your daughter-in-law. Ever.

4. Remember that you are no longer in charge.

5. They aren’t doing it the way you did? Relax. It’s their turn.

6. House a mess? Don’t say a word. Nothing to eat? Pack a snack.

7. In a crisis, stay calm and hold the baby.

8. Sleep-deprived new parents are also fussy babies: give them love and acceptance.

9. When things get tense, get out of the house.

10. Complain to your friends, not your kids.

About the Book

Difficulties rarely appear between grandparents and the grandkids. Suddenly our grown children
have the power to let us be with the grandkids—or not. We may be welcome—or not—on the
basis of what we say, what we do, and how we behave. How can we overcome these conflicts
and accentuate the love that leaps? How can we help the grandchildren blossom in this troubled world? Help is on the way.

Review

I truly enjoyed reading Unconditional Love and the way Jane breaks down grandparenting from receipt of the joyful news through older grandchildren. I highly recommend Unconditional Love for parents and grandparents alike. My aha moment is when Jane reminds us that relationships look a lot different today than a generation ago, and to be accepting of your family member’s partner choice. I imagine this step can reduce unnecessary family strife.

Do you have any granparenting insight you’d like to share with us? Please do!

Our Special Day

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This week, Randy and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage and I’d like to share a story with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Blessings,  Rebecca

I nervously paced back and forth in the church auxiliary room while our family and friends awaited my grand entrance. I reflected on the day’s events. It began early with a delicious mocha and bagel as I drove sixty miles to my hairdressers. Two hours later, she handed me a mirror.

“Do you like your hair and make-up?” 

“Like it? I love it! I feel like a princess. Thank you so much!”

On my way to the church, I called my future mother-in-law, Dianna, to let her know I would be there soon. Upon my arrival, my future sister-in-laws whisked me into the preparation room to help me with my dress and final touch-ups.

“Hurry up! It’s almost time. You don’t want to be late for your own wedding. Do you?”

They excused themselves and I was alone for the first time all day. I heard our guests arriving and groomsmen seating them. I gazed into the mirror one last time and thought to myself. After being the bridesmaid for the umpteenth time, I’m finally a bride at thirty-five-years-old.

I grinned while I reflected on our initial meeting two-and-a-half-years earlier. Dianna and my manicurist talked about us for one month and then exchanged our phone numbers. Randy and I met for coffee the following Friday and found we had a lot in common. After a lengthy discussion, we grew hungry and continued our conversation across the street at a Chinese restaurant.  Three hours later, the owner leaned against the wall with folded his arms. “Sorry, folks we closed 30 minutes ago.” We chuckled as we excused ourselves.

My reflection was interrupted when my favorite song started playing on the church sound system. Our friend, Gervy, put together a video collection of our childhood and dating photographs. I was pleasantly surprised to hear it in stereo, because originally he was authorized to use his projector with tiny speakers. Sniffles and sighs of “Ahhhh” soon followed as folks reminisced. Goose bumps traveled up and down my spine as I anticipated my long-awaited walk.

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Suddenly, my wedding coordinator rushed in with a huge smile, “Come on Rebecca. It’s time!”

I met my father in the hall leading up to the altar.

Tears filled his eyes, “You look so beautiful my daughter.”

“Thanks Dad.”

Our friend, Shannon, sang “This is the Day that The Lord has Made” while her husband, Blaine, accompanied her on guitar.

As we strolled down the aisle, everyone stood up and cameras flashed. I looked at my beaming groom. We both had waited a long time to find the person we would spend the rest of our lives with. Next to him stood his groomsmen; his brothers Mike,  Ryan and my brother Greg.

When I reached him, our Pastor asked my dad the proverbial question.

“James Mosberger, who gives this woman to marry this man?”

“We do,” he proudly said. He gently transferred my right hand into my future husband’s hand.

I stepped forward, but struggled. I quickly looked behind me and noticed my father  standing on the lace train of my dress. Stunned, he forgot to sit down after giving me away. Next to me stood my bridesmaids and my long time friends Joyce, Gillynn and Carina.

Our ceremony was traditional with scriptural readings, the lighting of unity candles, Holy Communion, and marital vows. Unbeknownst to us, during our wedding band exchange, Pastor Jim read love letters we wrote to each other. Tears now filled my eyes and Randy gently wiped them away with his thumb.

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I savored the concluding words, “By the power vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife. It’s my pleasure to introduce to you for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Randall Krusee.”

The crowd erupted in applause as we kissed and we passed by them.

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Seventeen years later, we are still going strong and living in the majestic Santa Cruz Mountains with our fifteen-year-old son and thirteen-year-old daughter. As a tradition, on our anniversary, we watch our wedding video and are reminded of our commitment to each other.

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Do you have a special story to share with us, please do?

Summer Plans

 

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As school is winding down, are you making summer plans?

I sat down recently to think about what we can schedule for the kids; especially on a tight budget. We live in the majestic Santa Cruz mountains and often walk along the beach and hike in the redwoods.

Yet, I prayed to the Lord asking for Him to bless our family with some fun summer activities. He answered my prayer in many ways…

When the kids and I returned home from school recently, the radio DJ announced the 7th caller would win a four pack of tickets to see Monster Jam at Levi Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play football. It was electric!

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We plan to attend Family Camp at Mount Hermon where I work and at Mission Springs where my husband works as a part of our employee benefits. Also, our kids will attend Frontier Ranch Santa Barbara (FRSB) and Campers In Leadership Training (CILT) with an employee discount.

My sister-in-law invited us to join her annual work picnic at Great America. We can’t wait to ride the roller coasters, eat delicious BBQ and hit the water slides. All compliments of her company.

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My husband and son are gardeners. To our surprise, residents have offered  them side jobs. The extra income will help with fun money and saving up for a car for Austin.

Our neighbor approached us and offered to give us his recyclable bottles and cans. He then dropped off five full lawn and leaf bags.

About a week ago, I entered a local contest on Facebook and we won family tickets for Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk and Roaring Camp Railroad. We are looking forward to our next adventure.

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These blessings remind me that:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. 

– James 1:17

Blessings,  Rebecca

Guest Blog by Carol Nicolet Loewen

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This week, my guest blogger is Carol Nicolet Loewen. She and I were contributors to our church women’s blog. Carol is a strong woman who has persevered through the loss of her first husband. You can find her inspiring stories at carolshope. Please welcome Carol!

Blessings, Rebecca

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MOTHERING … BY BIRTH OR OTHERWISE

As we celebrated Mother’s Dat last week, my husband Don and I were surrounded by my darling 96-year old mother, Helen; one beautiful sister-in-law, Sheila; and two lovely younger mothers, my nieces Amanda and Heather.
Earlier in the day I had listened to “Hey Mama,” a beautiful song by the Ball Brothers that talks about a mother who made home a safe place, who gave wise insights and advice, and who loved well. Sobs welled up inside me and tears rolled down my face, recognizing my mother in the words of the song, and also realizing that in a few years I may be singing this song, wishing I could hear her voice when she’s on the other side of the great divide. What a gift to have had, and to be surrounded by, loving mothers who show by their words and actions what it means to honor their husbands and raise their children in love and faith. The song is worth listening to, at the link below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAM9O76Fjls

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Carol’s beautiful mother with about half of her

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But not all of us are, or can be, biological mothers. Yet in His grace, God has provided other ways of loving, teaching, guiding, encouraging that are open to all of us, whether or not we have birthed children from our own bodies.
I mentor two capable, lovely daughters-in-faith. I received loving notes from both yesterday, along with fragrant flowers. I also received a meaningful card from one of my stepsons, who is just a few years younger than I am. How thoughtful! And I realize what a gift God has given, that there are ways of loving, teaching, guiding, encouraging that any of us can pursue, whether or not we are biological mothers.
So, to each of my readers who has raised, or is raising children, God bless and guide you and give you joy and strength for the challenges of each day, each year. And to those who, like me, have not birthed children of our flesh, God love you and show you opportunities to invest in younger women, to encourage family members, to serve God in the lives of others, and to feel His love and grace through those precious God-given relationships. He is faithful. Let us be also, whether it’s to nieces and nephews, stepchildren, mentees, the weak and helpless, or children of friends who need loving adults in their lives.
And Mom, I love you and thank God for your influence and impact in my life over the years: from the time as a tiny girl that I spilled a cup of milk and, instead of scolding me, you said, “Oh well, that can be cleaned up.” Or the time you stayed up late, crying with me as I shared about a broken engagement. To the example you were when your beloved, my father, went Home to be with Jesus and you refused to pull away from others but continued to engage even as you grieved. Or the overnight trips we took together as widows; and the joy you expressed when God brought another wonderful man into my life. Thank you for loving me and teaching me through your example.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who

fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)

 

Mother’s Day Traditions

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Happy Mother’s Day!

This week, I invited Leah Hastings from Pure Flix to share her family friendly Mother’s Day ideas with us. Please welcome Leah from Pure Flix!

Blessings, Rebecca

Mother’s Day Traditions

Another Mother’s Day is upon us. Much like with other holidays, families often have traditions they do year after year, and many young families are looking for ideas to start traditions to do of their own. For instance, Rebecca enjoys going to the beach with her family to a special beach in Central California they now happily nicknamed “Mom’s Beach.” Most moms feel blessed just to have their loving family by their side 364 other days of the year, but here are a few ideas for Mother’s Day for Dad, the kids, and the whole family to make it an even more special day.

For Dad: Being a parent yourself, you know how much work it is to raise a family, and there’s a good chance mom goes above and beyond on a daily basis. What can you do to show her that her hard work every day doesn’t go unnoticed? That’s simple. Pamper her. Let her sleep in while you make her breakfast in bed to wake up to. Draw a hot bubble bath, light some relaxing candles, and put out a favorite book, and let her relax while you take the kids out of the house and she gets to have some rare time to herself.

For the Kids: Kids have it easy- just hearing a child say “I love you” is the best gift a mother can ever get. But if the kids want to do a little extra for mom themselves, getting crafty is a way for the kids to have fun while doing something to show how much they care. Rather than spending money on a bouquet of flowers for mom, kids can make a variety of Homemade Paper Flowers, often with items already in the house, for a fun and thoughtful spin on a common Mother’s Day tradition. Another gift made much more personal as a crafty project for kids is a homemade Mother’s Day card- much better than store bought. On the outside, they can decorate with a variety of colors and types of paper, and on the inside, they can write a personal message about why they love and appreciate their mom, or a bible verse about mothers.

For the Whole Family: A family outing on Mother’s Day might be the best gift of all, especially if mom doesn’t have to do the planning herself. Prepare some outdoor blankets, chairs, food, and drinks and have a Mother’s Day picnic after Church to let mom enjoy a nice day out of the house with her loving family. If mom has a favorite restaurant and you want to make dinner plans with the family, remember to make reservations as early as you can as Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants!

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Holidays are a good excuse to spend even more time with each other by making future memories through fun traditions. Whatever traditions you decide to start with your own family, just remember that Moms are thankful for having you in their lives every single day. Happy Mother’s Day!

What is your Mother’s Day tradition?

Women’s Conferences

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I have wanted to join our church women’s conference for years, however,  I was unable to due to previous commitments. This year, I attended Hope Stories with two friends Linda in pink and Rachel in the blue pictured above.

We enjoyed a delicious Greek lunch, worship music with Elizabeth Hunnicutt Summers and three inspirational speakers share their story on how God carried them through life.

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We gals pour ourselves into our families and sometimes need to rejuvenate. If you have never taken time to refresh with other ladies, I highly recommend it whether its grabbing a cup of coffee, taking a walk or attending a conference together. Enjoy…

Have you attended a woman’s conference? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Please share with us.

Blessings, Rebeccs

Guest Blog by Teresa Cavagnaro

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This week I invited fellow blogger Teresa Cavagnaro from Biblejournalingjourney.com.   She is a former journalist and a school teacher. She was a full-time mom and remembers that stage very well. Teresa is married and has a son, a Sheltie, and a hound dog. Her favorite way to spend a day is hiking, reading, baking bread, or Bible journaling. Please welcome Teresa!

Blessings, Rebecca

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The Bible Journaling Journey: How to Impact Your Family with Bible Journaling

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Bible journaling is a creative way to draw near to our creator, but it’s more than paint and pens on a page. It is an act of worship toward God. It is also a source of strength as it connects us to the Word.
On my new site, Bible Journaling Journey, I talk about the ways that Bible journaling can become a powerful tool for Christian women in their daily lives. What really matters is not how great the page looks. It’s the intent of your heart, the way that you honor the Word, and how you communicate with God in the process.
Bible Journaling for Your Family
A woman in the Word can make an impact wherever she is in the world. If you are a stay at home mom, spending time Bible journaling can refresh you and get you in the right mindset for the day.
Being a full-time mom is not easy; unless you live in an area where there are other moms, it can feel isolating. You will need to draw near to God at those times because trying to motivate yourself outside of Him will not work. You will want to remind yourself of the truth about how God sees you and how His values are different from the world’s values. If you are a working mom, Bible journaling can be a way to press pause on the chaos too.
A good process to get you started is to pray, read the scriptures, ask what the scriptures are communicating to you or showing you about God, and then create your Bible journaling page based on that. All of the washi tape and bling are fun, but you can do this with a regular art sketchbook and your child’s colored pencils if that’s easier on your budget.

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Bible Journaling with Your Family
Bible Journaling together as a family is a cool idea, but you will want to keep the age of your children in mind. A younger child (like my Pre-K son) will do better with a sketchbook than a Journaling Bible. After all, you will want to teach your child to honor the Word; a younger child might have trouble understanding why it’s okay to color in the margin but not on the words. I know some people feel okay about covering up the words in the Bible when they journal, but I am not one of those people (I still like to look at what they are creating, but I personally do not want to cover the verses).
Middle school aged children do great with Bible Journaling. I know this because I lead a small Bible Journaling Club for middle school students. Since Bible Journaling incorporates prayer, reading the Word, and thinking about the Word, it is a great opportunity to communicate your faith when you do this together. Yet, Bible Journaling as a family has a different dynamic than using Bible Journaling alone as a quiet time. The quiet, alone times are important too.
Thinking Long Term
Deuteronomy 6:5-7
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Just as family Bibles used to be passed down in families, think about your Journaling Bible as something that you can use to communicate spiritual heritage. It could be passed down in your family someday. I plan to dedicate a page to my spiritual heritage through my grandma soon; she was a devout woman who loved God with all her heart. Even if the art is not always perfect (or even pretty bad), it is a tangible connection to you and your spiritual journey. Remember to write down times that God answers your prayers or He teaches you something new.
Join Me on the Bible Journaling Journey

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Stop by Bible Journaling Journey for some journaling challenges. I plan on doing a giveaway for site followers next month. I hope to see you there!

 

Youth Group

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Where do your kids go that is safe and positive?

One place our children go is youth group. On Sundays, our son enjoys hanging out with his friends at our home church Twin Lakes. Their high school program includes a positive message, worship and games such as dodge ball.

On Monday nights, Young Life offers teenagers a fun hang out complete with food, games and encouraging message.

On Wednesday evening,  Vintage Faith hosts a youth group where they hold small group discussions and play games.

This past February, Austin attended a winter getaway to Hume Lake where multiple youth group joined together for a weekend of camp. I am sure it is the first of many to come.

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I am grateful for our community leaders who dedicate their time and resources to mentor our kids. I appreciate them investing in our future.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Loving Your Spouse Book Review

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When I was approached by Gary Chapman’s publicist about reviewing Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away, I was excited. I enjoyed reading his book The 5 Love Languages. Also, I had the honor to contribute a story in his book Love is a Verb

Dr. Chapman is the Director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants and shares his advice based on his 35+ years of experience counseling couples.

One simple tool I took away from reading his new book is looking at how my own thoughts, feelings, and actions impact my husband.

I highly recommend reading Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away.

Blessings, Rebecca

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About the Author

Gary Chapman-author, speaker and counselor-has a passion for helping people form lasting relationships. He travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 400 stations.

For more information visit 5lovelanguages.com

About the Book

If you are struggling in a painfully difficult marriage, you’re not alone, and the story doesn’t have to end there. Gary Chapman will teach you how to:

  • Recognize and reject myths that hold you captive
  • Better understand your spouse’s behavior
  • Take responsibilty for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • Make choices that can have a lasting, positive impact on you and your spouse

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this book review. Just passing along a good read.

Have you found a goood book about enjoying a healthy marriage?