Street Children

Lion-Watch-Online-Movie-Free-Download-cover.jpg (279×400)

Lion

We recently rented the movie Lion about the street children of India. In short, it portays one boy’s adventure of getting separated from his family and his struggles living on the streets of India. It weighed heavy on my heart for many days following. I thought to myself, I wonder if there are street children in the United States.

20170521_074852

A few weeks later someone gave us Sometimes God Has a Kid’s Face which where Sister Mary Rose McGeady shares several stories about the street children her ministry, Covenant House, helps. It opened my eyes to the dark world of runaway American children who are abused emotionally and/or physically

After reading it, I asked myself what can we do to help these kids. My thoughts are:

Pray – Ask God to help these children find healthy homes to grow up loved, safe and live fulfilled.

Donate – Give financially to organizations that help children get off the streets and into a safe haven until they are able to take care of themselves.

Serve – Donate time and skills to support organizations that help children thrive.

If you have any suggestions how we can help children around the world be safe, warm and fed, I eagerly await your ideas. Feel free to share with us.

Proverbs 31 Mom

20170514_101440_resized

DaySpring Live Your Faith

On Mother’s Day, I was reading Proverbs 31 and thought how impossible it would be a Proverbs 31 woman. Then, my husband handed me my Mother’s Day card depicting The Modern Proverbs 31 Woman. I love how it explained today’s mother, and I wanted to share it with you along with the Bible passage.

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

-Proverbs 31

Now enjoy the DaySpring The Modern Proverbs 31 Woman version.

She gets up early to make sure everyone gets breakfast, gets dressed, and she finds the missing library book that is due today.

She’s constantly on the go-shuttling her family to school activities, church activities and extra-curricular activities.

She runs to the grocery store, to the bank, and to pick up a present for a birthday party (all in under one hour).

She cleans, she washes dishes. She does laundry, laundry and MORE laundry.

She checks homework, she makes dinner, she picks up toys off the floor.

She gives discipline when needed and gives love ALWAYS.

She makes sure baths are taken, teeth are brushed, bedtime stories are read, and prayers are said.

She says, “I Love You,” and “good night.”

She gets up in the middle of the night to soothe away bad dreams and stomach aches and to tuck little ones back into bed.

And the next day, she does it all over AGAIN.

You’re a modern day Proverbs 31 woman-You make sacrifices and work really hard so your family has everything they need. For all you do and for the faithful woman you are, you’re appreciated and loved.

http://www.dayspring.com

Man, that’s awesome! It hit the nail on the head.

Blessings, Rebecca

I trust you had a fabulous Mother’s Day. If you have something you’d like to share, feel free to do so.

Unexpected Company

001

From left Aunty Randi, Austin, Uncle Mike, Nephew Christian, Randy, Rebecca and Alicia

Unexpected Company

Have you ever had something unexpected happen in your life? Sometimes surprises can be unwanted such as a loved one saying, “I want a divorce.” Other times, the unexpected can bring us joy. For instance, when your spouse tells you, “I’m pregnant.”

Well, this week I want to share with you about my pleasant surprise I received. My sister-in-law text me saying, “Did you know your brother-in-law and nephew are coming down in a few days?” What? No!

Unbeknownst to us, they were coming down for a visit with family and friends. So, I asked my boss if I could take the day off and we headed to San Francisco which is about one hour and a half north of us. Another surprise awaited us, my husband’s aunt, who we haven’t seen in 12 years, joined us.

197

We tried to catch a ferry to Alcatraz, however, it was already sold out by 10am. Instead, we took one of the nostalgic cable cars and toured the city. We walked around Nob Hill, China Town, Market Street and Pier 39. Along the way, we feasted on a variety of foods and drinks. We walked for miles looking at all the beautiful architecture of the buildings. Towards the end of the day, we drove over to Coit tower and looked at the City from a 19 story advantage point. Spectacular!

The next day, we road rides at Santa Cruz Boardwalk, ate seafood on the wharf and boogie boarded at Capitola Beach. We had a blast!

310

I love the wisdom of Proverbs. It says in 16:9 that:

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

This tells me that I may plan my day. Yet, God may direct me in a different direction filled with delightful unexpected company.

Has life ever caught you off guard and, if so, how did you handle it? I’d like to hear. Feel free to share with us.

Extreme Makeover

Extreme_Makeover_Home_Edition_Logo.jpg (625×256)

Have you ever watched ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover with Ty Pennington? I did and loved it! Well, this week my company did something similar. Our goal is to remodel one of our hotels. A crew of 43 contractors traveled from Southern California to remodel 20 rooms, 3 floors in 1 week. Amazing, eh?

Sunday, some of our employees and volunteers teamed up with the crew to kick off demolition by removing items from the rooms. Check out this video from our https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmounthermon%2Fvideos%2F10155410624388120%2F&show_text=0&width=400“>Facebook page. It was very exciting!

This event reminds me of how sometimes God conducts makeovers on us. It’s been my experience that He prunes our attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, etc. so that we bear much fruit.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,

while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes

so that it will be even more fruitful.

-John 15:2

How about you…Have you ever been a part of an extreme makeover before? I would love to hear about it. Please feel free to share with us.

amazon.png (929×586)

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a free $50 Amazon card to purchase books, etc.? Please leave a comment below by 5:00pm PST on May 8, 2017 and your name will be placed in a drawing. Winner to be announced on May 8, 2017.

Congratulations Claire…You are our giveaway winner! Please send me your address and I will mail your $50 Amazon gift card to you.

Student Driver

austin

My Freshman Austin

This week I allowed my teenage son behind the wheel of our car to prepare for his upcoming student driver training. It was a surreal moment watching him navigate the instruments. He now stands five inches taller than me and wears his Dad’s size shoes. As a result, he had to adjust the mirrors and seat settings.

While I guided him, I reflected back to holding him in my arms at a mere six-weeks-old. I remember his coo and smile as if it were yesterday. Now, look at him! Man, where does the time go?

Blessings, Rebecca

Have you encountered any milestones in your family’s life? I love to hear about them. Please share with us.

Mouths of Babes

Tkids

This week I thought I would ask my children what are the top three things they look for in a mother. In my mind, I thought something like fun to be with or cool. However, somw of what they wrote down on a sheet of paper took me by surprise.

My 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, wrote:

  1. Covering – “a thing used to cover something else, typically in order to protect or conceal it.” Alicia looks to me as her protection. Come to think of it, I see her point. Especially in middle school, there are some not so kind girls on campus pestering students. Often at the end of the day, she shares her concerns and we discuss what’s her part in avoiding the drama and how to protect herself.
  2. Loving – “feeling or showing love or great care.” This topic I expected to see, because everyone wants to be loved. My parents didn’t grow up in an era of expressive emotions. As a result, they didn’t outwardly express love to me or my brother. I purposefully tell my kids I love them, hug em’ and kiss em’ frequently to ensure they know they are loved.
  3. Faithful – ” constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion.” Interestingly, she selected faithfulness as a top priority. I believe security is important to her. Perhaps it is due to her growing up in a world where terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. are ever increasing. It must be settling to be able to come home to stability.

My 14-year-old son, Austin, wrote:

  1. Loving –  “feeling or showing love or great care.” So, for him, love is number one. There is an unique bond between son and mother. I purposely love on him and pray that he will love the women in his life.
  2. Supportive – “providing encouragement or emotional help.” As a mom, I support both of my children in all their activities such as academics, sports, friendships, etc. One thing I enjoy is helping him with his homework. It’s quiet one on one time of teaching and learning.
  3. Positive – “a good, affirmative, or constructive quality or attribute.” This characteristic surprised me. It’s a good reminder about the importance of affirmation to our children. I am purposeful to congratulate my kids on accomplishments such as good grades or basketball game, etc.

So, I’ve shared three important motherly characteristics with you. I encourage you to ask your child(ren) “What top 3 things do you want in a Mother?” If you do, and would like to share with us, please do!

 

Guest Blog by Barry Lind

Do you struggle with a cluttered space? This week, my guest blogger is Barry Lind from the UK and he’s sharing his thoughts on cleaning up clutter. Please welcome Barry!

Blessings, Rebecca

living-room-457793_640

Clutter Busting Family

Clutter continues to piles in our homes every day and if we don’t take any measures to reduce it, we may find that we have too much garbage. The clutter busting family routine presented in this article will help you diminish the number of wastes and keep your rooms tidy and functional. This will save you time spent in cleaning and will ensure the good energy of your home.

Put a recycle bin in the hallway or near the place where you gather your mail. Put the read and no longer needed letters with mail, magazine and shop advertisements in the bin. You will have less junk and more free space in your hallway.

Create the habit of keeping kitchen appliances out of sight and put away. Designate a place for the coffee machine, toaster, can opener and the other appliances and put them away when you don’t use them. These can take a lot of space and after you remove them from the counter, you will prepare supper much easily. You will spend some time to move the appliances each morning after using, but keeping them put away is necessary for a less cluttered kitchen.

Check your closet and remove 10 pieces you don’t wear often and don’t like. Put them in a bin to free more space. This way you will find your clothes easier and they will breathe in the closet. You can do with the garments in the bin whatever you decide: give them away, donate or sell them – it’s up to you.

chaos-227972_640

To avoid creating clutter with the clean and dirty clothes, throw the ones you have worn and won’t put on any more in the laundry basket immediately after taking them off. The clean attire fold and put in the drawer or hang in the wardrobe.

Keep the kids’ bedroom toys only in the closet and nowhere else. This way your kids will have one designated place for their toys and won’t scatter them everywhere else. Teach them to pick up and put away their toys each evening. This has multiple benefits: they will become more responsible, your home will be clean, your kids will understand that more toys means more tidying up. You can teach them to create this habit with awards and motivations.

End of tenancy cleaners advise you to gather the garbage from your home once in the week or every other week the day when the rubbish is removed in your neighbourhood. Take an old box and fill it with old toys, papers, foods and other wastes you don’t need. Clear as much from your home as you can and throw the full box in the rubbish bin.

Remove decorations from your rooms. Go through each room and gather as many decorations from tables, shelves, walls and other areas as you can. If they aren’t beautiful, stylish or meaningful to any of your family members, you won’t miss them. Moreover, you will need less time cleaning these areas as you won’t have to remove and return the decorations back before and after wiping.

Wash the dishes immediately after supper by hand or rinse and load them in the machine. You will spend less time hand washing spoons, forks, plates and other items than rinsing and putting them in the machine. Instead of letting them dry and pile in the kitchen sink, wash them after every supper.

Keep your desk clean and clear for your effective and pleasant work. Most items you have on the desk can be gathered inside drawers and if you tidy them, you will know where to find each one. This will save you time and other people will be able to use your desk. Keeping a tidy desk means less time necessary for cleaning it.

If you have any area in your home which is cluttered and untidy, take the time to organize and make it neat. It will become easier for cleaning as well. Use the tips offered here to keep your home rid of clutter and make it functional.

How do you eliminate clutter in your space?

Want more info on decluttering your life? Check out Kathy Lipp’s site where she shares humorous and practical ways to declutter your life.

My Miracle

mom and me

As I prepare for the Mt. Hermon Writers Conference this week I thought I would update a story I shared with you two years ago.  I hope you enjoy.

Blessings, Rebecca

My Miracle

It’s been a few years since I talked about this very personal story, because my eyes still fill with water when I think about it. However, I wanted to share my trial and blessing with you this week to possibly encourage someone who may be struggling with a similar issue.

In 2007, my husband and I desperately wanted to have a second child so our son would have a sibling to play with. We were nearly forty-years-old and the physicians test you for everything under the sun once you’re over the age of 35. It’s scary how they tell you the risk of Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Gestational Diabetes, etc.  But, we were trusting the Lord in all aspects of this pregnancy, “Children are a gift from God.” -Psalm 127:3

In the Fall, we conceived only to lose our fetus just five weeks into our pregnacy to a miscarriage. We were devastated, and prayed we’d get pregnant again very soon. And, we did!

During my first trimester, my OBGYN found a spot during a routine exam. Three long days later, he called to say it was cancer and would require immediate chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After hanging up the phone, I slid to the floor and wailed. This can’t be happening to me…I’m pregnant!

After careful research, I discovered the dosage necessary to kill the cancer cells would cause my body to reject our child. Distraught is an understatement on how I felt.

Later that night, Randy and I read in our Bible “If anyone among you is sick, let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”- James 5:14

The next day, we took our then eighteen-month-old son, Austin, and met with our pastors at church. One anointed my head with Holy Oil from Jerusalem while five others knelt at my feet. They prayed I would be cured and that we could keep our baby.

We waited two tortuous weeks for an update from my Specialist. Unbeknownst to me, each night Randy would grab his pillow and hit the couch unable to sleep. He prayed for God to allow him to keep his wife and child.

The call finally came. My Oncologist announced he collaborated with seven other colleagues, and they decided to surgically remove my tumor. I could then begin treatment after our baby was born. Yeah, we get to keep our baby!

I underwent two surgeries; one in March to remove the cancer spot and one in May to verify “clear area.” When they went in the second time, to their amazement, it was all gone. My doctor told me it was a “miracle,” and I was cancer free. In fact, he was so pleased with the lab results, he canceled my post-delivery chemo and radiation treatment. Glory to God!

In September 2004, we welcomed a healthy baby girl named Alicia Lee Krusee to our family!

alicia1

Fast forward twelve years, I am happy to report that I’m still cancer-free, and our daughter Alicia is thriving 7th grader. She is attends honor language art as well as leadership classes.  Praise God for answered prayer!

20170401_181247