Bullet Journal

If you are like me and have a drawer-full of half-used planners (well, not anymore I threw them away because….really), then let me introduce you to the bullet journal. I came across the bullet journal idea almost two years ago. I have no idea where I saw it, but let me say, it has reinvented my life!

I keep everything in my journal: yearly calendar, monthly calendar, weekly calendar, daily planning, meal plan, grocery list, favorite songs, Scripture to memorize, book list, ministry ideas, Christmas ideas, gift giving ideas, prayer requests, and more!

I plan out and write my own journal. I start with a yearly calendar glued in the front for reference (I print this out). Then at the beginning of each month I list out the days of the month. Then every page is a running list of days with things to do, places to go, appointments, meal plans, grocery lists, shopping lists, brilliant ideas, WHATEVER! And you can use great little bullets (aha!) for different categories on your daily to-dos. (See picture above). In the back is where I keep my lists and in the front is an index so I can find those pages quickly if I need to.

Talk about a “one-stop-shop”. This is it.

Oh, and I didn’t mention….it’s cheap. I mean REALLY cheap.  All you need is a composition notebook and a pen. Yep. That’s it. I got a free journal last year and this year I will be diving into my moleskin journal my son bought for my birthday. But you can do it for .99!!!

If you are looking for a planner that works, I hope you will check out the bullet journal and give it a try. If you are artistic, which I am not at all, it’s even more fun because you can add designs, sketches or doodles.

Okay, I have rambled and might not have made any sense at all. So, go check it out and don’t be intimidated.


Happy planning in 2016. 

And my lovely friends at Fawnsberg have some beautiful products available that would be perfect to get you started. http://www.fawnsberg.com/blogs/news/34689477-galison-fawnsberg

I Am


I read this on the back cover of a new book this weekend:

Whatever follows the words “I am” will always come looking for you.
So, when you go through the day saying:
“I am blessed”…blessings pursue you.
“I am talented”…talent follows you.
“I am healthy”…health heads your way.
“I am strong”…strength tracks you down
reveals how THE POWER OF I AM can help you discover your unique abilities and advantages to lead a more productive and happier life. His insights and encouragement are illustrated with many amazing stories of people who turned their lives around by focusing on the positive power of this principle. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s goodness by focusing on these two words: I AM!
It got me thinking, “Where do I put the bulk of my thinking on a daily basis?  On me?  Or on Him who created me? It sent me to the Word and I came up with this:
“I am blessed” because…..”Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” (Psalm 1:1)
“I am talented” because….”Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” (Romans 12:6
“I am healthy” because….”He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities, upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with HIs stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3)
“I am strong” because….”I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.”
I have found I do much better for my spirit if throughout the day I keep reminding myself, “Wretched man that I am!
“Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to GOD through JESUS CHRIST our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)
My focus needs to be on the Great I AM because it IS all about HIm! The more I focus on me, the less I will focus on Him and others.
We are to think little of ourselves and much of Him!



LEG’ACY, [Latin legatum, from lego, to send, to bequeath.]

A bequest; a particular thing, or certain sum of money given by last will or testament.

Good counsel is the best legacy a father can leave to his child. Webster’s 1828 DIctionary

We all like to ponder on the legacy we as moms will leave to our children. As my children get older I don’t have such frilly, lofty thoughts about this that I used to when they were little and I was snuggling their little bodies close and inhaling that sweet baby smell; all the time thinking, I got this parenting thing.  With this sweet little baby, how hard can it be?

And then they grew taller and my temper grew shorter. A soft answer became harder and harder to give. Not provoking my children to anger was work (glad that one’s directed to the dad). I’m impatient, I sigh a lot, and I yell. And I’m convicted. Because I have a Father who gets really frustrated with me. Most likely on a daily basis. I’m feeling pretty good about myself today so I won’t say hourly! I ask Him a LOT of questions.Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don’t. And there are days He would give anything to hear me talk to Him. He tells me to do stuff and I say, “Later…” or worse yet I ignore Him. The rooms of my heart are sometimes messy and dirty. But they look good to me. And my chores? Well, I’m just too tired to make that call or write that card or to deliver that meal.

He disciplines me for my own good.  Because HE is good. I like to think I like discipline, but I don’t like it any more than my kids do. So my example leaves something to be desired.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11

When I am gone I am going to leave something to my kids whether I like it or not. They are going to remember me. By the grace of God I went them to remember HIM by remembering me. I want them to say, “My mom was a little goofy and she could have been more patient. But she sure did love Jesus!”

And we know how good and faithful God is….

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Pray for Us (All of Us)


These are dark days for law enforcement.  I am not too proud to ask for prayer. Please think of us (all those in the law enforcement family) when you pray. Before my husband walked out the door tonight I said, “I want to make sure I kiss you, just in case it’s the last time.” That’s typical talk in a leo’s home, (the same way Criminal Minds episodes are hashed out across the dinner table as “training” lol), but somehow now it’s different. I think it’s possible that it might be the last time. When my husband started in law enforcement line of duty deaths were a tragic rare occurrence, not an every day one. I don’t live in constant fear and trembling; my husband’s days are in the Lord’s hand and already numbered just like everyone else’s, but we all want many more days with our loved one, right?

And when I see a mother of a newborn baby, who she never even got to bring home from the hospital, wow. Don’t even know how to respond to that.

I want my husband to be here to teach my son how to ride his two-wheeler and to walk his girls down the aisle. I don’t want that cut short because someone hated him for no other reason that the uniform he wore and the laws he pledged to uphold. No, people, the police do not create the laws, they just enforce them. Which makes this job even harder. These officers aren’t dying for policies they even made!

To serve and protect. So if you get pulled over tomorrow for speeding, thank the officer for doing his job. Tell him you are sorry for all the brothers and sisters he has lost recently and you are sorry you were speeding. He might just let you go with a warning. 🙂 And if you ran the stop sign don’t start barking at him to spend his time looking for real criminals. At that moment, you are the criminal. And remember if you need them to come, they will.  Regardless of how you treated him on your last traffic stop. Are there bad cops out there? Of course there are. But they are the minuscule minority. Believe me. 99.5% of them are good guys trying to make a living doing a job they love. And just trying to get home to their families alive.


Make Disciples Who Make Disciples Who Make Disciples…

Have you ever spent time with a new believer? I had the privilege of taking a new believer who is a new friend to a ladies retreat with me this weekend.  She is a single mom of two teenage boys. And when I say single mom I mean dad is not around or in the picture at all.  She is the one who supports them financially, goes to all teacher meetings, and takes them camping.

She is a breath of fresh air. Her love for her boys is evident.  The Lord’s love for her is evident! He has protected her through difficult times and life choices.  But three months ago, after several years of her boss being bold enough to share the love of Jesus with her and her boys and eventually coming straight on with the gospel, she came to Jesus.  Broken, weary and worn. And boy has it changed her life!

That new found Jesus faith is something to be around. To see her this weekend soaking up every word from the Word.  Asking questions about hard things. Lighting up when she told people her salvation story. Hearing her understand that Jesus isn’t just something you try and give up if it doesn’t work out the way you want.  Making sure she understands that the path with Jesus isn’t all sunshine and roses. Giving her permission to get into that Bible (a great study Bible, a precious gift from her boss who led her to the Lord) and go crazy with pens and pencils and notes!

I’m telling you, it got me fired up!!!!

And at the end when she asked me what she owed me and I told her nothing, my treat, and that maybe someday she could pay it forward for another girl, and her response was, “I’m already saving. I want to bring another newbie along with me next time.”

I just took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Because, yes…Yes! Yes! Yes!  That’s it!!! WHO ARE WE TAKING ON THIS JOURNEY WITH US? She gets it!!!  We need to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples…..

Do you get it?  Who are you discipling?  Yeah, it takes time. And sometimes money.  Sometimes it is emotional draining and sometimes even physically draining. But it’s what we’re called to do:Go therefore and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). It’s not going to happen unless we do it.  If we wait for someone else….well, you know.  You may not be called to be the one who leads the person to Christ but you may be called to be the one who is there to take them to the next step.

Let’s get going!

*I strongly believe men should disciple men and women disciple women



He Knows My Name!

“Mary.” Jesus spoke her name!  Jesus knew Mary and Mary knew Him.

Mary was the first person Jesus saw and spoke to post-resurrection! Does Jesus love women? Do I even have to ask that?

Dear sister, does Jesus know your name? Is your name written there? Because this life is fleeting. You may be in the midst of diapers, sleepless nights, potty training or endless questions. But believe me. It is fleeting. On the day we stand before Him, because we all will, if He doesn’t know your name, the only other response will be, “Depart from Me. I never knew you.” Oh, the sorrow of hearing those words.

Because there is nothing you can do in your own power to make yourself good enough.  None of us is good enough.  None of us is born loving God. We are all sinners in need of a Savior.  And there is only one Savior.  If your “higher power” isn’t Jesus Christ alone, you are being deceived.

He saved Mary Magdalene out of a life of demon possession. He can save you.  Wherever you are. Whatever you have done. You are not beyond saving. Surrender to Him.

It will be the most freeing thing you have ever done!


I was just over “browsing” Pinterest and as post after post about homeschooling methods, plans and products scrolled by I realized how overwhelming it must be for someone who is already nervous about homeschooling.  Moms….Relax! There is no right or wrong way, only YOUR way.

Now, while I wouldn’t recommend a daily diet of Sponge Bob, you aren’t failing your kids if they watch an occasional episode. We like T.V. around here and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I am VERY thankful for Netflix because it gives us a wider range of acceptable shows for our family, but we definitely get our money’s worth out of it.

We tend to be a traditional learning family, only because it is works for me and it generally works for my kids.  This mama loves work books, work sheets, tests and report cards over science experiments and finger painting on a regular basis.  But I have no problem ditching it all some days.   When it is 75 degrees out and we have had a very long Western New York winter, there is nothing better than leaving the books on the table and heading to Dairy Queen.  And no, we don’t take our work with us!

Our kids are pretty good at mimicing.  If we read they will read.  If we spell they will spell.  If we do math they will do math.  If we read God’s Word they will read God’s Word. If we speak kindly they will speak kindly.  So don’t get over worried asking yourself, “Am I doing this right?”  Are you trusting in the One who loves your children more than you do?  Would you fail your kids? Do you think He would let you fail them?

And when it is all said and done on the day we stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He isn’t going to ask us what our SAT scores were. So you won’t fail your kids if they don’t get into Harvard.  But you will have failed them if they do not know who Jesus is.  That doesn’t mean all our kids are going to grow up and love Jesus. That’s between them and the Holy Spirit.  But it is our job to instruct them in the way they should go.

So stop freaking about what you aren’t doing in your homeschool.  If all else fails, buy them a ream of paper, the biggest box of Crayola’s they sell (keep it Crayola, some things aren’t worth skimping on), and read them good books. But keep Jesus first.  Ever.  Always.

Oh, one more thing. Get up as early as you can before your kids.  You need every quiet moment you can get to pray and be in God’s Word and get a headstart on your day before all the action begins.

Brushing up on My M.O.M Degree

All our kids are a blessing are they not?  Every one is different for sure. I thank God for this because He teaches me so much through my children. I don’t really get the apart about sanctification through childbearing, but I am pretty sure it doesn’t stop at childbearing. My children are living reminders of my need for sanctification every single day….especially through these early adolescent years.

I brought my 13 year old’s laundry up and suggested she fold it while we were watching a movie. I also mentioned I would be needing my laptop she was using.  I got an eye roll and no movement. So I walked down the hall mumbling, “I know you won’t do it, so I’ll just put your laundry in your room.”

She rushed down the hall into her room and closed the door.  When I said to come out and fold her laundry in the living room as she had been in her room alone enough today doing school work and pleasure reading, she exited her room with her laundry basket and an attitude. I questioned her on the attitude and she responded.  With tears in her eyes.  “Because you always make those comments. You, and Dad, and my sister.” “What comments?” I asked.  “I heard you say, ‘You won’t do it anyway.'”

Ugh. I made my little girl cry.  With my words. Whether I meant to hurt her or not; I made her cry. I responded to her in a way that I would have reprimanded one of her siblings for talking to her. I responded to her in a way that would have hurt my feelings had it come from my husband to me.

And like that toothpaste squeezed from the tube, you can’t get the words back in. I humbled myself immediately to her and told her how sorry I was. I was wrong. I should have handled the situation completely differently to get the same result. She is sitting here folding her laundry, watching a movie about Helen Keller.  I could have gotten the same results with a kind, encouraging word.

Remember, parenting is a learning journey.  Every single day. Don’t think you “got it” because one method worked with one child. Every child is different and has a different love language and a different way in which they feel secure in your love.  What makes every child the same is the need to feel loved and wanted. I am working on this diligently. To make each child feel they are special because they are who God made them and just the way God made them.  Not some little copy of what I was or what I want them to be.

I don’t have a PhD to support my theory.  All I have is  M.O.M.

I’ll shut up now so you can go hug your kids.


Be gone, Satan!

I read Matthew 4 this morning.  I have read it before and will read it again.  But today two things stuck out to me.  One is how Satan offered to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would just fall down and worship Satan.  HA!  What a joke!  As if he owned anything to give to Jesus!  He actually was offering to Jesus what His Father already owned!

Then there is Jesus dismissing Satan in verse 10: “Then Jesus said to him, Be gone, Satan!…”  I love that.  Satan is all blah, blah, blah and Jesus is finally like, I’ve had enough.  Go away.  And you know what?  He does.

A little further down in the chapter we see Jesus calling Peter and Andrew and James and John.  Now, this wasn’t the first time these men had seen Jesus. They had been following His ministry.  But what a lesson for us all.  When Jesus called…they followed. Immediately. 

So please remember today that if you are a Jesus follower you have the power of the Holy Spirit in you.  The same Spirit that gave Jesus the power to resist Satan gives us the same power to resist Satan. And take time today to listen for the voice and call of God.  And if you hear Him, don’t delay.  Follow His call. Immediately. You will be glad you did!

Please, let’s get real

Can we please get real?  Can we tell people the truth when we invite them to be Jesus followers? How many times have we heard the great “health and wealth” line?  How many times have we told people that coming to Jesus will bring them a peace and joy and life like they have never experienced before? This may be true, just not like they are expecting…

Do we make it sound like their problems will disappear at the foot of the cross? We have to STOP!  What disappears at the foot of the cross is our SIN.  Jesus takes the burden of our sin upon Himself.  He has already done that.  But the sin that is in the world does not go away.

Matthew 5:45 says it rains on the just and on the unjust.

Romans 5:3 “Not only so but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

What about Job?  Remember him?

Forty-two time sufferings is used in the New Testament.  “Happy”? Twenty times total in the whole Bible.

We need to make sure people know what they are saying “Yes” to!  Jesus Christ IS the answer.  He says in John 14 6 “I am the way, the truth, the life and NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me.”  And that is the FACT.

But I could fill this post with Jesus followers who right now who are going through the trial of their lives.  They are walking a path that is anything but happy.  They are going to their Father with heavy hearts, tears and weariness. But they are clinging to Him because they know amidst the storm, HE is their lifeline. Because if it was about how they feel instead of what they know, they would have ditched this Jesus thing.

So it isn’t about avoiding the pain.  Why?  Because that’s impossible. It’s about having a Father who understands through the pain. Because wherever you are, He has been there already.

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
Hebrews 2:9

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”
I Peter 1:6

So get out there and tell people about the saving power of Jesus Christ. But make sure you don’t “trick” them into something Jesus never promised. Give them the truth. This may be the hardest path you’ve ever walked. But in the end, it is oh so worth it.