Motherhood, Uncategorized

We Are Better Together!

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Hi Mom-Sense followers!  I pray that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for.  My family enjoyed a day of serving the community, followed by a family celebration on Friday.  We topped it off with a camping trip to the desert which seems to be becoming a tradition as some of my children get into adulthood.

As I sit here around the fire with my babies gathered around me, my heart is thankful for family.  I am so grateful for the joy and privilege of being their mama!  There are so many joys to motherhood, and there are also times of fear, pain, and uncertainty.  That’s why I feel that Mom-Sense is so important.  We can all use a little encouragement at times, right?  We all have funny moments, scary moments, tense moments, joy-filled moments, and moments of uncertainty that we can share, right?

My hope has been to create a place where we can share, encourage, acknowledge, and pray for one another.  That is done on the blog and also in our Facebook group. If you haven’t joined our Facebook group or if you haven’t subscribed to my blog, I invite you to do so today.  The Facebook group is Mom-Sense and the blog is https://momsense.blog/.  I welcome your questions, your stories, your moments of triumph, and your requests for prayer.  Let’s join forces as mamas and keep each other encouraged and uplifted on what is the greatest of all journeys!

Many blessings to you all!

Betty Predmore

 

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Puzzle Pieces

By:  Betty Predmorepuzzle-pieces

My family enjoys putting puzzles together. We will pick one out that appeals to us, spread it out in the family room, and sit around the table putting it together. We get really territorial about our “sections” and really competitive about who can out the most pieces together. We will literally spend hours staring at that puzzle, fitting pieces together, and looking for the missing pieces. Sometimes, the kids will get discouraged and want to give up before the picture is complete. My husband and I have to encourage them to keep at it. We tell them that if they keep focusing in the puzzle, they will find the pieces that fit just right.

This makes me think of our lives. We spend some much time putting the pieces of our lives together… our homes, our careers, our families, our friends, and so on. We are trying to fit it all in this nice little box, and sometimes it just doesn’t fit. We get discouraged and give up. We walk away without looking to God for some direction and wisdom.

We can be just like that discouraged child….frustrated with the way things don’t fit as we would like them to. What happened to perseverance? Where did our patience go? What about prayer? How about going to God’s word? And remember, our children are watching. They are getting a ringside seat as to how we handle disappointments and frustrations. They are learning by our actions.

What are you teaching your children? Are they learning to hold fast and put some effort into finding the pieces that fit? Or are they learning to give up when they get discouraged, and walk away from what could become a beautiful picture of God’s handiwork? Are you giving them encouragement in their times of frustration or when they feel inadequate?

Lord, help us to seek you in our times of frustration. Help us to call out to you for guidance when things are not fitting together for us. Help us, Lord, to remember that the eyes of our children are ever watchful. Help us to always remember to encourage them to keep their focus on you. Give us the perseverance to push on through the tough times towards the beautiful picture you have fashioned for our lives. ~ Amen.

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How Did He Grow?

By:  Rachelle Craighow-did-he-grow

If you are a grandparent, you will understand how deep my love is for my grandchildren. The love is so fierce, so deep, so much so, that I felt like I grew another heart just to hold all the love for each one of them. From the moment my children announced that I would become a NaNa again, my love was immediate! But the moment they enter the world, the love becomes so much more. Grandchildren are a precious gift from God! They are His reward!

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

My first grandchild, Kelson, was born on April 9, 1998. Yes, he is now 18 years old, and getting ready to graduate from high school this week. Thursday, May 19, 2016, my grandson, Kelson Alan McClusky, will walk across the stage. His childhood is done. He is becoming a man. Here is what I want to know. How is this possible? Where did the time go? How did he grow up so quickly? It seems like just yesterday I was rushing to the airport, boarding a plane to Oklahoma, frantic that I would miss his birth. And I did! By 30 minutes. But he was a healthy baby boy with blonde hair and gorgeous, big blue eyes!

For the first 2 years of Kelson’s life, my daughter and her husband lived in Oklahoma, and I only got to see him a few times a year. Talk about hard! I wanted him to be accessible every day! I wanted to be able to see him whenever I wanted. Finally, shortly after his second birthday, they moved back to Ohio! It was one of the happiest days of my life. From the moment they arrived, he became pretty much, Nana’s boy!

By the time Kelson started school, he had a passion for skateboarding. He quickly became very talented on his skateboard, and basically had no fear! I remember several times holding my breath as I watched him swerve around on one of his many skateboards. Jumping ramps, riding rails, you name it, he done it. It is still his passion today.

My heart is bitter-sweet! I am so proud of the man Kelson is growing to be, but yet, I want to hold back the hands of time. I want him to still be the little guy that only NaNa could rock to sleep at night. I want him to be the little boy that begged for me to take him to the skate park, or couldn’t wait to go to Walmart to get a new pack of Pokemon cards, or a new Tek Dek miniature skateboard, (which he usually ended up getting both!) But wanting him to stay little is the selfish part of this NaNa’s heart!

My grandson has the kindest heart. He is such an amazing person. I can honestly tell you that I have never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He is so loving, caring, giving, and respectful. He is so appreciative of what anyone does for him. He radiates love! He is brave! Kelson will be joining the Navy shortly after graduation this summer.

I will miss him so very much, but I am so proud of the man he is becoming. I know he will be successful and give us all so much more to be proud of. I am so excited to watch his life grow into something amazing! I love you Kelson Alan! With All My Heart! Always, Forever, and Unconditionally! Love, NaNa

Start children off the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

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Never Forgotten

By:  Beth Price Almeidanever-forgotten

As I sit here staring at my computer screen, I realize that I haven’t thought about God’s blessing in my home for a while. Isn’t that how it is for most women? Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets so caught up in running and doing, doctor appointments, grocery stores, chores, and doing for others that I leave my time with God in the dust.

Over the last few days, as I’ve been reading Whispered Grace, I’ve realized something; God won’t shout at us and demand our attention or thump us over the head with the Word. I imagine He sits patiently but sadly as we run, run, run instead of holding out our hand for His and spending time wrapped in His peace that surpasses understanding.

I feel bad when I think of how often I have ignored Him, especially after all He has done to bless me. I was saved at twelve years old and can still remember how amazing I felt. You know the song ‘Walking on Sunshine’? Yep, that was totally my theme song. Then, life began to beat against me like waves in an angry ocean. I lost that walking on sunshine feeling.

Without making this post fourteen million pages long, some stuff happened in my family and I ended up in foster care. The people I stayed with were sweet and loving but I felt locked down and like I was being punished for something that wasn’t my fault. The devil found a foothold.

When I met my first boyfriend I thought I could help him because his family was in shambles as well. He just brought me down further. By the time I was seventeen I was married and pregnant. By the time I was twenty-five, I was divorced, alone and on meth and drinking over a case of beer a day. I was hanging out with dangerous people, some of whom are now in prison for murder, manufacturing drugs and so on.

I tell you all this to say that, while I may have forgotten God, He never forgot me. He reached down into that mess and pulled me out of it. He loved me in spite of the mess I had become. He gave me an amazing husband and beautiful son and a home where I am protected and safe. He still blesses me daily. Every time my son hugs me or tries to help me put the dishes away or fold clothes, it causes me to slow down and just whisper, “Thank You, Jesus, for saving me.” When my husband comes home and tells me he missed me, I whisper, “Thank you for giving me this wonderful man to spend the rest of my life with.”

God has been working, even when I can’t see it, to help me learn to slow down and look for Him because He is always present and standing right beside me.

No matter what is going on in your life at this moment, slow or stop completely and talk to Jesus. I guarantee you will come away more focused and refreshed and a lot less frazzled. If God blessed me, and He has blessed my socks off!, He will bless you the way only He can do. Just watch for it.

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What Is Worrying You?

By:  Beth Price Almeidawhat-is-worrying-you

As a momma, I am constantly on my toes. If Mason sleeps ten minutes past his bedtime, I worry he is sick (never mind the fact that he played wide open yesterday and skipped his nap and then spent the evening after dinner playing outside with Daddy!). When I fix his breakfast, lunch or dinner, I worry if he ate enough and I want his snacks to be healthy.

If he is playing, whether inside or out, I stay a step or two behind him so I can be right there if he falls and skins his knee. Yes, I’m a bit of a worry wart. But what does that say about my faith? All this worrying stresses me out and doesn’t make me much fun to play with or to play around.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

1 Peter 5:7-8 (NLT)

Trying to keep our children from getting hurt, feeding them healthy foods and making sure they get enough sleep is what being a momma is all about, but turning our normal, everyday responsibilities into everyday, happiness-stealing worry is a bad thing. We can’t control every single step our children take. If we did it would make for a pretty miserable existence, not only for us but for the kids as well.

It takes an unimaginable amount of faith to keep us from turning our normal parental responsibilities into mountains of worry that will steal our joy and make us generally unhappy people. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave my children with a legacy of love and fun and, most importantly, FAITH. I want them to see my faith in action.

I read the Bible daily, sometimes several times a day and sometimes for long periods at one sitting. Because I have the knowledge of God from my time in His Word, I know that worrying isn’t “just how moms are”, worrying is a sin and a trick of the devil to wear down our faith.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8

The devil is a sneaky one! He uses lies and trickery to fool us into believing that it’s okay to worry about our kids to the point that we hurt our relationship with God and others. But, I have good news for you! God knows the devil, after all, He created him.

The Bible also details for us the kind of legacy we, as moms, should want to leave for our children and that will make our home a happy and comfortable place for our entire family and for those who come to visit.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Galatians 5:22-25

So, when you find yourself worrying about these things you can’t control, remember that God has us all in the palm of His hand…even the littlest of us, maybe, especially the littlest of us.

But I trust in your unfailing love.

I will rejoice because you have rescued me.

I will sing to the LORD

because he is good to me.

Psalm 13:5

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God’s Journey For Me

triciaBy:  Anonymous

When Betty Predmore asked me to write a guest blog, of course I knew exactly what I would write about. I’ve always spoken about it, but have never written about it, so this will be a first for me.

I live with a disease that most have never heard of. It’s terminal & unlike some diseases, there is absolutely no cure. My husband was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease Chorea (HD) four years ago. It’s hereditary & you have a 50% chance of passing it onto your child. He inherited it from his mother & she from her father. We have three children at risk, two being my step-children & the other being my 7 year old son.

If the positive father conceived a child later in life, such as in our case with my 7 year old son, the higher the risk for Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD), which means an earlier onset & a shorter life expectancy, factoring in the quality of life.

It’s been written in many articles that it is the worst possible disease you could have, as it takes away your ability to walk, talk, feed yourself & it takes your memory.

I’ve gone through many phases of emotions with this disease, from mad, to sad, bitter & absolutely puzzled as to why God chose one of the smartest guys in the world, someone who graduated with honors from both high school and college. Why not give it to me instead of him? It’s not fair.

But then I realized that this is God’s journey for me. He picked me to be This man’s wife because He had enough faith in me that I would take care of him through every moment. And what an honor that God believes in me that much.

We all have our crosses to bare and I have already been through so much in my life that the only way I can describe it is like this:

Throughout our lives we are faced with many obstacles, call them crosses that are maybe a little lighter to carry than others. Kind of like strength training. God was building me up for some of the greatest challenges of my life. He was making me stronger each step of the way so that when the crosses got heavier, I would be able to carry them.

Every day I watch my husband get just a little worse. We are still in a great place. There is no day that will be better than today. I make sure I keep him active, doing things that are balance related that will help him with his coordination, such as paddle boarding.

Then I look at my 7 year old and wonder if he has it. I look for signs every day. I wonder how much time I’m going to have with him. You can’t get them tested unless they are symptomatic and right now my decision is not to have him tested because right now I cling to a 50% chance of hope he doesn’t have it. It’s better than no hope at all, in my eyes.

There are some people that opt out of having children for fear of passing it on. I think about this a lot. I’ve asked myself if we had know would we have changed our minds about having kids. Then I look at my seven year old and I think to myself, I would rather have 7 years of his precious life than never having it at all. God gave me this gift, rather it be for a little while or for as long as I’m alive.

I’m going to take this life that God has given us and I’m going to embrace this journey with the power of God guiding me every step of the way, because He believes in me that much.

I hope that whatever struggles you are having today, please know that God believes in you and that you can and will get through it.

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The Lost Sheep

By:  Diana Rockwelllost-sheep

Coming home from work one Saturday, my husband has arrived right before me and he is talking to the babysitter, I ask where is my youngest son Dale. The babysitter replies, “He’s in the front yard!”

So she leaves out the garage door, and I go out the front door and start calling for Dale. I walk down our long street and back up the hill, tears rolling down my face, my heart’s beating fast. Dale is not on our street. Quickly I yell at my husband, I’m calling 911. Dale is three years old, has blond hair, blue eyes, full of life. Did I tell you he is mischievous? The 911 operator asks, “What was he wearing? Sheer silence on my end of the telephone before I choke out, “I don’t know, the babysitter dressed him.” I feel like I am a horrible mom.

Have you ever felt like a horrible mom? Have you felt guilty because you have to leave the children with a sitter? Have you ever lost your child while shopping? Jesus tells us a parable in Luke 15: 3-7 of the shepherd who knows his sheep so well that he knows when one is missing. He leaves the ninety-nine in search of the one and searches until he finds the one. I love the part of the story that he calls his neighbors and says, “‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

Well, our neighbor spotted Dale. He’s two blocks from home on a busy curve. He’s resting by the telephone pole. He wouldn’t get in the car with the neighbor. So the neighbor told him to hold onto the pole and he would be right back with his daddy, reassuring him he was not in trouble. Our neighbor and hero came to get Doug and safely brought Dale home.

Beloved, God wants each one of us to be found. Luke 15:7 “There is more rejoicing when one sheep returns to the sheepfold.” Are you straying from Jesus? Do you need to accept Jesus as you Savior? Do you need to rededicate your life to Jesus? He is waiting on you.

Father God, thank you for loving us so much that you would seek us and find us. In Jesus name Amen.