Friday, April 27, 2012

Cardboard Testimony

Cardboard Testimony from hillsidewired on GodTube.

Have you ever witnessed a cardboard testimony?  I have seen one in person at a church we used to attend.  It was an experience I will never ever forget.  I was touched to see the level of transparency that people were willing to have to show God's work in their lives.

I have often wondered what my cardboard testimony would say.  There are many times in my life that I have seen God at work, but I just wasn't sure if there were a few words that could sum up how I feel right now.  I saw this video and it made me think about it all over again.  What could I say that would make people understand ME better?  What could I use as a testimony to others to show them God's love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, etc?

Being a mom has done many things to change me and who I am as a Christian and as a person.  It has made me stronger, it has made me feel more passionate about things, it has made me more emotional.  It has also lead me to a stronger relationship with our heavenly Father.  My desire for my children to know and love God also played a huge role in where I am at with my personal relationship with Him.  It has helped to change/improve my marriage with my husband, it has taught me how to choose my words and how to hold my tongue.  It has taught me that I don't always have to give every person my opinion on their lives and their choices.  I have spent a lot of years working on being the least judgmental person that I can be.  It is so easy to look at others and judge their choices and their actions.  I have had to ask forgiveness for judging others more times than I can count, but that sin is showing up less and less in my life and I thank God for that transformation.

I think that my hysterectomy almost five years ago has played the biggest role in who I am today, though.  That surgery sent me down a road of anger and depression that I had never experienced before.  I affected many areas of my life and it took me a long time to finally get away from that hurt and pain and turn towards God and not away from him for what I "thought" was a punishment for something.

I am so thankful to see what finally laying those burdens down before Him has done for me and what it can do for everyone else, too.  When I finally surrendered all of my hurt to Him, I actually felt free.  I felt like I could finally breathe again and I wasn't being suffocated by my pain and depression.

I think my cardboard testimony would go something like this....

Suffocating from depression and anger towards God

The Breath of Life has set me free!

New Living Translation (©2007)
For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

What would your cardboard testimony say?  What is your story?  How has God been at work in your life?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Good friends

It is so wonderful to have a friend that just "gets" you. It is a safe and comfortable feeling. I am so glad that I have a friend like that. We have a standing coffee date every week and we just meet at one of our houses and chat and laugh while the kids play. She is like my twin. It is scary how alike we are! We like the same things,have many of the same views on life and religion and politics. I truly think we were separated at birth! Thank you, Lord, for great friends!!!!!


I know that I am constantly hearing about cyberbullying on the evening news, in movies and in the newspaper.  It is a huge problem right now!  Kids can be so mean, so immature and so unaware at what they are doing could have serious consequences.

As a mom to three little girls I have witnessed a less obvious kind of cyberbullying(at least it is cyberbullying in my opinion).  I think that women, moms especially, are most times the ones who are involved.  Of course, I could be totally off base here, but this post is going to cover my opinions and feelings on this matter.

I have seen, first hand, moms who have been at social gatherings where they have received unsolicited advice or questions that seem a bit unwarranted.  They take these comments and they then turn them into facebook comments and blog posts, and explain that these people just don't "get it".  They don't give the right advice, or ask the right questions.  Then starts the pack mentality.  All of the other moms out there who feel like they, too, have been given unsolicited advice will post the questions that they were asked or the advice they were given.  Everyone will then agree at how silly this person at the party was for ever opening their mouths to ask such questions.

To be fair, I agree that unsolicited advice or intrusive questions about your family can be irritating.  Sometimes you will hear the same comment over and over again and it begins to grate on your nerves.  Those are some of the things that you just have to deal with as a mom.

However, in my experience a lot of these "advice-givers" are older women, women without children, or people who aren't used to a particular situation or circumstance.  Older women raised their children in a different era and they did things differently.  A lot of the questions that I received were from people who hadn't experienced what I was going through at the time and maybe were curious or maybe just didn't understand my situation.  We should all remember that someday we will be the older women trying to give helpful advice to a new generation that will, undoubtedly, do things differently.

Let me give an example. There was a time after I had my first daughter that she was about three-four weeks old and I was going stir crazy.  I had been on a very long amount of strict bed rest at the end of my pregnancy, I had a difficult birth, and since it was winter time, we had been very cautious and were trying to keep her away from germs for as long as possible.  However, on this day, I just needed to get out!  So, I packed up my daughter, my diaper bag, my husband and we headed to wal-mart for a few things that we needed.  It was so nice to stroll through the store and just be somewhere besides on the sofa at home.  An elderly woman stopped me to see the baby and she then told me that I shouldn't have her out when she was that small.  Back in her day they didn't take babies out until they were at least six weeks and that I shouldn't have brought her out in public yet.  Honestly, I was taken aback at how forward she was.  I just quickly explained that it was our first outing and that I felt that she would be just fine for the short amount of time we had her out of the house.  That happened to me nine years ago.  Many other pieces of advice have come my way since then.  I have also had many questions about decisions we have made as a family.  But you know what, as strange as it may seem at the moment, I never really did dwell on those comments.  Sure, I would sometimes vent to my friends about a weird thing that happened, or I would call my mom and tell her a funny story about a woman in the mall, but it rarely went further than that.

When a person openly points out something someone said or asked and then makes it sound silly or stupid, it makes me feel bad for the nameless person who has to see that post.  Maybe that person had no idea how their question or comment came across.  It very possibly could have been an innocent statement that they now feel foolish about.  Like it or not, that kind of stuff can make a person feel self-conscious.  It can make them over-think and worry about things they may say in the future.  If you didn't like what a person asks you about your family or your life, then you should probably take it up with them personally.  Maybe you should take unsolicited advice with a grain of salt and just move on.  When everyone has a good laugh at someone else's expense, that is bullying.  It is much easier, and doesn't feel as "wrong" to do it online when the victim remains nameless in the post.  That is exactly what I have seen happen.  It makes me sad.

I think that most moms, in general, are doing the best they can.  I think that most people innocently make comments or ask questions and don't realize how they may come across.  Sometimes people have a life experience that makes them wonder why we do the things we do.  We will never fully know because we haven't walked in their shoes.

I think that the internet has a wonderful way of bringing like-minded people together.  It can make us all feel accepted or understood in some way, many times with people we will never meet.  But I don't think it should be used as a tool to make a person feel like they have been singled out.


I have never really pictured myself as having my own business.  I mean, sure, when I was younger I always thought I would own a restaurant or something of that nature, but I never really thought I would be running my own small business from home.  I have to say that I am loving it!  I love the fact that I can earn some money all while doing something I love and being around for my kids.  I have a very strong conviction that I feel like I should be there to raise my girls.  I didn't want someone else doing it and missing out on those moments.  If I HAD to work, I would gladly do it.  I can and have succeeded at jobs outside of the home when my two oldest were little.  I enjoyed my job, I was good at it, and I would still be there if we hadn't made the step towards becoming a single-income family.  I admit, times can be tough.  We have gone through rough patches where we struggle and there are many times we live paycheck to paycheck, but that is the choice that we made.

All of this is what lead me to start finding ways to make extra money.  I knew that I loved crochet and I knew that I wanted to do it more than once in a while when my kids needed a hat.  So, I started making them for friends and family.  Then, I started selling a few online just for fun.  After a while, I decided to try craft shows.  That turned into a wonderful and loyal clientele that I can't thank enough for their love and support!  

This year I decided that I wanted to actually make a real go at it and I obtained my DBA and my vendor's license.  I am now and official business through the state of  Ohio and it feels great!  At times when I thought my business would slow down, it did just the opposite!  I have met amazing people whom I can't imagine not knowing and made a small network of other WAHM(work at home moms).  It is nice to have those women to share stories with and to sometimes barter with!

I am so very grateful for this opportunity.  I am very happy with where I am right now, and I hope that my business continues to grow.  I am looking forward to all that comes with this opportunity and I 100% give my thanks to God for providing me with this talent and this job!

**Remember, if you have the opportunity to go to craft shows and buy from other hard-working artisans, know that you are buying American and that you are supporting your local economy!  Praise those men and women who are doing those shows because it takes A LOT of work to prepare, stock up, set up, sell, and tear down at those shows!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I am finally back to having a few quiet moments to myself where I can sit down, concentrate and actually blog again!  I haven't posted anything since the beginning of the school year and it honestly has been a blur.  I can't believe we only have a few short weeks of school left before my girls are officially done and moving on to 4th and 2nd grade!

However, that is not the purpose of this blog post.  The true purpose is to tell all of you about a fundraiser that I am taking part in.  Some of you may already know that I lost my gramma last May to a horrible cancer.  She died from pancreatic cancer.  Many of you may not know much about this cancer, but it is definitely a sneaky one.  Most people who have this awful disease have no idea they even have it until they are in the 4th stage of it.  There is no routine testing that is done to find it and most of the time it is through as serious illness that it is found.

My gramma was not feeling well and she finally called the ambulance one day and had herself taken to the emergency room.  She was extremely jaundice and they ruled out as many things as they could before they finally found out that is was, in fact, pancreatic cancer.  She was already stage 4 and her life expectancy wasn't long.  Gramma was an extremely faithful servant of the Lord and loved God more than most people I know.  She decided against any extreme measures to save her life.  The only thing that she did was radiation to help with the pain since it such a painful disease.  She had lost my grandfather in 2007(they had been married over 60 years) and she knew she was ready to be with him again.  She made her arrangements herself, went through all of her collectibles and valuables and personally gave them to those she would most treasure them.  I was fortunate enough to get nine of her Precious Moments collectibles along with some other things like holiday decorations, milk glass, etc.  

On May 16, 2011 my gramma went home to be with Jesus and her beloved husband.  She was such an important part of our whole family and she is greatly missed.  Because of her, our family is taking part in the Purple Stride Cleveland Fundraiser.  We are walking/running at the Cleveland MetroParks zoo on June 16, 2012 in order to raise money for research and awareness of this horrible cancer.  We want to find a cure so that others may not have to suffer from this disease.

Would you consider donating to the cause?  If you are from the Cleveland, Ohio area, would you consider walking with us?  Your sign up gets you the whole day at the zoo along with a shirt.

Please click the link in the upper right hand corner if you would like to donate.  Our family would truly appreciate it!

Thank you!