living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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My Favorite Job

As a child, when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew-up, I would usually say “I want to be a mommy.”  Or a “cash register”–meaning I wanted to be a cashier.   🙂

For as long as I can remember, I just wanted to have my own family and my own babies and to take care of them. That desire was always there….but it got repressed.

When I was in high school, I got a piece of mail that advertised adoption.  The letter informed me that “age wasn’t a problem”.  (Of course, they meant that you could adopt even if you were older).   I took it to mean that I could adopt while I was in high school.   Ask my mom–I had it all worked out.  I was going to adopt a baby (while I was in high school).

I was soooooo upset at her that she wouldn’t even consider it.

Yes, I was that child.  I loved kids, especially babies.

I was so happy when my first nephew arrived.  I couldn’t wait until I had my own.

However, I also realized that children came with a husband and, after a few rocky relationships, I decided I would just be family-less.  Thus, that desire got pushed down farther and farther.

Those growing-up years were really full.  I volunteered at the library, was a Candy Stripper at the local hospital and worked as a shampoo girl at a hair salon.  I played violin in a county orchestra.  I had TONS OF FRIENDS, lots of parties.   I went to college, working as a telemarketer (don’t hold that against me) and as a secretary for that college.  I went to Europe three times and spent one summer in Africa.  I coordinated a ministry team that traveled around the States.  I counseled teenagers at a Christian camp four different summers and then, after graduation, became a school teacher.  Really, I had a FULL life.

During that whole time, my parents prayed for me.  They prayed that I would find a friend whom I could love as my future husband.  They prayed for that family I had shut out of my mind and heart.

To cut the story short, my husband and I met, were friends for three years before we knew we were mIMG_3257eant for each other, got married, had baby #1 two years later and then, another two years later, had baby #2.

That was a lot of introduction to say this:  In all my years, in all my jobs, in all the craziness of my life, I have NEVER had such an amazing job.  I LOVE being a mommy.  THIS is my favorite job.

I love that God gave me my two favorite kids to be MY KIDS.

I love the funny conversations my son and I have.

I love the giggles and kisses I get from my daughter.

I love coloring with my son.

I love to tickle his belly.IMG_1440 - Copy

I love stomping in puddles with my boy when it rains.

I love making my daughter giggle.

I love the way my daughter chatters.

I love dressing my daughter up in bows and frills.

I love our walks.

I love the way our family hangs out together.

I love mommy-hood!IMG_3267

I’m sure it helps that I have an absolutely amazing husband who is also called “Daddy”

I don’t know where you are in life, but I want to encourage you to think about something.  God created most of us to be help-meets, to be wives and mothers.  There is no 2nd place or shame in that.  Don’t let the world tell you that.  We are our sons’ first love.  We are our daughters’ first best-friend. We have the best job out there. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Is it easy?  No.

Is it the hardest job I’ve ever had?  Yes, probably.

Is it sooo worth it? YES!

Let my husband handle the workplace, the drama and stress.  Give me the little fingers and toes.  Give me the giggles and hugs. We are creating the next generation. What a privilege!

Give me mommy-hood because the best bonuses come in X’s and O’s.

Rejoicing,

Joy T.

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Mom Heart Stages

Our mom bloggers here have been busy “momming” like we are supposed to be. This post will be short and sweet as I have schooling to oversee this day. I am so blessed to have been able to experience many stages of my children’s lives. Some stages are easier than others, and some stages take a toll on us. Quickly, here are a few challenges for you from my experience – and some lessons I am still learning.

For moms with new babies… enjoy the “new life” moments.

For moms with toddlers… get some vitamin B12 and be thankful for the exercise they bring into your life.

For moms with lower elementary aged children… savor their thoughtful ways and playful spirits.

For moms with upper elementary aged children… remember that just because they are more independent now, they really need your ears and your eyes.

For moms with  teenagers… be thankful for their ability to think for themselves even when they don’t think the same way you do. Speak life. Trust God to do the work in their hearts that you cannot do. Be there when they let you be. Pray when they won’t. Teenagers are really fun to be with most of the time.

For moms with college aged children… trust God. Period. Be available when they are. Be happy they are on the path to God’s purposes for them, even if it doesn’t look just like the path you may have envisioned before. Speak truth.  Miss them… like crazy.

For moms with  post college / single or married children… I’m not there yet, but I think I will say… trust God… pray for them… pray for grandchildren to love on… enjoy time with your husband like never before…  plan special family gatherings and of course, take pictures. =)

For moms with wayward  children… hold on… pray… keep hope…  keep living… keep loving… believe God… stay in God’s Word… pray for other friends’ children like you would want someone praying for yours… find comfort in that now your heart has the capacity to comfort another mom in the future… guard your heart from dwelling on what other people think… share your heart with a faithful, godly lady… NEVER give up on your children!

I can’t imagine a mother’s heart going through all the stages of life mixed with joy and grief, dreams and disappointments, victories and failures… without walking with the LORD.

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” – Psalm 57:7

“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” –Proverbs 31:25

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:

also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out

the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11

From my mom heart to yours ~ Jeri LynnMom Heart Stages -  LPBJ


~Shared over at A Mama’s Story and at Morning Joy Compositions~


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Live Your Life With Joy!

“But none of these things move me,

neither count I my life dear unto myself,

so that I might finish my course with joy…”

Why do we need joy?

  • The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • When we cease to be joyful in the Lord, we aren’t very affective, are we? Can someone in a bad mood be a blessing to anyone? (the answer is “no”)
  • Does the world want what we have if we are miserable? (I doubt it.)
  • When I don’t have joy, even if I am quiet about it, it affects my family. When I’m grumpy, my family knows this, and my children’s moods often mirror mine!

 

What hinders our joy?

  • Things “moving us” like our verse speaks of. If something “moves me,” it will rob my joy. When we let life’s circumstances move us, it will take our joy away! Paul, in this passage, did not have much longer to live. And he knew it. His life as a Christian had SO many hardships as given in II Corinthians 11. But all these circumstances wouldn’t “move” him. He didn’t get off course! Life can be hard! If a loved one dies, or is diagnosed with cancer, or walks away from God, I’m not suggesting you walk around with a smile on your face. It’s okay to be sad and grieve . It’s okay to take time to rest. Just don’t let your course be altered!
  • If I “count I my life dear unto myself.” The work of the Lord is more important than myself! The apostle Paul was ready to die! We have to be ready to live a living death. A sacrificial life, where we are more concerned with others, and the Lord…more than ourselves. For me, taking care of my husband and my children is a more important job than anything I want to do. In my life’s course, this is the section of the race that I am in. It has hurdles! (called small children!) :)  Whatever season of life you are in, do that work for Christ! I recently read a book called The Stay at Home Mom. In that book, the author did a beautiful job of making me see that taking care of my children is great ministry for Christ! Doing a service for my children is doing it for Him! Remember in Matthew the passage where Jesus told the disciples that He was sick, and they cared for Him, in prison, and they visited Him? He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” I am doing it for Him when I take care of my little people. In my life, I am Christ to my children. Until they can see Him for themselves, I am all Him they know. My relationship with them – how I love them, how I deal with them – gives them a picture of the Heavenly Father. My time with them is too short, too important not to live with joy! When I lose my joy, I am useless!

 

How do we get joy?

  • Jesus is your joy! If you have trusted Him as your personal Savior, He is your joy! You already have Him.
  • “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8) Spend time in His Word, and you will become more like Him, more joyful!
  • Keep your spirits up with practical things – surround yourself with happy people, play refreshing music, read encouraging books! Keep your head full of good things so there is no room for unhappy, discontented thoughts to take over.

Picture your course. How is it laid out? What sections have you gone through? Part of it has been smooth track, part of it has had hurdles, maybe part has gone through a lonely desert with heat and thirst. Now picture an Olympic athlete. Have you ever seen a track runner go through that finish line, the tape breaking across her chest, and NOT smile?! No way!

Let’s finish the course with joy!

Did you know????

Laughter is good for your health!

  • A good hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. It improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Mental health benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

{I googled, therefore it must be true}

❤ Joy