Wednesday, February 27, 2008


JER. 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Normally, my posts on this blog are devotional. However, I hope you don't mind if today I share my heart with you. I am a Mother of four wonderful, beautiful children. Three of those have grown into God- fearing, awesome men of God. I am so proud of each one of them. For choosing first of all, to put God first in their lives and for choosing to pursue the great opportunities that God has laid before them. My heart is overwhelmed with pride and joy everytime I think of my precious children. (even though 3 of them ARE grown ...they will always be my children!)

My heart today is focusing on son #2! Jeremy (pictured above) is a gift from God. LITERALLY!

After the birth of our first son David, I began to have reproductive complications. A serious of tests were conducted over a period of time. It was finally concluded that I would not be able to concieve any more children. My heart was crushed. To put me in a healthier "hormonal" state, the physicians decided to start me on a series of fertility shots. This particular day that I was scheduled to start these shots, I prayed to God that TODAY would be the day that He would reveal to me one way or another the future of my womb.

After all the preliminary tests were run on this particular day, which also included a pregnancy test, the doctor came in to speak to me. He began to explain the procedure of the series of shots and what he had hoped for as results. He reported the results of the pregnancy test - which was negative, not anything new, as this was the 5th pregnancy test he had performed in recent weeks.

At the last minute, my doctor said to me "prior to starting the shots, I think I need to perform an examination". After a few moments, the doctor scooted his chair back and had a blank, disbelief look on his face. I saw it clear as day and I began to sense something was not right.

What seemed like an eternity, the silence was finally broken as the doctor spoke to me. He said, "you would like to have another baby right?" YES, how can a doctor toy with a woman who has just gone thru finding out she can no longer have babies!! To this the doctor announces, "good, because as far as I can tell you are about 16 weeks pregnant!"

WOW! When God answers - He answers! Not only did He reveal the future of my womb to me that day but He revealed what seemed to be an impossibility! Even the doctor said to me, "I don't understand how this is possible."

I know how it was possible...

“What is impossible with men is possible with God”
~ LUKE 18:27

I always knew from that day on, that God had incredible things planned for my miracle baby, Jeremy.

God reminded me today of His awesome power and that Jeremiah 29:11 is true and something that I can count on! Jeremy is grown now, 22 years old and serving in the Air Force for the past year and half. This is a Mother that has so much pride and respect for my Son choosing to serve our Country and to sacrifice for the safety of our fellow Americans. But in all honesty, this is a Mother that has a broken heart as I realize the danger that my Son may find himself in, possibly costing him his life.

I can honestly say that I am a changed person because of his decision to serve our Country.

1. At local ballgames when the national anthem is sung...I am emotional and I usually cry. The flag has a new meaning to me.

2. Every time I see my Son, my heart is ripped in half as I realize this could possibly be the last time I see him.

3. My heartfelt prayers have changed as I pray in more urgency for those families that have loved ones serving in Iraq. Many times wives, husbands and children are left behind. And my heart hurts for those other MOTHERS like me that have a son or daughter over here sacrificing so much for each of us.

Yesterday, I got the phone call! For the past year and half I always knew in my heart that this phone call would come, I just didn't know when. My son Jeremy got orders to serve for the next year in Korea. I had someone say to me, "well at least it is not Iraq". True...but for this Momma's heart it may as well be.
After a day of soul searching, crying, praying and crying alot more....I know that God is in control and no matter where Jeremy goes, if it is too far for me to see him or touch him or talk to him, the promise that I can cling to is that my Heavenly Father is with him and watching over him. God has a plan for his life...plans for his welfare and NOT CALAMITY because God has a future and a hope for my son!
I still have days of crying ahead of me, and a heart that will hurt because I miss him so...but just like that day in the doctors office 22 years ago...

Please add Jeremy to your prayer list. He is scheduled to leave for Korea in August. And pray for strength and peace for this momma's heart. And if you have a son or daughter serving our Country, I would love to hear from you so we can encourage each other.

(There is no love like the love of a Son!)

love and prayers,

Sunday, February 24, 2008


If the HAT fits….wear it!

“Why do you always wear a hat?”
“Cause it fits my head.”

-Robert Redford, Actor

Do you like wearing hats? You do not see many women wearing them anymore. I can remember a few years ago, that shopping for a new Easter outfit ALWAYS included a new hat. I have not given much thought to including hats as part of my wardrobe; if I cannot pull a ponytail thru a hat…it serves no purpose for me.

The thought of hats reminded me recently of all the different kinds of relationships we find ourselves in. I put on a wide variety of hats as I deal with people in my daily routine. A few that I find myself wearing are:

* the hat of Wife
* the hat of Mother
* the hat of a Business Owner
* the hat of a Christian
* the hat of a Pastors wife
* and many others too lengthy to mention!

Unfortunately, the hat we wear many times enhances the stress that we feel in our life and in our relationships.

In last weeks YOUR OPINON MATTERS, a poll asking “what best describes your style of dealing with conflict” revealed the top 3 results:

1. We respond as a BEAR…. We attack when threatened
(50% of votes)
2. We react as a TURTLE…We turn inward and remain silent
(43% of votes)
3. We act like a BIRD…We flee
(6% of votes)

When it comes to dealing with conflict in our relationships, we CANNOT be responsible for what others say or do. However, we are responsible for the choices that we make. Some of the choices we have made in our relationships have caused deterioration and because of it, our spirits have withered. At times, we feel like we can no longer extend love or be loved. We are so burnt out that we feel like we can no longer give. If this describes you….you are stressed out in your relationships!

We cannot be totally stress free in our life, but we can make choices that will reduce our stress!


The enabler is a person who attempts to be all things, to all people, all of the time. If you are an enabler, most likely you are like me and totally stress out when visiting relatives or friends come to stay at your house. You stress over what food to cook, keeping the house in order, where your guests will sleep, etc. You stress the entire time they are visiting, so much that you miss out on enjoying time with them.

The dumpster is the person who allows everyone to dump everything on you. You are the garbage collector. If you are a dumpster, you find yourself caught in the middle of two other loved ones. You allow the stress and discord that exist between them to now be your stress and discord.

The busy bee is the person who strives on fixing things. You put yourself in everyone else’s problems. You have the need to know everything about everyone. Your role is to fix everyone’s problems and make their lives better.

Most likely, you can identify with one of these three stress personalities. Choices we make really can reduce our stress!

LUKE 10:38-42
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet. (40) But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ (41) But the Lord answered and said her, ‘Martha Martha you are worried and bothered about so many things; (42) but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her’. ”

When I read this passage, I have to insert my name in verse 41 ; ‘Martha, (and LAURIE), you are worried and bothered about so many things'….Martha was also an ENABLER.


SET BOUNDARIES: Enabler's need to set boundaries. If having visiting relatives stay with you totally stresses you out…give them the phone number to a local hotel to stay in. You will enjoy your visit much more!
STAY NEUTRAL: Dumpster's need to stay neutral. Be firm and respond to your loved ones “That is between the two of you, I love both of you and will pray for you. Please don’t ask me to take sides.”
MIND YOUR BUSINESS: Busy Bee’s must only give their opinion if asked. Remember that sometimes your business is just that …YOUR BUSINESS. Don’t get caught up in talking about everyone’s problems. If a friend confides something….just listen and pray and that’s all. It is not your job to fix it, let God work it out!

You will never be able to eliminate all the stress in your life, but if you choose to be more like Mary than Martha, you will feel more hopeful, more peaceful and you will feel renewed. (and that will reduce your stress load!!)

Your hat of relationships will fit better now that you are not heavy laden with the stress and worry. Thank you for being a Woman Who Takes a Stand. Have a wonderful (and more relaxed) week!

MATTHEW 11:28 " Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."


YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please take time to vote in this week’s poll, “Which of the following losses have you experienced in the past five years?” Your opinion really does matter!!

“Lord, you have given so much to me. Give me one thing more- A GRATEFUL HEART.”

MATTHEW 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Saturday, February 16, 2008



In the game of golf, serious players are not very forgiving. If you slice the ball too far into the will have to take the penalty! Not only do you take a penalty on your score but the penalty comes when the game is delayed as you search for your ball. However, recreational golfers are a little more forgiving. Instead of taking a 2-point penalty for hitting the ball into the water, you might hear the recreational player yell, "MULLIGAN". This is a golf term for a do-over or a second chance.

Wouldn't it be great if we could yell "MULLIGAN" in life? When we make a mistake, we just yell DO OVER and all the furious bosses, all the upset husbands and the sad children would just smile and say, "No harm done!" There would be no consequences and no guilt. Only a chance to get it right the second time in a "do over".

Unfortunately, failure usually provokes great stress because of its consequences. These consequences sometimes involve a loss:
* loss of a relationship
* loss of closeness
* loss of a job or an opportunity
* loss of finances
* loss of respect, trust or approval
These losses can be minimal and temporary and sometimes the loss is great and permanent.

In the YOUR OPINION MATTERS poll last week, I asked the question: "Most recently in which of the following situations would you have gladly taken a DO OVER?" The top three results are as follows:

- 33% said they would take a do-over when it came to dealing with something at work.
-27% said they needed a mulligan when dealing with their children.
-27% said they would take a second chance when it came to responding to frustration.

I wonder if any of us have ever wanted a second chance as much as Peter must have:

MATTHEW 26:31-35
"Jesus told them, 'this very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. (32) But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.' (33) Peter replied; "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will". (34) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me 3 times." (35) Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same...

Most of us will never know the persecution or find ourselves in as threatening place as Peter found himself. But we often times compromise our commitment to God.


  1. Realize that God does not approve our failures - however, He ANTICIPATES them!
  • Jesus was not provoking Peter into dedicating himself more fully. Jesus was giving His disciples information (vs. 31) and He was giving His disciples reassurance (vs. 32).
  • Peter was not listening, he totally missed the point of what Jesus was saying. Peter got defensive and proud.
How many times when we make mistakes, do we become defensive and proud?

2. Know that Jesus believes in us DESPITE our failures!

Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. (32) but I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brothers."
  • God still believes in you in spite of your failures!
  • God has something significant for you to do!

If you are consumed with guilt, you cannot fulfill the amazing mission God has for your life!

3. Realize that God sees our failure and shame!

LUKE 22:61,62 "And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, 'before the rooster crows you will deny Me three times' (62) So Peter went out and wept bitterly."

The look on Jesus face when He turned towards Peter could have been that of "I knew you were a coward" or a glare that said "I told you so!" But Jesus had no condemnation for Peter, His expression was a face of mercy.

What does your face express when someone makes a mistake against you?

4. Accept that Jesus forgives our failures!

MARK 16:6,7 But He said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. (7) But go, tell His disciples AND PETER that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him as He said to you."

The news would need to be delivered to Peter individually, indicating that Peter had separated himself from the disciples.

When someone makes a mistake against you, do you separate yourself from them?

When God forgives, He not only lifts the penalty but He seeks to restore the relationship!

  • If you have made mistakes....ACCEPT GOD'S FORGIVENESS
  • If you have suffered because of the mistakes of others...EXTEND FORGIVENESS

Today is your day to take a MULLIGAN when it comes to mistakes. How can you do that?

  1. Confess
  2. Receive God's forgiveness
  3. Embrace God's love
  4. MOVE ON

Thank you for being a WOMAN WHO TAKES A STAND! There is power in prayer and in Forgiveness!

Blessings, Laurie


Friday, February 8, 2008



“Life is like living in a room full of dynamite with a monkey running around with a blowtorch. It is not a matter of IF but just WHEN.”

Is that saying not true when it comes to evaluating the stress and difficulties in our lives? Each of us can honestly say that we are in one out of three places:

1. We have just come thru a difficult/stressful time
2. We are currently in a time of difficulty and stress
3. We are getting ready to face a difficult and stressful situation

In last week’s YOUR OPINION MATTERS on the WOMEN TAKING A STAND BLOGSPOT, the poll entitled, “What would cause you the greatest stress?” revealed that we as Christians are stressed in one way or another. Over 50% of those who voted responded that the greatest stress they would feel would be when they were called into the bosses office and asked to close the door. The security of our future seemingly stresses us out.

I am overwhelmed by the absence of personal peace and the level of misery that many Christians are willing to live under. Christians are not hesitant or embarrassed to declare the following:

“I am under stress” “I am very unhappy”
“I am pretty anxious” “I just can’t get along with her/him”
“I am worried” “I am afraid”
“I am so angry”

In the world, mental health experts will tell us that the above conditions are socially and culturally caused and that relief can be found in the world. Places such as the casino, or a pub is where some are looking for peace and stress release. In such places, we are seeking solace and acceptance in a bottle of liquor, in illegal drugs, illicit sex and anything that will give us a quick “fix”.

However, Jesus clearly tells us that it is His intention for us to move through this world peacefully and cheerfully, untroubled and unafraid as long as we look to Him to enable us.

JOHN 14:27 “ Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

This kind of peace that Jesus is speaking of, is only available from one source. It is the only source that is real and that will be everlasting. With a relationship with Christ, a peace that surpasses all understanding will overcome your spirit. Stress and difficulties will still come your way, but you will be able to handle it in a different perspective.


How can prayer replace worry with peace?


Avoid being around someone who mirrors your anxiety. Examples of such comments as:
“Oh my goodness you’re doomed! What are you going to do?” Or “that’s nothing, let me tell you about the time I was fired right at Christmas!” Strategically place yourself around a friend who is genuine and a good listener.

365 times in the Scriptures we can find the words. “fear not” which is almost always followed by “for I am with you”. Jesus is a friend that is genuine and a good listener! God’s presence will change your outlook.


Prayer is dialogue. Prayer is not just about talking but more importantly listening. Prior to going into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled.

Matthew 26:39 He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

After spending time in prayer, Jesus returned from the Garden ready to face His betrayer and to face the cross. The change that occurred I believe was not so much in what Jesus said but more importantly what Jesus heard.

(read more about this in Mark 14:32-42)

The peace that Jesus received did not come from the prayers of His disciples that were left outside the Garden. They became weary and Jesus found them asleep instead of praying. The peace that Jesus obtained came from His personal time of communing with God.

Paul’s prescription for worry or anxiety requires the one who is anxious to pray. Certainly, we are encouraged to have others pray for us in our time of need but the verse in Philippians 4:6,7 reminds us that the “peace of God which transcends all understanding” is a result of the prayer by the one in need.

The peace of the Lord...
• does not come from the prayer request
• rather the prayer result.

Stress is not something new. What kind of stress would this have brought you?

• God asking you to build an ark for all the animals because a flood was coming. Nobody will believe you or support you, but build it for the world is going to be wiped out except for you and your family

• God fulfilling His promise to you to give you a child, even though you are 90 years old.

• God telling you to take your people and walk out in the sea and He will part the waters to allow you to cross over.

• Your spouse telling you to just curse God and die, and then losing your family, your home. Everything!

Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”

Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6 are not condemning of worry but rather a prescription for dealing with worry.

What have you stressed about today?

How much dynamite is in your room?

You can alleviate your stress by following Paul’s instructions. I encourage you to purpose in your heart to be a WOMAN WHO TAKES A STAND by:

1. Praying with thanksgiving
2. Striving to have less anxiety and stress in your day.

Have a wonderful and (stress free) week!

YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please take time to vote in this week’s poll, “Most recently in which of the following situations would you have gladly taken a ‘DO-OVER’?” Your opinion DOES matter!

Sunday, February 3, 2008


The alarm clock lets me know it is 6:30 am. I would like to pull the covers up over my head, but life is waiting for me to address it, and the clock is ticking and time is getting away from me. As soon as I set my feet on the floor of my bedroom, the race begins….

Is your morning routine as hectic as mine? We have quite the routine down at our house Monday thru Friday. We do everything in shifts since we have one main bathroom to share. While one showers, the other eats breakfast. While one gets dressed, the other brushes their teeth. The morning rush around the house is done so magically that we could all do it with our eyes closed and still make it out the door by 7:40 am.

There isn’t enough time! Or is there?

We like to pray with our children before they leave for the day. However, I have to tell you that some mornings, the kids complain and say, “Hurry up I am going to be late.” It just does not seem like there is enough time in the day to do some of the important things. Is there enough time?

It appears that our morning routine may fall into what we call a “rut”. A rut is something that we do over and over, the same way, with no change and no excitement. WEBSTER defines RUT as “a fixed routine, usually boring”.

In last week’s YOUR OPINION MATTERS, I asked the question “what area of your life is in a rut?” The results of the poll indicate that many of us are in a rut. The votes in the poll revealed that we are mostly in a rut when it comes to our exercise routine, and another area of feeling in a rut was our Bible Reading. Just like our family morning routine, the ruts we fall into can easily be changed with determination and better use of our time.

To some of us, managing our day is moving hurriedly and systematically through the day, marking off our accomplished tasks from our lists. This is sometimes also referred to as “being in a rut”. There must be more than collapsing in bed at the end of the day, holding a crumpled paper filled with check marks that scream “Well done you busy bee!”

Some Christians think that busyness is related to godliness. However, managing our time may be about doing less. Life management is having the ability to:

• discern priorities,
• having the right perspective,
• learning when to delegate and when to say no,
• And feeling good about the choices we have made!

The Apostle Paul said it well:

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evilEphesians 5:15, 16

As we begin to listen for and follow God’s plan for our time, we will learn to master it and not be mastered by it! God created time and it belongs to Him.

Each of us gets 24 hours a day, no more, no less. We cannot put an extra hour in our day. We can, however, learn to make the best use of the time we have.

Jesus was pursued by friends and enemies, His every word was monitored, His gestures questioned, and His actions analyzed. But yet He was not rushed, He did not have to play catch up nor did He fall into a rut. His life showed a wonderful balance.


1. He understood His mission

Because Jesus had a clear vision of His mission, not even Satan could convince Him to shortcut His Father’s eternal priorities.

MATTHEW 4:2-4 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. (3) And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (4) But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

2. He understood His own limitations & He knew the source of His power

His Private time, such as the 40 days in the wilderness and the prayer in Gethsemane was a priority to Jesus. He not only knew His limits, but He also knew the source of His strength.

MARK 1:35 “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”

PSALM 77:14 "You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.”

3. He made intentional choices about His time

Jesus invested prime time, taking the disciples through the Scriptures, explaining the deeper meaning of His messages to the crowds.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”

“When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.”

Jesus practiced this principle: Where your priorities are, there your time will be.

Today is the day to change the rut you find yourself in. Make an intentional choice today:

1. To seek a clear vision of the task God has laid before you
2. To understand your limits and know that God is your strength
3. To make an intentional choice today to give God your time

Thank you for being a Woman Who Takes a Stand and I believe as you purpose in your heart to be the Godly Woman He has called you to be, your time and priorities will be different.

Love and prayers,

YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please vote in this week’s poll, “What would cause you the greatest stress…”