ARISE Conference: LIVE Stream and WIN Prizes

ARISE Home party 6With less than two weeks until the launch of our 2013/2014 ARISE Conference the excitement is building more and more as each day passes.

Wish you could be part of this monumental event?? Well, you can!

We are excited to announce the #ARISEmoms Home Party!

No matter where you live, if you have Internet access you can stream the conference LIVE right from your living room! Make a night of it! Invite your mama friends over and have some fun. Make a big night of it and utilize your home church to have all the mamas a part.

PRIZES:

Thomas Nelson, Inc is getting in on the action and has offered to donate an entire CASE of Jesus Calling devotionals to the #ARISEmoms Home Party with the most people in attendance.TN n JC book logo

To enter your party all you need to do is:

  1. Invite your friends
  2. Log on to brownsvilleag.org on the night of the event
  3. Submit a photo of your group via facebook or twitter using #ARISEmoms (be sure and tell us how many are in your group)

That’s it!

Stay connected via #ARISEmoms and engage live with us at the event! Share, connect, engage, and submit prayer requests with other mamas from all over the world!!

This is going to be a powerful night of restoration for moms. . . CLICK to read more…

What School Forgot to Teach Me About Being a School Mom

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As I have frequently posted, “Domestic” is not a term that my friends would use to describe me. My family would not even use the term to describe me. Describing me as “Domestic” in front of my closest friends would … Continue reading

8 Tips for Working Moms

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Written by: Brenda L. Yoder M.A. Ten years ago, I went from being a full-time, stay-at-home-mom for eleven years to a full-time teacher of high school students. It was a rude awakening. Over the last few years, people have asked, … Continue reading

We LOVE Non-Crafty Valentine Cards

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Written by: Krissy Nelson So last week for Valentine’s Day my daughter and I created some one-of-a-kind “Non-Crafty” Valentine’s Cards. This time we amped up our original “Non-Crafty Craft ” of cutting squares from different colored note cards and this … Continue reading

The Great Doctor Adventure

The Great Doctor Adventure picWritten by: Laura Rouse-DeVore

I recently had the “privilege” of taking my seven-year-old son to his very first eye doctor appointment. He’s not a child who complains, so the only way we knew he needed to go was when we received a note from the school. So, I made an appointment and he and I ventured off to have our eyes checked out together.

I never anticipated this little outing/experience would be as comical or as much of a learning experience (for me) as it turned out to be.

The doctor’s office was prompt on letting us back and the assistant was very gentle and understanding when working with my son—knowing this was his first time. She patiently explained things to him. First we went in to do “the machine tests”. There’s the one that blows the puff of air into your eye and the other one shows you a long road and you are supposed to look at what happens to be at the end of the long road—a hot air balloon, a farm animal, it depends on the type of machine. While you look at the “end of the road”, the machine takes pictures and measures (??) your eyes. (Please note: Optometry is NOT my specialty… so please do not be offended by my ignorance on such details. I mean no disrespect to those who do specialize and/or work in optometry.)

I went through the tests first so I could demonstrate to my son what he was supposed to do when it was his turn. After watching me, he got up there, put his chin on the bar and proceeded to shake and giggle…of course…making these tests nearly impossible to perform. I encouraged him to sit still. (He is seven… “sitting still” is hardly in his vocabulary and is rarely possible) He said, “I’m just SO EXCITED, mom!!!” It was at this moment I realized I was about to watch “something” unfold here at the eye doctor’s office…but with my seven-year-old, it’s difficult to gauge just what that particular “something” might be.

We finally got through the “machine tests” and went to the exam room to do the “preliminary tests”. The “Read the smallest line of letters you can” tests. My son is a whiz with his letters and embraces any and all challenges, so he breezed right through…still a bit giddy, giggly and very inquisitive. These tests did reveal that he was nearsighted in one eye. When the doctor came in, my son shifted the inquisition into high gear.

The Great Doctor Adventure pic 2There were moments when I “face palmed” – like when he asked the doctor if he would need to wear an eye patch. There were moments I wanted to crawl under the chair I was perched on in the corner – like when he asked the doctor if babies were born with eye patches on. There were moments I couldn’t help but just giggle to myself – like when the doctor told him he would need glasses because he was nearsighted in one of his eyes and he asked the doctor if he could have a monocle, since it was only one eye. I didn’t even know a seven-year-old knew what a monocle was and I still don’t even know where he learned about them. The real high point was when he was pushing the hydraulic chair up and down while the doctor was doing my exam.

This is where the learning experience came into play for me. You see, typically, his behavior would have completely and utterly embarrassed me to my core. I would have let anger rise up and would have given my son a list of all of his missteps and failures while we were driving home. But I realized something that day. I realized this experience—his first eye doctor appointment and examination—was an adventure to him.

I was witnessing an adventure unfold in the life of my seven-year-old son.

What a privilege this was, indeed! When I started to look at this experience through the eyes of my child, it was hard to be upset at him for all of his borderline inappropriate questions, his inability to sit still, his excitement, his exploration of the hydraulic chair pedals, and him telling one of the technicians that her teeth looked blue! It was difficult to be mad at the situation or at his behavior or at the innocence he was displaying in this vulnerable place. And I realized changing my outlook allowed me to enjoy and laugh about the circumstances. I enjoyed watching my son experience life and adventure and it made it much more fun when I suppressed my own expectations and just let him be him in that situation.

Helen Keller said, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Truly my children see the world this way—everything is an adventure, everything is up for discovery.

This also made me think about other situations with my kiddos. If I had changed my viewpoint and been more flexible, would I have enjoyed them more? Like the time they insisted on singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs in the department store bathroom in the middle of September? Would I have fully embraced the time they insisted on wearing their Batman costumes, capes and masks while we were car shopping? How many times have my own inhibitions, expectations and fear of what others might think affected my ability to let my children live and experience life? How many times has it affected my ability to live and experience life with my children?

Today I challenge you to try to find your child’s perspective. Look for the humor in the midst of your frustrations. Find your own inner child and don’t be afraid to dance with your children through the grocery store aisles. I challenge you to look for times to allow your children to just be themselves to live and experience life. I challenge you to seize opportunities to truly let go of your inhibitions, laugh and dream with your children. Live and experience life right along with them. You may just find that it’s one of the greatest joys and “spices” in your life.

Laura DeVore Signature

To read more from Not aLone Mom click HERE.

Loving and Leaving Alone

Written by: Brenda L. Yoder M.A.

This weekend, we moved our daughter into her first apartment as a college student. It reminded me of moving her out of her childhood bedroom a year ago. That summer, she gave up her bigger, pinker, orange-with-flowers-on-the-wall room to her younger brother. Transforming her adolescent domain from girly pink to Detroit Lion blue was an adventure. As we sorted, packed, and pitched, we came across journals, secret notebooks, and a menagerie of things a preteen and adolescent girl would accumulate during those years. A babysitting kit, bracelet beads, and a door knob sign that summarized her teen years:Loving and Leaving Alone p

Mom and Dad
I love you and would do anything you say
but sometimes kids need
Quiet Time…and that time is
NOW
So please
Leave Me Alone!

If our firstborn could’ve poignantly communicated what this sign says during her teen years, heartache would’ve been eliminated. But God doesn’t send kids with doorknob signs or instruction books, so we muddled through her teen years rather ruthlessly.

Last summer, as I sorted through her drawers and boxes frozen in time, I was flooded at the mercy, love and goodness of God. I was reminded of the complexity of adolescence, wishing I would have better understood fourteen when she was that age so I could have loved her better. Loving emotional teenagers is challenging when they are screaming:

“Leave Me Alone.”

Having learned the hard way, I better understand when a teen says, “Leave me alone.” It means they need space in one way or another. A fellow mom said she felt like a failure because her daughter was shutting her out. I told this mom that respecting her child’s space would actually build a bridge of trust in their relationship, even though the mom-radar says, “I deserve to know everything!” When you appropriately respect a child’s space, they feel heard, understood, and loved. It feeds their need for independence. It gives them a choice to share what they want to share and when, trumping mom’s natural instinct to be in control. Loving teenagers can be uncomfortable.

Even though she’s pushing you away, she needs you,” was advice given to me when my daughter and I couldn’t communicate. I learned common three- word-rants (“Leave me alone,” ”I hate you,” ”You don’t understand!”) express the emotional activity flooding a teen’s mind and heart. Loving teenagers involves not taking things personally.

Loving and Leaving Alone pMoving my daughter first from her bedroom and now into an apartment, I’m blessed by God’s grace and healing in a relationship that seemed hopeless at times. While painting over the walls of her childhood, it was bittersweet saying good-bye to this period of life. But it was refreshing to create new space for a new time – a time of peace and growth, discovery and beauty, a time where God’s mercies are new every morning, every day.

Now my firstborn says, “Don’t leave!” She calls at random times to hear my voice. I’m amazed at the transformation God has done in just a few short years. Thinking back to the first time I saw God work in her life, I’m amazed at the realness of God.

Authentic realness. The kind you can touch. A life transformed. A heart released to be taken over by the Savior.

Through our journey, I’ve learned:

  • Healing comes from battle wounds.
  • Strength comes from persevering instead of giving up.
  • Love comes from putting self aside.
  • Victory comes from releasing instead of holding back.
  • Joy comes from understanding life through hope that once was lost.

I’ve learned the best counsel in loving teenagers doesn’t come from doorknob signs or best-selling authors, but from time with the creator of adolescence Himself. Time spent listening, pouring out, and trusting Him to do His work. Even in the “leave me alone!” moments.

Thank goodness He never leaves us alone.

Because God’s doorknob sign says,

I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

How has God equipped you to love your child?

Dear Father, will you speak gently to readers who need to hear your counsel for their situation with their child? Will you pour out exactly what each mom needs to love and understand her child, whether a teenager or toddler? Thank you that you supply all of our needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)

To read more from Not aLone Mom click HERE.