Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One-Another Love - Guest Blogger Marcy Schuermann

My two-year old daughter is a social butterfly in the making. Seeing a friend – whether planned or unexpected – is always the peak of her day. As I watch her begin to navigate the waters of relationships, I praise God for designing his children (big and little!) to live in community and fellowship, and for giving us wonderful Scriptures to guide us in this endeavor.

Our gracious God blesses us through our earthly companions and the lessons they teach or inspire on our journey through this broken world! As I spend time with my daughter thanking God for our friends and the ways He has used our friends to bless us, she learns not only the value of fellowship, but also learns what kind of friend she likes to have and what kind of friend God wants her to BE! Being a good friend goes beyond taking turns with a favorite toy. Good friends are encouraging, supportive, honest, forgiving, servant-hearted, kind – the list goes on and on! The Word is packed with more than 50 “one-another” commands that we can both model for our children and use to encourage and admonish them as they learn to be good friends.

Memorizing and applying some of these verses together is a great way to guide our children in their relationships.  If our child persists in complaining about a visiting friend who took a toy or knocked her down, we can remind them of I Peter 4:9, "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." When we meet friends for lunch, we demonstrate I Corinthians 11:33, which instructs us to "wait for each other" before we eat. They learn by example Galatians 5:13, "serve one another in love", when we deliver a meal to a sick friend or a new mom - even though it slows us down a bit when they tag along! Helping our kids exhibit “one-another” friendship can be as simple as picking out fun notecards and helping them write encouraging notes to playmates or schoolmates in the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” The possibilities are endless. Life will not neglect to present regular opportunities for us, and our children to love one another!

-- Marcy Schuermann is a stay at home mom to her two girls, Amelia (2 years) and Norah (5 months).  She serves in children's ministry at her church, and previously worked as a public relations director for an education nonprofit.  She is also a wonderful example of friend who displays one-another love. Thanks Marcy, for sharing!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Peaches" - Guest Blogger Tana Schuermann

I consistently remind my 7-year-old son, "Your sister can be your best friend."  He often plays well with his 3-year-old sister, but inevitably at some point she starts to drive him crazy arrousing his grouchy, critical, and impatient tone that siblings often use with each other. Proverbs 15: 1 is a favorite verse we use to encourage kindness and patience during these occasions, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but mean words stir up anger.”
One day while watching one of my son's favorite movies - Ice Age, I had a "lightbulb" moment of how I could help my son understand how to apply this verse. The wooly mammoth couple is expecting a baby and their code word for when she is going to have the baby is "peaches." So, I asked my son if he would like to have a super top-secret code word that just we knew about (well until now of course). We talked about peaches and how they are sweet and fuzzy and soft and how kind words to his sister should be just like a peach - sweet, soft and fuzzy like cuddling with a warm blanket or a gentle hug. He thought having a super secret code word just like in his favorite movie was the best idea ever! So at dinner the next night when he started getting on to his little sister, I simply looked his way and said, “Peaches.” No one else even asked what we were talking about, but he gave me a little wink. His tone of voice changed immediately, and I could tell he was weighing his words. At bedtime he said, “I think this code word thing is working great!” What a refreshing response to correction! Instead of feeling discouraged by my continual reminders as usual; he was happy, and encouraged to be included in a special secret club. 
Parenting advice often suggests letting siblings work things out on their own. Yet a wise friend of mine with five grown boys insists that this principal only applies after training has occured, because unkind words can cause lasting wounds. By working with my son on how to speak kindly to his sister, even in moments of frustration, I’m hoping to cultivate a friendship between the two of them that goes beyond the obligatory sibling love and lasts a lifetime.

 - Tana Schuermann is a former teacher, current stay-at-home mother of three, and has a multitude of ministries.  Most of all she is one of the peachiest girls I know. Thanks for sharing Tana! 

Do you have any great suggestions for sibling rivalry or impatience? E-mail Sarah or comment to share your great ideas with all of us.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Moms of Monkeys?- Mom Mondays

Nephew George, Kyah, Niece Hope
Hello Character Moms!  You know, if you desire to teach your kids Christian character, then you are a Character Mom just like me. We all get distracted and overwhelmed by life, so we don't do as good of a job at teaching our kids as we would like.  None the less, we are still Character Moms.  Did you know just the very fact that you desire to teach your children new skills separates us from the monkeys?  While watching a documentary called "Monkey Genius" I was encouraged by an interesting fact about our own little monkeys (our kids) that separates them from real monkeys. Two simple experiments proved the point that monkeys are not good at following suggestions from their teachers. One was simply two cups, and the teacher would point to the cup which had the ball under it.  The other experiment was a puzzle box that contained a piece of candy.  The experiments showed that monkeys are very capable of mimicking and figuring things out on their own, but they were not good at following suggestions.  The young children on the other hand, were not only very in-tune with the desires and directions of their teachers, but they actually enjoyed learning - especially from their primary care givers.

      God made your children especially for you. Don't be discouraged if you feel like you are living in a zoo sometimes. I am here to encourage you that you are the best teacher and Character Mom for your little monkey who is very eager to soak up direction from you. Also, we do not have to do this challenging task alone, and figure things out on our own like a bunch of monkeys. Christ is our strength and He has also given us people and tools we can look to for support.

      This week, I am going to introduce you to new Character Moms each day who are not only some of my best friends and my support system, but who also have great teaching ideas to share with you and your little monkeys.  I would love to feature you as a Character Mom, too. Please e-mail me anytime with your great training ideas or insight.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Eros Your Man - Fun Fridays

       Eros is the wonderful romantic feelings of overwhelmingly unselfish adoration when you are "in love" with another. Can you remember back that far when you and your hubby felt this way about each other?  We all remember how great that was, but now realize that the feelings of overwhelming unselfish adoration do not last forever without constant work and the strength of our Lord and Savior.  C.S. Lewis believes that God uses Eros to teach us what love for our neighbor will look like if it is done correctly and in His strength. With Christ's help, we can easily toss personal happiness aside and think of others first - "loving our neighbor as ourselves."
        Does your relationship with your husband give your children a correct picture of how they should love others?  I love my husband now more than I ever have, but the way I treat him does not always display this. He is my rock, my support, my best friend.  He is the only one who can correct me and make me laugh at the same time.  (Yet he is also the one I am the sassiest and the grumpiest with unfortunately.) We are obviously not always all "lovey dovey", but thankfully we do still have "that spark" because we rely on Christ's strength and continually work on our relationship.
       Praise God for blessing you with the husband that you have.  I am so very blessed to have a relationship with My Man Micah that combines all of the four loves into one!  You have all heard, "There is nothing you can do that is better for your children than to love your husband."  Love your husband with Eros this weekend!  (Please don't report back to me this time about your great ideas about how you are going to accomplish this:))

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Loving the Unlovable - Thoughtful Thursday

       Agape love is simply selfless unconditional love.  As moms, it comes natural for most of us to love our children; However, I recently became convicted that it does not come natural for me to act lovingly toward my children when my kids are acting unlovable.
        In preparation for church last Sunday, one of my girls (as usual) had a meltdown.  I in turn, lost my temper (as usual), and said these horrible words, "I do not like being with you when you act this way, so we are not going to spend special time together after church like we were planning."  I was spitefully punishing her with the withdrawal of my love and approval. Thankfully, God does not treat us this way. Christ overwhelms us with His love and blessings in the midst of our sin, and encourages us to do the same for others. He welcomes back the prodigal son with open arms. Romans reads, "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Christ's unconditional love for us while we are unlovable moves us to grateful worship, obedience of our Savior, and inspiration to do the same.
         Loving the unlovable is not an easy task, but I don't want my child to think that my love for them is based on their performance. Do you want your child's behavior to change because they are trying to gain your approval, or because their heart wants to follow Christ?  We must ask God for His strength, direction, and a changed heart to consistently love our children with Agape love.
        Make a special effort to do something extra special for your child today regardless or even in spite of how they behave today.  You may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly a stubborn and hardened heart can be melted by unconditional love and acceptance.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Common & Close Friends - Welcoming Wednesdays

My Bosom Friend Sarah (& family)
           Do you remember the moment that you found a new friend because you had something in common.  It usually sounds something like, "What? You too? I also like _______. I thought I was the only one!" I remember that first conversation that I had with my soon-to-be best college friend when we realized that we were both named Sarah Elizabeth. (We didn't know at the time that the name Sarah Elizabeth is one of the most common girl name combos of all times. Now I even have a sister-in-law with my same exact name - Sarah Elizabeth Holmes!)  What we soon found out was that we had many more things in common as well - tastes in clothes, goals, core beliefs, love of dancing, etc. etc.. We are still true "bosom friends."
          One of the best things that we had in common was our group of friends. See friendship love is unlike romantic love. It is not supposed to be jealous. It should welcome other friends to share in the friendship because they only deepen and add more - not take away.  C.S. Lewis explains this better than I can.  He says, "In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights other than my own to show all his facets."  As silly girls, we are often tempted to be jealous about just about everything. Don't leave out others thinking you are helping your really close friendships grow stronger.  When we welcome others into our circle of friends, we are deepening our current relationships, showing God's love to others, as well as being an example and an encouragement for our children to do the same. 
          Including others is an extremely important lesson for our children (especially girls) to learn.  Do you have any ideas about how we can become better at this ourselves or teach our children in this area? I would love to hear what any of my friends say. You see we are friends since we have this common interest in seeing our families grow in Christian character.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My "Magic" Purse - Teaching Tuesdays

       C.S. Lewis explains storge love (one of the four loves we reviewed yesterday) as "affection, especially of parents to offspring, but also of offspring to parents." This type of love is the humblest of loves, because it is so comfortable, familiar and often assumed that a mother will naturally show love to her children by meeting their basic needs, and the child in turn will love their mothers by seeking her to have their needs met. The problem is that if we do our jobs right our children will eventually stop needing us as much. Since it is natural for moms to need to be needed, it is often hard to find the right balance between meeting our kids needs and letting them learn resourcefulness on their own.
        I like to carry a gigantic "magic" purse stuffed full of snacks, games, markers, and anything that I would ever need to meet the immediate needs (and usually wants) of my children should we encounter any kind of problem. However, by swooping in and rescuing my kids, I am neglecting to let them learn to "make do", practice positive problem solving, and figure out solutions with limited resources. I have to remind myself that my job as a mom is not to always be there to rescue them, but to teach them skills- like resourcefulness - that they need to survive and succeed on their own in the real world. I am not going to stop carrying my great purse. I just need to work on giving my kids opportunities to creatively solve their own problems before I whip out my swiss army knife and duct tape to fix their gameboy just so I can have the reward of their bright eyed, "Thanks Mom!"
       For practical ideas (family traditions, crafts, activities, and stories) about how to teach resourcefulness to your child, see April's edition of  my "Character Corner" Column for Metro Family Magazine. You can read it on my website ( before it is even published!
       Do our children not love us anymore when they stop needing us?  Of course not, but as moms this is sometimes how we feel. I would love to hear about how you keep your need to be needed in check.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Four Loves - Mom Mondays

       C.S. Lewis'  The Four Loves is a book that is just perfect for reading and teaching to our children at this time of year.  This week, I am going to dedicate a day to focus on each of the four loves. Here is a brief overview:
Storge - Affection - natural love that you have for family
                                and familiar people or things.

Phileo - Friendship - companions that have something in common

Eros - Romantic - feelings that you have when you are "in love"

Agape - Charity - the unconditional love that God has for us,
                             and that we can show toward others
                             as a result for and from our love for God
       Love is the basis for all the other character qualities and for our theology. I would love to hear any of your ideas about how to grow and teach love in your family.  Which one of these four loves are you the best or the worst at?  Ask God to help you know how to grow and to teach in these four areas this week.

"...You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.... You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment greater than these." - Mark 12: 30,31

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Wrestling Name is "Big Mama" - Fun Friday

    "Big Mama" tires easily and worries a little bit about her little "Diamond of Doom" getting hurt when "Big Daddy" throws her onto the couch like a sack of potatoes.  However, only fond memories and bonding have occured as a result of wrestlemania at our house - no injuries. My girls looooooooove this special time with their dad, so I was glad when I learned from last week that actual scientific research shows surprising benefits of roughousing. In Brett McKay's blog, he explains these benefits: develops resilience, social and emotional intelligence, morality, physical fitness, joyfulness, bonding, and even likableness.To get the real details instead of just the Cliff Notes version, read The Art of Roughousing by Anthony Debenedet and Larry Cohen. Have fun this weekend wrestling with your kids, and know that although every once in awhile their heads will hit together like coconuts, overall this activity is very good for their brain developement.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I LOVE to KISS - Thoughtful Thursday

       This Valentine's week we have talked about candlelight dinners, flowers, and sweets. Today we are going to talk about kissing.  KISS - Keep It Simple Silly (We have to say silly instead of studid at our house:)). The most important and basic thing we can do for our family every day, not just at Valentine's, is to be loving. Read the passage to the left. Are you showing love to your kids?  Are you a loving spouse? Are you a loving person in general? Seek God's strength and guidance today for special ways you can show love to all those around you. Maybe let the lady who rings up your groceries pick out a drink or snack, secretly slip an encouraging note and a Sonic gift card into your friends diaper bag, sit down and read a good book with your kids, and then plant a big fat KISS on your honey when he gets home from work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Slow Down for Sweets - Wise Wednesday

   Valentine's Day would not be complete without all the sweet treats. Through her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp has been teaching me about how to cultivate a grateful heart. She suggests slowing down to focus on God's goodness in all things. I hope these quotes below from her book will inspire you to action (well a slowing down of all the action).

"Haste makes waste."
"Hurry makes us hurt."
"Life is dessert -- too brief to hurry....When did I stop thinking life was dessert?...
"It takes a full twenty minutes after your stomach is full for your brain to register satiation.  How long does it take your soul to realize that your life is full? The slower the living, the greater the sense of fullness and satisfaction.  The body and soul can synchronize."
"Wherever you are, be all there." - Elizabeth Elliot
" Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away." - Mark Buchanan

         Take time to show your sweet kid how much you love them by slowing down and really enjoying a sweet treat with them today. Share with them how very grateful to God you are for all the little things in life - like sweet treats, but also for the big, giant things in your life like your sweet kid. 
        What are some ways we can slow down or stop hurrying? How do you make your kids feel loved and important?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dependable Dads (and Moms) - Teaching Tuesday

    Teach your kids about dependability & unconditional love. For a girl, anxiety naturally accompanies Valentine's Day whether she has a significant other or not. She worries, "Is anyone going to remember me on this day to make me feel loved and valued?" Growing up, my father was more dependable than anyone I knew. My Valentine's anxieties were calmed with the knowledge that I was going to receive flowers from someone no matter what. I knew I was special to someone - my Dad.
     I don't know how boys feel on Valentine's Day, but I do know that they probably wouldn't mind counting on getting a nice note and some chocolate from their mom.
     You know your kids best. What would say, "You are an amazing kid, and I love you no matter what" to your child? I would love to hear about your ideas to make your kids feel special on this special day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dates with Dad and Mom - Mom Mondays

      Moms and Dads, Valentine's Day is not just for your spouse.  Go out of your way to make your kids feel loved this Valentine's Day! Make a candlelight dinner with all the fancy red decorations at home or take them out on a fancy date. Fancy - meaning anything that is not fastfood.  My husband (shown here with my daughter, Summer, on their way to the Daddy Daughter Dance) does an amazing job of scheduling one on one time with all of our girls regularly - not an easy task. Our girls will grow up knowing that they are unconditionaly loved by their Daddy, so they won't have to seek approval and acceptance from some other guy in their life. I have to admit I get a bit jealous sharing my husband's quality time with all three of them, but I know the sacrifice is well worth it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

You is Smart, Pretty, & Important - Fun Fridays

    This weekend your fun assignment is to fill your child with super great thoughts about themselves by speaking encouraging words to them. Your child's mind is a storage box into which people and events are putting ideas about who they are and what they will become. How impressionable and very easily convinced they are. They are listening when we say things like, "They are better at spelling than they are at math." or, "They can't get along with their brother." Ask yourself, "What have I been making my kid think about themselves lately?" Unfortunately, I have to admit that one of my daughters probably thinks she is a "whiny-pants", because that is what I told her (even though I know it is "not nice to call names".)
      Words of encouragement do not have to be deep or profound. It could be as simple as, "Your mama loves you" or, "I'm so proud of you."  Direct them to what you want them to become. For example, "You are learning to love Jesus more and more" or, "You are so very kind," or "I am so glad that you seem to be enjoying school more lately." To be inspired, watch the kind nanny in the movie "The Help" who continually reassures the little girl who is neglected by her mother with the words, "You is smart. You is pretty. You is important." Wouldn't you like it if someone told you that?
      Tell me about ways you encourage your kids, or ways you like to be encouraged.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

THINK Before You Speak - Thoughtful Thursdays

Wouldn't all our relationships be so much better if we all thought before we spoke, texted, or e-mailed?
Put this up on your fridge for you kids, and for you.

Before you Speak
T- is it true?
H- is it helpful?
I- is it inspiring?
N- is it necessary?
K- is it kind?

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." - Philippians 4:8

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bad Hair Day? - Wacky Wednesday

       Yesterday we talked about TEA - how our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions are all intermingled. So the questions is now, "How do we take control of our TEA- even on a bad hair day?" I know this sounds silly, but we all have bad days, and there really has been scientific research about how your hair can affect your life. Well, the most effective method of self-control - even on your worst days -is to seek God's help to replace negative thoughts and emotions with God's truth and positive focus. However, this does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. It can be as simple as Acting like we have right thoughts and emotions - in other words obeying God even when we don't feel like it. Talk to your kids about your struggles they need to know that we all have to obey even when we don't feel like it.
     Example #1:   If I am feeling a little down, my natural inclination is to feed my sorrow or take a nap.  Instead,  I can embrace God's joy and do something funny. Wigs are perfect for Acting (see photos.)
     Example #2: Sometimes people seem to rub me the wrong way. If I invest myself in that person, by doing something nice for them, my heart and mind is softened toward them. I maybe could don my spy wig and deliver them an anonymous gift card to the salon.
     Example #3: I feel a "headache" coming on at bedtime... I will let you imagine what happens next here. You can include the wig or not in this scenario:).

     You get the idea. Right Actions lead to better emotions and better thoughts. How do you take control of your TEA? Is there a specific thought pattern or emotion that you continually deal with? What do you not feel like doing on a regular basis? Do you have any funny wig stories for me?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TEA Time - Teaching Tuesdays

       Girls love tea parties! Boys enjoy them as well if they are accompanied by yummy snacks.  Take advantage of your kids love of snacks and of spending time with you. Plan a simple tea time to teach a short lesson about the importance of thoughts. As an added bonus you even get to teach about three letters - TEAT stands for thinkingThinking comes first, because it affects everything else. Your thoughts lead to E for Emotions. For example, if you continually think about or focus on all the bad things in your life, you will feel sad. The last letter A stands for actions.  The way that you feel will then make you want to act certain ways. For example, If you feel sad, you may want to cry, withdraw, take a nap, etc.. Thoughts > Emotions > Actions. They are all intermingled.
        For fun, you can label three sugar packets T,E, and A and add part of each packet to your tea to help you explain this concept to your kids. For older kids, you can substitute the "T" sugar packet with salt to show how your thoughts can affect everything else.
         What thoughts, emotions, or actions have you or your kids been struggling with? I would love to see pictures of your tea party. Check in tomorrow to see how to take control of your TEA.

Monday, February 6, 2012

You are What you Think - Mom Mondays

       Have you seen the commercials where the mom says, "You are what you eat," while the soccer ball goes right through the hole in the doughnut shaped kid? Well, Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as he thinks within himself, so he is," or in other words, "You are what you think."  Our society is extremely conscious about what types of food they put into their bodies, but they tend to be lax on what types of
things we think about or put into our minds.  Think about why it would be important to guard what goes into your mind and the impact your thoughts could have on the rest of your life.
       What kind of thoughts are you having on this Monday? You have a choice to focus on all the things you are dreading this week, or you could think about all the blessings in your life and the things you are looking forward to. For some reason, I am thinking I would really like a doughnut. What could this type of thinking lead to?

       "We are not what we think we are, but WHAT WE THINK -WE ARE! Our heart secrets are the mold for our character and the index of our worth." - Keswick Calendar

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mandy's Lesson 6 - We are all a work in progress.

      Mandy does not look anything like this picture right now, but I am praying that I will get to see this bright and smiling face again soon. This picture makes me think about how God has a picture in His head of the woman that He wants me to grow into.  I am making very slow progress (just like Mandy) most of the time, but at least I am striving to move forward. It is hard to be patient, especially in times of uncertainty.  However, I am thankful for God's patience with me, and I know He won't stop helping me or Mandy grow until He has reached His finished product. We are all works of art in progress, in the hands of a loving and wonderful artist.
      Although Mandy will always be my #1 role model and I will continue to learn from her and this situation, after today I am going to return to my regular blogging.  Mandy loves that I desire to encourage and equip other moms, and she really does not like to be the center of attention.  However, if you want to keep up with her progress, see the caring bridge website: Thank you for your continued prayers for our family.
       Is God molding you in a certain area?  What has He been teaching you lately? What do you think we can learn from Mandy's life and this situation? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mandy's Lesson 5 - Mom sets the Mood

       When people are sick or dying everyone always talks about how amazing they are like they could do no wrong.  Well Mandy is not perfect, but it is actually hard to find anything negative to say about her (and I am ashamed to say that I usually have no problem at all thinking of negative things to say about people).  All I could come up with for Mandy is that she is sometimes a little cranky in the morning time. So I am going to talk about mom moods today.
        We have quite a bit of moods in my house because there are four girls and only one boy.  I had not realized until yesterday that my girls were really feeling the emotional strain that I am currently going through.  They expressed feeling down, worried, and overwhelmed.  So I realized that my girls were mirroring my moods.  Not only do I need to do a better job of reassuring them and not neglect my family as add Mandy's family to my list of things to do, but I also need to trust God more in this situation so that I am not so worried and overwhelmed. He will not give me more than I can handle and He is holding Mandy's family in his hands.
      However, more than anything, that if my children are starting to really feel this crisis that we are in, then I can't imagine what Mandy's kids are feeling.  Although they seem to be doing all right and they have a huge support system, nothing can replace having a mom to set the mood in the house. Please pray for Mandy's sweet children by name - Hannah, Matthew, Michaela, Hali, Hope, Hudson, and Moriah (the two youngest are missing from this picture).  They miss their Mom, who is a joyful servant most of the day.
     What kind of mood are you setting in your house?  What are some ways that you have learned to trust God more to control your emotions?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mandy's Lesson 4 - Take the High Road

Sleeping Baby Moriah (1month) and my daughter Summer (6)
        Exactly a week ago, Mandy was still her normal self (It is weird to think about that). She had about 100 things that needed to be taken care of before her surgery the next day, but her top priority was working out all the details necessary - talking to the Lactation consultants, doctors, pumping, researching drugs, etc. etc., - to make sure that baby Moriah would get all the breast milk that she needed.  I supplemented formula with all three of my girls, and they all turned out beautifully.  However, Mandy firmly believes that nursing is best for her baby, so she was not going to take the easy road. Unlike me, Mandy is willing to be inconvenienced for the best of others. Mandy is faithful to complete what she has started, to follow through with what she has promised.  There are times that it is acceptable and expected and even best for everyone to change your original plans, but I am inspired by Mandy to stay on the high road more often (even when it gets a bit bumpy) instead of turning around and taking the easy road like I normally do.
       Thank you for your prayers. Mandy is doing much better and on the long road to recovery.
        Have you taken the wrong road lately? How did you know it was time to turn around?