Magnificent Living

Finding Joy in all things – even the yucky stuff!

Who IS this kid?


One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a parent thus far is this; my kid is not me.  We always say we want them to be their own person. We want them to explore life and discover what really makes them tick.  Somewhere deep inside though, (at least for me) lies this little morsel of expectation that (s)he is going to be just like me.  She will like the same kinds of people, listen to the same kinds of music.  Her emotions and reactions to circumstances will mimic the way mine were at her age.  For me, this stemmed from a need to understand my daughter.  If I knew exactly what she was thinking or feeling, I could be her hero.  I could tell her, “I know just how you feel…”.

As Ashley my (16 year old fireball) entered her teen years, it became apparent that I had no idea what she was thinking.  Or why she was thinking it. Or how she really felt about it.  I certainly had an idea based on my own experiences, but all I could really do in most situations was empathize.

When it hit home that my daughter was nothing like me, it was two things.  First of all, it was scary.  How can I be any help to her if I can’t tell her I know what she is going through?  Secondly, and ironically, there was a sense of relief.  I could relax to some extent.  Let her work through things her own way instead of telling her how I think she should handle a particular situation.

Ashley and I compliment each other.  Being so different allows for really interesting, philosophical conversation.  Sometimes her perspective makes more sense to me than my own and vise versa.

I am learning as a mom that my primary focus is just to love her. And that’s easy.  Understanding her all the time?  No so much.  And I now know that that’s Okay!

Have you made this realization with one or more of your kids?  What impact did it have on you? Were you surprised?  Tell me your thoughts in the comment box!

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This is God in action.


This is God in action

Watch this video and find hope amidst such tragedy.  She prayed and God answered.  He always answers.

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How has bullying changed over the years?


Originally posted on Magnificent Living For Teens:

LITB Ep. 3

How do you define “bully”?  There’s no doubt the answer to that question is different now than it would have been 50 years ago.  Don’t you agree?

Fifty years ago kids were expected to get up early, do chores, walk to school, and return home to do more chores.  They packed their lunch and were taught to say “yes sir”, and “no sir”

A “bully” in the 1950’s would have probably been defined as someone who singles out weak classmates and picks on them in a physical way.  Hitting, kicking, punching….that was bullying.  Bullies in the 1950’s stole lunch money and dumped lunch trays. At least that is what has been portrayed on television.

Fast forward to the 80’s – my era.  When I was a freshman in high school I was bullied – at least in my mind it was bullying.  Upper classmen took it as their duty to harass freshman.  It was a right of passage…

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Drop to your knees……Boston needs you


And we are again faced with what appears to be an attack of some sort on our fellow americans.  Let’s come together and pray – hands lifted high, and hearts wide open for those affected.

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God is Amazing – weird – but amazing. :)


Isn’t God so cool?  He works in such weird ways – but when we see the end result – it’s so cool! The coolest part is this; what we think is the end result might just be the beginning!

About 6 weeks ago I lost a job I held for nearly 7 years. At the time it just didn’t make sense.  I was hurt because I felt like I had no value.  I was scared because I had lost my income and our insurance coverage. When I called my husband, I expected him to sound disappointed in me.  He didn’t.  He just spoke softly and said we would talk when he got home.  When he got home – he just hugged me. Blessing number 1 – being reminded what an amazing man God gave me to share my life with.

Then I called my parents.  I expected disappointment from them too. There wasn’t any.  Just words of encouragement and empathy. Blessing number 2 – being reminded what wonderful people raised me and how blessed I am that they are still in my life.  The blessings just started snowballing.

Over the last 6 weeks I have applied for nearly 20 jobs.  I have never had such a difficult time finding work.  I have had several interviews, but for whatever reason, no offers.  God has used this time to show me how prevalent He is in my life.  I have had time to rest.  I have had opportunities to earn little bits of income here and there. These little bits of income have been just what we needed. I have had time to start my blogs, which is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. The best part…..we have extra money.  How does that happen?  Our income is nearly $1000 less than it was, yet we have more than we need.  I am happier than I have been in a long time, and my friends and family have made the same observation.

How DOES that happen?  The better question is WHY?  It’s because God promised us He would be faithful when we ask Him.  All He asks of us is to be faithful in return.  Admittedly, it’s not always easy being faithful.  When you don’t know where your next house payment is coming from, yet you still place that tithe check in the plate on Sunday morning…it’s really hard.  But He honors that.  Time and time again I have seen it. I have received checks in the mail for insurance dividends that I didn’t know existed.  I even was invited to participate in an interview on parenting and was paid $60 for that! sunset 001

God is truly amazing.  He has a sense of humor and can be a little weird.  But hey so can I! I guess maybe I’m more like Him than I thought.  My hope is to become more like Him everyday.

Friends – there is always ALWAYS a blessing to be found.  Just believe it’s there and you will find it. Philippians 1:6 says this; Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  

Cling to that promise.  He has so much more in store for us than we could ever imagine.  He is God afterall. :)

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When you hit rock bottom – remember Jesus IS the rock.

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Beloved – The Last Supper


An incredible parallel of The Last Supper and a proposal.

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How to keep the faith…..


This is one the those days.  You know the ones.  You simply go through the motions.  You do what you have to do because life does not stop just because we do. And because God does feed the birds, put he does not place it in the nest for them; I will keep moving forward.  It will all make sense eventually right? God never said life would be easy, but He did say He would be with us every step of the way.

So Lord – I admit right where I am – on this platform seen by numbers unknown – I need you.  I need you to not only give me strength, but BE my strength.  Help me to keep remembering that you have never abandoned me, and you never will.

I may not know where our next house payment is coming from.  But You do – and I will trust you.praying_hands

Matthew 6: 25-34

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Dear readers – when have you felt discouraged?  What have you done to maintain your faith?  Please share.

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Originally posted on The Proverbs 22:6 Parent:

….And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. ~Mark 4:1-8 (paraphrased)

There is so much we can pull from this scripture that applies to parenting. Let’s take it apart.

1. As he sowed……  We sow seed into our children every minute of every day.  We do it with our words, and more so with our actions.  The times we slip could very well be the seeds that germinate the quickest; but the times we nurture the love and grace of Jesus Christ will be the seeds that grow into life long treasures.

2. Some seed fell…

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Sowing seeds……


Sowing seeds…….

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The reason why we struggle….or at least a reason that makes sense.


It was my 19th birthday when they wheeled my mom into the operating room.  Just a couple weeks earlier she had discovered a lump in her breast tissue.  Although her doctor had determined it was benign, she elected to have it removed and analyzed.

It was very early in the morning.  Dad and I sipped coffee as we waited to hear how the operation went. We were so anxious – we didn’t sit.  We stood outside the door and waited.  As we were waiting – our pastor arrived.  We visited for a bit and he prayed with us.  When the double doors swung open, I couldn’t quite read the look on his face.  Or maybe I didn’t want to read it.  The biopsy had been misread, and the lump was malignant. My mom…mommy….friend……confidant.  She was sick….really sick.

The tears started falling. The headache set in. The numbness set in.  My mom has cancer.  I had
to keep repeating it.  It was one of those times when you can’t move, can’t speak.  Breath – that’s it. That’s all I could muster.  Everything seemed to be in slow motion.

I remember looking at our pastor – his eyes were over flowing.  Our pastor’s wife was a dietitian at the hospital.  I remember going to her office and crying, telling her what had happened.  Together we called my employer to let them know I would not be at work that evening. Again – everything is moving in slow motion.

We were finally able to see her.  She was hooked up to all these wires, and tubes.  She was barely awake – still not fully aware of what had transpired.

In the days that followed mom gained a a full understanding for what was ahead of her.  We worked with her to mentally, physically, and emotionally support her through the process of treatment and healing.

When the day came to prescribe her treatment regimen, we expected to hear chemo/radiation therapy for at least the next 6 months.  What we heard was remarkable.  Mom’s tumor was decimals of a centimeter away from what would have required chemotherapy.  She would only require 6 months of radiation with routine follow ups.  She was elated.  She and I had the most memorable shopping trip of my life after that appointment.  I still remember what she said to me…”Angie I am so happy I just might buy you this entire store!”  ha!  Just what a teenager wants to hear right?!

The lesson I learned from all of this is one that I surprised myself with. My mom asked me one day “Why does this have to happen to me?” My answer was this; “God knows you can handle it. And He needs people to relate to those who aren’t as strong”. Great answer right!  I have no doubt that He put that answer on my heart that day.

I have never forgotten that answer.  I have used it many times both for myself and for others.

It’s true you know. He allows us to go through trials sometimes because He needs people that can say “Hey – I know how you feel because I have been where you are.”  Sometimes we may never know the full reasoning behind our trials, but this is always true…..God can and will use them for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose   Romans 8:28

There is always hope.  There is always light after the night. There is always ALWAYS a loving savior waiting for you to fall into His arms.

There’s a really good bible Study by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts.  The study helps us learn to see all that God has provided us with.  She challenges us with The Joy Dare and writing down 3 unexpected gifts each day and by the end of the year we have not only counted One Thousand Gifts, we have gained a new perspective.  I am doing it, and it is amazing. You can buy the book here: http://tiny.cc/opd7tw.

Sometimes all we can do is just breath – and that’s okay. Grace…God’s grace….will get  you through.

Be Strong - and have a laugh!

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Living Life Day by Day

A Barbadian writing words on life and looking towards God's perfect peace ... one day at a time.

kenfallon.net

Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God is with you every step you take.

Emmanuel

God with us

Simple Tom

Some say I was born high. Others say i'm just simple :)

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