Revive Me #27–Be Patient

Revive Me, Week 27– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Be Patient

We do not live in a patient world.  A few minutes in rush hour traffic, a long line at Walmart, or just waiting to get off a plane proves that most people do not appreciate delays or inconveniences.  Tempers flare and snarky comments fly!

A couple of days ago I witnessed a woman’s short fuse.  She couldn’t figure out how to use the security chip card reader at the store.  As she became flustered, she grew louder.  “Why do I have to enter my PIN again?!!!  I already did it once!!!”  Her cheeks turned red.  She pointed her finger and growled, “If this thing charges me twice…..When I get home, I’m going to check and see if I’ve been overcharged.  Then you’ll REALLY hear from me!”  When the transaction was finally complete, she yanked her card out of the machine and stormed off.  The next customer in line was asked, “How are you going today, sir?”  With an impassive face, he answered, “Fine.  You?”  He didn’t shake his head, raise his eyebrows, or ask, “What was that all about?”

We’re so used to petulant behavior that those types of transactions don’t surprise us or phase us anymore.

Patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”  I can appear patient on the outside while being impatient on the inside.  True patience is not getting peeved in the first place.

  • Do you handle delays, setbacks, and inconveniences graciously or grouchily?
  • Does your family witness your impatience?  What kind of example are you setting for them?
  • How do you treat those who move slower than you do?
  • Are you an eye roller?
  • Are you more patient with your own weaknesses than you are the weaknesses of others?

The world expects poor behavior in imperfect situations.  Let’s surprise them with a genuine smile, kind words, and grace.  Let’s be patient.

“Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools” (Ecc. 7:9).

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute” (Prov. 15:18).

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Study Biblical examples of those who were “patient when wronged” (2 Tim. 2:24).  How did they handle the difficult situation?  Why do you think they were able to do that?
  2.  Do a heart check.  Are you impatient?  What sets you off?  With whom do you act impatient?  Do you need to seek forgiveness?  How will you repent?
  3.  Spend more time with those who are patient and gentle and less time (if possible) with those who are quick to express dissatisfaction.
  4.  Be looking for the upcoming Bible-marking topic on patience at comefillyourcup.com.

Read it.  Memorize it. Live it.

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Revive Me #26-Consider How You’ll Be Remembered

Revive Me, Week 26-  A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

(*We are halfway through the year!  I hope you are feeling strengthened in your faith as we grow together in the Lord!)

Consider How You’ll Be Remembered

Last night a remarkable Christian woman died in her sleep.  What made Neva Morgan remarkable?  Well, many things, but one thing in particular stands out for me, and that is her faithfulness.

Neva’s husband wasn’t a Christian but she wanted to make sure her children were brought up in the Lord.  That meant that she alone was responsible for taking her children to Bible class and worship.  Neva didn’t drive so she had to ask someone each week to pick them all up.  She knew this was a huge inconvenience for others and many times considered staying home to avoid the hassle.  It also wasn’t easy trying to make her children behave in worship since she didn’t have her husband with her to help.  A lesser woman would’ve allowed these challenges to weaken her resolve, but Neva was determined to put God first no matter the cost.  She knew her husband needed to see how important her faith was, that obedience to her Lord trumped everything else.

Neva’s perseverance paid off.  Several years later her husband obeyed the gospel!  Imagine her joy!  What if she had given in to the temptation to stay home from worship?  What if she had compromised in order to keep the peace?  Where would her children be today?  Would her husband have ever become a Christian?

Neva experienced other challenges in her life.  She faced them with the strength of Christ (Phil. 4:13).

As a result of Neva’s faithfulness, she has left a beautiful legacy.  Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will always have her story as an example of obedience and trust.  Her perseverance molded her into a sweet soul who was easy to love. Those who knew her wanted to be like her.  I know I did.

What kind of legacy are you building?  Neva’s life reminds me to be heaven-minded (Col. 3:1,2).  When I die, I want to be remembered for my faithfulness to Christ no matter what.  I want my children to be able to view my life as one that glorified God.  I want them to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am resting from my labors in the bosom of my Lord.

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them” (Rev. 14:13).

Suggestions for the Week:

1.  Is anything challenging your faithfulness?  Determine that no inconvenience, discomfort, or hard thing will keep you from putting God first.

2.  Study the life of one who persevered through difficult times (like Job, Abraham, Hannah, or Paul).  Perhaps use this as the topic for your family devotionals.

3.  Consider your weekly schedule.  In what ways are you showing your children/ grandchildren that you are a faithful child of God?

4.  Write down how you think you will be remembered.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Neva is in the middle with her daughter-in-law on the right.

Revive Me #23– Be Amazed

Revive Me, Week 23– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Be Amazed

It’s Monday and perhaps your to-do list is a long one.   Or you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or overburdened.  Perhaps you picked up a few extra cares recently.  Or maybe you just don’t feel that great.  Sometimes life lacks luster.  If you didn’t greet this new day feely sunny and inspired, remember this one truth:  Our God is an awesome God.

“Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”

(Psalm 147:5)

This one verse alone invigorates me.  When I feel inadequate, I need to remember that our God is great.  When I feel drained, I must remember to lean on God’s abundant strength.  Basically, I need to stop focusing on myself and start focusing on my God.  Then I will be amazed!

I am amazed when I look to God because:

  • He has done wonderful things- Psalm 98:1
  • He alone works wonders- Psalm 72:18
  • His doings are marvelous- Psalm 118:23
  • His plans are carried out with perfect faithfulness- Isaiah 25:1

I see God’s wonderful, marvelous things in creation, in His providence, and in His love and grace.  When I remember to look for these things, I am amazed.

When men looked to the Son of God, they were amazed.  He amazed a governor (Matt. 27:14), crowds (Matt. 7:28,29), the Pharisees (Matt. 22:22), the disciples (Mark 10:24), and many others.  They heard what Jesus said and saw what He did.  I need to remember to stay in the Word to be amazed again by what my Lord said and did.

“On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.”

(Psalm 145:5)

You can be amazed today.  You woke up.  Your great God loves you.  You have purpose.  You can look for opportunities to glorify God.  You are surrounded by people who need to know God so they, too, can be amazed.

Suggestions for the week:

  1.  Look up the Scriptures listed above about people being amazed by Jesus.  Note what specific thing He said or did that had them in awe.  Is it something you can be in awe of now?
  2.  Be aware of God’s greatness.  Look around you.  What do you see?  Nature?  Family?  A home to take care of?  Neighbors?  Your Bible?
  3.  Meditate this week on verses that have to do with the marvelous things of God.
  4.  Sing about it.  “I Stand Amazed,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Our God is an Awesome God,” and “We Bow Down” are some good ones.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #17–Think About Your Baptism

Revive Me, Week #17– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Think About Your Baptism

In ladies’ Bible class last week, Deanna Brant taught us about the covenant relationship we have with God.  As she discussed the fact that those who are in this relationship will strive to be holy and a light to the nations, she suggested a way to make that easier.  She said, “Think about your baptism…a lot.”  What wisdom!

Remember what happened at the moment of your baptism:

  • Your life became new (Rom. 6:4).
  • You were saved (1 Pet. 3:21).
  • Every spiritual blessing is found in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and you gained access to those blessings when you put on Christ (Gal. 3:27).
  • You also became an “heir according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).
  • You “received the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
  • You gained access to the Father (Eph. 2:13,18).
  • You became a “member of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).
  • Every one of your sins was washed away (Acts 22:16).

This is just a sampling of the beautiful blessings that resulted from your baptism.  The list could be much longer!  Your baptism truly was the greatest and most important moment of your life.

I admit that I usually only recall the day of my baptism when someone else is being baptized.  Deanna made me realize that thinking about it more often could make a difference in my Christian walk.  Consider what thinking about your baptism each day can do for you:

  • You are more likely to “go on your way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).
  • You will desire to sin less and be more holy.
  • If it’s on your heart, you will share it with others.
  • You will maintain an attitude of gratitude.
  • You will want to grow ever closer to your Father.

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Spend a few minutes thinking back to the day of your baptism.  Write down why you did it and how you felt.  If you did that already when you were baptized, read it.
  2. Contact the person who led you to Christ and thank them.
  3. Determine to begin each new day thinking about the moment you became a child of God.
  4. Thank God for all the blessings that came from your baptism.  Be mindful of them each day.
  5. Be on the lookout for the newest Bible-marking topic at Come Fill Your Cup which will be “What Baptism Does.”

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*Brett Petrillo baptizing Deanna Philippus for the remission of her sins!

Revive Me #14- Speak Tenderly

Revive Me, Week 14– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Speak Tenderly

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21).

Death speech:

  • Attacking instead of defending a position with dignity— We are to “be ready to give a defense” (1 Pet. 3:15).  We are to be passionate about the Truth (Jude 3).  But in that passionate defense, we need to make sure we are not neglecting to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
  • Overusing sarcasm– When speaking to or about others, sarcasm can smack of arrogance.  Just because we’re quick-witted enough to use it doesn’t mean we should.  Let’s not be snarkastic (to borrow my husband’s word) when a gentle answer would be more powerful (Prov. 15:1).
  • Making disparaging remarks— When someone is struggling with personal battles, the last thing they need to hear when they show up for worship is, “What?  You don’t own a tie?”  We assume that others are strong enough to bear whatever we dish out but we don’t always know their spiritual state.  Our innocent but thoughtless remarks could cause someone to leave feeling beat down instead of built up.
  • Speaking in exasperation— Since we spend the most time with our families, we can have more moments of irritation and annoyance with them.  Let’s be sure to cherish those relationships by interacting with patience and respect.

If a loved one is the one being discouraged by the words of another, we feel very protective and indignant. We wonder why someone didn’t think before they spoke, why they thought it was okay to be so free with their careless opinion.  We need to feel that same level of protection toward everyone.  We will be held accountable for what we say/ post to or about others (Matt. 12:36).

Life Speech:

  • Building others up— It doesn’t take much effort but oh what good can be done by thoughtful words (1 Thess. 5:11)!
  • Commending/ praising/ blessing others– This is one way we can look to the interests of others (Phil. 2:3,4)
  • Loving others— We’re commanded to love one another (1 John 4:7,8) so why shouldn’t we tell each other we do?
  • Sharing the good news– The best way to give life is to tell about the One who is Life (John 14:6).
  • Expressing gratitude— I don’t think it can be overdone.
  • Encouraging others– Many are quietly serving.  We can encourage them by telling them they make a difference.

To speak tenderly means to speak lovingly and gently.  Let’s determine to speak tenderly in every interaction.  We represent Christ.  Our life-giving words will clearly demonstrate that.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

(Eph. 4:29-32)

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.   Use the power of your tongue this week to encourage:
  • Face to face– Make it your mission to encourage at least 15 different people
  • Social media– 10 posts that will encourage the church as a whole or a specific person
  • Email– send to 5 different people pointing out their strengths
  • Traditional mail– Write to 3 different people thanking them for their service
  • Phone– Call a shut-in to brighten their day

2.  When communicating in whatever form, remember the words of  Thumper.

3.  Focus your personal Bible study this week on the power of the tongue.

4.  Ask God to help you see when you are being thoughtless or careless with remarks.

Study it. Memorize it. Live it.

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Revive Me #4, Know Your Father Better

Revive Me, Week Four–A Year of Drawing Closer to Our Lord

Know Your Father Better

I own a book called “Staying Close–Stopping the Natural Drift Toward Isolation.”  It’s about the fact that couples can drift apart without realizing it.  Because of busy schedules, new interests, etc., couples need to put effort into staying close, or they may wake up one day wondering how they turned into strangers.

When it comes to your relationship with God, there may be times when it feels like He is a stranger.  Perhaps He feels far away or removed from your life.  It may seem hard to feel close to a God you can’t “see.”  Or perhaps your communication with Him has been stagnant.  Your prayers have become a matter of routine.  You no longer crave His Word.

“Staying Close” encourages couples to intentionally renew their acquaintance with each other on a regular basis.  Surely it’s a good idea for Christians to intentionally renew their acquaintance with the Father.  God never changes (Mal. 3:6), but we do.  God never moves away from us, but we can drift away from Him (Psa. 145:18,19; Heb. 2:1).

Spend some time this week getting to know your Father better.  You may have known Him for most of your life, but focusing on Who He is will remind you why you love Him.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”  (James 4:8).

Suggestions for the week:

  • Read the following passages and write down what you learn about your Father (from a-z!):

a.  Exodus 34:5,6-

b.  Numbers 23:19-

c.  Deut. 3:24-

d.  Deut. 4:24-

e.  Deut. 4:31-

f.  Deut. 10:17-

g.  Deut. 33:27-

h.  Josh. 1:9-

i.  2 Sam. 22:32,33-

j.  2 Chron. 30:9-

k.  Psa. 62:7,8-

l.  Psa. 68:19,20-

m.  Psa. 84:11,12-

n.  Psa. 103-

o.  Psa. 116:5-

p.  Isa. 40:28-

q. Micah 7:18,19-

r.  Matt. 19:26-

s.  Acts 10:34-

t.  1 Cor. 1:9-

u.  1 Cor. 10:13-

v.  1 Cor. 14:33-

w. 1 Pet. 1:15

x.  2 Pet. 3:9-

y.  1 John 1:5-

z.  1 John 4:7-9-

  • Pray to your Father about knowing Him better and allowing that knowledge to shape your relationship with Him.

Pray it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me, Week Three

Revive Me–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord, Week Three

Choose Your Verse of the Year

Sometimes companies and bloggers spend time thinking of what will be their “word of the year”–a word they will focus on each day of the new year.  It could be a word that describes a goal they’re trying to reach or an area in which they’d like to improve.  Some bloggers have come up with words like “flexible,” “inspire,” or “freedom.”  I think this is a great idea, and I think it’d be even better to come up with a verse of the year.  Instead of coming up with a word, what could be more motivating than utilizing the Word?

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

(2 Tim. 3:14-17)

Spend some time thinking about your own personal verse of the year.  Here are some questions to consider as you contemplate which verse would be best for you:

  • Is there an area in which you continue to struggle (like complaining or purity)?
  • Is there a spiritual goal you’re trying to reach (like deeper Bible study or praying 30 minutes a day)?
  • Is there a verse that especially touches you?
  • Is there a command you find difficult to obey (like evangelism or loving your enemy)?
  • Is there a person in the Bible whom you’d like to emulate (like Abraham, Hannah, or Joseph)?
  • Is there a character trait you need to refine (like patience or honesty)?

If you know what you’d like to focus on but are having a hard time coming up with just the right verse, let me know and maybe we can come up with something together (or ask someone who knows you well).  After you decide which Scripture will be your personal verse of the year, look for ways to make it easier to remember.

Suggestions for this week:

  1.  Pray the verse.  Go to God about your desires about the verse you’ll be focusing on this year.
  2. Share the challenge.  Ask your spouse or a dear friend to do this with you.  You can encourage each other, remind each other, and check up on each other.
  3. Create a wordle (word cloud) out of your verse and hang it in a prominent place.  You can generate one here.
  4. Memorize your verse.  Say it several times a day and look for ways to slip it into your conversations.
  5. Study your verse.  Break it down word by word.  Write down as many observations about it as you can.

Pray it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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One Simple Way to Find Balance

BALANCE– an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady; a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions

As I consider the various areas of my life as a Christian woman, I know I need to keep growing in all aspects (Eph. 4:15).  I need to nurture my relationship with God.  I need to take care of myself physically.  I need to work at being a better wife and mother.  I need to look for ways to reach the lost, help the needy, and encourage others.

Sometimes it’s a real challenge for me to feel “upright and steady” and to keep everything “in the correct proportions.”  I’ll do great at exercising and eating right but find myself neglecting personal Bible study.  I’ll put more concerted effort into my marriage, and then realize it’s been way too long since I’ve had someone in my home or invited someone to worship.   It’s like I forget certain areas while I’m focusing on other ones.

It could be that’s just how my mind works.  I have to write things down to remind myself to do them.  When it comes to finding balance in my Christian walk, I finally came up with the kind of list that actually works for me.  It’s all on one sheet, it’s easy, and it reminds me to “grow in all aspects.”

I’ve hesitated to share this list because I don’t want to give the impression that Christianity is a checklist of good deeds, and as long as I can check everything off my list, I can feel good about myself.  Truly, that’s not what this is about.  Christianity is putting God’s will first and allowing it to affect every area of my life.  But we are commanded to be soul-winners (Mark 16:15), to be benevolent (Matt. 25:34-46), to show hospitality (Rom. 12:13), and to encourage others (Heb. 10:24,25).  It just helps me personally to have a visual reminder of those areas so I can think about ways to live them out each day.

About the list:

  • The first half focuses on daily communication with the Father (Bible study and prayer).
  • The next section focuses on physical health.  I put tally marks down for each glass of water I drink and list the type of exercise I did.  At first I tried to include a space for a food journal, but a.) it took too long to record everything I ate (ha!), and b.) I find that if I’m exercising and drinking plenty of water each day, I end up eating better anyway.
  • Then there’s a place to list the three most prioritized things that need accomplished that day.
  • The final section is really what makes this list work for me.  It simply lists benevolence, hospitality, soul-winning, and encouragement.  It reminds me to do something that falls under one of those categories, and then I’ll write down next to it what I did (like sending a card, making a call or visit, having a family over, putting tracts in the car for distribution opportunities, etc.).  Because one of those areas comes more naturally to me than the others, this section also allows me to see when I’ve been neglecting the ones that push me out of my comfort zone.

To make it a little more fun and feminine, I printed the list off on a variety of pretty papers.  I can choose whichever print strikes my fancy each day.

You might find this list helpful, too (see below).  It’s plain and simple, mainly because I don’t know how to make it look cool and modern.  But you’re more than welcome to use it, and if you know how to make it more appealing, more efficient, or more practical, then please share!

Finding Balance List

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Here is a revised list that was sent to me by a reader.  She gave me permission to share it here.  Thank you, Amy Ellis, for the cute and cool version!

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*This post can also be found at ImageProxy.mvc

When Loved Ones Fall Away, Part 2

If you’ve had a loved one turn away from God, you may have asked, “HOW?”

  • How do I know what to say?
  • How do I keep from being led by my emotions?
  • How can I make sure my own faith stays strong?

Thankfully, the answers to our questions can be found in God’s faithful Word.  I have a book coming out in February (Lord willing) that deals with what to do when loved ones fall away.  Each week in December I’ll be sharing some excerpts from the book.

From chapter one– KEEP YOUR FAITH IN GOD

God’s love is nothing like man’s imperfect love.  God’s love is perfect and everlasting.  When things are going well, we are secure in that knowledge.  But sometimes when our hearts are hurting, we forget the amazing depth and enduring nature of God’s love.  Could it be Satan whispers doubts in our mind about God’s love?  Like Mrs. Job advising her husband to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9), Satan’s lies begin with God to get us to turn away from Him.  When he tempted Eve, Satan mentioned God’s name three times (Genesis 3:1-5)!  To keep ourselves from ever believing Satan’s lies about God, we need to continually reacquaint ourselves with the love of God.  The Word is filled with the truth about God’s love.  Study it often so its voice will be louder than Satan’s.

From chapter four– SEEK GUIDANCE FROM GOD’S WORD

Emotions, both positive and negative, are powerful, and certainly our emotions are involved when a loved one falls away.  Our society places an emphasis on letting personal emotions guide important decisions.  “I have to follow my heart.”  “Do what feels right to you.”  The world’s mantra is that while rules are good, ultimately one should live by what feels right to them.  But feelings can be an unreliable and unsafe guide. “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9).  When Saul persecuted Christians, he wasn’t trying to be wicked.  He thought he was doing the right thing.  He was following his heart.  He didn’t realize his actions were contrary to God’s will.  He said, “Indeed, I myself thought…” (Acts 26:9).  He was convicted by his feelings.  His conscience never once made him question his actions (Acts 23:1).  Even good people make huge mistakes when allowing their feelings to guide them.  It wasn’t until Saul encountered Christ that he learned to “speak the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25).  Wise Solomon sums it all up by saying, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).  When a loved one falls away, we must be aware of the danger of being led by our feelings.  It can happen without us even realizing it.  The way to safeguard against that is to stay in the Word.  “Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, that I may not be ashamed” (Psalm 119:80). 

Next week’s excerpts will deal with the subjects of prayer and guilt.  I’d love to hear from you…Have you had a loved one fall away?  Have you had to make sure your emotional response stays in line with God’s Word?  What have you done to strengthen your own faith?

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Meet Alicia Bookout! (a Christian woman interview & recipe)

She’s young, beautiful, warm, and fun-loving.  Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy this interview with Alicia Bookout, a sweet preacher’s wife and mother.

Kathy:  Hi, Alicia!  Please tell us a little about yourself.

Alicia:  “Garrett and I met for the first time on January 28, 2006 at a get-together for the freshman at the Bear Valley Institute of Denver. He had just moved from TX. He asked some people about me, but was told I was younger than I actually was, so didn’t pursue.  He later learned my real age (whew!) and a year later we fell hard for each other. We just celebrated 6 years of happy marriage!

Right after marriage we were given the excellent opportunity for Garrett to work as the Intern for Bear Valley church of Christ for two years. Our “mentors” (as we like to call them) were some people named Neal and Kathy Pollard. 😉 Since 2010 we have lived in Clovis, NM where Garrett is the pulpit Minister for the 16th and Pile church of Christ.

I’m blessed to get to stay at home with our two wonderful, fun and energetic kids, Emma (4 yrs) and Wesley (2 yrs).” 

Kathy:  You write for KatharosNOW.  What’s that all about?

Alicia:  “It is a blog aimed to encourage teenage girls to remain pure and clean (katharos) in this world. My sister-in-law started it a couple of years ago. Several different Christian women and young ladies from around the country write for it. I think it is a great resource for young ladies today.”

Kathy:  Sounds wonderful!  I know many will enjoy checking out http://katharosnow.com/

You fill many roles. Many young mothers struggle with feeling like they don’t have enough time to accomplish everything. What advice would you give them?

Alicia:  “Pray and drink lots of coffee! I still struggle with this problem myself. One thing that has really helped is making daily lists. Especially on days that I feel overwhelmed. I will list at the top things that I absolutely have to get done that day and then add extras. If I get to the extra part of the list, that is great, if not, I really try to not lie in bed and stress about it. So many young moms (myself included) can run themselves ragged trying to make everything perfect. Some days it will just not be that way and that is ok. As long as you are taking care of your biggest jobs God has given you (hubby and children) then you are doing good. I would suggest though to NEVER allow your alone/quiet time with God to go on the “extras” part of your list. That has to be a priority daily or it will lead to more stressed and unaccomplished feelings (learned from experience).” 

Kathy:  What’s your favorite company meal?

Alicia:  “Crockpot Shredded Italian Beef Sandwiches! It’s easy, can feed an army and something I grew up with so it always reminds me of home. I usually prepare Velveeta cheese dip to go along side so that you can smother your sandwich with it if you want. Needless to say, this is not a dish for those counting calories.”

Italian Beef Sandwiches

  • 1 sirloin tip roast, rump roast, etc. (pork works good, too…cheaper!)
  • 1 pkg. dry Italian Dressing (about 1 per 1 1/2 lbs of meat)
  • one can of Beef Broth

Put in Crockpot on low for 8ish hours (depends on how many pounds of meat you use). Shred and put on rolls!

Kathy:  Would you mind sharing another favorite recipe with us? 

Alicia:  “I have too many favorite recipes so this question was one of the hardest to answer. Chocolate Éclair Cake kept coming to mind though. So easy to make and I could eat the entire pan if I’m not careful.

  • 1 Box Graham Crackers
  • 1 big box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
  • 1 tub Chocolate Frosting 

Make Pudding according to directions and mix the cool whip into the pudding. In a 9×13 dish layer graham crackers and top with pudding mixture. Make 3 layers ending with graham crackers as the top. Heat up your chocolate frosting and pour over the top of the graham crackers. Refrigerate for a couple hours and then gobble up!”

 Kathy:  As a busy mom of young children, how do you keep the spark alive in your marriage? 

Alicia:  “As newlyweds we were told a number of times “enjoy the romance before kids come along!”. Garrett and I were determined to not let our romance fizzle out once I got pregnant with our first. It definitely takes more work, but I truly believe that having kids has made us more in love and a stronger couple. 

 I would suggest DO NOT give up on your quiet time and dates! We love our kids to pieces but need our time together. We do this by making sure our kids have a strict bed time (8 pm in this house) so that we have nightly alone time. If you don’t have a babysitter for a date out on the town, one of our favorite things is in-home dates! After kids are in bed cook together, watch a movie, play a game, just get creative! Home dates can be cheaper, cozier, more fun and romantic than a night out.

Also, make sure even though most of your time is spent caring for the children, that you still let your hubby know that you think of him daily. Take time in your hectic day to flirt with him. Text messages, Facebook and phone calls are great ways for that. Get dressed up just for him occasionally. My sweet husband says my “mom outfits” (sweats, t-shirt with kid food and marker and pony tail) are cute, but I also know he doesn’t complain if I fix myself up.  Little things that show him you care are always a good thing.”

Kathy:  What is something about you that people might be surprised to know? 

Alicia:  “I was born in Okinawa, Japan and have lived in 9 different states. I was an “air force brat” growing up and loved the experience of seeing all sorts of new places and people!”

Kathy:  When I think of you, I think of someone who’s joyful, warm, and real. I’m sure you deal with your fair share of stress and problems, so what’s your secret to maintaining these admirable traits?

Alicia:  “I appreciate you saying that. I can definitely say I have not dealt with stress like I should at times and have to work on it a lot. My new favorite thing to do when I am feeling especially stressed, upset or anxious is to do a word search in scriptures. I use my bible program online (concordance works great too) and look up words like “comfort”, “worry” and “joy”. I will read most of the scriptures that pop up. Some of my favorites I end up reading a couple times throughout the day and even writing them out on sticky notes and putting them on my walls as reminders. It is amazing how much better I feel and how my attitude changes after I do this.” 

Kathy:  Thank you, Alicia!  It’s been a real pleasure ‘chatting’ with you, and I appreciate your beautiful insight and wisdom.  May God bless you and your sweet family as you shine for Him!

Alicia & her husband Garrett