Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving!
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Ten Terrific Ways to Encourage a Grateful Heart
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If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of being around an entitled, discontent or ungrateful child (or adult for that matter), then you know the value of a thankful heart. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to inspire and encourage our family members to live a life of gratitude.


In a practical sense, how does a parent teach thankfulness? One of the most powerful ways we teach our kids is through our own example. Our children learn best when they see gratitude in action and hear it from our own lips. So let’s begin with ourselves and ask God to help us to choose gratitude over complaining every day.


Here are 10 ideas to spark and inspire a grateful heart for both you and your kids. These are simply suggestions, not another burdensome list. Live gratefully, and allow simple acts of thankfulness to permeate your every day life.


  1. Write down 5 things you are thankful for every morning.
  2. Send a thank you note, text or email to a friend or family member, telling them what you appreciate about them.
  3. Forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against and thank the Lord for His forgiveness of your sins through Jesus.
  4. Give a thank you gift to a waiter or staff person you see on a regular basis.
  5. Thank a member of the armed forces with a card or gift.
  6. Make a list of the things you can be thankful for in a challenge you are currently facing.
  7. Call your spouse during the day, just to say thank you.
  8. Create a space somewhere in the kitchen for everyone to write what they are grateful for.
  9. Play and sing praise and worship music throughout your day.
  10. Pray together as a family at night, thanking the Lord for His blessings.


Finally, here are a few verses you may want to post around your house or memorize together as a family:


 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17


Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.  Psalm 106:1


I hope you have a wonderful and joy-filled thanksgiving!

Healthy Mom Summit Starts today!
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As mothers, we all know how hard it is to achieve vibrant health while we’re busy balancing relationships, kids, taking care of a home, feeding hungry mouths and work!
As you strive to “do it all” we often loose track of taking care of ourselves. A million excuses can come as to why we don’t have time for ourselves. My friend Hannah Hepworth has invited me to speak at her event called the The Healthy Mom Summit: Simple, Powerful, Holistic Ways to Take Care of Yourself No Matter How Busy You Are. I’m incredibly excited because, along with that invitation, I was offered the chance to extend to you the opportunity to listen in.
If you’re searching for the secret to achieving vibrant health, naturally without a lot of fuss, this opportunity is for you!
And you don’t have to pay a dime to attend. (It’s completely FREE!)
Beginning November 7th, you’ll get exclusive access to an all expert panel to equip you with invaluable skills and strategies that will help you…

 How to use nutrition to boost your health and the health of your family.
 Strategies for managing stress like a pro.
 How your mindset, whether positive or negative, affects your whole family and what you can do to improve it!
 How to use herbs and oils to enhance your energy and balance your mood.
 Learn to stop putting yourself last so you can have enough to give to the people you love.
 And much more!

I’ll be speaking on the How to Be an Emotionally Healthy Mom.

All you have to do is reserve your “virtual seat” by going here:
Don’t pass up this opportunity to live a life health, energy and balance by gaining the knowledge given by 20+ experts!

If you are ready to finally achieve the health you deserve then I’ll “see” you at the Healthy Mom Summit. I can’t wait to listen in to all the experts with you!

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My education prepared me for practical things in life, such as how to find the square root of 256 or write an eight-page report on Rio de Janeiro.  But I don’t remember any classes preparing me for the challenges I would face in the biggest job of all:  parenting.  In her book Just Wait Until You Have Children of Your Own, Erma Bombeck shares her perspective on “parental education”:


“Why don’t you grow up?” If I said it to them once, I said it a million times.  Is it my imagination or have I spent a lifetime shutting refrigerator doors, emptying nose tissue from pants pockets before washing, writing checks for milk, picking up wet towels, and finding library books in the clothes hamper?

Mr. Matterling said, “Parenting is loving.” (What did he know?  He was my old Child Psychology teacher who didn’t have any children.  He only had twenty-two guppies and two catfish to clean the bowl.)  How I wish that for one day I could teach Mr. Matterling’s class.  How I would like to tell him it’s more than loving.  More than cleaning gravel.  More than eating the ones you don’t like.

Parenting is frustration that you have to see to believe.  Would I ever have imagined there would be whole days when I didn’t have time to comb my hair?  Mornings after a slumber party when I looked like Margaret Mead with a migraine?  Could I have ever comprehended that something so simple, so beautiful, and so uncomplicated as a child could drive you to shout, “We are a family and you’re part of this family and . . . you’re going to spend a Friday night with us having a good time if we have to chain you to the bed!”


Yes, parenting encompasses much more than love.  It also holds in its arms fear, anger, joy, disappointment, sorrow, and splendor.  There is no easy way to describe our job as mothers, much less prepare.  But one thing we know beyond a shadow of a doubt – while parenting is more than love – love is absolutely essential. As moms, we all want to raise our kids in a loving manner. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that motherhood is the toughest job we ever loved. In the midst of the challenges and stretching beyond what we think we can do, ultimately we go back to the fact that children are a gift from God, and we are blessed to be their mom.

There is no one else that can do what we can do or be who we can be for our kids. God has entrusted us with little lives to pour our hearts into and raise to be loving, emotionally healthy adults. Let us take on the challenge of motherhood with strength and dignity, joyfulness and laughter. Let us love well!


Children are a gift from the Lord;

they are a reward from him.

Psalm 127:3  NLT


Being the Mom You Meant to Be
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I used to be a fairly calm person until I had kids. Somewhere between “It’s a girl!” and potty training two toddlers, my cool and collected spirit seemed to evaporate into thin air. I hate to admit it, but at times I became the motherhood version of Godzilla. Yes, Momzilla was alive! Oh don’t get me wrong, I sincerely love my kids, but somehow motherhood was rattling me. What happened? Where did this latent anger come from and why was it spewing out of my mouth like a volcano? This is not the mom I meant to be.


Perhaps it was the toys everywhere or the continual laundry and changing of three hundred diapers a day. Maybe it was the fact that I was functioning on less than four hours of sleep, while trying to keep everyone fed, clothed and reasonably happy. I’m sure part of my tension had something to do with the fact that I could no longer come and go as I pleased. Even going to the grocery store to pick up a few items became a major ordeal.
Being a mom is a fast-track classroom to selflessness. In the Motherhood School of Hard Knocks, we are continually stretched and pulled beyond our comfort zone. This tension tends to cause a fair amount of agitation and irritability. Mix in female hormones, toddler tantrums and other typical daily life challenges and the monster in all of us can emerge.
When you were a little girl, how did you imagine yourself as a mom? What kind of picture did you have in your mind’s eye of how you would run your home and care for your family? I’m guessing you probably didn’t picture yourself yelling at your kids or feeling so frustrated you thought you would explode. The kind, gentle and relaxed “dream mom” we hoped to be didn’t play out exactly that way in reality. We dreamed of a home filled with love, but what we got was a home filled with real people and an overload of responsibilities.

Can our dream still come true? Let me rephrase the question in more realistic terms, “Can we create a home with more love and less anger?” Yes! In the next few weeks, I want to offer you a few survival tips to help you. Our first survival step leads us to deal with our own anger as moms. We must identify the roots of anger lurking within and examine ways to reduce angry outbursts, disarm underlying bitterness and guard our mouths from saying things that we ought not to say. All along we will ask God to gently teach us. You will find a free download here at to help you do a little self-evaluation.

I encourage you to fill it out this week, and join me next week as we examine wise ways to respond to our anger and to build a more loving environment in the home. For a more comprehensive look at mom’s anger, check out my book, Defuse, A Mom’s Survival Guide to More Love, Less Anger.

Read my blog about Happiness at:

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