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Make a Memory

DSC_7167By Kim Chaffin, The Midlife Domestic Goddess.

Originally written for the Whatever Girls Ministry.

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a while, but their hearts forever.”

–Author unknown

My children are adults and one thing I have learned over the years is that making memories doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Some of my best memories didn’t cost anything at all. They are moments in time, locked in my heart to hold on to forever.

This summer has been a very special time for my daughter and me. She is home from college and God has blessed me with the opportunity to live at the lake with her and work on my book while she works her summer job.

On one of her days off we had the most amazing day. It could not have been any more perfect. Other than the little bit of gas we used in the car, some money for a coffee and Gatorade, no elaborate expense was needed.

There were forest fires in the area and the firemen had cookies on their wish list. In the kitchen cupboards we found what we needed to make oatmeal cookies and even a package of muffin mix. The two of us baking together is quite funny. I am not exactly the best cook and my daughter somehow ended up dumping brown sugar into one of the kitchen drawers. We laughed while we baked. With our goodies in hand, we set out on a nice drive around the lake.

We grabbed some bottles of Gatorade for the firefighters and dropped all our stuff at a place called Autumn’s Loft. Autumn’s Loft was full of treasures and we wandered around the store sipping our yummy coffee drinks.

As we drove home my daughter yelled, “Pull Over!” and we waded into the river. When we got to the cabin I got the crazy idea to jump into the lake in my clothes. I ran down the dock fully dressed and when my daughter saw me, she yelled, “You won’t beat me!” Off the dock we went in our clothes. The people in kayaks must have thought we had lost it as we went down the slide in our clothes rather than our swimsuits. Oh how we laughed as we swam around!

Side by side we sat on the porch that afternoon. She painted while I finished writing my book. To hit ‘save’ on Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.59.47 PMmy finished manuscript, with my daughter by my side was priceless. The day seemed to move slowly and we had time for some lawn golf, corn hole, and a walk with the dogs. Through out the day she would hug me and in those moments she was my little girl, not a 20-year-old woman, working a full-time job and leaving at the end of summer to continue her education.

Life moves so fast and we need to remember to slow down and make memories with our children. The bond of a mother and daughter is so important. She is no longer my little girl but she will always be my daughter. Looking back over these 20 years the memories that really stand out to me were the simple things, the ones that don’t cost much if anything at all.

What special memories are you making with your children? Take time to stop and play with your daughter (do this with your sons also). Be silly. Run off the dock in your clothes or have a picnic in your living room. Stop at a fruit stand along the road, grab a treat and sit in the shade while you enjoy it together. Let her choose the music in the car. Take turns reading out loud to one another, play a game or color together.

When I visited my daughter at college we spent a night coloring princess pictures. Hearing her tell me how pretty mine was made me smile. But most importantly talk to your daughter. If you don’t build a strong relationship with her when she is young, it will be harder to get her to talk with you when she is a teenager.

Make memories with her that will last a lifetime.

Thank you Lord for the moms who are reading this. Some of them may be struggling in their relationships with their daughters right now. Lord I pray that you will give every mom who reads this one special moment with her daughter(s) and with any sons she may have. Even in the middle of the struggles that they may be having, bless them. Father our children are the greatest gifts we could ask for and parenting them is one of the hardest responsibilities there is. Lord we look to you for wisdom and strength. Help us Lord to make special memories with our children. Help those who are struggling in their relationships with their children right now. Give them a sweet and special memory to hold onto and in those memories may healing be done.   Amen.

For more stories like posts like this check out the Whatever Girls 

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Never Lose Your Laughter

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My mom and I

Over the years I have had more than one person mention to me that they were surprised by how much fun I had for being a Christian. I guess I missed the memo that said once you have been saved you will never have fun again.

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My best friend

 

As I have grown in my walk with the Lord there have been some things I no longer take part in because they just don’t feel right to me anymore. My laughter and desire to have fun are something I cherish and I know God would never want me to give up. (The silly photos of myself, family and friends from my sons graduation party should be evidence of my desire to have lots of fun).

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My son and some of the guys from my “Dirt, Trucks and Faith” series.

While trying to type this post, my phone has been going crazy with text messages from a group of my friends. They are all believers, Christians who have not found the need to give up their sense of humor. The photos they sent me had me laughing so hard and that laughter blessed me after the very hard week I had been having.

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My husband and his best friend. Two of the funniest guys ever.

 

Sadly when I became first gave my life to the Lord I had another believer tell me that my sense of humor was not honoring to God. It was not that I was saying anything crude but I liked to have fun and I always seem to have a line for everything. Her words crushed me. I was new in my faith and I wanted to honor God so I began to shut down in the humor department. The feeling that I could no longer be funny and have fun made me wonder if I really wanted to be a part of this new life I had found. How could something that feels so good and so right mean I could no longer find joy in laughter?

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My wise friend who told me the my sense of humor and my laughter were gifts.

Thankfully someone who I knew and respected pulled me aside one day and asked me if I was okay. She said where is your joy? You have always been full of laughter and so much fun to be around. She told me that my sense of humor and quick wit was a gift. Apparently she felt my ability to make others laugh was important.   As I cried and shared with her what I had been told by another person she told me that God gave us laughter for a reason. She told me that God would never want me to give up my sense of humor.

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Having fun with some more of my friends

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My daughter and a couple of her friends that I love like they were me daughters also.

I hope you understand the importance of laughter and that just because you are a believer in Christ it doesn’t mean you have to give up all fun. God is a loving God, and I can’t help but think that our laughter must be music to his ears. He is more than just the God we call on in our hard times; he wants to share in our good times also. Laughter is good medicine and we all need to remember to use it. “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. 
And the other nations said, “What amazing things the
Lord has done for them”. Psalm 126:2 NLT  Go ahead and laugh a little. Better yet laugh a lot. Laugh until it hurts your stomach or until you cry. Life can be a lot easier with a good laugh and a joyful heart. Never loss your laughter.

 

Originally ran on Living Better 50 magazine.

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Childlike Faith

Do your kids take what you say literally? Ours have and we’ve had some great laughs over the years because of Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.34.03 PMit. Sometimes it was their limited understanding of who God was that brought us the best moments of laughter and some very important lessons. Our children are adults now and those lessons and the laughter they brought us will stay with us forever.

While flying with our very young children, we had one of the best laughs about God. My husband and son were sitting one row up and across the aisle from my daughter and me. To their right and directly in front of me was a priest. When our son was little, we tried to explain to him who God was, to the best of our ability. This was a few years before we really came to know God.

As the plane was taking off, my son very loudly said, “Dad, you told me that God was above the clouds so how come I can’t see Him?” I watched the priest in front of me shake with laughter. I was laughing along with him. My son had heard us say that God was in heaven. He asked where heaven was and we said, “up in the sky.” My little boy had held that piece of knowledge in his head and he was sure he was going to see God because the plane was now in the sky.

Let’s back up. I said that sometimes our kids’ limited understanding of who God is can bring us the best laughs. That is true but maybe their understanding of God is not really limited. Maybe it is our understanding that is limited.

My son believed there was a God. He believed God was in the sky because that is where we told him heaven was. He took what he knew to be true and believed it with his whole heart. He had faith and he expected to see God.

Shouldn’t we all have that kind of faith to expect to see the hand of God or at least feel God in every situation? Shouldn’t we have the kind of faith to believe that God is there even if we can’t see Him? Our son had never seen God but he knew He was there and he expected to see Him. He had childlike or uninhibited faith that had not been clouded by the world.

We had to explain to our little guy that even though we can’t see heaven with our eyes that it is still real. And even though he could not see God out the window of the plane, God was always with us.

As the years passed, our son still believed that to be true. One day he found himself in a spot where he had to overcome a fear. He pressed into God with that childlike, uninhibited faith. My husband cried as he told me the story of watching our son overcoming his fear on the ropes course by saying and believing, “All things are possible with Him.” He could not see God but he EXPECTED that God would hear him and he EXPECTED that God would be with him as he did the course. That day our son finished that ropes course knowing that God was helping him.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.30.25 PMI think as adults it is so easy to forget what childlike faith is and our prayers become limited to what we know to be true in the here and now. We forget to really “expect God to be God.” I think that children have a much clearer view of who God really is and I want to encourage you to take a look at God through the eyes of a child.   We should all want to have childlike, uninhibited faith that has not been clouded by this world.

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The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom, Episode 2

Welcome back to The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom.  As I said in Episode 1 I have done this series to show that what we see in the reality shows like, The Real Housewives of this city or that city, is not a reality to most women.  I am writing this series to show that there is a whole different reality in the everyday lives of women in this country and it is not at all like what the TV shows portray.  We are the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom. Fame is not our goal.  We want to glorify God in what we do.  We don’t care that our lives are not what the world and the networks see as worthy of TV time.

 “Two are better than one”

One of the greatest gifts God gives us is the gift of friendship.  If you are blessed to have one friend you are truly blessed!!!

Two are better than one, because when they have good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Both myself and my writing buddy Cassie of Cassie’s Corner are blessed to have good friends in our lives who can pick us up when we fall down. The laugh both with us and at us! They are there to be the arms of Christ when we need a hug and the voice of God when we need wisdom.

Krista is one of the best friends I have ever had.  She is a mother of 2, a wive of 19 years and one 72478_1613587227044_78921_nof the busiest sports moms I know. I met her when our girls were in Kindergarten and the first thing I saw in her was her servant’s heart.  She is also one of those people who always finds the positive in a bad situation. God has used her not only in the school where she has given countless hours of service but  she has also served in Children’s Ministry, The Food Bank, College Group, Youth Group, women’s bible study, and other outreaches. I asked her what her favorite scripture was she told me it was Philippians 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. It is that scripture that has carried Krista through some painful things one of those things is her health. Krista has both Factor V Leiden and Sjogren’s Syndrome.  Her body hurts and she never complains. She has been a rock in my life and thank God for her.

 255204_4465771452775_1756098272_n2 Tim 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart is favorite scripture of your next real housewife of God’s kingdom.  Nina (on the right) is a young mom of a sweet little boy who also has a heart for the Lord.  She has been married for 6 years and she has been the inspiration behind one of my other blog posts. Nina currently runs the children program at her church (one of the most important ministries there is). She is also a student and a stay at home mom. In her 20’s she served as a high school youth leader and God has also taken her on mission trips to Mexico.  Nina has a very sweet spirit and a great sense of humor which makes her a very fun woman to be around.

She can often be found with her friend Cassie of “Cassie’s Corner” who I am honored to have as a writer on my page.   They are two of the feistiest women of the Lord I know and I love this picture of them.  The saying a picture is worth a thousand words is so true. The two of them share a very special friendship and they are very powerful set of prayer warriors. Cassie blesses those who read my blog with a post each month. If you want to see some of Cassie’s wisdom go to  “Cassie’s Corner”.

I hope you give thanks for your friends, laugh with them until you cry, pray for them, listen to them, and never be afraid to tell them you need prayer yourself.

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare

Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man (woman) sharpens another.
A knife can not sharpen it’s self.  It takes iron to sharpen iron and a good friend can help you to be stronger and happier. Wisdom shared from one friend to another is much like the iron sharpening iron

 

Take a moment today and thank God for the women He has put in your life.  The women who have seen you at your worst and love you like they have only seen you at your best.  God has given us friendship so that we can hold each other up, so that we have someone to share our joys with and arms to hold us during our pain.

Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of the Real housewives of God’s Kingdom: “I will go where you send me” about 3 friends who were willing to move to new cities to plant 3 different churches.

To learn more about Cassie and I just click here: about us    Blessings:)

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Life is too short not to laugh at yourself

When God was handing out brains sometimes I think I must have heard trains and I missed mine. I have had some very stupid moments in my life and my Grandpa used to say you can’t be smart and beautiful on the same day. The other day I had a moment when I must have been the most beautiful woman in the world.

I am sharing this because I have learned to laugh at myself and I when we take ourselves to seriously we miss out on so much joy.

Let me set the scene…our last child has just left for college and now we have an open spot in the garage to park my husband’s mid-life crisis. He asks me if I can come and help him move stuff in the shed so he can pull his car to the garage. Being the good wife I am I headed straight out to help. My husband pulled the car over to the garage and just before he pulled in he unrolled the window and said, “Can you tell me if my BRAKE LIGHTS are working”? Again, being the good wife I am I say, “yes”. Now here is where I make a total fool out of myself. He asked me to look at his brake lights and I say, “okay step on the left one”. My husband says, “I am asking you to tell me if the brakes work”. I think he thought I was looking at the blinkers because I said something about the left one. He steps on the brakes and says, “are they working? I say, “the left one is, now step on the right one”.
My husband at this point gets out of the car and stares at me like I have no brain in my head. I then tell him that not all the lights on the right side are on could he please step on the right brake again so I can see. Very calmly my husband says, “Kim there is not a left or a right brake. There is just one brake pedal”.

Keeping a straight face he says to me you get in the car and push on the brake and let me look. I have completely lost it at this point. I am laughing hysterically when I realize what I have said and climb into the car. It is a manual transmission and I cannot believe I am going to admit this because I already am looking like I have no brain. I never told my husband this next embarrassing thing but now the truth to just how confused I was is going to come out. There were 3 pedals and I was laughing so hard I was not sure which one was the brake, so I stepped on all 3! For those 2 or 3 seconds I really had no clue which one was the brake.

Someone should have signed me up for a photo shoot because I must have been drop dead beautiful if what my grandfather used to say was true. I have been laughing at myself ever since then and thought I should give you a laugh too. Life is short, God is sweet, laughter is so healthy and this midlife domestic goddess is happy to laugh at herself. I hope you find humor in your life. I hope you laugh until you cry. God gave us laughter for a purpose so don’t ever forget to let your laughter flow.

For those of you who know me personally…. my brain is firing on all cylinders for now so you are safe to be on the streets when I am driving.

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