Marriage and Family, motherhood, Reflection

Nine Fruits ~ Part Eight: Gentleness

So precious is the gift of gentleness.

Baby Sister July 2006

{This is a picture of my eldest son holding his brand new baby sister, way back in July 2006.}

I believe that God holds us closely in His arms like this.

When we are scared. When we are lonely. When we are hurting.

Whenever we are vulnerable, we crave gentleness. We want someone to come alongside us and show us love through kindness, gentleness, calmness, and assurance that it will all be okay.

No wonder that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is gentleness. Who would want a Spirit of harshness? I think of how Jesus is the picture of the Gentle Shepherd. He is gently leading his sheep into the fold. I love that image. I will never want to forget that I am God’s child, and that He is gently leading me by His hand… at all times.

As I go about each day, I am learning to practice gentleness. The book of Proverbs says that, “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” It is like putting water on a fire. I try very hard to always be gentle and kind. It’s definitely harder on some days to do this, especially when my kids are not getting Mommy’s hints!! Sometimes, I have to count to TEN and calm down before I answer. I want to try and answer with gentleness as much as possible.

It’s a beautiful thing to display or reflect gentleness. We live in such a harsh world today. So many people are running around, and they are hurt. They may not intentionally hurt others, but they will. It’s a part of human nature. We are wired to do the wrong thing before we learn to do the right thing. I have to constantly remind myself, my children, and anyone else that is willing to listen, that we have to be intentionally loving and caring toward others.

Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

I hope that as we go about our week, and the approaching Halloween festivities, that we will be kind to the strangers, friends, family members, and neighbors we encounter.

Gentleness is a light in a dark world. Go SHINE brightly!!

Manhood, Marriage and Family

DAD 101

From Father… to Dad

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Anyone can be a Father, but it takes a special person to be a Dad.” Well, I find it to be so true. There are so many men out there who are fathers, but there are precious few who can honestly win the Best Dad contest.

I guess I am a little biased since I am married to one of the best dads I know. He has fathered four amazing children, and he has spent the past 18 years investing every bit of free time into spending time with them. If you know my family on a personal level, you can vouch for me that I am telling the truth.

I have always told my hubby that he should write a book on being a Dad. Of course, there are some good books out there already. The problem is this: most men do not like to read books. Sure, they’ll read articles on the internet, or quick messages on the tweet board, but rarely do most grown men take the time to read a novel.

The Challenge for You, Dad…

May I make a recommendation? If you happen to stumble across this post (and you are a father), please pick up a good non-fiction book on fatherhood. I promise you there are good ones out there. I have a couple in mind that I will post at the end in case you don’t know where to start your research. I honestly believe that if a man wants to be a good father, he will invest time in his children. But, if a man wants to be a great father, he needs to invest time in himself. Now, before you jump to any conclusions, I’m talking about self-improvement or self-efficacy investment. Think of reading these novels as an inexpensive life coaching session – one that will reap unlimited amounts of growth in your relationship with your kids.

Some Great Resources:

Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz

Boy’s Passage Man’s Journey by Brian D. Molitor

Bringing up Boys by Dr. James Dobson

Genesis of a Legacy by Ken Ham and Steve Ham

Midlife Manual for Men by Stephen Arterburn and John Shore

The Man God Uses by Henry and Tom Blackaby

Happy Father’s Day 2014!  You are special!

Be the Light to your children in this dark world!

Marriage and Family, Reflection, Woman

Every Day is Mother's Day!


The first time I heard those words from my mother-in-law, I was taken back for a second. I didn’t quite understand what she was talking about, and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day. I always thought that each holiday was special, and that Mothers around the world deserved to be recognized on a special day.

She was right.

As I have become an experienced mother I now realize the validity in her point. Every single day is special to me as a mother. I cherish every moment I can spend with my children, because time is so fleeting and they grow up so darn fast. I don’t necessarily want presents or flowers everyday, but I sure do love the hugs and kisses from my kiddos.

From this day forward…

Every mother who has birthed (or adopted) a child knows how special those first few moments of meeting your new baby can be. Nothing can explain that thrill of awe, of amazement, of sheer joy, when that baby is placed in your arms. It is also the scariest of moments for the first time mother to know that she has the most vulnerable creature in her arms, and all that mattered before motherhood now pales in comparison to loving and growing this child.

From the first breath of her baby a new mother will always be… his/her mother. The biggest and toughest job of the world just landed into a woman’s lap, and she selflessly accepts the position of mother. She doesn’t quite know what is in store for her as a mother. No one will be able to prepare her for countless nights of lost sleep due to crying, illness, hunger, and comfort. There isn’t a way to explain the daunting level of exhaustion, or worry, or sorrow  to this new mother, because no one wants to know the reality of raising a child in that way.

It is easy to share all of the good things that will happen with the position of motherhood. All of the kisses, hugs, smiles, and immeasurable joy can be found in motherhood. Nary a day goes by that I don’t receive a word of kindness, a quick touch of compassion, or just plain reassurance of love from my children.

Moment by Moment

When my boys were babies I couldn’t wait until they were out of the “diapers and formula” stage. Oh, how I thought that season of parenting was so expensive! Now that they are teenagers, I really miss those cute baby days! I am learning now to take each day on a moment by moment basis.

It’s been almost one year since I said goodbye to my dear sweet mother. She was so precious to me, and I am missing her more and more as time goes by. Although I struggled with wanting to be ‘right’ when I knew I should listen to her, I realize now that she did the best job she could for me and my brother. I will always appreciate her love and time and commitment.

Not Perfect, but Passionate

My parenting style has always been on the pursuit of passionate motherhood. I want my children to know that I am passionate about loving them, training them, and “bringing them up in the way they should go.” As much as I’d like to be perfect, I fall short of that misconception every single time. As I take off my perfectionist hat, I do my best to embrace my passionate hat. I want to give 110%, no matter the cost.

Make Each Day Matter

As you continue this week and think about Sunday, Mother’s Day, remember one thing: Once a mother, always a mother. Each day matters to every mother. If you still have your mother, thank her each day for her love (if you can). She is doing and being her very best.




Education, Marriage and Family

Real "Face" Time

mattncadieBeautiful Children –

Gifts and Blessings from God

Yes, these two belong to me.

My oldest and my youngest.

I am such a proud mama.

It occurred to me the other day how much time we spend on our electronic devices.  We are in the same room. Yet separate. In our own little worlds.

We are spending time chatting, but not with our mouths. We are using the technology that promises to bring us together.

To reconnect.

The house it too quiet.

Face to Face

My kids know that I enjoy spending teachable moments with them. We sit around the table and have real conversations.

A lot. Face to face.

Even if it seems boring, I want them to know that I am here for them.

Once a Mom… Always a Teacher

Never forget that if you are a mom, you are also a teacher. You are your child’s first teacher. You taught them how to walk, to speak, to eat, to obey, to listen. You may not be certified to teach a classroom, but you were chosen to be his/her mom.

Take the time to unplug, to read a book, to color a picture together, to complete a puzzle, or to go for a bike ride or walk.

The investment of real face to face time is much more valuable than any electronic device, more than any classroom.

This is my reminder.

Someday soon my oldest will be going off to college. It seemed like yesterday I was walking with him to the park everyday, pushing him on the swings, wiping off his boo-boos, singing him night-night songs while I tucked him into bed.

He remembers those moments of time spent with him. He appreciates the fact that his dad and I would spend face to face time with him. On purpose. For a purpose. Now, he is truly grateful.

My little girl needs that same amount of attention. Not negative attention, but just… attention. I have to fight against the tide of technology, though, but it can be done. I will win this battle for her attention. I want her to know I was here for her.

In person. Not on the other side of the chat screen or instant message.

Education, Faith, Health, Marriage and Family, motherhood

Four Decades of Signficance

Today, June, 24, 2012, I have reached a huge milestone in my life. It is the day that some people will say I am now “over the hill.” For me, it is the most significant day of reflection, gratitude, and peace I have embraced.

It is my 40th birthday.

As I look back on my life these past 40 years, I can see so many things that have brought to where I am today. Take a small journey with me through each decade, won’t you?

1972 – 1982

From zero to ten, I was an ordinary little girl. From my mother’s perspective, I was her “dream come true.” Known by relatives as a ‘tahitian beauty’, I was vastly different in looks and personality than what was expected. I was painfully shy on the outside, yet strong-willed on the inside. I obeyed my parents at every command; and, I embraced a genuine love for God and for church at the age of 5. I was a good girl, and I was proud of it. I don’t have many memories of this decade, except for the few routine events that shaped my early years: going to school, watching Saturday morning cartoons, playing outside, going to the beach almost every Sunday afternoon, and going to churchy events so I could see my friends. I learned to play the piano in this decade, and most of my spare time was behind the keyboard. There weren’t any lavish family vacations (except to go see extended family), and I loved becoming a pen pal to anyone who would send me a reply by mail. Secretly, I longed for something more, but I wasn’t sure what that “something” was… not yet, anyway.

1982 – 1992

Ah, the decade of adolescence and growth into a young adult. Wow, these were turbulent years for me, as I can imagine that most young adults experience. But, the turbulence was silent, inward, and kept to a minimum on purpose. I wanted so badly to please my parents, please my friends, please God, well, please everyone! I did my best in school, but it wasn’t good enough for scholarships. I did my best in my friendships, and I manage to retain some kindred spirits. And, I always tried to please God, because I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. I hadn’t learned the difference yet between “right doing” and right being.” Yes, there is a difference.

I also discovered in this decade that love hurts. From losing a first love in a breakup, to having several close family members die, love does hurt. I didn’t quite learn yet that there was no one to blame for this hurt, but as the old saying goes, “time heals old wounds.”

Perhaps the greatest significance in this decade has been the experience of travel. I didn’t travel far, but I traveled enough to know that I didn’t want to stay in one spot for the rest of my life. From the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona, to the barrios of Ensenada, Mexico, and across the continent to countryside of North Carolina, I discovered a big world out there that held so many niches for a restless soul searching for that “something.” Still, my time had not come to fruition for contentedness.

1992 – 2002

The 20-somethings was a roller coaster ride of change, even more than my silent turbulent adolescent years. This decade brought upon so many life-altering events, but each one has its own place for significance. From the death of my earthly father, to early marriage and motherhood, and finally an uproot from California to Arizona, I felt like life was a whirlwind that didn’t know how to slow down. I couldn’t find the eye in the storm. This was such a time of dreams ending, dreams revealed, and dreams hopeful. The fairy tale that plays in every little girl’s imagination comes to a dead end in this decade. Reality bites. Reality stings. But, reality is real. Not that I am sad, though, for reality keeps one’s feet on the ground, and points to a future that is shaped by wisdom and knowledge attained.

2002 -2012

At first I couldn’t embrace the word “thirty.” I felt like my tongue had formed a lisp, and it was twisting the word “twenty” into “thirty” by accident. It turns out that the 30s have been a second whirlwind of change, but this time I had a little more knowledge, a little more wisdom, and a lot less fairy tale imagination! Returning to college in my 30s was probably the most significant event of this decade. It was also a lot more fun and motivating to earn those As because I was completing a goal, rather than pleasing my parents (or society). This was the decade of learning the ups of downs of marriage, of parenthood, of finances, and yes, even health. This was the decade when I realized that life was flashing by at the speed of light, and if I didn’t awaken to the reality of health promotion (aka disease prevention), then the rest of my life could be cut short very quickly.

The 30s has been considered a second “wiggly” round of young adulthood, in my opinion. The first “wiggly” time was the teen years that melted into the roaring twenties. This decade has proven more of wrestling with oneself in that you know who you are and where you have been, but you are now asking, “where am I going?” “Am I doing the right thing with my life?” “Will this decision to do such-and-such help me or hinder me?”

2012 – 2022

Well, the history books haven’t been written yet for this decade. But, as I look back on reflection of four decades, I can see God’s hand in guiding me, and His footprints as he walked beside me. I may not have chosen the path that I walked, yet that “something” I was looking for has been found. It is called Intention, and it is the one thing that propels a human being toward a satisfied, fulfilled life. I have learned that money will come and go (mostly be gone when you have children); I have learned that love will come and go (for love is a choice, not a feeling); and I have learned that true success is not how much money or love you can acquire. True success is the significance that you have made in your life and in the lives that you touch. True success is driven by Intention. And, Intention is the fire that burns the soul with passion for living.

This will be the decade where I will start to reach new goals for living the next 40 years. Whether it’s doing things on my bucket list, or just continuing to learn how to be content in the moment, I am choosing to be proactive.

My challenge to you: choose Intention, choose Passion, choose Gratitude, choose Living!

Faith, Marriage and Family

The DAD Dilemma

I always look forward to celebrating Father’s Day with my family. I had a great relationship with my own father when I was growing up, and now my children have a great relationship with their father. But, the harsh reality is that there are thousands (no, probably millions) of people who struggle to acknowledge their relationship with their father in any fashion.

In my opinion, this is truly the biggest problem we face in a society. To not be able to have a wholesome, growing, functional relationship with one’s own father has left a huge scar in humanity. The sheer pain of remembering the times where love was traded for ignorance, or trust was traded for shame, well, it may be too hard to bear for those who live with the “dad” dilemma.

A child only wants to be loved and appreciated for who he/she is. The child does not want to perform at a particular level for acceptance or love, yet this seems to be the normal routine. I’m not blaming the father alone for these less-than-desirable actions toward the child. The performance-based approval weighs heavily on the mother as well.

So, this Father’s Day should also be a time of healing. It is one thing to reflect on the past, but it is an extraordinary thing to forgive the past. I am guilty of hanging on to past wrongs that have never been sealed. I cannot relate to those who deal with the pain of their past and its relation to their father, but I can relate to just general pain of childhood mishaps.

My heart breaks for those who are in need of healing. Some may never find it. Their fathers may be dead, or they may be absent. Their fathers may have provided for them financially, but their love bank was completely broke. Others may have suffered emotional and physical scars from abuse. And, then there are the few who had a hero for a dad.

Father’s Day is not meant to bring out the hurt, but it does remind us of the dilemma of what being a Dad means to our society. In one sense, a Dad is the hero and provider of the family. In the other sense, he is the enemy of our souls. I pray that true healing will begin in those who have been wronged. I pray that the blame game will stop. I pray that relationships can be restored. And, I pray that fathers everywhere will stop looking to themselves and look to God Almighty for strength to carry the task of training the next generation of children.

I do not have an earthly father anymore. But, my heavenly father is all I need to guide my steps, guard my heart, and grow in grace. My prayer continues for those who are in need of a good father. You may not have an earthly father, but you will always have a heavenly father – should you choose to accept him.

Faith, Marriage and Family

Pennies for Eternity

A dear friend once told me that when you are teaching values and morals to your children, you are depositing  tiny, daily investments into their spiritual piggy banks. I have never forgotten that kind of encouragement, and the mental image of this concept is vivid and alive in me today.

My children are definitely worth more than pennies. In fact, their sweet and precious lives cannot be measured on a monetary basis. But, the imagery of depositing small amounts, a.k.a. pennies, on a daily basis is letting them know how much I love them and want to see them become full and rich of life!

It’s one thing to teach a child how to make his bed for tidiness, or brush his teeth for good health. But, it’s a completely separate matter to teach a child how to love others and love God. Why? Because, a child is naturally self-centered, and needs to expand his spiritual muscles of laying aside selfish desires to reach out to others and place their needs above his own.

I am beginning to see the fruit of the daily deposits I have made into my children’s spiritual piggy banks. Some deposits have been painful and slow, other deposits have been overflowing with joy and triumph. Yet, each deposit is a reminder to me of why I am a mother… the sacrificial love, the never-ending expenditure of energy, and the endless hope of knowing that all of this effort is for God’s glory… not mine.

I pray for all of the mothers out there who read this: that they may never see a piggy bank in the old way again. Rather, that the piggy bank will become a symbol of motherhood and child training – a symbol of eternal investment in the souls of the children, who will pay it forward with love and consistency to the next generation.

Marriage and Family

Clearing the Air

Disclaimer: this post is not meant to offend anyone of a different mindset. Since it’s my blog I have the freedom to say what I want. You can ignore it or read on…

A few days ago I felt saddened by the fact that someone I know, whom I thought was a close friend, chose to slander me and my family in regard to our life choices. I just wanted to clear the air with everyone about the issues that were brought up.


Yes, my husband and I have chosen this form of education for our children. No, they have not always been home-schooled. At one point we had been actively involved in the local public school, but after a lot of prayer, research, and conviction, we feel this is the best option for our children.

We do not follow the exact schedule that a public school would experience. We have a lot of flexibility in our day-to-day routine, because I am teaching multiple subjects at three different age/cognitive levels. So, if we are still in our pajamas at 10am, that’s okay. We can still get our math, language, spelling, and history done before we leave the house.

Staying At Home

I used to be a full-time working mother, and I missed out on so much. So, I have chosen to stay at home and put my children and my home first. I could easily go back into the work force and run the rat race like so many other burnt-out moms, but I have chosen to sacrifice a second income for invaluable time with my children. They are only little for a short period, and when they’re all grown up, I can’t get that time back. If I don’t put all of my energy into training and coaching my children, no one else will do it. In my opinion, this is a major deficiency in our society today. Parents have become nothing more than strangers to their own children. They need to invest their time (and not just their money) into these precious lives. Children are going to remember the time you spend with them. Period.


So many people keep asking when my husband is going to find a “real job” and get back into the work force. In moments of worry I, too, have been guilty of asking the same question. But, realistically, we have been surviving on an “anticipated” income. We have learned that there are no real securities in this life. A job can come and go. In this economy, more jobs keep disappearing and moving overseas. But, talent and skills can never be taken away. As long as there is a need for graphic design, social media, and web design, my husband will always have work to do.

Homesteading – The Road Less Traveled

Well, we are not there just yet. But, our hearts have been prepared to learn to live off the land. We have been reading, studying, and learning from others how to live frugally, how to live conservatively, and how to have a minimal impact on society. Start small, change your mindset, and then change your lifestyle.


We are die-hard Patriots to the core. If we had lived during the Revolutionary War, we would have been extremely involved and sacrificed our lives. We believe in a limited government, we believe in family first, and we believe in the Creator who made the world and created us all equal. We are in the minority these days, as it would seem, because we hold to ideals that do not seem “PC” in today’s culture. We want to have abundance and freedom, but we also know the importance of sacrifice. We love free enterprise, and we hold to the values of health promotion and disease prevention as primary, whereas treatment is needed in critical cases.

My mind is clear. My convictions are as strong as ever. My choices are solid.

May you have the conviction, the vision, and the passion to live your life clearly.

Marriage and Family

Journey to… Home

I was thinking about the role of motherhood yesterday. Well, actually, I think about it everyday. Because I am a mom! But, there’s so much more to motherhood than just giving birth, feeding, clothing, and nurturing the little ones.

I began my journey toward home 15 years ago. As a new, young mother of 23 years, I was terrified, petrified, and just plain lost! All of those years I spent as a teenager with babysitting, nothing could prepare me for the real thing! A real baby… alive… crying, peeing, pooping, never sleeping, and wanting to nurse all the time. I was doomed.

Then, I remembered I had a job. A real job, outside the home, where I could be an adult again. My feminist side began to rise within me once more, and I was so happy to put my newborn into daycare. I did not shed one tear. As I look back on those days, I realize now just how wrong I had been in my view of motherhood.

Now, wait, before you bash me and tell me I’m brain-washed, please let me finish my story. I went back to work; I was chronically tired, and my baby was chronically ill. By the time he was eight months old, he had switched babysitters twice, and already had tubes put into his ears. Still, I felt like I had to work. I needed the health insurance. I needed the income. How could I possibly become a stay-at-home mom?

Two years later, my second precious son was born. This time I was much more relaxed, and I was able to juggle the demands of a two year old and a newborn. My new baby was not a chronic cryer, and he actually slept more than his brother. I decided to stay home an extra two weeks to enjoy my time with him. Still, I felt like I had no choice but to return to work when my maternity leave was done. I found a sitter that was able to take my newborn on a part-time basis. I also found out later that she kept him in his carseat most of the time. This time, I did shed a few tears.

An opportunity arose for my family to move out of state. So we did. I took a chance, and quit my job. I said goodbye to my cubicle, my co-workers, my health insurance, and my income. And, I said hello to full time motherhood… in a new state with no friends and a new climate.

To be honest, I did not like the transition to becoming a full time mom. Many a time I have read how women feel like they lose their independence, their identities, their self-worth. Oh boy did I understand this plight! And, to top it off, I could not find one soul in my neighborhood who shared my sentiments. This was a perfect recipe for depression.

To make the long story short, I found depression, and then I found hope. I learned very slowly how to accept my circumstances, make the best out of chaos, and find my place. Every mom must go through this, but it is up to each individual to determine how she will go through the storms and the calm.

As I look back on the past decade and one-half decade, I see how I could have been more content. But, now I have the opportunity to look forward to each day as I continue to feed, clothe, and nurture my children. They are not obstacles, burdens, or inconveniences that were placed in my lap. They are blessings and opportunities to make a difference in the world, should I have the knowledge and patience to train them.

I am no longer a feminist, but I am feminine to the core. I love everything that displays the beauty of motherhood, and of womanhood. My journey to home has been riddled with rocky paths, thorny pains, and stormy waters. But, the end result is a polished, smooth countenance and heart. I am thankful for this journey. I am grateful for the joys and the trials. Yet, the journey is not over… my story continues.

P.S. For those of you who are in need of “mom” encouragement, I urge you to register for the upcoming Mom Heart Conferences in early 2011! Please go to the following link for more information: If you have any questions, please ask me 🙂 Thanks!

Faith, Marriage and Family

Vision, Mission, and Values

A successful company will list its vision, mission, and values for their beloved employees and stakeholders. A successful family should do the same for their beloved members, because their future is at stake. If there are no values, then there is no vision. And if there is no vision, there is no mission… and there is no future. The company will fold; likewise, the family will fold.

The family seems to be a dying breed in these times. I have never seen so much “me-ism” as of late. I, too, am guilty of this selfish demise. But, what brings me back to the other side of the fence, is the very essence of fighting for what I believe… to continue the vision and mission I started 15 years ago as a new mother, and to teach the values that I hold dear to my heart.

I am only half of the equation, though. I have to stay super-glued to my partner, my lifelong friend, to brave the storms together. And, together, with God as our center, we become a three-fold cord that’s not easily broken.

So I continue to stand strong in the storm. There are times when I am knocked down, unable to stand up in the ensuing weakness. Then there is reprieve…. a song, a verse, a phone call, an email… something that strengthens my soul and stirs up my spirit to regain my strength.

The unseen powers that be have been busy fighting for my life. Two opposite forces that want all of me: one wants me to live, the other wants me to perish. I know who will win in the end, but the fight is not for the faint-hearted.

I have been encouraged by the verse found in Hebrews 6:10-12, which says, “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown in his name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (NASV)

The cards are stacked high all around those who march against the patterns of the world. My deep faith, my sincere passion for others, and my desire to finish strong are evidenced in the day to day events. There may never be an Oscar moment, there may never be a Pulizter or Nobel Peace Prize, and Publishers Clearing House will not be ringing my door bell. But, when the fire comes and burns away the rubbish… what will be left is what will endure forever.

I have to remind myself of this virtues everyday. Fight hard. Stand strong. Pay it forward.

There will always be critics. There will always be enemies. But I have to remember what I am fighting for… the values I hold close to my heart, the vision of my life – my purpose, and my mission – to reach the hearts of my children for God.