Education, Gardening, Health, motherhood, Random, Reflection, Woman

Plant the Seed

We have all heard this before.

Well, maybe most of us…

Those who plant the seed may not always be the one who gets to water that seed. But, if we are blessed, we may be able to witness that seed sprout and grow in the future.

I have to slow down and remind myself to be patient. Especially in times of seed planting… not literally in seed planting, for I tend to have a black thumb.

But my type of seed planting is that of encouragement or knowledge or just… wisdom from a mid-life mama.

I have watched how my own four children have grown into some amazing human beings. As much as I want to take credit for their awesomeness, I realize that most of my “mothering” was really seed planting of their hearts and souls. I gave them consistency and intention and a whole lot of love and grace.

I believe that our society is lacking so much growth these days. The soil of our souls is depleted, and when a seed is planted we tend to grow cold, grow weeds, or just wither up and die.

We are in desperate need of a revival. A societal revival that emphasizes nourishing the soul of our souls. Taking time to find the things that make us grow as humans.






Remember, as I share my thoughts with you I am preaching to the choir. I am my own audience, too. I need to hear and see and believe these things.

For then, when my soul is nourished, the seeds that I plant in myself can grow in a healthy way. And I can bring the fruits of my labor to you, dear reader.

May you be blessed today because of your investment to become process driven, too.




Education, Faith, motherhood

Blood Convos

Lunar light and heavy thoughts

Last night the western hemisphere witnessed the viewing of the spectacular super blood wolf moon. Although my little area was covered in a wispy layer of clouds, we were able to watch the moon rise in its glory and then disappear by 9:40 p.m. into a shadowy covering.

My 12 year old daughter and I sat in the patio area of our backyard, as the last glimmer of the sun’s reflection sparkled from the top of the moon, looking similar to a kippah. Then, a brief moment later, earth’s shadow swallowed up the remaining light, and the moon began to change into a brilliant reddish-orange color.

The conversation that began earlier in the evening evolved from laughter-filled pre-teen innuendos to a somber-bewildered pondering of ‘the end of the world’ topic. The light that normally consumes my daughter’s view of life disappeared at the same time that the moon decided to play peek-a-boo with the earth. She began to ask questions, and I sat there to answer in the calmest manner I could.

There are seldom conversations about the deep and heavy thoughts in life, especially when it derives from the mind of a young person. For someone so young yet so wise to ask such philosophical, scientific, and faith-based questions, it brings about the very thoughts I ponder as a mid-life woman.

And I smile.

We were able to divulge into the topic of the beginning of life (think BIG) and where we are headed as a planet, as a human race, as a small part of the Universe. We discussed our beliefs, our fears, our hopes, and our priorities. Yet, no matter how much was shared to ease this curious young mind, I did not have all of the answers.

I am learning through this process driven life that we aren’t always meant to know the destination. And sometimes, we may know the hopeful destination, but the journey still scares the bejeezers out of our souls. And, then, when the fear has floated in the forefront for a moment, we push it aside and let the time pass as it should. For if we knew what would happen in our future (and I am visualizing the horrible movie Knowing) then our world would be consumed in continual chaos and anarchy.

At the end of our blood conversation I know she found more solace in her thoughts. She and I shared a few moments of mother-daughter snuggle time, and she drifted off into a peaceful sleep. As a seasoned mother of four I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to guide and shape this young woman-to-be. The goal of my process driven life is to do that just that. Be present. Be available. But most importantly, BE intentional.

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, motherhood, Reflection

The Greatest Honor of Being a Mother

Here is a quick bio of my son, who will be graduating high school on May 23, 2014. I wish I had written more of my memories of him over the course of his life, but this is a gentle reminder to be ever present and intentional in the lives of your children.

I love you, dear sweet Matthew.

ImageMatthew Stephen Cerrone

Matthew was born on November 4, 1995, to Robert and Jeanne Cerrone. He entered the world with a struggle to live, and we embraced him during those early days in the NICU. After he arrived home, we thought that everything would be okay. He had many illnesses as a little baby, and little did we know that all the ear infections would affect him later in life.

Matthew grew into a smart, quick-witted, and charming boy. He was using the computer at three years of age. He learned to read fluently at age 5. He was always “ahead of the game” in both academics and any skill he learned. Teachers were in awe of his mindset, and he made friends easily wherever he went.

When he was ten years old he decided to be baptized in his faith. This was an amazing time as he clarified his faith in God. Shortly after this decision, he became ill with a rare autoimmune disorder called Henoch Schonlein Purpura. This is a condition that results from a compromised immune system (all those ear infections). He was home-schooled during this time. There is still a 50% chance of recurrence, so he will always need to keep his immune system in check.

Two years later he was still struggling with ear issues, and a new doctor discovered a cholesteatoma in his left ear. If left untreated it would threaten his life. So, he underwent two major surgeries. The first one removed the “tumor” as well as his mastoid process. The second surgery would reconstruct his ear canal and put in a titanium frame to replace the lost bone.

After recovering from this unforeseen circumstance, Matthew began to grow and mature through his junior high years with ease. He was home-schooled during his healing time, but after giving much thought to his future, he decided to return to public school in 10th grade to finish his studies.

As of today, Matthew has completed four years of high school in three years’ time. He has continued to amaze us with his ability to learn quickly, retain well, and achieve new goals. He joined the cross country team, the track team, and also the yearbook and theater departments during his time in high school. He has also learned to play the piano and loves to sing. His studies and activities have continued to keep him quite busy, but he is looking forward to some down time this summer before he begins college.

We are so proud of our eldest son, Matthew. He has truly been a blessing to us all, and we are so thankful for all of the time we have had with him. We look forward to seeing what he will do with his gifts and talents. We will continue to lift him in prayer as we know that he is a child of God.

Matthew’s name means “Gift of God,” and we definitely know this meaning to be true!

Thank you dear family and friends for all of your love and support to our family as we raise our son for God’s glory!

With love,

Robert and JeanneImage


Train Up A Child…

17091_SA_13It’s hard to believe that my first born son will soon be 18 years old. Seriously, where does the time go? It feels like yesterday that I walked him into his kindergarten classroom; pretty soon I will be watching him walk down the graduation aisle from high school.

This season of raising a child (or children) is so amazing, daunting, and blurry. When I used to worry about doing the right thing or the best thing for my child, now I am questioning myself, “have I done enough to prepare him for the rest of his life?” Have I trained him up to be the man who will be a servant-leader for God and his fellow citizens?

As I look back on these past 18 years I see where I could have been more relaxed and enjoyed each day, rather than wondering if I was doing my best. My son and I laugh at the old photographs of him with his cute little side part in his hair, with his shirt tucked neatly into his pants, held up by an adjustable belt. I ponder about his first words that he spoke, such as “e-e-e-outside” when he wanted to play outside, or “Putnunch and Batnat” to describe his favorite movies (Batman, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame).

But, then I also look back and smile, knowing that I did do the very best I could to train him and prepare him for his future. I am proud of the fact he learned to read at age 5 before he attended kindergarten. I am proud that he taught himself all 50 capitals and state names before he entered first grade. I am proud that he loved to draw and write creative stories. I am so proud that he made the commitment to be baptized at the age of 10.

“There is no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” is a verse from 1 John in the New Testament. I am so grateful that my son, and my other three children, have chosen to embrace the truth of God’s word, even during the tumultuous teen years. He could have chosen a different path, but he decided that his faith in God would direct his steps. As a mother I cannot contain my joy for his choice, knowing that in even an opportunity of rebellion or temptation, he knows the truth.

My wish is for all moms and dads out there to experience this wonderful fruit of their labor in child raising. But, I will admit that it is a narrow path, a difficult road, and a journey of many detours, changes, and tears. Many parents give up too soon in their training of children. They want the short cuts, the easy road, or the opportunity to pass the baton of responsibility to another person. I am glad that my husband and I kept trudging along when we felt the pressure of taking it easy. I am glad that there were friends who gave us support and accountability when we lack the direction. Above all, I am so glad that I followed the truths of God’s word in raising my children, so they will also have the proper foundation for taking the reins as they lead themselves into the future.

Faith, motherhood

Beautiful flowers from a beautiful little girl…


The faith of a child also shows the innocence of a child.

My dear 7 year old daughter decided to buy these beautiful carnations for me, “…just because, Mommy.” How many people have the simple mindset of unconditional love like that? I know that I struggle with giving to others. It is not that I don’t want to give, but sometimes I put so much pressure on myself that I begin to worry what others will think of the gift that I plan to give them. How silly is that? My little girl did not think twice about her effort or idea of giving; she just put her mind in motion and did it. Spontaneous? Yes. But, she did think through her actions.

I could learn some lessons from my daughter, that’s for sure. I would love to “let go” of the millions of thoughts that swirl through my head, and just be free in my actions and my words. I don’t want to be careless, but I want to be less burdened by the incessant voice of conscience (good vs. evil) in my mind.

I will cherish these flowers as long as they are living in my vase. I will use each opportunity of admiration as one of encouragement as well. Be a little spontaneous, be more generous, reach out in love.


How to find margin in the craziness of motherhood

Desperate – the novel by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae

I can’t wait to read this book! Even though my babies have grown, I still have four children to love, nurture, and encourage the rest of their lives! I want to be able to encourage this new decade of young mothers who are currently floating (and sometimes drowning) in the daily grind of diapers, bottles, naps, tantrums, peanut butter and jelly lunches, and endless trips to the doctor, grocery store, and the park! My hat is off to Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae as they delve into the nitty gritty trenches of motherhood. There is a gem to behold, and this gem is found in the soul of each child. I hope and pray that each mom who reads this book will find her joy, her hope, and her purpose in motherhood again!

Faith, motherhood, Reflection

T.I.M.E. = Toward Integrity Maturity and Excellence

Time is a funny concept. To a child, the ticking clock seems to move ever so slowly. Yet, for an adult, each moment passes faster with every second, every day.

The ponderings I have experienced these past few weeks have created a stirring in my soul… To enjoy every day and to make the most of each moment.

Why? Because one day it is 2002 and you are sending your oldest child off to 1st grade; the next moment it is 2012 and this same child is talking about college plans.

One of the best ways to capture these precious blips of time is through photography. I love looking through all of the photos I have collected over the years. Time is so bittersweet. The precious memories bring a smile (and sometime tears) with each remembrance.

To every parent out there my small advice to you is to spend as much time with your children as possible. Love them, cuddle them, play with them, pray with them, read to them, sing to them, laugh with them, and yes, cry with them.

And to those without child, spend time with your closest friends and family. Reconnect with the ones who may have lost touch, and if this is not possible, then pray for them and release them.

A friend of mine from high school just recently passed away. My heart was so broken to hear of this sad news. A huge feeling of guilt swelled up because I had not taken the time to call her in her final weeks. My intentions were good, but my actions were weak. And, now it is too late. She is gone, and all I have is her memory.

In coming back to my point, I came up with an acronym for time. T is for toward, because time is always moving forward. One can never take back or reverse a moment. I is for integrity, because choosing to live wisely and acting accordingly to the highest standards are the best investments of your time. M is for maturity, because my hope is that we all grow towards maturity, in wisdom and knowledge, with time. And E is for excellence, because it takes time to develop the skills to become the best “you” you can be.

In closing I have these cliches to repeat: never take time for granted. Never wish for time to be over. Enjoy the time you do have. Don’t rob yourself of precious time through worry or sorrow. Today is here, and it is your only gift of time. The bible puts it so clearly in Matthew 6:25, which says, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” And, later in verse 30 it says, “But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown in the furnace will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?” Lastly, in verse 34, we are gently reminded that, “Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NASB)

Blessings to all who read this today.

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!