Stir in the Sauce

Some days we are stretched way too thin, so thin that we lose the flavor of ourselves.

Stephanie Rodda

Spaghetti is a family favorite for many families including mine. It is simple, tasty and let’s face it, it stretches. Whether your family is XL like mine or you’re on a budget (also like mine) or you find yourself suddenly needing to provide dinner for more than you were counting on, spaghetti is a proven stand-by to satisfy.

The thing is, sometimes you need to stretch even a little further and stir in the sauce. Here’s what I mean. Years ago when my sister, Tamara, had two sets of twins (yes two) and they were all little she was having a family dinner for a special occasion. I can’t remember what the special occasion was but, I remember Tammy’s words about her spaghetti. I had told her it was good and I had never thought of stirring in the sauce like she did instead of serving it on top of…

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Remember

It’s so easy to forget to remember where you once were and how your heart longed for what you have. Remember.

“I will worship Him with my trust because He has proven Himself trustworthy.”

Stephanie Rodda

It is so easy to forget things that we are sure we never possibly could.

As for me, at times when I am weary and a bit overwhelmed with motherhood I might forget how desperate I was to be right here in the midst of this chaos with too little sleep and far more to do than I possibly can do. Not only might I be tempted to forget that this life with all it’s demands and stresses is an answer to prayer, I may also forget Who it was that answered that prayer and how He did so and what I promised in return.

I promised myself and I promised my God that I would love the children He gave me but, I would never forget they were His first and foremost. I was sure I never possibly could.

And yet, I do forget. I forget to remember. I…

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Today is the First Day of the Rest of My Life!

Today is the day! Today we can do better than yesterday if we so choose. Today we can believe. Today we can speak kind words. Today we can forgive. Today we can rejoice. Today we can love extravagantly. Today we can embrace opportunities to make a difference. Today we can celebrate life. 

As for me, this is exactly what I will attempt to do. Here are a few ways I plan to go about it. 

  • Smile a lot. Smile so much my cheeks hurt. Smile at the funny moments. Smile at my sometimes silly self. Smile at those I love. Smile because this isn’t the way the story ends.  
  • Watch my words. Carefully. Very carefully. If necessary I will throw my hand over my mouth and keep words of criticism or complaint from falling out and speak words of courage and compassion instead. 
  • Pursue my dreams and give myself permission to do so without feeling ashamed. I will not ‘despise small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin’ Zechariah 4:10
  • Give credit where credit is due. I will recognize sincere effort even when there is still a lot to do. I will notice what has been accomplished instead of focusing on what still needs doing. 
  • Hope will rule this day. Hope for happy days. Hope for better tomorrows. Hope for hidden things to be revealed. Hope for truth. Hope for healing. Hope for moments of delight that will become tomorrow’s precious memories. Hope for flowers to bloom and bees to buzz and birds to sing. 
  • Whichever way the wind blows today, I will face it and feel it and relish the way it brushes my hair from my cheeks and refreshes my soul and perhaps even takes my breath away momentarily. 
  • Today I will try. I will try again. I will try my best. I will try in spite of the odds. I will try even if others refuse to cooperate. I will try because it matters to me. I will try to make a difference. 
  • Today I will tackle a difficult task. I will attempt to accomplish it. Whether I make a monumental or minuscule amount of progress, I will remind myself that this life is a journey and I’m not where I was not where I will be.
  • I will avoid the #peacethieves and refuse to expose myself to negative and spiteful people who have an appetite for drama and confusion. For I know, ‘the joy of the Lord is my strength’ Nehemiah 8:10 
  • Finally I will pray and when I pray I will believe. I will pray for God to do what I cannot. I will do my best and trust God with the rest. I will pray because I accept that I have limits. I will pray because my God does not. 

Other Women

Here is the crux of the matter. Here is what I want to say to you today. If you are waiting to share your vision, declare your faith, express yourself and your views until there will be no naysayers and no critics, stop it. Stop waiting and start experiencing, sharing, telling, preparing and answering the call on your life.

Stephanie Rodda

Some of my favorite people to study in the Bible are women. I enjoy studying them because I don’t often hear them taught on and I am fascinated by their stories, their contribution to my spiritual heritage. I learn from them. I am challenged and inspired by them. I am encouraged by them. Many times, just as with their male counterparts, they were the most unlikely candidates to play the role they did in the epic and life-changing events they faced. Yet, their strength and dedication to do what was right is nothing short of amazing. (We will leave the ladies who were determined to create chaos and cause harm for another day).

Today, I want to focus on some lesser known ladies who deserve to be honored, recognized and celebrated. What better time than the week following Mother’s Day? We know a few names but some are only known…

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Fleece in the Grease

I am so happy to share this blog once again. It is one of my favorites and it has been four years since I first wrote it.
Here is what I want to say to you this morning as you read these words. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on the relationship that seems so difficult. Don’t give up on the dream that seems unreachable. Don’t give up on yourself when you have let yourself down. Don’t give up. It’s a process, just like fleece in the grease.

Stephanie Rodda

Fiber Art has captured my heart. Only a few years ago I was just learning to crochet my first dish cloth. The more I learned the more I wanted to know. I had Fiber Fever! Soon on my wish list was a Spinning Wheel and eventually I found myself in possession of a real, unwashed, stinky, trash embedded Fleece in the Grease! A friend who serves as a missionary in New Mexico graciously shipped it to me, right after shearing.

I was stunned by the state of this fleece. I truly thought I was prepared. I wasn’t. But, there it was, mine to process, so, there was nothing to do but begin. I would redeem it. I would wash it. I would transform it. At the end of the process I would use it for my purpose. After all, I had seen such a thing done before. Not with wool…

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Celebrate Your Momma!

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Do visions of Hallmark commercials dance before your eyes? Do memories of yesterday cloud your vision of today? Do you have high expectations? Do you determine how your day went with a measuring stick of comparison? Do you want to honor your mom but feel lacking?

Let’s think this through together and be honest about it. Heck, let’s make a list.  

Ways to celebrate Mother’s Day

1 – TIME 

Take time to call, to visit, to give a hug in person, to play a board game, to eat a meal together, to sit on the porch and chat, to show her she is important, appreciated and loved. 


2 – Adventures

Go somewhere together. Visit the museum and laugh at the funny art. Go to a botanical garden. How about the zoo? Attend a concert or take an art class. Pottery? Painting? How about ballroom dancing? Even a day at the library could be great fun. 


3 – Gifts

She deserves it but make sure you make it personal. Put some thought into it. Believe me, that’s what moms are longing for, a thoughtful gift. If she’s on a diet, don’t buy her a box of candy. If she just started yoga, get her a gift that says you noticed that. Do not buy her something that the household will use. That’s not a gift for her. Live flowers that I can plant and enjoy all spring and summer make me happy and my kiddos know that. What do you know about your mom?


4 – WORDS

Say I love you! Tell her in words that she made a difference in your life. Buy a card or post it on Facebook or Tweet it or make a call. Speak up and say it right out loud! “Thank you Mom! Thank you for loving me, trying your best and giving it your all.”  Let her know that you are praying for her, that she matters and that she is loved. Even retell a funny ‘mom moment’ and laugh together about it. 


For those who can not celebrate their mom, I want to say something special to you. If your mom was not there for you, didn’t try her best, made costly mistakes and bad choices, please hear me clearly. This is not a reflection on you or your value or your worth. It is a reflection of her brokenness. If you can find it in your heart, forgive her, even if you can’t have a healthy relationship with her, even if she doesn’t deserve it, this Mother’s Day, celebrate by setting yourself free from bitterness, resentment and anger. If you are that mother that made a mess of everything, forgive yourself and embrace hope for a better tomorrow. 

The Mother’s Day Pit Fall – It’s a Trap

“If others won’t celebrate you then just CELEBRATE YOURSELF! ”

It’s the week of Mother’s Day and it always turns me to mush. Let’s avoid the emotional pit falls.

Stephanie Rodda

This won’t be your normal mushy Mother’s Day blog post. I’ll likely do one of those later. But, today I am thinking we need to set aside the fluff and get down to the nitty-gritty. Mother’s Day can be wildly emotional and the emotions aren’t always kind. Sometimes it is more like having your heart raked over live coals.

You know I’m telling the truth. There are countless reasons that Mother’s Day can hurt like heck. Some you can’t avoid and must learn to cope with. But, there’s one that I hope reading this might help you bypass.

If your heart is hurting about your own mother, your relationships with her or lack thereof or perhaps y’all are separated by miles or even death, Mother’s Day will hurt your heart. I pray that the good will outweigh the bad and your day will be joyful in spite of your grief.

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