Saturday, February 21, 2015

LIVING IN LOVE---- PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

Ladies,
If you want to live in love with your husband, you must accessorize with virtue. Here are some practical suggestions to try.."Love one another for love is of God."

1.  A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Learn to cook gourmet meals.

2. Making a list of ten reasons you fell in love with him.  Place the list in your bible.

3. Give to bless not to get. Give him both time and attention or space when needed.

4. Encourage him daily.

5. Honor him in all you do or say.

6. Look at him eye ball to eyeball listening attentively when he speaks.

7. Remember always, “He is not you.” Let him feel free enough to be himself.

8. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry.” 

9. When he is down; build him up.

10. Ask questions instead of judging what he is saying or what he is doing.

11. Find ways to avoid the situations that make each other jealous.

12. Be an open book to one another. No secrets.

13.  Remember Godly marriages live their lives in the light of Christ.

14. Ask God to forgive you and heal you, when hurt. God is the only one who can heal a heart.

15. Be accountable. Pray about getting a spiritual director.

16. Avoid jealousy issue by, try not to do the things that makes him jealous.

17. Be your husband’s best cheerleader.  Let him know that you cheer for him alone.

18. Learn to live as the Proverbs 31 woman. “The law of kindness is on your tongue.”

19. Let him know he is “King of your Castle.”  Brag about him especially in front of your children.

20. Ask his opinion often; then do what he suggests.

21. If you tend to brag about yourself, admit your sin, repent and vow to change.

22. Never expose his faults; if asked just smile sweetly.

23. Learn to listen and nod. Don’t interrupt.

24. Let him be the leader, and you the follower.

25. Avoid being dead right; winning the argument but deadening the relationship.

26. Pick your battles.  My motto is, “Unless it is sin; I give in!”

27. If conflict arises and you are at a dead end; the best road is compromise.

28. Lead by example. Avoid being his Holy Spirit.

29. Practice being, quick to forgive. Be a daily forgiver to avoid the volcanic eruption. 

30. If he has sinned against you; correct in love.

31. Keep your heart clean before the Lord though frequent confession.

32. Confess the ways you have failed to live the marriage covenant.  Ask God to help you change.

33. Ask your husband’s forgiveness for the ways you have failed him.

34. Choose one area to work. Ask God for wisdom on how to change.

35. Pray about having a Titus II Woman to talk to for advice and wise counsel.

36. Get a prayer partner to pray with daily. Hold each other accountable. 

37. Choose your girlfriends wisely, those who are living for Jesus. Get around healthy couples too.

38. Be gentle with yourself. We all are imperfect people loving each other imperfectly.

39. Plan a second honeymoon with your husband.  A new beginning helps love grow.

40. Clean the slate with your mate. Walk in God’s grace, mercy and love. Let peace reign.

Friday, February 20, 2015

LIVING IN LOVE

Falling in love, that is the easy part. Staying in love now that is the challenge.
 My heart did a “quantum leap,” as in a flashback, and I was back at our first meeting.  I, an Air Florida stewardess from the Midwest, met my roommate’s cousin, a twenty five year old, third year med student at the University of Miami. This distinguished older man, Patrick, smote me. Then one spring day, he knocked on the door of our apartment. I opened the door and before Patrick could even say a word, I blurted out, “Peggy is not here.” Smiling with a mysterious grin he answered, “I came to see you.” Those words were few in number but big in winning my heart forever. Maybe it was that grin that still takes my breath away. It says to me to this day, “I love you!”  We were a couple from that day forward. Even though we only dated half a year, he proposed to me that October. I guess you could say, “He had me at hello.” I never wanted him to say, “Goodbye.”
On May 1, 1974, our vows were said, in Key Biscayne, Florida, at sunset by the ocean. It was very romantic.  Yes indeed, but guess who was not on the guest list? It was our Savior Jesus Christ. Oh I did read this very scripture I Cor. 13. But if my 61 year old brain remembers correctly, Jesus was not the center of that ceremony. We were actually married two times that spring. We had our married become a sacrament, with a wedding renewal of vows at my parent’s home in Louisville, Georgia by Father Kunkle.  This ceremony was preceded by a month long, and I must add unforgettable, honeymoon to the West.  Then to top it off, on Dec at our 35 year of marriage we renewed our vows. We chose to have our seven children, all adults, walk down the aisle before us at the Church of the  Most Holy Trinity  in Augusta, Georgia, just before Now Deacon Pat and I, walked down, hand in hand.  It was a moment of grace of what God can do with two lives yielded to Him. We had come a long way from that first “I DO!” At that third ceremony we affirmed with the maturity of knowing what a lifelong commitment really means. We had lived them. Our kiss was passionate and familiar and came with a security we had developed over the years. Kisses were an outward sign of our intimate oneness. They always say, “I love you best, no matter what,” without exchanging any words. I was grateful I had chosen Patrick for my “Happily ever after.” Taking his arm, and walking down the aisle to exit the church, I knew that he would always be at my side.
The Word of God says, “The two shall become one and what God has joined together let no man put asunder. “ The two shall become one, physically, that is the easy part. Becoming one mentally and spiritually, that is the challenge. I know I have tried. What have I learned? I have learned this: Don’t attempt this without a GPS; namely God’s Power Working thru His Holy Spirit. In God alone I have learned I place my trust. To live the sacrament of marriage healthily one must have a man and a woman whose have both centered their life on Jesus as Savior and Lord. God after all is love and love is of God. You see the love of the marriage has to come from God because His love is never ending. Human love comes from the flesh. It always fails. God’s love comes from His Holy Spirit. His love never fails.
 Has anyone else tried and failed in loving your spouse? Have you been trying to do it on your own, on your own strength? It is frustrating isn’t it? It becomes especially frustrating when you are the only one trying. It is like pulling a little red wagon with an adult man sitting inside of it. He ain’t heavy he’s your brother.  It is like walking up a mountain with a backpack of bricks on your back. When God word says” He wants us to fly like an eagle.  Wagon pulling and backpack climbing with bricks as your companion definitely not God’s best, of course not. God wants a man and woman to be equally yoked and live in love with one another. The vows read on my wedding day said, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in heath, in good times and in bad, till death do you part. Is this just an idea, a suggestion or God’s perfect plan for man and wife who are united in marriage for life?  I think that the world, the flesh and the devil have worked overtime to destroy marriages and families. We can just turn on the Television, listen to the radio, get on the internet or talk with people to see what havoc has come about by not doing it God’s way. We are imperfect people loving each other imperfectly. We always will be. But to those who have a heart for living their marriage for God and putting God’s word into practice, improvement will become evident.
So today I came to bring, “GOOD NEWS!” Our God is a God of Hope.  Ladies, where there is life there is always hope. Today is a new beginning.  A time to erase all past hurts mistakes and disappointments and begins anew. How we do that, you may be asking yourself.
Take some time week to Stop and see where you have been.
Look at where you are.
Listen to that still small voice instruct you in the way you should go.
o Where does God want to take your marriage?
If you were to rate your marriage on a scale from 1-10. What would your number be? Are you a perfect 10? Or are you barely breaking a 2.  The good news is we can always improve. Plus there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus our Lord. In order to grow in our relationship we have to be willing. Here is what Einstein so brilliantly states; “Definition for insanitary is Doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result.” What do you think ladies? I personally think that Einstein is a genus. You see if you want any area of your life to be different, you must do something different. Remember everything begins in prayer, ends in prayer and is established with prayer.
 However prayer alone is not usually the answer. Think the wedding feast of Cana. Dilemma: They ran out if wine. Did they pray- no but they did seek wise counsel from Mary, Jesus mother. What did she wisely say? Do whatever He tells you. We all have questions. God has answers. He wrote the book. Even Job asked at least 20 questions. God answered them all more brilliantly than even Einstein could. When we face a mountain in our lives and realize we cannot move that mountain. We must go to the mountain of God in prayer and listen for that still small voice. If we listen then does whatever He tell us to do? We will put our foot on the road toward victory. Prayer plus action equal victory in Jesus. It is then that we walk on the water of the Word, we seek Him and we find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart. Oh that is just what happened to my friend Job. It is than that we learn the meaning of the words, One day at a time sweet Jesus. Because my friend today has enough worry of its own. Change is hard and it takes time give God permission—Lord changes me.  Then be patient with yourself remind yourself God isn’t finished with you yet. That mountain will be removed- one day at a time sweet Jesus. That mountains will is removed by working with His Holy Spirit. Yes it is the W word ladies.
God who is all knowing, all powerful and all good gives us some wisdom on how to live the marriage covenant –“So Happy Together!! This wisdom is found in I Corinthians 13. It is a definition of what love is. In a way it is a definition of the attributes of God. If these attributes are put into action, character grows and love grows. If they are just read and implanted in the mind they become just words on a page. We cannot change others we can only change ourselves. Hopefully, but not necessarily, in a marriage covenant both people want to follow Christ.  Love grows when change occurs.
LOVE SUFFERS LONG
I guess you could say we put the hardest one first. I bought this poster because I loved the way the first line was stated. Yes, love suffers long. Sometimes it is a matter of just putting one foot in front of another and not even being able to sport a smile. If you or your husband is in a pit, offer a hand and please offer to pull them out.  You never kick a man when they are down. Please have pray for the grace to not give them more to do. They already have enough on their plate already. The Indian woman has a message that they tell their daughters they get married. It goes like this: “If a man goes in his cave, leave him alone because if you go in his cave the bear will come after you.” So how can you love him when things are tough?
Now if you are in the pit; give yourself permission to be human. Talk with him about your situation and let him know that this is a time that you need some tender loving care.  NO one--- absolutely No One can go on empty. You must take the time to heal when you are giving beyond humanly possible. If he will not listen, seek wise counsel.
LOVE IS KIND
A kind word will not be forgotten.  Actions always speak louder than words. But do not be fooled ladies, “Words count and wounds wound.  A wounded man is hard to repair. This is the time that a bandage will not do the trick. Sometime their heart is bleeding, they need more than a bandage; perhaps even spiritual surgery. Proverbs 31 say, “The law of kindness is on their lips.” In a healthy marriage this is essential. Do not air his dirty laundry, even if he is the one that has soiled it. Men want to be respected. They do not want to be the star of a tell all reality show! They are private.  They barely talk to them about their problems. Women on the other hand, thrive on reality life. However, when the man is exposed in a negative way, this borders on gossip even if it is just among family members.  James says, “Put a guard over your tongue.  Dennis McBride used to say, “Lose lips sink ships.” You do not want to sink your love boat.  Make sure you have a life preserver.  If you need to talk seek wise counsel or encourage him to go to counsel together. Tell God the problems in prayer then leave it at the foot of the cross. Kindness gives him permission to be him. In return, it gives you permission to be you. Let him be him without nagging or complaining.

LOVE DOES NOT ENVY
Jealousy, the Green Giant of all Giants; oh boy did we open a can of worms. Did you hear the clichĂ©, “Jealousy killed the cat?” It can also kill a relationship too. Keep your eyes on Jesus, jealousy can knock on the door of your relationship.  Do you know what, in so many ways, in so many ways; you can do nothing about it. You must be happy with who you.  Jealousy is often about a poor self-image.  Take the time to know and to love yourself.  Then accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.  I do not believe in men and woman friendships in marriage, call me old fashion. I am fine with that. Don’t take my word for it; just watch the old movie, “When Harry Met Sally.” Relationships require time building them. If you are jealous because of lack of time with your spouse, that is a limitative grip. God’s order is God first, husband second, then others. God’s order brings peace. No one should feel all alone in a marriage.  Marriage is 2 by 2.  If your spouse is spend more time with another person than you, you will be jealous, that is a fact. If you are the one jealousy, seek counsel.
LOVE DOES NOT PARADE ITSELF --- LOVE IS NOT PUFFED UP
Pride goes before the fall. Joseph will tell you it is so.  He got a coat of colors. Then he bragged on being daddy’s favorite. What did His brothers get? They got jealous. Remember the son? He got a robe, a ring and feast with the fatten calf. What did the elder brother get, he too got jealous. He also got mad. In our flesh nature, many of us our boasters. The word of God encourages us, if you are going to boast, boast in the Lord. For He has done the mighty deeds through us not we, ourselves. Too much boasting, even if we are boasting in the Lord, can come across as pride and conceit.

DOES NOT BEHAVE RUDELY
The more I live with my man; the more I realize that Men are from Mars and women are Venus. Pat and I are from different planet.  If we women were to compare notes, we would find that all men are alike. I think it is the big T they wear across their DNA. T is for Testosterone that is. Yet, they are also different. My mom was Emily Post complete with the manners Manuel. We were instructed form this piece of work from morning until night. I still hold this book in high esteem as well as girls raised in the south, better known as GRITS. Manners count so much that my whole ministry is about accessorize with virtue. No rude welcome, yet rude seems to happen without even trying .I think that hidden in each of our hearts lies the manner Manuel. We differ almost daily as to what rude is and to what it is not. Maybe rude is a personal preference. We differ on everything from what a good tip is, to the need for a thank you note to an idea for an approite present. To each his own!  Love is not rude. My advice is be a student of your guy. Learn his likes and his dislikes. The wise advice from Alice Hunt, “I do not be a good wife to man, I only need to be a good wife to Grand chuck.”  You have one love to love. Love him well. You can teach old dogs new tricks but they are not guaranteed to perform them all.
LOVE IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED
If a husband or wife stores up grievances or tucks into their heart each offense as it happens under the file, I will never forget this. Guess what happens. If the one stuffs anger, past hurts, disappointments, or wrongs done to them alone, Guess what happens? When you least expect it you are elected to be the recipient of a volcanic explosion. Yes, and let me tell you more. Within this lava flow is everything that has wounded them past, present and possibly future. This unexpected explosion is guaranteed to burn the heart of the person it is directed towards when it blows. It has just been waiting for the right moment to Go Forth and There She blows. Not only is that but between the hurts and the explosion while lava is building to a peak a craters building between you and your mate. Avoid storing bitterness at all costs try to keep all in the light. Instead of holding hurts; journal hurt. Talk about practical solutions to avoid the Einstein theory becoming a reality. Avoid retaliation. Remember shunning or avoiding spouse has no place in a marriage. A heart when hurt needs to be mended quickly or the lava will begin to multiply. Remember wounded people wound people. Keep your heart in right relationship with God Love does not rejoice in wrongs done but always rejoices in the truth.
LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS. LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS.  LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS.
LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS. LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS. LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS.
LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS. LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS. LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS.

HOW? You might be asking yourself? How in the world can I do that? How can I ever live in love with my husband all the days of our lives? Didn’t you listen to my talk? You can’t! In fact sometimes it is impossible to live in love with your husband even for one day. Let’s face it ladies sometimes it is impossible to live with ourselves even for one day. It is like mission impossible. Well then, what is a woman to do?
I learned this lesson long time ago. Frequently I have to remind myself. This is the lesson…. In God alone, I place my trust. In God alone I place my trust. I place my trust in God alone. The walk begins alone in prayer. The walk proceeds alone following our Savior. The walk ends alone when we see Him face to face in glory. We must get to know Jesus Christ. To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to serve Him and to serve Him is to be happy one day in heaven. When you seek Him, you will find Him, when you seek Him with your whole heart. Apart from Him you can do nothing. Then Good News is you can do all things through Christ who strengthened you. Nothing is impossible with our Savior Jesus Christ. The prayer of our hearts must be as the song goes...” All I want is to know Jesus Christ and the power of His rising.”
 Every time I give a talk I realize how far short I come and what a long way I have to go. Do you remember the old song…? The words go like this… “Between the cross and heaven there’s a whole lot of living going on. It is so true. We must not only know the truth and of course, “Jesus is the way and the truth and the life.” We must live the trust. Each time we put the word of God into action, it becomes a part of us. If we just read all about it; we may grow in knowledge however, what we read remains just words on a page. Let us not just look into the mirror of our hearts see the reflection and then just walk away the same. We will just prove how true the words of Einstein were.  NO CHANGE= NO CHANGE!! No rather, we must all do something different if we want our marriages to be different. No rather let us take the time to:
Stop and see where we have been.
Look at where we are
Listen to God’s still small voice directing us to where He wants us to go.
Let us try to bring our marriages from a 2, to a 10, or from a 10 to a Perfect 10!!

Our love which began with a knock at the door of my heart had stood the test of time. We have lived our marriage vows. It has been a journey of good times as well as bad, walking together thru sickness, and in health. Renewing our vows daily for richer or for poorer, and committing to stay together, until death do we part. We have walked hand in hand whether we were climbing a mountainous trial, or sitting in the sunshine of blessings. It has been the adventure of a lifetime. I think that our vows say it best:

There has been a bucket full of grace on our marriage from the day we said, “I Do!”  I would love to proclaim that our marriage has been smooth sailing all along as we danced under the moonlight with wine, roses and a song, along with kisses that never ended. However it would not be true. The decision we made on the wedding day to love each other no matter what, has guided us thru valleys of despair and to mountaintops of great joy. No matter what; we face life together. Patrick will always take my breath away!

Before I close, I have to give an exhortation. If you have a wounded marriage, a marriage where there has been infidelity, abandonment, abuse or unfaithfulness of any kind including pornography healing is needed. Wounded people wound people, and you cannot pull that little red wagon with your husband in it. It is too heavy.  Jesus loves you very much. He says in His word, “He is near to the broken hearted. “ He does not say, “It is Ok to break someone’s heart. Life can be tough, and things can be hard. Only Jesus can heal us or our husband’s on the inside. There is a time to change, a time to pray and a time to get counseling.

There will be prayer at the end of the meeting. Those who need prayer be sure and ask me. The intercessors will be glad to pray. Prayer is always good. But those who are I a marriage situation that is not healthy need to seek spiritual direction from their clergy. They are way more qualified for marriages in a crisis. There is a ministry called retroutrove available. There is also Marriage Encounter. Lastly, Aiken has a group called FAM.

Never forget; God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called together for His purposes. Let us close by all reading 1 Corinthians 13 from the poster

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FASHIONED BY GOD'S GRACE

“Little Pink Dress Ministry, what kind of name is that for a ministry?” Those were my husband’s exact words, when I told him that we finally launched my website and blog. My husband, Deacon Pat, is the person I always use for spiritual discernment. He is wise, holding a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology, plus he has had his M.D. since 1974. However one thing my Deacon Dear, which I affectionately call him, does not have is a female gender. He is a man. He, also, has never run a woman’s ministry. So I took his comment with a grain of salt.
I was getting ready to explain in my best female language why the name Little Pink Dress Ministry was God’s choice.  Tarolyn, our daughter, and I had been praying and brainstorming together all morning. This name seemed to fit. In my opinion, it was similar to when a couple is trying to choose a name for the child in their womb.  They toss around ideas together.  Then one name just fits.  They look at each other and exclaim, “That’s it!” Maybe that was a bad example, naming a child together was never Pat and my strong suit. As my mind raced back in time, I remembered the time he chose Barnabas, for a son. God mercifully intervened by blessing us with a daughter instead, named Amanda Joy Grace.  The name fit our little girl. In the same way, Little Pink Dress fit the ministry perfectly.  I knew it and that was all that mattered.
 I declined giving an explanation to my left brain man, who already looked perplexed. After all, that surely would fall under the category of too much information.  Instead, I avoided the subject. Then I continued with, “Pat, you should have been there when we chose the tagline.” I must admit, I did not even know what the word tagline meant at the time. After Tarolyn carefully explained the definition, I said what I always say, “I’ll take it to prayer.” I believe that the tagline I selected was inspired by God. The tagline, “Accessorize with virtue,” has birthed the direction of my entire ministry.  It is for ladies who want to be adorned in His character and fashioned by His grace.
So why would a Catholic Christian Writer and Speaker select Little Pink Dress Ministry? That is the question. What is the answer? I am a girly, girl whose favorite color is pink.  I am almost always found in a dress, no matter what the occasion. To top it off, I always loved the slogan “Little Black Dress.” It is both simple and eloquent.  I rejoice in my gender.  I love being not only a woman but also a wife, and mother.  Do you know what I want people to say when I pass by, “There goes a lady!”
 What kind of woman do you want to be?  A Godly woman, who lives for Christ daily, can change the world by her example and thru his grace. She stands out with her inner beauty, not resembling the world. She is set apart for God like Queen Esther in the Bible. Women of today are miles apart on their views about what it means to be a woman, a wife and a mother. What does it mean to you?  To me, marriage is a both a vocation and a sacrament. “A man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one and what God has joined together let no man put asunder.”  That scripture from the book of Genesis may be old in years, but it is definitely not outdated.  A man and wife who are united for life are given the responsibility by a Holy God to join together in creating, birthing, and then forming the next generation to be healthy and strong. If the couple is doing their job well, they are also, and more importantly, passing their faith down to the next generation. We ladies house our babies first in our womb then in our hearts. We share this journey with the man we have chosen out of the entire world to be our husband. Hopefully, we were wise enough to ask God’s advice. The “who” before the, “I DO!” is said!
The joys and challenges of being a lady, goes far beyond what the world can ever understand. The tag line my Heavenly Father created says it all. Readers, you want to be a lady too?  Then “Accessorize with virtue.”  How do you accessorize?  Every lady knows that before she leaves home she takes a quick look in the mirror. Then she carefully chooses just the right earrings, and the perfect necklace or bracelet to make her look complete. Lipstick is last but equally, essential before walking out the door. She never forgets to sport a smile. She always leaves with joy in her step.
A Godly woman has a checklist too.  In the same when she must take the time to look at the reflection of her soul and put on Christ before walking out the door. She must always remember who she is representing, Christ Jesus our Lord. She must never forget to accessorize with virtue. It completes the look.  A woman must practice virtue in season and out of season.  Whether she is speaking at a church to a multitude of women or in her home with an audience of one, her two year old who is potty training, accessorize with virtue.  Whether she is seated at the presidential banquet with distinguished guests or her very own dinner table with family, accessorize with virtue.  If she is noticed or she is taken for granted, accessorize with virtue. If she finds herself, snowbound with a house full of toddlers or sun tanning at the beach with her beloved, accessorize with virtue.
 If she is to be a follower of Christ she must be an imitator of Christ. Ladies, God does not have a magic wand which He waves over us and instantly transform us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus. Virtue is formed through daily Christ like choices.  Perseverance in virtue overcomes vice. In my forty plus years of marriage, and after raising seven children into adulthood, I have found that virtue grows most in the mundane choices found in daily life. Washing the daily dishes, doing the mounds laundry, tidying up, and making the house a home has birthed character in my soul.  Changing diapers, too many to mention, and training children in the school of obedience, led me on the road towards Godly character.  I guess you could say that “diapers and dishes” were my pathway to holiness. While we are forming our children in Christ like character, our Heavenly Father is forming us into the image of His Son.  As a mother of a “quiver full,” I was given ample opportunities to choose a life of virtue by putting death to sin. I quickly learned that it is in the trials of life that we meet our Savior face to face.  Alone with Him in prayer we learn His voice. By receiving the sacraments we experience His grace. We begin to see Him in the people who reach out to us, as the hands of Christ in our life.
I love being a Catholic Christian Speaker and Writer. I enjoy writing books, giving talks, putting on retreats, mentoring mothers, and being an intercessor.  However I have come to realize that the most important role I play in this life is in my vocation as a mother and a wife. I am blessed to be given the privilege from a Holy God along with my husband to form the next generation.  What could be more important than that? In the midst of living out my vocation as a wife and mother I have found a closer walk with Jesus. I have learned to always accessorize, not only with jewelry but also with virtue.  I have learned to cover my lips not only with lipstick, but also with a kind word. Even though I love to dress in the latest vogue, I would rather be fashioned by God’s grace. On my journey of faith in the One, Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church I have learned to know God. I have grown to love God. In full time ministry I joyfully serve God. My prayer is to one day be happy with God in heaven.
What are you waiting for, Ladies? Who is in? Don’t forget to put on Christ, and to add virtue to your life. Let’s accessorize! “There she goes! There goes a Lady!”


SISTERS IN CHRIST MEETING

Featured Speaker and Topic:    Ellen Mongan                                                                                  Speaking on Loving your Husband 1 Corinthians 13 style
Ellen is a Catholic Christian writer and speaker who is married to Deacon Patrick MD., has 7 children and 11 grandchildren. She is on the board and blogs for Elizabeth Ministry International, www.elizabethministry.com.  She is a presenter for the catholic conference 4 for moms; please sign up online, www.catholicconference4moms.com.  Please check out my blog and website www.littlepinkdressministry.com and www.littlepinkministry.blogspot.com
When: February 19, 2015 at 11:00 A.M., speaker will begin at 11:30 A.M.
Where: Honey from the Rock Café, 2621 Washington Road, Augusta, Ga 30901

Mission Statement: The mission of “Sisters in Christ” is to provide an opportunity for fellowship for all women who believe in our Savior Jesus Christ.  Come and bring a friend, all are welcome!
Call Ellen Mongan  for reservations 706-833-3529

20-20 VISION


 Helen Keller has always been one of my hero’s.  Despite being born blind, her sight was better than most people.  Helen Keller and I share a common bond.  I too am legally blind with 20 -200 vision.  I was the only four year old wearing blue glasses, before eye glasses were a fashion statement.  Soon those coke bottle glasses were replaced with contact lenses.  Proudly, I became undercover blind; only my optometrist knew my secret defect.  Thankfully, I could see clearly, with a little correction.

Marriage is a lot like a good eye exam.  A spouse sees you for what you are, defects and all.  Marriage has a way of taking masks off and revealing the real you, sometimes with no makeup on, sporting bad breath, or on a not so good hair day.  Spouses see you when you have one nerve left and everyone is getting on it. They are on the scene when you are over committed and under patient.  They are invited to the pity party when you are out of sorts and decide to tell all.  Sometimes they are the bull’s eye that you are aiming your words at; unfortunately those words hit the target of their heart.  Life has no delete button, and there is no rewind or the ability to white out a bad day.  What they see is what they get.   Spouses see the parts of our personalities that we are blind to. They are looking at us with 20-20 vision daily; even on the days we do not want to repeat.

 A listening ear to correction can help us see ourselves clearly with the aid of their 20-20 insight; instead of with our rose colored glasses.  If their correction is given with a dose of understanding, and the assurance of their love, it will breed the courage to try and improve.  Everyone makes mistakes, and life is too short to sweat the small stuff.  Helen Keller needed a little help from her teacher Anne Sullivan.  Helen listened attentively, learned quickly and it made a difference.

 Live your marriage well, point out the blind spots to each other in love.  Be the good example to teach the next generation, that a good marriage is one where you bear with one another patiently, and forgive each other from the heart.  Finally, remember to put on your rose colored glasses when looking at your spouse; enjoy the view!

Accessorize with virtue ladies. Along with your rose colored glasses, wear a humble heart.

Monday, February 16, 2015

SO HAPPY TOGETHER

“And they lived happily ever after!  The End!”  Doesn't every woman want that to be their fairy tale ending?  After all, Cinderella, Snow White and Belle finished their stories with these words.  We however do not live in Disney World where pretend dreams come true.  We live in reality land, where if we lose our glass slipper, we usually have to find it ourselves.  If we eat a bad apple, rarely does Prince Charming come running to our side with a kiss.  We live in a land where there are dishes to do, clothes to wash, meals to cook, and we are up to our eyeballs with e-mails.  You may sometimes feel, the faster you go the more behind you get!  In this busy life, how can we find the time to make our husbands feel they are “King of His Castle?”  A friend once said, “If something is important enough to you, you will find the time to do it.”  Ask yourself this question, how important is your marriage?
Marriage Tips
1.       Vow to be a good communicator.  Don’t use words like always and never, especially when arguing.   Communicate with kindness!
2.       Love him his way.  If he likes dark chocolate, buy it for him occasionally as a special treat.  If he likes blue color, be sure to often buy his clothing and yours in that color.  If he hates spinach then don’t serve it.  If it is important to him to have a tidy home, recruit the children to help pick up before he walks in from work.  Remember, his first impression sets the tone for the evening.
3.        Be an encourager by patting him on the back with words.  Never bring up a difficult topic as he leaves the house.  Remember timing is everything.
4.        Greet your husband with a kiss when he comes home.  Give him a few minutes of your undivided attention, letting him know he was missed followed by some alone time to unwind.  “Alone time” is what men often treasure, so be generous.  Avoid greeting him with a chore, or a child to take care of:  give him a chance to take a breath and maybe pour him a cool drink.
5.       Plan a surprise get-away weekend.  Make it memorable and unforgettable, by choosing a place he enjoys. 
6.        Get a professional glamour shot of you for his office.  Surprise him with it, even if it’s not his birthday.  Gifts are more meaningful if it’s not a special occasion, but just because!
7.       In our marriage if someone dislikes doing a particular job, the other picks up the slack as a “labor of love.”  We are all different, to one a burdensome chore can be a blessing to another.
8.        Men need to be respected.  Negative words spoken in public can crush his fragile male ego.  Avoid sarcasm, mocking or negative comments.  This could close his heart towards you.  Words wound, so guard your tongue, even if you have to stop talking mid-sentence.
9.       Don’t share with your girlfriends anything that will embarrass or show him in a bad light.  Err towards love.  Think confidentiality.  This may take some time if you have already established a bad habit.  A true friend will be willing to avoid negative chit chat and call you on when you stumble.
10.    Ask your husband to go for a walk and talk after dinner each night.  You can catch up on each other’s life and get your exercise as well. 
11.   Start and end the day by praying together.  Daily make God a part of your married life.
12.   Read the same book and discuss it together.  This will help you communicate on a deeper level.
13.    Get a new hairdo or outfit that is not your usual style.  Make new friends, fix a gourmet meal, meet your mate for lunch, or even write him a poetic love letter.  Variety adds spice to life; dare to be different.  It can breathe new life into your relationship.
14.    Set the dinner table with china and put on your best dress.  Enjoy a candle lit dinner, just for two.  Linger longer and listen to each other more attentively.  After dinner say, “Let’s have coffee and talk” as you serve a special homemade dessert.
15.   Schedule a date weekly.  Take turns planning the date.
16.   Write a list of ten reasons why I love you and have him do the same.  Then each writes a list of “ten ways I like to be loved.”  Make two copies of each list.  Keep one copy and give him the other.  Spend some time talking about the lists together.  If your husband’s way of feeling loved is service, ask him each day how you can serve him.   If he likes to receive presents, give generously.

If you want to live happily together, you must put time and effort into your relationship with your spouse.  Going the extra mile, and taking time to fertilize your marriage with love, shows your man that you are glad you chose him from the whole world to marry!  Maybe he does not find the glass slipper you lost as you ran home from the Ball.  Maybe he does not wake you up with a kiss when you are sick, but does he still take your breath away?   Well don’t just tell him you love him, show him!  Make him feel he is “King of the Castle” and you will be on the road to “happily ever after!  The End!”




Sunday, February 15, 2015

BRING ON THE CHARM!!



When did the Prince lose his charm and appeal?  It used to attract the Princess to him like a magnet.  She breathlessly clung to his every word.  Once upon a time, his eye was upon her from the moment he saw her pretty face.  Time passed; married life set in and the familiarity of day after day has blinded his eyes from seeing her, even if she is sitting right beside him.  It seems the “Knight in Shining Armor” has begun riding his horse in a different direction.  What is a Princess to do?
Princess Dear, why not bring on a little charm to spice up your life in the castle?  This will help you to dig out of the rut that relationships fall into; somewhere between dating days and ordinary life as his wife.  When a prince takes his princess for granted, unfortunately she seems to return the favor.  Wake up “Sleeping Beauty!” Glitz it up, cheer him on, and give the good night kiss that says, “I love you best!” Remember, “It is all in the kiss!”  So kiss like it is the first time and won’t be the last time.  If “Prince Charming” has invited you to his castle, it is because you make him feel like a King. Treat the Prince to a “Royal Date” that will remind him why he fell in love with you in the first place.
Do you remember those dating days gone by?  You spent the day, putting on the glitz. You were showered, dressed to the nines, make-up and perfume were applied, and you always remembered to accessorize.  You could hardly wait to see him; bubbling over with joy and running to greet him when he rang your doorbell.  You did not care where you were going; after all you were with Prince Charming.
Beautiful Princess, the courting does not have to stop when the bride and the groom exchange their     “I Do’s!”  Marriage is exactly the place when dating for life begins.  Love is a choice.  Make it a “Love Connection” by adding a little spice to married life. Here are some successful date escapes that we have tried, Prince Patrick and I, the Beautiful Princess:
1.       Romantic Picnic - A get away picnic, whether at the park, or the beach, or even your own back yard tells your date that romance is in the air. Try European style: cheese, wine and fresh fruit become the perfect menu for healthy and delicious. Then walk hand in hand afterwards while having a heart to heart talk, and watch the sunset together.  The date is complete but the intimacy of the moment lasts a lifetime.
2.       Disney World - Are you a kid at heart who loves the Disney Magic?  No matter what theme park has become your personal favorite, your dreams can come true. A  Disney date is where a princess feels right at home with her prince.
3.       Double Date - Call your BFF and schedule a double date with her and her hubby.  Brainstorm together and plan an unforgettable time to knock the prince’s socks off.   If your BFF lives out of town like mine does, this date takes a lot of prior planning and usually ends up as a get-away weekend.  Double dating is a way to double the fun.
4.        Destination Date - Explore new places.  Pick a town, set your GPS, put your car in drive and off you go to have the time of your life. Whether you cruise to New Smyrna Beach, walk around Cocoa Village, or do the town in Miami, set your heart on adventure and let the moments come alive.
5.       Event Date - It’s Florida; something is always happening somewhere.  Do your research; check out the back page of Charm Magazine, Google Brevard County events, or get the Florida AAA book.  Choose an event that peaks your interest and it will equal a good time of togetherness.
6.       Dinner Date - It seems that dinner and a movie, is a common date. To charm it up a bit hunt as a couple to find, “Your Place.”  Try a variety of restaurants until you find “the one.”  Never judge a book by its cover.  The proof is in the pudding, so taste and see.
7.       Hiking - If you are the outdoor type, this date is for you.  Grab your hiking boots and walk for hours together enjoying the view until you drop into each other’s arms.  The great outdoors freshens the air in a relationship. 
8.       Romantic Get-Away - Remember the way you were?  A get-away weekend to a romantic place will quickly trigger your memory.  Get away with the prior agreement to just focus on each other.  You may not want to come back.  This is what I call saving the best date to last.


If your Prince has taken a siesta and your eyes of wonder have begun to close, it is time to bring a little charm into the castle. Courting “Prince Charming” again is one way of adding life to your marriage. Your prince will quickly take his place again as the king of his castle with his eye upon you, the princess, seated on the throne beside him.  Take some time to pretty up inside and out; plan, prepare and then get ready for a good time on a date with your mate.  Bye for now, I have to hurry!  I hear the doorbell of my heart ringing.  It is my Prince Charming calling. He is ready for our Royal date and I can’t wait!!!  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Catholic Conferences 4 Moms

Today is the day you can sign up for Catholic Conferences 4 Moms. This conference is by moms and for moms. I am very excited about this conference for two reasons. First of all the conference is free and secondly it is an internet conference. Do you know what that means moms? It means that you  can go to the conference whenever you want and even from your own living room. How convenient is that? There are presenters speaking on a variety of topics; so there is something for everyone. These are moms just like you. I know you will be blessed.

 I am one of the presenters. I speak on,  "A Quiver Full."  It is about how our God can do anything.  I share about how God took a woman who hardly ever babysat before and formed her to be the mother of eight children. He changed me completely. I count it as the greatest miracle of my life. How did He change me?  He gave me a Mother's Heart. I believe that miracles always happen in the heart on the inside where no one sees but God. Please watch my presentation. I would love to hear from you.

Moms what are you waiting for? Go to their website Catholic Conference 4 Moms.and sign up today. You can also like the conference on the face book page Catholic Conference 4 Moms and follow it on twitter.  Please sign up today. Then call, e-mail, face book, or twitter your friends and tell them all about it.

When we put on Christ everyday by accessorizing with virtue, miracles happen in our heart and in our lives. May you have a God filled day