Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Did God Bless Me Today?

My beautiful "other mother," Marsha, came to visit me today.


She brought Camren and Lilly a little Thanksgiving treat; gummi bears, in autumn-themed containers, that were promptly eaten upon receipt.  She came bearing a gift for me as well.  A small, charming journal to record my blessings in.  Accompanying the journal was a powerful quote from Henry B. Eyring:

"You could ask yourself, 'How did God bless me today?'  If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings.  And sometimes you will have gifts brought to your mind which  you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God's hand in your life."

Her visit, her gifts, and the quote couldn't have been more timely.  I was having "a day!"  I was behind on my laundry (and lacking clean underwear...eek) when my evil washing machine decided to flood my basement during the rinse cycle.


(Yes, sadly, my "laundry room" is unfinished, dismal, dreary, and dungeon-esque!)

My children were being as naughty as caged monkeys; casting Legos about while I "tinkled," wrenching books from my bookshelves while I fed Bridget.


I found myself feeling grumpy and murky--a grand way to kick off the gratitude holiday.  Instead of preparing myself for Thanksgiving with my family--by counting my blessings and staying cheerful--I had chosen to start my celebration by (figuratively) riding a rain cloud!

And yet, the quote Marsha had given me occupied my meanderings all afternoon.  I couldn't help but pose Eyring's question to myself:  How did God bless me today?

He blessed me with health and strength to face my day's challenges.  He blessed me with vitality to keep up with a busy schedule.  He blessed me with protection, endurance, and peace.  And as I washed faces and made lunches and changed diapers and folded socks and played Candyland and wiped noses (whew!), my perspective shifted and I realized something wonderfully simple, yet obviously profound:  God has blessed me with my children.

I am certain I loved them before I knew them.

     
I encourage you to strive to see the Lord's ever-present hand in your life.  With the holiday season rapidly approaching, make an effort to see your God-given life through spiritual eyes.  Ask yourself, "How did God bless me today?"

Because you know what?
I bet he did!       

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ho, Ho, Ho and Twenty-Five Shmacks!

As we approach the wonderful and magical season of gift giving, I cannot help but reflect on the wonderful gifts I have been the recipient of!  Some of my favorites include:  A Casio keyboard that played Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" when you pushed the demo button.  A rock n' roll Barbie and all her bandmates, "The Rockers," complete with plastic guitars and a cassette tape of their music!  Hey, I am a product of the '80s! 

I am certain all of us have received some fantastic gifts from our loved ones over the years.  This year, why not treat yourself to a gift from The Wood Connection!  Like this awesome, perfectly Christmasy project:


I am guest posting at The Wood Connection's blog today.  Check it out!  You can view the complete tutorial here:  http://www.thewoodconnectionblog.com/ho-ho-ho-christmas-decor/

A "big-as-Santa's-belly" THANK YOU to the Wood Connection for allowing me the opportunity to guest post!  They have generously donated a $25 gift certificate to be given to one lucky "Mama Leisha" reader.  To enter the giveaway, fill out the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Catching Fire Prize Pack...Hooray!

Do you like Suzanne Collins', "Hunger Games" books?  (Heck yes!)  What about the movie?  (Of course!)  Are you excited about the release of the second flick, "Catching Fire?"  (You betcha!)

Enter my giveaway for a chance to win a Catching Fire prize pack, which includes:

- One (1) movie poster
- One (1) official movie T-shirt with Mockingjay logo
- Two (2) wristbands 
- One (1) iPhone cleaner
- One (1) iPhone dot


Entering is easy!  Simply fill out the rafflecopter below:
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be contacted via email on November 22nd!  GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Love To Click!

"Just keep clicking, just keep clicking, clicking, clicking, clicking, clicking...," I found myself chanting, over and over in my head.

The couch cushions littered the "in-need-of-a-vacuuming" floor, and Lilly and Camren were fighting like boxing kangaroos over a puzzle piece.  My sweet newborn babe was throwing a "feed-me-now" fit in her bright pink bouncy chair.  I looked at the spectacle before me and felt myself start to lose my cool.


I looked at my clicker.

I looked at my kids.

And suddenly everything changed.  I saw my sassy daughter with the toothless grin, holding her own against her energetic brother.  I saw my son, with the dark brown eyes and the "mitts" like puppy-dog paws.  I saw turned-up noses and black eyelashes and freckles on knees, and children who are growing and changing too quickly.  I saw my baby--fresh out of heaven--and smiled at her perfect baby toes.

I clicked.

Positive thought #43:  I am a mother.


When singer, songwriter, speaker, and "all around cool chick," Hilary Weeks contacted several bloggers about her "clicker project," I KNEW I had to get involved.  "Clicking" is an experiment in the power of positive thinking.  Think a good, positive thought, then acknowledge it with a click from a tally counter; a clicker.


I received my adorable and cheery clicker kit a couple of weeks ago.  I couldn't wait to get clicking!  I took my clicker everywhere:  to Sephora, to Cam's preschool, to the grocery store, and OH MY GOSH!, to my OB-GYN's office!  My clicker sat on my dresser, on my kitchen counter, on my dashboard.  I loved counting my happy thoughts.  I clicked for blue skies and fluffy clouds.  I clicked for good books and uplifting music.  I clicked for Diet Coke, peanut M&Ms, prayer, my parents, and my baby's smile.  As I clicked, I found myself feeling better, happier, lighter.

Would you like to click with me?  Visit www.billionclicks.org to order your own clicker kit.  Use the coupon code, ALEISHA334, and receive an additional clicker, sticker, and wristband for FREE!


Change your thoughts, change your mood.  Change your mood, change your day.  Change your day and ultimately change your perspective.  For the better!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Motherhood Requires Bravery

Brave:  to endure or face unpleasant conditions without showing fear; showing courage.

I wish I were more brave.  In the brief time I have been a mom, that is one truth that continues to manifest itself before me:  Motherhood is hard; it requires bravery.


What do you do to stay brave?

I just dropped my first grader off at a Halloween costume party.  Complete with donuts, tons of boys and girls I don't even know, and a showing of "Hotel Transylvania."  I admit I was nervous to leave her.

So I sit here, on my unmade bed, with my fussy new babe; Adam Levine my only company as I watch a recorded episode of, "The Voice."  I cannot help but look at Bridget's tiny feet and remember when Lilly was that small.  She had tufts of hair on the tips of her ears.  She had pouty lips and wrinkly toes.

And now she is my "big girl;" a first grader, a heart breaker, a mover and a shaker.  She rides the bus and eats school lunch.  She goes to Halloween parties.  She does it without me.

Motherhood requires bravery.  We have to "show courage" enough to allow our children some independence.  How on earth do we let them go, mamas, when we long to keep them close?

We take deep breaths and pull up our boot straps.  We drop to our knees and whisper fervent prayers to heaven.  We soldier on, we hope on.  We remember that our children need opportunities to stretch and to "spread their wings."  That is how they learn.  That is the way they grow.  Hopefully, after we have done everything we can to raise them right, they'll fly.


And we'll see we really were brave all along.