Family Play Date…ASAP

We (Mamas) are our family’s thermostat. We can sense when our family is growing cold (each family member doing their own thing, all the time) or hot (short tempers and short remarks). 

When either happens, you have the power to regulate the environment! 

A couple days a go I planned a beach day for the family, for Labor Day. We needed some play time, without the tv and without chores! I woke up this morning and there was a 100% chance of rain, but we headed that way anyways and I’m so glad we did! 

What’s the temperature of your family’s heart? Maybe you need a family play date…..

Define Productivity

DSC_1952-2I am a Type A personality…waiting in long lines kill me because I always have something to do, somewhere to be, and I don’t like wasting time. Falling asleep is hard because I’m playing a never-ending list for the next day, week, or year through my mind. Though there are some negatives with being a Type A personality, there are also many positives. My favorite is productivity. If you need something done you can depend on me… I make things happen.

Yes, I made things happen….That was until I had kid after kid after kid after kid! Having kids is a wonderful thing. They need to be fed, changed, washed, and looked after 24/7. Your very organized to-do list become wipes for spills on your babies high chair. It’s not about helping others or even helping yourself, for that matter, but the focus is on these precious two eyed wild things looking up at you for everything.

If you don’t know me personally you might think I regret being a mom, but that couldn’t be more opposite. From when I was a toddler and my mom brought home my baby brother, I knew at that moment there was not a greater job or gift. The problem is I forget often what a blessing it truly is to have the name, “Mama”.

For example, three days ago, I noticed two Mommy friends sitting at a table cutting away at some invitations and making super cute centerpieces for a baby shower they are throwing. After talking with them a bit I walked away closing with these words, “well, at least y’all are able to be productive.” You see our daughters were all in ballet class together upstairs, so they had time to get things done because other kids are older and can take care of themselves. My boy on the other hand is a Tasmania on steroids, if he’s not watching “wv” (tv) that’s it, take your eyes off of him for a second and he’s gone. As soon as those words rolled off my tongue my heart dropped. An inner voice kept echoing them over and over, “at least you are able to be productive.” Really, like being a mom to a toddler isn’t productive, Bethany!? Spending time teaching, chasing, wrestling, tickling, and loving your son, isn’t productive?

Friends, our priorities and definitions get confused at times, but I’m here to tell you Type A Mama, you are being productive! If all you do is change diapers for the day, you are productive! If your kids are having an off day focusing on home school assignments, so you take them for ice cream, you are being productive. Type A Mama you have to look at things different than before kids. Use some Windex and look at your title again. Everyone says it, but it really is true, your kids will be grown and gone before you know it. You’ll have plenty of time for a personal list then. For now throw your own agenda out the door because the greatest check (off any list) you could ever give yourself is raising a child that has a heart after God, who is strong, smart, secure, independent, wise, and loving. Mama you are VERY PRODUCTIVE!

Happy Pl


My heart smiles as I watch them run and play. In these moments I feel alive and peace rains down! No screaming, no attitudes, no tattle telling, just giggles and hair blowing in the wind. I store this picture in my heart, then when chaos erupts, I close my eyes and visualize our happy place.

The funny thing about this “happy place” is, the lack of growth. We rarely grow in times of peace, but rather in times of struggles. Friend, don’t rush to always be at your “happy place”, learn to grow and thrive in the chaos. Accept the chiseling, the chipping away of bad, that God is performing on your life and make a choice to persevere. It took over 15 years for Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa and he wasn’t even working with her heart or soul. We are God’s masterpiece, a continually work in progress, and the fire is what releases the impurities of our heart. When you feel the heat today, take a moment to exhale and know He’s creating His Mona Lisa or Sally Sue or Maria Gonzales (you get the point) in you.

Parenting Truth…

20141021-065005.jpg“No matter how good a parent you are, your child is still capable on any given day of doing something despicable, disgusting, or depraved.” -John Rosemond

Be strong, consistent, and loving…don’t grow weary in disciplining, praying, and encouraging. May God give you wisdom today and everyday as you guide your kids in truth.

Mistakes in Parenting

20140925-072801.jpgMistakes are inevitable in parenting and those mistakes do not categorize you as a bad parent. The representation of bad parenting is not asking your children’s forgiveness when you mess up.

Early this week, Victoria was explaining to Kayla what letters were vowels on her worksheet. Kayla began to disagree and raise her voice, which only fueled Victoria to raise her voice even louder than Kayla’s. Quickly, the loud speaking became screaming. At this point I turned around and blurted out the words, “that’s enough, shut up!” (Sigh) Yes, shut up, the two words that I don’t use in my vocabulary, somehow popped out. Victoria immediately started crying. I was in shock, I couldn’t believe I allowed such harsh words to come out of my mouth. I calmly walked over to Victoria and apologized. I told her I was very sorry and I should have not used those words. Victoria graciously accepted and her tears stopped.

Contrary to what many parents think, apologizing to your child won’t cause the them to disrespect you; it actually will bring you closer in the long run. I am not perfect and neither are you, so when we blow it, we must be quick to admit it. That’s the kind of role model our kids need.



Are you killing your family’s soul?

20140907-072924.jpg“See Daddy,” Josiah said excitedly. He was so proud of his drawing and wanted to make sure his daddy saw his masterpiece.

More than half our day, yesterday, consisted of us lying around in our pj’s! At first I felt guilty for it, shouldn’t we be doing something. I mean is this good for my kids to just sit around on Saturday morning? The answer is, YES!

Our kids aren’t ADD our world is! Jim Burns calls it the ‘attention deficit world.’ You are so busy doing good things that you are missing the best things in life. The pace of life is killing the soul of families. It makes good people act crazy and makes otherwise healthy individuals become vulnerable-vulnerable to sickness, vulnerable to broken relationships, and vulnerable to sin.

Too often families are poisoned by a hypnotic belief-that good things come only through unceasing activities and are heightened by the pace of life. I encourage you today to go against the grain of the culture and find time for replenishment. Someone in the family has to have the courage to change the pace of life and your kids are’t going to do it. 

*Interested in reading more on the Confident Parenting by Jim Burns, Click HERE.

When the Stirring Doesn’t Stop!

20140820-075238.jpgFor the past eight years of my life I have been pregnant or nursing. I have given my full attention to my family. Until a couple of years ago, this was enough.  Then all of a sudden, my heart started saying, there is more. I like the way Lisa Whittle explains it in her new book, I Want God, “Even when we ignore it, the God-call inside all of us does not keep quiet. In everyday life, the God-call persists too. So while we may be able to run from service for a time, eventually we won’t be able to. The God-call on our life will simply be too loud and too strong.”

Since I believe a woman’s number one ministry is her family, I continued to pour into each of my family members, all the while my heart was stirring. I eventually started a blog, From the Committed Heart. I thought this blog would be the missing piece of my heart’s call and though it has helped, my heart kept stirring. About mid May, of this year, I felt God say, it’s time. My heart was pounding, tears were flowing, it’s been almost a decade since I lead a ministry! I prayed for God to show me how I would be able to lead a small group without it taking away from my number one ministry, my family. 

After throwing around some ideas with a friend, I have received the blessing from my church to start a women’s group called, From the Committed Heart. I will be sharing about the many hats we as women wear and the importance of your relationship with our God the Father first and our husband second.  

I’m excited to announce that the first meeting will be Monday, September 8th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at Faith Assembly, in the Prayer room. If you are a married woman, living in the Orlando area and are available, I would love for you to join us.
*ATTN: If you are planning to attend Monday, Sept. 8th and need CHILDCARE, please contact 407-275-8790 ext. 1105 or by Friday, Sept. 5th


Go Ahead and Kiss!

PDALast night, I was laying on the floor, scrolling through some social media, while the family was watching a movie. Josiah, my two-year-old, walked over to where I was, grabbed my hand and pulled me over to the couch, to where my husband, Javier, was sitting and wanted me to sit down beside Javier. He then crawled up on his dad’s legs and once he was situated, he looked right at his dad and said, “Mama” in a sweet voice, while pointing at me. Javier gently leaned over and gave me a couple of kisses on my cheek. Josiah’s face lit up, smiling from ear to ear…then he leaned over and kissed me.

What can PDA (Public Display of Affection) between dad and mom, provide for their children?

1. PDA provides security. Children need to feel safe. When they see Dad and Mom arguing and fighting, stress and even rebellion can take place. Children can feel the tension that comes between their parents, which makes them also tense. “Think of your marriage as the foundation of your home and family,” says Jean Odwazny, licensed clinical social worker with the Child, Adolescent and Family Development Center in Lake Bluff. “If that foundation crumbles, so can the family.”

2. By showing a little PDA in front of your children, you are demonstrating what a healthy marriage should look like. You are their example and model to their future relationship one day.

3. The last benefit I want to mention about a little PDA, is happiness. When dad and mom are hugging, they are more than likely sharing those hugs and kisses with their children. This environment of love creates a happy marriage therefore a happy family.

I say keep the “strong discussions” behind doors. Then go ahead and flirt a little, cuddle up close, show the kids how much daddy and mommy love each other. They might shriek with disgust, but down deep they sigh a breath of relief, knowing their parents love each other and teaches them about the sacredness of the covenant of marriage.

A Daughter’s Silent Cry to Her Father

“Daughters tend to be third in line for the attention of the man of the The Knock family.” Dr. James Dobson has come to this conclusion after many years of working with families. Fathers know intuitively that their boys require special attention, discipline and leadership, but they are often unaware of how desperately their daughters also need them.

gentleman I saw, on Saturday, one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen. Javier, my husband, has taken the girls on dates before, but this one just topped them all! It started, the day before, with him mentioning a date at Disney, but none of them wanted to go without the others. So after a little time of talking and throwing around some ideas, they decided Alayna and Kayla would set up a restaurant for Daddy and Victoria to go to. My husband got up immediately and put on his best suit and tie. Victoria put on her little black dress, accessorizing it with white pearls, then with a little touch of blush and lip gloss, for fun, and the princess was ready. Knock, knock, daddy was standing at her door.

Alayna and Kayla did a great job setting the mood with a little Mozart music, gigglesdesigning seating placements, menus, and entertainment. Giggles and smiles, happiness and joy, radiated from the face of a 7-year-old. This special day will never be forgotten because of a father’s decision to show his princess how wonderful she is.

We have all heard women talk more than men. Do you know why? Women and girls, connect emotionally through spoken words. Taking time to have meaningful and affectionate dialogue with your daughter is evidence that she is worthy, secure, and loved.

quoteA daughter’s sense of self worth and confidence is linked directly to her relationship with her dad. What he thinks about her and how he expresses his affection is a central source of her perceived value as a human being (Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson). Precious  These selected short proverbs were compiled or written by Harry Harrison and published in a book entitled Father to Daughter: Life Lessons on Raising a Girl.

*Accept the fact that [your little girl] will melt your heart anytime she chooses.

*Take part in her life now. Don’t wait until she’s 15 to try and develop a relationship.

*Sing to her while you’re rocking her. She’ll love hearing your voice—and it’s a great way to pass the time at 1 a.m.

*Remember, if you yell at a boy not to play with a wall socket, he’ll either stomp off or do it anyway. A girl will cry.

*Her mom will show her how to bake chocolate chip cookies. You show her how to dunk them in milk.

*Teach her to count. First her fingers. Then Cheerios, M&Ms, dandelions, and fireflies.

*Be prepared to watch Walt Disney movies with her some 200 times. Each.

*Never lose the wonder of watching her and her mother together.

*Relish the moments when she toddles up and for no reason at all throws her arms around your neck. Resist the urge to buy her the world.

*Trust her mom to understand the mystery of little girls. You have yet to figure out the mystery of big ones.

*Never, ever, make fun of her.

*Bear in mind that from the very beginning your personality will shape her.

*Never forget that supportive fathers produce daughters with high self- esteem.

*Read to her often. Very soon, she’ll be reading to you.

*Give her a picture of you to put in her first purse. If you’re lucky, she’ll always carry a photo of you.

*Don’t tolerate her temper tantrums. Not now. Not when she’s 15. Your home will be more peaceful for this.

*Restrict her TV viewing, unless you want her to grow up with the values Hollywood teaches.

*Little girls are fascinated by escalators. Make sure you hold hands.

*Make her a Valentine’s Day card—every year.

*Lie on your backs in the grass together and look for shapes in the clouds. It’s a good way to approach life when you’re young.

*Be home for dinner on time. Very important.

*Ask her about her day, every day. Share her wonder.

*Keep her secrets. This way she will begin to trust men.

*Take her for a walk in the woods. Show her what poison ivy looks like, how to cross a stream, how to find her way back.

*Let her teach you. About what she learned in school today. About the Pilgrims, or multiplication, or manatees. How to sing her favorite song. How to bake a cake. How to braid Barbie’s hair.

*Praise her often. Let her know you love her the way she is. If you tell her this often enough she might remember it throughout adolescence.

*Make up stories to tell each other at night. Stretch her imagination.

*Surprise her by showing up at her school for lunch, bearing Happy Meals or pizza.

*Never argue with her mom in front of her. As hard as it may be, walk away.

*Remember, society is teaching her its values 24/7. You need to be more determined to teach her yours.

*Never permit her to talk back rudely—to you or to her mother. Or anybody else, for that matter.

*Teach her patience, kindness, and tolerance. If you don’t, many years from now you’ll wish you had.

*Take her to the golf course with you. Give her a sawed-off club she can use to whack balls around.

*Think before you speak. Even when you don’t mean to, you can end up hurting her feelings.

*Never laugh at her dreams.

*Teach her to read between the lines. Remember, though, that she will probably have a better natural ability for this than you.

*Take her out of town to somewhere she’s never been at least once a year. This will develop her sense of adventure.

*Don’t miss a recital, concert, play, or any other performance of hers. Not now. Not until she graduates.

*Encourage her to be kind. Even to the girl nobody likes.

*Make sure she can reach you 24 hours a day.

*Remember, she needs a strong self-image before she becomes an awkward teen. A father’s love can make all the difference.

*Accept the fact that the loving, tender angel you’ve spent the last decade with may disappear sometimes. She will return.

*Remember, teenage girls spend hours in their room doing something. No man has ever really figured out what that something is.

*Once she begins to develop physically and sexually, don’t pull away from her.

*Get to know her friends. Middle school marks the zenith of peer influence.

*Remind her that the most sacred thing between a father and daughter is trust.

*Drive the car pool. You’ll learn firsthand what she’s doing each day.

*Remember, when you’re dealing with a 13-year-old girl, for all intents and purposes, you’re dealing with a fruitcake.

*Talk to her often about decision-making and sex. About her peer pressure, about love, about romance, about God. You never know when it will be just the thing she needs to hear.

*Watch your language around her. Insist she watch hers.

*Girls this age can be uncomfortable stating what they really need. More often than not, she needs you to be a parent.

*Accept the fact that girls squeal when they’re happy or confused or excited or scared or because they just saw a certain boy in line.

*When she’s particularly angry, sit down with her and have her try to describe what’s going on. Remember, the longer you listen, the more you’ll learn.

*Don’t subscribe to magazines that exploit women. It makes a statement about how you view all women.

*If you don’t approve of the way she looks before she goes out, send her back to her room to start over. Be gentle but firm.

*There will be days when you think you’ve raised an alien. Those are the same days she feels she’s being raised by one.

*Don’t let her play you and her mother against each other.

*Never call her names. No matter how mad you are. No matter what she did. If you do, she’ll remember it for the rest of her life.

*Remember—many girls look back on middle school as the worst time in their lives. Stay tuned; stay involved.

*Volunteer to drive her and her friends to the movies. Then just listen while they talk.

*The day she’s born, ask God to guide you in all aspects of raising her.

*Drag her to church . . . every week. She may not share your enthusiasm, but after 18 years, the message will have sunk in.

*Forgive her when she seeks forgiveness. This is the best way for her to learn to forgive others.

*Teach her how to be moral in an age that bombards her with sexual imagery and innuendo.

*Ask her every now and then about her spiritual life. If she asks you what you mean, be prepared to have a discussion with her.

*Teach her to pray for her enemies. This could possibly include a rotating cast of classmates and ex-boyfriends.

*Teach her to treat each day as holy.

*Teach her that sometimes God has other plans.

*No matter how much you are tempted, don’t yell at the refs or insult the umpire. You’ll embarrass her and look like an idiot.

*You will have to teach her how to drive . . . without making her cry.

*Make it very clear that you expect her to wear a seat belt. Even over her prom dress.

*Persuade her to buy gas when the fuel tank level is at a quarter tank, not when the needle is buried and the car is riding on fumes.

*Odd-looking boys will start showing up at your house. This is to be expected because adolescent boys are odd-looking.

*Let her see, by the way you treat your wife, the way a man is supposed to treat a woman.

*Teach her how to look a boy in the eye and say “No.”

*Do not tease her about boyfriends. She may not have one, and you might make her feel like she’s supposed to.

*Understand that if she suddenly becomes a football fanatic even though she hates the game, you can be sure a boy is involved.

*Teach her that if she acts stupid to attract boys, she’ll attract stupid boys.

*Explain to her that there are dangerous boys as well as honorable ones, and how to tell the difference.

*If a boy pulls up and honks for her, go out and have words with him. Explain that your daughter answers to a doorbell.

*Wait up for her. Knowing Dad will be greeting her at the door has a very positive effect on her decision-making process.

*Remember, every girl’s heart gets broken. There’s nothing you can do to fix it. Hunting down the boy won’t help. On the other hand, she will also break a few hearts herself.

*Don’t get too emotionally involved in her love life. It will drive you nuts.

*Don’t let her moods or anger push you away. She needs you now more than ever.

*You have no power over how much makeup, shampoo, suntan lotion, skin creams, hair color treatment, mascara, eyeliner, perfume, cologne, body wash, and bath lotion she will buy. Accept this and move on.

*Be firm about maintaining family traditions. They will become more important to her than either of you can imagine.

*Take long walks with her. If you just listen, she’ll eventually tell you everything that’s on her mind.

*Remember, if her home life is crazy, the rest of her life will be too.

*Teach her to respect herself.

*Don’t let her miss school to get her hair done for a party. Unless all you want is a party girl.

*Remember, you’re her definition of a man. If you drink and smoke and take drugs, chances are the men in her life will, too.

*Understand that when she’s 15, and wearing a black dress, with her hair done and face made up, you will be very hesitant to let her leave the house.

*Visit college campuses with her in her junior year. (This is not the time to get emotional. There will be plenty of time for that.)

*There will be times when you’d rather stick needles in your eyes than have a particular conversation with her. This is when you must act like a father.

*Prepare for the day when you’re not the most important man in her life.

*Tell her the three keys to wisdom: not believing all you hear, not spending all you have, not sleeping all you want. This will be difficult for her until she graduates from college.

*Have a look around her room. Take a moment to look at her pictures, her photos, her keepsakes. These are her memories. This was the childhood you gave her.

*Remember, she will break your heart when she leaves for college. But you will survive.

*Tell her she is the daughter you always dreamed about.

* In the end, let her go.