My second chance

I just can’t believe I’m actually typing this!

For the past four years, we’ve been looking at Dr. Perez’s site and making plans. Every year, something came up and the money we had set aside for the surgery would have to go to something else. It was heartbreaking at times.  But I believe we were on a timeline set by our Heavenly Father and it has worked out perfectly according to His will.

Ten years ago, after my youngest daughter, Vivian, was born I made the decision to have a tubal ligation. At the time I was very young, only 21 years old and I already had three children. I was worried about having more children. I was scared I couldn’t take care of them, or provide for them. So, even though my doctor tried to convince me to make a different choice, I insisted that I be sterilized.

I can say without a doubt that if I could change one thing in my life, I would NEVER have made that decision. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but that was by far, the worst one. God has blessed me with a special heart for children and a joy in motherhood. I was wrong to end that part of my life.

Over the course of the last ten years, God has brought me through some very tough struggles as a single parent and five years ago He blessed me with the most wonderful husband and a new realization of the person He wants me to be. About two years into our marriage, during worship service at church, I cried out to God to change me. I begged Him to use me, show me where to go, show me how to conduct my life. I wept as I cried out for His guidance. And I felt His peace wash over me.

You see, even though I wanted to have more children – God knew I wasn’t quite ready. I believe this spiritual process of healing was necessary in order to prepare me for my reversal surgery.

Isn’t God amazing?

This past January, we found out we would be getting back a large enough return to FINALLY have the reversal surgery. I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was. We held our breath every day until the money was deposited in the bank. We then started the process of filing for our passports. My husband already had a passport, but his was expired. I needed to file for the first time. We sent off our applications separately, but on the same day. They were both received on the same day and the two checks we sent were cashed the same day. But I got my passport back in 9 days and my husband’s has not come in yet.

Luckily, my husband’s grandfather’s wife, Tiko, is actually from Mexico and she travels over there all the time. Both Tiko, and Scott’s grandfather (Giddy) have passports. So I went ahead and scheduled my surgery for the 27th of March, thinking that if Scott’s passport wasn’t in by then, I could still go with Giddy and Tiko.

We drove down south and dropped our children off in Corpus Christi to visit my parents and grandparents. They had a wonderful weekend playing on the beach and having fun.

Scott and I drove to Pharr, where his grandfather lives. We found out that Tiko asked the officials at the border if Scott could show some other kind of ID to get across and they said if he had proof that he applied for his passport, his birth certificate and his driver’s license, he could travel across without any trouble. Scott was really glad to hear that because he wanted to be with me during my surgery.

We crossed without any problems. I didn’t know what to expect with all the scary news stories going around about the violence with the drug wars in Mexico. There were a lot of Border Patrol agents, some soldiers and police officers patrolling the streets – but it really was uneventful. We’re so thankful that we had so many people praying for our safety. We had nothing to worry about. God was watching over us.

We did have a little bit of trouble finding the hospital. We wrote down the directions, but the street signs were rusted and it was really difficult to tell where the city blocks ended. Luckily, Tiko speaks Spanish and we were able to ask for directions. I highly recommend using the shuttle service. We were blessed to be riding with Tiko and I don’t know how we would have found the hospital without her. Please use the shuttle service.

The reception area was absolutely charming! It was beautifully decorated with citrus colors and black accents. I wish I would have taken a picture – because I really loved it. We walked down the hall and checked in. The paperwork was in Spanish, so Tiko told me what to write and where to sign my name. And then we went to our room. The hospital is very nice and clean. Really, it’s just like the hospitals here in the United States – except the staff and doctors in Mexico are SO MUCH NICER!

After a little while, Dr. Levi came in to talk to us. He was so wonderful. He sat right down and talked to us for over an hour. I don’t think I’ve talked to any doctor for more than 20 minutes. I was so amazed that he was willing to answer every possible question we could have. There was no rush and I really appreciated all the information he gave us. He was so funny and it was easy to relax around him. My husband really liked him a lot.

That night, Tiko went out to one of the restaurants and brought back some amazing food! I tell you what – the food down there is just wonderful! We loved it.

The next morning, they woke us up pretty early – around 5:30 a.m. to put in my IV and draw some blood. Around 6:45, the cafeteria lady came in to give Scott some pancakes and Dr. Levi came in to give Scott some scrubs to wear. A nurse came in to put on my surgical booties and she covered my hair with a cap. Then I hopped into a wheel chair and went to the operating room.
Dr. Perez was there and I was able to say a brief hello. He seemed really nice – but we didn’t talk very much. They put in the epidural and I did go to sleep for a little bit. I woke up halfway through the surgery and I said some silly things because I was a little dopey. I told Scott we should name our son “Roberto” in honor of Dr. Perez and I said he was a great man like five times. So that’s a little embarrassing.

The surgery took about an hour. Dr. Levi worked on one tube and Dr. Perez worked on the other tube. I lost about 80 ccs of blood, which is hardly any! It really was a very successful surgery. They certainly know what they’re doing. After it was all over – I found out I have 7 to 8 cm on both sides! Dr. Levi told us we shouldn’t have any trouble at all getting pregnant!
My entire experience was wonderful. The doctors and nurses were really very nice. The hospital was clean and quiet. The food was terrific. And our journey was very safe.

Today I’m a little sore, like I did about 100 sit ups. But I’m able to move around slowly and my family is taking care of me. We praise God for keeping us safe and blessing us. And we’re so pleased with Dr. Levi and Dr. Perez and the hospital in Rio Bravo!


We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.



Our new beginning

Ten years ago, after my youngest daughter, Vivian, was born I made the decision to have a tubal ligation surgery – or have my “tubes tied.” At the time I was very young, only 21 years old and I already had three children. I was worried about having more children. I was scared I couldn’t take care of them, or provide for them. So, even though my doctor tried to convince me to make a different choice, I insisted that I be sterilized.

I can say without a doubt that if I could change one thing in my life, I would NEVER have made that decision. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but that was by far, the worst one. God has blessed me with a special heart for children and a joy in motherhood. I was wrong to end that part of my life.

It took five years to fully realize that my decision was a mistake. And it’s taken another five years to be able to correct that mistake.

Ten long years.

At the end of this month we will be traveling to Mexico, to meet with Dr. Perez and have my tubal ligation reversal surgery – or have my “tubes untied.” Dr. Perez has been in practice for 30 years and he does about 150 tubal reversal surgeries every year. He’s very experienced and comes highly recommended. His hospital is affiliated with the Red Cross and is located just outside of the Texas border in Rio Bravo, Mexico. We have chosen to have our surgery with Dr. Perez because he has a very high success rate, he’s been in practice for a very long time and has plenty of experience, he’s close to us (as we are Texans) and quite frankly, it’s a lot less expensive to see him in Mexico.

Scott and I feel like this is the final step in our new beginning. We’ve talked extensively about the changes we’ve made as a couple in the last five years. We are not the same people we were ten years ago. In fact, we’re not the same people we were five years ago when we got married. We’ve grown together and we feel like we’re becoming the couple that God intends us to be – and we’re very excited by this!

I can’t say for sure if we’ll be able to have more children. It’s in God’s hands. But I’m overjoyed that I can finally do my best to correct a mistake I made a long time ago.


We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


Guilt and sorrow

I’ve been dealing with some very serious guilt issues these past few days. I’m trying to understand what the Lord is telling me. The best way for me to do that is to write out what I’m feeling and explain myself on “paper” – so to speak.

A long time ago, I was married to a young man. We had three children together. We also shared some very hard years together. He wrestled with many addictions. He battled depression. Ultimately I chose to leave that man. His addictions and self-destructive behavior lashed out at me and the children and I simply could not raise them in that environment. As a woman, I was crushed by his unfaithfulness and the abuse I suffered. As a Christian, I struggled to forgive and I’ve been tormented by guilt.

We recently discovered that the young man I married so long ago died from an overdose. Whether or not it was intentional is not yet known to me.

The guilt, anger, sadness and all the terrible feelings I’ve struggled to put away are now rising up again with a vengeance. There are questions that will never be answered in this life. There are feelings that can’t be put to rest peacefully. There is so much left unsaid. So many things I said in anger, I wish I could ask for forgiveness from that person.

Yes, I was wronged. I was betrayed and hurt terribly. But I believe that person that hurt me was suffering too. But I was too young and inexperienced to recognize that hurt and offer peace and comfort. I think I will always be sad when I think of those years lost.

I’ve been so blessed to be married to a wonderful man for the last five years. He’s been an amazing father to my children. He’s been such a wonderful husband to me. He’s taken care of us and healed so many hurts. I know God sent him just for me and I’m overwhelmed with love, both for my husband and for the Father who knew what I needed to be restored. God is unimaginably good to His children.

Even though I am completely loved, since I have learned of my ex-husband’s death I am wrestling with guilt and sadness.

I believe I may have come to an important realization this morning. Guilt can be a useful tool of the Holy Spirit to convict us when we are sinning. That guilt can cause us to repent and turn away from that sin. That kind of guilt is good.

But that useful tool can be twisted into a weapon. When the guilt overwhelms us and causes us to dwell on our past sins, it is no longer a tool used for good. I believe that kind of guilt is an attack. It is an evil whisper in our hearts that says, “You can’t be good enough. Look what you did. You can never be forgiven.”

That’s a lie. We are forgiven, completely. We only need to ask God and He is so quick to pour out His love and forgiveness. And as I pray for God to heal my hurts and ease my guilt, I’m praying for the young man I married a long time ago. I’m praying for his family.

God can work sorrow into joy. His Word tells us this is true.

 “… and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
       to bestow on them a crown of beauty
       instead of ashes,
       the oil of gladness
       instead of mourning,
       and a garment of praise
       instead of a spirit of despair.
       They will be called oaks of righteousness,
       a planting of the LORD
       for the display of his splendor.”

Isaiah 61:3 (New International Version)

I praise God for the beauty He gives us in the midst of ashes.

A Christmas blessing of hope

Lately I’ve been feeling pretty down. Some things have happened lately in my life that have been hard to overcome. I’ve felt separated from my Heavenly Father. My faith has been shaken. It’s been a dark few weeks for me. I’ve been pressing on, continuing to serve, though my heart wasn’t entirely in it. I know there are seasons like this in all our lives and I was working through my own struggles.

Today I was busy baking pumpkin cookies and working on some centerpieces for a Christmas party. I thought it would be nice to hear some holiday music as I worked, gluing ornaments together and the smell of pumpkin and spices filled the house. And as I listened, my heart was lighter. I felt hopeful again. Joy crept into my weary soul once more. I had this one thought, “I was sad, but Christmas is coming.” It has occurred to me today that mankind faced a long season of weary struggling through darkness. And then Christmas came. Our savior was born and the world felt light and joy again.

While tying ribbons, I caught a shimmer of excitement and I felt as if I was preparing for my savior Himself to arrive at the Christmas party. That kind of joy is overflowing! I pray my friends and family are blessed with a renewal of joy and hope this season. As we hang our lights, decorate our trees and sing the songs that celebrate our savior’s birth – I pray you all catch a spark of excitement that our Lord is coming back so very soon. Imagine the day when we celebrate as one body, basking in the light of His glory.


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


My change of heart

Almost ten years ago, I was a struggling single mother with three very young children. I didn’t spend very much time with my children because I was focused on working as a journalist, graphic layout designer and copy editor for a newspaper. My children spent the majority of their time at the babysitter’s house. They would spend the night with her often. I missed out on so much. With my eyes on the wrong goal, I stumbled and fell. I fell frequently. It was a mess. Thankfully, God did not give up on me. He led me down a broken road to my husband, Scott. Settled into a comfortable marriage I felt that for once I was safe – I was loved – and I was special. During this time of healing I was able to change my focus.  About two years into our marriage, during worship service at church, I cried out to God to change me. I begged Him to use me, show me where to go, show me how to conduct my life. I wept as I cried out for His guidance.And I felt His peace wash over me. I should have known that peace was sent to help me through the changes ahead of me.

God set out that very moment to radically change me. A few weeks after I cried out for His guidance, I became very sick with pneumonia. So sick, in fact, that my husband was forced to take me to the hospital. I was admitted for almost a week. Initially, as the doctors were working on the correct diagnosis, they were concerned about a large mass in my lungs.

Apparently the infection was so condensed, the doctors initially thought it could be a tumor. My heart stopped when they told me this.

I immediately quit smoking.

I smoked a pack a day for six years. I’ve tried every different way to quit, without success. But the day I cried out for my Father to change me into the woman He wants me to be – He set the process in motion. He knew what it would take to free me from my costly addiction.

And still He continued to work on me. Shortly after I recovered, an opportunity to serve in my church’s children’s ministry presented itself. As I considered working in this ministry a warm peace, much like the one I experienced during that special moment of worship – washed over me and I knew that this was a step in the right direction.

Over the next few weeks, He continued to work on me. He opened my eyes to healthy changes in my lifestyle, our budget, our household. My Father has redirected my interest in raising my children in a simple, loving and Godly manner.

And then my God laid it upon my heart to take a leap of pure faith and homeschool my children.

The idea at first was frightening! I was not this person. I was busy at my job, I had my own interests. Sure, I love my children, I attended church, I loved my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ – but I was nowhere near where He wanted me to be.

I was NOT the type of mom to get up early, make sure everyone had a nice breakfast. I didn’t pull myself out of bed to spend a little time in prayer. I rarely cracked open my Bible unless I was at church. I wasn’t a bad Christian – but I was inactive, lukewarm. I had not surrendered my life completely to His will.

As I look back today, I’m amazed at just how far God has brought me in such a very short time. He’s used circumstances to teach me. He’s led my heart to a new realization of just how wonderful my life could be when I decide to truly serve Him. I can see now that serving in the church children’s ministry will help me as I homeschool my children. The organizational skills I’ve used at work will benefit me as I struggle to keep us on task at home. The new things I’m learning everyday will help me to become the woman I need to be –  the woman He wants me to be.

I still have a long way to go. I’m not a saint, by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m still a little unsure of myself in this new role. I don’t know if I can be “that type” of a woman. Can I be a true help mate for my husband? Can I be the way God wants me to be?

Not on my own.

But I’m not alone. I’m being led every step of the way. And I’m so very thankful that God has invested such an interest in a wayward servant.

Along with changing my attitude towards raising my children, God has placed a new desire in my heart to have more children. When I gave birth to my third child, I made the terrible decision to have my tubes tied. I broke my body. My heart is broken. God, in His goodness and mercy, has led me to The Lord’s Heritage Ministry – a ministry that helps raise money to fund tubal ligation and vasectomy reversal surgeries.  I have hope now. This chance to be physically restored is precious to me. God has recently been working with me regarding my misconceptions about submission to my husband and my misconceptions about why God created women. I used to be so concerned with my career, so concerned with “being somebody,” and I didn’t want to be “just” a housewife. It has been a struggle for me to overcome the lies that I grew up with as a child of the feminist generation.
Today I am very, very happy to be a stay-at-home mother, I’m proud to be homeschooling my children and diligently serving my church. There are still times when I struggle with that prideful nature when I bump into an old friend and they ask me, “Where do you work?” Their faces change when I say, “I’m at home with my kids.” It’s like they think I’ve given up – when really I’ve chosen a fantastic calling!
God has revealed much to me about my character and the wrong ideas I’ve had in my heart. And it’s just in time, too! God’s timing is perfect. My daughters are getting older now and they’re talking about what they want to be when they grow up. I would have encouraged them down the wrong paths in the past. But today I’m able to tell them that God has created them as women for a very special purpose. Yes, a job – a career – for an unmarried woman is important. And it’s important for them to ask God to show them their paths. But the Bible tells us as women what our purpose is and why He made us. We are helpmeets, rubies for our husbands, gaurdians of our homes! This is so wonderful to me now. It blesses my heart to tell my daughters that God loves them and wants them to be happy.
God has helped me to see His perfect planning when He created women for that purpose. I was blessed about two months ago to receive a book from my mother-in-law, “Womanly Dominion,” by Mark Chanksi. This book really helped me to realize that I was pleasing God, my Father, when I chose to serve my family and my husband with my whole heart.
Thank God for working to reveal these things in my life! I have such amazing peace. I experience so much more joy in my life. It is my prayer that I can help other women realize that they can have this same joy and peace everyday!


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


Bible lesson ideas for ages three through kindgergarten

Many churches with young families are facing a dilemma: what activities can we offer for the children? Nursery services for infants and children under the age of three are generally available, but often children ages three through kindergarten need specific activities and a structured learning service tailored to their developemental stages. They’re too old for the nursery and too young for the adult services.

Luckily their cheerful disposition and high energy learning styles make this age group such a joy to teach! Listed below is a general idea for a children’s church service.

It would be good to have two or three adults to serve as the main “teachers.” Having more than one teacher allows the adults to switch out every other Sunday and attend the main service with their families and friends. The three year old through kindergarten age group responds well to routine. It wouldn’t be advisable to change teachers too often, in order to ensure the children are comfortable with their teachers. It would be really great to have a list of volunteers from the youth and other adults in the church to rotate weekly as “assistants.” These assistants are essential for bathroom breaks, handing out activities and supplies and helping to keep the children on task.

It is recommended to keep a few supplies in a large tub that can be kept in any suitable learning area. In the supply tub, it would be great to have:

crayons and coloring pages

a timer



reward stickers

videos or DVDs


story books

pillows or rugs, or even towels to sit on during story and video time

With these supplies in hand, it is easy to folow a general schedule of activities like this:

(5 to ten minutes per activity)

1. Story or Video

2. Play time

3. Clean up

4. Snack

5. Craft or coloring

6. Play time or Singing

7. Clean up

8. Parent pick up

To help with the transition, use a timer and set it to go off after five or ten minutes. Also, make a really fun flip chart with brightly colored pictures of each activity. A flip chart can be made using a three-ring binder. Set this binder on the main table where it can be easily seen.

There are plenty of good websites with ideas for a central theme for each Sunday such as “the days of creation,” or “ways that Jesus shows His love for us.” Use a central theme with a Bible scripture throughout the games, songs and crafts to help the children learn about the Good News. Take a look at these websites for ideas:

With a little preparation and plenty of energy, teaching this age group can be a very rewarding experience. Remember, “Jesus called the children to him, and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


Scriptures to help with sibling bickering

For the past month it seems our three children have fallen into a very bad habit of griping, nit-picking and generally speaking to each other in very rude ways. It has become an almost daily occurance for one, two or all three of them to be in serious trouble for the way they have chosen to speak to their brother or sister. Last night was the last straw. I had told all three of the children to work together as a team to wash and put away the dinner dishes. I told them I did not want to hear any arguing.

Unfortunately, five minutes into the task, my son was heard grumbling under his breath rather rudely to his older sister who was trying to explain to him that he had not fully washed a dish and it needed to go back into the dish water.

After sending him to his room, along with grounding him from his PSP privilages for a week, I turned to a Google search to help find some scriptures that could better illustrate how wrong it is to constantly tear each other down with words spoken in anger. I know this is a common problem for many families, so I thought it would be helpful to share the ones we’ve decided to use in our home:

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret it leads only to the evil (Ps. 37:8)

A wise man fears for the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hot headed and reckless. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated (Pr 14:16-17)

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control (Pr. 29:11)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Pr. 15:1)

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Pr. 21:23)

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out (Pr. 17:14)

It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel (Pr. 20:3)

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Tim. 2:23-24)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Eph. 4:31)

Do everything without complaining or arguing (Ph. 2:14)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” which is the first commandment with a promise “that it may go well with your and that you may enjoy long life on the earth (Eph. 6:1-3)

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (Col. 3:20)

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12:11)

My son and I discussed these verses and we talked about what it means to be pleasing to God and how important it is to be very careful with the way we speak to each other. It is a hard lesson to learn – not just for a child, but for anyone. Today during our lessons we talked as a family about these scriptures and we assigned Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” as our memory verse for the week. My children have a weekly verse to memorize by Friday or they will not be able to play on the computer or the Wii on Saturday. In addition to his grounding, my son will have to choose three of the above listed verses to memorize as well.

Of course, after laying out the punishment and the tears from my son, I myself cried. Parenting is not for the faint-hearted, and as a “weaker vessel” I do tend to leak quite often around the eyes. But I am praying these verses will take seed in my children’s hearts (and my own) and help us to cultivate a more pleasant way of speaking to each other.


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


These are a few of my favorite links

I feel like I’m falling off the edge of the sidewalk here, because I don’t want to become one of those “bloggers” that blog about every random thing under the sun. However, I do enjoy reading a few blogs that provide outstanding information and uplifting outlooks. I think the world can use a few doses of useful blog posts. I’m going to attempt to be “that” kind of blogger.

So right here and now, I am vowing not to blog about celebrity scandals, what was on television last night or the latest political outrage. No sir. I’m choosing to offer a few tips for the everyday REAL woman. I have a heart for stay-at-home mothers and wives. We’re in the trenches, doing what the Lord has called us to do, taking care of our families and our husbands. This blog is for them.

To get started on the right foot I thought it would be important to share some links to sites that I highly recommend.

Darla Shine is an outstanding example of a woman who said enough is enough and turned away from the “Desperate Housewives” culture. She has instead promoted a wonderful sense of pride for stay-at-home wives and mothers, and all women who want to serve their families with distinction. I want to encourage you to pick up her book today. Her website is crammed full of fantastic tips for every aspect of family care including recipes, cleaning tips, work at home solutions, child rearing, physical well being and even special emphasis for military wives. There is also a wonderful discussion board where ladies come together online to chat and encourage one another.

For those of us that might be learning to cook a little later in the game (like myself) this site is a total must!  Christy Jordan is a bona-fide Southern Lady and a true delight. Her recipes are not only mouth-watering, she shares step-by-step tutorials with pictures! How cool is that? It’s seriously like having quality cooking lessons right in your own home.

I homeschool my three children. The advice, tips and general information I glean from Heather’s site is invaluable. Just her post on her binder organization made my jaw hang open. Here’s a girl who knows how to get things in order! I love to see the pictures of her sweet family as they journey together in their homeschooling adventure. If you are a homeschooler, or if you are considering homeschooling – take a walk through her site, read the archives and click the links. It’s all good stuff.

I greatly admire Susanne. I’m constantly reading her recipes and frugal living tips. She is really amazing. Her article about Apron Evangelism made me want to wear my apron 24/7 and be the very picture of superwoman. The Hillbilly Housewife site offers valuable insights, recipes, tips and a good solid dose of Christian morality and edification. It’s good for the brain and good for the soul.

Those sites will get you off to a great start! I hope you benefit from them as much as I do every day.

Much Love!  – Amanda


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.