Stop Playing Negative Tapes In Your Head! Here’s How!

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Stop Playing Negative Tapes In Your Head

The thoughts sneak in without fanfare. Just a whisper of an idea that seeks to destroy:

“He constantly puts work before you. You are not that important to him.”

“If you don’t homeschool her, she will not get a good education.”

“She has the perfect life. If you had made better decisions, your life would be easier too.”

“Just go buy the next size up already. It’s just another example of how unhealthy you are and your lack of self-control. The days of size 8 are long gone, sister.”

“Why are you even trying to build friendships with these people? No one will accept your invitation for dinner.”

“You have been speaking harshly to your kids for the last 5 years. It’s not going to change.”

“If you don’t control your kids’ every move, something terrible will happen to them and you will be all alone.”

“What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just stick to a cleaning routine and put the laundry away in a timely manner? You are a failure in small things, so you must be a failure, period.”

“Your parents were right. You aren’t good for much.”

“He’s not a spiritual leader so your boys will never learn to lead their own wives Biblically.”

“She’s so good at her job. You, on the other hand, aren’t making much of an impact with your life. Maybe you need to put the kids in daycare and go back to work. Besides, the kids might be better off too since you aren’t that great of a mom.”

“Your to-do list is a mile long this week. There is no way you will accomplish everything you need to.”

“Your sons are so wild. Everyone thinks you are a bad mom.”

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? Are these tapes playing in rotation in your head?

Take a moment and let the weight of just one of these thoughts sink in. How does it make you feel? What are the physical changes you experience when you believe these thoughts? Is your blood pumping? Is your heart dropping? Your head hanging? Or your spirit sagging?

Mine is.

But we really don’t have to turn up the volume on these lies. That’s what they are: lies.

And the best way to banish the bull is to call Satan’s bluff.

Here is a simple practice I gleaned from a recent message from author, Alan Fadling and two key questions to ask yourself that will change your thought life for good:

YOUR TURN! What do you think? Are your thoughts more like friends? Or enemies? Are you up for the challenge to try this for the next week? If this post blessed you, PLEASE, share it with others!

(For more on this topic and other Biblical thoughts on Sabbath, rhythms of rest, and ways to reprogram your heart and mind for peace, check out Alan Fadling’s new book, An Unhurried Life!)

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

Things I LOVE and a GIVEAWAY!!!

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Things I LOVE And A Giveaway

 

Many bloggers like to share their favorite gift items this time of year, and I do too! These are some of the items that make my life just that much more enjoyable. AND, I’m giving two of them away to YOU! Read to the end to enter! This post contains affiliate links where you can also read reviews about these items!

BEAUTY

Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami (And Ballet Slippers!)

Midnight Cami is the perfect color for Fall! It’s super rich and pretty! I tend to go for dark or bold colors for my pedicures!

Essie Midnight Cami

I also love a French manicure on my fingernails. I don’t love the price I pay for one at the salon, nor do I often have the time for that. Enter, the color Ballet Slippers! It’s my go-to polish 9 times out of 10 for manicures and it’s one of the brand’s top sellers! 

 

Maria Milanes, Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

Few people know me better than my friend Maria. She’s not just as sister in Christ-she makes me look my best too!! Maria was one of my bridesmaids and on my wedding day, she did my hair and makeup and then stood beside me as I said my vows to my husband. If I’m going to share some of my favorite things, the list is simply not complete without mentioning this talented woman!

AND if you live in Southern California or happen to be visiting, she is giving a major discount to new clients who make appointments at her Santa Clarita Valley location-20% off! Maria is available at her location in Porter Ranch as well!

Amber And Maria

I have never left Maria’s chair disappointed. She has been styling, and coloring my hair and doing my makeup for the last 10 plus years and her integrity, professionalism, commitment to ongoing growth as a stylist, passion for creating makeovers, and friendly approach makes her a must in my book! I just LOVE her!! Take a look at her websites here and here!

To make an appointment, call 818 363-5226 now so you can take advantage of her discount for the holidays!

Elnett Hairspray by L’oreal

Elnett Hairspray

The beauty of this hairspray is that it truly feels and looks natural for everyday hairdos. I have never found a spray that held my hair better while still feeling weightless. I use it every day! Well, every day I actually comb my hair!

FASHION

 Indu Earrings, Trades of Hope

THESE are everyday earrings for me! I LOVE them. Love. Them. But the products from Trades of Hope are not just eye candy!

Indu Earrings

When you buy these earrings or many other fashion and household items, you can change the world just by shopping – your purchases from Trades of Hope will help these artisans feed their families, put a roof over their heads, send their children to school, and step out of poverty. What better purchase than one that does GOOD towards others too!

Go ahead and shop here to support this wonderful cause: www.mytradesofhope.com/parties/6561

Michael Kors Satchel

If you are going to invest in one great bag, let it be from Michael Kors. It will last long after the cows come home. Superior quality and endless style, these are my all time favorite purses worth saving for! Seriously gorgeous.

Michael Kors Purse

 

Leopard Print Scarf

I wear mine with almost everything. In my humble opinion, a leopard print scarf is chic and effortless. Throw one on over a black dress or with a t-shirt and jeans. It comes in a beautiful brown color too!

Leopard Print Scarf

 

FOOD

Iveta Gourmet Cherry Scones

It was Christmas. My cousin handed me the gift box and what was inside would change my life. Okay, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But it does convey how much I LOVE THESE SCONES! They are absolutely heavenly! If you don’t believe me, believe Oprah. They are on her list of favorite things too! You can try the gluten free version of other flavors as well!

Iveta Gourmet Cherry Scones

 

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas

I bought these reluctantly. I was certain the first bite would taste like dirty cardboard. I have never been so wrong in my life! We devour these in our house-no GMO’s, no preservatives, certified organic grains, and 100% goodness! Do yourself a favor and buy a stack to keep in your freezer and then pull them out as needed!

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas

BOOKS

For The Love of God, A Woman’s Guide to Finding Faith and Getting Grace by Jenny Lee Sulpizio

For The Love Of God

This book is a new release and I absolutely LOVE the heart behind it’s message:

Being new is never easy–especially when it comes to finding your faith. But you don’t need a big neon sign to point the way to God. Instead, you need a friend to tell it to you straight, equip you with information, and provide some much-needed encouragement along the way. Indeed, you need guidance from a woman who has already walked a mile in your shoes. 

Jenny Lee Sulpizio invites you to silence those doubts, experience God’s grace, and breathe in the unconditional love you were always meant to know. It’s a guide for women unsure of their Creator, in search of answers, and interested in pursuing a genuine relationship with the Lord. Because this walk with God–this journey with Jesus? It’s about to change everything.”

 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

A Year Of Holidays

Ree Drummond’s A Year of Holidays cookbook highlights meals for every occasion. I usually don’t need a good reason to make fun food, but this cookbook pushes me over the edge. The step-by-step pictures make cooking and baking fool-proof. Love it!

 

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

 The Purpose Driven Life

If I had to choose only one non-fiction book to read besides the Bible, for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Easy to read, Biblically sound, and full of encouragement. It answers the question, “What on earth am I here for?” I can’t recommend it highly enough!

 

HOUSEWARES

Wilton 8 X 3 inch Cake Pans

Wilton Cake Pans

I use these 8 inch round cake pans to make my famous triple layer triple chocolate fudge cake-so I have 3 of them! This size can be hard to find in stores. These guys get used on frequent rotation since chocolate cake is my boys favorite treat and of course, their first request for birthday parties! Here’s a picture of a cake I baked and decorated for my son’s “Camp Out” birthday party this week-isn’t it sooooo cute?!

 

Camp Out Cake

 

“Leaves” Bath N Body Works Candle

Leaves Candle

My closest friends will tell you that I am obsessed with the “Leaves” candle from Bath N Body Works. NO OTHER SCENT compares. It’s absolutely the most perfect candle EVER.  I love how these 3 wick candles burn evenly and last forever!

GIVEAWAY!!!

I’m giving away author, Jenny Lee Sulpizio’s book AND a bottle of Essie nail polish to one blessed reader!

TO ENTER TO WIN, simply leave a comment here telling me about one of your all time favorite things! To receive a second entry, share this post and let me know in the comments section! The contest will end at midnight on November 30th and I will notify the winner via email!

YOUR TURN! What is one of your favorite things? :) 

 

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

Got Whiny Kids? This Activity Will Turn Griping Into Gratitude!

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MOB-StopWhinyBoys

The boys were unusually tired and whiny as the afternoon seemed as chaotic and tumultuous as the morning.

Naturally, this made me unusually tired and whiny; not a good combination.

Do you ever have days like that?

Tired and whiny turned into outright complaining.

My kids started saying things like, “I was sitting there-that’s MY SPOT!” and “I don’t want a sandwich!” and “I was playing with the dump truck first!”

Ugh. What’s a mom to do? How do I turn the tide of ungrateful hearts around when my own heart is being sucked dry by all the bickering and fussing?

One of my favorite ways to get out of a funk and refocus our hearts back on track is through music and singing. I recently read this verse from Psalm 95:2:

Let us come to him with thanksgiving. 

Let us sing psalms of praise to him.

I knew that going before God for help was the answer, but not just in prayer this time. I wanted my sons to get their joy back! In our home, singing and dancing together always does the trick.

I asked the boys to choose a favorite song they like to sing and then tell me two things they are thankful to God for. Oliver, my 7-year-old, chose “toys” and “the sky.”……………..

To read the rest of this post and to see how this fun activity will stop whiny kids in their tracks, click on this link for The MOB Society! You will get to see a short video of my son Ollie putting this fun tip into practice too!! (He’s such a sweetie!)

 

YOUR TURN! What’s another way you change the tone in your home from complaining to thanksgiving?

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

5 Screen-Free Activities To Keep Your Child Occupied At Appointments

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5 Screen-Free Activities To Keep Your Child Occupied At Appointments

This week, I’ll be taking one of my sons to see a specialist and I know from past experience that the wait in the lobby will be a long one. If you are like me, I dread taking my kids to appointments that I know will end in grumpy moods and boredom. Although this modern day of technology provides plenty of games on cell phones or tablets, I like to distract my kids by offering them something other than a screen while we wait.

Here are 5 screen-free activities to stimulate your child’s mind so you don’t lose yours!

DOLLAR HUNT

 Give your child a dollar bill and ask them to find images like these:13 arrows, 13 stars, Roman numerals, a key, a picture of George Washington, bay laurel leaves, a pyramid, a Bald Eagle, an eye, and the number 1!

COIN SPIN

Take a quarter and spin it on it’s edge on a flat surface. See how long the quarter stays spinning and time your child to see if they can beat their original time or see who can keep a quarter spinning the longest!

IMAGINATION ART

 Using a piece of paper and a pen or crayons, draw a few lines, circles, squiggles, or a combination of all three on a piece of paper. Then, have your child try to make an actual picture of an object out of your unfinished design to create an original picture! Next, have your child create an unfinished drawing for you to complete!

CREATE AN ANIMAL

Give your child a requirement that the animal must have, like the ability to fly and also leap 10 feet off the ground. Then, using a pencil and a piece of paper, have them draw an original animal that looks like it can meet the requirements. Come up with an original name too!

PAPER CHAINS

 This activity will require a little planning in advance, but it will be worth it! Bring a pair of safety scissors, some construction paper, and some tape in your bag. Have your child (or do this step yourself) cut strips of paper about 6 inches long and 1 inch wide. Then, loop them into circles creating a chain and taping the ends together. Use the chain at home to decorate for fun-or leave it with the office staff to decorate their desks!

 

YOUR TURN! What are some other easy but fun activities that you provide for your kids to pass the time at appointments?

 

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

The One Person You Must Unfriend On Facebook

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The One Person You Must Unfriend On Facebook

He kept writing to me every couple of years. Each time, I hit the delete button.

When Facebook came along, he sent me friend requests until I blocked him. After all, he was married. I was married. And we had history. Truthfully, there was no temptation on my part to connect with him-the relationship we had years ago was one that I was exceedingly thankful that God spared me from pursuing further.

But then others came back into my life via Facebook too. Former boyfriends with whom I thought I would one day marry and share my life with. It seemed harmless.

Except, the Holy Spirit kept nudging my heart that this was not a good idea.

My husband and I would both say that perhaps our greatest area of strength is trust. I have no concern whatsoever that he would be unfaithful to me, and vice versa. That said, we have been through some excruciatingly painful times in our marriage where I wondered how we would hold on. God has been faithful to us through our trials and even when certain years seemed like our undoing, He carried us through and made us stronger.

What concerned me is that during those times of uncertainty when we were struggling, I started to wonder about those past relationships and although I knew that I was committed to my husband, the very thought of peering into their current lives seemed dangerous. So I listened.

And unfriended.

I’m wondering about you. Do you think that just because you live far away from an ex or someone online that you have been chatting with, that you are secure?

My pastor recently said that “It is the sharing of souls that creates soul-mates.” Affairs are not only physical. They are also emotional. ANYTHING that comes between the oneness of body or heart between you and your spouse is counter to Scripture because you are no longer two, but one:

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24

How can we tell if we are starting down a slippery slope or heading towards the cliff?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself with deep honesty:

1.) Is my marriage currently having difficulties?

2.) Do I sometimes think about what my exes or past flames are doing or if they ever still think about me?

3.) Have I reached out to them with the intention of receiving some form of flattery or affirmation?

4.) Do I check their Facebook pages on a regular basis?

5.) Am I doing this secretly and keeping it from my spouse?

6.) Would my spouse be upset if they knew I was connected to them or talking to them?

7.) Have I day-dreamed about what life with them would be like now instead of the one I am living with my spouse?

8.) Does the thought of unfriending my ex cause me emotional pain?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions or you feel a check in your spirit when you think about these questions, I would strongly caution you and urge you to let these people go-emotionally, relationally, physically, and mentally.

This may seem extreme for some of you, but the truth is that when you play with fire, you can expect to get burned. And your marriage won’t be the only relationship to suffer. Your children will be devastated. You will most likely lose friendships. In-law relationships will be damaged. In some cases, it will force you into or out of the workplace. One thing is certain. The illusion you have that this extramarital relationship is what you have been missing out on is simply that. An illusion.

It’s not worth it, ladies and gentlemen.

God warns us that our enemy is cunning and active. He says:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Jesus makes a comparison in Mark, telling us to take our sin seriously-to the extent that it’s better to cut off our hands, feet, and pluck out our eyes if they cause us to sin:

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. Mark 9:43

Those are strong words. Surely, we could also then say if your Facebook friendship with a former romantic interest causes you to stumble, you should cut it off too. Some of you need to hear it plainly: If you keep telling yourself that the communications are innocent, they probably are not.

God doesn’t mince words about adultery. Mark 5:28 says:

But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

What’s more important to you? Honoring your vows and putting a hedge of protection around your marriage and heart and your testimony as a Christian, or this online relationship?

Discipline yourself to use social media for good-it’s not about doing what is right because it’s easy. It’s about doing what is right because it honors God. As a Christ-follower, your happiness is not the ultimate goal. Following Jesus is the ultimate goal.

I’m thankful that my own marriage is stronger than it has ever been before, but it’s not by accident. Guy and I have spent the last 8 years building that trust with one another and no other relationship is worth jeopardizing our unity. It wasn’t worth it when things were tough, and it’s not worth it now.

Fanning an old flame will only create a wildfire that you can’t control. Go ahead. Unfreind that past boyfriend or girlfriend and focus on the one you vowed before God to love on your wedding day like I did. And in so doing, you will extinguish the possibility for disaster in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Unfriended equals protected, and that’s an action worth taking every time.

YOUR TURN! Have you unfriended old flames like I have?

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

 

To The Mom Who Feels Guilty For Using A “Sleep Crutch” With Her Kids

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To The Mom Who Feels Guilty For Using A Sleep Crutch

 

I read all the books that said not to give your kids a “crutch” to sleep with-and that included laying by their bedside until they fell asleep.

I tried it.

And then I ignored all that advice. I know those methods work for some, but I sensed the Holy Spirit whispering to my heart that it was okay to let it go.

But guess what? My older boy falls asleep without me just fine and those moments that I lay beside my youngest ones while they fall asleep? I don’t regret them one bit. I also believe in letting them have that pacifier/sleep blanket/stuffed animal/nightlight as LOOONNGGGG as they need it. If you are that mom that feels guilty for singing your baby to sleep, this is for you.

 

One More Minute

And when the morning comes and you are  little more tired for having stayed up rocking your child, remember this: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13. Put aside the guilt mom. It has no place in the heart of a mom who is loving her child well.

YOUR TURN! What “sleep crutches” do you allow at naps and bedtime? 

 

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

Fun Toys And Gifts For 2014 That Keep Kids’ Attention

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Fun Toys And Gifts For 2014 That Keep Kids' Attention

Some of the best gift ideas have come from other moms who have recommended their kids’ favorite items to me. I thought I would do the same! These are a few of the tried and true favorites that my kids continue to play with year after year-because let’s face it, there is nothing worse than a child opening a gift only to play with it for a week before tossing it aside. THESE items will be worth every penny and offer lasting enjoyment! Click on the affiliate links for more information and reviews!

BIG BOOTS

Big Boots- These awesome little guys are what they claim to be! The “big boots” on their feet allow them to land on their feet every time! My kids play with these EVERY DAY-even in the bathtub at night. These slim packs of Big Boots are great for stocking stuffers and they have amazing vehicles to go with them! This might be my boys’ most played with toy of all time regardless of their age!

KINETIC SAND

We first discovered Kinetic Sand at a friend’s house. This stuff is AMAZING. My boys can play with this sand for an hour at a time-and they never focus that long for much else!

BOUNCY HOUSE

I know this is a large item, but I can’t tell you how many days I sat watching my boys jump in this Bouncy House in our yard (or basement!) and thanked God for the blessing of it! They LOVE it and it helps them get exercise too. I love that it inflates in moments and folds up to store in a closet or space in the garage. It was EASY to set up and put away! This may be the best thing I have ever purchased for my kids!

JENGA

Jenga! My boys (even my 3-year-old!) love to play this nerve-wrecking game! Easy to set up, and lots of fun for all ages, the object is to keep the teetering tower from toppling over as you pull wooden pieces from the sides and middle and then place them on top!

LEGO JUNIORS

Lego Juniors! I have one boy who loves Legos and one who gets frustrated by them. Lego Juniors are the perfect solution because they are a tad “easier” to manipulate. There are sets for GIRLS too!

ELECTRIC TOY VIOLIN

The Electronic Toy Violin was a big hit with our boys! It plays dozens of tunes and looks realistic. They would play tunes for and put on little concerts! It’s not something every kid on the block has either, so it’s uniqueness was also part of the appeal!

GLIDE BIKE

Glide Bikes are a parent’s dream when it comes to teaching little ones how to balance and ride a bike. These bikes allowed our kids to go straight from a glide bike to a regular bike without training wheels because it teaches kids how to balance! Designed without pedals, there are footrests that can be removed if desired. This bike is best for kids 4 and under but my 5 year-old still loves to cruise around on his because it’s so FUN!

YOUR TURN! What are some of your kids’ favorite gifts or toys?

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!