God is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. I am His child. I am His daughter. That makes me a princess! Join me in a year of discovery as I search for what it means to be a princess - how to live as an heir of the most high. Learn with me, write with me, and become part of the process as I write my next book - Livin' Like A Princess - Claiming Our Birthright as Heirs to the King!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kingly Access

I was contemplating this whole princess-thing last night, and what I find most encouraging is that we have such open access to our King.  God WANTS to spend time with us - anytime, anywhere we seek Him.  We don't have to jump on our horse and seek passage into the castle:  instead, we can speak to Him right here where we are. I don't even have to get dressed in the morning or brush my teeth first! :-) 
          The Bible is full of scripture where God is encouraging us to come to Him. Our God is an awesome God and I feel blessed that I can enter into His holy presence, just as I am.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Almost Done!

Thank goodness this year of "Living Like A Princess" is almost over - it has nearly killed me!  From purple high-healed shoes to....okay, we won't go into it, but it ain't been easy.  This month is our last challenge.  Hang with me, girls!  We've got blessings in store!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Today's topic isn't really on "self-control", but in way it is.  We do have control over our attitude, and we can usually find something to be thankful for, even if it's something small.

I am speaking in a few weeks at an advent service, and the topic I've been asked to talk about is our attitude.  How can our attitude affect our lives? 
            In light of the upcoming holiday season, with all of the stressors and emotions connected with it, I decided to take a good long look at my own attitude and where it's going.
            I certainly have a lot to be thankful for when I sit down to a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  But there is going to be an empty place at the table.  My grandma, who I've spent nearly every Thanksgiving with, won't be with us.  She's feasting at the table in Heaven this year.
            Her death has left a huge hole in our hearts.  Although she was ready to go when she passed away in April at the age of 91, we weren't ready to let her go.  I don't think you're ever ready to completely let go.   So my latest question has been how am I going to get through the holidays without her, and have an attitude of joy?
            Joy, as I have often said in my talks and writings, is different from happiness.  Joy is something that lies deep within us and that endures, even when our circumstances aren't happy.  Joy doesn't depend on your circumstances; instead, it can thrive despite your circumstances.
            Having joy in my heart doesn't mean I won't grieve.  It doesn't mean I'm going to put on a smile and a "happier than thou" attitude.  I won't fake my way through the day, or the weeks to come.  But through grief, I know deep down that while I may hurt now, there is hope.  I will see my grandma again.   I'll sit at the table with her some day, and feast.  Jesus is saving me a place.  And because of that, even though my heart is hurting, I am not filled with despair.
            God-willing, I will get up on Thanksgiving morning and watch the parade with my kids.  I'll prepare a few side dishes and take them to my parents, where we will sit down to a wonderful home-cooked meal.  When I see my grandma's place empty, I'll probably cry.  But at the same time, I'll be sitting across from my dad, who has been healed of cancer.  I'll be sitting next to my boys, who are the lights of my life. I will eat my mom's good home-cooked meal (prepared allergy-free, just for me) and toast my husband of 21 years.  I'll be able to look out the window at my very old, but very lively horse, and know that all is good.
            My grandma gave me memories.  She made me home-cooked meals.  She was the first to open up her farm to my horses, which became a big love of mine.  She taught me about family, and love, and life.  My grandma spent a lifetime loving me and nurturing me, and I would do her a disservice if I let my grief drown me.  Part of who I am and what I am, is because of her.
            So Nanny, in your honor, I'm all about attitude this November.  I'm going to rejoice and hug my family members, and eat a hearty meal.   I know you'll be smiling down at me. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sharing Knowledge

            I went to my great aunt's 90th birthday party last week.  There must have been over 200 people there to celebrate her! Her kids had printed placemats with vintage photos of her life, and a continual loop slide show displayed photos from her past 90 years.
            While we all ate cake, her family opened up the mic for people to speak.  Person after person got up and the continuing theme throughout the day was how Aunt Louise had helped them in some way.  She shared her food.  She shared her wisdom. She shared her time.  Aunt Louise has spent a lifetime giving from her heart, and because of that a huge ballroom full of family and friends turned up - many from out of state - to attend her birthday party.  Aunt Louise is wise, and people desire what she has to offer.
            James 1:5 promises If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But what are we to do with that wisdom once we get it?  I believe it's for sharing.  For helping others when we recognize a need.  It can be the awesome task of traveling to Africa to open a mission school, or the simple task of recognizing that your neighbor could use a home-cooked meal.  
            We never know when what we have to give, is just what the receiver needs.  In God's orchestrated plan, we might feel like such a minute part that we never even realized we have been the butterfly who flapped her wings and caused the windstorm on the other side of the world.   It's the ripple effect; the pay-it-forward.   The warm meal you brought your neighbor maybe gave her the reserves to visit with her teenage granddaughter, who happened to need someone to talk to that day regarding the bully at school, and decided not to go home and take her life after all.  We sometimes don't know what's beyond the obvious, or, for that matter, who we may be helping.
            Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. - Heb. 13:12

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moving Mountains (or Philistines)

My devotional this morning mentioned Shamgar, a man who struck down 600 Philistines with an ox-goad (which is a pointy stick used for herding slow-moving animals).  SIX HUNDRED Philistines taken down by one man with a stick!  (Judges 3:31)
            That got me to thinking about how much we can do if we dedicate our work to God.  Which puts me in mind of another story I heard in church one Sunday from my pastor.
            A woman was praying to move a mountain that she could see from her back yard.  (I don't remember why she wanted it moved, but that's not the point of the story.) 
            "You can't move an entire mountain just by praying," people told her.  
            "No, but God can," she replied.
            So for years this woman steadfastly prayed for that mountain to be moved.  One day, a large construction crew arrived at the foot of the mountain with a lot of dynamite.  They drove around to the nearby residents and announced that they were going to blast away the mountain to put in a new road!
            I love that story.  I guess it doesn't matter if we only have a simple stick, or have to wait for a construction crew.  What matters is that there is power in prayer, and God is listening!  If there's a job we need to do, or want done, if we dedicate it to God, anything is possible.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm Back...(hopefully)

It was a challenging summer.  Due to the deaths of several  loved ones, a car accident and a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia, I had to take the summer off.  I had to save my energy for my kids, so writing took a back seat.  Needless to say, I learned a lot about relying on God.   I look forward to posting again on "The Princess Project" blog, beginning this month, and to continue living out my year as a "daughter of the King", along with all of you.  God Bless.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.                                                                                                                                                               - Ephsians 2:8-9

            This month's topic is grace, and how it is ours by birthright.  It is God's greatest gift to us.  I am SO GLAD that I don't have to work my way into the family of God, but that He is willing to pour out His grace on me!
            I think this is the greatest appeal of Christianity - it's free for the taking.  Nothing required to join - you just gotta believe Jesus died for you.  Admit you need him; admit that on your own you do tend to mess up from time to time (i.e. sin) and you're in.  It's that simple.  It's that free.  God loves us that much.
            So I'm rejoicing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seeking Wisdom

I think most of us struggle with our choices sometimes.  I know that for me, on my birthday last month, I looked at my life and wondered if I was where I should be.  I had dreamed of living on a horse farm, teaching writing at a university and writing novels.  My life hasn't led me there yet, and I'm halfway through.
            Have I made the right choices in my life?
            God, our Heavenly father, is the keeper of wisdom, and He gives it out to those who earnestly seek it. 
            If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5.
            That's a pretty amazing gift!  And, as princesses, one we should desire. 
            Solomon was the richest and wisest king in history.  Why?  Because God told him he'd give him anything he asked for.  Solomon asked for wisdom, and because of that, the rest of his life was blessed beyond measure.
            So whether you are struggling with major life choices, or just trying to check off your to-do list, take it before God first.  Ask Him what to do.  You may be surprised at how much more smoothly things turn out!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carpe Diem!

            Has life been a little bit more challenging than usual lately?  It sure has for me.  But I've painted Carpe Diem on the wall in my living room, just above my front door.  Carpe Diem is Latin (a favorite literary term of mine!) and it means Seize The Day!
            This is the day the Lord has made - let us be glad and rejoice in it!!!
            Don't let negative thoughts get you down.  Don't let the rain and storms drown out your happiness.  If you were able to get out of bed this morning, thank the good Lord - He put the breath in your lungs!
            Today I will try to rejoice in the fact that I am healthy enough to stand and wash the dishes.   I will rejoice in the endless carpooling with the kids, because I have a working car and can drive.  I will be glad that I have dinner on the table tonight (even if I have to make it) and that my kids and husband are home with me to eat it.
            Don't let negative self-talk get you down.  Don't listen to any discouraging voices in your mind.  You are a daughter of the King.  You are a princess!!!
            Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Monday, April 18, 2011

Princess Power

        When she woke up that morning and put her feet on the floor, all of Hell trembled.
            Wouldn't it be great to have that much power?  To strike that much fear into the enemy?  To be an overcomer as soon as you got out of bed?
            We do! We can!  We are!  We have that power at our disposal!
            The Bible reminds us that as daughters of the King, we are filled with His power. 
            …the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4b
            We have power.  Not through our own devices , but from God, our Father.
            I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. - Luke 10:19
            ALL the power of the enemy, it says.  Not just the irritation we feel towards our co-worker, or the fear we have about our doctor appointment.  ALL.  Everything.  Fear, anxiety, worry, sickness, guilt, stress.  Everything.
            So you go, girlfriends! When you get up in the morning, claim victory over all your troubles.  Lift your head up high and walk with confidence out into the world.  You are, after all, a daughter of the King!  

Thursday, April 14, 2011


This month's topic is about power, and how we, as daughters of the King, have access to His protection at all times.
    I've had a difficult past month, and just buried my grandma on Friday, so I apologize for not posting sooner.   I have been studying this month's topic and am excited to share with you....hopefully on or before Monday, April 18th I'll get back into the swing of things!
  Thanks for your patience!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  - Psalms 139:13-14

            To think that God made each of us uniquely special! 
            "Mom, I'm different," my son said to me the other day.  And it's true, he is.  God made him his own unique self.  It amazes me how different both of my sons are from each other, even, having come from the exact same gene pool!
            We are all uniquely made in the eyes of God.  He created us just as He wants us. 
            Our society teaches us from a young age to be dissatisfied with who we are.  I remember I was in a health class in middle school and the teacher gave us an assignment.  We were supposed to figure out one body part that we didn't like and tell why we didn't like it and why we'd like to change it.
            I told her I was happy with the way I was.  (And at the time, that was true!)   She got angry with me, and said that NOBODY was happy with the way they were.  Some women wanted their hips to be smaller, or their hair a different color.  There had to be something.
            But at the time, I was still young enough to believe I was okay just the way I was.
            Now, there are days (MANY days) when I wish I was different.  I wish I was in better shape.   I wish I didn't get tired so easily.  I wish I was younger. J
            What I have to remember is that I am  God's  creation, and I need to rejoice in that.  God had a plan when He created me, and He gave me this body and this mind, and my own unique talents for a reason.   I want to embrace who I am, for my children's sake if nothing else.   What a better example in self-confidence than for their kids to see their own mom loving herself for who she is? 
            I am fearfully and wonderfully made.   I am a creation uniquely made in the image of God.  He even knows the number of hairs on my head.  Wow!
            Let's go into the day rejoicing in who we are!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Inner Beauty

Do not let your adornment be merely outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.   - I Peter 3:3-4

            This passage was written by Peter, who lived in a world where women wore wigs, especially blond wigs, made from hair imported from Germany.  It was a big deal at this time for women to arrange and dye their hair, or wear a wig.  In this passage, Peter is not forbidding women to do these things; instead he suggesting that while all that may be fine, our outer appearance is not our true source of beauty.
            The incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quite spirit is what is precious in the sight of God. 
            A gentle and quite spirit.
            The dictionary defines these words as:
            Gentle:  Mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender.
            Quiet: Absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm
            As I read this, it occurs to me that most of our culture desire this exact thing.  Gentleness and quiet. 
            I had oral surgery last week.  I had a lot of pain, but I also lost a lot of blood due to a clotting problem, so I put in several days of couch time recovering.  I had some rare free time to watch TV and read.
            What I noticed was that a lot of TV ads are for anti-depressant drugs, or help with over-eating.  Stress, they said, is the culprit.  (Oprah and Regis had a few things to say about that too.)
            I also read several women’s magazines, (Woman’s Day and Ladies Home Journal…).  There were a lot of articles on how to get better sleep, how to declutter, and how to juggle it all.
            It seems that we are all looking for more gentleness and quiet.  Since God is looking for that in us too, maybe we should start inwardly. Outward things will fade.  We’ll get older and get wrinkles.  Our fancy clothes will get worn out and our jewelry may go out of style.  But inward beauty will last our whole lives.
            Some beautiful people I can think of: Mother Theresa.  Gandhi.  Jesus.  But more personally: My grandmother.  A particular nurse at the hospital.  My son’s teacher.
            These people are beautiful to me because they literally glow from the inside.  Their acts demonstrate an inner peace and a clear focus on others.  They radiate joy.
That’s my goal for March:  to gain inner beauty, so that I will possess a beauty that doesn’t fade over time, but instead grows stronger and more apparent.  I want to be radiant.  I want to be beautiful in the eyes of God.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


We've had a few family crisis this past month so I  didn't get a post up on Monday.  One of my readers (and a cousin!), Jon Ventura, sent me the below write-up and asked me to post it.   I really enjoyed the content and it reminded me to appreciate the little things, even in the midst of what I have going on in my life right now.
        I also think it fits in well with our March topic:  Beauty, Inside and Outside.
Thanks, Jon!

Forty , I have been pondering on that number for several days now. Why? Because my daughter Ann Marie is turning forty March 8th. As you ponder, several things go through your mind, did I do everything I could in the past forty years to help get through her first forty years?  Did I provide the best guidance?  Did I spend enough time with her?  

A cousin of mind recently wrote a book entitled “ Why is there a Lemon in my Fruit Salad”.  On the cover of the book she has a picture of herself (looks about 40) holding a lemon and a salad. She is wearing an apron covered with the words from Galatians 5 -  Fruits of the Spirit- “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control ”.  She ponders on these words to help her get through life’s difficult moments and struggles   

Then I  pondered in the pew at Sunday morning worship service, Transfiguration Sunday.  This is when Jesus took Peter , James and John up to a high mountain top and where he was transfigured before them. They were so frighten that he said to them “fear not” to assure them.  They were so changed by that experience that they went and literally changed the world,   even giving  their lives so that others would know about the “Fruits of the Spirit”. Paul, the author of Galatians 5,  also had a similar transforming experience for which he gave his life to uphold his beliefs. So what does that have do with forty?  It is said that life begins at forty.  What life?  Maybe a transformed life. A life that does not dwell so much on materials things but a life more in tuned to the Fruits of the Spirit. After all, after 40 years, most of our materials things are worn out and need to be replaced.

Then we have the Sunday’s hymn –( also a song sang at Ann Marie  wedding) “It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around can warm up to its glowing, that’s how it is with Gods love once you experience it,  you spread his love  to everyone, you want to pass it on”. March 8th, spring time, “What wondrous time is spring when all the trees are budding, the birds begin to sings the flowers start their blooming, that’s how is with God’s love once you experience it, you want to sing (joy), its fresh like spring, you want to pass it on.   Third verse  “I wish for you my friend this happiness I’ve found, you can depend on him, it matters not where you’re bound (lemons in fruit salads),  I’ll shout from the mountain-top, I want the world to know, the Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on”.

When I wake every morning, I wake up to a sunny morning, a sunrise looking out over the Atlantic Ocean.  It is an original oil painting painted by my daughter Ann Marie, I ponder over all the hours she must have spend painting it (patience)and what inspired her to paint this scene of peace.
For year to come, each morning as I view the sun rise,  I will ponder how we will relate to such words as “mountain top, transfiguration, fear not, fruits of the spirit, it only takes a spark, and passing it on”.   

Our Sunday’s response to the benediction, “This little light of mine I going to let it shine”. I pray  my light did so shine and was it the necessary spark. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Room for the Wealth

This month I've been focusing on trusting in God as my provider.  It looks like I might really get some practice in that area.
            My husband got word last week that he might get laid off.  If the government shuts down, he will go without pay for at least 30 days.  That doesn't seem like a long time, but we've spent our savings on medical bills and we are currently living paycheck to paycheck.  With no paycheck coming in, life could get interesting! 
            I've worked diligently this month to get rid of clutter. The house cleaning is going well, but not nearly fast enough.  More difficult, though, is getting rid of the mental clutter.
            I've had a chronic illness for twenty-two years and it occupies a lot of my time as well as a lot of my thoughts.   It's definitely mental clutter.  It's easy to use it as an excuse to focus on myself.  What I want to do more of now and in the future, is focus on others.  
            My pastor and dear friend Bill Moore died last Tuesday.  A lot of people are in mourning.  Over a thousand people to show up at his memorial service today.  He was a humble man, from humble roots, yet he made in impact on his community that will never be forgotten.  He touched so many lives and helped so generously that his death has left a huge hole in our lives.  But what he taught us was how to be better people.  How to be humble, how to laugh, how to seize joy in life and how to love and trust our God in all things.
As I declutter my life, I want to let go of self-pity, of fear, of sadness, of the long-time grieving I've been doing over my health and my losses.   I want to let go of negative thoughts and focus on what I can still do instead of what I can't
            And then I want to do those things.
            A few months before he died, not even knowing he was ill, Bill Moore sat down with his friend and said, "I want to finish well." 
            That's what I want to do.  I want to finish well.  I may have 50 years left, or only a day.  I want to grab hold of that time and live a life that will edify others, strengthen my community, and put my family first. I want to quit nagging, stop worrying, and embrace life.  I want to be filled with a deep, unshakable joy - the kind that only comes from knowing Whose I am.
            I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decluttering - (Trusting our Rich Father to Meet our Needs When We Need It )

If we are indeed princesses, we are rich by inheritance.  Our father - the heavenly Father - owns everything.  Literally!
            …for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  Psalm 50:10
            He tells me not to worry.   He'll take care of me.
            Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25
            So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
            For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:31-32
            So, I've started decluttering.
            I guess what I needed to realize before I started, was that I don't quite trust God to take care of it all.  I hang on to things, thinking I'll need them again someday.  What if?  Seems to be my mantra.  What if that spatula breaks? Then I'll be glad I kept two back-ups.  What if my computer breaks?  I can reboot the old one!           
            But if I'm trusting God to meet my needs, shouldn't I really trust Him?
            I'm not saying that some planning for future emergencies isn't wise - it definitely is.  But there's a difference between planning and hoarding.  And I think I’m a pack rat.
            But this month I've pulled up my shirtsleeves and decided that if I'm going to live like a princess, I need to start by cleaning house.
            I cleaned out my closet first.  It needs another good round of decluttering, but
I got rid of a bunch of clothes. I was hanging onto things that were out of style but still fit, or didn't fit but I thought would one day.  I just had a lot of stuff.
            The little, negative voice in my head kept talking to me:
            What if my husband loses his job?   What then?  I'll need that extra pair of boots when my current pair wears out!  I need to keep all ten sweatshirts and 17 T-shirts because when some wear out, I won't be able to afford new ones!
            Do I hoard things because I fear that God may not meet all of my needs?
            I remind myself that this month I'm walking in faith.  
            I've packed up a lot of my kid's toys to sell either on eBay or in a spring garage sale.  I've given away quite a few of their clothes. Most recently, I bought a large storage tub and am going around the house tossing knick-knacks in.  I may sell some, or give some away later, but for now, I just want them out of my sight. 
            I'm walking in faith that I can let go of things.  I believe that God will provide for my needs when I actually do need things.  He always has in the past.
             I still have a lot of work to do, but what I've found is once you start decluttering, you see more stuff that you want to get rid of!  And it really does feel good to share.  I gave all of my maternity clothes to the pregnancy crisis center, and some of the boys winter coats to my neighbor.  And you know what?  I'm already seeing returns!
            My friend gave me some jeans for my oldest son - in great condition!  We received two free tickets to the movie theater!  And yesterday when I went out to buy some much-needed underwear, the sales clerk gave me a special bonus discount on top of the sale! 
            This is fun!  I'm looking forward to seeing how God blesses me next!
            Remember, He will take care of you.  He may not give us exactly what we want, but He will always give us exactly what we need.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mental Decluttering

This blog was originally supposed to post on Feb. 9.

            This month is all about decluttering.  I'm still working on the mental decluttering so don't come over because the house is a mess.
            Last week a very dear friend of mine checked himself into the hospital because he was feeling ill.  In that week in the hospital, his health continued to decline and still no diagnosis.  He was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic on Friday and is now in ICU with kidney and liver malfunction, pain, low platelets, enlarged spleen, and much more.  Last night he was finally diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma.
             This has been on my mind a lot.  While trying to be a parent, edit my manuscript, take kids on field trips, cook dinner - it keeps popping into my mind.  What if? What if?  And worst of all, why can't I help him?  Why can't the doctor's help him?
            I've seen too many close friends and family - including my own father - battle cancer.  I don't want to see it again.  I'm tired.  I'm tired emotionally and physically and it's hard for sleep to come because I wake up and there IT is - on my mind again.
            The church called for a prayer service on Monday night.  Nearly 200 people showed up and we all prayed for Bill.  When I left there, I felt some peace.
            What I managed to finally realize is that God is God - the great I AM - and He is in charge.  He knows exactly what is wrong with Bill, and He heard the pleas from us, His people, to save Bill.  But ultimately, we are helpless in this situation.  God is God and will do what He thinks is best.        
            I have declared my feelings to God - I have gone before the High King, as his daughter, with my request that He heal Bill.  So have countless others, and God promised us if we pray together, He will be in our midst.
            God was there Monday night.  God heard our prayers.  By putting it into God's hands, I now realize that either way, God will have the victory.  Neither death nor the enemy can get their hands on Bill's soul - that belongs to God. 
            I may not like the outcome, I still have the "what-ifs" and the fear and the feeling of helplessness.   But the victory is God's.  Either way - whether God chooses to let Bill live, or bring him home to Heaven, the victory is God's.   It is His choice.
            I have trusted Him in so much else.  If I trust Him in this, peace comes in.  My mind clears out for a while and I can focus on other things. 
            Package some of your fears up and give them to God. Mentally declutter. He'll take them and do what's best. Sometimes, that's all we can do - just give it up to God. 

I will try to post a follow-up on Bill on my website.  Once you reach the home page, click on The Columns. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making A Plan

Today started out poorly.  When it's barely 8:00 a.m. and you're already having a bad day, it seems inevitable that it can only get worse.
            I won’t go into all the soggy details but after the alarm went off I came downstairs to face the dirty dishes I was too tired to do last night.  I washed a frying pan, and then looked for bread.  I was out of bread.  When you have food allergies, like I do, you can't simply go out and buy a loaf -  you have to make it - and I hadn't had time to do that this week and had let myself run out.  What's worse, the kids were out of their bread too, and only had three slices left and we have a huge snow storm heading our way.
            I made a slice for each of us. Problem is, their bread has milk in it and I'm allergic to it.  I'm supposed to be trying to incorporate new foods back into my diet (doctor's orders) so I figured why not today? 
            By the time we left for school, my throat was starting to tingle and swell.  The kids were fighting.  I grabbed the Benedryl and my Epi pen, loaded the squabbling kids into the car and drove them to school.
            By the time I dropped them off, my lips were swelling too.  My girlfriend motioned me over in the parking lot to tell me her grandma had passed away.  Then she prayed for me.
            On the way home, I turned on the radio and a praise song was blasting out about how our God has the power to overcome.  I started praising God - I may feel like I was dying but I was able to get of bed, cook breakfast and drive my kids to school.  It could be worse.
            I didn't die, obviously (I'm here, writing this), so God has granted me a little bit more time.  The allergy resolved itself, I baked my bread, and now I've got a few minutes to  type before I go pick up the kindergartener.  Bearing that in mind, realize this is not a polished piece.  But I was able to rejoice despite the bad start to my morning.  That's the power of our God.
            Back to the Princess Project.  I've been in prayer about how to proceed, and I've come up with several categories I want to work on this year.  I'll list them now:
            These are the privileges I think we have as part of being an Heir of God, a "Princess":  (I'm going to try to work on one new one each month in my own life)
            For February:  Riches
            Where are mine? J    
            Is one reason that my house is cluttered is because I hoard?  Is that because I don't trust God to meet my needs when I have them? (Or am I just too busy??)  I have been greatly blessed in times of dire need.  I want to explore this.  I'm hoping February will be a month of decluttering both mentally and physically (starting with the house clutter!)

            March:  Beauty, inner and outer
            April:  Power (over the enemy)
            May:  Wisdom
            June:  Grace
            July:  Our Prince
            August:  Our Castle

            Here are some of the responsibilities I think we have as part of our birthright:
            September: Helping others
            October:  Sharing  knowledge
            November:  Not abusing our power
            December: Respecting the King (knowing my place)

I hope you can join me in my journey!  God Bless.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Privileges and Responsibilities

This is my fourth week of posting to this blog about my claim to be a "princess", and it has occurred to me that this endeavor is going to be quite challenging.  I don't mean challenging as in my new attempt at exercising:  I mean challenging as in I'm being hit in every area of my life to negate what I am trying to accomplish.
            I live in a fallen world, ready to disappoint me and tear me down.  (That's not a cynical view - normally I'm optimistic.  It's just fact.)
            This past week alone I have had two good friends disappoint me. I've had a few unpleasant conversations with my hubby, and my kids have treated me more than once like I was their servant.  We are, after all, only human.
            I am not pretty this week.  My new foundation made my face break out, and my bangs are so long I've taken to pinning them back with a bobby pin.  I've also had to deal with a few health issues and realized I didn't have the funds to visit both the doctor and the dentist, so had to choose.
            I also have my own grouchy self to deal with.
            But over the weekend I was also sobered by the fact that people need me.  A friend contacted me with a serious problem with her child.  Somebody else I know has a health concern and needs prayer.  My own family needs some of my time, my patience, and my compassion.
            Being a princess, I guess, not only comes with privileges; it comes with responsibilities.  While God promises me all sorts of things as His child, He also expects me to take what I've been given and do something with it.  I was put on this earth to help others.  We all were.
            From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.  Luke 12:48b
            So, I sit here, writing with a sigh, wondering if I can really live up to the claim I've laid. 
            I know it's true.  I know it's real.  But it's gonna be a lot of work.
            I've written out what I think our some of our privileges as an heir of God, and also some of our responsibilities, backed up by scripture. I'll try to give more details in my next blog post.
            I think I'll work on one each month.  Maybe we can work on them together? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pondering the To-Do List

It's so easy to feel unworthy - like I'm not measuring up in today's world.  I have a pretty good self-esteem…but still.
            My husband didn't kiss me good-bye this morning when he left.  He's not mad at me - just busy and was trying to get the kids out the door. 
            My kids didn't practice their violin enough last week and the teacher knew.  They're still young, so of course it's my fault. 
            I've had my son's orthodics for two weeks and still haven't cut them down to fit in his athletic shoes and basketball season is almost over.
            At school, the teacher is expecting us to read a book she sent home.  Neither of us has started it yet and the semester is nearly over.
            I forgot to sign my kids up for swim lessons all last summer.
            My publisher wanted my book last year…and I'm still polishing up the second draft this year.
            The pasture fence is falling apart and I haven't had time to repair it.   The horse needs more attention.
            I have needed to get several fillings replaced in my teeth - for over a year now.
            I really should exercise more.
            My house is cluttered.
            My niece's birthday was last week and I went from wanting to get a present, to wanting to get out to buy a card, to simply posting "happy birthday" on her facebook page.
            In all areas of my life, it would be easy feel like a failure.  Just reading my latest Woman's Day magazine, I realize I could look younger if I use Olay products, streamline my linen closet, and prepare meals in less than 20 minutes.  I should be able to do all of this while fitting in a new exercise plan, working, and taking care of two young children.
            Oh - and don't forget the marriage.  The marriage has to come first.
            No wonder I'm so exhausted.
            But God doesn’t look at my "to-do" list and count me a failure.  God sees the miracle that is me, and loves me so much that He thinks I'm worth dying for.
            "Be still and know that I am God," He says. 
            God wants a relationship with me.  He wants me to take time out of my busy life to spend a few minutes with Him each day.  Imagine somebody who thinks spending time with you is way more important than anything else!  More important than all your accomplishments.  He's not worried about whether there's milk in the fridge or your socks match or if it has been six months since you got the oil changed in your car (and yes, it has…).  What He cares about, above all else, is that you spend time with Him. God wants to be with you. 
            Be still and know that I am God.
            He created me - He knew me before I was formed in my mother's womb.  He has plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not harm me.  Plans to give me hope and a future.  He wants to spend eternity with me.
            To God, I am worthy.  I am His child.  I am His heir.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Feeling Much Like A Princess Today

The past few days I've had a virus, and have been feeling (and looking) nothing at all like a princess.  Nor have I been waited on hand and foot, although hubby has done a pretty good job of taking over some of the chores. (Thanks, Hon!)  The kids, however, don't realize that when I say "Mom's resting" it means to actually let me rest.  (Although their snuggly little bodies and warm hugs can be comforting!)
            It seems to me that we, as women, never get to completely take the day off.  Maybe it's our own fault, I don't know.  But that's an entirely different blog and conversation.
            At any rate, I haven't been feeling at all like royalty.  So how do I know that I am a princess?  Is there really anything to this "heirs of God" claim I'm making?  Maybe I'm just some crazy woman who looked up a scripture and thought, "Hmmm…here's an idea."  So I started looking up more scripture to see what I could find.
            When each of my kids was born, I started a journal to record their "firsts" and also the little everyday things that make them special to me.  So I decided to see if God did the same thing for us.
            He did.  I found tons of scripture verses in the Bible proclaiming our worth to God.   I'm mention just one of them now.
            Matthew 10:30 tells us that "the very hairs of our head are numbered."  Wow.  God knows even those tiny details about us?  The creator of the universe takes that much notice of one small person?
            When my sons were born, I counted their tiny fingers and toes.  I knew that their pinky toes curled in, where their birthmarks were located, and what color their eyes were.  One son had a dimple on his chin, the other in his cheeks.  I memorized every detail, breathing in their scent, touching their smooth skin, drinking in as much as I could because I was in love.  They meant more to me than I could imagine.
            Any of you who has ever been in love, or had a child, knows what I mean.  You can't seem to get enough of that person.  You know their favorite song, if they like the rain, and which way they like to hold hands.
            We mean that much and more to God.  Each of us.  Individually.  He loves us as a father loves us, only so much more.
            I guess that does make me feel a little bit special.  How about you?

Monday, January 3, 2011

How it All Began...

            When the New Year rolls around, I like to come up with a theme.  Last year, it was the Year of Fun.
            The Year of Fun started off okay, with me purposefully throwing in fun activities that I wouldn't normally do.  In January I saw Avatar in 3D with full digital surround sound.  In February we had a wonderful indoor pool party for my son's birthday and I swam in my bathing suit in front of all the parents even though it was mid-winter and I was pasty white.  And sometime later in the summer, me - a self-proclaimed hater of shopping and especially clothes shopping - bought myself a shiny pair of purple shoes.
            But then it all sort of tapered off.  The summer was hard, family illnesses struck and I had to quit work - all sorts of unpleasant things happened.
            "Let's call this the year of "I don’t give a hoot" my husband said somewhere along the way.
            It started to remind me of the previous year, 2009.
            2009 was the Year of Good Enough.  I was in survival mode, and simply did what had to be done.  No extras.  Just getting my family and myself through each day were my main goals.
           This Year, while it's brand spanking new and I'm feeling so freshly confident, is gonna be different.  This year I'm calling The Princess Project.  Since it's a Year in Training, I figure it won't be a flop because I'm already a princess.
            (I can just hear the laughter from my readers…but hang with me for a minute.)
            The day I bought those purple shoes, I was feeling a bit blue.  I went into Kohl's to pick up some essentials for my kids and that's when I wandered by the Vera Wang "Simply Vera" collection.  There was a purple flowered "power" dress, paired up with the perfect jewelry and matching purse.
            I stopped.  I stared.  I am not a clothes person, and I hate shopping.  I hate it.  But that day I was dressed in my jeans and a baggy t-shirt, and was feeling very weary.  I wondered: what would I feel like if I wore that outfit?           
            I decided to find out.
            I got the outfit in my size.   I got the purse, then after seeing the price, found a purple knock-off of it much cheaper in a different part of the store.  Then….shoes!  I had to have shoes.
            I found the perfect pair.  Purple heels with metallic sparkly jewels on the toes.   Not my style at all, but this was just for fun and there was no way I could afford the outfit anyway.  So I grabbed the shoes.
            I went into the dressing room and tried the whole outfit on - even the jewelry.
            I looked in the mirror, and realized that I felt (and looked) like an entirely different person!  I felt alive. I felt good.  I felt….I felt like I could walk into a board meeting and take over a company in that outfit.
            So I bought it.
            "We are on a budget," my husband said when I walked in the door.
            "But honey, I feel like a different person when I wear this outfit," I countered.
            I tried on the outfit to make my point.  My husband (remember, his year was titled "I don't give a hoot") merely raised an eyebrow or two when he saw it, but my youngest son can always be counted on to give an opinion.
            "Mommy, you look like a princess," he said.
            It was then that I realized, I am a princess!
            I have been a child of God for nearly 30 years, and it has finally occurred to me that that means I am royalty!
            God is, after all, the King of Kings.  I am His daughter.  That makes me a princess!
            So I decided at that moment to start living like one.  Not in riches (I didn't go back to Kohl's and buy 10 more Vera Wang outfits).  Not in a higher-than thou attitude.   But grounded by the scriptures that I've known my entire life.
            "Now if we are children (of God), then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."  Romans 8:17
            I've spent the last year writing a book about being a child of God.  Each chapter details how we are able to rely on and trust God as our heavenly father.  So now, with scripture behind me to back me up, I'm taking it one step further and challenging myself - and you - to realize your worth as an heir of God.
            No more walking around with our heads down, feeling defeated.  No more wishing and wanting and hoping when we have a God who owns the cattle of a thousand hills and simply requires us to ask.  No more feeling scared when we have the power within ourselves to defeat the enemy.
            So this year is the Year of the Princess Project.  I have started a blog to answer questions as I search for what it truly means to be an Heir of the Most High King.
What are the privileges  - and responsibilities - that come with this position?
            - What is grace and why is God eager to give us some?
            - How much Power do we really have and what does that mean?
            - In what way does God consider us beautiful?
            - What's the castle look like and when can I move in?
            - Is there an "arranged marriage" in all of this?  Where is our prince?
            - What if we are afraid of the King?  He is, after all, the King.
While my family doesn't necessarily treat me according to my royal status, my God does.  You, me - anybody who is a child of God - we are heirs of royalty.  Come with me as I explore what that means this year.  I would love to see your comments.  Please post!