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Monday, October 31, 2011

Is It Time You Became an Author?

A few weeks ago I had the incredible opportunity to meet one of my online friends, Lysa TerKeurst. It was a last minute, flybytheseatofmypants kind of trip. Thursday I thought I would be home all weekend while hubby was out of town, bright and early Friday I was on the road headed to Extraordinary Woman conference in Fort Wayne, IN.

I have to tell you, Lysa is sweet, genuine, fun and made me feel like we were old friends. And honestly, it did seem like I’d known her for years. And Holly Good, well I think she is about as nice as God. We connected about things that make you soul sisters for life! I was honored and blessed by their sweetness. I’ve met a lot of people and I’m telling you, they are the real deal.

Lysa’s book "Made To Crave" is fantastic and if you are one of the three people that hasn't read it yet, what are you waiting for?!

Her next book, “Unglued” is coming out next summer and it is a MUST GET! She read me some of it, and take it from me, it’s a good one. Watch for it! Of course we’ll splash it across the magazine when it’s available!

But, as amazing as Lysa and her assistant Holly are, I actually want to focus on someone else I met that weekend, someone whose name I don’t remember.

While Lysa was sharing part of her book Unglued with Holly and I, one of the caterers shared that she really wished someone would write a book about a subject that is near and dear to her heart. She is a counselor for young girls and she has a heart to help them understand how important purity is. She said that she’s seen many girls as young as 12-13 years old that are pregnant. She was very frustrated at the lack of resources out there for these young girls and asked if one of us would please write a book to help them.

We all agreed that a book should be written, but that she should be the one to write it. She has the passion for the girls and the proximity to the issue.
She lit up a little at the thought. She admitted that she had been doing some writing on the subject but didn’t think she had the skill to do it. We encouraged her to step out and do it. I hope that she does.

She has the passion and proximity.

What about you?

Have you thought about writing a book?

Is there something that you have the passion and proximity to write about?

Maybe it’s time that you became an author. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and throw down your thoughts. You might just be the person that is supposed to write that book.
Lysa also has some great resources to help you in your journey to become an author, in fact she offers a conference every year in July that could be just the thing for you.

Not only do they offer classes to help you become a better writer, but they are unique in that She Speaks offers you face time with agents and publishers!
What has God given you the passion and proximity to write about?
Get to it and check out that conference too!

She Speaks Conference

Much love,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Real Moms Series ~ Sibling Rivalry

If you're stopping by because you heard me on STAR 105.7...

Today I thought we’d talk about sibling rivalry, it’s just a fact of life when we have more than one child.

The other day I watched a desperate mom in Target try to calm her squabbling children and it reminded me of when I felt like a referee in my own home.

Constant picking on one another, teasing each other until someone erupted and things got noisy.

Unfortunately I can’t say…when they reach the magical age of _____ it all stops.
I don’t think we’ll ever eliminate it altogether, but there are a few things that Moms can do to keep from pulling our hair out.

• Try not to get involved unless there’s a danger that someone’s going to get hurt. Let them work it out. If you constantly step in you could send a message to the kids that they don’t need to resolve it, MOM will.

• Separate the kids until they are calm- I remember a time in the grocery store when I put one child on one side of the cart and the other on the other.

• Help your kids to understand that everything is not always “fair” or “equal”

• Use some of the arguments as an opportunity to teach your kids about saying ‘I’m sorry’ and forgiving one another. Help them resolve things without “making” them resolve it.

• Have clear boundaries with each other’s toys and possessions.

• If they constantly squabble about the same thing (video games or tv) post a schedule.

• Have fun together as a family. Give your kids opportunities to get along with each other in fun situations. (Example, going to Gull Meadow’s farm with the kids, sledding in the winter, etc.)

And sometimes kids need that assurance that their place in the home is safe and extremely important. Like that little boy on Cheaper by the Dozen who felt that he “didn’t fit” in the family, our kids need us to assure them of how important they are to the family and that they fill a place no one else could fill.

And know that sibling rivalry is a normal part of childhood and growth. If your kids are fighting, it doesn’t make you a bad mom …it just makes you a REAL mom!

The "Real Moms of West Michigan" airs Tuesday mornings at 7:05 AM EST.

If you are not in the West Michigan area, you can listen online at iHeart Radio:
STAR 105.7

And visit Tommy and Brook at:

STAR 105.7 on the web

STAR 105.7 on Facebook

@TommyAndBrook on Twitter

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Motherhood

Motherhood is not for the weak.

There's the screaming, crying, sleeplessness and constant emotional roller coasters that women have to deal with.

AND THEN we become a mother.

Now suddenly we're living in a home with one or more other highly irrational individuals.

No one prepared us for this.
They didn't hand out a manual when they set that darling little bundle in our arms and wheeled us out the door of the hospital.

Sure, those women at our baby shower sat there smiling and oohing and cooing about the cute little outfits and bath towels. They had no problem telling us the horrors of labor, but they failed to mention what life with children is really like, or that we would never actually use those silly little bath towels.

They didn't tell us that it's the most frightening, wonderful, terrifying yet glorious experience this side of heaven.

Each season of raising children has joys and trials of it's own.

The euphoria of being a new mom wrapped in the stark reality that we will never-ever enjoy another selfish moment to ourselves.

The joys of toddlers, the adorableness of watching them experience a butterfly while trying to corral them from wobbling into oncoming traffic.

The enthusiasm of pre-schoolers learning to speak in sentences while hushing them before they tell the world that mommy yells at daddy.

The thrill of our school age children playing sports while we sit in the wind and the rain cheering and shivering til we lose our voice.

Then the teens years of figuring out the gentle balance of parent, friend, mentor and confidant. No one prepared me for when that ice-cream smothered smile who wanted an underdog would wish that I didn't walk into school with them.

Suddenly, we blink and they are moving out of our homes and starting new lives. Spreading their wings while we pray that they don't make all the same mistakes we did.

But they will.
And then some.
And it's ok, they need to.
It's how we learned, and they will too.

My children are 23, 21, 19 and 7.
I tease that I've become my own mentor.
Sometimes I think I got another chance to get it right, and then I see how great my kids are doing and think- maybe I didn't get it so wrong.

Raising Lauren is so different from the first three.
My first three were so close together and life was crazy!
But with Lauren, things are much more subdued and I enjoy a lot more one-on-one time with her, which is good because those first 2 years in an orphanage left her filled with internal scars and needing a mommy with time for her.

I am so blessed also to have the opportunity to speak to so many MOPS groups. I love these women and the precious time of life that they are in.
I remember needing encouragement.
Needing someone to say, "you will get through this season, and you will be thankful for it!"

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Elisa Morgan, founder of MOPS.
She is a little powerhouse. A precious woman with a heart of gold. Check out her latest book, "She Did What She Could."

Thank you Elisa Morgan for starting this amazing ministry and lifting the hearts of young moms everywhere!

Please encourage a mom with young ones today, and call her on your way to the store, chances are she could stand to have you pick something up for her.

To find a MOPS group in your area:
MOPS International

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Changing Our Tone Changes Everything

If you're stopping by because you heard me on STAR 105.7...

This is what we talked about on "The Real Moms of West Michigan" today.
(Don't you just picture me in fuzzy robe and slippers??
Add a cup of coffee and side-show Bob hair and that's pretty much me!)

“Changing Our Tone Changes Everything”

The other day I was scolding Lauren (my 7yr old) for not getting ready fast enough, which is a common occurrence because I tend to be running behind, and suddenly I heard my angry voice barking orders at her and I was horrified by the sound of it.

I thought about the fact that I would never talk to someone else this way.

AND...if I ever heard another person speak in this tone to my child, I would get all kinds of ugly on them!

But here I was, unloading on my child, my precious daughter who I dearly love!

And her response?

To bark right back at me.

Yes. It’s a vicious cycle.

I thought to myself…this is NOT working. I have to change my tone.

I thought of what it says in Proverbs 15:1.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

I needed to deflect my anger.
So I took a deep breath and spoke in my best "nice mom" voice.

Immediately, it changed the atmosphere in the room. She calmed down, we got ready and headed out the door.

Thankfully, the simple act of calming my voice and quieting my tone can change
the atmosphere of our homes!

So, I want to encourage Mom’s today to think about the sound of our voices because our kids respond so much better when we speak to them in calmer tones.

I KNOW this isn’t easy, but it can change everything if we give it a try and WE will feel better about ourselves as Moms too.

I hope you were encouraged by this Real Mom moment!

Much love,
Sue Cramer

The "Real Moms of West Michigan" airs Tuesday mornings at 7:05 AM EST.

If you are not in the West Michigan area, you can listen online at iHeart Radio:
STAR 105.7

And visit Tommy and Brook at:

STAR 105.7 on the web
STAR 105.7 on Facebook
@TommyAndBrook on Twitter

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Cat Story

I figured it was a good day to humilitate myself so here goes!

Many years ago, I had this cat. Her name was Baby. She was very sweet, but had some rather annoying traits. One was her voice, she had the kind of meow that sounded like nails on a chalkboard, but at least she only did it in the middle of the night.

She also had this strange habit of backing up to something and shaking her tail as if she was spraying it, but thankfully, nothing ever seemed to come out. I had heard of male cats doing this, but never females. When I had my first child it became very annoying because she would do it around his things, as if to mark her territory.

So one day I decided to call the vet and ask if there was something I could do about it. As I explained to the receptionist how she would back up to things and shake her tail as if she was spraying, the woman seemed just as perplexed as I was. She sat there silently for a moment and said “who is doing this?” and I explained once more that it was my female cat and I wondered if she had any advice for me. She then very sweetly said that I should probably call a vet, and it was at that moment that I looked down at my address book and realized that I had called my gynecologist.

I hung the phone up as fast as I could. I was so embarrassed that I never even called the vet. I picked up a spray bottle and drenched the cat whenever she shook anything.

I've shared this story many time to illustrate that it's so important to think about who we are calling. A friend or family member may seem the most logical choice but is it really the one who is most equipped to help us?

If our heart is broken or we are struggling...the Father wants to be the first call we make.

Pray first.

And never. Never. Call the gynecologist about the cat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In Search of Security in Marriage


I'm blogging at the 31 Days of Love at Darlene Schacht's blog.

I spent years allowing the emotions of my day to be hinged on how my husband talked to me and treated me. If I felt loved and accepted by him, it was a good day. But if I felt I had let him down or he was angry or disappointed with me about something, it was a bad day. I lived my life through his eyes. My security came from him alone.

Click here to read entire article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Radio Show

If you missed our radio show and how to start a Praise and Coffee Night, here it is:

And I'm so sorry for my very naughty dogs that were attacking the poor cable guy during the show.

Listen to internet radio with Praise and Coffee on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Terror, Baked Beans and a Radio Show

Good morning girlfriends!

If you want to skip all the bunny trails on this post, just click over here to read my article today at the cafe':

"Some Paths Are Lined With Terror (Avoid Those)"

But if you're willing to take a plunge, here we go.

So, how is your week going so far? Mine's pretty good. I've been getting ready for my buddies to come. Melissa and Ronel are getting on planes tomorrow to come hang out here in Michigan for a few days with me.
There will be much coffee drinking, giggling and probably some tears involved. That's life with girlfriends.

And sometimes with last night when my daughter and I were watching tv.

My husband, bless his sweet heart, has a cold. A terrible cold. He's a hot mess when his sinuses decide to rebel on him. Red face, sniffly, coughing and blotchy.

Well, he went to bed early and Steph and I sat up watching old Burn Notice re-runs that she missed. I love Burn Notice, probably because Fiona is my alter ego. Or because I love her shoes. What's cooler than blowing things up while running around on 6 in wedges?

Anyways, my husband yells down from upstairs, "Sue? Will you warm up the beans."

I immediately pictured the pot on the stove from dinner, half full of baked beans.
Yes, I left the dinner dishes.
In this house, with grown children (and their girlfriends), I never know when someone might sweep through the kitchen and eat the leftovers.

And, I was lazy. Words With Friends was much more appealing than dish pan hands.

But, I was surprised that he was hungry for baked beans at 10pm.
And then he added, "so I can put them on my face."

This really threw me until after a very confused few seconds I realized he meant the BAG of beans that you warm up in the microwave and put on the parts of your body that hurt. The warmth is soothing for sinuses.

But with wrinkled face I looked at Steph and whispered, "I thought he meant the baked beans."
We both sat there and laughed our heads off a few minutes until I jumped up to warm the beans for him.

It was funny. But hubby didn't think so.
It could have been the intense pain and burning sensation in his head. Or, and this is more likely, that he is not nearly as easily amused as I.

So anyway... I'm planning on lots of giggly girl fun this week and I hope you can join us when we do our online radio show.

It's really easy to chat LIVE with us (chatting=typing on your computer). Just click on the link at 11 AM EST and the show will come through on your speakers.
Click here to hang with us:
Praise and Coffee Radio Show
And if you miss the show, you will be able to go back and listen later.

Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's here~ Autumn 2011 Praise and Coffee Magazine

You can click on the cover to read!

And if you would like to be among the first to be notified (they got an email yesterday!) when new issues come out, sign up here: free subscription

I hope you like it.
Happy Autumn!

And just to remind you that Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM EST
We will host our first ever Praise and Coffee Radio Show ~"Conversations"

Our first topic is "Starting a Praise and Coffee Night in Your Community"

Whether or not you want to do that...stop in and say hello on the chat.
It's super easy and we'd love to hear from you.

Oh did I mention that Melissa Mashburn from Florida and Ronel Sidney from San Diego will be here- in my house. In my living room ya'll!

It may be completely obnoxious with no real information given, but I'm pretty sure it will be fun!
Click here on Thursday at 11:00 AM EST:
Blog Talk Radio Show

Have a wonderful weekend.
You are loved!

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