{Vendor Spotlight} A message of hope

Sometimes moms feel unappreciated and taken for granted. Even though they are more important to their family than they can ever imagine, every moms needs encouragement. At the end of the day when she’s looking at all the things that didn’t get done and the guilt starts to set in, a simple reminder that she’s on the right path and that her hard work is not in vain will go a long way. It’s tough to be a mom. Little things like a hand written note, or quick phone call, or a meaningful text message may be just the pick-me-up another mom needs.

You never know just how much an encouraging word could mean to someone else. On the outside it may seem as if all is well, but on the inside there’s hurt, doubt, anger, insecurity, anxiety, depression, worry, fear, restlessness, and more. In just a moment, a kind word can change things. Sharing the gift of building up another person can be simple. The key is to remember that everyone needs encouragement, even that mom that seems like she has it all together.

The following passage of scripture from The Message version of Matthew chapter 5 is a beautiful example of encouragement straight from God’s Word. Perhaps there’s someone in your life who needs to be encouraged today. Take a moment to share this message of hope with them.

3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is

more of God and his rule.

 4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then

can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

 5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no

less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that

can't be bought.

 6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food

and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

 7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find

yourselves cared for.

 8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put

right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

 9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of

compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place

in God's family.

 10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The

persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

 11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down

or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that

the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad

when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do!

And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My

prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Matthew 5-The Message version

[title subtitle="Guest Contributor: Susan Seay"][/title]

CW is excited to welcome Susan Seay to Style Speaks: Renovate as a sponsor! Come and meet her at her book table and pick up a signed copy of Susan's book of your own and for a friend.

Susan Seay Headshot#Mentor4Moms is passionate about helping moms, overcome the chaos, so that they can embrace and express their purpose. Being a busy mom of 7 she understands all of the struggles and pressure that can come when parenting in this fast-paced society. She has used her parenting mistakes, and successes to help other moms around the world be intentional with their families in easy practical ways. Creating simple to-use tools, moms no longer need to juggle balancing work and family, instead they can enjoy their kids in every moment. She has taught hundreds of women to let go of the "should's" and refocus on creating and living out their core values. Leaving the standards of "good mom" behind Susan challenges, encourages and champions mothers from all different backgrounds and cultures to embrace motherhood, with humor, passion, and love. If you struggle with occasionally feeling overwhelmed, burdened or guilty in any area concerning your family, or if you simply want to talk to a woman who gets it. visit


[title subtitle="Style Speaks: Renovate"][/title]

Click HERE for tickets

You are cordially invited to Style Speaks: Renovate
Style Speaks Renovate
Style Speaks is an annual fashion and faith interactive event where women gather to be equipped and empowered to be who they are created to be. This year, we are renovating! You will be refreshed, renewed and restored from the inside out. Style Speaks will inspire you to pursue your God-given purpose and leave a legacy for generations to come.
| The Happenings |

Doors open 4:30 p.m.

5:OO Fashion Show #1: Contone Italian Clothing & Made New Apparel

5:15 Fashion Power Panel: How to on styling, design & Finding value in who you are
~ Moderator: Jen Young of Forever Styled
~ Panelist: Alison Lumbatis of Get Your Pretty On
~ Panelist: Risa Wilson of Made New Apparel

5:30 Shop

6:00 Fashion Show #2: The Moxie Fox & Local Austin Boutique

6:15 Dreamer Power Panel: How to pursue your dreams & live within life transitions
~ Moderator: @JanGossGibson
~ Kelly Rucker of {well} women entrepreneurs loving the Lord
~ Jen Sprinkle of {well} women entrepreneurs loving the Lord
~ Allison Lyles of Thriving Personal and Professional Development

6:30 Shop

7:00 CW Family Power Panel: Renovate
~ Heather Frierson, founder of Created Woman Foundation
~ Crystal Breaux of Your Fitness Designer
~ Lynn Cherry author of Keep Walking
Cheryl Luke, speaker, author pastor

7:20 Designer Fashion Show!!! 

7:45 Dance the night away!

9:00 Winner of Private Shopping Event announced! (Winner must be present to win)

|The Shopping|
| Jewelry |
Kristen Ellis - Independent Stylist, Stella & Dot
Good & Golden Designs
Lavish Leathers

| Gifts & Specialty | 
Ashley Behnke Design
~ Che Bella: Gifts & Christmas Gifts

| Beauty | 
Ever Skincare by Megan McNeese, Independent Specialist
~ Mary Kay by Michelle Moreno

| Books |
~ 31 days of prayer for the dreamer & doer – {well} women entrepreneurs loving the Lord
~ Now, While You are Single: Walking out your purpose while you are single – Heather Frierson
~ Mentor 4 moms guide to: Core Values for the family – Susan Seay
~ Helping hurting children; A journey of healing – Martha Bush
~ Keep Walking – Lynn Cherry
Meshell R Baker

| Clothing/Fashion Show | 
Cotone Italian Clothing 
The Moxie Fox
Made New Apparel
~ @W by Worth by @ClosetsbyKrissy
Megan Pinto Designs
Grace and Lace



A Thankful Heart

This Thanksgiving will be the first holiday I spend away from the hustle and bustle of my extended family.  Life happens, retail is demanding and lets face it, IH 35 is a road created by the devil himself. While I won’t be traveling to my family this year, I can say that my childhood is jam packed with memories of Thanksgiving.  My grandmother waking up early to serve me Post Toasties, the smell of tamales being warmed on the stove, dry turkey (I thought it was a compliment), cranberries, cheesecake, lemon meringue pie and crispy warm and serve Hawaiian rolls.  My father's family knew how to celebrate!

“And with the money get whatever you have a desire for, oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your soul's desire may be: and make a feast there before the Lord your God, and be glad, you and all your house.”  Deuteronomy 14:46 (Bible in Basic English)

Those memories warm my heart and remind me of just how much I have to be thankful for.  It’s easy to be thankful for material things, or angry because you lack them; but I challenge you this week to look deeper.  Think about your character, who are you when no one is looking?  Who molded you into the woman you are today?  When was the last time you said thank you?

This week as you download new books, get your playlists ready and charge both work and personal cell phones for your trip remember the most important part about Thanksgiving – giving thanks.

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.”  Psalm 92:1 (New Living Translation)

Take A Chance On Me

  When it takes you an extra 20 minutes to flat iron your hair, the Kurig won’t brew until you to add more water and your child wants a second breakfast before you walk out the door, you know you’re in for one heck of day!

Days are busy for this working Mom and sometimes I wonder, “Mama Mia!  How I’m going to get everything done?”  I’m certain I’m not alone and I’m grateful for my faith that God can make a 36 hour day fit into a mere 24.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1 (New Living Translation) 

God will see you through the day.  He’ll see you through your situation.  Just remember that our timing isn’t always in line with his.  When I’m overwhelmed and my faith is shaky I picture Funky Jesus singing, “Take A Chance On Me” by ABBA.  Don’t make fun of me!  I like to think that Jesus had a fun loving personality.

“Take A Chance On Me”    

If you change your mind, I'm the first in line

Honey I'm still free

Take a chance on me

If you need me, let me know, gonna be around

If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down

If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown

Honey I'm still free

Take a chance on me

Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie

If you put me to the test, if you let me try 

Take a chance on me

(That's all I ask of you honey)

Take a chance on me


And so ladies, today I leave you humming a song with a great visual and remind you take a chance on God.  He is faithful to complete the work he’s started in you.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you for being there to guide me and love me.  Help me to continue in the faith so that I may be grounded in your word.

Hungry for More: Noah built the ark in Genesis 6:1 – 9:17, Abraham offers Isaac in Genesis 22 & Jesus and Peter walk on water in Matthew 14.

Mean Girls, Not In My House

While the movie is truly hysterical to watch (Mean Girls 2004), the theme is all too real for girls today and yesterday for that matter.  We are always trying to remain fashionable, wear nothing larger than a size 5-6 and have the right friends.  It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that many girls, to make sure that they feel good about their situation, will find someone worse off than them and make sure they know it. My daughter is only 4 years old, but as I watch her play on the playground at the park I can already see the beginnings of cliques forming.  The adorable little boy with the glasses swings alone, the girl with un-brushed hair tries desperately to make it pretty with her little fingers and still none of the kids go near her.  It’s sad to watch them draw these lines for themselves at such a young age but it’s worse when their parents do it for them.

Several months ago during a Mommy’s night out, a friend shared a story of how another parent had rudely snapped at her in the school parking lot.  After hearing the story I was appalled.  What gave this woman the right to snap at my friend for a reason that was none of her business?  I wanted so badly to never speak to her during pickup or let my daughter anywhere near her child again.

The next couple of times I saw her I found myself being short and abrupt, and then I realized what I was doing.  I was behaving like a child!  “You’re mean to my friend so I’m going to be mean to you”… what kind of example was I setting?  It wasn’t until a birthday party several weeks later that I found out her mother had been battling the final stages of breast cancer while she was working over seas for extended periods of time.  In fact, her mother had passed away only 2 days before.  I pray I never find out how I would behave if faced with a similar situation.

We all do the best we can for our children and for now I refuse to let my 4-year choose all of her friends.  My mother used to tell me “I can see farther than you,” and she was right.  When she’s older, I hope that her exposure to people of different colors, sizes, religions and economic backgrounds will give her the wisdom to surround herself with diverse friends.  The last thing I want to raise is a Mean Girl.

Brown Rice, Mexican Style

Anywhere there's Mexican food, you'll find rice. Enchiladas and rice, tacos and rice, beans and rice. My mother, grandmother and mother-in-law each prepared rice with their own twist and now I've added mine. I hope you'll try this easy, yummy recipe which takes brown rice, full of nutrients, and packs it with flavor that will fill your kitchen with a heavenly aroma.

Mexican Brown Rice


1 c. brown rice

2t. canola oil   

1 T. chicken boullion

2 c. water

½ t. ground cumin

2 cloves minced garlic

1/3 c chopped onion

3/4 c diced or crushed tomatoes

1c chopped vegetables –combination of any of the following: mushrooms, cooked garbanzos, chopped carrots, celery, bell pepper, frozen peas)

Cilantro (optional)


Pour brown rice  and canola oil into 2 qt. saucepan, stirring continually until toasty. ( This will make cooking time shorter and rice will have a wonderfully  firm texture.) When rice has browned sufficiently, add water, cumin, tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil then lower temperature to a simmer.  Add vegetables and cilantro after rice has been cooking for 20-25 minutes.Cook an additional 15-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is al dente.

Makes 4 c or 8-1/2 c. servings

Single mothers sticking together

Any girl, regardless of age,  would say friends are essential for the ups and downs of life, but I would say friends that can relate to you or vice versa during the ups and downs of life is gold.
Before I became a single mother, I had the liberty to go and come as I pleased with any one of my friends, but as my life changed into the new role of being a single mother, it wasn't that simple anymore. Most all my friends at the time  were single with no children and although they all cared dearly for my daughter and I and would do anything for us, my life style had completely changed and I no longer could keep up with them. A simple night out with the girls became more and more difficult as my duties of a mother grew and grew. Even my two sisters that I am very close with couldn't relate to all the stuff I was going through, because they both were married with families. They would never know what it means to be a single mother.
It was then that I decided to venture out and meet other young single mothers that I could be-friend, and I did. I can honestly say that aside from the satisfaction I had in life again that I could only get from Christ, having friends that were also single mothers helped me stay humble and grounded. Just knowing that someone else out there truly and genuinely could understand all of the emotions I felt, was priceless.  I no longer found myself trying to keep up the the lifestyle I once had and instead I learned to embraced my new life with the help of seeing other women go through the same exact thing.  
Now, I am not saying to dump all your friends that are not single mothers, just remember to love the life you have now been blessed with, and God will truly honor you for it.
Life was never meant for us to go through it alone. If that was the case, then we would never be able to move on.
Keepin' it real!

Raising Confident Children, pt. 1

Do you remember the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Marie tags along with Robert when he is interviewing for a promotion??? I belly laughed watching Marie’s inability to allow her adult son to speak for himself and to witness the king size Robert act like a six year old boy.

This morning I found that exact scenario in the Bible!!! Brothers James and John wanted a promise from Jesus to promote them and they showed up at the appointment with their mother as their spokesperson!! What’s wrong with this picture? None of these guys was confident enough to ask for what he wanted.

Raising children is like a great sporting event. Parents move in and out of three roles; teaching, coaching and cheering. In the early years of childrearing, a parents’ role falls primarily in the teaching category. This involves “explicit instruction” (what we intend to teach) as well as “indirect instruction” (what children learn from watching and listening).

Explicit instruction is teaching children what “you” want them to know. “Watch me” and “Do it like this” are natural. Most of us have a bank of behaviors and attitudes we want our children to learn. We begin imparting these from the moment we think our kids are ready to imitate. Waving bye bye and blowing kisses are some of the first social behaviors we teach our children.

Indirect instruction can be the booby trap!! On one hand, we might tell little ones they should respect all adults but then they witness us revert to our own childish ways when they see a parent make a face or speak something unkind behind someone’s back.

What happens after that is hilarious!!! We’re surprised when our children imitate our inappropriate behaviors!!! Then we have the job of attempting to undo the web we’ve woven with our repetitive statements of “Watch me” and “Do it this way.”

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to care for ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. The more steps we take towards wholeness the less time we spend feeling guilty and scrambling to unravel the conflicting messages of our words and actions.

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF!! You have value and have been entrusted with the great responsibility of preparing the next generation to be effective members of society. Lead the winning team by showing your children that healthy people take time for others and themselves.