Creating a Pleasing Ambiance


Alan and I love to find cute little out of the way places to eat. (Notice I didn’t say hole in the wall. It has to be really clean for me to eat there.) Small cafes in interesting spots.

When we went to San Francisco together, we loved walking the streets and discovering new places to eat. One of our favorites was an Italian restaurant called Mona Lisa. The inside walls were covered with paintings and the tables were small and cozy. Outside, iron tables and chairs dotted the sidewalk where you could eat and watch the world pass.

Think of one of your favorite spots to eat. Besides the food, why do you love to eat there?


It’s the atmosphere of the place – cute tables, homey décor and pleasing music. As I got ready this morning, it occurred to me I am the ambiance of my home. I set the tone or create the atmosphere for how things go each day.

My voice is the first that both my husband and kids hear in the morning. Before Alan gets in his car and heads into traffic and the stressors of work, there is me. Before the kids jump on the school bus and dive into the books, I’m there.

When I wake up grumpy and snap at my husband or order the kids out of bed like a drill sergeant, it’s as if I’m cranking up rap music in the quiet café.

Sometimes I’m frustrated because my daughter doesn’t move as fast as I’d like and my tone sharpens by the minute. But can I confess? Those are usually the days I’ve woken late, which forces us into a frenzied panic.

Who wants to eat a ham sandwich in a cubicle while listening to an off-key organ grinder? Not me. But that’s what I force my family to do when I snap and criticize from the moment they open their eyes.

Instead, I need to use kisses and encouraging words to wake my little people and send off my husband. I can look for ways to create that pleasing atmosphere.

I choose the ambiance of my home.

Is your house more like a quick-order diner in the morning? Here are some tips we can both use to turn our greasy spoon into a cultured café.

For your kids:
•Give two wake-up calls. The first time you wake them, tell them “five more minutes.” Then they’re a little more prepared to get out of bed when you return.
•Hug them straight out of bed. Hold them for a minute and rub their backs. Just a little Mama-love to start the day.
•Choose your tone carefully. It’s easy to come across harsh when you yourself are tired. Practice using the same voice you use to talk to puppies. (Don’t laugh. It works.)
•Tuck notes of encouragement into their lunchboxes or bookbags.
•Pray together.

For your spouse:
•Kiss before you leave the bed.
•Ask what’s on his schedule and how you can pray specifically for him today.
•Watch your tone. (But don’t use the puppy voice on him. LOL.)
•Discuss evening plans (Ones that involve lots of smooching. Hint. Hint.)
•Pray together.

Do you have any morning tips on creating ambiance in your home? Please share!

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1 NIV

Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9 NIV


*Photo credit


Embrace the Wait: Learning to Love Waiting on God


I have a friend.

She is such a gift. I met her years ago when I started blogging. Then I got to meet her in real life, and she is just as wonderful in person. She makes me laugh. She makes me think, and she challenges me to dig deep in God’s Word. Don’t you love friends like that?

Let me introduce you to my friend, Kimberly Henderson and her blog A Planting of the Lord. She is writing a series called “Why Won’t God Bless Me?” I look forward to hearing each one of her posts. But today, she asked me to share. What started as two Jesus-lovin’ girls chatting on the phone about waiting on God has turned into a post.

Please join me today at Kimberly’s place where I’m sharing about how we can learn to enjoy waiting on God, then stick around for the rest of Kimberly’s series. Y’all are certain to be blessed. 🙂 Click HERE to join me today.


All Praise


In September 2000, the largest meeting to date of world leaders took place in a three-day event called the Millennium Summit. The group, meeting in the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, consisted of 100 heads of state, 47 heads of government, 3 crown princes, 5 Vice Presidents, 3 Deputy Prime Ministers and more…

Join me today at the Presidential Prayer Team where I’m talking about a time the whole world will come together as one. Click HERE to read the devotion.



Remember the book Couch Rebels: Because Stories Like These Aren’t Told by Potatoes? It was an e-book, but after a high demand for an actual book, you can now order a print copy!! If you are interested, click HERE to order a copy. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

*Remember, the link is only direct today. After today, you will need to select today’s date 10/18 on the drop down menu. 





Everyone wants a little respect. While some demand it, wise people know you cannot force respect. It is earned – by honoring your word, putting others above yourself, or pitching in when someone needs help…

Join me today at the Presidential Prayer Team. Click HERE to read the rest of today’s devotion.

*Remember, PPT devotion links are only direct today. After today, you’ll need to select 10/11 on the drop down menu. 

Have a fabulous weekend!


Fire Safety App for Kids


October is Fire Safety month.

Back in the years when I was a teacher, as October rolled around I would plan all sorts of Fire Safety lessons and activities. Now that I’m a mom, I understand the importance of kids knowing what to do if there is a fire.

Recently, I downloaded a new FREE app called Sparky’s Birthday Surprise. It didn’t take long for Grace to find it and give it a try. The app will read a story to your kids, while allowing them to interact with the characters and items on the screen.

There is a cute fire safety music video, a coloring page (always a favorite!) and some educational games. Grace actually came to me for days asking to play Sparky again and again. I was happy because the app was educational, but a week later I really learned its significance.


“Mama,” Grace came to find me and pulled my hand through the house. “Look!” She drug me down the hall and pointed at the ceiling. “It’s just like Sparky! It tells us if there is a fire,” she told me.

We walked through the whole house while she pointed out all the smoke detectors. All the while, she was telling me safety rules.

“You ‘posed to go outside if there is a fire.”

“Fire is hot!”

“Firemen help us.”

I loved it! If you have a little one, take some time today and download the Sparky’s Birthday Surprise App or the e-book. Click HERE to download either.

If you are a homeschooler or teacher, click HERE to get some teaching guides and printables.

And don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke detectors!