Thursday, September 18, 2014

Meet Karen - September's Winner of The Mom Squad Mom of the Month Contest

Congratulations to Karen Boyle, September's winner of The Mom Squad Mom of the Month Contest presented by 955 the Fish and the Carlisle Inn.  Karen is a very busy mom of a teenage daughter and a son just entering Kindergarten!   As this month's winner, she will receive an overnight stay at the beautiful Carlisle Inn with dinner included!  

I was blessed to be the one chosen to interview Karen.  Read her responses to the interview questions below to learn, as I did, what makes her such a special mom.  


1.     Karen, please tell us a little about youHow many children do you have?  How old are they? 

I am a 49-year old mother of two children.  I have a daughter who is 13 years old and a freshman in high school, and a son who is only 5 years old and just started Kindergarten this year.   I am married.  My husband’s name is Thomas.  I am a bus driver for a local school system. 

I grew up in a military family.  My dad was in the Navy for 30 years, so we traveled all over the world.  My mom was the stronghold in the family.  When the bus was not able to pick us up and take us to the military base for church, my mom held church services in our home.   There were always Bible teachings in our home growing up.

2.     Who has been the biggest influence in your life so far? 

Definitely my mom has been the biggest influence in my life.  As I said, she would have services at our house when the bus couldn’t pick us up and take us to base to church.  There were always praise groups and Bible studies in our home.

3.     Who was your role model for being mom?

My mom absolutely was my role model and still is to this day.   With my dad being in the military and with us traveling around, we were away from other family members so much. 

4.     What do you find is/was your biggest parenting challenge?  How did you handle it?

(With a chuckle) Having a son at 45-years old!  Keeping my son from running up and down the aisles at church is my biggest challenge, but it is all working out great.  I’m just taking one day at a time.  My husband and I wanted another child, a son.  God heard our prayers.

5.     Is there a favorite “mom” story you would like to share with us?  Perhaps something your children did or said that was funny at the time or embarrassing at the time, but funny now?

The most recent funny story happened during my son’s first week in Kindergarten.  He and five other boys decided to jump in these huge water puddles on the playground.  They were soaked.  Five moms had to take clothes for each of their boys to change into.  All of the boys were waiting in the clinic! 

The most precious moments are when my teenage daughter and my kindergartner share a special bond like watching a movie together or doing a secret handshake.  Those are my favorite memories.

6.     What is one thing you have learned as a mom that you would like to share with other new moms out there? 

The best piece of advice I could give other moms is to spend time outdoors with your children.  Have a picnic.  Listen to them.  Value their conversation.  Have lots of quality time together.  Stay away from the electronic devices. 

7.      What is your favorite way to “de-stress”?  Do you have a favorite hobby that helps?

My favorite way to de-stress is to go out on our pontoon boat and take a cruise.  We take a picnic lunch and picnic on the water.  I love to sit on the boat.  It is my de-stresser.

8.     Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Yes, I would like to tell them about Camp Carl in Ravenna.  Camp Carl is owned by The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, and is our favorite all time summer camp.  They instill Christian beliefs in the children.  My daughter goes every year for a week.  She plans on being a camp counselor.  They start with a day camp and then eventually (in 2nd or 3rd grade) they can stay for a week at a time.   

For more information on Camp Carl, please click this link to visit their website: Camp Carl


Congratulations again, Karen!  Have a well-deserved, mini-getaway at the Carlisle Inn!

If you would like to nominate a special mom for The Mom Squad Mom of the Month contest, visit to enter your nomination today!   Also, be sure to read Ruth Clifford's interview with August's winner, Carol.


Kathleen Horvath 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?

Good morning, friends!  I wanted to share with you something that the Holy Spirit has been stirring inside of me. 

Matthew 8:23-27 "Now when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.  And suddenly a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves.  But He was asleep.  Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?"  Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  So the men marveled, saying, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

Lately, I've been worrying a lot.  I'm 6 months pregnant and the worry seems to overwhelm me at times.  I worry about my boys sharing a room, about our car not being large enough for 3 kids, about our finances and the increase in groceries that we're having as we raise two growing and hungry boys (and adding a third).  I'm worried about my kids development, my husbands job, and I worry A LOT about The Mom Squad and if we're meeting the needs of you, our audience.

What I've noticed is that my mind and heart are so filled with worry that I have no room for God. Can we be honest for a minute?  If I spent as much time praying and in the Word of God as I do worrying about my circumstances, I would be so much more joyful and so much less anxious about everything. 

In this story of the Bible, we notice that "suddenly" a bad storm came and the boat was covered with waves. Isn't that how life works?  We never get a warning that a storm is coming into our life.  Typically, it comes without warning and in the worst possible times - a lot of times at night, when we're already tired and mentally exhausted and needing peace. 

In a panic, the disciples wake Jesus up.  Aren't we just like the disciples?  Here we have the followers of Jesus - those closest to Him - who have seen many miracles and have heard all of His teachings but yet when the storm in their life arises, they panic.  They have Jesus right in their boat!! And yet they panic!  Goodness, that is me all day!  I have Jesus in my heart, I've seen so many of His miracles in my life and in the lives of the ones whom I love, yet every time - EVERY TIME, sisters - I panic.

And then Jesus says the infamous words that we all have heard "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?"  Oops.  That's right, Jesus.  I forgot who You are and what You can do if I only put my trust in You.  And in an instance, He calms the winds and the sea.   

Friends, when we know who God is in our life, we know that He is able.  He is able to calm the winds and storms in our life.  The same God that calmed the physical storm that night is the same God who can calm the figurative storms in our life - no matter how bad the situation may look.  There's a key component in the story... the disciples asked God for help. 

Are you dealing with a storm in your life that you wish would end?  Maybe it's time to remind yourself of who God is and can be in your life when you ask.  Ladies, I pray that you (and I) would turn our anxiety into prayer.  That we turn our worry into working power through Jesus Christ.  And that when fear tries to overwhelm us that we would continually remind ourselves of who God is.

Have a blessed day! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In His Presence

Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life;  in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

They say (whoever 'They' may be) that confession is good for the soul and I agree. So today I want to make a confession.


Lately I have been asking God for more of Him in my life. I have felt unfulfilled and unsatisfied with the mediocre relationship I have had with my Savior and have had a deep desire for more. Although I had full expectation that He desired to give me more of His power and presence, I didn't consider the process that I would have to go through to obtain it.

One of the first things that happened after I asked God for more of Him was that I began to feel an overwhelming feeling of separation. It was as if I was here but I felt like something major was missing. I had everything in the natural I could ask for yet I was lonely and detached from something. What was going on? I had never felt this way before.

As I sought God for understanding as to what may be causing this strange change in my emotions, He revealed to me the answer. He was simply magnifying the aching pain I felt without his presence to increase the desire for His presence. I hadn't even realized how over the years I had learned to suppress my Spirit's desire for more of God with more of what I thought I wanted. Yet God saw it all along and knew that He would have to show me where I was so I could embrace where I was going.

I began to assess my day. In fulfilling the demands of work and family I can honestly say my DAY was full but my spirit was empty. This is what I was left with when I masked my desire for him. Yet, in all his graciousness, he still showed me that it was my imperfections that qualified me for His presence. My weariness, my loneliness, my frustration, my aching heart, my MESS. These were the very things that brought me back to His feet so that I could be brought into His presence.

Just as the scripture says In your presence there is fullness, but I first had to be emptied out so that I could receive the fullness of His presence.

Ladies this Saturday is going to be a day not only for fellowship but a day for you to get emptied out so that you can receive His FULLNESS. We chose the name REIGNITE because we wanted you to walk out with something you may not come into the building with. The FULLNESS that comes with being REIGNITED.  Please don't miss this opportunity.

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