Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

I Am A Rebel

I am divorced.

And although I am the one who filed the paperwork, it wasn’t my choice.

And, I know this goes against popular thinking, but I was an abused wife who didn’t want the divorce.

Yes, that revelation is a tough pill to swallow personally, but it’s also tough to admit. I’ve always been shy, but living in an abusive marriage took away any bravery that I may have had. (Let me just state up front that the majority of my abuse wasn’t physical.) My daily life was filled with words and experiences designed to let me know that I wasn’t good enough; that I was less than acceptable.

I learned that nothing I did was good enough, so I had to try harder to be perfect. Maybe then the words would soften and I would be good enough for him.

I learned that I had to try harder to make him, and subsequently others, like me so I could please them. Maybe then the affairs and pornography would stop.

I learned that I had to try harder to get everything done that he wanted done. I started making lists of everything I did during the day so he would know I wasn’t lazy. Maybe then I’d be performing better so he wouldn’t be so embarrassed and maybe take me out, involve me with his co-workers, or let me invite people over.

Then I learned that trying harder to be perfect didn’t help. Neither did trying to please him or performing better. So I learned something else: procrastination. If none of these things helped anyway, why even try? I was going to get yelled at and called names anyway, why try?

My kids were going to hear me called names and put down regardless of what everyone did all day. They were going to see me in tears no matter what. So…




All of my years of trying harder to be what someone else wanted, which was unreasonable and unattainable, made me fall victim to several bullies. The first and foremost bully was my ex-husband. And it took a long time to re-learn that I was a valued and loved Child of God and that I was not the “things’ he told me I was.

But while that bully was one over which I have absolutely no control, the other bullies are ones I used myself. They were tools, and I use that word loosely, handed to me by the enemy to knock me down to a point where I would ultimately give up and not live out the life with which I have been blessed.

Now some may look at my life and ask, “How is your life blessed?” And from the outside they may have a point…

  • I’m a single mom.
  • I take care of two kids, one with special needs.
  • I homeschool my kids and their father rarely sees them, so I’m rarely alone.
  • Since I homeschool, I don’t have a full-time job, which means I don’t have full-time income.
  • I work four direct sales companies from home, so when I’m not teaching, I’m usually working in some capacity.
  • I’m living in someone’s living room. On. A. Couch.
  • It’s next to impossible to find an affordable place to rent in a safe area.
  • It’s almost impossible to to get a mortgage; again an affordable in a safe area.
  • There is no money, no extras.

So HOW is my life blessed? My God, through various people, helped me escape that abusive life and find the hope and love that was there all along. I have a family member who is willing to help. I have my kids! I get to watch them grow up; educate them; make sure my son gets everything he needs; show them what bravery looks like.

And here lies another blessing: friends! I have never really had friends. Like I mentioned earlier, I am relatively shy. I had a few friends growing up, but being a military family, I never had time to allow those friendships to become solid. But since my divorce, God has showered me with friendships with some amazing women – some I’ve met and some I haven’t. But I know that several of these women, even those I haven’t met, support me, pray for me, love me. I can’t believe that I am finally learning what friendship is in my 40s! This is one of the best blessings lately.

Two of the ladies I have had a chance only to ‘meet’ online have written a book on this very subject. And they blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of their Braver Living Rebellion. That’s right. I’m a rebel.

Rebel Princess

Yep, I AM A REBEL! I can kick Performancism, People-Pleasing, Perfectionism, and Procrastination to the curb! Buh-Bye!

The Cure for the "Perfect" Life

Sometimes we get so entrenched in our stinkin’ thinkin’ that it’s hard to find a way out. Sometimes it’s hard to know that there is a way out. Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp have teamed up to start the Braver Living Rebellion for those of us who are stuck with one or more of these P-Bullies. And honestly, Ladies, I don’t know a single woman who is not encumbered by at least one. Let’s be honest… it’s time to get rid of them!

So where to begin? How about a free chapter to get you started? Then you can purchase your own copy at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, CBD, or Family Christian.

I am grateful to Kathi and Cheri for their honesty in this book, for their friendship (even if we’ve never met face-to-face), for the opportunity to realize that I am brave, for allowing me to be a rebel, and for truly showing me that:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil 4:13)


From “The Cure for the “Perfect” Life”:

Are you crumbling under the burden of perfection?

You know the expectations are unreasonable–even unreachable.

And when everyone else seems more together than you, where do you turn for help?

Meet Kathi, a disguised perfectionist always looking to put everyone else’s needs above her own, and Cheri, a formerly confused and exhausted poster girl for playing it safe.  They’ve struggled just like you–and found the cure. With unabashed empathy and humor, they invite you to take part in their rebellion against perfection. Step-by-step they’ll teach you how to challenge and change unhealthy beliefs. As they free you from always seeking more or needing the approval of others, you’ll discover a new, braver way of living. At last, you’ll exchange outdated views of who you should be for a clearer vision of who you are in Christ. 

The truth is you don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to be brave enough to read this book.

I received a free copy of this book. My post and endorsement are completely my own. Some of the links are affiliate links so when you purchase I may receive a small amount, but your price will not change.

Managing My Minutes – A Review

This month’s Gabby Mom’s review was for Mrs. Lorrie Flem’s Managing My Minutes. Boy, this is something that hits home! I know this is an area of my life where I need some definite improvement!

There are days I end up at dinner time and wonder, “What did I get done today?” Now that doesn’t happen every day – thank goodness – but every once in a while is still too often. I need to learn how to better manage my time. Managing My Minutes just may help me to improve this part of my life – and maybe yours too!

Two things I loved about this was ‘asking for help’ and ‘giving God the glory’ – here’s where my sinful nature comes into play. I don’t like asking for help. I am getting better at asking for prayers; but asking for ~ and accepting ~ help is still very difficult for me. As for giving God the glory, I don’t have a problem with that; however, I am forgetful. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I forget where my help comes from in the first place; and then I forget to give credit where credit is due. I’m getting better, but Lorrie’s reminder is what I need sometimes.

I love how she weaves the story of Nehemiah through her book. It really helps to know that there’s someone else who’s traveled this road. I do not need to reinvent the wheel!  Being reminded of what Nehemiah did, and of his methods, helps to remind me that I am not alone in this – now that’s a good feeling!

Lorrie makes a really good case for implementing a schedule – even though it’s something I balk at using! I do have a basic home maintenance schedule; and I began making weekly schedules for the children’s schoolwork last year. Both are helpful. Perhaps it’s time to take the plunge and create a working schedule for the whole family.

How does your family plan or schedule its time?

“Managing My Minutes” is available here.

I was given an advanced copy as a member of the Gabby Moms team in exchange for my honest review.

AUTHORS & Artists {Review and Giveaway}

It’s that time of the month again – the time when I review another great product from Mrs. Lorrie Flem at Eternal Encouragement!

This month it’s a neat little book called AUTHORS & Artists: Learning Character Through Writing. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my package – inside was a beautifully wrapped little book. This book was loving wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper and a simple tulle bow. I wish I had thought to take a picture because it was just such a sweet way to send a purchase.

But the other surprise was the size. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but inside that beautiful wrapping was a spiral-bound book that’s about 4″ x 5″ x 1″. This is a great size! It fits in your purse for Character Training On-the-Go. It’s also small enough to bring to the dinner table. This is great for anywhere, anytime!

As I looked through this book, I found all sorts of wonderful teaching and encouragement. I know this book was written for children, but I can also see benefits for adults too! Included are pages on Biblical Character Traits, The Commandments, and The Fruits of the Spirit. She also added pages for the holidays and the “author’s” birthday. There’s a space for the date at the bottom of each page, so this would make a great keepsake.

How does it work? Well, there’s a title at the top; such as Tattling or Listening, followed by several blank lines. To the right is a description of the trait, with some simple questions designed to stimulate the child’s thought process. The space for the date is at the bottom. I would recommend this book for stronger readers and writers; so perhaps ages 10 and up.

The only problem I had with this wonderful little book was that some of the descriptions were kind of long and the spiral holes went right through the text. It’s pretty simple to figure out; however, this could have been spaced a little better.

You can win a copy of this book, AUTHORS & Artists, as well as a copy of ARTISTS & Authors by going to the following posts on Lorrie’s blog:

AUTHORS & Artists

ARTISTS & Authors

Don’t forget to tell them you came from Behind the Scenes!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Authors & Artists book in exchange for my honest review as a part of the Gabby Moms program. All opinions are my own.

Exciting News!

Awhile back I wrote a review of Lorrie Flem’s (of Eternal Encouragement) ebook entitled Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure. It was something I had to review as my ‘audition’ for the Gabby Moms. Little did I know, not only how helpful this book would be, but also what an adventure the Gabby Moms would be!

Well, this book is back! When I reviewed it in December, I had just come out of a very angering experience, and it was very timely. Ironically, I am going through an even more frustrating experience now. You can read more about it here. There have been times during this past year that my nerves have been completely fried. I’ve hit rock bottom. There have been times I’ve yelled at my children; which does nothing but make things worse.

Even though I haven’t been perfect, I have been able to apply some of Lorrie’s tips and techniques to help both my children and me during this time. In addition, I am definitely praying more. That’s one of the things I really like about Lorrie’s book – it’s not something you read once and never revisit. “Yelling”  is a book that you can turn to again and again.

It’s more of a resource than a book.

Ok, the title of this post is “Exciting News” – Do you want to know what that means? I thought so. First, there’s going to be a party on facebook! Yay!

But wait ~ there’s more! The party is to celebrate the fact that “Yelling” is Lorrie’s first book available on Kindle!!! You can go ahead and purchase the book now (by clicking on the title or image) for $4.99 OR, and here’s the best part, you can get it for FREE on July 24th, 2012! For one day only, the 24th, Amazon will have the kindle version of “Yelling” for free! Isn’t that awesome?

So, pick up the ebook and join us for a party on Tuesday, July 24th – and, yes, you can YELL about it!

* I received a copy of “Yelling” in exchange for my honest review as part of the Gabby Moms program.

Many Hands Review and Giveaway

I’ve heard it said that the more hands you have the lighter the work. Sometimes with children, it’s easy to doubt that statement. I know that there are times when my children ‘help’ me and I end up with more work to do; or everything seems to take longer. I’m sure moms of young children know exactly what I mean!

As a member of the Gabby Moms team, I received a bundle this month called “Many Hands Make Light the Work” from Eternal Encouragement, and it was helpful in giving me a new perspective.  This bundle of six ebooks and four audios is a treasure trove of helpful information! I especially appreciated the specific tips and the reasons behind cleaning and organization. In fact, those ‘whys’ are powerful motivators in facilitating change. If we don’t own why we do what we do, then we are not as likely to do it for the glory of God.

Chores: Many Hands Make Light the Work

As I went through this whole bundle, I found so much that I could use! Mrs. Lorrie Flem included practical tips for getting organized, getting the children involved, having a cheerful attitude, and even getting hubby’s input! I really appreciated the lists of age-appropriate chores for the children and the all-natural cleaning product recipes. Then there’s the audios! All four audios are full-length ~ around 60 minutes each.

This is a set I will come back to multiple times!  Would you like to have your own set? Well, you can buy it here OR you can enter to win a copy of your own by filling out this form. It will ask the name of this blog – please enter Behind the Scenes.

Good luck!

* As a member of the Gabby Moms team, I received this bundle in exchange for my review.

Eternal Encouragement – The Magazine

I apologize that I haven’t been posting in the last month, but I’ve been really busy working on the Presidential Campaign. Now that the primary is over here, I get to take a little breather and get my house in order – both my physical and spiritual house. Things just haven’t been getting done on my schedule as I would have liked. So what’s a super busy mom to do?

Well, it so happens that my first issue of Eternal Encouragement Magazine from Lorrie Flem of Eternal arrived a couple of weeks ago. I had put it aside as there was much I had to do for the campaign, but I knew I wanted to sit down with it. I got my chance last week when Diva went to her jump rope class. She got to jump rope for an hour and a half and I got to relax a little and read my magazine!


The first thing that made this magazine appealing to me was its size – it’s about 6×9! This made it really easy to carry with me; which is great for a busy mom like me!  So I started reading…

Once inside, the first page was decidedly different – it was an article, not an ad. Gotta love that! The Table of Contents showed me that there were two basic themes running through this issue: Hospitality and Chaos. Boy was the chaos theme right on time for me! It truly has been chaos for the last month. Reading these articles gave me a sense of encouragement after everything I’d been experiencing over the past few weeks. I’m not alone. The only thing that was confusing was that the the articles were listed alphabetically instead of in page order.

While I enjoyed the articles on hospitality, they weren’t applicable for the moment. But that’s the great things about a small magazine like this: I can easily store it away for when my life calms down – perhaps after the first week in November – and I’m able to focus more on hospitality. But there was one  point made in one of the articles that really resonated with me: my house does not need to be perfectly clean and decorated in order to extend hospitality to my neighbor. That encourages me.

Over all, I really enjoyed Eternal Encouragement Magazine. I loved its compact size and portability; I enjoyed that the issue had two central themes, one of which was very timely. The ads were minimal and did not intrude on the articles. It’s a great little magazine that a busy mom can either read in a rare free afternoon, or one article at a time over a week or so. If I had to pick something to improve, it would be the graphics. The pages’ backgrounds were all white with minimal images and they weren’t as visually appealing as they could have been.

Could you use some encouragement? Check out Eternal Encouragement Magazine (Lorrie Flem, Publisher) and give it a try. You can take a look and subscribe here! Subscriptions come in either physical or digital format; and each subscription comes with a digital bonus! All subscribers get EE Etc. Web magazine that is published 8 times a year – now that’s a nice bonus! It contains full articles and is only available to Eternal Encouragement subscribers.

Note: I was provided with a free copy of Eternal Encouragement Magazine in exchange for my honest review.


Just Say No

Tell the truth: Did you think this post was about drugs when you saw the title? Ironically when I first saw the title of the audio I just listened to, that’s exactly what I thought too. “Just Say No” was a popular phrase in the ‘war on drugs’ many years ago led by First Lady Nancy Reagan. What a class act she is!

But this talk by Lorri Flem of Eternal Encouragement was about something a little different. No matter what season of life you’re experiencing, or what your vocation is, this talk is for all women. You know ladies, we like to do everything! I don’t know about you, but I was raised that you help others wherever you can. I think I must have stopped listening at the words ‘help others’ and completely ignored the rest. Helping others is important. Helping others is one of the things God wants from us. BUT, the other important part is ‘wherever you can.’

There are legitimate times to ‘just say no.’ What I like about Lorri’s talk is that she uses real life examples; she lets us know that she has difficulties in this area just like the rest of us do. I know that I just can’t get on board with someone’s ideas if they don’t live them out or struggle just like I do. Lorri’s talks are real enough that I feel like she’s sitting across the table from me and we’re sipping lemonade.

While I don’t want to give everything away, I did want to talk about one part of “Just Say No” that really hit home. You see, I’m in a situation where I said ‘yes’ to a commitment and now I have to turn around and tell the person ‘no.’ Now the reasons behind my new answer are not entirely under my control. but Lorri reminded me that God and family come first. I can’t give what I don’t have. Then, not only does my family suffer, but the person I said ‘yes’ to suffers as well because I can’t keep my end of the bargain. In the end, everyone loses.

So… If you are over-burdened, if your schedule is constantly full, if you’re too tired to be fully present to your spouse and children; then you just may need to hear Lorri Flem’s “Just Say No” audio talk. It’s easily downloadable right to your computer or mp3 player (you can also get it as an actual CD, too). If you give it a listen, please come back and let me know how it helped you say ‘no’ to over-commitment and ‘yes’ to God and family.

* Note to Lorri: You and your children would be welcome in our home any time! Any time you’re willing to travel completely across the country, that is!

As a Gabby Mom, I was provided with an audio copy of “Just Say No” by Lorri Flem in exchange for my honest review.


This time of year is a great time to examine the past and make changes for the future. It’s also a good time of year for organization. This post involves both!

I come across a lot of blogs that I really like and tend to sign up for every subscription I can find. It’s a sickness. I know. Is there a 12 Step program available?

So, every once in a while I need to take a look at all the email coming into my inbox. If my top priority is my family, I can’t justify spending that much time each day on email subscriptions. I unsubscribe from a few each time I do this to keep my email at a manageable level. I’m always hoping I won’t hurt someone’s feelings – it’s not personal really!

However, there’s one email that I always keep. I’ve been receiving Mrs. Lorrie Flem’s Eternal Encouragement Newsletter: Serenity for Your Soul for a while now and I enjoy reading each issue. I like them because they are short but packed with great tidbits; and because they live up to their name: they offer encouragement. Each newsletter begins with a personal anecdote from Lorrie that always manages to make me smile. In fact in one recent newsletter she mentioned she had a new weight loss plan. She wrote, ” Instead of changing my eating habits, I’m just switching my shower body wash for Dawn dish soap. Its label reads, “Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove.”” I laughed so hard! (And secretly wished that it actually worked that way!)

I love all the little things Lorrie includes in her newsletter. There are helpful hints, Biblical stories and applications, family anecdotes, quotes, and more. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can sign up for the newsletter yourself on the Eternal Encouragement website. Just scroll about halfway down the homepage and the sign up is right there. It’s quick, easy, and (most importantly) free! Once you sign up, you will also receive a free ebook on Organization. Not a bad deal, eh? Check it out! And enjoy the Encouragement!

This review is part of the Gabby Moms program. I was asked for my honest review of this free newsletter. None of the links included are affiliate links; and other than the newsletter, I have not been compensated for this post. I read the newsletters myself and my opinions are entirely my own.


Well, it sure has been a while, hasn’t it?! Shortly after my last post here, I had to send my computer in for repairs (that was in early September!) Two and a half months later, my old computer has been deemed a lemon and I sit here typing from a new one. Yay! You just don’t realize how attached you are to this technology until you don’t have it for a while.

But now I’m back and I’m going to start writing again with a timely review of a great new ebook from Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement. The book is called: Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure. You see, I could have done a lot of yelling about this computer situation; and I did in the beginning, but with a bit of prayer and planning I was able to keep a cooler head than usual. It’s the simple strategies presented in Yelling that helped to turn this situation around for me; and allowed me to be a better example for my children…

I was hooked from her first paragraph! Yelling at our kids to get their attention is something all of us mothers deal with at some point in our season of motherhood. At least I know it’s something with which I have struggled… More. Than. Once.

Then she got me again… She admitted to being a yeller herself, and wondered if it was appropriate that she write such a book. I love honesty! I would much rather read a book from someone who’s “been there” than from someone who claims to be an expert, yet has never had to actually deal with the topic at hand. It’s so much more real that way. Don’t you think?

The first step in changing a behavior is realizing that there is something wrong with the behavior in question. Lorrie briefly and gently helps her readers to see that yelling offers no benefits, and then unfolds an eleven step plan to those of us who want to stop yelling. Of course, I can’t go into all of the steps here, because then you wouldn’t have any need to read the book, right? But what this book has to offer is helpful for all parents. I will say that she starts with the most important step of all: prayer. Yelling is not a positive character trait, and we need God’s help to overcome it. The inclusion of Scriptural references validates Lorrie’s points.

Yelling is short and to the point. Lorrie offers us doable steps and practical tips that really make it simple to put her plan into action. This is one book that you can read in an afternoon or evening, then put into practice the very next day. I appreciated that she inserted several excerpts from letters written by moms who also struggle with yelling ~ it helps to know you’re not alone when dealing with a tough issue.

I know I’ve struggled with yelling before. I have felt so guilty after yelling at my children, especially knowing that it really didn’t help the situation. This book, Yelling, gives me hope that with a few simple techniques, I can tame this beast! Heck, the tips included will help make my life, and my children’s, better in more ways than one!

* The Gabby Moms furnished the ebook, Yelling, by Lorrie Flem Eternal Encouragement Magazine in exchange for my honest review.

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