July 6, 2006

If you have trouble viewing this, you can read it online.

This new site and monthly ezine is being developed for women who have reached the bend in the road of life where their children are nearly grown and they are looking toward what the future holds.  You will find information on daily living for women who are just before mid-life, at mid-life and beyond such as:

  • Health Issues

  • Living with the Empty Nest

  • Life Purpose

  • Career Choices

  • Christian Living

  • Leading Ladies: What others are doing

If you'd like to sign up to receive updates and the first issue when it comes out, email me at:
beyondthebend@pcpublications.org and you will be put on the list.

*This new site comes to you from PC Publications, which brings you History's Women, Book Bargains & Previews and Family Tymes.  It's a name you can trust for quality information.


I'm heading off for vacation for much of July so you won't be hearing much from us until August.  I hope you all enjoy your summer too!

We've got a great issue for you today, so enjoy!

Until Next Time!



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What Now?
By Sharon Jaynes

Key Verse: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28 NIV).


Have you ever had a shattered dream? If so, you're not alone.

If ever there was a group of people who lost their dream, it was Jesus' disciples and the women who ministered to and with them. They had such high expectations that Jesus would be the next political leader to Israel (Luke 24:20). They had witnessed his power in feeding 5,000 men plus women and children with two loaves and five fishes, they felt the waves beneath their tiny boat subside at his command, they had watched him breath life into a lifeless child, open the eyes of a man blind from birth, create new skin from rotting flesh on the limbs of lepers, and command a lame man to take up his pallet and walk. They had seen him walk on water, outwit the Pharisees, and win the lost.

In their narrow scope of hopes for a political leader, they missed the bigger picture of God's plan for a Savior to free mankind from the bondage of sin. While Peter realized Jesus' identity ("You are the Christ."), he did not understand His destiny. Peter was shocked when Jesus explained that He had to go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed and on the third day rise from the dead. He even took Jesus aside and said, "Never, Lord. This shall never happen to you!" (Mark 8:33). This was not part of Peter's dream. Suffering did not fit into his plan.

"Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Call me stupid, but don't call me Satan. Yet, that is how Jesus sees it when we try to block God's plans. He sees us as an instrument of darkness, an offense, a hindrance and a snare. It is amazing that one minute Peter could be a building block and the next a stumbling block. But that's the trap we all fall into when we have our minds set on the world instead of on the things of God.

Jesus told His disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever lose his life for me will find it" (Matthew 16:24).

Even though Jesus forewarned the disciples of his death and resurrection, they fled when the soldiers came to arrest him, and hid when they hung him on a cross to die. When Jesus was sealed in the tomb, their hopes and dreams were sealed in the darkness with him.

Every day, I receive emails from women who have had their dreams shattered. A husband has an affair, becomes addicted to pornography, abuses the children, or deserts the family. A child gets caught with drugs, becomes pregnant, or dies in a car accident. Parents divorce, friends betray, careers come to an abrupt halt. The list is endless. So what do we do when our dreams are seemingly destroyed? The answer to that will shape the rest of our lives.

Does that mean we give up our dreams? I can promise you this, what ever dreams you have for your life, God's dreams are greater. The power of the Holy Spirit the disciples received after Jesus' resurrection and the impact they made on the world thereafter, was beyond their wildest dreams. That's what God does with a heart that is wholly yielded to Him. That's what He does when we give our shattered dreams to Him. I have learned to stop saying, "Why me?" but instead start saying "What now?"

If you have experienced a shattered dream, pray that God's resurrecting power will reveal His greater plan for your life. He loves to roll away the stones and call forth life from the dark places.


Dear Lord, there are things about my life that I don't understand, but I do know this. You are good and You are kind. I thank you that nothing happens in my life that is a surprise to You. You have a greater plan than my small vision can imagine. I pray that You will reveal that larger plan for my life to me. Help me to pay attention to Your promptings and obey Your bidding.

Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and author of ten books including Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, and Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God. For information about Sharon's books or speaking topics, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.


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 Fathers vs. Mothers
Parenting Style

“I think you need to work on your math skills a bit, those are some basic problems you don’t understand.”

My daughter wasn’t overly thrilled with my “words of encouragement,” and neither was my wife. They joined forces against my verbal assault, giving me instructions on how to be more encouraging.

I thought I was just doing my job.

Fathers and mothers parent differently. It is a reflection of the differences between men and women. It is also the source of a great deal of conflict between parents. Fathers take an approach with their kids that’s more “blunt,” and that reflects their concerns with preparing them for the real world. Mothers take an approach that reflects their concern with their kids’ feelings, and how they’re doing in the world of relationships with others.

It has been said that “Mothers see the world in relation to their kids, and fathers see their kids in relation to the world.” Fathers are the parents who want their kids to be ready for a world that isn’t always kind or fair. Fathers are the ones who will push their kids to achieve more. They are the ones who say, “If you don’t work harder, you’ll never make the team.” This desire to push your child can be harmful if done to excess, or with too much intensity. But it can also be the springboard for your kids to soar higher than they could have on their own.  

My kids experience my style of fathering in other ways. I often come into a room and wrestle with my kids for a short time, only to disappear a few minutes after my “conquest.” It drives my wife crazy. To me, it’s the most natural thing in the world. And, all kids benefit when they’re exposed to both the sustained, consistent energy of mothers and the explosive bursts of fathers. When kids are exposed to both styles, they experience the richness of both of these energies, which helps them develop their own style.

It is clear that a fathers’ style of parenting is invaluable. These statistics from the US Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Center for Disease Control, and the National Principals Association show just how valuable fathers are:

Children from a fatherless home are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

Children need their fathers. They need them to provide their own unique style of parenting, one that has its own unique value. They need their fathers to wrestle with, to push them, and to be unafraid to challenge their kids to be their best.

As my wife and daughter finished telling me how I could be more encouraging, I replied that I’d like her to be ready for math the coming school year, and that I knew she could do it. They both got that, “he doesn’t get it” look in their eyes, and simultaneously shook their heads.

Actually, I think I “get it” just fine.

Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches parents by phone to balance their life and improve their family relationships.

He is an Instructor for the Academy for Coaching Parents (www.acpi.biz), and the author of the "Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers" Ecourse.

Visit his resources at www.markbrandenburg.com.



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Hold You, Mommy: Moments With God for Moms on the GoHold You, Mommy
By Laurie Lovejoy Hillard

Sharon Lovejoy Autry


Need to be held by your Heavenly Father?  This mom-friendly devotional will help you connect with the One who alone can bring refreshment and strength for whatever life may throw at you.  Busy moms themselves, authors Laurie and Sharon know the kinds of struggles moms are facing as they raise their family.  Reflecting their characteristic honesty and real-life approach, these uplifting practical devotions will encourage you in the tiring, challenging, and awesome role of "Mommy".  This book also includes discussion questions suitable for individual reflection or study among moms.




    With seven children between them, these authors speak from a wealth of experience. They know first hand the challenges of caring for young children and how important it is for moms to cultivate a strong relationship with God to carry them through the challenges of everyday life. Laurie and Sharon’s transparent and compassionate style will inspire tired and harried moms, enabling them to find the spiritual strength they need to enjoy life amid all the interruptions of being "Mommy."

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