The Ponderings of a Princess on a journey to be more like the King Who created her...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day at the Florias

I am so blessed to be the Mom to three amazing kids. God is good! Today has been filled with hanging out, squealing over gifts. (video is a wonderful thing), eating waffles cooked on my new waffle iron, drinking Christmas Tea, hauling wood to the bonfire pit for a Christmas Evening bonfire with friends, riding in the back of the pick-up and just generally enjoying the day.

These are my two favorite boys. They've been working on Lego Star Wars ships and playing with Cade's new BB Gun. Does life get any better than that?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Marriage has been "Confirmed"

Recently I joined Facebook. A lot of my friends are on and it's a fun way to keep up with each other. We've been "poking" each other and sending smiley faces and various other things. I've realized I could spend WAY too much time on Facebook if I'm not careful. One of the funniest things happened just the other day. I was editing my "Personal Info" when I updated my marital status as "Married". Bram is also on Facebook so I was sent a message that I'd have to wait for that relationship to be "confirmed by Bram Floria" before it could be posted. I waited... No confirmation. I waited some more, when finally I received and notice that the relationship had been confirmed by Bram Floria and that I am (in fact) married to Bram. Our marriage was "confirmed". You can imagine my relief.

I think there are many days when we're in need of confirmation from those we love. My prayer for you today is that you will spend some time confirming your relationships and affirming those you love.

Happy Day!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lessons I'm learning from some Godly Women...

I spend Tuesday nights with some really godly women. One of the ladies husbands calls us the "Jesus and Gals Club". I love that! We eat chocolate and other yummy things and talk about what God has been showing us that week through the book we've been reading. The book is "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldridge. The book, itself, has been great and I think I'm learning some really valuable stuff from it. However...the best lessons I've been learning are from the women I'm doing the study with. I'm learning that to really be beautiful and captivating, I have to let others get close to me. For some of us, that's been a difficult process. But, I'm also finding it's well worth it. I'm also learning that being beautiful isn't about how many people think I'm beautiful, but I just am beautiful because my heavenly Father loves me and tells me I am everyday. I have also learned that the more I pray for others...the more I learn of my need for prayer. As difficult as change may be for many, it's a beautiful process to watch happen in these women. They long for change, even welcome it. I've never liked change and so have usually fought against it. These women have taught me that "if God is in it, it's ALWAYS worth the effort and discomfort".
God has been so good to use these precious women to teach me and encourage me. I'm so thankful for each of them and their wisdom and insight. Insight into their own lives and into the lives of others. I love you Jesus & Gals Club you're the best!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Be Still"

Many of you know that I have been "laying up in the bed" for about a week now with an injury to my back. It has not been easy for me, but because of the prayers of faithful friends, I know God has given me the strength to do it.

Do you remember, as a kid, your mom or dad telling you to "be still"? You start to get that nervous feeling; worried you're not going to be able to? I've never been a very still person. It's hard for me to do. When I try to be still, I'm always thinking of things I need to get done and pretty soon I'm up and going again. I'm more of a Martha than a Mary. (Luke 10:38-42) I've always wanted to be more like Mary, but it's so hard for me to be still.

This week, a lot of people have been telling me to "be still". My husband, my family & friends are saying, "be still". The Dr. said, "Be still and rest your back". Frankly, I haven't had much of a choice with an injured back. I'm not completely sure how I injured it in the first place. I think that's why all of this has been so frustrating. It even seemed God was telling me to "BE STILL!" I read in Ps 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." I prayed, "Lord, don't I know that?" "Do You think I'm not aware that You ARE?" Then I come to realize that He's not being "king of the obvious" here. He just wants to be with me. No distractions, no interruptions. He wants me to know HIM. What an amazing thought. Ps. 46:1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, an abundantly available help in trouble." I love that! Another translation says, "a very present help in time of trouble". He's not some far off, unreachable god - He's very present and abundantly available. It's my Father God that is a very available and reachable God that wants me to be still and know Him. It's my Father God that sits on the bedside while I rest. It's my Father God that that wants to know me. "Help me, Father, to sit at your feet as Mary did. To listen to Your voice and know YOU."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Gentle "Nudge"

My precious husband reminded me last night that I haven't posted on my blogspot for a while. "Got anything to say?", he asks... "Not sure", I respond. The truth is, I've got plenty to say, I just haven't had the time I'd like to have to sit down and write. Even now, I'm on my lunch "minute" at school trying frantically to write something that might encourage AND make sense. As I write, I can hear the 1st (my class) and 2nd graders in the gym playing kick-ball; their daily ritual at lunch break. My mind is a bit of a jumble. "What's new?", say those of you who know me well... Pray for clarity of mind and thought. I know God has been speaking to me, gently nudging me (as my husband did) about the foundation my life is built on. I want it to be completely Christ and His Word. I want to help build that foundation in my children and students. I can do nothing of real value if my life is not built entirely on Jesus Christ. If my foundation is not built on the Rock, I cannot survive the storms that come my way. (Luke 6) That's my prayer for today and each day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Passing of Time...

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a good day. To begin the day, I was served breakfast in bed by my children and husband. I got lots of hugs and kisses and some wonderful cards & gift cards. My precious Mom made me a homemade Lemon Pie. (My fave!) Click on the picture to see the beautiful meringue mountains she puts on them. She's a genius! I felt very loved and pampered.

I had to go up to the school for a bit to test a prospective student and do some work in my classroom as well. It was all going quite well until one of my fellow teachers walked into the room and my daughter loudly announced..."Today is Mommas birthday! She's 44 years old!" Then, to top it off...she wrote it as big as she could on the chalkboard. "HAPPY 44TH BIRTHDAY MOMMA!!" Thanks a LOT Kiddo! I was hoping not to think so much about the passing of time and aging. I was hoping to breeze through the day without so-much-as a peep about my chronological age. I mean, I don't feel 44. Then again, I'm not so sure what 44 is supposed to feel like. Some days I feel 144. LOL!! Oh well, I suppose it doesn't matter. It's just a number. As I told my husband about it, later in the evening, he reminded me of how proud my daughter is of me and, to her, that's a pretty major thing to be 44 yrs. old. I'm sure he's right...he usually is about those things. I'm proud of me, too. I remember thinking how old 44 used to be. Now...not so much.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pray for Tim

This is my brother-in-law, Tim. He's in Iraq right now serving our country. No matter your views on this war, please pray for him. Pray for his safety (of course), but also for wisdom and insight that he's never experienced before. Pray for peace for him, the kind that passes all understanding. Pray, too, for his precious family, Regan (Bram's sister), Aria and baby Lily. They all miss their daddy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Art of Housekeeping

For those that know me, know, when it comes to housekeeping, I am NOT an artist. I was recently greeted (like a sledgehammer) with the realization that I have passed this unfortunate trait on to my children. My oldest daughter tries to outrun the monster, but alas, it consumes her as well. The other two don't even pretend. Each morning I wake with great intentions and then as the day wears on, I realize I've let it slip away without really accomplishing anything of real value in the area of housecleaning. My house in not dirty, so to's the clutter that seems to overwhelm us. I'm finding that if I don't de-clutter on a daily basis, we get buried in it. The counters are covered with it, the kitchen table is lost under it and my patience wears thin. How can a family of 5 generate so much paper clutter? (that's a rhetorical question) I won't even mention the closets. That's too painful... The truth is, I don't like to clean house. It's just not any fun. I suppose I'm a bit lazy as well. My mom graciously offers to help me on occasion, but who wants their mom to truly see how dirty their bathroom is. I mean, I'm a grown-up after all, I should be able to keep it clean.

It used to be extremely frustrating for me. And, to some degree, it still is. I love to have people over, but I really hate for them to see my messy house. Therein is my dilemma. I have come to believe I'm a neat and organized person; trapped in a messy, unorganized persons body. I'm sure I was in an episode of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". What a cruel joke. Flylady tells me to take baby-steps. I would, if I didn't keep stepping on toys with every one. Again...I prayerfully proceed and ask God to help me learn and to teach my children to be better than the example I have set for them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I have been exasperated with my children lately. They have just not been able to keep their rooms clean or in order. I have encouraged them, fussed at them, disciplined them, taken privileges away, and even bribed them with treats and no avail. Personally, I've been at whits end with the whole thing. I have even threatened to bulldoze their end of the house and start over. (they are not opposed to that, BTW...) I have not been able to figure out how to get them to clean their rooms and keep them in order. So, I went to my husband for input. He told me what I did not want to hear ~ "They have too much stuff", he said, "we need to get rid of some of it". "WHAT?!", I responded (with great love and respect). "What are you thinking? We got them that stuff, we can't just get rid of it...!" There, I'd made my point. "Now (I demanded), give me a real solution". Then he proceeds to tell me that we, as a family, have too much stuff. AND, in fact, I (me) have too many clothes and shoes to fit in my closet". NOW he's getting personal. I sat in my cluttered, unorganized bedroom and sulked. How could he? He knows how much I love shoes... Did I just hear myself say that? I LOVE shoes? Instantly it hit me, I could not expect my children to follow an example that had never been set for them. I have been expecting them to keep all their stuff in order without any kind of real example for them to follow. I have been living and unorganized, undisciplined and messy life, holding on to bits of paper and junk as if my life depends on it. I need to get my room in order (and keep it in order) before I can ever expect my children to follow. I need to get rid of, throw away and clean up the mess I've been living in.

Prayerfully, I proceed. It will be a long process (we have a LOT of stuff), but, I believe, it will be well worth it. Not long ago a girlfriend asked me, "If God called you to be a missionary in another country, how long would it take you to prepare for the trip?" I'm afraid the opportunity would pass before I was ready to go. We have some dear friends that are moving to Ethiopia for a year. They sold their business and most of their possessions. I remember her telling me how great it felt not to have the responsibility of all that "stuff" anymore. Oh that I could live that way here at home.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Little Miracles

Lord, help me to see the miracle of little things. I forget some days how to even see them. Help me to remember that my children are "little miracles". The way my husband looks at me and says I'm beautiful, when I'm up to my elbows in dishwater is a "little miracle". When my son says, "Mommy!" "Yes?", I reply. "I love, love you!", he answers! a "little miracle". They way the Cardinals play on the lawn outside my kitchen window, is a "little miracle". Help me, Jesus, to always be aware of these things.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I originally thought when I began this whole blogging "thing" that I'd be so consistent and that I'd have some really insightful things to write. It seems I was overconfident in my abilities to come up with anything on a daily basis. I think my problem is, I want to sound wise and look really smart to those who read this. I want to have great insights that will spur the reader on to great things. Not so sure that's going to happen.

I think vacation took a lot of steam out of me. Gone for a month in a car with my husband and three kids (see Lessons on a Family Vacation I & II) was fun but quite tiring. On the way home (could it not wait until we GOT home?...) we got news that our horse may have been bitten by a snake. One of her back legs was extremely swollen and she wasn't wanting to get up. Those of you that know horses, know that when they don't want to get up, it can be devastating. Thanks to some good friends and caretakers, she got up and a vet was able to see her right away. Turns out, prayer works! We began to pray that God would heal Daizy and take the swelling down. He did and she's doing well. Thank the LORD!

We got home late that Saturday night and fell into bed as soon as we could. Sunday morning Bram woke early to drive 45 minutes to lead worship at a church while their usual guy was gone for the day. I took the kids to our church and then we had lunch with my mom and grand-mom afterward. The rest of the day was spent doing laundry to get our oldest daughter ready to go to Camp the next day. Now she's back and the other two went for their week-end camp at the same encampment. All had a great time. It's exciting, to me, for them to be going to the same camp I went to as a child and teen. My prayer has been that they would come to know Him better there, as I did.

My mind is now turning to what I need to get done to get my classroom ready to start school in two weeks. I'm asking God for wisdom to lead the children. My prayer for the last two years has been that I can help my students to understand that God is so "taken" with them. That He loves them unconditionally; that He made them amazingly and miraculously. I will continue to pray that prayer and ask Him for new insights into each little life and their families. I have, more and more begun to realize the privilege God has given me to speak into the lives of these families and their children. I pray He continues to give me wisdom in that area.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lessons on the "Family Vacation" ~ II

I learned that even on a cloudy day, black sand can be hot. After spending a great day touring the Redwoods at Muir Woods National Forest in the San Francisco area we happened upon Muir Beach. The kids wanted to go to the beach so we stopped. The sand was a gorgeous black color. We ran to the beach and threw our shoes off and promptly put them back on. Did you know that black sand really (did I say really?) absorbs (and retains) heat? WOW!!!
I have learned (again) that sunscreen is always required when children play outside even if it is a cloudy day. After a wonderful day in the Bay area, we drove down the coast on Pacific Coast Highway 1, stopping along the way to enjoy the sites. Bram had taken me to Morro Bay Beach right after we married. He remembered camping there as a kid. As I sat bundled in a blanket on the sand (it was about 70 degrees) the kids romped and played in the water. I didn't even think about sunscreen with the overcast day. All three were thoroughly sunburned on their precious faces. Leave it to Mom!

I have learned that good friends are ALWAYS good friends when it comes right down to it. (Thanks Gran, Paul & Elisabeth, Gary & Roxanne (yummy WonTon!), Tony & Laura, Glen & Lanie, Tom & Lori, Great Gran, Mike & Laura, Kris & Anne, Brian & Karen, and, of course, Papa for your amazing hospitality) We were well cared for (and fed) on our trip!

I also learned that going on vacation is a LOT of fun, but getting home is the most wonderful part of it all. It's great to be home!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lessons on the "Family Vacation" ~ I

Our family of 5 has been traveling for the past two weeks in a car. It's a wonder someone is not seriously injured! LOL!! We are normally accustomed to traveling in our suburban. However, the a/c is out and that makes going across TX and the desert of AZ, CA and NV an impossibility. The car is a nice car and quite comfortable, but has, (compared to the spread-out-ability of our suburban), significantly closer quarters and somehow seems to make elbows quite a bit sharper than usual. I'm just hoping it lends itself to learning humility with-in ourselves and patience with each other. It would seem that every offense is multiplied in intensity and every kindness lessened. I'm wondering how I teach my children these valuable lessons when I, myself, am unable to learn them very quickly. I keep hearing my tone of voice in them and I often feel like I'm failing miserably as their mother. My husband assures me I'm not, and I also know that if I listen closely to the voice of God, he's telling me the same thing.

It is amazing the things God uses to teach us about ourselves. This road trip with my family has been a wealth of lessons and insight into myself. I'm praying I assimilate them all quickly and easily into daily life. Not just when I get home, but while we still have two more weeks of time together in the car.

God's creativity

My son, reminded me yesterday while looking out the car window that "God has done a wonderful creation...just for us!" I was astounded at his insight and wisdom. God has done it just for us. Our world could be plain and boring, but I don't think God is capable of either. He chose to go all out, use every color imagineable and fill the canvas of our world with beauty and wonder. I'm thankful, not just because it's pretty, but because God was thinking of me when He created it all AND because He used my son to remind me of that truth.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dove Chocolate

I love Dove Chocolate. Of course for obvious reasons, but also because when you open the wrapper, inside are pithy little comments for your brain to "chew" on while your mouth chews on the yummy chocolate. Today I indulged in two of them. The first read "Listen to your heartbeat and dance". Now that sounds like a relatively easy task. But, for me, it's not so easy. I have a hard time being still for any length of time. I usually end up sitting there thinking of all the things I'm NOT getting done. I get stressed out and then I pop up and I'm off to put another load of laundry in to wash or to the kitchen to wipe up or clean up a mess. Or, I think of all the projects I've been putting off for so long and feel guilty for sitting down "on the job". But today, I did sit down to listen. I really made an effort to hear my heartbeat. Here is what I husband humming as he fixed his morning coffee, my children laughing as they as they listen to their daddy read of the silly antics of "Calvin and Hobbs", the sound of the rain on the pond just outside the house and I realized, it's all the voice of God. It's the way He speaks to me and it's the most beautiful music there is to dance to. My heart beats, not just to give me physical life, but the real heartbeat of my life is to give me purpose and direction. The real heartbeat comes from the life He gives me.

The second wrapper said, "Don't think about it so much". I had to laugh when I read that one. My precious husband accuses me of over-thinking things all the time. He tells me not to let people (or circumstances) live "rent free" in my head. I do tend to worry things to death. Not just the current things, but the things that could be or might be or the "what-ifs". I love the verse in Philippians that tells me, "Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise". (Phil. 4:6-8 CEV) I need to let that peace control the way I think and feel more often.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Toes are not some of my favorite things. In fact, for the most part, I think toes are ugly. However, these toes belong to my daughters (and me) and I think...they're beautiful.

My Heart

My heart is and has been for a long time, to really convince women of their amazing value and beauty in Christ. Psalm 139:14 tells me that "I am amazingly and miraculously made". I teach first grade at a Christian school and I tell my students that almost daily. At some point, I'm not sure when, I began to believe it about myself. Oh how He loves me. When I think of the God of the Universe becoming a man and willingly giving Himself over to die in my place...I'm blown away. If He would die for can I not live for Him?

Chris Tomlin sings, "How can I keep from singing Your praise? How can I ever say enough? How amazing is Your LOVE. How can I keep from shouting Your Name? I know I am loved by The KING and it makes my heart wanna sing!" I love that song. I can't keep from crying every time I hear it on the radio or in worship at church. I am humbled by His great love for me. Me, a wife, mother, first grade teacher...Daughter of the King. What an amazing thought.


I love crowns. Every real princess does. I even wear a ring that's shaped like a crown. It reminds me of who I am. A princess in the court of The King of KINGS. It also reminds me that I have a home elsewhere. In a kingdom not of this world. One day, I'll lay my crown at His feet. Until then, I wear it proudly.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Homemade Cherry Jam

Today my mom and I made some homemade cherry jam. As we made the jam, we had to boil and mash the cherries and then pick out the pits. There are a lot of pits in 3 pounds of cherries!
It took a lot of boiling and mashing and picking to get them all out, but the result was beautiful jars of cherry jam. I think life can be like making cherry jam. God allows things to"boil" and "mash" us so the pits can rise to the top and be picked out. It makes for a beautiful life when it's all said and done.

The best part of today was that I got to spend most of it with my mom. I love doing that. She's an amazing woman of great strength. She takes care of my 97 year old grandmom daily and doesn't complain. She took care of my dad 24 hours a day as he was dying of leukemia and never once asked for time off. She serves out of a great capacity to love. She has been boiled and mashed quite a bit in her life. The result is beautiful. I pray I can love like that when called upon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And so it begins...

And so it begins...

I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to finally have my own blogsite. I’m still not sure how it feels. I've seen my friends blogs and been impressed with their bravery in sharing their lives and hearts in such a public way. I suppose my reticence up to this point has been the fear that I wouldn't really have anything to say that anyone would find beneficial to their lives. That I wouldn't be good at it. I suppose if no one ever visits it won’t really matter. But...what if I am good at it? What if I do have insights that could encourage another to be more like Christ? That's my prayer, actually. And so it begins...