Submitted by Emily Haug Mainville

emily haug mainville is a mother of two children (a daughter-13 and a son-9). she is a kindergarten aide aspiring to become a teacher! emily strives to be as good a mom as her mother was to her (she lost her mother when she was 20, and misses her daily!).

Here are Emily's "Five Rules For Life":

1.) Give it all to God.
I have always been a worrier. Growing up (especially in high school), I would worry myself sick - literally! Whether it was about school, grades, friends, who would ask me out for the weekend, or my mom's illness...worry would consume me. I didn't learn until after I had my children and my husband went through open heart surgery that sometimes I can't handle it all by myself. I need to give it up to God and let Him have my problems. No problem, worry, or circumstance is too big for God to handle.

The night before my husbands surgery, someone gave me the Bible verse from 1 Peter 5:7 - "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." That verse always reminds me to give it back to God so He can be in control. If you give Him your worries, you have showed you trust Him and believe He will take care of everything (and the amazing thing - He does take care of it ALL)!

2.) Love completely.
Make sure your spouse is someone that you can spend the rest of your life with. Make sure they are someone that - once the kids leave - you want to get to know again. Someone that when you look across the room at them, you fall in love all over again...and someone that when they look at you, it makes you catch your breath. Someone that you can't live without. Someone that puts butterflies in your stomach, makes you a better person, challenges you, and that you are proud to call your spouse.

3.) Take time with your kids.
Enjoy them, play with them, cry with them, teach them, mold them, respect them...and let go of them when it is time for them to fly! Teach your children - teach them about God, about love, how to avoid the mistakes you made growing up (they need to know parents aren't perfect too), and to respect God, parents, elders, teachers, and friends (pretty much in that order).

I cannot stand the disrespect and disregard that many kids have nowadays. I told my child the other day "If I had talked to my Mom the way you just talked to me, I would have gotten a spanking! And I know that I never would've talked back again." Of course, I wouldn't have talked back in the first place because I was taught to respect others!

Don't worry about making your kids mad at you. That is better than having them go through life hurting others because we - as parents - were too busy trying to be their friends instead of their Mom and Dad!

4.) Cut loose once in a while.
What do I do? I drive down the road with the radio up - LOUD! And if I am feeling totally daring, I sing along with it! I don't know why or how, it's just therapeutic for me. I love to sing out loud (but usually only by myself). I love all kinds of music - country, rock, christian, hymns, children songs - anything. It makes me calm and is a moment I have for myself, which leads me to #5...

5.) Do something for yourself.
Take care of yourself and take time for yourself. Whatever it is - a day at the spa, an hour-long massage, a haircut, a walk around the park, a weekend at the beach, or reading a book for a few hours. Whatever you like - big or small, in your own living room or at the beach - do it by yourself, get refueled and recharged, and then go back and tackle the world again. Don't run out of gas so much so that you are barely hanging on. If you are running on empty, your spouse, kids, work, and all the activities you are a part of will suffer. And it's not being selfish, it's being being healthy!

Emily currently resides in Plano, Texas.