Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

The movie girl vs. real life

Reality check: your life isn’t going to be like the movies.

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What girl doesn’t watch movies? They are a simple part of day-to-day life. However, that doesn’t mean what happens in them is anything like day-to-day life. I know you know this, but they seriously set unrealistically high standards for life. You may need a quick reality check.

I thought of a few things you may need to remember don’t actually happen.

Things that aren’t gonna happen

Lets start off with “The Princess Dairies.” The second Mia takes off her glasses, she looks like she’s the prettiest girl ever. Reality check: You can look beautiful with or without glasses!

Next, let’s look at “Clueless.” Cher and Dionne show up every day looking 100% perfect. Reality check: Sadly, you aren’t going to look perfect every day. You are still going to get sick, get acne and have stray hairs every once in a while. Now, I’m pretty sure if you had professional hair and makeup crew help you every 10 minutes, you would look perfect, too.

Then in general, the characters have so much time in the morning. They get like 26 things done. That’s a lot! Reality check: You can’t get wake up at 2 a.m., looking like a princess, with the sun rising already, on a daily basis. It’s literally not gonna happen. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.

Then there are the situations like in the episode “Dark Cupid” from “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir,” where they have a class group chat just to send blackmail photos. Reality check: This one is kinda obvious, but this will most likely never ever happen.

Another general thing that happens is the characters can skip class to make out in a broom closet with an unrealistically awesome boyfriend and have no punishment at all. Reality check: Girl, you are going to get in trouble. Just go to class. It’s the same with homework. Just do it.

Lastly, you aren’t gonna wear heels all the time.

Unrealistic boys

Now, I’m just gonna start off and say it. Teen boys don’t look like 26-year-old super models. They just don’t. You also probably aren’t going to end up with your high school boyfriend forever and ever. In the books and movies, you meet a boy, lose him, get him and live happily ever after. My mom (Families With Grace) did, but that’s usually not the case.

They also aren’t going to be these deep, mature and dreamy creatures (most of the time!). The song “Something Just Like This” seems to express normal-ish expectations. The lyrics go:

But she said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not lookin’ for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairy-tale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

Movies paint things, not excluding romance, in a very magnificent and perfect light. It’s not exactly realistic, but that’s OK, as long as we keep reality in check.

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

Become a happy family with one small attitude shift

Changing assumptions can lead to a happy family dynamic

One of the things I want most as a mom is to have a happy family. I want us to have a good relationship with each other and get along.

Yet, the truth is that nobody gets along all of the time. We get short with each other. My kids argue sometimes. My husband and I can get cranky with each other.

One of the biggest things that can trip us up in relationships is making assumptions about the other person or people. We’ve found a trick to help make those assumptions positive instead of negative. And it makes a big difference in how we treat each other.

Negative assumptions

We may not even realize it, but we can make negative assumptions about other people quickly and easily. In fact, we are more inclined to make negative assumptions about someone than positive ones.

When someone cuts us off in traffic, we may not consciously think, “That guy is just trying to make my drive more difficult!” But we react that way. We get angry and offended.

We do the same thing within our families and it can result in anything but a happy family. When your husband does the laundry then forgets to get it out of the dryer, we don’t consciously think, “He’s trying to make my life harder. He knows I’m busy!” But we react that way. We get upset with him. Our attitude shifts negatively and soon everyone in the family feels the effect of that negative assumption.

The root of negative assumptions

When it comes down to it, the root of negative assumptions is selfishness. Sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves and what we have going on that we subconsciously think the world revolves around us.

Of course most people would never admit to feeling that way at least sometimes, yet it can be how we act. What we are really feeling with our frustration at the guy who cut us off in traffic or the husband who didn’t complete a chore is that they are personally affecting us. And, gosh darn it, we deserve better treatment!

So many issues in relationships come down to the root of selfishness, because we can struggle to get over ourselves and think of others. God is clear in His Word that we are to think of others before ourselves and not do things out of selfish intent (Philippians 2:3-4). He knows we can’t have happy relationships or have a happy family if we are too focused on only ourselves.

Changing to positive assumptions

Making the shift to positive assumptions isn’t as difficult as you might think. For us, it started in our marriage before we had children. Since then, it has grown and expanded. We’ve put it into practice and gotten better at it so that now it’s our first reaction 90% of the time.

Instead of assuming that the other person is trying to be difficult or intentionally hurt you, assume they aren’t out to get you. What you really do is give them grace.

In the laundry example, instead of assuming my husband is trying to get out of folding the laundry, make my life harder or couldn’t care less about taking care of our family’s needs, I ask nicely. I know that most likely, he just completely forgot. Maybe we can fold the laundry together or he just has a friendly reminder to do so.

It sounds like such a small shift, but it makes a big difference in our relationships. We are able to more easily stay on the same team, so to speak, because we recognize that we’re not battling. We recognize that our loved one isn’t out to make our lives more difficult. We give grace.

Teaching children about positive assumptions

Our kids are still learning about positive assumptions, especially our youngest who just turned 8. He has a strong sense of justice. Sometimes he mistakenly assumes that his sister purposefully went to the bathroom when he needed to brush his teeth. The list could go on.

But we remind him to not assume she is trying to make his life more difficult or that she’s out to get him. She’s not trying to make him angry. It’s OK to talk and find solutions while keeping in mind we all have the same goal.

How positive assumptions make for a happy family

I’m not saying or implying that shifting to positive assumption is going to mean you always have a happy family. I’m also not implying that I always have a happy family — because I don’t!

But, I can tell you that it makes a difference. We don’t criticize others as much. We don’t get as upset and indignant over the small stuff. All of the stuff I’m talking about here is small stuff. Do I want to argue with my husband over laundry or my kids over dishes? Nope. I also don’t want my kids to argue over bathroom time or whatever else they come up with.

So, we do our best to assume that the members of our family only want good for us and not bad. We promote that as much as possible. Because when it comes to people you love, you do (and should) only want good for them. The challenge is living that our in the daily grind of family life.

Easy baked quesadilla recipe

Crispy, delicious quesadillas made in your oven

Affiliate links are used in this post, if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

I love easy recipes that are customizable for what my family likes. I’ve got a couple of particular eaters in my house. This easy baked quesadilla recipe fits that category.

Before we had kiddos, I came up with this recipe for my husband and me and I continue to make it now. This recipe is pretty straightforward and simple but you can switch it up to include whatever your family likes.

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees (F) and prepare your baking sheets. You can spray them with non-stick cooking spray or line them with sheets parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

I prefer to line my baking sheets for easier clean-up. I also like the parchment paper because then I can use a marker to write the first initial beside the quesadilla of who it belongs to since they are all different in some way.

Once you’re all set up then get out your tortillas. I use two tortillas per quesadilla, but you could also use one quesadilla folded in half.

Tortillas are where the baked quesadilla recipe starts. You could use wheat tortillas. I used flour. And you can pick the size. I made smaller soft taco-sized tortillas for my son’s quesadillas. I used the larger burrito-sized tortillas for my husband, daughter and me.

To help them crisp up nicely in the oven, I spritz one side of each tortilla with margarine spray. You can also use melted butter and your spray bottle to spritz the shells or lightly brush it on. I do around 10 squirts for the large burrito-sized shells. I spray the bottom first and then spray the top shell after I place it on top when the filling is in.

The spray margarine is the easiest for me to use, but you can also work with melted margarine or butter. Non-stick cooking spray works as well, but not quite as great.
Once the tortillas are sprayed, I use my clean hands and smear the margarine around a bit so most of the shell has a light coating.

With the buttered side face down onto the cooking sheet, put the filling in your quesadillas. Get creative with what your family likes. My son’s was just cheese. My husband’s had bacon and onion with a small amount of cheese.

This is my son’s quesadilla filled with only cheese. I use mostly Mexican cheese blend but also add in some Italian cheese blend.
My husband’s quesadillas are filled with precooked bacon cooked until it’s crispy and not too much cheese, because he doesn’t like cheese so much.

My daughter and I opted for a chicken bacon ranch version. It was so incredibly good. To make it easier, I used precooked refrigerated chicken, precooked bacon cooked to a crisp in the microwave, ranch dressing, tomato, onion and roughly chopped baby spinach.

The chicken bacon ranch quesadillas were quite delicious! Mine is on the left, because I like cheese much more than my daughter.

Put the quesadillas into the preheated oven and bake them for 6 minutes. Pull them out and flip them over. Put them back in the oven for another 6 minutes. Check and see if they are golden brown around the edges. If so, they are finished. If not, leave them in there and check again in 2 minutes.

Fresh from the oven!

Use a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) to slice the quesadillas and serve them warm. We always eat sour cream with ours, because our family LOVES sour cream!

Easy baked quesadillas


  • Flour or wheat tortilla shells soft taco or burrito size, depending on how big you want your quesadillas to be, 2 per quesadilla
  • Spray margarine can also use melted margarine or butter or, in a pinch, non-stick cooking spray
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Shredded Italian blend cheese
  • Quesadilla fillings such as bacon, chicken, ground beef, steak, onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc.


  • Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
  • Prepare baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray or line them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Get out one tortilla shells per quesadilla. Cover on side of it with the margarine or butter. (For spray margarine, I use 8 to 10 squirts and smear it around with my clean hands.)
  • Please the shells buttered side down onto your prepared baking sheet(s).
  • Put your filling ingredients onto the top of the shells. Top them with cheese. I use 3/4 Mexican blend or colby jack cheese and 1/4 Italian blend or mozzarella cheese. The amount of cheese varies based on the size of your shell and your family's preferences.
  • Then add whatever ingredients your family prefers. I love chicken bacon ranch using precooked, refrigerated chicken, precooked bacon cooked until crispy in the microwave, shredded cheese, ranch dressing, tomato, onion and roughly chopped spinach.
  • Place another tortilla on top. Lightly cover it with margarine or butter, just as you did the bottom shells.
  • Place into your preheated oven for 6 minutes.
  • Pull out the quesadillas and carefully flip them over.
  • Bake for 6 more minutes or until the edges are a nice golden brown.
  • Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to slice and serve hot. We usually serve ours with sour cream because we love it!

Making the best changes for who you are

When to change your values and habits

Right now, the world is changing, everything thing is crazy and it’s hard to be yourself anymore. People are beginning to change who they are to fit in or for the world around them. People do need to change sometimes, that’s true. But, I’m seeing people change in a way they shouldn’t have to.

Making the best changes for who you are is a good thing sometimes. I mean, the Grinch changed wonderfully! But then in other cases, change isn’t so great. If you stop being yourself so someone likes you, then that’s not a great change.

Changing values

It’s OK to change your values when necessary. For example, if Sally doesn’t value honesty and lies to her friends all the time pretending she’s rich or knows all these celebrities, she may want to make honesty a core value for her. This is making Sally a better and happier person.

However, if Jennifer is changing the way she acts and her personality to get her crush to like her, her core values of reliability and honesty are changing. Those are values that Jennifer shouldn’t change. If she starts lying and changing who she is between different people, then is it really in her best interest? Is she becoming a better person — or a fake person?

Values should be changed sometimes, but not so much in others. What are core values that you don’t want to change?

Changing habits

Much like changing our values, sometimes we need to change our habits as well. For example, Lena has dessert every night after dinner. She knows that this isn’t healthy. If Lena changes her habit of dessert to a habit of going on a walk, that’s a good thing. She’s breaking a bad habit to make her a healthier and happier person.

But, if Selina has a habit of giving people compliments when she meets them and her friend Delilah says not to, should she change that? I honestly don’t think she should. Selina is being kind and spreading love! As followers of Christ, this is something that we should do. Now, if she doesn’t mean the kind things she says, then she needs to be more intentional about what she says. Overall this is a habit Selina should probably keep, even if Delilah says not to.

Bad habits can be changed and technically good habits can, too, but they are called good habits for a reason. Why change them?

Changing who you are

I have one word for you: never. You may need to change personality, hence Scrooge, but honestly I would just call that a change of heart. However, you’re beautiful. Everyone is perfect, and I love each and every one of you. It’s probably impossible for me to stress this enough. You. Are. Loved. Got it? Because I can repeat it a thousand plus times if I need to. OK?

Anyway, lovelies, some things you can change as you grow, but remember who you are, and that you are loved.

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace:

How I stopped being a people pleaser

Tips to stop sacrificing your happiness for others

Making people happy is something I tried to do for years. Now, making people happy isn’t a bad thing to do. However, I used to try to make EVERYONE happy. I was a people pleaser. And I was miserable in the process.

Due to this, I got really, really bad anxiety over almost anything and everything. Like, to the point I had to take multiple days off purely because I was nervous enough to feel like puking. I was just in first grade… But it was seriously bad enough I nearly had to go to a therapist.

I learned how to do a few things that helped me: use logic/common sense, assess the worst case scenario, seriously just not care and stop trying to make EVERYONE happy (because, honestly, it isn’t going to do anything.)

Caring what others think

My friend and I were talking the other day. At some point she was telling me about being nervous about getting something wrong due to people expecting her to do it correctly. My response to her is something everyone should know. Because, listen, you need to stop caring what everyone thinks. Why exactly do you care anyway? I mean, what exactly is the point? They don’t affect you.

Also, if people decide to sit there and take time out of their day just to think about you doing something wrong, then honestly, it’s their loss. I mean, instead of thinking about you being late to class or whatever, they technically could have been doing something much more enjoyable like eating ice cream! And instead of worrying about what they think, you could be eating ice cream, too. That’s much more fun than being a people pleaser!

Because lovelies, listen (well read, but whatever), closely. Who the heck are they to judge you? In the end you are all going to end up 6 feet under. Dead, non-important souls whom people on Mars will never take time to morn. We are all human, and none of us are perfect. Therefore, if I find myself face-to-face with a quite literally perfect human being who has never done anything wrong ever in their entire life and is without flaws, then I will allow myself to care about their judgement because it must be God. And then, if this person (God) is perfect, then He isn’t going to judge me mercilessly and will love me regardless because that is the perfect thing to do.

So, I stopped caring, because if I’m happy and am doing God’s will, then it’s OK. Well, as long as it legal.

Common sense and worst case scenario

Using common sense is important as well. For example, you have to think about how or if you can change the situation. Like if a friend of a cousin isn’t happy with your friend, but your friend is fine, there’s no need to go out of your way to make them happy. You have to let it go and stop the urge to be a people pleaser.

What is going to be the worst scenario if you don’t please them? In some cases, it may be a not-so-great thing, but I’m willing to bet it won’t kill you. Maybe that one friend might get mad at you for a day or two, but that’s probably about it. Is it worth my happiness to please this person, or is it OK if they’re upset for about a day? I’ve learned in cases like this to put my happiness first.

People are ALWAYS going to be upset. It is quite literally humanly impossible to make everyone in existence happy at once. Live your own life, do what’s right, but at least someone is going to hate you for it, so I suggest you stop negotiating with them to please them. It’s simple. They get on board, or get out of the way. You just keep fighting the good fight and don’t give up to make some idiots happy, OK? ( I may be a little in love with “Young Justice,” so excuse the reference! Everything I said was pretty true.)

Girls with Grace, a tween blog written by a tween girl, has new posts on Tuesdays two to four times a month. Find out more about Girls with Grace: