Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Making Time For God Even When Life Is Crazy

Does life ever get crazy for you?
My mother drew this doodle of me, apparently I’ve been emanating stress lately.
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It would be so easy to just forget quiet time, to forget making time for God, to just not add one more thing to my day.  But I just can’t.
 And he spake a parable unto them, can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master. Luke 6:39-40

Quiet Time Is Necessary Because Our Children Will Become Like Us

There are times when I feel like I’ve just messed up so badly with my children.  I’ve at times been an angry mom, and at times I’ve certainly been unfair.
I wonder if I’m being too permissive with my three year old who lately cries at the drop of a hat.  I knowingly avoid the things that I know will trigger tantrums, but then I wonder if I’m doing her a disservice by not allowing her to learn how to “get over it.”
Second guessing yourself is the game mothers play.
We second guess the so called experts, we second guess advice coming from family, and we second guess ourselves.
We’re constantly wondering if our children will turn out well, and if they will have hearts for the Lord.
I need to be in Christ, so my children will learn that they need to be in Christ.  If I want to see my children grow up with a love of scripture they need to see me (and my husband) in the Word of God daily.  They need to see us in prayer daily.

Making time for prayer and devotion must be a priority now so it will be a priority for our children later.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

You Have A Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3
When you have Christ in your heart you don’t have pie in the sky wishful thinking. You have a living hope.
Satan would like nothing more for all of us to forget that.  He would like nothing more than the stress of the mundane to overwhelm us.  He would like nothing more for worry to drown us.
When things get too stressful at home with the kids, when they aren’t obeying, and when that stress bleeds over into your marriage, remember: you have a living hope.
When the doctor says cancer, remember: you have a living hope.
When a loved one dies, remember: you have a living hope.
When you don’t know how things will turn out remember: you have a living hope.
When you don’t know where the money will come from remember: you have a living hope.
It’s no secret that at times I’m insecure about my parenting and that there are times when I let sadness and stress get a foot hold in my heart.  But the truth is, I have a living hope.
Our living hope will be there in our darkest moments and our times of greatest joy. Never forget the hope you have in Christ Jesus.
Now it’s your turn, what does a living hope mean to you?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What An Elmo Bed Taught Me About Being a Mom

I wrote this a few years ago:
For any of you who might not know I’m a mother of 3 very little children. My oldest is 4 and my youngest is 19 months. My days are long, tiring, and my nights are full of interruptions in my precious sleep.
But after having three children 3 years and 1 month apart though I officially don’t have a baby in the house anymore. I say it’s official because my son has finally graduated to a big boy bed, and is no longer content to stay confined behind the mesh in his pack and play (not to be confused with a play pen which sounds more like a prison than a crib)
Off to the store I went, 3 little kids in toe. We bought an Elmo bed, simply because it was the cheapest one they had at Walmart, complete with a new mattress, which also happened to be the cheapest one they had at Walmart. Between me and my three kids (remember they’re still all 4 and under) we assembled the bed and had it ready by the amazing spider-kid’s naptime.
I assumed that since my two girls never had a problem with staying in their big-girl bed’s that mister climber wouldn’t either. But boys are apparently a bit different than girls. Needless to say my “big boy” spent maybe 10 minutes actually sleeping in his bed at nap time today, then he woke up and freaked out. Apparently he was unaccustomed to his mesh-free surroundings.
The rest of his nap time was spent sleeping on my shoulder. As I held him on the couch I tried to memorize the moment. I felt him breathing in my arms, and I held his tiny hands which aren’t as chubby as they once were. Then I smelled his sweet head and wondered when he stopped smelling like a powdery baby and started smelling like a sweaty kid. He no longer fits scrunched up on my chest but takes up my entire torso and some of my lap.
There he was my big boy and my baby asleep in my arms like so many times before. My days are so long, and there are days that are so hard, but my children are such blessings. Sometimes it takes a moment when my little guy gets freaked out by his big boy bed to treasure how small he still is.
Soon enough he’ll be embarrassed to hug his mother, but right now I’m his mommy. He wanted my arms and my love. And even though I had a hundred things that needed to be done this afternoon, there was nothing more pressing than holding my little one.

What Every Woman Needs To Know Before They Look In The Mirror

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:3-4
So much of our health can be tied to our outward appearance.  When our outward appearance isn’t ideal, body hate can set it.  When we reclaim our health reclaiming our emotional and spiritual health should be a high priority as well.  Someone filled with hate for their own body isn’t healthy.
No good comes out of body hate.  It seldom motivates, and mostly depresses.  So STOP.  Seriously STOP.
But as I tell you to stop, know that I struggle with it as well.  Yesterday I accidentally had stevia with added dairy ingredients.  It didn’t take long for the familiar feeling of cystic acne to start on my upper lip, cheek, and chin.  Soon enough I was faced with tiny cysts on my face when I walked by the mirror.  Fortunately now that my acne is under control and I know what’s causing it, it shouldn’t get worse.  (Plus this drying lotion from my affiliate Amazon works amazingly well.)
There are still times though when my reflection makes me feel so inadequate.  I think about the beautiful women in the Bible like Sarah, Esther, and the Shulamite, and then I feel even worse, like I’ve failed as a Christian.
Instead of accepting the fact I had three children in 4 years time with joy, my reflection taunts me.  The number on the scale is fine, I’ve lost all but 5 pounds after my pregnancies (working on that), but my reflection, that’s another story.  The change in my shape is enough to ruin my day even though my body did amazing things. 
Have you been there friend?
You walk down your hallway, and it catches your eye. You’ve been avoiding it all day, but now there’s no ignoring it. Walking over to your mirror you cautiously peer into its silver depths, and
dislike hate what you see.
Maybe it’s your round face, a stray eyebrow (as my mother calls them) above your lip, or a pimple in the worst possible place. Maybe you see lumps and bumps under your clothes that weren’t there ten years ago, or maybe you’ve never liked your shape. You might think your skin is too pale, or too dark, maybe it’s blotchy. Perhaps you think your knees are too knobby and your calves too chubby. It could be that you’re too short, or perhaps too tall. Chances are when you look in the mirror there will be something that you don’t like.
You wonder how Narcissus couldn’t stop looking at his reflection, when the sight of yours makes want to run and hide. After looking at yourself in the mirror your perfectly good day suddenly turns sour.Gazing upon your reflection brings back insecurities from years past, and sometimes looking at it might even bring tears to your eyes. You think about the women who keep sheets over their mirrors, and consider for a moment doing the same to yours.
Logically when I pass by the mirror I know that my body has done absolutely amazing things, chief of which is bringing 3 children into this world. I can logically know I am healthy and have a lot to be incredibly grateful for; but there are times when I look in the mirror and it just hurts. Taunts from the elementary schoolyard ring in my ears, jealousy of women I wish I looked like flares up, and in that moment I hate my reflection.
The truth is though, we are not the only ones who hate what we see in the mirror. There is someone who in fact hates our reflections more than we ever could.
That someone of course is Satan.
Lucifer was created as a beautiful Angel of light covered in precious stones. And as beautiful as Lucifer was, he wasn’t made in God’s image, and was not His greatest creation. Mankind however is both, and Satan hates it.
When Satan sees our reflections in the mirror, the chubby thighs, double chins, saggy backsides, extra weight, and minuscule imperfections that we hate so much, Satan hates too. Satan however doesn’t hate our reflections because they don’t measure up to some Madison Avenue ideal. No, Satan hates our reflections because every aspect reminds him of the Creator that he so vehemently detests.
Let that sink in a moment: Satan hates our reflections, because we remind him of God!
We are made in God’s image. We are His most precious creation. When we look in the mirror and hate what we see, we detest something that was made after God’s own glorious, perfect image.
You deserve to see yourself as the beautiful creation, made after the image of God that you are. That is how Satan sees you, and he hates it. That is how we should see ourselves and celebrate it.
Imagine yourself free from insecurity. Imagine never again getting intensely depressed when you look into the mirror. Emboldened by this truth, set free from this plague, what does your walk with God look like? Are you more effective in his service? Are you able to draw from the Lord’s strength or are you held back by insecurities?  Are you more able to reclaim your health?
You were made in the image of God, see it and celebrate it.
Now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  And be sure to Share this post with all the beautiful women in your life!

Friday, July 31, 2015

When Do You Start School?

When do you start school?
So I've been debating about when to start school next year. Public schools around here start after Labor Day, but a lot of homeschool families seem to like starting in August. Last year we started in June because I was having a baby and knew I would need the flex time.
We were able to finish our core curriculum in May and this summer I've been doing worksheets 1-2 times a week and plenty of reading, but I think we're going to start school officially AFTER LABOR DAY.
This is why:
1) I'm not having a baby this year and we're not planning a big vacation so we won't need *as much* flex time.
2) My oldest is born in October, so she's technically a year ahead in her curriculum, and a few extra months of development is critical so things aren't *too* hard.
3) I can, and I need a break. If we need more flex time, we'll school into next summer, but I think for our family ending later is better than starting early. because of the October birthday, and my girls are still technically both a year ahead of where they need to be in most areas (except writing) so I'm not sweating it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Reward Idea For Your Kids

What are botanically speaking fruit,  and would help motivate your children in the next homeschool year?

Why Bob and Larry of Veggie Tales of course! 

In my post yesterday I talked about how making a reward chart put a stop to our bed time battles. 
When used correctly reward charts can be huge motivators, especially when kids need to develop a habit: brushing teeth, reading every day, staying in bed etc.

If you plan on using reward charts this next school year or even if you just want to get your kids a present, I have something I know they'll work hard to earn.

Here's the thing, my kids love videos, and they Love, I mean LOVE Veggie Tales.  And quite frankly I love that they love them because there is no worry of too much potty humor or bare butts in Veggie Tales (I'm looking at you Minion movie).

And even though their looks have changed over the years (I watched the "Grapes of Wrath" episode not to long ago and the animation today is just amazing compared to then) they are still the same God honoring vegetables that I grew up loving as a child.

And now not only are they on Netflix but they have adorable stuffed plushes (affiliate link)based on the new animation you can buy.

Bob the Tomato Beanie Plush 2015 Larry the Cucumber Beanie Plush 2015

I was sent 2 to review,  Bob and Larry. Let me tell you they are super cute, and soft too.  I happen to be a fan of their new look (as are my kids), they just seem (for lack of a better word) more animated now.

If you're kids are fans of the DVD's or new animated series they will love these guys, and they make for an affordable motivating reward.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

How We Got Our Kids To Stop Getting out of Bed With a Wishing Web

My kids were 6,4, and 3.  They were also being naughty and not staying in bed when it was lights out.

The excuses grew every night, and the sneaking out to the top of the stairs grew incessant.  But neither my husband nor I  wanted to discipline too harshly because whenever we "laid down the law" it would delay bedtime even longer for a tantrum.

I don't like bed time tantrums.

Enter in Miss Spider's Bedtime Story App (affiliate link).  

Product Details

My son was obsessed with it for whatever reason.  Essentially the little bugs are not going to bed when they're supposed to, so the parents make a reward chart called a wishing web.  When they reach the top of the chart, they go to a carnival. 

It's a really cute app, and as soon as I told my kids we were going to make a wishing web, they knew what I meant and were super excited.

We put the reward chart up and if they stayed in bed we'd move them up one, if the got out of bed they'd wake up in the morning and see that they were still at the same spot.  

It helped that we didn't make a big deal out of them not moving up, other than a warning, until morning so there weren't any tantrums, right when we wanted them in bed. Another thing was we never threatened to move them down.  

All it took was my girls reaching the top and getting prizes before my son one time before they were completely different children when it came to staying in bed.  We kept using it until they developed the habit of staying in bed.

I highly recommend checking out the app if you have a Kindle or another compatible device, and making a reward chart for bedtime, it certainly worked for us.