Monday, October 20, 2014

Shadow of the Cross

On Thursday night, I attended my older daughter's first school concert of the year.  She sang in the Junior High Choir and played in the Junior High Handbells.  All went very well!

The Senior High Men's Chorus sang a moving song that reminds us of all that Christ did for us through salvation.  May we never lose sight of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and the price He paid for our redemption when He died on the cross!

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  ~Hebrews 12:2

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Salutes

With my 8th Grader on the way to her fall concert at school

This Fall Tree Craft for Kids is cute and super simple to make.

Kathie has 7 Tips for Parenting a Strong-Willed Child.

Lauren shares How to Have a Remixable Wardrobe.

Andrea lists 10 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor.

From Candy, there are 10 Tough Lessons We Need to Teach Our Kids.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Accepting the Season


I'm a home body.

Really, I am.  I enjoy staying at home, working around the house, baking, starting an organizing project, having a few minutes (or more!) to read a book or flip through a magazine.

I did not say I am a car body.

However, I can see that I'm going to be spending lots of time in my car during the next several years.

Whether it's soccer practice or a youth activity or running to the store for bake-sale cupcakes, I'm the designated driver at this point (except for the mornings when my blessed husband takes our older daughter to school - makes my heart sing!!)

The season we're in dictates driving one child to one thing and the other child to another - and not always in the same area or at the same time.

I suppose I could fight this, mumble and grumble about having to traipse all over town.  But - right now at least! - I'm seeking to embrace this season and be thankful for it.

You may be in a different season than I am.  Perhaps you're home most of the time because it's just too difficult to get all your little ones ready and out the door.  Maybe your season is filled with work obligations on top of parenting duties or perhaps your children are grown and you're serving as a caregiver for someone else.

Whatever season we're in, let's ask God to give us the grace to accept it.  There are difficult days no matter what the season, but He knows exactly what's taking place in our lives and has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

As for me, I want to be content to spend lots of time in the driver's seat for these years.  Because the next season will likely involve my daughters driving themselves places...and I'm definitely not ready for that!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Praise Ye the Lord

"Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."  ~Psalm 150:6

When the alarm clock goes off in the quiet pre-dawn, praise the Lord.

When the shower water's cold, praise the Lord.

When you burn the toast and have to turn the milk carton upside down to drain the last drops, praise the Lord.

When a child calls "Mama" for the 347th time that day....and it's only 9am, praise the Lord.

When you're in the farthest back corner of Walmart and your potty-training child needs to use the restroom, praise the Lord.

When traffic comes to a standstill and you're already running late, praise the Lord.

When no child naps and the afternoon stretches longer than your patience, praise the Lord

When a child comes home from school with a hole in the knee of his pants, praise the Lord.

When the laundry piles up and dirty dishes fill the sink, praise the Lord.

When you crawl in the bed at night and worries creep into the outskirts of your mind, praise the Lord.

And remember....

When you get an unexpected check in the mail and you walk right into the doctor's office without a wait and your husband washes the dishes after supper and the kids go to bed without a struggle....praise the Lord then, too.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Salutes

I can identify with much of Allison's post on Parenting as a Gen Xer:  We're the First Generation of Parents in the Age of iEverything.

There are such cute ideas in 5 Fun Fall Kid's Activities at Kingdom First Homeschool.

Myra set a beautiful table with this Simple Layered Fall Tablescape.

Mary shares Chaos, Order and the In-Between.

I liked the music in Emma so much that I ordered the cd.  It has a very classical sound to it and I enjoy listening to the soundtrack while I'm working in the kitchen.

We have a full day ahead of us.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Can You Read This?


Some signs of aging are subtle.

You wouldn't know by looking at me that I get stiff when I sit in one position for too long or that my knees sometimes creak when I climb out of bed.

Other signs of aging - like gray (or white) hair - can be covered up.

But this week I addressed an issue that will, sooner or later, be evident to everyone.

After months of having my husband hold the hymnal at his full arm's length in church so that I could see it and using a magnifying glass to read the small print in my Bible each morning, I finally caved.

I went to the eye doctor and got prescription reading glasses.

I was afraid that I'd be signing some official document and not have a clue what it said - or that I'd accidentally give a mind-blowing tip to some waiter because I couldn't distinguish the total bill amount on my receipt.

I am very grateful for my eyesight, especially that my long-distance vision is still nearly perfect.  I know that having made it into my mid-forties before needing "vision assistance" is very good.  I'm thankful that glasses are readily available.

But it's just another reminder that this ol' body isn't improving.  Time and I are walking hand in hand together down this road of life and the mile markers are passing by faster and faster.  But at least I can still see them... and now that I have my glasses, I can even read the map.

Any subtle signs of aging that you're willing to confess??

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3 Things To Do With Your Kids Today That You'll Never Regret

As moms, we want to do so much with our kids - make cute crafts, play with trucks or dress baby dolls, bake cookies together, or read stacks of books,

It's easy to get discouraged about all that we want to do, but can't fit into our schedule.  We often have to pick and choose what we squeeze into our day and need to prioritize our activities to make the best use of our time. 

I've come up with three things we can do now that we'll never regret having done.  They only take a few minutes of your day, but they can have long lasting results.

1.  Teach your children about God.  Whether it's a scheduled sit down time or a teachable moment that presents itself during the day, talking to your children about God is important.  Here are a few ideas for making that happen.
  • Pray at bedtime and meals.
  • Sing Scripture songs.
  • Memorize a verse together.
  • Review what they learned in Sunday School or another church children's program. 
  • Read a Bible story book.

2.  Look into your child's eyes and say "I love you."  I'm working on this!  While I tell my girls that I love them every day, I don't always connect and say it while focusing directly on them at that moment.

3.  Say a sentence of encouragement to each child.  "You were thoughtful when you shared your candy with your brother."  "Thank you for putting your plate in the dishwasher."  "It took lots of diligence for you to finish cleaning your room like I asked."  "You waited patiently for me to finish what I was doing."  As I've mentioned before, we often see the negative aspects of our children's behavior.  While that needs to be corrected, we should encourage them in their good moments as well.

What else could we do with our kids today that we'll never regret?

Monday, October 6, 2014

How's Your Thought Life?

"What we are afraid to do before men, we should be afraid to think before God."  ~Beilby Porteus

Sometimes I struggle with the thoughts that fill my mind.  I get grumpy with my husband or children or fellow church member and stew over something they said or did.  Thoughts about all that I need to accomplish overwhelm and discourage me.  Envy tries to creep in as I allow comparisons with other people.

Obviously what we think about is important.  Proverbs 23:7 says, " For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.."  What is in my heart flows into my thoughts and results in my words and my actions.

What types of thoughts should I avoid?  Here are a few ideas.

  • Worry.  Whether it's worrying about today or the future, worry doesn't do any good.  Philippians 4:6 tells me to "be careful for nothing" while I Peter 5:7 counsels me to cast all my care on Him.
  • Fear.  Closely related to worry, thoughts of fear take my eyes off of Jesus and put them on my surroundings.  "God has not given us the spirit of fear" according to II Timothy 1:7.
  • Negative thoughts including bitterness, gossip, comparison, and guilt.
  • Proud thoughts.  We know from many verses in the Bible what God thinks about pride.

I can't let my thoughts run rampant or they will tend toward those wrong thoughts.  II Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we should be "....bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..."    I Peter 1:13 says we are to "gird up the loins of your mind."

What, then, should I think about?  Certainly Philippians 4:8 gives us guidelines in this area.  "....Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

How we have to guard what goes into our mind as those are the things we will think about!  Here are a few ways to cultivate those good thoughts.

  • Memorize and meditate on Scripture.
  • Listen to uplifting music.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Keep prayer requests for others in the forefront of your mind.
  • Focus on a characteristic of God.
  • Dwell on a promise of God.
  • Read good books.
  • Avoid worldly entertainment.

The verse I posted for my 31 Days of Psalms on Saturday was Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."  This should be the ultimate goal for my thought life.  God has redeemed me from the power of sin which includes freeing my mind from wrong thoughts. 

May He Who knows all our thoughts empower us so that our thought life is pleasing to Him.