Children

You Are Special

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I didn't need to read the parenting books to know that one of my main jobs as a mom is to make sure my children know they are special because that feeling allows for a feeling of belonging. I think it is fair to say that when we feel like we belong, we don't go searching for acceptance in other places - many of those places being the wrong places.

With this in mind, I have enjoyed reading Max Lucado's You Are Special to my little guys. This book is part of Lucado's The Wemmicks - are you familiar?

Again

Five Minute Fridays: Again

Friday, January 25, 2013

Time to take a break from your schedule and just write off the top of your head for five minutes. No worries about impressing. No thoughts about being perfect. Just write.

Thanks Lisa Jo for giving the word to leap from.


Five Minute Friday

Again

There was a period of my life where this group was all I knew. From eight in the morning until three at night we were each other's family. For eleven years.

We made up games to play outside.

We ate together.

We learned lessons from math and English to death and strength.

We went through growth spurts together.

We learned how to band together against the world.

Then the end came. Decisions to make over our lives started to take precedence.

We moved away.



Our lives took over.

Sure we would reconnect again here and there - love the marvels of technology.

But here we are again, looking at the chance to be together again.

Who have we become? We no longer know each other's biggest secrets and embarrassing moments - although at one point we were experts on each other.

Again we will be together - to just be the men and women we have grown up to be - with a foundation that is shared.


Encouragement

Live Free: Eliminate the If Onlys and What Ifs of Life

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Live Free: Eliminate the If Onlys and What Ifs of Life
By Kendra K. Smiley


During the stress of life it is nice to find a book that is just simply uplifting. A book that reminds of the joys of life, and that we should make it a priority to simply enjoy life. This is one such book.

Smiley introduced the book like this: "This book is filled with true stories of people who have chosen forgiveness, joy, contentment, prayer, and positive attitudes that resulted in renewed hope, increased faith, and purposeful action."

Who wouldn't want that kind of book on her bookshelf?

Caldecott

Swimmy - a book on working together

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I have yet to come across a parent who really hopes and prays that her child will grow up to a quiet wallflower that goes along with the crowd.  The idea of teaching kids how to be an individual who can work in a team crosses the minds of parents all the time - especially this parent.

And yet, this idea is easier said than taught... It's a fine line between being yourself, and being a selfish brat. Then there is the idea of teamwork, where you speak up enough to be heard, yet humble yourself to accommodate the group... There are adults that can't do this one yet!

mommy brain

The Phenomenon of Mommy Brain

Monday, January 21, 2013

After spending at least ten minutes getting my boys dressed to walk the twenty-five steps from the back door to the car door in the bitter cold, and buckling them into those life-saving car seats, and running back inside to grab the super large tote that holds diapers, wipes, extra snacks, juice and those backup emergency clothes, I automatically closed the back door behind me. You know the move right? One arms pushing open the screen door, as your other hand holds on to the handle of the house door and the momentum of your super mommy speed closes the door as you propel yourself forward.


And then not even a second after that door closed, I realized I had left my purse, coffee mug and KEYS on the counter...

Cherish

Five Minute Friday: Cherish

Friday, January 18, 2013

Here's to five minutes of just writing. Thanks Lisa-Jo for the prompt. And the excuse to just respond, for five minutes.

Five Minute Friday

Cherish

Those couple of moments in the day when I can sit and actually realize my heart is beating - that is when I can realize I am cherished.

My days are so full of running and noise.

An almost four-year old that has more energy that could possibly be healthy for only 35 pounds of flesh and blood.  A toddler who desperately wants to keep up with his brother, but is always a step behind.  And their conversations fill the air. So when I have to add to the noise, my voice is louder still.

The energy has to increase my heart rate - I mean intellectually I know it does but I never notice in the moment.

In those couple of moments when I'm rushing to do the chores that must get done, or making food for a family member I cherish, I can realize my heart is beating.

And in those moments I realize I need to refocus in order to cherish the One who created that heart beat. To realize that all the crazy running and loud-voice-talking I have been doing is all because there is One who cherishes me every single second of every single day. Even when I'm too busy with this crazy life to think about it.



Maybe as those precious moments of silence and stillness grow, the time I can focus my energy on the One who cherishes me, I'll learn to ground myself. I'll learn to relax. I'll learn that my loud-mommy-voice isn't necessary. I'll learn to be and enjoy.  To have JOY - what a blessing - now in those moments I want to capture that JOY, bottle it, and all it to slowly pour over me in the moments that are not quiet and calm, because in those in between moments, that is when the fact that I am cherished by the ONE counts.


Balance

Family Quote

Monday, January 14, 2013

As a mom, it is so easy for me to get wrapped up in mommy things.  Since I enjoy planning and preparing, I could easily spend days finding crafts and projects for my boys, then countless more hours buying the materials, and organizing each step of any of those projects.

While I research, plan, buy, set up, etc... my mind dreams of how the practical part of the craft or project will go. And of course the end result will always me exactly like the picture I came across while researching - you know what I mean?

Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Friday: Dive

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wow, it's been a long time since I've made the time for a FMF post!  And I've missed it.  The freedom to just allow words to flow and not worry that those reading will judge.  Thank you LisaJo for hosting such a fun exercise!

Wanna join?
Five Minute Friday

Dive

Now there's something I have signed up for: diving.

Nope.

Allowing water to cover me completely just is not on my list of things to do. In fact it is on my list of things to avoid at all costs.

No swimming... so most certainly no diving! Why you ask? Well that just won't fit into a five minute post!

But maybe that fear, the fear of water engulfing me and not then keeping me from oxygen is part of the obstacles that have kept me from being able to feel that 100% connection to my True Life Giver.

What if I could dive into His Life Giving Waters without fear of where my next breath would come from?

What if I could leave the fear behind on the diving board and freely jump into His arms. Trusting and knowing that all, ALL, of my needs would be provided.

Heart in ocean
image credit

It's easy to say it.

And yet here I stand, staring into the waters... wishing I just had some more trusting faith.

For now I'll focus on allowing Him to create a new heart in me, one that will not fear the jump, or rather, the dive.





Children

God's Dream

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

My youngest has taken a real liking to board books. He will get one off the shelf and carry to me in an effort to hear a story, even if he has to search the house for me... Then of course we spend a good amount of time reading the book and talking about the pictures.


This interest in books has translated to collecting books during our weekly library visit. Previously he was content to just play with a couple of the toys out and leave without ever looking at the books...

So we've come across some new books that I might have overlooked if not for his zealous desire to leave with a tall stack of books.

This week a sweet little book has captured our attention, God's Dream, by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. This though-provoking children's story is illustrated by LeUyen Rham, and the pictures are perfect for little minds, as they lend themselves to many "do you see...?" and "look at that little boy..." time.   


The message of the book looks at the heart of God and how to understand God we have to look with our hearts, not our eyes. So I'm not sure the message is translating to my one-year-old, but he loves the pictures. My almost four-year-old enjoys the opening phrases that talk about our dreams, as he's starting to realize that his dreams are different than the reality of day - and the idea that God dreams fascinates him.

I like that the book reminds us that when we cry, God cries with us. And to wipe these tears away we need to forgive others. Such important bits of truth I'd like to hide away in my kids hearts for future need. 

The book ends with a simple question: "Will you help God's dream come true?" (Tweet this) And the answer is that we need to focus on loving others, sharing, forgiving and being friends with others, even if they appear different from us.

Image from publisher


The last page displays a rainbow, which my boys love. So I'm hoping to do a rainbow craft  (a simple idea, or an ambitious idea) to help keep these topics up for discussion even when we don't have the book open in our laps.

Reading List rating:





Are you teaching your kids to be open to others even if they appear different? Are you using books and stories to help with this concept? Do you try to do crafts and projects after reading a story that really captivates your little ones? 

Christian

Desperate

Monday, January 07, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

By Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson


It is no secret that being a mom is hard work, at least not for me when I headed down the road to motherhood. I was prepared for the work, at least I thought so. 

Then all the emotional and mental work started to show up. And the weight sat on me day and night. 

Sure I could mention to other moms around me that it was hard, and they would nod their heads, smile, maybe remind me that it doesn't last forever, enjoy it while it lasts, that kind of thing. And of course I felt the pressure all the more. I mean, maybe I was doing it wrong!

So I plugged on, and found myself desperate for a chance to breathe daily - know what I'm saying?

Colossians 1

Feature: Simply Helping Him

Sunday, January 06, 2013

When I was new-new blogger, I spent way too much time searching for blogs to draw inspiration from, and it was hard to find ones that really spoke to me. I wished there were bloggers that would point me towards good blogs to gain community with - something besides a list of buttons... nothing against the buttons - now I am super grateful to see a list on blogs I enjoy!  So anyway, I'm continuing my monthly features as a way to share blogs I find inspiration from, blogs that might not be as popular as some, but are just as Inspired.

Amy McCready

If I Have to Tell You One More Time...

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A while back I was part of an online seminar with Amy McCready that focused on Positive Parenting Solutions, remember?  After that post I received many comments and emails from you all asking me to read her book, If I Have To Tell You One More Time... - so I added it to my list.  And after many weeks of pouring over it, I'm ready to share with you my thoughts!  So grab your coffee and notebook, as you will probably want to make some notes, because here we go...


Children

The Father's Love... A Child's Devotional

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

I am certain you don't have to be told that being a parent is a tough job. There are so many people out there giving lists of milestones each child must reach before they can walk, let alone the list that comes with getting kids into school. Oh by the way those lists come with things you should be doing with your child to help them attain said goals. All those lists just lead to pressure for parents, and then with pressure, comes a good amount of stress...

One such stress-er for many I know includes guiding our little ones to their Savior. Yes, a parent's job does not include saving their souls, but we are the first gardener of the seed. And this little job is a huge one, and of course that leads to the stress.

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