Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

The end of the year brings a time to reflect and a time to bounce into the new adventures of a new year. When you think over the last year, what are you thankful for? When you think of a new start, what are you thankful for? We would love to hear from you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fun Monday

I love breaks!! This Christmas, my kids are all at an age that they love sleeping late (and staying up late!!) instead of waking me up in the middle of the night (well, bad dreams did have one of them wanting in our bed) so we all slept a lot. Crislynn has always been a sleeper, even as a baby. One morning around 10:00 at my in-laws, Davis said, "Let's see how long Crislynn will sleep. She's like hibernating or something!"

Hope you are enjoying your breaks too!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Twas the night before, the night before Christmas, and all through the houses moms scurried about making everything just right...

Don't forget to take some time today to stop and be thankful for God's gift of Jesus. And did you know that we are the Heavenly Father's gift to Jesus? Listen to this part Jesus' prayer in John 17:6.
"I [Jesus] have revealed You to those who You gave me out of the world.
They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed Your Word."
One of my favorite pictures of Christmas, is when my kids open a gift and it is something they "wanted their whole life!" (Do your kids say that too? Yea, they have wanted it all three years--and the 5 seconds they have known about it!) God the Father, gave His Son a gift--YOU! Can you just see His face of delight to know that you are His! Today we can be thankful that no matter what shape, size, or situation we find ourselves in, we are valued, loved, treasured, and cared for. Thank You, Jesus!

Merry Christmas!

posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministry assistant

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fun Monday

It was a bad day in the Hilliard home last week. It seemed that everyone in the house was crossways and irritable (including mom!). Every question was answered with a defensive cutting response. The girls seemed to be assuming the worst about each other and didn't hold back from shouting what they were thinking . . . it was ugly! Finally, Addison was all done and said, "It's over!! Stop talking about it!" I agreed, and said, "Yes, let's all kiss and make-up!" Addison protested, "I'm not gonna wear make-up!!" The hold of dissention was suddenly diminished. Rolling with laughter, we gathered in a group hug, kissed . . . and made up!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I saw a quote on a friends' facebook status the other day that said,

"Christmas is a time when you get homesick -even when you're home." ~Carol

Every family has different traditions and ways and places to celebrate Christmas. For my family, we were always at my grandparents' home and we alternated every year between my mom's family and my dad's. So for me traveling and being with a big group of family is Christmas. As we are looking forward to being with family next week, I'm thankful for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I'm thankful that my kids still have five great-grandparents living that they know and spend time with.

What, or who, are you thankful for this Thursday?

posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministry assistant

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Simple Truth

Some of my best times with God are when I read kids devotionals and books! Maybe I’m small-minded or because that’s just my stage of life, maybe God loves me enough to reach out to my heart through those simple words.

This morning, the book, A Life God Rewards for Little Ones (Bruce Wilkinson) was about serving…giving an old toy, planting flowers, helping when someone was hurt – simple things. But, the common thread in all of it was that the little boy was serving, loving, and giving because he loved Jesus.

· Not because he was giving more than he should.
· Not because he gave last year.
· Not serving out of a heart motivated by doing good things.
· Not sharing because others were watching
· Not just modeling love for others to learn to show love (like I do with my kids)

Basically, he was not serving out of obligation, but just because the boy wanted Jesus to know how much he loved Him.

In this Christmas season when we are constantly running, buying/making gifts for teachers, decorating, planning, cleaning…why are we doing it all? If we want to show Jesus how much we love Him, will all of it really be important enough to continue doing?

The final pages showed the boy running to Jesus in heaven someday and how excited both he and Jesus were to see each other. Our life on earth is really very short. With that in mind, I can’t think of any better way to spend my day than showing Him now how much I love Him in all that I do.

He really is the reason for the season…so let’s serve Him today – not because we should, not because we are able, but just because we love Him.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord you are serving.”
Colossians 3:23-24
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fun Monday

Addison, my 5 year-old, was marching around the house the other day singing, "All I want for Christmas is RELATIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP." We were rolling! Where do they come up with this stuff?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This fall we had a preacher come to our church for revival. He talked about the Christmas story and how we know all the who's, what's, when's, and where's about it. But what about why? Some why's we know. For instance, we know that Jesus came to provide a way for us to have a relationship with a Holy God. We know that it happened in Bethlehem to fulfill prophesy. But why a stable? In our day and time of delivering babies in clean hospitals, we can't imagine having a baby in a stable! Wasn't there a better place?! Why a stable? He said one word: ACCESS. If there had been room in the inn, there would have been people, lots of people, between Jesus and the shepherds when they came to worship. If they had been in the inn, there would have been an innkeeper, who had the authority, to keep the shepherds out. But in the stable, there was no one in the way and no one to keep them out. They had access to come and worship their Messiah.

It is still true today. No one stands in our way. We have complete access to Jesus--the Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Redeemer, King of Kings, Savior. We just have to accept His gift. We have access to Him beyond salvation. We have access to Him when we are afraid, when we are so excited, when we are tired, when we are hurting, when we just want to chat, when we are frustrated and when we want to worship. That is what I'm thankful for today...access to Jesus.

What are you thankful for today?

posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministry assistant

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ideas for Celebrating Christmas

Here are some of our favorite ideas that we have either done in our home with our family and friends or heard of and would love to try! Do you have any to add to the list?

  • Act out the Christmas Story, or at least read the Christmas story with the family.
  • We buy a family ornament and buy each of the kids an ornament they like.
  • Take a picture of kids serving. Make an ornament out of it. Great reminders each year.
  • Decorate someone’s house that is not able to do for themselves.
  • Secretly send a gift every day until Christmas to a special family (example: one piece of the manger scene at a time until all pieces have been sent).
  • Participate in Samaritan’s Purse or Angel Tree projects.
  • Present for Jesus – the first thing under the tree is a beautiful box. It is Jesus’ present. After Christmas morning, we sit as a family and write a gift we each want to give Jesus that year. Then we read them together the next Christmas. A gift to Jesus might be to spend more time with Him, be more kind to our siblings, commit to work on a character trait, etc.
  • Instead of making Christmas cookies, on Christmas Eve we bake a birthday cake for Jesus. Christmas morning, Daddy reads the Christmas story and then we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and blow out the candles. We explain to the kids that the presents we receive that day are blessings from God, because He has blessed us throughout the year.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fun Monday

This funny story is from Sharon's family...

Last night I climbed into Crislynn's top bunk to read with her. When I looked up, the ceiling fan had something crusty on the all the blades. I started rubbing it off wondering what in the world it was, because it was very consistent on every blade.

"Don't wipe that off mom!"

"What is it?"

"It's deodorant. When my fan goes around, it makes my room smell good."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday

In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season, we still need to work on being content and being thankful. I don't know about you, but this is a good reminder for me to look around and see what I'm thankful for.

This Thankful Thursday, I'm thankful for senses. God sure was creative when he designed us so that we can enjoy His handiwork! And the Christmas season is a feast for the senses! The next few days on facebook, we'll be sharing our favorite sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feels of the season. Be sure to jump in the conversation! It is fun to see how this community of moms are different and alike. You can find us at Mom and Loving It!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Perfection

Perfection is a mom disease. It has many faces: Clean house perfection, perfectly behaved children, and expecting perfection from our husbands. I usually struggle with this perfection illness most at Christmas. The house should be perfectly decorated, always clean, children dressed in their yuletide best, beautiful smells and dishes should flow from my kitchen, and my husband should joyfully help put up the tree and lights.

Just the thought of it all makes my head spin. I think I’ve mellowed a little in the past few years. Somehow when the kids were small and I had more control over what they ate and wore, the pressure was greater. People expected them to look sweet, right?

Whatever stage you’re in as a mom, before we hit the chaos of December, let’s take some time to put into our schedules the most important things and plan our time according to those priorities:

1. Who do you want to visit this Christmas? Is there an elderly neighbor or family member that you really want your children to know?
2. What do you want to do as a family (that would be enjoyable for all of you)
3. How do you want to present the real meaning of Christmas to your children this year?
4. In what ways can you use the holidays to strengthen relationships with your spouse, children and other family and friends?
5. Is there a family tradition that your kids look forward to each year?

Here are some things to cut that can calm the Christmas Holiday:

1. You don’t have to unpack every box. Contents of unopened boxes will seem new next year!
2. Make one obvious spot in your house the focal point for decorating: maybe a fireplace, your front door, a staircase, or garland and lights around a mirror.
3. Decide on three gifts or fewer for your children – Jesus only received 3 gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) so our kids don’t need more than that. When I limit myself, my gifts are usually more thoughtful.
4. Make time to spend with God. Pray for His direction in your days this Christmas. When I can’t make sense of my days, He always has a way of putting them together much better than I dreamed.

If we live by the “Less is More” principal, we’ll find that we have more time to do the things that matter most.

Enjoying this Christmas Season!