Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I can’t remember the whole song, but the main line was, “It’s not about me. It’s all about You Lord.” Great lessons learned from a children’s song…That line has stuck with me.
Often, I make life revolve around MY circumstances and MY family, MY desires, MY ideas, MY needs, MY wants, MY schedule. But, when it’s all about ME, I miss the point.
Look at the different focus of Ephesians 2:10 can have by simply reading it selfishly, then from a less prideful angle:
1. For WE are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS which He prepared in advance for US to do.”
2. For we are GOD’S WORKMANSHIP created in CHRIST JESUS to do good works which HE prepared IN ADVANCE for us to do.”
In the first verse, we are the focus. In the second, the focus is where it should be - on God and what He has done. The 2 verses right before this talk about how we are saved by grace, “through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) It’s not about us…it’s all about Him.
You and I have been invited to be a part of a bigger picture: God’s plan for this time in history. God, the creator of the universe that made trees, eyes, fingerprints, ladybugs - the perfect ONE - has invited us to be part of HIS plan. Wow! That’s a lot to think about. Living for Him is much more exciting than anything I can cook up on my own.
Take a look at this video. It was a tool God used to open my eyes to see what His plan is; to remind me that it’s not about me, it really is all about Him.
Whenever you get a chance, teach these things to your children. Help them understand now, that it's all about Him.
Hope you have a great week!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Grandparent's Day always sneaks up on me, so I thought I would give us a friendly reminder that it is coming up this Sunday, September 11th! Last year we posted several good ideas. You can check that out here. This is an idea that didn't make the list (because I thought of it after the post)... I made chocolate chip cookies with a card that said, "In the cookies of life, grandparents are the chocolate chips!"
This year, I made a card. You know those silly pictures that kids always want to take, but they usually don't make the scrapbook? I took several of those with a caption, "We are crazy about you!" Then the kids signed it and we are set.
Grandparents are such a blessing--whether they are related by blood or grand-angels that have come into your life. Let's honor them with a great big "We love you!" this week.
How do you honor grandparents in your life? I'm going to need a new idea for next year!
posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries assistant
Monday, September 5, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Whatever the state of your marriage, I encourage you to read this. Or if your single, go ahead and give it a read to know how to handle a future relationship.
Our commitments are worth our effort, so join me in putting down the pride and loving our guys!
Hope you have a great day!
Phil. 4:13 - "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength."
Friday, August 19, 2011
Both feelings are normal. I actually feel both of the emotions. I enjoy the routine of our schedule - knowing what to expect (for the most part!) for the days. But, at the same time I miss the spontaneity of living with less of a routine.
Whatever we "feel" about the ending of summer, here are some verses that I think are encouraging. These are all about our words.
"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Prov. 12:25
"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in silver settings. Prov. 25:11 (my bible described apples of gold and silver as wisdom)
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Prov. 15:1
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb; sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Prov. 16:25
And my favorite...."The wise in heart are called discerning and pleasant words promote instruction."Proverbs 16:21 (emphasis mine - we need all the promoting of instruction that we can get! Pleasant words are the way to help that need.)
If you have a verse that encourages you, or maybe one that you would like to pray for your family, please feel free to add to this list in your comments.
Cheering you on moms as you begin another year of loving, raising, driving, helping, washing, cleaning, and encouraging your kiddos! Sounds overwhelming, but these years will come to an end, so let's make it a great one!!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
here for a discription of the movie, along with values in the movie and discussion starter ideas for parents.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
She replied, "Press the 'Are you sure?' button!" (You know how computers always ask you "Are you sure you want to leave this page? Yes or No.) I thought it was pretty funny!
Have your kiddos said anything silly lately? Enjoy the moments!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
It's easy to be distracted by all the stuff. I don't necessarily want a new house, but you can bet that I want the house we have to be clean (wish #1) and I'd like it to be decorated as perfectly as the houses on HGTV (wish #2). I can wish for more money (#3) to use for decorating and maybe even some landscaping out front (#4). I can look at the clothes someone else is wearing and wish for a new wardrobe (#5). When I pull up beside a shiny SUV in my dirty van with the bumper falling off and a missing hubcap, I can feel poor and wish we could bu a fancy new vehicle (wish #6).
Our wishes could go on and on, couldn't they? Having an SUV or a landscaped yard aren't bad things. But when I'm disgruntled because our neighbor's yard looks great or I'm embarrassed to pull my vehicle out of my garage, those wishes rob me of both my time and my joy.
Have you ever been caught in the trap of wishing for things that you don't really need and can't afford? Have you found yourself irritated, finding that the source of your unhappiness is rooted in wishing for things to be different? Talk about wastin' wishes!
Again, it's not that having nice things or going shopping are bad things. It's when the nice things consume our thoughts and emotions and get in front of our relationship with God that they become a problem. When we are caught up in the stuff, we miss the joy. Proverbs 13:7 puts our wishes and wanting more in perspective:
Luke 12:15 warns us to "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (or the school his child attends, or the job he holds). I have often told my children that we might not be rich in money, but we are rich in relationships--with God and one another. They believe it and have reminded me on my "wastin' wishes" days that we are rich because we have "the coolest family in the world."
"A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life" (The Message).
We've all been guilty of comparing what we have with what others have. It is a trap. Don't fall for it today. When you catch yourself wishing for things to be different, stop and say thank you for what you do have. You are worth far more than the abundance of your possessions. When you are wishing for more things, remember that a showy life is an empty life. Instead, focus on being "rich toward God' (Luke 12:21 The Message). We've been given so much. How could we waste wishes, wishin' for more?
Lord, our society is filled with things we "need." Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between what we really need and what we want. Please help us focus on what You have for us. When our eyes become distracted by "stuff" or another family who seems to have it better than we do, remind us that we are rich because of our relationship with You. Our family members alone represent wealth beyond measure. Help us to be on guard against all kinds of greed. Thank You for not counting our worth by our possessions. Teach us not to fight having a plain and simple life but to value that simplicity. Wishin' for all You have for us, we pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen.
from Laurie and Sharon's book Hold You, Mommy
Friday, May 27, 2011
School has only been out for a few days but it will not be long before we hear the dreaded "I'm bored," whine coming from our kids. So here is a list of suggestions. Please add your ideas because we are going to need them!
take initiative (See Sharon and Pat's family plan for details on this)
visit a neighbor
call grandparents, aunts & uncles, or cousins
make something...food, craft, my bed!
work on building a website
write a note to someone
play a board game
We are always looking for some good books for all ages. What do you like to read with your kids? Or for older ones reading on their own, what keeps them coming back for more?
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming
Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! by Candace Fleming
Fix-it-Duck by Jez Alorough
Will--God's Might Warrior by Shelia Walsh
Gigi--God's Little Princess by Shelia Walsh
Hermie and Friends by Max Lucado
We love all of Max Lucado's children's books, like You are Special.
School age readers
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson (Our library has many of these on tape and they are great for car trips! We all laugh!)
What about you Mom? Read any good books lately?
If you have not read Sharon and Laurie's books Mom...And Loving It! and Hold You, Mommy! I highly recommend them!
What about good family movies?
The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry
Moms 4 Family tv have produced five movies for tv over the last year that my family has really enjoyed. They are available on DVD now...The Secrets of the Mountain, The Jensen Project, A Walk in My Shoes, Change of Plans, and Truth be Told. They have another one scheduled to come out this summer called Field of Vision. Here is the trailer.
* Work first, then play
* Read a little/rest every afternoon
* On our idea list--we are going to try to limit it to one per day. My kids could wear me out jumping from one thing to the next!
* Ideas that are more pricey are limited to one every week or so (within reason)
* We live far from the big city with entertainment, so those "go" trips are limited to once a week
I made a list of the weekly housework jobs that have to be done. I want them to see what is expected before we can play. I also have a list of work projects that I want to do. Things like clean out my closet, clean out the kids toys and books, and clean out the garage. Oh, and Christmas shopping! My fall calendar is already crazy, so I need to get a jump start! Then there is a list of kids' responsibilities: keep your room clean, keep the house public ready (that means keep it in a state that I'm not totally embarrassed if someone drops by), do your house job for the week. My goal is to plan out the week where we have a few jobs each morning and get an idea for our fun. Hopefully that will help me to plan for fun and them to not badger me so much if they can see when it is coming.
Fun ideas that are a little pricy:
* Go to Chuck E. Cheese
* Go to the Children's Museum
* Go to the Activity Center
* Go to the movie (We have a drive-in near us, and we are planning to go see Cars 2 there! I've never been to a drive-in--I'm so excited!)
* Let the kids choose one of the kids kits at Hobby Lobby (hopefully when they are on sale), and take a day to actually do it!
* Go to a baseball game. We have a minor league team in our area, and we love to go see the Rangers!
* Go ride horses. My kids love that!
Some Go ideas that are less money:
* We have a state park near us that has a Children's Nature Program and it is free! Last year we did the Family Nature Hike and we really enjoyed it.
* Bowling--you can sign up for Kids Bowl Free all summer! (You still have shoe fees, but you save a lot!) If you have a participating bowling center near you, this is a good deal and family fun!
* Library story time
* Parks and Recreation Department might have weekly programs for kids. We had one where we used to live and it was great!
* Vacation Bible School
Fun at the House ideas:
* Toy Town--build lincoln log house, my daughter's horse stables, tinker toy playground, hot wheels race track and set up the train between it...we will have our own little town!
* Sleep outside in the tents
* Wii tournament
* Water guns
* Slip n slide
* Write cousins or friends
* Call/write grandparents
A few years ago, Focus on the Family had a program called the Character Crew. I printed off all the information and activities, but it was a little too much for them. Now I think it will work better. It is still available on online here.
On Initiative: Gb4Wb4F = God before Work before Fun.
We were just gong to put Wb4F, but we really want them to take initiative in growing their relationships with God. Our "W" has eyes inside it to show initiative, meaning "Look around to see what needs to be done." Take initiative in helping. It's been a big theme of ours. Mom and Dad don't need to tell you everything to do. If you see a bug that's dead on the floor that needs to be swept up, sweep it up. If the dogs have pawed the windows on the backdoors, clean them. Be self-motivated rather than mom-motivated.
A Game we played: one at a time, look around the house and come back with 3 things you see that you could take initiative to make better. Mom and Dad had to name 5 things. We started with the youngest then ended with Mom (even though I'm not the oldest...ahem!) and nobody could say what someone else had already said. It was a good exercise in opening our eyes.
On Bedtime/wake-time: We set some loose bedtimes and wake times.
On "I want to have a friend over":
1. Look at your calendar (each kid made one with their activities in one color and the rest of the family in another color).
2. Is anything going on during the time you want your friend to come over? Is Mom busy?
3. Always clear plans with Mom or Dad before talking or texting the person you want to invite.
On "What can I do? I'm bored!":
We got the kids to help us make a list of "Things I could do." They are workout, read, play Wii (our kids are earning TV and Wii time by reading or working on a math website), take initiative to clean something, talk on the phone, make food, play outside, have a friend over, volleyball, ride bikes, basketball, play on the trampoline, practice typing, work on creating a website (our teen), take pictures, create something, write out the plan for the week, ask Mom how I can help her...(I love that one!)
On "Hurry up, let's go!":
This is for all year...and I stole this from Laurie. She has asked her kids to say, "Mom do you need me to help with something" or "How can I help you?" or "Do you have your phone, keys, purse?" (ha ha ha! I'm forever leaving then coming back for something I've forgotten!) Instead of, "Let's go! What is taking so long!" How can I help you gets everybody on the same team and teaches them cooperation, grace, and servanthood.
On "I'm hungry!":
* We found these great popsicles at Target in the dollar spot--10 popsicles for $1! They have no high fructose corn syrup and are only 20 caleries each. The kids love them!
* Snacks between meals are okay, but need to be limited.
* One sweet thing per day. Go for some fruit!
* If you're hungry, ask Mom, "How can I help you with dinner?" I told them I would have e-mealz in the cabinets for them to be able to prepare if I was going to be out of pocket.
Do you have any ideas along these lines to help you thrive this summer?
You have found the main page of our Summer Box of Tricks! Check back often and see what we have added!
Ready or not...here comes summer!
Sharon and Pat's summer plan
Shelly's framework for the summer
Summer reading and movie suggestions
"I'm bored!" Suggestions
Some more helpful, inspiring ideas from other moms!
* In 2009 Jill Savage started a campaign of sorts to be a "yes" Mom. Read more about it on her blog here. (Notice that she hosted a contest before, but the deadline has already past. But the challenge to be a "yes" mom is still good!)
* This is one of my (Shelly's) real life friends, Jenni. She has a good idea for summer on her blog here.
People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Isaiah 26:3 The Message
* Fun games to play
Monday, May 23, 2011
At the time, we didn't regularly have dessert after supper, so for me to have planned to make a dessert was a big deal and the kids knew it. I was trying to get supper fixed and on the table while my 6-year-old son and 3-year old daughter were chasing each other through the kitchen into the living room and back through the kitchen in a circle. I had asked them to quit. My husband told them to quit. I asked them to quit again but it just wasn't happening--they were having too much fun! So finally I had enough and yelled, "Fine! You're not getting dessert!" Oh, the water works and the begging started! We finally got them calmed down enough to sit at the table, but they were still upset. Hubby asked if either of them would like to pray before supper. My son jumped at the chance. "Dear God, thank You for this food. And please let Mom and Dad change their mind about dessert. At least about me. I don't care if Sister gets it or not..." Honestly, I didn't hear the rest of the prayer because I was laughing too much!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
What are you thankful for this Thankful Thursday?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I've noticed that if I go on without telling my husband I'm struggling, I eventually blow up at him. But if I swallow my pride, and admit I'm wrong, and just tell him I'm strugglling, it "lets the air out," breaks down the wall I've been building, stops the vicious cycle, and as a result we can peacefully move on. My husband can be so understanding and loving when he knows I'm having a tough day. That's so much better than saying things that are hurtful to him, words I'll later regret.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Father, You have a better way. Please help me choose Your way instead of my selfish, prideful way. It really is easier that way. Teach me to love my husband and please help us grow into the couple You want us to be. In Jesus' Name amen.
from Sharon and Laurie's book Mom...And Loving It!
Monday, May 16, 2011
Hope that brings you a smile this Monday!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Unfortunately, the saying is true; "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I long for my face to be my family's refuge. The world can be a cruel place for our husbands and children. If they come home to a disagreeable, discontented wife/mom, their place of safety becomes uncomfortable for them. Some synonyms of refuge describe what a cheerful look can be for our family: a safe haven, a sanctuary, a shelter, a place of safety and protection, a harbor, and a retreat. It is my goal for my husband to look at me, no matter where we are, and feel "safe." The neat thing is, when my face is loving, loving words and actions usually follow.
This is my goal--not something I've completely achieved, but what I'm aiming for. I have to remind myself that this is my goal or I fall into a marital slump and my face slides back into the sour-apple pose again. The couple I saw at church lovingly looking at each other reminded me that I was doing it again--looking disagreeable. By the look on her husband's face, I knew he had found a safe place in her face--at least that day. She's probably not that way all the time either. But that incident jolted me out of my selfish, discouraging frame of mind and back into the reality I want to live in , one of love and encouragement for my husband.
[The Man] You're so beautiful, my darling, so beautiful, and your dove eyes are veiled by your hair as it flows and shimmers, like a flock of goats in the distance streaming down a hllside in the sunshine. Your smile is generous and full--expressive and strong and clean. Your lips are jewel red, your mouth elegant and inviting, your veiled cheeks soft and radiant. The smooth, lithe lines of your neck command notice--all heads turn in awe and admiration!
Song of Solomon 4:1-3
Monday, May 9, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
A few weeks ago we shared what is it about our children we are thankful for. Today let's look at moms. What is it about being a mom are you thankful for? If you would like to honor your mother, what are you thankful for about her?
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I began with the oldest. Alec did pretty well keeping the most of the paint on the wall. Only a little got on his elbow when he accidentally bumped the wet paint. Next came the six-year-old. Tripping over the drop cloth as she entered the room, Abby caught herself between the wall and dresser. She already had paint down one side of her body, and she hadn't even begun painting.
Frustrated by her clumsiness, I scolded, "Be careful, honey! You are going to get paint everywhere!" Apologizing, she stood at attention, waiting for her orders. Providing her with specific instructions, I handed over the paint roller.
She was a little surprised that it was more challenging than she'd anticipated. However, she was determined; she rolled most of the paint out of the roller. As she refilled her roller with paint, it seemed to have a leak at one end. It dripped down the roller, missing the paint pan (of course), and fell on the drop cloth.
She looked up at me with an "oops" look on her face. With little patience, I responded, "Don't step in it or you'll track it all over the house!" She finally finished her section of the wall, and now it was the three-year old daughter's turn. (What was I thinking?) I wiped my brow and sighed with exasperation. I tried my best to put on a "happy face" as my littlest bounced toward the room. She had been waiting patiently for "her turn."
As she walked in the door, she leaned in one direction to step around the furniture. As she did, she put her hand on the wall to brace herself. Immediately she removed her hand and looked at me with a stunned expression. "Avery, honey," I said, "you can't touch the wall. Remember, it's wet." I looked around for something to clean her hand, but found nothing. I pulled at my shirt. "Here, wipe your hands on this" I said. She apologized profusely as she excitedly approached the painting pan. I handed her the paint roller, and she did her best to get most of the paint on the wall.
She was doing great until she got off balance and leaned into the wall. Again, she forgot and caught herself with her hand. Suddenly I felt all the patience drain from my body. I had none left. I raised my voice impatiently: "Avery, don't touch the wall!"
Disappointed in herself, she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, "I'm sorry, Mommy. I didn't mean to." I told her it was okay, and she wiped her hand on my shirt once again. I convinced her that Mommy could finish the rest.
Several days after finishing the project, I was unloading the dryer. As I began folding the clothes, I pulled my old paint shirt from the pile. I was shocked when I saw it. There on the front of my shirt was a perfect little green handprint. Tears welled up in my eyes as I gazed at it. You see, I had been so worried about getting the job done "right" that I had forgotten to focus on what was important--enjoying the journey with my precious children.
Now, every time I see that shirt, I am thankful that Avery fell into the paint that day. If she hadn't, I wouldn't have such a vivid reminder of how precious life is!
Lord, help me to remember that being a parent is a privilege, not a punishment. Please don't let the weight of my daily responsibilities rob me of my sense of wonder. Remind me that the children You have placed in my care are as individually unique as their handprints. I thank You, Lord, for each of my children, and I am grateful that You've given them to me. Amen.
Mother's Day idea for the grandmothers: use your kids' handprints on the gift so that it has a personal touch only they can give.
from Laurie and Sharon's book Hold You, Mommy.
Monday, May 2, 2011
My oldest son came and reported that my 2-year-old daughter had thrown a shoe away. So I went to the trash and retrieved the shoe. There it was. Complete with the dead bug she had killed on the bottom of it! (She wasn't a big fan of bugs at the time!)
Hope you have a good week.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Do you have any funny bug stories with your kids this spring?
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Growing to believe Him more, Sharon
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sometimes my kids will confess things they are thinking if they feel guilty for their thoughts. I tell them that just because they have a bad thought or idea doesn't mean they have sinned. Just as we don't intend to let a fly into our house, thoughts can loom at the door of our minds and enter without invitation. It's when we don't do anything to rid ourselves of the pesky thought that it becomes sin.
I believed my kids were the ones who needed to hear this advice as they struggled with thoughts that made them feel guilty. However, as Laurie and I talked one day, she said, "Sharon, we're doing the same thing. We're beating ourselves up for things we think. Maybe I am about to blow up inside, making me feel guilty, but when I don't blow up I'm exercising self-control--and that's something I can feel good about."
As moms, it's easy for us to be hard on ourselves, feeling guilty for things that were only thoughts. But we need to remember something: If we didn't stop there, unload, and hang pictures on the wall, we haven't done anything wrong. It's when we dwell there that we run into problems.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says, "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." That's how we fight the tendency to dwell on things that take our eyes off of the Lord. When the thoughts come, take them to the Lord and get rid of the ones that don't match His character.
If you are dwelling on something you said to your kids (maybe you jumped all over them for swinging and bruising the grocery bag full of fresh fruit), ask forgiveness from God and your kids--then move on. When you feel guilty for your harsh words again, don't start building a house around that thought; rather, shoo it out the door of your mind because you have been forgiven.
If you are having silent conversations with your husband because he left his clothes out again, take that thought captive, and tear down the walls that have started going up by praying for him as you put the lost clothes where they belong. If you're feeling guilty for the actions of your children (such as when they fuss about anything and everything), pray for them and discipline when you need to, but remember: We are all responsible for our own actions, not the actions of others (including our children).
Where have you been dwelling today? Where will you live for the rest of today! The good news is, you have a choice. When those thoughts sneak into your mind, take them captive. don't dwell there. No one wants to live in that neighborhood!
Lord, You know the thoughts that are common to my mind. Help me to not feel guilty for things I think that I immediately push out of my thoughts. And help me identify those things that I am dwelling on that have already begun to build walls--walls that need to be torn down. One day spent in Your house beats thousands spent elsewhere. I'd rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin (Psalm 84:10). Open my eyes when I'm living somewhere other than with You. How lovely is Your dwelling place! Dwelling on You, in Jesus' Name, amen.
from Sharon and Laurie's book Hold You, Mommy.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Have your likes changed over the years too? What spring activities do you enjoy with your family?
Monday, April 4, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
What are you thankful for today?
Posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries Assistant
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
We don't get a morning briefing or a map of our day. Actually, it is probably a good thing because there are days that if I had known what was coming, I would have just crawled back in bed! Here is one such day...
About 3 years ago, my youngest son was 2 and he woke me up early. He was wet from head to toe! I striped him down, cleaned him up, and got a new diaper. Then I went to his room to change the sheets, but his bed was completely dry. How could he be that wet and his bed be totally dry? About that time my daughter said, "Eew!" as she leaned on big brother's bed. Evidently, my youngest son crawled in my older son's bed after he went to school, and went back to sleep. So I started stripping the bed and cleaning the carpet. I went into my bathroom to get a rag for the carpet job and found my 2 year old spraying bathroom cleaner all over the bathroom! I finally got ALL that cleaned up and got breakfast ready. Thankfully I had just put the lid back on the very full bottle of purple grape juice because it got pushed off the cabinet! Then my daughter proceeded to spill the milk in her cereal. To which I responded in a loud, stern, frustrated mom voice, "Sit down, eat your breakfast, and stop goofin' off!" My daughter replied in a loud, stern, frustrated daughter voice, "Is that the way you talk to your daughter?" (Yes, it is going to get very interesting at our house in a few years!)
We finally made it through breakfast. My mom called to tell me something (more on that in a minute). While I was reading about that online, I heard sounds in the bathroom. I found my youngest picking up a wad of toilet paper out of the potty, squeezing it, and dropping it back in the potty. I really think he dropped it because I scared him when I yelled, "Gross! Gross! Gross!" (I'm praying it was clean water that he put clean paper in!) Got that all cleaned up...again gross! Later I was holding him and kissed his forehead and his hair was wet. I thought Oh, I hope that was just sweat! And it wasn't even lunchtime yet!
The phone call from my mom was to see if I had heard about Steven Curtis Chapman's family. His baby daughter, Maria, who just turned 5 was killed in a car accident. Their story was so similar to my family's that I was just sad all day and cried several times. As I recounted my day to my husband, I laughed about it. And then I cried because I'm sure my Mom, as well as the Chapman family, would treasure another potty diving day, and I spent the day being frustrated with my kids. It was definitely one of those days that I would have crawled back in bed had I known what was coming!
But we do know the One who sees it all and knows what is coming, and He gives us the grace to face whatever may come. Stephen Curtis Chapman has a song that says, "To Him the future is history." Our Heavenly Father invites us to meet with Him each morning, so He can remind us how much He loves us and give us direction for life. Then no matter what adventure may come in the day, we can say, "It is a good thing I have my Jesus to face the day."
Monday, March 28, 2011
Tuesday--Partly Cloudy, 68
Wednesday--Partly Cloudy, 67
The weatherman had not quite reached that part of the report yet. He was covering the pollen count for the day and it was laid out in similar format:
To which my son, age 5 at the time, commented, "Boy! That last day is going to be a hot one!"
Warmer temperatures are on the way, but hopefully not that hot! And if you are suffering because of all the allergies in the air, please pass the Puffs!
Posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries Assistant
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Why is marriage so hard? I knew there would be struggles, but this is so much work, and now that I'm a mom, I'm really tired! I was relieved to find compassion in Jesus' teaching in Mathew 19. He says, "'Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn't for everyone....But if you're capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it'" (vv.11-12 The Message). I'm convinced that if we are married, we are capable of growing into the largeness of marriage with God's strength. But it is a huge undertaking, something we must grow into. Marriage is a relationship we start learning about the day we get married, and if we're smart we'll keep learning for the rest of our lives.
It's encouraging to know that marriage is no picnic for anyone. Marriage is work for every couple, no matter how easy they make it look. Research shows that the couples that have good marriages have the same amount of conflict that people with troubled marriages have. The difference is in how they deal with it. Marriage is worth the work. Don't give in just because it gets hard.
You know my heart for my husband. You know when I'm glad to be married to him and You know when I'm not so happy about being committed to him. With the demands of children and life sometimes I forget him, Lord. I forget why I was so giggly about him and what we did before we were married. Help me to remember. Restore what we have lost and grow us beyond what we can imagine. Forgive me for missing opportunities to encourage him and for the times when I chose to tear him down instead. Help me to work on myself rather than always trying to "fix" him. I want to love being his wife, just as I want to love being a mom. Help me to persevere when times are tough. Please help us both to grow into the couple You want us to be. Trusting You as I begin again, I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Adapted from Laurie and Sharon's book Mom...And Loving It!
Monday, March 21, 2011
An adventure the past year for our family has been an ag project and going to stock shows. This past January we went to the Fort Worth Stock Show for the first time where my 10 year old showed his lamb. When he was packing for the trip, he was cracking me up! He said, "Mom, I want to look professional. Like I totally know what I'm doing and have been here before." (It is amazing what they pick up from us! He gets that from his dad!)
During some of their down time before the show, he decided he needed his boots shined because, you know, he wanted to look professional!
Has your family tried any new adventures this year?
Posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries Assistant
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Our theme for March is adventures. Along our life journey, events can be life changing, and they can be good or... well...not so good. In fact, they can be down right scary and painful! There are some adventures that you anticipate, pack for and are very excited about! Like Spring Break Trips! Those are fun and I'm so glad we have those in life! Then there are some adventures that you get a little warning to prepare and you don't really want to put the plan in action. Sometimes it happenes and sometimes it doesn't. Then some adventures you find your self right in the middle of it before you even know what is happening--a loss, a change, a surprise, an earthquake. We have to enjoy the ones that we can. And the tough ones, know that our Heavenly Father is with us no matter what comes. Our job is to trust Him.
The Bible tells us of many of Paul's adventures. Sometimes he found wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who encouraged him on his way. Other times he was run out of town, barely escaping with his life. This is what he said:
Whatever I have, wherever I am,
Philippians 4:11-13 The Message
I wrote this before the disaster in Japan, and a little grassfire seems to pale in comparison. We are praying for the people of Japan, as they have found themselves in the middle of a very hard situation.
Posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries Assistant
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday after church we stopped at Sonic to pick up lunch. We had our food and headed home. My husband turned left and pulled out into the turning lane and drove there for a little bit (I wasn't scared yet) before he realized he needed to scoot on over to the right lane. He said, "Oh, I guess I could move over." As he was saying that, our three-year-old was saying, "Dodge and weave! Dodge and weave!" (He had recently watched Disney's Cars.) I was laughing so hard that it took me a minute to interpret what he was saying for our driver!
Do you have any funny traveling or adventure stories we could share this month? We would love to hear it! You can send them to Shelly(at)momandlovingit(dot)org.
Posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries Assistant
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Some Other Prayer Requests:
- Everything has gone as planned except for the speed we use gas in the Hilliard's van as they pull the trailer...about 10.5 miles/gallon. I've never been so glad to see Clines Corners in all my life! They were on fumes after filling up not much before that. We are praying that God will stretch the gas as far as it will go. He could multiply food - why not gas?
- Also, pray that God will grow our marriages while we're out here. It's no shock that trips can put a strain on relationships, but I'm planning on getting better.
- We will be speaking to over 600 moms while we're in California. Pray for our hearts as we continue to prepare and for the ladies to be receptive. We hope they will be able to take some resources home that will encourage them after we're gone.
We got into our hotel very late last night, but I was wide awake at 6:30, so I'm getting a little quiet time. Laurie did the same! Crazy...I think we're excited! But, we are hoping for a nap later.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Many of you won't be in Southern California next week, but you will be praying for us. Thank you so much! We really appreciate it! Hope you have an adventurous sping break, even if it is in your backyard!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
One night we slept in tents in our backyard. We set up two tents--two kids in one, and Mom with one kid in the other. That was the plan anyway. Reality found all four of us and the dog in one kid-sized tent! For breakfast we had pancakes (which is a treat at our house) just like we do when we go camping in Colorado in the summer.
The next day we had a bike ride to the playground. It wasn't anything too expensive, but it was out of our ordinary. Perfect for a spring break adventure close to home!
Do you have adventurous spring break plans? Even if it is close to home!
Posted by Shelly, Mom and Loving It Ministries Assistant
Monday, March 7, 2011
Have you seen the Amazing Race? Around 5:00 on Sundays, my family starts checking the time hoping that 60 Minutes stays within it’s allotted 60 minutes allowing The Amazing Race to come on at 7. We are real fans. I’ve been bugging my brother for years to be my partner and try to be on the show. We would be the middle-aged siblings…and we’d win because we’re both pretty scrappy and can do a little bit of everything.
Chris and I were the perfect contestants. My family was so convinced that we would be on the show that they were already sad about my being gone so long! Such sweet supporters!
Dec. 15, 2010. The Amazing Race was having try-outs in Durant, OK only an hour from our homes. This was our chance. It must be meant to be since the auditions were so close! We decided what to wear - Texas Rangers shirts to represent Texas and our Rangers who made their first ever trip to the World Series in 2010 (Go Rangers!) I even bought a new pair of boots!
I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I thought we were the only and biggest fans of this show. (That’s why it’s been on TV for so many seasons!) We were ready. Scripted, sort of. There wouldn’t be more than a few people and we would shine above them all.
After hours of waiting and meeting all sorts of people around us, some that had driven from Austin, Dallas, Lubbock, Arkansas, and Houston, we finally made it to the waiting area with actual chairs. That made me nervous. When it was our turn, I lost my brain. I stuttered, babbled, and didn’t even use my best line… “I’ve traveled the country with my sister, I thought it would be great to see the world with my brother!” I’d practiced it for weeks and then when it was time, I forgot! (Now y’all just think I’m weird! It was a humiliating experience.)
Our amazing adventure had been summed up in a few hours! That was all there was going to be.
By the time we left, there were over 500 teams. I felt very insignificant. In fact, over the Christmas break, I struggled with how big the world is and where is my place and what’s so special about me and why do I try to do anything because there’s somebody who will do it better. I was so worried that I hadn’t “wowed” the producers, I failed to remember I already had the approval of The Producer.
I had forgotten that “Jesus loves me.” He knows my name. He even knows how many hairs are on my head. I’m not just a number in the sea of humanity.
Colossians 3:12 calls those who know Christ,
“God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…”
The world is a big place, but instead of trying to impress some other human, my worth can never be shaken when I find it in The One who has chosen me to live this day, for such a time as this, in my house, and in my community.
If you’re feeling insignificant today, don’t bite into the lie that looms in front of you. Instead, look up and know that He smiles when He thinks of you. He loves you and has an amazing race planned for your life. It starts today, so…On your mark, get set…GO!
“For I know the plans I have for You, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I'm finding that it's much easier to have kids who are willing to "clean-out" when they have the adventure of a trip in front of them. While looking for clothes that fit for this fun adventure, we are cleaning out, too. It's much easier to get them moving when there is something to look forward to.
Sometimes our family is a last minute group (I think that's mostly my fault!) But, hopefully this time, we've planned a little better and won't be running around like chickens with our heads cut off at the last minute. (Now there's an interesting conversation to have with your kids...chickens running around...eeeeyoooo!)
We would really appreciate your prayers as we head out. We'll have LOTS of hours in the car from Texas to California. While we are there, we'll have the opportunity to speak to 600+ moms. What an amazing opportunity and incredible responsibility. To God Be The Glory!!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I decided the best way to end this series was to be an example of loving myself. Love yourself today, tomorrow, the month of March, the whole year by giving yourself a break. I’ve been kicking "me" for the past week when I realized that even if I wrote a blog everyday, I still wouldn’t get enough in before the 28th! I felt like a failure!
But, girl to girl, I’m telling you that I just couldn’t get it all done. And admitting it makes me feel much better. Not that I’m a quitter, or even a slacker. I don’t feel that. I do feel like I’ve written what God had for me to share even if that’s not the nice box of 14 that I thought it was going to be.
So, while I’m asking you to let me off the hook, and as I give myself a break, I want to know what you need to be free from. In what areas do you need to love on yourself by giving yourself some slack? What is dragging you down? How are you bound by guilt today?
You certainly don’t have to share, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel better after you do.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 Completion might not always appear as I think it should, but that doesn't mean it's not complete. So from the __ Days of Love ... The End.
In March...as we can, we'll be blogging about our trip to California. We leave March 11th. If you'd like to pray for us, let us know and we can give you specifics.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Last week, I woke up the girls. At least I tried to wake them. About the third time, I was less than patient. I immediately started thinking, "I'm raising lazy children. They are going to get fired from their jobs someday because they oversleep!" (nothing like jumping to conclusions!) With all that emotion running through my mind, at breakfast I spoke in short, enunciated sentences...like an angry drill sergeant. I was grumpy, therefore, they were grumpy. I was irritated, therefore, they were irritated. I dropped them off to school angry, therefore they started their day angry.
And I heard about it after school. They told me how mean I had been. Mostly they were right.
Our influence goes much further when we stop trying to fix, correct, or change. Instead, listen. They will feel much more loved when we skip the first things so we can think before speaking - an area that needs plenty of practice in my life!
"The words of the reckless pierce like swords,but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18
*Pg. 15, Ballantine Books, 2008