Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary Babe!

12 ~ 31 ~ 04

Babe... I can't imagine my life without you.  I have fallen more in love with you in 8 short years than I could have possibly dreamed of in a lifetime.  You are my very best friend and I adore every moment I spend with you.

Who would have thought that a young and naive thirteen year old girl who prayed and prayed and prayed for someone just like you would receive such a perfect gift.  God answers prayers.  

I love you so very much!  Thank you for making my life so amazing.    










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Friday, December 28, 2012

When Parents Become Yellers


I've written posts here before about not yelling... and trust me, I haven't arrived yet.  But things have gotten so much better. 

Hear me out please... raising our voices and letting our frustration seep out of bulging veins on forehead is NOT the answer.  It may make said parent feel better for the moment, but in the end it leaves the house shattered, guilt-ridden and one step behind the goal of peaceful children and peaceful parents.

When our first child was born, all was dreamy.  We kept our cool and never yelled.  We were the perfect parents.... hehum.  When other parents raised their voices to their children, my husband and I would give one another that we'd never speak to our child like THAT, glance.

Then came the second child... and the third.  Things get much more hectic and what was once man to man defense is now zone.  Let's just say that a parent that thinks they are calm can quickly become unraveled over time.  One compromise to raise our voice as parents can quickly turn into another and another and then we become that yelling parent we all despise.  You get the picture.

My husband and I are both first-born, type A human beings.  We like order and structure and control and when we feel out numbered, we crumble under pressure.

But, we are both really really striving to be calm, Spirit-led parents.  Just after a few days of no yelling, no harsh, quick-tempered responses, we find that our kids are less agitated, more swift to obey, and have the right God-honoring attitudes.  

So if you are parents that sometimes yell or it's turned into yelling all the time, consider making changes as the parents.  I mean, if we can't pull it together, how can we expect our children to?

Remember:

1) Pray about staying calm as the parent.
2) Make a conscious effort to not yell.
3) Each time you make that choice, it will get easier.
4) It eventually becomes a habit not to yell, and instead, stay calm.
5) Give it a week and let me know if you see a difference in your home.

Ephesians 4:29-32
"29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snow Storm 2012

We are staying inside today... we got at least 14-21 inches!  Do you have snow?








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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Creating Meaningful Christmas Memories



Family traditions create significant imprints on the hearts of people, especially our little ones!  Here are some creative things you might like to try with your family this Christmas season:

1.Make A Jesus Paper Chain.  
Cut out 25 pieces of constructions paper with your kids.  Read the Christmas Story from Luke 2.  Write down key points onto those pieces of paper.  String them together in a long chain and rip one off each day leading up to Christmas!

2.Give Toys Away. 
Encourage your children to give away some toys they no longer use or play with to another child in need.  Teach them the valuable lesson, to give is better than to receive.  

3.The Tree. 
Decorate your Christmas tree as a family while you sing your favorite Christmas songs.

4.Light Candles At Dinner Time.
For the month of December, light candles at dinner time and talk about how Jesus is the light of the world! (John 8:12)

5.Hot Cocoa Bar & Movie Night.
Set up a hot cocoa bar.  Fill bowls with marshmallows, candy canes, and other fun treats.  Have your children pick and choose what they want to add to their hot cocoa.  Then pop in your family's favorite Christmas movie.  We love The Polar Express!

6.Pajamas And Christmas Lights.
Before bed one night, head out in your pajamas (parents too) and ride around in the car looking at Christmas lights.  Surprise your children last minute!

7.Christmas Stories On CD.
Head over to your local library and check out some Christmas story audio books.  Listen to them as a family in the evening instead of watching television.  

8.Gift For Jesus.
Have your children make a gift for Jesus and put it under the tree.  Encourage them to be creative and thoughtful.

9.Christmas Music.
Play it all the time!

10.Baking Day. 
Pick a day in December to bake away!  Take tins of cookies to your neighbors with homemade tracts created by your kids.  Have them draw a picture of what Christmas is all about and why Jesus loves them.  Then copy the picture and include it with the cookies!  Most likely, your neighbors will be more willing to accept the love of Jesus from a child.

11.Family Devotions.
This year we will be reading from the My Christmas Bible Story Book.  Children look forward to Christmas all year long, but it is important to teach them the real meaning of Christmas.

12.Gingerbread House.
Assemble and decorate one as a family.  We've never doe this, but I think this year we will!

13.Christmas Pancakes.
On Christmas Eve morning, make pancakes with green and red sprinkles in them!

14.After Christmas Blessing.
What happens to all those photos you receive from people for Christmas?  Do they get stuffed in the drawer only to collect dust?  Instead, on January 1st, pull out one per day and have your family pray for them!

Remember, don't strive for busy moments and miss the blessings!  If your family is doing too much and it is more of a hassle and burden, slow down and just spend quality time together.  One of the best gifts you can give your children this season is your dedicated attention and love.

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Are You Giving God That Which Has Been Trampled Upon?


I was reading in Malachi this morning and it really convicted my heart.  In chapter 1, it's talking about the Lord's unfailing love for Israel, despite Israel's faithlessness.  Take a look at the priest's offerings:

  • polluted
  • blind animals
  • lame and sick
  • vanity
  • mock God
  • no fear
  • stolen
  • cheated
The Lord says in verse 11, "For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts."

I want that which I give to the Lord to be out of a pure and honest heart.  I want my offering to Him, not to be given out of obligation, duty, or haphazardly, but out of holiness and reverence and honor to His name.

May we offer unto Him our very breath.  What can you and I give Him today that hasn't been polluted, stolen, and cheated?  Are we giving Him our leftovers?  Are we giving Him that which has been trampled over and ripped and beaten?  Or, are we giving Him our very best?  That which costs us something because of the beautiful cost of His blood upon Calvary for you and me?

For most of us, it is OUR TIME.  Look at your day and evaluate how you are wasting the time He has given you.  How can you maximize it for His glory?  What can you cut out of your day and what do you need to focus on?  It might mean less time on the computer or less television for your kids.  It may mean thinking of creative ways to love on your husband.  It may require getting up 15 minutes earlier to open you Bible and spend time in fellowship with Him.

What is He speaking to you about right now?  Listen, and obey. 


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Giveaway- 2 Books



One Wintry Night, by Ruth Bell Graham is so well written and engaging!  We've been reading a chapter a night leading up until Christmas.  The illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful and the Christmas story is uniquely written.  How?  A young boy hears it told for the first time--from the beginning of creation ending with Christ's resurrection.  Your children will be sure to capture the whole picture of Christmas and Christ's purpose in their little lives!  Take a peek inside >>>> LOOK HERE.

2nd Giveaway:


My Christmas Bible Storybook is perfect for your little one to read on their own!  This book is full of sweet stories, songs, prayers, and scriptures that display the real reason for Christmas.  Take a peek inside>>>>LOOK HERE.

Tommy Nelson will be giving away these 2 books to one blessed reader.  Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

No Peace In Newtown, Connecticut

I was just looking at this picture on pinterest this morning and marveling at the beauty of it.

How ironic that at the very moment I was looking at it, there was anything but peace going on in the quaint town of Newtown, Connecticut. 

Peace on Earth... we sing it this time of year.

I scold children for leaving crumpled piles of clothes on the bedroom floor.  For things like not fighting with your siblings and please flush the toilet when you are done going.

I am almost certain that the mommy's and daddy's of the victims of the December 14th Connecticut shooting would give anything to have dirty piles of clothes, the echos of arguments and full toilets.

Sometimes we forget that our children are not invincible.  They can be taken from us at any moment.  They are not our own.

And yet, I want them to be my own.  I want to protect them and put them in a bubble if need be from all the nasty fallen junk in this world.  But I can't.  There's just no way...

BUT JESUS...

No matter how horrific this senseless act is, I must respond with, Jesus, you are Lord and in control.

There are just no words to comfort a parent that has lost a child.  Nothing to utter that will take away the flooding of emotion that those dear parents must be experiencing at this very moment.

BUT JESUS...

I will lift them up to Him, because He is the only one that can heal a broken heart.

Will you join me in fervently praying for all involved?
Will you join me in pulling your little ones in close to your chest?  Tonight, and always.

Will you join me in giving your children back to Jesus, and loosening the grip... because we just cannot keep them from all harm.  

No law is big enough to protect.
No restraint is big enough to protect.

Only a heart change... a God-heart-change.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

All Because Of Jesus


We bend and sway to the rhythm of life.  A cool breeze against a sun-kissed face can meet face to face with dark clouds and crashing waves upon a darkened soul.  There are joys that take our breath away and pain that cuts straight through the gut threatening to steal our last bit of air.

For me, I would be consumed by life if not for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am who I am because of Him.  Anything good that comes from this earthen vessel is all because of Him.

And so... if life has got you down today, do you have a Savior in your life called Jesus?  God's Holy Word says, "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

If you have Jesus as Savior, but have forgotten to acknowledge Him in your life, won't you return home into your Father's arms?  He's waiting patiently, longing for your return.  Lay it down, it's just not worth it.  Jesus is the only thing in this life that can truly bring you joy, peace, and fulfillment!  

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cancun, Mexico 2012 Pictures

Our trip was amazing!  Here are some pictures.  Wish I could  have taken all of you with me in my suitcase!  I hope this helps you feel like you were there too!



































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