So...it's been awhile. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but we've been quiet. Really quiet. As in "crickets chirping in the background" quiet. We simply haven't known what to say. We've been praying that God would be clear in a time when everything is so unclear. This might sound a bit dramatic and you're probably thinking, "Oh my goodness! WHAT in the ever loving world is going on?!?"Read More
Watching In A New Way
There is something I absolutely love almost as much as books (ok, not quite as much, but a very close second). MOVIES!! A good story in movie form can really change things for me. I can be in the worst mood ever, sit down and watch a good movie, and come out of that experience changed. Anyone with me? But lately, movies have taken on an altogether new meaning for me as my relationship with God has grown and I began to realize that His Love is quite literally CHASING me. I began to sit through movies with the expectation and openness that perhaps God had a message for me in it. Now it just so happens that oftentimes, the movies I am watching are children's movies (seriously...Rough Night is just not appropriate for my little people) and I cannot help but find Him in them.
One of my absolute favorite children's movies is The Croods. I remember the first time I saw it (yes, I have watched it many times) I had no idea what it was about and was just looking for something to do with my kids. When we left the theater, my heart was overflowing and I was in tears!!!! I absolutely LOVED it because of the dad in it. He is strong, protective, seriously loves his family and is really funny (we all know how much I love to laugh!). He reminds me so much of my own dad who I absolutely ADORE and has been one of the greatest influences in my life! But I love this movie even more because of what God shared with me as I watched.Read More
Over the years I've read a lot of devotionals. I am a HUGE fan of starting my day off focused on Truth and God. But I am not a huge fan of mornings, so I like something short to read (fact: I am not mentally functioning until around 10:30am and I have to read God's truth like three times before I actually comprehend it, so it's gotta be SHORT). There are many devotionals that I could talk about, but there's one that's made the most difference.
What Gets In The Way
I've shared here about this before but I can't help but share again. Quite simply, the best devotional I have ever read is the Bible. Now, I know this statement may bring up all kinds of thoughts and emotions in people. Seriously pay attention to how you feel right now. Notice any resistance? I'm the same! There are so many times when I think things like...
Well I'm not a pastor. Who am I to think I'll understand the Bible? Who can understand what this means? Thee, thou, WHAT?
It's so ancient! It's not relevant to my life NOW. Seriously, what are the chances of me getting eaten by a whale???
I don't have time for this!
And then there are times when I just don't feel like reading it. Sort of like when my kids don't want to do what I'm asking them to (even though it will HELP them!) because they're in a defiant mood. All of those thoughts have kept me from taking the time to dive into my Bible. However, every single time that I do? HOLY MOLY!!! God speaks, teaches, encourages, comforts, and inspires!
There are a few things that have really helped me in this process.Read More
Confession: I am embarrassed by my laugh. All my friends know that when I find something funny, I can't help but laugh. But also I cover my mouth and laugh silently. I don't recall when this habit started or what event triggered this need to hide, but I'm guessing somewhere along the way my laugh drew some unwanted attention. That's not surprising to me because I LOVE to laugh. I find a lot of things funny. A good joke (even knock, knocks!), witty replies hidden in serious conversation, when someone hurts themselves (oh my goodness, PUHLEASE, I cannot help myself!). Yes, that instinct to laugh can, at times, make me pretty uncomfortable, but also has been such a gift in my life.
My childhood was rough. It was nothing many children haven't gone through (divorce, custody battles, living apart from my mom and brothers, lots of anger and resentment floating around all the time). As a little person, I was dealing with some pretty serious stuff that HURT. I can recall feeling actual physical pain during these emotional moments. But one thing could always get me out of the pain - LAUGHTER. My dad or brother would always crack a joke at the perfect time that brought that smile and laugh right out of me. It never changed my circumstances but it sure did change how I was going through them.Read More
Finding the Book That Fits
One thing I quickly realized when I became a parent was that I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing and that I was going to need all the help I could get. I began reading every single parenting book I could get my hands on (ESPECIALLY every book on how to get your baby to sleep!). Which also quickly led to my next realization: no one parenting book fit any of my kids exactly. There were certain books that offered a little bit more for me, and some that just didn't work at all. But I did discover that I could find a tip or two in each book that was a match for our family, and could really inspire some productive guidance.
Practical Is My Perfect
One of my absolute favorite parenting books is Creative Correction. I am a super practical person. Poetry and flowery words or sentences that I really have to think a lot about just aren't my thing. Give me a spelled out, actual hands-on strategy and I am SOLD! This book is CHOCK full of helpful ideas that you can use as a parent. Each chapter ends with a "tool box" of ideas that you can pick and choose from. It deals with everything from sibling conflict to chores to public outings to whining to understanding God's truth. One idea from the book that saved my sanity in the summer when my kids were younger was to take them to Chuck E. Cheese's on the first day of summer and buy a BUNCH of tokens. Watching their eyes during these outings was so much fun! Then we came home and created kindness jars and marked the calendar for our return two months later. Over the course of the summer, every time they were kind I would add a token to their jar. Whatever they had in their jar by our chosen date was what they had to play with. We all loved it and it really helped keep our focus on developing the habit of kindness. I know that is not a practice every family will like and some people will fundamentally disagree with. But it was gift to us!! When I read this book I did so with a group of friends. Different ideas stuck out to different people and each of us found ideas that worked for us.Read More