Sunday, October 31, 2010

Motivated Monday

Well, I have new running shoes. I have googled running plans. The weather has been great lately. I don't have anymore excuses. Now, I have to just walk out the door. It sounds easy, but it is sooooo hard. I have been incredibly sedentary for an incredible amount of time. So, my first goal is to walk 30 minutes at least 3 times this week. I hope to do every day, but 3 times is my minimum.

When this get easy, I will speed up the pace, and then start adding in short jogs. Like walk 5 minutes, jog 1 minute. The theory is that the walk minutes will decrease and the running minutes will increase.

Right now, this is my only goal, aside of drinking plenty of water. I think some success with exercise will be the motivation I need to change my diet. Plus, with the holidays right here.....

I know there are personal battles within me that have always encouraged failure in these areas, but I know that I don't have to listen to them. I know that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. I just need to rely on His strength. Please pray for me this week! (I can't say that I am excited about this.)

Pray for your husband #33

Thank you for these areas in my husband's life where I see you working: _________, _________, ________, _________. Complete every good work in him to your glory.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pray for your husband #32

Father, take ______'s hand so that he will not fear. Lead him through difficult times, and let him know you are near. You are his God, and he will not be dismayed. You will strengthen him, help him, and uphold him with your right hand (Is. 41:10).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Day!!!

A few days ago, we declared it Pumpkin Day! Here are some things we did!

*We started the day off with some baked pumpkin oatmeal! YUM!!!

*We sang lots of fun fall/pumpkin songs!

*We painted big pumpkins using marbles, and then dot painted little pumpkins. We then made a fall garland out of our art pieces.
 (The boys turned it into finger/arm painting of course.)

*We read It's Pumpkin Time, and learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin. Then, the kids put the stages in order. I got this idea at Homeschool Success!

 *We read a little devotional book based on the book The Pumpkin Patch Parable, and the kids colored it.
 We read the poem, 5 Little Pumpkins, and made gospel telling jack-o-lanterns.
 *Noah played!
 He loves getting things out of his big tub!
 *We cleaned out our pumpkin! Yuck!
 Kaiden didn't want his picture taken today, but I ended up with this great one!
 That made him really upset.
 Still cleaning...

 Noah enjoyed watching and having a snack. That is me in the background carving the pumpkin.
 Here is our jack-o-lantern!!!
 Finally, after cleaning up, we roasted the seeds and enjoyed a pumpkin snack!
I got such GREAT printables and ideas!!! Unfortunately, I have lost where it all came from. PLEASE let me know if you posted one of these ideas and I will link to you! Thank you!

Pray for your husband #31

Bless my husband with rich study time. I rebuke any distractions that would rob him of his time with you - heavy work loads, worry, fatigue, greed. Let him seek your presence.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pray for your husband #30

God, give _______ favor with his peers (Prov. 11:4). Keep him from comparing himself to other men, and guard him from unhealthy ambitions (2 Cor. 10:18).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Pumpkin Patch

Pray for your husband #29

Holy Father, give my husband faith for signs and wonders. Extend his faith to heal the sick, cast out evil, and invoke your Kingdom in any place. Cause him to have faith like Abraham (Acts 3,4).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pray for your husband #28

Lord, let my husband live as a free man, yet as a servant to God. Let him show respect for all authority, yet fear God more than man.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Advent!!! My very favorite season of the year!

As we approach November, I start getting excited and planning our advent!

I could actually do without Christmas day, which I cannot figure out how to celebrate as I wish we could. Commercialism and Santa have taken over, and usually we are not in our home, so we go along with the traditions of the home we are visiting. At best, I have crammed in the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible. I tired of this struggle years ago, and now focus on advent.

Advent is wonderful!!! It is the anticipation and preparing of our hearts for the coming of our Lord! There are many different traditions that families do to teach their children and enjoy these sweet weeks together.
In our family, in addition to lots of baking and delivering to friends and neighbors, we do several devotional type activities. Here are some ideas that we have done or do every year......

*We have a smaller Christmas tree where we hang our Adornaments. These are ornaments that each tell of a name of Jesus. We read and discuss one a day and then hang it on our tree.

*Many years, I put up our nativity spread out throughout the house. The barn and the animals are in place, and then all the characters are in different locations throughout our home so that they can travel to Bethlehem.

*Sunday nights are guarded family dinner nights where I make a nice meal and we light the advent wreath, sing songs, and read a devotion including scripture.

*We have a kit, I believe, is called "What God Wants for Christmas." It has seven little gifts that you open each day for a week. Each has a person in the nativity scene and a devotion to read. The last just has a mirror in it. This last day has the gospel message and the point that God wants You!

*We haven't actually done this yet, but I soooo want to. Many of the families we know read an advent book each night. There are three books in the series, so you don't read the same story each year. They are called Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, Tabitha's Travels by Arnold Ytreeide. (I just read that he has an Easter book coming out!)

*We have a manger looking basket that is about 2 1/2 feet long and a foot wide. It isn't very deep at all. We have, in the past, put it out in a prominent place. Then, as children are kind to one another, they are allowed to add a little bit of hay. We discuss throughout the season how as we love one another (and get hay), we are preparing not only our hearts, but Jesus' bed! Then, on Christmas Eve, at our birthday party for Jesus (more on that later), the kids open a present. This present is to them from God and is a baby doll which we call Jesus for the night and lay in the manger. (Don't worry, I haven't worded this well here, but in no way, is it ever presented that we had anything to do with God's grace towards us.)

*On Christmas Eve, we have a birthday party for Jesus! At this time we rejoice, sing songs, eat good food, and of course have a birthday cake! A lot of times, we pass out candy canes and tell the story of the candy cane.

*I also try to attend church on Christmas Eve. I grew up doing this and cry every single time I sing Silent Night while holding a candle in the dark. This doesn't get to happen every year, but it is one of my favorite times.

There are many more wonderful things to do to help teach your children and anticipate Jesus's birth. What does your family do?

Pray for your husband #27

Let _______'s thought life be prepared for godly action. Grant him self-control, and set his thoughts on things above. Let him be holy as you are holy. With your help, no temptation will overcome him!
(1 Peter 1:13-15)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pray for your husband #26

Jesus, glorify yourself in my husband. Reveal the power of your name to him, and teach him to access the new covenant by your name. Sanctify him in truth, and let him see your character (John 17).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pray for your husband #25

Lord, shepherd my husband, watching over him and keeping him from all evil that steals, kills and destroys. When you call him, let him hear your voice. Let him come into your rest and find purpose and abundant life in you (John 10:1-10).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy birthday to me!!!!

My parents came in this weekend and we just enjoyed a wonderful afternoon/evening on the Riverwalk. We rode the boat tour, walked on the Riverwalk, and finished the night off with Mexican food, margaritas, and a Mariachi band at Casa Rio! We had a blast! The only thing that would have made it better would be if my Chris could have been there. He had to work, of course. Football season is tough! Here are the pictures...

Pray for your husband #24

Let my husband thirst after you. According to the Scriptures, let streams of living water flow from within him. From his inner most being, let your life come forth. Amen.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pray for your husband #23

Gracious Father, giver of all good things, from the fullness of your grace let ________ receive one blessing after another (John 1:16).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Remembering when....

                                         Now ages 10, 6, and days from 9.
This is Kevin above! (Now 6) I think Ashlynn is the cutest thing ever here! (middle)
 Now 6 and 4.

 Curly top!
Looking at the cloud formations (above).
 Now 10, nearly 9, 6, 4, and our baby isn't here yet, not even a thought.

I just love this picture!

(I know, but I have never been very good at being wordless.)

Pray for your husband #22

Jesus, continue to reveal yourself to my beloved, drawing him ever closer to your heart. Cause him to seek godliness above all things. Place his feet on the rock of your revelation, letting no work of darkness prevail over him (Matt. 16;17-19).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Virtual surgeries and more!!!

Science lovers, this is a really cool site!!! It is called Edheads. I guess I am on a virtual kick right now! (Come see virtual surgeries among many other things!) Thank you Missional Mama!!!

Pray for your husband #21

Clothe my husband today in the full armor of God - truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the Word of God, prayer in the Spirit - so he can stand (Eph. 6:13-18).

Monday, October 18, 2010

WOW!!!!! You must look at this!

I don't even want to explain it! This is VERY cool, though!!! Check it out HERE!!!

I am thinking about doing it! It has been so many years since I have been a part of something like this! Can you tell I am excited !?!

(Thank you 10 Million Miles!)

Pray for your husband #20

Fill _______ with your Holy Spirit. By your power, put a song in his heart - a song of praise and thanksgiving. Release my husband to sing and make music in his heart to the Lord. Let his heart be thankful in all circumstances (Eph. 5:18-20).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pray for your husband #19

Lord, don't let our marriage conform to the patterns of the world. Let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Let us abide in your will all of our days. So be it (Rom. 12:2).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Maximize Your Mornings!!!

"She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family...She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks....She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:15,17,27

Since I posted about getting up in the morning, I have learned of the site Inspired to Action. Here, I have found printable lists (you know how I LOVE to plan!) and free ebooks to help inspire moms. Joyful Creations At Home is also challenging herself to get up in the morning before our children and begin the day joyfully! Will you also take the challenge?

This week I am challenging myself to:
*sit down to dinner by 6pm

*get kids to bed and be coming back down the stairs by 8pm

*be in bed myself by 10:30pm

*wake at 6am

*exercise for 20 min.

*shower and get dressed at 6:30am

*sit down for my personal Bible time with my children's Bible out and ready for them (I LOVED this idea from Joyful Creations At Home!). The children will come down as they wake up and have their own personal time reading their Bibles and praying. (This of course will take a little bit of training.)

*Breakfast prep at 7:30am, breakfast at 7:45am

*Breakfast chores at 8:15am

*School at 9am!

Please pray for me as I challenge myself this week. The "I just don't wanna's" will creep in and threaten me by day two, I am sure. Pray for my perseverance (which produces character!).

Pray for your husband #18

Righteous God, send your spirit into my husband to quicken and strengthen his physical body. Energize ______ by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 8:11).

Friday, October 15, 2010

This is the day that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!

I thought I was through blogging tonight. Then, I got a feed that 10 million miles had posted again. I just love her blog!!! Her post convicted me and I had to share.

I think I am, in a way, mourning the fact that my Noah is going to be my last baby. I don't yet know how many children we will be blessed with in our life time, but as far as biological children, Noah is last. Even if we adopt, we most likely won't get a baby. Even if we do, my body won't nurse him/her. So, I cling to every moment of Noah's sweet baby-ness. This might have something to do with why he still gets up in the night to nurse. Allowing this to continue brings me back to why I am writing this. Staying up late to have "me" time and then getting up all night long with Noah has caused me to be exhausted in the morning. Ugh, mornings.

There was once a day when I would wake up before my children and great them in the morning singing:
"This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! This is the day! This is the day that the Lord has made, soooooooooooooooo
Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory! Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory! Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord!!!!"

I would see their sweet smiles as they woke up and hugged me and we began our day joyfully!

That was then, this is now. Now, I have 10 and 8 year old daughters who can do everything needed in the morning. They can help my four year old get cereal and juice. They know what TV channels are allowed in the morning, and they can get everyone going. Lately, I am ashamed to say, I have been taking full advantage of this. I stay up late. I get up and nurse several times a night. Then, I sleep in while my children take care of themselves. I know! I can't believe how horrible this is even as I admit it to you.

This post written by 10 million miles convicted me of something that I already knew. In fact, over the last couple of days, Proverbs 31 has been running through my mind. You know the part where she rises while the sun isn't even up yet and prepares food for her family? So, God had already been nudging my heart with this issue. Then this post has pushed me over the edge. I have been lazy. I have been selfish. I confess and now I need to change.

Visit 10 million miles HERE and see what she had to say.

Pray for your husband #17

Jesus, give my husband peace. Do not let his heart be troubled or afraid. Let your peace guard his heart and mind in Christ Jesus everywhere he goes, especially at his workplace. Amen (John 14:27; Phil. 4:7).

Momma's prayer ;-)

When I posted on Facebook about needing patience and help to not be so snappy at my kids, a friend posted this prayer. I thought it was so funny - and perfect!

..."Lord, guide me with one arm around my shoulders and the other hand over my mouth."


Tell Him, Tell Him, Tell Him Right Now!

Tell Him Right Now!

This video was on another blog that I frequent. I just thought it was kind of fun.

If you haven't visited this blog, please do. All her posts are about ways we can mature as the wives we are called to be. It is all about loving our husbands!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pray for your husband #16

Give my beloved the gift of faith. I rebuke doubt from him. Let faith rise up in his heart as he meditates on your word. Let ______ believe even without seeing, and by faith, please you. Reward his diligence (1 Cor. 12:9; John 20:29; Heb. 11:6).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to the basics of parenting

Around our house, something has obviously began to slack. I would guess consistency on my part. Don't you hate how almost every problem that your children are having can be traced back to you and your own maturity? Parenting is a humbling task.

So, consistency in our discipline and training is lacking. How do I know? If I ask someone to do something, I get a crumpled face and all the reasons they don't want to. When I have to say no to a "Can I?" question, I get fits and "Why?" as a response. When chores are supposed to take 30 minutes, they take an hour because they don't feel like doing them. School is having a hard time staying on schedule because I have to stop so many times to redirect children and keep them on task. Sounds exhausting doesn't it!?!

The Bible instructs me as a parent. I have this list of my responsibilities as a parent posted in my home. Unfortunately, I haven't been reading it lately. Here is what it says:

*Repeat God's Word again and again. (2 Tim. 3:14-15; Col. 3:16)
*Teach them the right path (Prov 22:6)
*Teach them how to be a good spouse (Titus 2:4-5)
*Bring them up with discipline and instruction (Eph. 6:1-4; Prov. 19:18; Heb. 12:1-11)
*I need to know what is going on in my home and not be lazy. (Prov. 31:27)
*Celebrate God's blessings together. (Deut. 12:7)
*Take care of their needs. (1 Tim. 5:8)
*Do not show favoritism between children (Gen. 25:28)
*Forgive. (Luke 15:17-24)
*Speak gently, with grace. (Col. 4:6)

There are many, many more, but this gets me started.

I have many feelings about the word "why." By itself, it is wonderful. It shows interest and desire to learn. I love seeing those characteristics in my children. But, if this simple word is whined after being told to do something or that they can't do something, it is like nails running down a chalk board. I have several thoughts about this.

First, I don't remember being told why as a child. Many things were just because without the teaching side to it. When parents instruct without teaching, the danger is that their children will part from it. When I grew older, I didn't have any sound reasoning for sticking to the rules that were given. I reasoned things out in my own immature way, and formed my new rules for living life. This said, I think is is VERY important to explain and teach the reasoning you would like your children to adopt.

Second, I now believe in "Because I told you so!" Growing up, I hated these words and swore to never say them to my children. I didn't for a long time. The problem came when my first was about three or four. Then, every single instruction that she didn't like turned into a debate, a negotiation. I used all the words I could come up with to explain my reasoning to this child. I was determined to get my "why" across. Did this work? No. Why? In the heat of the moment is not the appropriate time to discuss the why's.  Children need to learn to respect the authority over them. If they cannot respect my or my husband's authority, then how are we to teach them to respect God's authority? This sends them down a very scary path.

So, how do you make sense of all of this? Our rule (which we are enforcing again after being lax) is immediate obedience with a happy heart. They must obey! Right then! Without a fit! Then, after they have obeyed, if they didn't understand my decision, we can discuss it calmly. Also, if I see that there is confusion or anger in them because of the decision, I make sure to pull the child aside once they are calm and the emotion of the situation has past. This is when teaching and instruction happens.

I don't know if it is working, but my desire is that my children would learn to respect our authority, trusting with their whole hearts that we love them and want what is best for them. If they truly believe this, if we have a close relationship with them, then later when bigger decisions have to be made and they don't like our choice, they will at least have peace knowing that we made that choice because it is what we truly felt was best for them. We may disagree. We may get angry, but it is possible to have close relationship with our children so that they trust our unconditional love for them and our desire for them to have a wonderful life.

In our house lately, there has been lots of fits, lots of procrastination, and lots of negotiations. No more. We are going back to the basics. "Yes, mam," or "Yes, mom" is what I will expect to hear. Then, after the obedience, I look forward to those wonderful chats where hearts are shared openly and safely and teaching and instruction can happen.

When, will I remember that God's plan is best? When will I quit trying out my way? Parenting is humbling. It is also such a wonderful picture of our relationship with God our Father. I hope to have a heart to heart soon with Him! Just like our child loves to climb up into our lap and enjoy sweet snuggles while talking together, our Father looks forward to those times with us! Thank you God, for placing so many examples of your love in our life so that we can even begin to understand our relationship with you!

Pray for your husband #15

God of love, shed your love abroad in my husband's heart today. In doing so, grant him hope that is supernatural. Amen and amen (rom 5:5).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pray for your husband #14

Father, I pray that ______ may be counted worthy of your calling. By your power, fulfill every good purpose of his, and every act prompted by his faith. Glorify you name in his life according to your grace (1 Thess. 1:11-12).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pray for your husband #13

Help me to forgive my husband as you have forgiven him. Teach us both to walk in that forgiveness all of our days, being quick to deliver grace, and slow to anger. By your strength, we will not let the sun set on our anger (1 John 1:9; Eph. 4:26).

Motivated Monday is back!!!!

Okay, life seems to have been crazy lately! I started school, set goals and had a great beginning to our school year. Then, life hit. I felt derailed for a while, but I am back. I have learned that I am not always going to have my perfect day where my written schedule will work. I may have guests. I may be the guest. I may have spriritual battles to fight. There may be things going on in my children's lives that need to take a front seat. At first I was frustrated when life took me from the schedule I thought I needed to be on. Now, I see it all as the blessings of life. I am so blessed that God has placed friends and family in our lives that we want to spend time with. I am so blessed that I have God and many friends who will go to fight for and with me in the battles of life and then celebrate with me at the victories! I am so blessed that I have children who not only love and enjoy eachother, but who want to come to me and include me in their own troubles. So, if life means getting off schedule, then take me off. I don't want to miss a minute!!!

As I begin this week, I am looking forward to a Monday "on schedule." I have all of our school work planned, cut, and organized so that it is right where I need it. The kids are looking forward to school in our school room as well. It has been a while!

A school challenge this week will be my 10 month old. Noah is quickly changing. He has stayed my baby longer than any of my other children. At 10 months, he is just now beginning to babble, distract, want to move, and do everything we are doing. A month ago, he was content to sit and play with toys while we got our work completed. He would just smile and coo, completely content in his own little world. Now, I will have to see how to keep our pace going while he is trying to scoot around the room getting into everything he can. He wants to speak to us and have our undivided attention. He loves peek-a-boo and copy cat games. Mostly, he wants us! To top it off, he is just so cute that we can't resist! This is definitely a loved baby. We will see how our school schedule will have to adjust to accomodate our youngest student.

Personally, I have learned A LOT this past week about relying on God for EVERY step. I am learning that pain won't hurt me and that I don't have to do things just because that is what I think I want. Some roads are really difficult, but the fight is worth fighting. I am learning how to roll up my sleeves and WORK.

That said, my goals this week are:
*Read God's word and spend time in focused prayer every day.

*Get to bed no later than 11pm, but hopefully by 10 or 10:30pm. (I know, I am not off to a good start. It is 12:17am right now. I will begin tomorrow!)

*Drink at least 10, 8oz glasses of water (80oz.) every day.

*Eat smaller portions.

*Eat all my daily food before 7:30pm.

That is probably enough to start with!!! Happy Monday everyone!!! I hope you have a great week!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pray for your husband #12

Oh Holy One, let my husband be holy and pure. Let him hate sin and flee to you, seeking righteousness. Out of holiness, let him see God. Praise you forevermore! (Prov. 6,7; Heb. 12:14).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pray for your husband #11

Thank you for teaching ________ to trust in you with his whole heart, leaning not on his own understanding. As he acknowledges you, make his paths straight. Let my husband honor you with all he has and the first fruits of his labor (Prov. 3:5-6,9).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pray for your husband #10

I pray that my beloved will fear God more than men or anything else. As he listens to you, let him live in safety. Put him at ease with a gentle spirit (Prov. 1:7,33).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pray for your husband #9

Jesus, be my husband's source of wisdom. Let all his decisions be guided by the Holy Spirit. Let him walk in the wisdom of the Proverbs. Amen (Proverbs).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lead Me - Sanctus Real

This is a GREAT song. We ran across it last night and Chris and I had a really good talk about it. I think this is at the heart of every family who is trying to follow Christ's design for the family.

Pray for your husband #8

Great Jehovah, as your eyes range throughout the earth searching for one who is committed to you, let them rest on ________. May he abide forever in your favor (2 Chron. 16:9).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pray for you husband #7

Oh Father, send my husband friends who will be all to him that Jonathan was to David - trustworthy and loyal. Knit his soul to men that will love him, protect him, and do him good. Let his friendships bear the image of their heavenly friend (1 Sam. 18).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fire House Field Trip

We just had a blast at a fire house!!! The kids saw all of the tools, explored the fire truck, saw a man put on the whole suit, toured the fire house, saw a fire safety video, met a talking, moving fire hydrant, and had a snack. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Then, we headed to a great park nearby, had lunch, and played as long as we could stand it. The weather was PERFECT!!!!! I can't believe we are actually having some nice, cool, fall temps down here!