June 29, 2011

Sometimes it's a one or two verse day {In the Word Wednesday}

Found on Proverbs 31 by Lysa TerKeurst
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight.”
Proverbs 5:1 (NIV)
Do you ever get overwhelmed when you sit down to read your Bible? There are so many books, deep thoughts, spiritual insights and life altering truths… where do we begin for today?
My sticky farm table and I have a long history of early mornings together. I gather up my Bible and my computer. I push past the sleepy feelings begging me to go back to my bed.  And I look at the well worn book as my love letter from God.
I don’t say that in a syrupy, flowery way. Truly, His words are a life line to me. A whisper from my King. A personal note. A treasure.
But right now I’m in a season where I don’t consume chapters at a time. Some days it’s just one or two verses so that I can live Proverbs 5:1. I want to really pay attention. I need to listen well to what God is saying. I look for one verse that I can savor word by word, letting it sink in deep… interrupting me, rearranging me, redirecting me.
And I pray…
“God, what plans have I made for today that this verse needs to interrupt?”
“God, what thoughts did I bring in from yesterday that this verse needs to rearrange?”
“And God, what heart attitudes have I been carrying that this verse needs to redirect?”
His Word is the protective covering over my plans, my mind, and my heart. For to let me run free without it, will surely find me tripping over my own selfishness, insecurities, and weaknesses. So, with His love letter, He reminds me to pause- pause- pause.
Pause and let the Holy Spirit intervene in my natural flesh response.
Pause so I don’t make the conversations all about me.
Pause and remember I’m not always right.
Pause to see the blessings, so many blessings, and say “thank you” at least once an hour.
Pause to serve, pause to give, pause to encourage when everyone else rushes by.
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding…Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path” (Proverbs 2:1-3, 9).
Don’t get overwhelmed with the enormity and depth of the Bible.
It’s okay if we read just a verse or two today.
But more importantly than reading His words, we must choose to receive them. And even more importantly, we must live them.

June 27, 2011

Outdoor Color Match

here is a simple and fun idea to do with the kids when they are bored!  (let's not all rush out and get paint chips at the same time though, ok?)

Click on the picture for a direct link

June 24, 2011


From the book "Radical":

If we want to know the glory of God,
if we want to experience the beauty of God,
if we want to be used by the hand off God,
then we must live in the
Word of God!

Have a great weekend!

June 22, 2011

Fridays at the Park :: June 24

Don't forget about our playdate at Helder Park Friday!  10-?  Bring a lunch or snacks, drinks etc, whatever you want!

You can enter Helder Park between Riley and Quincy on 104th, the park is set back back quite a ways, past the soccer fields!  Hope to see you all there!

And don't forget to mark the other two dates on your calendar:
July 29 (Lawrence Street Park)
August 26 (Helder Park)

Instruction of the Lord {In the Word Wednesday}

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

This is a verse that often echoes in my head.  I can be so critical sometimes that I know I exasperate (irritate or infuriate) my kids (like just now when I looked at my daughters outfit choice and rolled my eyes because I can't stand it). 

But, I'm even more convicted of the second part of that verse. 

Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

I've been struggling with this a lot.  I think I've been placing more emphasis on conforming them to an external standard than teaching them to love the Lord. 

My goal should be that I raise my dear children to glorify God through their lives.
Not only to do good things, but to serve God through their lives.
Not only to be kind to others, but that we most resemble Jesus to others when we are kind.
Not only the habit of worshiping, but really loving God.
Not only to spend time in God's word, but to love God's word.  Love the truth because God is truth.
Not only to pray but to seek a relationship that really seeps into thier lives. 
Not only to tithe, but to do it with a gracious and loving heart because of all he has given us.

I know I'm not alone in my desire to teach my children to love the Lord, so I'm suggesting we pray for each other on this journey.

God, you have blessed us with these dear children.  You have entrusted us with the job of teaching them to love you. Sometimes it is so hard.  Please remind us that there is nothing more important in eternity.  You love us, you love these children adn want only the best for us all.

June 20, 2011

Birthday Party Fun

How much fun would these be for a birthday party for your little one?  And, pretty simple to make as well!
As always, click on the picture for a direct link!

June 17, 2011

Fathers Day activities

Don't forget, June 19 is Fathers Day.  What are you doing to celebrate the dad in your life?

Here's a fun activity for the kid's!
I love you dad! from Crayola

And, one from Kim at Life of a Modern Mom.  Remember the tiles we did at MOPS this past year, well, these use the same tiles, just changed it up a bit!  Check it out, super cute!

June 15, 2011

Slammed Anyone Lately {In the Word Wednesday}

From True Woman by Kimberly Wagner

When my husband and I were dating, we visited a large church hosting a high-profile speaker. Not long into the message I began to get a little uncomfortable. My discomfort increased as the preacher began a tirade against certain individuals, even referring to them as “idiots.” Years later, I don’t have a clue what his text or his point was, but I can clearly recall this preacher’s critical words.

Have you slammed anyone lately? It seems a little funny to be asking that of readers on this blog. Surely, as Christian women we never use our mouths to put down a fellow believer  . . . do we? (Do you hear the sarcasm in my voice?)

James concludes that this inconsistent behavior is as ludicrous as dipping your cup in a clear mountain stream and finding it filled with salt water or discovering olives growing on a fig tree!
I remember as a little girl going home with a family after church one Sunday afternoon. The trip to their house was a general “dismembering” session. They tore the pastor limb from limb as well as a few other church members who were thrown into the mix. I remember sitting dumbfounded thinking, “Is this the same couple I heard singing in the choir just an hour ago?”

How often do we bless God and “curse” others with the same mouth, perhaps in the same breath? I heard “people slamming” vernacular used frequently as a teacher in a Christian high school and decided to implement Ephesians 4:29 as a guideline for speech in my classroom:
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Wow. Let the full weight of this verse sink in. If we ONLY spoke words which edified (encouraged spiritual advancement and blessed and benefited the listener), how different would our conversations be?

If you’ve never done this before, why not declare today “Ephesians 4:29 Day”? Try to only speak words which will bless others and spread grace through your day. If you have children, you could include the whole family in this project. Practice this consistently and you’ll be amazed at the results!

June 13, 2011

Flag Day Activity

Did you know that tomorrow, June 14, is Flag day?  Here's a fun activity that you can do to celebrate!
(note: it's from the crayola website and uses color wonder, but could easily be adapted to use any medium)

Click picture for direct link.  From Crayola.

June 10, 2011


I just found this quote from Francis Chan that I had written down a while back and wanted to share:

We overanalyze the things that don't deserve a second thought and we blow right past the clear, obvious, important things in life.

Happy Weekend!

June 8, 2011

Help! Mommydom leaves me no time for God {In the Word Wednesday}

From True Woman by Holly Elliff

The following post is actually a letter Holly Elliff wrote to a frustrated mom who can’t seem to find time to spend with God. Can you relate?
Dear Mom,
Let me give you a little peek into my life. I have eight children and two in heaven I never got to meet. My kids are currently 32, 30, 27, 23, 21, 18, 15 and 13. I also take care of my mom who has Alzheimers and have four grandchildren age 2 and under! Although I'm not exactly in your shoes right at this moment, I do know what it feels like and I so understand what "tired" means.

When my first four or five kids were all young, I had to focus so much on survival (for me and everyone else), that there were very few holes in my day to focus on time with the Lord. I wish I could tell you that I handled that like a spiritual giant and breezed through without struggle, but then I would just have to confess it the next time Nancy teaches on honesty!

I wish we could sit down together someplace peaceful and visit for a while. Since that's probably not going to happen, I would love to share a few insights that come as a result of years of living where you live and from the perspective of being a little further down the road.

God declares in His Word that your kids are a blessing and a gift. They are not an interruption, a mistake, or a hindrance to God's will in your life; they are God's will for your life.

Since these kids, at the ages they are at this moment, are God's will for your life, does He intend to speak to you in the next decade or so when you don't have free time? Of course He does. So how is that going to happen when you have so little time you can control?

Here are some practical tips on creating space to hear from the Lord:

1. First, think through the last 48 hrs. Any time-stealers come to mind? Facebook, Twitter, TV, email, Internet, phone calls, or texts? Make sure the enemy isn't robbing you of God-moments by offering a "harmless" substitute.

2. Time with the Lord takes intentional planning when you have a full, noisy, busy house. Some days, gather your kids around and read a passage to them. If you can make it interesting to listen to, you might get through several verses. Write a few verses out and leave them in the kitchen, laundry room, or car so you can contemplate as you cook, fold, or wait for your kids.

3. Place Bibles in several spots around your house so anytime you do get to sit down you can snatch a verse or two to ponder.

4. Use the first few minutes of nap time to get rest for your spirit. You probably won't be reading chapters or books at one sitting, but the Lord can use even snippets to instruct and encourage your heart. If you have kids who no longer nap, make a quiet zone where they can read or color while the little ones sleep and you get refreshed. Occasionally, this will actually work!!

5. Escape for a few minutes if you can after your husband gets home or right after dinner. I have had quiet times on picnic tables at the park, in my car at Sonic, on my driveway sitting in my car, and in my laundry room or closet.

6. Practice God's presence "in the midst" of your crazy days. He doesn't leave because your life is hectic. He can minister grace to your heart as you comfort that child or chop veggies for dinner or sort dirty socks. Christ knew what it was like to wash dirty feet. He is not absent when we are surrounded by lots of them! Remember that the Lord had many moments when He sought to draw apart to seek the Father. Sometimes that happened, sometimes He was moved with compassion and returned to the multitudes. His heart was to do the will of His Father every moment of every day, but He didn't live apart, He lived in the midst.

7. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment as you discover what will work for your family. Since it is God's will for you to know Him, ask Him to enable you to creatively pursue that in this season of your life. God's Word is eternal. The lives of those who come to know Him are eternal. Houses, stuff, and even time will all pass away. We won't regret time invested in His Word and in raising our kids to love Christ.

Proverbs 2:1–10 says:
My (daughter), if you will receive my words
         And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
         Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
         Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
         And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
         And discover the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
         From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
         He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.
I hope this helps,

Do you make time for God each day?  What helpful tips have you found for making this a regular part of your day? 

June 6, 2011

The Clutter Monster

I feel like I am surrounded by clutter.  I feel like everyon has a perfectly clean house... except me.  Looking around though, I've come to realize that my house is clean (usually), it's just full of STUFF.  Now, with four kids and a husband that works from home, some of this is inevitable, but the reality is that we do have to much stuff. 

While at the doctor the other day I found this great magazine article that really motivated me to get rid of the clutter.  It was from Womans Day magazine, you can find the article here.

I often read these things, but while reading think, I've heard all of this before, nothing new here, and while that was also the case this time, I did find some things worded differently that inspired me... I'll share a few of those things here, but definitely check out the article for more information!

Just thinking about cleaning out your decades of belongings can stir up all sorts of emotions, says Dr. Frost. More than likely, your home is filled with two categories of junk: Easy Stuff, which is all the forgotten stuff you don’t particularly care about (old tools, old toiletries) and is easy to discard; and Weak Spots, the items that you care about (Grandma’s plates, your school notebooks, shoes). The key to successfully tossing a Weak Spot is to understand your emotions, so you can handle them head-on. “People develop emotional attachments to their things,” says Dr. Frost. “That plate is not just a plate, but represents an emotion. So our aim is to change the nature of the attachment.”

I've got a lot of that "emotional" stuff.  I've learned better to deal with it in the past few years, but there is still a lot of it sitting around.  Ultimately I remind myself that just because my mom made that doesn't mean that I have to like it.  It doesn't need to sit around and do nothing.  She's in heaven adn knows that none of this stuff comes with us, so why do I need it here on earth?

Remind yourself of all the reasons you don’t want the item. Say aloud: I don’t have room for it. I already have something similar. It’s not a smart use of my finances. Repeat. The goal is to build immunity to our urge to buy.

Another thing I remind myself that is if someone can live in a mud hut with  little to know luxuries in thier lives, I can definitely live without _____________.

Put it down, especially if it’s free (or cheap). Touching items is the first step to owning them, so look, then walk away.
Sooooo guilty of this one!

Until the moment you start decluttering, don’t spend time thinking about the specific items you’ll be parting with.

Numerous studies show that people whose lives are oriented around material possessions—which is what happens when every surface is cluttered— are less happy. A 2006 study found that participants who made changes to their life circumstances (such as buying a new TV) felt their self-reported happiness subside after a mere 12 weeks.

Rather than considering each item in depth, give yourself 5 seconds to make a decision for each item, says Smallin, especially for the Easy Stuff

Here is the 12 week decluttering plan from Womans Day as well!  Some good information here as well, even if you don't do it on their timetable!

What are your secrets/tips for controlling clutter?

June 1, 2011

Your Child's Life Verse {In the Word Wednesday}

Yesterday, I encouraged you to pray God’s Word for your kids. One way our family takes that to another level is by choosing a life verse for our kids.

Simply put, a life verse is a passage of Scripture that we feel like uniquely describes each individual child. Once we’ve chosen a life verse for our kids, we pray that verse over and over as a way to mark their lives with God’s Truth.

I have two sons, three-year-old Elisha (we call him Eli) and eleven-month-old Noble. I haven’t chosen Noble’s life verse yet, because he is too young for me to recognize how God has uniquely gifted him and how I specifically need to pray (beyond “Lord, please make him sleep!”). But I have been praying Eli’s life verse since before he was even born.

Yesterday, I shared with you that Eli was healed from a bladder blockage while still in my womb. It is our strong desire that the story of his healing would be a testimony that brings many people to Jesus. So we have chosen 1 Samuel 12:24 as his life verse,  “Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.”

We pray this verse for Eli. We pray this verse with Eli. We’ve painted this verse on the wall in Eli’s room. When he starts reading, this will be a passage I will have him practice reading often. When he is able to memorize Scripture, this verse will be where we start.

What’s the point of putting so much emphasis on a single verse? I’m glad you asked. Here are the reasons why I choose life verses for each child:
1. It gives me a specific way to pray for my children.
2. It helps them learn that the Bible’s promises are meant for them personally.
3. It helps cast a vision for who they will be and how they will serve God in the future.

Are you struggling to know how to pray for your kids? Let me encourage you to find a specific life verse for each one. Ask God to direct you to passages that will help you see His hand in each individual child. If your kids are older, they might have some great ideas for passages they’d like to have as their life verse. Then simply use that verse as an opportunity to teach about God’s Truth every chance you get.

There’s nothing magic about this. Life verses don’t become a chant or a motto. They are simply a way to apply the language of God’s Word to the lives of your children.

Do you have a life verse for your child?  Please leave a comment on the blog or facebook sharing what the verse is or a story about how you chose the verse!