Sometimes your best laid plans will go sideways. It’s ok. It happens to the best of us. Tomorrow is a new day.
Some days you are so tired you can barely form a coherent thought. We have all been there. At the end of those days I just suggest going to bed. Forget the dishes for a night. Catch up with your favorite show later. Turn the computer off. Turn off the phone. And go to bed. Get as much sleep as your babies will let you have.
Breathe mommas. When the going gets tough remind yourself that this is just a season. Seasons of life change, just like the seasons of weather change.
Sometimes the sticky hands pulling on you just want one more hug.
Sometimes whiny cranky child just needs to be held and told everything will be ok.
One day the dandelion flowers for Momma, will come no more.
One day there will be no more art work for the fridge.
One day the toy phone will ring no more.
Enjoy these days.
Even when your best laid plans get torn to shreds, your babies are still there to snuggle. They will crack you up with their latest observation, or melt your heart with their latest gift.
When you are awake on your long nights breathe in the sweet smell of your baby’s hair, and rejoice in the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon you.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127: 3
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” Galations 5:22
“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” Psalm 68:3
The Lord calls to his people and tells them to be joyful, to be full of joy, but what is joy? A simple search of the bible leads to 242 references to joy. Realizing this it can become rather overwhelming to dissect what is joy.
This can be further complicated with a simple search around the web.
a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
a: a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
a: a source or cause of delight
DL Moody is quoted as saying, “Joy is love exalted; peace is love in repose; long-suffering is love enduring; gentleness is love in society; goodness is love in action; faith is love on the battlefield; meekness is love in school; and temperance is love in training.”
The more you dive in quotes the more complicated and messy it seems to get. A look at Websters or a Google search for quotes on joy seem to give the impression that joy is happiness. A look at the quote from DL Moody or even a look at all the various scripture verses containing joy seem to give another picture.
This other picture indicates joy is deeper, and more than a feeling. It would indicate that the Lord is calling us to experience something deeper than a feeling. The Lord is calling us to a joy that radiates out from us no matter our circumstances, meaning even during times of trouble we will still be a joyful people. (James 1:2)
***When you think of joy what are some verses or quotes best exemplify joy? Or perhaps how would you best define joy?***
****As always feel free to share, but please link back to the original post. Here is last week’s post Loving Your Neighbor, if you missed it.****
As a busy homeschool mom of 3 (preschool age and under) kids breakfast can be a challenge. I want to provide my kids with a more solid (read: more filling, long-lasting, and satisfying) meal than cold cereal, most days. The hitch is I don’t have the time most days to stand at the stove and make a big spread. So what is a busy mom to do? Prep on a down day, and then you can have easy meals later in the week.
Here are some examples of meals that my girls and I enjoy in the mornings:
Who is your neighbor? Look around. See that person sitting across from you? They are your neighbor. That lady who takes care of your children in day care? She is your neighbor. That person who just gets under your skin? They are your neighbor too. Every one who is not the Lord or you, is your neighbor. So when in Matthew 22: 36-40, Jesus says, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” These are the people he has in mind, who ever it is that you interact with and in within your sphere of influence.
Jesus further addresses the issue of who is our neighbor in the tale of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10 25-37.) He further points out that not only who is our neighbor but how we must act to be considered a neighbor, ourselves. We need to reach out and help those in need.
This is not a post to tell you, that you need to donate more money to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or that you need to go on a mission’s trip halfway around the world. Or even anything else that could be considered big. While the grande acts are helpful, and even worthy to consider, this is not what I want to reflect on. I want us to look at the small everyday things we could be doing to help those in need.
Consider for a moment the homeless you see daily (in some parts of the country.) Are you meeting their gaze and treating them like human beings? Or do you divert your eyes and pretend they don’t even exist? Have you ever considered offering them a sandwich or fruit? I even once offered to take one young woman to the grocery store to buy the things she said she didn’t have the money for. It wasn’t much, but if she had taken me up on my offer it would have been food for her kid’s lunches. Helping them can be simply recognizing they exist, and seeing if you could help them find their way to a shelter or a program, where you know the people really care.
Or consider the young military wife and mother in your community. Chances are when her husband deploys, if she stays in the area, she will need help at some point and will not have family to lean on in the area. Don’t just give a general well I am here if you need me. While she might appreciate the offer, most these ladies are tough and don’t know who is willing to help. Instead call her up this week and tell her you are willing to babysit for a couple of hours. She can nap, go get her nails done, clean the house, or maybe just grocery shop without little extra hands. Those precious moments when another set of hands is there to help will help her to feel that she is connected and people care. And trust me she needs that. Then again if babysitting is not your thing maybe you could arrange to bless her with a meal she didn’t have to cook.
When was the last time you reached out to the new people at church? It doesn’t matter if it turns out they aren’t that new, still reach out. Introduce yourself. Meet new people. You never know what it will mean exactly to the person you are reaching out to. That person could be the painfully shy type and have no idea how to reach out to meet new people. Your introduction might be just what they need to start meeting their new community.
These are just a few scenarios. My point in these is this: think outside the box. Who can you help? Whose walk needs shoveling? Who could use a meal ministry this week? Who simply needs you to say hello? Reach out and act with loving respect and be the neighbor you were called to be.
***What are some ideas you have on how to bless those around you?***
If you are like me and the mother of young children, then this might just be the post for you. I am always on the look out for new crafts and ideas on how to teach concepts (bible stories included) to my girls. Check this post out for some cute ideas on how to teach Noah’s Ark to young children.
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This just means I get a small referral rate paid out to be for each item purchased using a link (not all the links.) I also promise to only endorse products I fully believe in and any comments related to the products are 100% my own, unless otherwise stated.*** Getting ready to write the post for today I noticed that this will have been the 10oth post I have a published. It is a small milestone, but a milestone none the less. I just thought I would share that observation, before sharing today’s craft.
Valentine’s Day Sun Catcher
Single sided self-laminating sheets
Cut your tissue paper in 1×1 squares to 2×2 squares . (You could cut other shapes as well but use your sizes for squares as a guide for rough sizes of the other shapes.)
Using your marker draw a heart on one of the self-laminating sheets.
Peel off top strip of the back off the self laminating sheets and using painter’s tape secure the sheet to the table there. Finish peeling off the rest of the backing and secure at the bottom edge using more painter’s tape.
Now that the project is set up invite your toddler or preschooler in the room.(Those are the ages I have found enjoy this most. I have done this with a child as old as six and as young as a 18 months.)
The child can stick the tissue paper anywhere on the self-laminating sheet, but the only part you will need will be the part inside the heart. Let them place tissue paper till their hearts are content.
When they are finished, peel the bottom strip of painter’s tape off.
Peel the backing of a second self-laminating sheet, and gently secure it to the back of the one your child has been working on.
Carefully remove your sun catcher from the table (it will still be secured by the top strip of tape.)
Cut the heart shape out.
Now you will have a heart-shaped sun catcher. (How to hang them will be your call. I simply use shipping tape and tape them to a window. Although you could get a hole punch, punch two holes, and then string some yarn between the holes.)
Have fun and enjoy the beautiful colors. Now in celebration of 100 posts I would like to offer a giveaway. In this giveaway I will be offering two books and .
Desperate is a joint effort by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae each lady has a way of writing that speaks to the heart and encourages the soul. In their book Desperate they are seeking to encourage the desperate mom, the one who feels alone, who is stressed to her max, and just needing to feel a little less alone. It is a book that speaks to the heart of every mother whether you are a brand new mother or a veteran mom of many, because at times we all need a breathe of fresh air and encouragement.
Educating the WholeHearted Child was wrote by Clay and Sally Clarkson. It was wrote with the homeschooling family in mind. Even if you are not homeschooling or not planning on it, this a book that I would recommend to every family, because every parent is a teacher and every home a classroom. It will provide a comprehensive over view of using real books and real life to nurture the heart, soul, and mind of your child. Quoting the description on Amazon, “Whether you are a first-time homeschooler or a longtime veteran, this comprehensive guide will equip and empower you for your journey of faith as a family. Discover the joy of bringing relationship-based, book-centered learning into the natural daily life of your home.”
(Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links. Meaning I will get a small referral rate if you purchase after having clicked on the link. I will not endorse a product I do not believe in, so any endorsement on my part is purely my own.)
“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” Psalm 127:3-5
From these three verses it is clear what the Lord expects from parents. What is not clear is how we implement these truths. That there, is the beauty of the deal. There are many ways to raise your children in a Godly, loving home, and still seek after the truth of these three verses.
Whether you homeschool or send your children to the local school, you are still doing the best job you know how. Maybe instead you did CIO or maybe you co-slept. Maybe you used formula or maybe you were a mother who did extended breastfeeding. There is no winner and no loser. One parent is not better than the other. We are each doing the best job we know how to do, but still there are a few things that EVERY Christian parent should be seeking to do with their children.
Colossians 3:21 tells us though that no matter our choices we still need to speak love into the lives of our children. Our children have tender hearts. They are seeking love and approval. Clay Clarkson in his book, Educating the WholeHearted Child — Third Edition, says, “God has designed your children’s hearts to expect love from their parents. When they don’t receive familial and parental love, it is a kind of neglect of their spiritual and emotional nourishment, in the same way that not receiving food would neglect their physical nourishment. A child whose need for love is neglected will begin to close their heart and emotions out of self-protection.” See though you don’t have to embitter, as the bible says, or neglect their spiritual and emotional nourishment, as Clay describes it. Instead encourage them, express your love in words, hug them, and show them just how much you value them. Are your actions matching your words?
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 clearly expresses that we need to teach our children what the bible has to say to them. We can not do that though if first we are not seeking the knowledge ourselves. Live a life that you would be proud for your child to imitate. Are you spending time reading and learning from the Lord each day? Do praise and worship songs fill the air of your home? (They need not be the only songs, but are they given any air time?) Our children are aware if what we are preaching is matching up to the life we are leading. We don’t need to do everything perfectly, but we need to continue to grow in the Lord. Even in our mistakes they can learn much. But it doesn’t stop there. Are you spending time reading to them, and teaching them how to apply what they read to their lives? Guide them. They need us to be an active guide, not just modeling the behavior we expect, but teaching them how to find the answers for themselves as well.
Psalm 127:3-5 Is a reminder that I have written on the black board by my laundry room. Our children are one of the great gifts that the Lord has to offer. Yes there will be days they challenge you. Parenting seems to stretch you in ways you never realized you needed stretching, and when the days get long and your patience gets thin, it can be easy to forget they are a gift from the Lord. So today I remind you to breathe and tell yourself that the Lord gifted these children to you. He didn’t bring them to anyone other than you. God saw to it that you would be the parent to your child. Appreciate that for a moment. He has trusted you with his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10,) his sons [and daughters] (Galatians 3:26-27.) It is that reason I have Psalm 127:3 wrote in large letters in my home, so when my patience runs thin I can remember that they are his gift to me. And your children are the Lord’s gift to you.
So today I say love your babies. Go raise them with the knowledge of the Lord. Get through the day-to-day issues of this world the best way you know how, and know you are loved. (John 3:16)