Out of Commission: Lessons Learned from Being Still.

Daily Truth: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10

 

Out of commission.  Not something usually attributed to mom’s.

However, we’ve all been there at some point.  We wake up with a headache or come down with the flu and…..

Wham!

We are out of commission for a few hours or even a couple of days.

Yet somehow the fam still has to be fed, kids still have to get to school, boo-boo’s still need to be kissed, etc.

That was me – out of commission for 2 1/2 weeks.

I knew it was coming.  I prepared as best as I could with a checklist of items.

Freezer meals made – check.

Laundry done – check.

Sister here – check.

Clothes laid out for the kids for the week – check.

House cleaned – check.

 

Yet, somehow it didn’t feel like it was going to be enough.

The day came.  Everyone was ready.  Thus began my time of being out of commission.

Don’t get me wrong, I still kissed boo-boo’s and listened to how the days went for each child. But I didn’t move from my chair in the living room except for when absolutely necessary.

However, I must say I learned a lot while being out of commission.

So, here are “Lessons learned from an Out of Commission Mom”.

1.  It’s OK to say “no”.  We mom’s are so busy and we make ourselves even busier by adding extra burdens on us.  Then we wonder why we have melt downs.  It was so refreshing to be able to tell people “No, I can’t do that because….”. For 2 1/2 weeks, no responsibilities except for my family.  REFRESHING!!!!

2.  Devotional time can be refreshing.  I have had a devotional book that I have been meaning to tackle for about 4 months and just never got to it. Well, I got to it and it forced me to go deep into God’s Word.

To my shame, too often my devotional time was a quick verse and a prayer.

 I wondered why I would feel spiritually depleted.

When I was forced to sit, my devotional time was amazing.  I would start and then look at the clock and an hour would have passed!

I’ll say more about this another week.

3.  It’s OK to ask for help.  My sister could only stay for a week.  My mom helped as much as she could as well as my husband.  But there were times we needed another set of hands.  That’s when we called on our friends.  It is amazing the friends that God brings in your life before you “need” help.  When that time comes where you just can’t do it by yourself, those friends are there for you – ready and willing to help!

4.  It’s OK to accept help when it’s offered.  People would text and say, “I’m bringing a meal.”  or “I am taking the littlest guy for a play date these days.”  They didn’t ask.  They just did it.  All of those people made my recovery time so much shorter because I could get much needed rest.

Warning: Both asking for and accepting help can be very humbling.

5.  It’s amazing how much help the kids can be.  The house got cleaned, laundry got done, and supper was put on the table all with the kids help.  Ok.  So, it wasn’t up to “Mom” standards but it was sufficient and much appreciated.

6.  Cards and texts were an encouragement.  Can I tell you what it was like to get a card with a quick note saying, “Praying for you”?  I’d get a text a few times a day from friends just checking up on me.  Huge blessing.

7.  My husband is the BEST!!!! “For better or worse” has been put to the test the last few years with God entrusted trials.  Yet, my husband has always been there for me.  I depended on him completely the first few days of my “out of commission” time. He never sighed or made a comment.  He just helped.

Me and the Hubs out to dinner.
Me and the Hubs out to dinner.

Everyday he reassured me that he still loved me (despite wearing sweatpants and t-shirts for 2 weeks).

When I knew I was going to be out of commission for awhile, I was ready for it mentally.  Yet, I wasn’t ready for the lessons that I would learn spiritually and emotionally.

Honestly, would not have chosen the path that I was put on, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

The Best Steps to Follow: Following Jesus

Daily Truth:   “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”

 Psalm 85:13

In His Steps: Sheldon, Charles M.

 

 

You have probably seen the WWJD bracelets.  Did you know that they were based on the book In His Steps?

 

 

 

 

 

The story In His Steps was story written by Charles M. Sheldon in 1896.  It was read a chapter at a time to young people on Sunday evenings in the Central Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas.  “The Reverend Sheldon found that reading a dramatic story illustrating Christian principles in the everyday lives of ordinary people, like Jesus’ parables, drew crowds of young people to the church on Sunday evenings.”

“Sheldon’s church and church groups around the world took the book’s pledge to ask ‘What would Jesus do?’  He received dozens of letters a day relating how that pledge had changed lives, restored families, strengthened relationships, cleaned up business practices and politics, and given peace and joy to countless believers.”

“Newspapers and magazines serialized In His Steps.  This simple but inspired religious novel changed the work in the early twentieth century.”  An estimated thirty million copies in fifteen languages worldwide have been published.  Due to faulty copyright Sheldon did not earn very much money from his bestselling book.  It is said that he rejoiced knowing that the message was so popular.

The story is told through ordinary people led by their pastor.  These ordinary people take a pledge to ask “What would Jesus do?” whenever they are asked to make a decision.   Each person’s story emphasizes the importance of immediate obedience and personal Christian action in daily choices.

Sheldon’s great-grandson, Garrett W. Sheldon, wrote a contemporary retelling of his great-grandfather’s story and entitled it What Would Jesus Do?  This book possesses the same wonderful elements of the original story yet in a time period better understood for today’s reader.

It is exciting that a children’s book has also been written.  This book captures the same message as the original book and asks after each short story for the child to make a choice according to the life circumstance in the chapter.

what would jesus do cover

There is also a character building game based upon In His Steps.

What would Jesus do in the situations of life is a good question to ask ourselves.  It helps children (and adults) to think about their actions and act responsibly rather than impulsively. A Christian has the Holy Spirit to guide and direct. Yet, there is always a struggle between the “old man and the new man”.

These resources provide good practice for a life that brings honor and glory to God.

Until the next “Truth”sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

Quotes from:  In His Steps 100th Anniversary Collector’s Edition published by Broadman & Holman 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from Bees: Working Together

Daily Truth:  “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:”  Philippians 2:14

 

My 6 year old son has been obsessed with bees lately.  Not sure what has brought this on, but you never know how a 6 year old mind works.

Any rate, he brought home from the school library the other day two books on bees and a Moody Bible Institute DVD titled City of the Bees.

Super excited about it, he insisted we watch it THAT night.  So, once all the homework was done, I put in the DVD.

Now, mind you, this DVD was more on the level of a 5th grader but who was I to squash his curious mind.

While watching the movie, my 5 year old son kept asking my 6 year old son a gazillion questions about the bees.  My 6 year old son answered them in only the way a 6 year old can.  My 7 year old daughter sat on the couch with the look of utter boredom on her face.

The next morning at breakfast we talked about the movie on bees that they watched.

Below is how the conversation played out.

Seven year old:  “Did you know that if we humans worked together like the bees, there wouldn’t be any fighting?”  (I guess she did learn something!)

Six year old:  “Did you know that the queen whistles when there is an enemy coming?”  (hmmm – didn’t know that)

Now we have been working on Philippians 2:14 this past week as a family.  The kids have been doing way to much “murmuring and disputings” for this mom’s taste the last two weeks!

Even wrote the verse on the window with window markers!  (desperate or brilliant – not sure)

Use Window Markers or dry erase markers to write on windows.
Use Window Markers or dry erase markers to write on windows.

Can we say “teaching moment”!!!!

Mom: “So, if the bees are to have honey and a ‘happy hive’ they have to work together, right?”

Eleven year old: “I know where this is going!”

Mom: “Well, according to our verse, if we are to be able to enjoy fun and pleasant things, we need to work together without complaining and fighting just like the bees do.  Then we’ll have a ‘happy hive’.”

(giggles)

Mom: “Who is in charge of the hive?”

All: “The Queen Bee.”

Mom:  ” What would happen if the bees heard the Queen Bee whistle the warning and one of them said, ‘Oh, I’ll come in a minute’ ?”

5 year old: “They could die!”

Mom: “It’s important that the bees obey right away.  Whose in charge of you during the day?”

Kids: “You are.”

Mom: “Let’s call me the Queen Bee.”
(Insert 11 year old rolling eyes – working on that!)

“When I tell you to do something and you say, ‘Just a minute’ are you obeying right away?”

Kids: “No. We get in trouble.”

Mom: “Right.  So, see we can learn lessons from even the bees that God created about obedience and working together.”

Ok.  So maybe watching the DVD on bees was not MY first choice on spending 27 minutes with my kids before bed.  However, the lessons they learned from an unlikely source were invaluable.

My 6 year old is now insisting that dad watch it with us this Friday night.

Popcorn will be handy for this encore presentation.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

 

 

Change? Seriously, Not Again!

Daily Truth:  “For I am the Lord, I change not.”  Malachi 3:6

 

Change is a word that causes people to react in many different ways. Some love it. Some hate it. For me, it depends on what kind of change we are talking about. I like to switch the wall color (I think our house has shrunk in square footage as often as I change the wall colors). I like to move the furniture around. I like to darken my hair color (which is what prompted this blog). I love the change of seasons (I hope this one happens soon).

Some changes I don’t like. I don’t like moving. I don’t like seeing my children go from little to big. I don’t like change that drastically reshapes your life. I don’t like having to change plans at the last minute. It’s little changes that I like. Some change is good.

After a VERY frustrating day a couple weeks ago, my hubs and I sat down and changed the way we assign the chores. I was having all 4 kids help empty the dishwasher at the same time.  They all had different sections to empty.  However, it was causing way too many fights and frustrating mom every morning. So, we now have the kids do their jobs on a rotating basis.  One morning the oldest empties the dishwasher, the 2nd feeds the pets, the 3rd loads the washer, and the 4th sets the table. Then every day the kids rotate to the next job on the list. Fights are at a minimum now in the mornings.  Duh!  Such a simple change.  Why didn’t I think of that!!! Kids, like adults, deal with change differently.  One of my boys almost cannot handle any sort of change without going a little spastic.

My other son has to ask over and over again “why” and “how come” just to get it all set in his mind. Both of my girls are homebodies. So, whenever there is a change in routine, mom has to get creative. Thus comes next week. There is going to be a bit of a change in routine in our house for about a week.  My sister is coming to help me and my hubs with something and we will have to have our arsenal full of ideas to keep the kids from overreacting. I am thinking we might have to do a surprise night each night like I did the week my hubs was on a business trip. Movie night. Dessert night.  (Huge in our fam). Sleep over at grandma’s. Present from mom and dad. My sister is good at the creative part.  She loves spending time with the kids and they all adore her! Things change.  Life changes.  Sometimes rapidly.  One thing we can count on is that God does NOT change.

 

His plans for us do not change. His character does not change. His love for us does not change. He is constant. Hebrews 6:17-19  shows us we can anchor our lives on the fact that God is immutable – unchanging. My kids will say to me, “Did you change your never mind?”  God doesn’t change “His never mind”. Until next time, Rebekah klink

Love: Ideas For Valentine’s Day

Daily Truth:  “Yeah, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”  Jeremiah 31:3

Love is in the air.  Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Remember Valentine’s Day B.C. (before children)?  It was all about you and your true love.

And then along came children.

Now that we have four delightful children, Valentine’s Day has become more about the family than just about my hubs and I.

Really, many reasons have factored into that.  Babysitter’s are at a premium.  The restaurants we like to go to only serve a “Valentine’s Meal” (way over priced) or have been booked for awhile.

We opt to go out another night instead.

Don’t get me wrong – my true love knows that roses are still a must on Valentine’s Day even though we spend it with the kiddos.

So, here are some ideas on how to make Valentine’s Day fun for you, your true love, and your little true loves.

1.  Do a themed Valentine’s meal.  This year the kids really want to see the sequel to a certain spaghetti movie.  I succumbed and got the DVD.  Dinner will be none other than a spaghetti dinner.  Dessert will be cupcakes from our local cupcake store (mile high frosting fits with the theme).  Then we will cuddle up on the couch and watch the movie.

Pick a theme your kiddos love and run with it.  It always makes the meal go much easier too.

2.  This idea I got from my son’s preschool teacher.  Help your kiddos make heart shaped mailboxes out of paper plates.  You and your hubs could make one too.  Then have everyone write love notes and put them in the mailboxes.  You could also use decorated brown paper bags.

 

3.  Make Valentine’s by using conversation candies.  You can do this one of two ways.  For the little guys, have them glue on the hearts with a glue stick onto construction paper.  You could make a Valentine for your little love by using the words on the hearts.  Sort of like a Valentine’s Mad Lib.

4.  Make Valentine’s by using the kiddos hand prints.  This is one that grandparents would love and could be kept.  Cut out a heart out of construction paper large enough for your child’s hand.  Get red and white washable paint.  Paint one hand red and the other white.  Gently place your child’s hand on the paper.  Nothing says “Love” like a child’s hand print.

5.  Make a Valentine center piece.  My friend came up with this idea for a Valentine’s Day class party. Get a glass jar, fill it part full with conversation hearts, and stick in some heart flower fillers.  Makes a great centerpiece and it’s edible.  You can use the conversation hearts as prizes.  You can make the heart shaped flower fillers by using straws and taping the hearts onto the straws.  The hearts could be made by your little kiddos.

6.  Have a pizza night.  Make the dough into a heart shape.  Have the kids help “decorate” the pizza.  Enjoy a love filled dinner.

There are just a plethora of ideas out there to help you with Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a good time to remind our children and ourselves who demonstrated the ultimate show of love for us – Jesus Christ.  You can do this by using hearts.

Cut out a red, white, and black heart.

The black heart represents our sin.  It is our sin that causes us not to be able to go to Heaven or to love like God loves. Romans 6:23

The red heart represents the blood of Jesus.  It is only through the shedding of HIs blood that we can have forgiveness of sin. Hebrews 9:22, John 3:16

The white heart represents what God does for us when we ask Him to forgive us of our sins.  He washes our hearts white as snow. Isaiah 1:18

Valentine’s Day is a good time for us mom’s to reflect on what love really is.  I Corinthians 13 gives a checklist for us.

1.  Do I speak with love or am I sounding brass?

2. Is my faith filled and demonstrates love?

3.  So my works show love to others?

4.  Am I patient?

5.  Am I kind?

6.  Am I glad for other’s when they receive blessings?

7.  Am I humble?

8.  Do I behave myself wisely?

9.  Do I strive to make others look good without receiving any glory?

10.  Do I get angry easily?

11.  Do I look for the good in others?

12.  Do I rejoice in truth?

13.  Do I bear all things God gives with love?

14.  Do I believe all things in His Word?

15.  Do I hope in all His promises?

16.  Do I endure all God sends my way?

That’s a LONG and CONVICTING checklist.  Yet, all those things shows God’s love to others.

Do we show God’s love to our families?

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: More than a Valentine

Daily Truth:   “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ” Matthew 22:37

valentine_lace_9

Getting to the heart of a matter can be a difficult thing for several reasons.  Let’s face it, we sometimes try to pack too many activities into a day. Our schedules do not allow us to address important topics.  At other times we just do not think the time is right to discuss issues that arise in our family.  Sometimes we do not feel equipped to teach our child what should be taught in a particular situation. We are surrounded by things in this world that vie for our attention.  We have difficulty distinguishing between good, better, and best.  At times we can lose sight of “getting to the heart” of the matter.

At the heart of the matter is Truth.  Truth teaches to the heart.  As parents we come up with many family sayings as:  always do your best,  finish the job, or obey quickly.  But, if we are not using God’s Word with God’s principles we are not teaching to the heart.

John wrote these words in John 12:37-43.

“But although He [Jesus] had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:

‘Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’

Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’

These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;  for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

Teaching to the heart of our child means that our own hearts must be right first. If you do not know how to be a child of God yourself and would like to know more please click here.

If over scheduling yourself and your family is a problem  ask God to help you with prioritizing. Align yourself with God.   If you feel unequipped or are in need of a systematic way of guiding your child’s heart to God below are some reliable resources to help with the training and teaching of your child.

Leading Little Ones to God       Shepherding a Child’s Heart

Step Into the Bible: 100 Family Bible Devotions to Grow Your Child’s Faith

 Let’s live for God’s glory and show our children that living for God is what really matters.  Living for God and reaching the hearts of children for God is what counts for eternity.

What are some things you do or resources you like to “get to the heart” of the matter?

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

All material written is the property of Truths for Tots.

 

 

 

 

 

Build Your Nest Well: Teach Children Independence and Dependence on God

Daily Truth:   “As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings…” Deuteronomy 32:11

eagle 2

We try  to keep our children safe in our “nest”.  We bandage skinned knees, give kisses to minor bumps, and provide “boo boo bunnies” to minor bruises but we must do more.  We must build trust with our children so children can then in turn trust others and God. Trust is an important part of building independence and thus dependence on God.

God teaches us (parents) in His Word so many times through nature.  By understanding nature it helps us to see the word pictures God shares with us through His Word.

Let’s take a look at the parenting qualities of the eagle so we can better understand Deuteronomy 32:11.   Did you know that 98% of the time one parent of an eagle pair remains on the nest with the eggs?   The parent with the eggs not only provides warmth but protection.  Newly hatched eaglets are soft with grayish-white down.  Their wobbly legs are too weak to support their bodies and their eyes are partially opened.  The only protection they have is what their parents provide.  The parents take turns feeding and caring for their eaglets.

The adult eagles shred pieces of meat from their prey and share with their eaglets. The female eagle gently coaxes the eaglets to take the meat from her beak while eating the leftovers herself.  We too give the best to our families.  How many times have you eaten the heel of a loaf of bread?

At three to four weeks the eaglets are covered with a secondary coat of down.  In approximately two more weeks black, juvenile feathers begin to grow.  As the secondary feathers replace the down the eaglets are ready to test their wings.  An eaglet takes its first flight some ten to thirteen weeks after hatching.  The parents encourage the eaglet to fly by gradually limiting the dependence upon them.  The parents stay close in assisting, teaching, and encouraging their eaglets.

Our job as parents is to build trust so they can trust us and the heavenly Father whom they cannot literally see.  God led me to think about this concept of trust as I was preparing for an elementary chapel time several years ago.  The acronym was as follows:

T-Time, you have to spend time with God in order to know God.  Reading God’s Word and talking to Him in prayer helps you to know Him.

R-Rust, is what happens when we do not spend time with God. (I showed a rusted car muffler to the children.)  We become ineffective to do the job God has for us when we do not spend time with God.

U-“U” can trust God.  There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible.  People may let you down, but God is Holy and always keeps His promises.

S-Savior, God gave His Son so we might have everlasting life with Him.  God provides for us in every way.

T-Trust, is developed over time, by not allowing rust (not taking care of the relationship between you and God), “U” can count on God, the Savior (Jesus Christ) was God’s only begotten Son that died for you and me.

God’s Word is what will last after children have left our “nest”.

We need to build our nest well.   Time goes quickly.  We need to cherish the moments.   Impart God’s Word and God’s love. Our help comes from the Lord.  He has given many examples and words of instruction for us through His Word.

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

The Stealth Mom: Ideas for Achieving Good Behavior

Daily Truth: “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter.”  Proverbs 30:33

 

Dad is home and all is right in the world!
Dad is home and all is right in the world!

This past week I had to “churn the butter” a little bit more than usual to help the kids achieve good behavior.

You see, Dan was on a business trip.

Whenever Dan goes on a business trip, I always brace myself for a long week of single parenting!  Inevitably, something happens within the first 48 hours that Dan just shakes his head and says, “Why am I not surprised?”

Never mind I don’t sleep well at all when Dan is gone. Dan left on a Sunday afternoon. I knew that this could be a humdinger of a week when Sunday morning at breakfast the kids started crying that they were going to miss dad and he was still here!

My youngest even went into Sunday School all mopey and told his teacher, “You know why I am so sad, because my dad is leaving on a trip all week.”

My kids thrive on surprises.  I thrive on good behavior from the kids which makes life more enjoyable for all.

So, I had to concoct a plan that would cause the kids to desire to have good behavior thus allowing me to reward that good behavior. (Hence, Proverbs 30:33)

Here is what I came up with. Dan was gone for five LONG days.  I numbered five 3×5 cards 1-5 and put holes in the top of each.  On the back of the cards I put a different fun activity for each day.

photo 2 (10)

My kids also like to sleep in my bed with me while Dan is gone.  (This equals very poor sleeping for mom!) However, desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, on the back of each card I also wrote a child’s name.  I didn’t  go in order by age but all random.

One day there was no name and that meant that night mom was guaranteed a restful night (or at least a night with no little appendages on my head or in my back).

In order for each child to participate in the fun activity, they had to have beyond good behavior for that day. If your name was on the back of the card to sleep in mommy’s bed, that child’s had to have light years beyond good behavior.

At lunch, I explained the game plan for the week, told them what I expected as good behavior, and set my plan into motion.

Here is what we did.

Sunday night:  The kids love to go to a particular restaurant after church and get pizza.  This is a rare treat!  Thus, it made the cut for the first night of surprises.

Thankfully, they all made the grade (I really didn’t want to cook that night anyway) and one of my kiddos was the lucky recipient of Pj’s with mom.

Monday night:  Well, Monday was a little more dramatic of a day.  I had to get a foot x-ray (all’s fine), another child had to go to the dentist and get his tooth pulled (laughing gas and a 6 year old boy don’t mix very well), and we discovered an unexpected little visitor in our house.

Green eggs and ham.
Green eggs and ham.

That night went much better.  The kids love grandma doing “Green Eggs, and Ham” with them.  So, guess what we had for dinner?  Love eggs, green eggs not so much.  However, the kids had a ball making them with grandma and we had no dinner ummm…. issues (shall we say) that night.

Making green eggs and ham.
Making green eggs and ham.

Another child made the cut of Pj’s with mom.

Tuesday night:  Movies are usually reserved for Friday night Family night at our house.  Like I said earlier, desperate times call for desperate measures.

To insure no dinner time issues, I reminded them that we still had a surprise coming.

Score for mom.

Popcorn and a movie was greeted with ecstatic cheers, bean bags were gathered, and children nestled down for a fun night.

Mom slept by herself.  BLISS!

Wednesday night:  Our church does Wednesday night dinners for those who purchase a ticket.  I figured tacos was a relatively good choice (health wise and good behavior wise). Taco night at church made the cut.

Another child made the Pj’s with mom cut.

Thursday night:  I did backwards night with them.  Basically, the table was set backwards with name cards made with the kids names spelled backwards.  Dinner was served backwards – dessert to main course. (Don’t worry – dessert was a tablespoon of ice cream.)

 

Backwards night.
Backwards night.

Since, they didn’t know what was going to be next, the kids were amazing during dinner. I ended with making cone head sundaes for the kids (upside down sundaes).

Cone head sundae.
Cone head sundae.

Friday!!!!! One of my kids had a birthday and all were excited because that night dad was coming home!!!

I think the opening picture says it all.

Overall, a great week.  Good behavior was at a premium, fighting was at a minimum, and fun was had by all.

Just may have to do this again.  Only this time, dad does it with us!

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

Routine, Routine, Routine

Daily Truth: “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established”  Proverbs 4:26

 

Routine is something most people thrive on. I am one of those moms that looks forward to a break from routine.  I love summer breaks because there is no set routine of activities from day to day. Christmas break is the same way.  We pretty much hibernate over Christmas break – partly because we are “go, go, go” during the school year.  In fact, I am probably more disappointed than the kids when Christmas break is over. However, this year was different.  Somehow 19 days of Christmas break was 19 days too long. Maybe it was the 33 hours of no power. Maybe it was  the extreme temperatures that forced the kids inside. Thus resulting in little bodily exercise and release from pent up energy. Maybe it was the 10 inches of snow that made it difficult to get out. Maybe it was the “I don’t know what to do” cries. Whatever it was, I was doing the happy dance when the kids went back to school last Thursday. I think we were stir crazy and quite frankly we were ready for routine again. That is until this Monday morning when the 6:00 a.m. alarm went off.  Then the thought of routine was NOT so appealing. Yet, truly there is something to be said for routine.

It is the beginning of a new year.  It is the time of year when many people make pledges to develop certain routines. Eating healthy. Exercising. Daily Bible reading. And the list goes on and on. Why do we decide to make promises at the beginning of the year to develop new routines? Maybe it’s because we have let our established eating routine get sidelined with all the sweet treats.  (Guilty as charged!) Maybe it’s because exercise became less of a priority during the holiday season due to time. Maybe it’s because we know we haven’t spent as much time in the Word as we should have this past year. Whatever the reasons, we decide to make pledges to develop new routines or improve old ones at the beginning of the year. Yet, how many of us have already failed and it is only 2 weeks into the new year.

Sigh….. Here are some thing our family is doing to help with our routines or newly pledged routines.

1.  Today, my mom and I joined a gym.  She swims.  I run.  I don’t swim.  She doesn’t run.  Yet, I think this will work for us to get into a pattern of meeting at the gym and keeping each other accountable for exercising. BTW- the water Zumba class does sound interesting.  I might just don the bathing suit and give that a whirl.

2.  Grab a friend to help keep you accountable.  I have one buddy for running.  We both had rough patches of getting it in before the holidays.  OK – rough months of getting in the running due to health and work. I have another friend that is my prayer partner and we have been for a couple of years. Proverbs 27:7 refers to friends keeping each other accountable.

3.  There’s an app for that.  Yep, there are some for exercising, Bible reading, eating, just about anything you want.  Find one you like and use it.  (mmmmm…..maybe future blog). I like the Bible Gateway app because there is an audio version for some of the translations. My mom and I use that for our devos especially for those really busy days. My husband uses a “Read-Through-The-Bible-In-A-Year” pamphlet. My daughter is using Streams in the Desert for Kids to help her establish a routine of daily Bible Reading. So, as we dive into this new year, take the time to write down a couple routines that you want to improve on or start for yourself as well as ones for your family. Then jot down ways to help you establish that routine whether it be a friend, a book, or an app. Start today developing routines that will help you become more and more the mom God wants you to be.

Tip for the week:  Homemade Granola (we make this every week)

2 c quick oats

1/3 c of maple syrup and honey combined.

2 TB canola oil

Add cinnamon, ginger, and all spice to taste.

Pinch of sea salt

You can also add coconut, dried fruit, nuts, pecans, etc.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients together until well coated.  Place on a cookie sheet and cook for 40 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.

When done, pour the granola on wax paper and let it cool completely.  Place in an airtight container.

Until next week, Rebekah klink

The Amazing Power of God

Daily Truth:  “And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God”  Luke 9:43

 

Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus covered in snow.
Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus covered in snow.

It is amazing how much we rely on electrical power and how much we don’t realize it until we don’t have power. My family had that lesson brought home to us this week. Sunday afternoon, around 12:30 the lights surged on and off twice and then the power was gone. We kept hoping it would be back soon, but as the day wore on we realized that we might be sleeping near the fireplace in the living room – all seven of us. So, we started preparing for what appeared to be the inevitable –  a night without power. My hubs tried to get the generator to work so that we could at least have heat in the house.  No luck. The kids gathered sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals – all the necessities for a warm night.  Pj’s were donned and candles were gathered. The kitchen became a command station of candles, lighters, batteries, flashlights, and games. About seven rounds of dominoes was played by candlelight and a rousing game of hide-and-seek in the dark was enjoyed by the kids. The funny thing was every time one of the kids went into a room inevitably we heard, “I can’t turn the lights on”. I don’t know how many times we heard during the first two hours, “Can we watch a movie or play the Wii?” Finally, they settled and realized we had to make do without all of the things that required power. We survived.  Thirty hours later the power did come on.

This is what 10 inches of snow looks like!
This is what 10 inches of snow looks like!

I will admit we did succumb to the cold and went to a friends house to thaw out and spend the night.  When your house gets down to 41 degrees and you have four layers of clothes on, two sets of gloves, hand warmers, and you can see your breath in the house – it’s time to find a warmer accommodations. But a lesson was learned.  It was amazing to the kids how much we depend on power. The irony is that about a week earlier my oldest made the comment that we could get by without electrical power and that we don’t depend on it that much. She has since changed her mind. A thought occurred to me. We have an unlimited source of power as Christians – our all powerful God.  Yet, how often do we tap into that source of power. In Luke 9:37-45, a father comes to Jesus with a demon possessed child and cries that even the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon. The irony, Jesus had just given the disciples the power to cast out demons (Luke 9:1). Jesus turns to them and calls them “faithless”.  In other words, the disciples had power given to them by Jesus and yet didn’t tap into it. Jesus then turns and cast out the demon, heals the boy, and restores him to his father. ” And they (all that saw the miracle) were all amazed at the mighty power of God” (Luke 9:41). These same people would later be responsible for Jesus death. Lest we fault the disciples, how many times do we – I – neglect to seek Jesus power.  If Jesus has the power over demons, doesn’t He have the power to take care of our needs.

Idea for the week:  What to do with all those Christmas cards?

We gather all the Christmas cards and pictures that we receive and put them in a basket.  Each night we take the card in the front of the basket, pray for that family, and stick their card in the back of the basket.  This continues all year.  It is fun to pray for these families throughout the year.

  Have a powerful week, Rebekah klink