Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trusting God


Today I am lifting up my oldest daughter and putting my trust in the Lord. She has had a difficult first week and asked me if there is any way that she could have another teacher. I was hoping that a strict teacher would be good for her, but she was so sad yesterday when she came home from school. She cried as she told me that the teacher told her she wasn't a good example for the class when she knocked some books off of a bookcase. Then she told me that the teacher also told her to mind her own business when she shared that a boy at her table was saying something inappropriate to a friend. I disagree, because I feel that if something said makes someone feel uncomfortable than it is their business. Talking has also been an issue for her, as well. I know that she needs to take responsibility for her behavior, but I also pray that the people in her life will guide her in a positive way. We prayed together this morning that she would have a better day and that Jesus will give her strength to be a good student. She wants to be a good example for others, so I know that the comment made really hurt her yesterday. This morning on the way to school, she asked me why first grade isn't fun like Kindergarten. I'm just hoping that it gets better. Being anxious won't help the situation, so I am putting trust in God that he will take care of her today and help guide me as a parent.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday



Giving our children wings- It is hard to let them grow up! Here's my peanuts first stages of independence!!
(Wordless Wednesdays- neat idea! Thanks 5 minutes for Mom!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're Thanking the Lord Today!!

Yeah, the sound of the nurses voice brought sweet joy to my ears!! The tests results came back normal. What a blessing! Our next step now is physical therapy for her tippy toe walking and to continue with her migraine medicine for the headaches. If you happen to stumble across my blog and have any information on childhood migraines, please share!! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School Prayer


Dear Lord,

Bless our children as we let them go into the hands of others. Please let them feel your presence and provide peace when they feel anxious. Guide our children as they make new friends and to be a shining light towards others. Lord, I pray that you help our children to be confident in their abilities as they learn and to appreciate the gifts that you have given them. Thank you so much for our precious gift- our children. We lift them up to you today.

In Jesus' name,
Amen

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finding Strength from Up Above


"Anxious mother!" are the two words that I would use to describe how I've been feeling this week. My faith at times seems so strong, so why would I be anxious when I know who is in charge? Well, this is something that has been a personal struggle for me, especially during medical emergencies or when there is a big life change. This week my little one was scheduled for an MRI of her brain and lumbar spine. She has been having frequent headaches and also is known for her "tippy toe" walking. Sedation was the word that was scaring me! Throughout the week, I tried my best to be positive, especially around little peanut. "You're going to take a little nap and get your picture taken." I would tell her. When we arrived at Children's Hospital, we went through the usual paperwork, and then I met my angel! The nurse who said,"Did they discuss having her watch a movie during the MRI?" I'm thinking-"How can she watch a movie, she is supposed to be sedated?" She continues to ask me if anyone discussed this option with me. I told her that I wasn't aware. She proceeded to inform me of the other option of her having an IV with four different medications and an oxygen mask. I looked at her to see what she thought about staying still for so long. "No pinchies, Momma," she pleaded. So, a movie it is!! I was thrilled, but also knew that she only had one try. She had to be willing to lay still in a strange place for a very long time. The nurses were wonderful and so patient with her. In order to view the movie, they taped on a mask type goggles and attached ear phones for her to hear. She also had a little microphone to talk to them through while she was in the MRI chamber. Next,they let her sit on the MRI table and watch the movie to help ease her own anxiety about going inside this strange machine. She looked at me with sad eyes and told me that she was feeling afraid. For a moment, it appeared as though she wasn't going to go in and she wiggled as though she wanted to get off of the table. I looked at her and asked her-"Who gives you strength, sweetie?" She looked back and said,"God, does." She then proceeded to lie down. I reassured her that I would be right beside her and hold her leg during the whole procedure. She did it!! Was I proud that day? Oh, yeah! My four year old relied on her Father in heaven for strength and was such a brave little girl. She didn't move in that machine for at least an hour and a half! Now that this is complete, we are now praying that the results will be positive ones- we are hoping that the headaches are allergy related and that the tippy toe walking is behavioral. Please pray for her that this will be the outcome. Many Blessings!

Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Love God More than Money

Right from the mouth of babes! As we drove home from dinner this evening, my four year old was lecturing her older sister about how God is more important than money. Big Sis' was commenting on how she loved money and was disagreeing with me as I was reminding her of the importance of relationships over things or money. (She loves to get Mom riled up!) Little Sis' saved the day with her thinking and her wonderful comment-"God is more important than money." So wise for such a young age!

It is not surprising that the mention of money is written repeatedly throughout scripture. My hope is for my family to not get caught up in obsessing over money or things. I want us to focus on appreciating what the Lord provides for us and to put him first in our lives.

You must choose for yourselves today
whom you will serve...
as for me and my family,
we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24: 15 NCV

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Helplessness

God is not waiting to show us strong in his behalf, but himself strong in our behalf. That makes a lot of difference. He is not out to demonstrate what we can do but what he can do. VANCE HAVNER

My poor little peanut was stung by a bee today in the toe. Now you may be thinking- all children get stung at least once in their life- big deal. But for me today, this was a very big deal. Helplessness. This is the word that comes to mind to describe how I felt as my 4 year old cried in my arms. Everything that I tried wouldn't stop the crying, shaking, and pleading for the pain to go away. After a 1/2 hr. of crying, I called my mother. "What should I do? She won't stop crying? Is this normal for a child to cry so long after a sting?" The advice my mother gave, I already found on the Internet and tried! After 45 minutes, I called the nurse at our pediatrician's office. Again, I asked if this was normal. She exclaimed, "Bee stings hurt." Well, I knew that because I had been stung before; I just couldn't remember it hurting for such a long time. She suggested a baking soda paste, more time on ice, and a cold rag. I pleaded for her to please keep the ice or the cold towel on her sore toe. After about an hour of crying, tears welled in my eyes and I started praying over her for God to please, please take the pain away. Next, I went upstairs to find my older daughter. She was too stressed out by the whole scene and spent most of the hour in my bedroom watching TV. I asked her if she would pray with me. She said that she had been praying for her little sis', but that she would really like it if I would pray with her. So my six year old and I prayed as we heard the cries from below. I came back down stairs and held her as she fussed. Gradually, her crying subsided and I tried to encourage her by letting her know that it would continue to get better. Was it our prayers or was it the medicine kicking into her system? Whether God chose to comfort her or not, he was there for us when we were feeling helpless. He cared that she was hurt and he is there to listen when we feel like there is nothing we can do to help our children. We are his children and he wants to help and love us always.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Look for the Blessings!

What do you do when a day just doesn't go as planned? You look for the blessings! Amen! Today, the girls and I were supposed to have a fun summer day at the Wave Pool. After we arrived, we were standing in a long line only to find out that someone had put glass in the pool. We weren't sure how long the wait would be while they looked for the glass and I wasn't so sure it was a good idea to go into a wave pool that may still have glass in it anyways. Well, we decided to pack up and go to another pool. We made a quick stop at home to pick up Emmy's swimmies and jumped back into the car. Just a block away and the car started to make a funny sound. "Uh oh! I've heard that sound before," I thought. I was on E!!! How did I not notice that I was running out of gas? My husband lectures me all of the time about this, because he cares about our safety. So back home we went- barely making it as the car sputtered. The girls pouted because for the second time in one day- no swimming!! Abby was pretty mad about this. "We packed up for nothing she complained." I told her that I guess it wasn't God's plan for us today to leave home, so let's make the best of it. She pouted some more until I mentioned the two words water balloons. Finally, I saw a little smile! We decided that after water play, we would scooter to the video store and pick up a pizza. The day was getting better, but then we had a difficult time trying to cross a busy street. Both of the girls came way too close to being hit by a car. Luckily, we arrived home safely. A big scare for all of us! It was frustrating how people didn't care to slow down at the cross walk to let my family get across the street safely. So tonight, I am counting my blessings. Even if the day didn't go as planned, my two precious darlings are at home safe, sleeping in their bed. What more could I ask for?

My girls when they were babies!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

5 Minutes, Please!


As I sat on my porch swing with my coffee and God's word in hand, a little face kept peeking out the door and another little face out the window. "5 minutes, please," I pleaded. They continued to try to get my attention as I tried to spend just a little bit of time with God. "Please let Mommy have just 5 minutes with God."

Usually, they are pretty good about giving me my quiet time, but this particular morning was different. I didn't get the time with God that I wanted, but at least the girls were observing what is important to their Mommy. God- first- in the morning. So even though I didn't get to pray or read as much as I wanted, at least my girls could see that my time with God is important. When we read God's word and pray, we are setting an important example for our children.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Teaching Forgiveness


Unconditional love. When Big Sis' was just two years old, I can remember talking about this concept with her. I would tell her, No matter what, Mommy loves you. Even when you misbehave, even when you cry, every moment of everyday- Mommy loves you. I wanted her to understand that my discipline meant love, not disapproval of who she was, but disapproval of the behavior. As my girls grow older, we talk more about forgiveness and unconditional love on a daily basis.

Yesterday, was a challenging day for me. I wasn't patient, slow to speak or slow to become angry like the verse James 1:19 advises. God had a better plan for me yesterday, but I chose my own. I tried to do it "all" on my own.

A realization came to me as I fell asleep last night after beating myself up over and over again, was that I had to forgive myself, because my girls have already forgiven me. In this family, we have unconditional love for each other. We aren't perfect, because we are fallen people, but with God's help we can be better- we can be patient, we can be slow to anger, and slow to speak- we just need to be sure to ask!!

So today is going to be a better day because I am going to give it over to God. I am going to follow his plan and cherish the time that I have with my children today! God bless you today as you spend time with your children. Forgive them when they misbehave and forgive yourself when you could have done better!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sharing God - Babies and Toddlers

When should we start teaching our babies about God? I think from the very beginning! Infants love the sounds of their mommy's and daddy's voices. Parents can share God through their prayers and songs. Simple stories, fingerplays, and songs are wonderful for toddlers. Also, pointing out the wonders that God has created in this world can be done with toddlers on a daily basis. My children have grown out of this stage, but I still cherish a few of the resources that helped me during this time in their lives. One of the resources is titled Playtime Devotions and it was developed by Focus on the Family, written by Christine Harder Tangvald.

"Playtime Devotions help parents blend playtime with 'Godtime' by combining familiar childhood games and songs with new rhymes and lyrics that teach about God's love."

Another resource that I continue to find helpful is a book titled The Story of Jesus written by Patricia A. Pringry.

"This little book, in a few simple words, briefly tells the Biblical story of Jesus Christ, how He healed the sick, fed 5,000 with a child's lunch, and invited the little children to come unto Him. Parents can use the simple words and bright pictures of this book to introduce to a very young child the person of Jesus Christ and His love for all children everywhere."

My six year old selected this book this evening for our bedtime stories. She could have picked any number of books such as Clifford, Barbie Princess, etc., but she chose Jesus first!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Biblical Parenting

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of reading the bible and using a kid-friendly bible with our children. Going to God's word daily is very important for our kid's, but also salient for us to be effective parents. After going to a parent group tonight, I've thought more about this. There are so many days where I question if I am doing this parenting thing right?? Am I being too strict, am I being too lenient? Am I doing enough, am I spoiling too much? and so on. Parenting is such a huge responsibility, but we don't have to do it alone! God has the instruction manual for us- the bible! With so many books out there with advice, it is so easy to get confused. God's truth can guide us and help us feel secure with the incredibly challenging, but wonderful gift of parenting.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bibles for Beginners

Finding the right bible for your child that is visually appealing and age-appropriate is very important. The Christian book stores that I have visited provide many options for first bibles. I have been happy with the bibles that I have used with my girl's in the past, but have been really impressed with a new bible that little sis' received as a gift from her Preschool teachers. It is titled Goodnight Bible:45 Bedtime Bible Stories for Little Ones-stories retold by Susan L. Lingo. It starts out with tips for Parents and Caregivers, Bed Time Rhymes, and a letter to your child from a firefly named Night Light. This cute critter helps guide your child with questions for quiet time and a prayer for prayer time after each story. This bible is very kid-friendly because of it's colorful illustrations and it's poetic form of story-telling. Both of my girls have enjoyed our bedtime readings, although I would suggest it more for toddlers and preschoolers.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fun Prayers for Kids

When I was a child, we prayed the traditional prayers at the table and at bedtime, but we also enjoyed the fun prayers that we learned at Bible camps and in Sunday school. My daughters enjoy the prayers that I have passed on from my childhood, but are excited to teach me the new prayers that they have learned from church and preschool. Holidays and special events are filled with joy as all of the kids(cousins) get together and pray to God in song! Here are two of the prayers that my daughters have taught our family:

Scooby Doo Prayer (Sing to the theme of Scooby Doo!)

Thank you, thank you, Lord
For our food.
And all that we are given.
We can count on you,
To be true.
To make our lives worth living.


Superman Prayer (Sing to the the Superman theme)
The kids do arm movements with this as well. Too cute!!

Thank you, Lord
For giving us food.
Thank you, Lord
For giving us friends.
The food that we eat!!
The friends that we meet!!
Thank you, Lord!!
Amen, Amen!


Here are a couple of ideas that I found that I'd like to try with my family! Link to the website below to read the article Fun Family Prayer Adventures.
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/onlinediscipleship/halloween/nappa_family_prayer.aspx

Friday, August 1, 2008

Christian Music for Kids!

Singing, Dancing,and Praising! Besides singing their favorite Hannah Montana songs, my girls love to sing Christian music. Kid CDs and videos are great, but they also love to listen to my music. One of my favorite and I think one of the most inspiring singers is Sara Groves. My girls have learned a lot of the words to a few of her songs. It is so cute to hear my 4 year old sing "Lord, I have a heavy burden..." She might not understand this song, but I do know she understands others that we sing together, such as the lyrics-"...I want to add to the beauty, to tell a better story." We talk together about the music and what it means. My six year old asked me- how do we add to the beauty? I explained by following and loving God and by being a shining light! They can relate to this because of their children's song-This Little Light of Mine and the lessons that they have learned at church. Playing my music and modeling worship gives them freedom to do the same and it opens up conversations daily about God. Another suggestion is to bring your child to a Christian Concert. My oldest enjoyed local artists The Sparks and begged me to purchase their CD. Also, she enjoyed worshipping with the African Children's Choir and yes, we did get their CD, too. Other suggested resources that my girls enjoy include:

Sing & Praise Worship for Kids (Connecting Kids to God)

Girlz Rule! Christian Rock

Add to the Beauty by Sara Groves