children · Family life · home · Husband · Motherhood · Wife's Role

Family Friday – Family Time

 

Family Time.

Mother-Daughter Time

Mother-Son Time

Date night

Conversation time

We all want to spend time with our family, but we’re so busy with everything else going on in our world, how do we do it?

How do we respond when so many others need/want our moments, hours and days, yet we long for more time with our husband?  More time pouring into our children?  Here are some points to ponder when you consider how yo will spend your days:

  1. Establish an eternal perspective.  How will this decision effect eternity?  If it won’t, then is it pressing right now or should I do something else?
  2. Remember when you say “yes” to someone, you’re saying “no” to someone else. Who should I be saying “no” to?  Is this person in my priority order?
  3. Respond to each opportunity on the basis of how it will affect your ability to fulfill your current obligations. Will doing this make it more difficult to do what I have to get done today?  Will doing this help me accomplish what is before me?
  4. Try to do only the right things for the right reasons at the right times in the right seasons.

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Now, how will you spend TIME with your family this weekend?  Perhaps you should start by asking yourself these four questions, then make decisions about what you will/should do!

Your family opportunities won’t be there forever! Grab them while you can!

Refresh your family time,

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Christmas · Family life · memories · Prayer

Christmas Favorites 2017

Since I was absent the week after Christmas I didn’t get to share SOME of my favorite pictures and moments.  There were lots of them, but let me show you just a few.

We got to spend an early Christmas weekend with Whitney and her husband.  They’re great hosts – taking us to see the lights in the downtown city near them, fixing great food as you can see below, and giving us a cozy guest room to stay in.  We got to visit their church and loved worshiping with them!  Whitney doesn’t just blog about comfort at home – she lives it out!  Her house was decorated so beautifully for the holidays!

Christmas 2017 1

If you can’t visit Dollywood any other time of the year, you must go at Christmas.  It’s just breathtaking.  We got to go see the lights and shows (many that share the Gospel!) with dear friends and it was a great evening.  Sights like this one are at every turn!

Christmas 2017 2

Our little grandsons were sick on Christmas Eve, so they missed going to their other grandparent’s home or going to church.  However, after the service, we all went to their house where I fixed brunch for all of us.  Then we got to watch these little sweeties open the gifts we gave them and big teddy bears from their great Nana and Papa.  Wow!  That was special.

To see Alli and her husband love and parent these boys is a reminder every day that God answers prayer!

Christmas 2017 3a

Christmas afternoon we headed to Kentucky to spend Christmas with my family.  What a special joy it was to have my sisters and our husbands and our parents all together for Christmas Day!  It was also a time to celebrate my dad’s 85th birthday.  We are blessed beyond measure, and so thankful to the Lord for wonderful relationships, and time together to share a meal, laugh (lots!) and praise the Lord for His blessings this past year.

My brother-in-law on the far left has recovered miraculously from a fall from a roof in early September.  To see him standing, walking and enjoying the day with us was a gift in itself!  God sustained him and my sister as she cared tirelessly for his needs all those months.  Many of you prayed for him, and we are grateful.  Thank you.

Christmas 2017 4

I thank the Lord for a wonderful 2017 where I saw the Lord answer prayer after prayer.  Guess what?  On the first day of this year, another longtime prayer was answered!  I can’t wait to see what else God is going to do.

I was moved to tears by many who requested the prayer journal I shared about in the previous post.  Your names are all in my journal and I can’t wait to hear how your prayer life will result in blessings untold as you wait on the Lord to answer!

Be refreshed this weekend as you gather in a local church to study, worship, pray and fellowship!

What was a highlight of your 2017?

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children · Family life · home · Motherhood · summertime

Summer Fun Series (Day One)

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Hello friends, this week’s series is concerning summer ideas.  On Friday I’ll have a suggestion and a fresh post for couples’ summer ideas.  Each day this week will be posts with great lists of things to do with children during the summer months, especially.  So, whether you’re a mom, a babysitter or a grandparent who will be hosting grandchildren during the summer, these posts will give you TONS of great ideas to have at your fingertips!  Enjoy!

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Does this picture put a chill in your spine? This was last winter – a snowy winter for East Tennessee. I thought summer would never get here! Well, we’re now experiencing mid-summer weather with temps in the 90’s, but I am not complaining!

I love going outside with no coat on, having flowers blooming in my yard, and the fact that it’s still light outside at 9:00! I love having local fresh vegetables and fruits that are sweet and tender. I love the sight of lightening bugs at night and the sound of the cicadas in the trees. I love swinging on my swing on the deck early in the morning or late in the evening. I just love summer! I hope you’re enjoying it too.

Psalm 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

Just in case you’re a mom who needs some ideas to keep your children busy this summer, I thought I would post some great suggestions I found in a home and garden publication.

  1. Make a summer scrapbook. Include everything–even the little stuff. The price tag from your fave sundress, amusement park ticket stubs, photo booth pics of you and the crew and vacation postcards are all awesome additions to your book. It’ll be a summer you’ll never forget.

 

  1. Grow a green thumb! Purchase some packets of flower seeds–cosmo, poppy, sunflower (unsalted, of course!)–and plant them in your own garden patch. Tending to your sprouts will keep you super-busy, and it’s oh-so satisfying to watch as your blooms blossom.

 

  1. Rent a tandem bike for a day. It’s a bicycle built for-two. Grab a pal, hop on and pedal off for some good laughs: Yeah, it’s goofy…. So what?

 

  1. Head for the nearest gumball machine. Now, get four gumballs for a buck for you and each of your girls, and have a contest to see who blows the biggest bubble.

 

  1. Hit the kiddie section of the dollar store, and buy a few bottles of soapy bubbles. You’re never too old to blow bubbles!

 

  1. Buy some zany sunglasses and wear them in public. They can be ultra-glam, ultra-goofy, ultra-big, ultra-anything! The trick is to find a pair that really attracts attention. You’re guaranteed to have an ultra-hilarious day!

 

  1. Play the claw machine two times for a buck. You know–the one in which you try to pluck prizes with a mechanical crane. Yeah, it’s usually a waste of money… but it’s sooo irresistible!

 

  1. Fly a kite on a windy day. Haven’t flown a kite since you were a tot? You’re missing out! It’s not easy to keep that thing gracefully floating up there–but that’s what makes it challenging! Fly your kite on the beach or in an open field, where the wind is often at its strongest mph.

 

  1. Go backyard camping. Call your pals, pitch a tent, grab some sleeping bags, and head out your back door. OK, you’ll have to forget about the campfire, but that’s no reason to forgo the traditional campfire songs and tales. Have a blast sleeping under the stars-while enjoying the indoor plumbing just steps away!

 

  1. Become a bookworm. Make it a goal to finish off a certain number of books this summer. Pick a genre you’ve never tried before–biographies or historical fiction–and then stake out a few reading spots. Climb a tree, stretch out on the porch swing, or even curl up on the couch on a rainy day.

 

  1. Visit the library for the afternoon; it’s cool in there and you can occupy yourself with books, magazines, computers, story time, etc.

 

  1. Have a water fight. Get all your pals together, and designate teams. Then grab your water guns, water balloons, buckets, hoses and whatever else you’ve got…and ATTACK!

 

  1. Catch fireflies in a jar. Make yourself an all-natural lightning-bug strobe-light lantern for the evening. Don’t forget to throw in a few blades of grass and poke holes in the lid. Just be sure to let them go after a few hours!

 

  1. Become a volunteer at your local nursing home. Your electric smile and enthusiastic personality will have folks at the local home uplifted in no time. Spending even an hour a week playing board games or just talking with residents whose families can’t (or don’t) visit makes a big difference in their lives. Oh, and the stories they tell!

 

  1. Start a  cool collection. It doesn’t matter what you collect–just pick something you like, and go for it! Sea glass, shells and bottle caps are popular summer collectibles. Or be a collector of something totally unique, like ceramic cats, cute bandannas or vintage buttons. To get into the collecting groove, visit a local museum and check out its collections for inspiration.

 

  1. Play tag–in the rain. Why stay indoors just because the sun’s not shining? Nothing screams summer like a game of soggy tag. Running around in the rain (um, as long as there’s no thunder and lightning!!!) is a great way to cool down.

 

  1. Set up a lemonade stand.

 

  1. Make homemade play dough.

 

  1. Get a cardboard appliance box and turn it into a playhouse.
  1. Go bowling. Some lanes have special rates on certain days of the week.

What other things are you doing to have a great summer?  Make some memories today, remember, you’re not promised tomorrow.

Happy summer memories to you!

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Family life

Loosening and Laughter

For this weekend you may have planned for lots of activities – maybe ballgames, shopping, cleaning, and housework.  But have you also planned for FAMILY FUN?  Maybe you will have fun with your family as you do those activities, but can I encourage you to also pre-plan for some fun?

Be intentional about thinking through what you could do as a family that would create fun, memories and laughter!  After a stressful week of school and work, everyone needs to relax and have fun!!  No matter if you’re single, married with no children, married with a whole brood – we all need to plan for a time of loosening and laughter!  Consider:

  • Making homemade pizzas.  Let everyone make a mini one and create it to their personal taste.
  • Playing games.  Twister, Spot it! ( I saw a version of this at Tuesday Morning’s this week!), Hide and Seek, charades, Sorry!, etc.
  • Watching old home DVD’s while munching on Popcorn
  • Look through old photo albums (be willing to laugh at yourself!)
  • Divide the family in half and have a two team digital scavenger hunt using Mom and Dad’s cell phones (parents as team captain).  Take pictures of things like:Everyone on a horse, trying on funny shoes, buying a cookie, etc.  Have a time limit and meet back and see who got the most/best pictures!

The possibilities are limitless.  Just do it.  Loosen up and laugh.  It will be good medicine!

Laughter does good like a medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

I heard a great message about this yesterday.  It will encourage you to keep having times of fun as a family!

Stay refreshed!

Family life

The Hearth in the Home

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Will you indulge me to repost some of my “way back yonder” blog posts on Thursday’s? I’ll pick through some of my favorites and find things that I think will be relevant to my readers today. Let’s start with one that focuses on one of my favorite topics: Home.

In yesterday’s patriotic service at our church I participated by reading a monologue as it would be written by the Statue of Liberty. An ending phrase has gone over and over in my mind as I’ve pondered its meaning in my country and my own heart as well. It read…

 “O people, restore me to where I can once again see a land of beautiful homes – A land where homes are never separated – a land where home is viewed more by what is on the inside than what is on the outside – a home where these three gifts will always be: the hearth, the flag, and the place of prayer.”

What does it mean to you that you keep alive the gift of the hearth? Wikepdia says that a hearth is “a brick– or stone-lined fireplace or oven used for cooking and/or heating. Because of its nature, in historic times the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature: its Latin name is focus.[1]This concept has been generalized to refer to a home place or household, as in the terms “hearth and home” and “keep the home fires burning.” In fireplace design, the hearth is often considered the visible elements of the fireplace, with emphasis upon the floor level extension of masonry associated with the fireplace mantel.

Following this definition I see the hearth as a symbol of the warmth of a family inside a home. It’s not the kind of warmth a real hearth would have brought, but the kind of that comes from being together, spending time talking, sharing in the lives of those that live there with us. I believe this can only be done by the diligence that it took to keep the fire burning in those old- time fireplaces.

One integral part of family warmth is mealtime. I don’t mean the hurry-up and eat and get out of here kind of meal. This is the mealtime where the meal is lingered over, empty plates are pushed back and conversation happens. We have often read a book together after our supper meal. Having Bible reading or devotions works well at this time of day when everyone is gathered together.

The hearth’s warmth can be spread outside to the front porch or the deck. Last weekend we enjoyed having company and spent Friday and Saturday evenings out on the deck talking, sharing dessert and coffee, and also listening to stringed instruments being played and hymns being sung. I could just feel those “home fires burning” during those sweet times of fellowship.

Often the piano in the living room has served as our “hearth.” Because our girls play we have the blessing of being able to gather ’round it and sing together. Game boards have also served in bringing us together in laughter and closeness as games were played with stiff competition and fun.

Each family may interpret the “hearth” in a different way. The important thing is that we do all we can, with the Lord’s strength to keep it burning, and that we each understand that the hearth in the home truly is a gift.

Are you making the most of the gift of your hearth?  How are you accomplishing that?  Ask the Lord to give you ideas, if that gift isn’t being maximized!  

From my hearth,