Fall · memories · Refreshment

Bye, September, That Was Fun!

Just like the leaves scattered on my walking path, September has left some special memories of events and happenings during the month. Here are the photos from some of the blessings of those thirty days.

I had the blessing of speaking at two different ladies’ events last month. After pouring over God’s Word and seeking God’s direction in my study, it’s such a joy to my heart to get to teach women Truth from the Scriptures. Both events were so well planned out, and I believe all the ladies were just so thankful to have an opportunity to gather together. Things were different, of course, but it was still such a blessing to share this time with these precious ladies!

My husband traveled with me to the first event, and then my dear friend traveled with me to the second one. She’s a jewel, carrying my belongings, tending to any need, and also mingling with the women and serving them so well.

Then we were blessed to get to gather in Asheville as a family to celebrate Whitney’s birthday. Spite the fact that we ate outside in an alley with the cool winds whipping around our feet, we had a great time! We made the best of it by wrapping up with blankets retrieved from the car and later warming ourselves over dessert served outside of Starbucks with coffee and sunshine!

That same week we were saddened by the hospitalization of my dear dad, but thankful to the Lord that he came home after a two-night stay. These photos were the evening of the day he was discharged. How blessed we are for every day together, every dish of ice cream shared, every conversation spoken. God answered our prayers and we are rejoicing!

The next weekend took us to Pennsylvania where my husband had the joy of preaching at the installation of a dear friend as he assumed role as pastor at a church there. This church had been without a pastor for three years, so they were so excited. Our friend and his wife had been praying about returning back to ministry after a few years of rest. What a blessing to see how God prepared the way for all this to happen. My husband got to give the charge to the new pastor. We shared sweet fellowship with them in their home.

The fall colors were beautiful and we took some scenic routes and enjoyed the journey!

September had lots of miles, lots of memories, and so many blessings! Our hearts are full and thankful!

What was your best adventure in September?

I hope you’ll refresh yourself in a Bible preaching church this Sunday!

children · Encouragement · Family life · Motherhood · Parenting

Firm, Fair, Fun Parenting

This week I want to continue on with the parenting series in the form of some encouragement.  I know it can be difficult and wearisome when they’re small.  Teen years can seem to last forever with attitudes or questions about your choices.  Even the adult years of children can be challenging and stressful.  For that reason, we all need to have a biblical view of parenting – from the beginning to the end.  Let’s dig in and get some good advice from God’s Word to keep us faithful to this blessed call of building our children for the glory of God!

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Obviously parenting is a daily responsibility, and sometimes it can get overwhelming.  Other days it’s discouraging because the children don’t seem like they’re “getting it.”  We then fall into a disheartened mode which also influences the rest of our family.

May I encourage you on your parenting road today?

I heard a preacher recently say that in parenting you need to:

  • Be Firm
  • Be Fair
  • Be Fun

All three are needed.

Be firm – Say what you mean and then follow through.  Don’t promise a spanking for disobedience and then not carry it out when you get home.  That kind of neglect takes a  huge amount of effort to undo.  If you’ve set a curfew for your teen, expect them to honor it.

Be fair – Too often we hit the first one strong and hard.  We’re firm.  “No!” “No!” “No!” at every request, every attempt the child makes, at every word they say.  But stop and ask if you’re also being fair.
What does “being fair” entail?  Being fair requires really listening. Proverbs 18:13 says,

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it,

it is a folly and shame unto him.

 Did you hear your child out completely before you answered them?  Do you understand where they’re coming from?  Or did you cut them off? If the teen was late for curfew, let them speak before you discipline.  Hear them out.  There may be a viable reason for their tardiness.   If we’re wise, we will obey the Scripture above and hear them out.  Let them know you care about what they have to say and that they are worth listening to.
Be fun – Lastly, we need to take time out for fun.  If things are stressful in homeschool, drop the books and do something just for fun!  If there’s been tons of stress in relationships, add a dose of something everyone will enjoy.
  • Go on a picnic for lunch.
  • Build a fort in the backyard.
  • Eat ice cream sundaes for supper.
  • Go shopping for sunglasses with your teen daughter and have lunch at her favorite place.
  • Learn to laugh – long and hard with your children
  • Isn’t it easy to scowl?  Let your kids see you smiling- and at them!

Firm, fair, fun.  If those words don’t describe your parenting, ask the Lord to help you incorporate the needed areas into your home today!

Which of these three areas is hardest for you?

With love,

Uncategorized

Ten Things Television Cannot Do for Your Family

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Our family loves to watch The Andy Griffith Show – it always make us laugh!  The Barefoot Contessa cooking show is a favorite program on the Food Network; it always inspires me to get in the kitchen!  There are a handful of old movies I have enjoyed and watched again and again.  I say that first so you’ll understand that this is not a post bashing television entirely.  It has its place when used wisely (like anything else!).

There was a young visitor in my home who frequents my house who recently asked, “Is your TV EVER on?”  I told him that it is on occasionally, but that we don’t ever just leave it on.  The television being left on for the majority of the day is, I believe, a common occurrence in many American households.  I’ve been doing some thinking about the question from my young guest, and came up with the reasons why I don’t leave the television on.  Again, I’m not saying a person should never watch television; I’m talking about having it on for the majority of the day.

 A television babysits, entertains, fills a mind, teaches, occupies, and replaces our presence,
but what can’t television do?

  1. It cannot look a person in the eye.  It’s impersonal, distant, removed.
  2. It cannot have a conversation.  It cannot ask or answer a question.  It does all the talking.
  3. It cannot provide a peaceful atmosphere in your home.  Television is all about drama!  Leaving it on creates noise and unrest rather than peace.
  4. It cannot create a loving home.  Creating anything takes a person’s mind, strength and love. A TV has none of these.
  5. It cannot listen.
  6. It cannot touch.
  7. It cannot hold someone accountable.  It won’t tell you how long you’ve been watching.
  8. It cannot show emotion.
  9.  It cannot encourage creativity.  It does all the creating while the watcher, well, watches!
  10. It cannot pause to allow you to listen to God.  It takes someone to turn off the set so that there is time to hear, listen and obey.  That someone would be us!

Some encouragement about when you do watch:

  • Recording shows is a great way to use your time more effectively.  Then you can fast forward through commercials!
  • If you have to watch a show “live,” mute the commercials, which are always very loud.
  • Set a time limit as to how long it will be on.
  • Make it a reward – not a babysitter.
  • Try to do something else while watching – Iron, fold clothes, knit, cut out coupons, etc.
  • Don’t watch any show where people are doing/saying anything you wouldn’t allow a guest in your home to do or say.
  • Don’t watch anything you wouldn’t ask the Lord to sit down and watch with you (He’s there!).

Just some food for thought.  I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Please, no anonymous comments.  =)  Thanks!

With love,

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Sensory Memories

I turned on Pandora Radio on my computer while I was doing housework.  A familiar sounding song began playing, and then all of the sudden the recognition of it enveloped me – Somewhere My Love!  Immediately, I was taken back to my childhood when my sister’s alarm clock played that song so beautifully.  I loved hearing it play.  It was soothing and comforting.  Suddenly, I could remember my childhood home, and feel the warmth and love I found there.  Music will do that.

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Yesterday Whitney posted about a Pumpkin Muffin recipe that I made while she was growing up.  She recently made the recipe, and while enjoying the baked good was “transported back (to) the kitchen table, laughing and talking with my family.”  Food will do that.

The smell of a candle awakens a memory of a place.  A perfume scent recalls a person.  In short, our senses remember things.  Because of that, we should use that in a favorable way to create memories for our families.  May I suggest a few ways?

  • Play the same few CD’s for several months at dinnertime.  Or play a certain CD during a particular season each year.  Playing music at mealtime is helpful in keeping the atmosphere calm and quiet, but it also creates an audio memory.
  • Have seasonal foods that are your signature recipes.  For instance, make a pumpkin bar in the fall, your famous sugar cookies at Christmas, Lemon meringue pie in spring and blueberry muffins in summer.  Those tastes and the smells of those baked goods will bring back memories of mealtimes at home.
  • Burn candles in your home, or use potpourri scents to fragrance your home.  It will freshen your house and create a memory of the smell home.
God gave us our senses and they can be used to create a homey atmosphere that will bring back times from the past.  Let’s be wise and use it in a positive way!

What sensory stirs up memories of your childhood?

With love,