Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Our Top 5 Blog Posts for 2016 {Free Gift For You}

       Can you believe that 2016 is coming to a close?  It has been quite a year hasn't it?  I have enjoyed sharing my heart with you all and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for all of us. 

     When I started this blog just four short months ago, I didn't know what I would be writing about each day, but God led me every step of the way.  I knew I wanted to be open and honest and real with people.  I wanted to share our strengths and weaknesses.  I wanted to help others who may be struggling with the same things I have had difficulties with over the years.  I just want to bless anyone who may read my posts.  

     Here is a list of our top 5 blog post for 2016:

  1.  God's Amazing Creation, here we talk about the Supermoon and we have a free study on the moon for you to download and print.  
  2. Let's Talk Life Skills, in this post we talk about teaching our children real life skills such as cooking, sewing, and cleaning. We also have a great printable to help you set goals for your homeschool.
  3. A Free Bible Study of Proverbs 31, this post has a free PDF study of Proverbs 31.  As a mom and wife, I find studying this chapter of the Bible helps me to set goals for my life
  4. Let's Get Real about Homeschooling Schedules, in this blog post I talk about how schedules were actually hindering our homeschooling experience.  We found that have goals were better than having a rigid time table to follow.  
  5. Let's Talk Homeschooling Co-Ops, is a wonderful post about the pros and cons of attending a co-op.  We do not attend one right now, but that doesn't' mean it won't fit our needs in the future. 

      I want to thank all of you who stop by to read my blog.  It is a humbling experience to put your heart out there, but also rewarding in many ways.  I appreciate your kind comments and encouraging words.  I pray you have a blessed new year!  

     As a gift to you for the new year, I have made some bookmarks.  Each are designed to remind you that every day is a new beginning and that God always gives us hope.  I pray they are a blessing to you.  

Friday, December 23, 2016


Today we have some great background calendars for January that you can save and use on your computers.  I hope they are a blessing to you! 

To save: Hover over the image that you would like to save,
 right click and choose "save image as...."  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Empty Stocking

       It was June of 2006, when we lost our son Caleb.  Our hearts were broken when our sixth child was born prematurely and taken from my womb to heaven.  It wasn't something we had ever experienced before.  Losing a child has to be the worst pain a parent can endure.  You feel like a part of yourself is missing.  You walk around in a daze for months.  No one understands that feeling unless they too have experienced it.  

      Just when I thought my heart was beginning to heal, Christmas came.  I thought I was handling things okay until we went to put up the stockings for our kids that year.  His was not there.  It was missing.  It should have been hanging there right beside his sisters and brothers.  We decided that we needed to buy him one.  We knew he would never so we could see the excitement as he opened it on Christmas morning, but somehow just seeing it there eased our pain a bit.  

      Some people probably thought we were nuts buying a stocking for someone who wasn't here, but we didn't care.  It helped us cope with the loss of our child.  They didn't know the ache that we felt as we bought presents for our other children and not him.  They didn't feel the pain we felt when we visited his grave instead of waking him up Christmas morning.  

       It has been 10 years since we bought that stocking and every year we hang up his stocking right along aside of our other ones. He will never be forgotten.  He is our son.  He is the brother of our children.  He is loved and missed beyond words.  We also have a yearly tradition to allow his baby sister to pick out a special ornament for him.  She hangs it on the tree each year with a huge smile on her face because she knows that one day she will see him again. 

       I decided to write this today because I wanted to let other families know that you are not alone.  It is okay to grieve in anyway that helps you through it.  Don't allow others to tell you are crazy or weird for memorializing your child in any way you see fit. No one but you understands how you feel.  Not even someone who has lost a child can feel exactly like you do.  You know what you need in order to heal.  It's okay!!!!  

        I know without my faith, I would have not made it through that loss.  My husband and I were able to lean on each other and God to help us.  I pray that you have God to lean on too.  He is our comfort and source of peace when we do not understand.  

       God knows your pain all to well.  He sent His son to earth to be born, knowing that one day He would die on the cross for our sins. It was His great love for us that He made this sacrifice.  Are you going through a loss alone?  You don't have to.  I would love to pray with you and for you.   

       I also have some wonderful Bible verse to encourage and comfort you.  Please feel free to download them and print them so you can keep them close and read them daily.  


What Christmas Means to Me

     I remember laying under the tree as a child.  It was an amazing sight to look up at the lights and ornaments hanging from the branches.  I would dream of the gifts to come as I ate my sugar cookie.  Christmas was a joyous time at my home.  

     As an adult things have changed.  I have found the true meaning of Christmas.  As I sing the song Silent Night, I think about that evening when Mary was giving birth to her firstborn son.  It brings back memories of when I had my first son and I can just imagine how she felt when she held that newborn baby in her arms.  The joy that fills your heart is so great you feel it may burst at any moment.  

     One thing was different from my experience and hers.  She was now the mother of the Messiah.  It must have felt like a huge responsibility and blessing at the same time.  She knew this little babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, would grow up to be the Savior to all the world.  He was God's promise fulfilled.  This precious baby who was looking up at her was going to deliver all those who believe from their sin.  She must have been filled with awe.  

      Now when I look at our tree, I see something a little different.  I see hope, love, and life.  Christmas means so much more now that I have a personal relationship with Christ.  During this time of year I am filled with joy.  I am so thankful that God sent His Son to earth.  He made a way for all of us to go to heaven one day.  

      My resolve for each Christmas is to point my family to Him.  Don't get me wrong, we enjoy all the fun of the season such as baking, decorating, and gift giving, but we don't allow all that to overshadow the true reason for the season.  We do our best to honor Him as we study His Word each day and as we pray for others.  We try to help those in need just as He did all His days on the earth. We enjoy learning more about Him as we celebrate His birth.  We thank Him for all He has given to us, especially for the best gift of all.... SALVATION!  

      I pray that this Christmas will be a special day for you and your family.  I also pray for those who are hurting during the holidays.  I know there are many celebrating without dear loved ones and it is hard.  I miss my son and parents so much during this time of year, but I know they are in heaven rejoicing. They would want me to rejoice as well.   

       May the Lord bless you as you celebrate His gift of eternal life.

      If you have not yet given your life to Christ, please feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to talk with you.  You can message me on my facebook page Training In Godly Character, and I will get back to you asap.    We also have a wonderful page to explain salvation here: Do You Know Jesus?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Let's Study Colossians

     The book of Colossians has always been one of my favorite books of the Bible.   There is so much knowledge to glean as you study it. We will learn about things such as love, faith and how to manage a Christian household.   

     My favorite verse is Colossians 3:23. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. It reminds us that we are here to please God not man.  That has always been a difficult concept for me.  As a perfectionist, I found that I have always wanted people to see only the best parts of me, but after studying these scriptures, I have given up "people pleasing".   The only one I need to strive to please is my Heavenly Father.  

     During my study of Colossians the Lord also pointed out that whatever I am doing should be done as if I was doing it just for Him.  Even my laundry!!!   I know that sounds a bit silly, but if I am complaining about doing the dishes or folding my laundry, I am not pleasing God.  He wants us to serve Him in everything we do and say.  

I drew this to remind myself that God wants me to glorify Him even when I am doing my laundry.
 I have it hanging in the room where I fold my laundry 

      Do you know that our attitudes can set the atmosphere for our homes?  If we are grumbling and complaining, our kids will grumble and complain.  If we are serving the Lord with gladness, they will see it and follow our example.  

       Are you ready to dig deeper into God's Word?  Are you ready to grow your faith?   I have a free study of Colossians for you today! What I love about the S.O.A.P. method of studying God's Word is that any age can participate.  You can even ask your little ones what they observed and how they can apply it. 

       I pray that God blesses you as you read and examine this book of the Bible.  May your life be changed! 

     To download this study, just click on the link below the image.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pride Goes Before the Fall


     Pride is an issue I believe we all deal with on a daily basis.  It is the opposite of humility.  When we are prideful, we are acknowledging who we are, not who we are in Christ.  We are nothing without God, but with God's help we can accomplish all that He wants us to do.  We must put aside selfish thoughts and ambitions and allow God to work His plans in us and through us.  If we allow God to use us by humbling ourselves, He will exalt us in due time.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
 ~ 1 Peter 5:6

     There are a few Hebrew words that are translated into humility.  Anah, which means to bow down, and kana, which means to be brought into subjection.  Humility is a choice! We can choose to bow down, or we can be brought into subjection.  When we are full of pride, God allows circumstances to bring us into humility.  God wants us to be humble before Him.  There are many stories in the Bible where we can see God humble men.  I encourage you to look up some of these stories.  One to get you started is the story of  Nebuchadnezzar.  

     As we teach this quality of humility to our children, we must show them ways the can be humble.  They will need to have opportunities to practice this quality.  You will have to search for teachable moments.  Such as playing a game.  When they win, do they boast and brag or do they win with a humble heart?  When they are corrected, do they get a bad attitude or do they accept criticism with a cheerful disposition?  Are they appreciative or do they have a heart of "You owe me"?  Do they have a servant's heart?  When we see them acting prideful, we need to correct them right away.  Show them ways to be humble in their attitudes and actions.  As adults, we need to be sure we are exhibiting humble hearts as well!

    The most important thing to express about humility is that we are to be humble before our God.  We should kneel when we pray.  We should be thankful in our hearts for the things God has given to us.  We must show honor and glory to God through all situations.  We need to give testimony of the great things God has done in our lives.  We must point to Him when we accomplish anything!  He alone is worthy of our praise and honor!!!!  Remind them of Christ's humility while He was here on earth.  

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 
~Philippians 2:5-7

Monday, December 19, 2016

Becoming Like a Child

     Today, I want to begin by talking about how our children can teach us.  Just as we teach them on a daily basis, they can be an example to us as well.  They have faith that is so pure and so innocent.  They don't question what they believe.  They allow their hearts to be open and honest.  In Luke chapter 17, we see Jesus talking about how important it is to have childlike faith.  He says "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”     

      As I was reading through these verses in Luke, I began to think how my faith is wavering, but when my child prays, he believes with all his/her heart that God is more than able to answer.  I want faith like that!  I want to believe despite the circumstances.  I want to lean on and trust in God with all that I am.

     Many times we only look at the difficulties going on in our lives.  We don't stop to count the many blessings we have been given.  My children often look at the bright side of things while I am focusing on the negatives.  They have a way of opening my eyes and changing my outlook.  They have no idea how much their words of encouragement mean to this mom.  I can't tell you how many times that I have felt like throwing in the towel, but they convince me that God is bigger than any of my problems.  Their faith is amazing!!!!

     I know that God is there, and I thank Him everyday for giving me children that remind me of this fact.  Even when my life seems to be taking twists and turns that I never imagined, He is there.  When my heart is heavy and my strength is weak, He is there.  God never leaves us.  He wants us to trust in Him with a childlike faith.  He wants us to realize His promises are true.  

     Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses.  It helps to remind me that God will work everything out.  He has a good plan for us and as long as we love Him and seek Him each day, He will help us accomplish His purpose for our lives.  Surrender is the key to perfecting our faith.  We must allow Him to be in control and rest in the assurance that He will fulfill His promises.  I am reminded of the hymn Blessed Assurance, by Fannie Crosby, as I write this.  The third stanza says it all.  

 Perfect submission, all is at rest; 
I in my Savior am happy and blest, 
watching and waiting, looking above, 
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

This is my story, this is my song, 
praising my Savior all the day long; 
this is my story, this is my song, 
praising my Savior all the day long. 

     Are you going through a rough time?  Are you being tested and tried?  Let me encourage you to pray.  Pray like you have never prayed before.  Put your life in God's hands and don't take it back. Allow Him to work!  I am here to talk to anyone who needs prayer and I pray you will keep praying for me.  May God bless you as you seek Him!!!!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Proverbs 31 {Free PDF Bible Study}

     A few years ago, I decided I was going to really study the Proverbs 31 woman.  I have always wanted to be a good wife and mom and this is one example in the Bible.  I don't think we are required to be exactly like this wonderful woman, but to aspire to be our best right where God has us.  

    We all have room for improvements don't we?  I know I have many areas where I can develop a more Christ like attitude.  I need to stop grumbling and complaining and enjoy the life that God has given to me.  I need to appreciate the little things in life.  I want to be more compassionate and considerate.  I want to give up my pursuit for perfection and just be the best mom and wife I can be. God has a good plan for our family and I don't need to compare us to any other family.  

     Do you want to learn more about this Proverbs 31 woman?  Do you want to become closer to the Lord as He teaches you to be the woman He created you to be?  I believe that studying this chapter of the Bible will be life changing for you.  Study it with an open heart and mind.  Ask the Lord to show you where you need to improve and where you need to let go.   

    I am praying that this study is a blessing to you! I know it was an incredible journey for me.  Truly life altering!!!

To download this FREE STUDY, just click on the link below the image.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Homeschooling In December

     I absolutely love homeschooling during the holidays.  We have had a lot of fun decorating, looking at lights, doing crafts, baking cookies, and watching the snow fall from our living room windows.  December is such a beautiful (and cold) month here in Ohio.  

     Today I wanted to give you a look into our homeschooling days during this time of year. We love getting out and enjoying the festivities, but we also have some great little traditions here at home as well.   Let's begin with one of our favorites, our Jesse Tree.  Each day we learn about the lineage of Jesus.   Starting with Adam and Eve all the way to  Mary the mother of Jesus, then our last day we talk about His birth.  We read Bible verses and then we put an ornament on our "Jesse Tree".  It a wonderful time of conversation and focusing on our Savior.

     In our home we enjoy doing crafts, especially during the holidays.  The boys like making crafts, but our youngest daughter could work on little projects all day, everyday.  She likes making DIY projects and giving them away as gifts.  It is really sweet to watch her being so creative.  In the past couple of weeks, she has made salt dough decorations, a paper nativity and some secret little crafts that no one will know about until Christmas morning.  

     Last week we were able to go see a live nativity at a local church.  It was beautiful.  I was so thankful for these who worked so hard to give us a look into Christ's birth.  It was so cold, but that didn't stop them.  They were determined to tell the real reason for the season.  My heart was filled with joy and peace as we drove through this display.  My favorite part was the end where they talked about the true Christmas tree and that was the tree where Jesus died for our sins.  The whole reason for His birth was so that he could die and be resurrected so that if we believe on Him, we can spend eternity in Heaven.  

      Another great tradition that we love doing as a family is getting in the van and going around looking at Christmas lights.  We pick a night and we go out to dinner, then we buy milkshakes and head off to see all the beautiful decorations.  It's so much fun.  We get to talk and laugh together and just enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.   With Christmas music playing in the background, and the lights shimmering all around, it takes you back to a simpler time.  

      Do you do an Advent study during this time of year?   For four weeks beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and leading up to Christmas we read verses on how God announced to everyone about the coming of  Jesus way before He arrived.  Each week we focus on a different quality like Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. The first week we begin by lighting one candle of four and by the end of Advent all candles will be lit.  This year I am leading an online group of ladies as we study these amazing verses that help keep us focused on Christ.  We never want to lose the true meaning for celebrating Christmas.  

      So far this December has been an incredible time of fellowship and learning together.  Our home is full of peace and joy as we study God's Word and look for ways to love on others during this season.   I wish every month could look like this one.  As we are out and about there seems to be a spirit of giving and peace in the air.  Even grocery shopping has been a blessing as I watch others being a little more cheerful an kind towards one another.  My prayer is that this feeling could last all year long.  Seeing everyone just a little sweeter and generous is a wonderful sight.  

     I wanted to add our Christmas Mini-Workbook to this post so you can have some fun little crafts and pages to do with your family.  Enjoy!!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Do You Pray for Your Spouse?


 I have been a married woman for over 23 years now, and it has been quite a wild roller coaster ride.  There have been so many difficulties over the years.  I wish I would have had a mentor when I was a young bride to come along beside me and help me to see what was needed to be a good wife.  I thought a good wife cooked, cleaned, and took care of her man, but there is so much more to it than that. 

    The best thing we can do for our spouses is to pray for them each day.  Even before we say "I do", we should be praying for our mate.

     As a wife, I want my husband to feel that I am his best friend and that I am here to encourage him in this journey.  God has called him to lead our family and to provide for our needs.  That is why it is so important for me to pray for him constantly throughout the day.  Satan seeks to destroy our marriages and families in any way he can, and we need to combat his strategies with prayer.  

      In Proverbs 31 verses 11 and 12 it says The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.   Our husbands should be able to count on us to be there for them. We should lift them up.  We should be their helpers.  We should not speak unkindly of our husbands with anyone.  If we gossip and backbite our husbands it will just open a door for the devil to seek and destroy our marriages.  

      There are many times throughout our days we can stop and pray for our spouses.  As soon as we wake up and see them lying next to us, we can pray.  Pray that God will protect them.  Pray that God will use them in a mighty way as they go about their day.  Ask God to strengthen your marriage. Pray that He will help guard your hearts and minds from the evils that may attack during the day. Surrender your marriage to God so He can use it for His glory. As the day goes on, you can stop and pray each time you think about your spouse.  These prayers do not need to be long and drawn out. Just ask the Lord to guide, protect, and strengthen your spouse as the day carries on.

     In the evenings, we need to pray with our partners.  Open your hearts and just be honest in praying for your families and marriages. Give God full control of them.  Allow Him to do a good work in the lives of you and your children. Right before going to sleep, stop, and pray one more time for the person lying next to you. Pray for them to sleep well and to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to serve God in everything they do and say.

     It is important to allow your children to see you praying with and for your spouse.  I had no idea how important praying for my husband was, so I want my children to realize this before they get married.  

Here are a couple of prayers that can help get you started as you begin praying for your spouse daily.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Fruits of the Spirit {Free Mini-Workbooks}

      But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! ~ Galatians 5:22-23

     In my personal devotions I have been going through many scriptures but this one really stood out to me.  As Christians we are to produce these fruits in our lives.  As we read the Bible and pray, God changes us.  He helps us to develop these godly character qualities.  He sanctifies us. 

     Let's take a look at each of these traits.  
  • Love- there are two types of love mentioned in the Bible. The first Greek word for love is agapao which means to love dearly and the second word is phileo that means to be fond of.  When we love someone we want to meet their basic needs and show them God's love as we serve them.
  • Joy- means to brighten up or to make glad.  God give us joy even when we are not happy we can have the joy of the Lord because of what He has given to us through salvation.
  • Peace- means to be tranquil or to feel secure.  Only God can give us true peace.  Even when things around us are chaotic, He will give us peace.
  • Patience- is accepting tribulations with a good attitude knowing that these hardships will help develop good character in us if we allow it to. 
  • Kindness- is treating others with the same compassion that God bestows on us.  God is good and he loves us even when we don't deserve it.  We need to show this same loving kindness to others.  
  • Goodness- is living a life that is pleasing to God. Doing what God has told us to do in His Word.
  • Faithfulness- we must have an inward certainty and be confident that God's will is best for us.  We must rely on Him and trust in Him.
  • Gentleness- is being there for someone  and supporting them.  We want to encourage others to live their lives for Christ in any way we can.  We must show we care for others.
  • Self-Control- another word for self-control is temperance which means to restraining one's self.  We must manage our thoughts, actions, and emotions with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Our flesh may cry out, but it will be worth it in the end. 

     I think what we forget sometimes is that we reap what we sow.  If we are constantly sowing seeds in our lives that do not help us progress in exhibiting the Fruits of the Spirit, then we will not be able to transform our thinking and actions.  We won't become more Christ like.  No one will see that Light of Christ in us.   What we watch on TV, listen to on the radio, or read can have a huge affect on us.  We don't even realize it.  We start thinking and speaking like those things we are allowing in our lives.  We are becoming conformed to this world instead of being transformed by God.  These earthly things influence us little by little until it just becomes a part of us. We need to recognize this and put a stop to it.  

      But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. ~ 1 Peter 2:9

       I think we need to revise what we tolerate in our lives, and bring our thoughts and actions into agreement with the Word of God.  We can't live for Christ while being like the world.  We have to be set apart. We need to be in prayer, on a daily basis, asking for God to help us change.  Yes, that means we may get some weird looks and people may talk behind our backs because we are different, but we are told in God's Word that this is okay because If God is for us, who can ever be against us? ~Romans 8:31b

     I want to teach my children the Fruits of the Spirit so they will know what the Holy Spirit is developing in them as they follow Christ.   I have created a little workbook for us to use and I wanted to share it with you as well. I also have 9 wonderful verses to memorize to go along with the Fruits of the Spirit Workbook. To download and print these for your home use, please just click on the links below the images. 

For more information on parenting, marriage, and homeschooling come check out our Facebook page  Training Our Children in Godly Character

Monday, December 12, 2016

Let's Talk Life Skills {Free Printable}

     Do you teach your children life skills?  Of course you do!   We love the fact that we can prepare our children for living on their own during our school day.  From the time our children can walk we invite them to learn from us.  We involve them in cleaning, cooking, sewing, organization, money management, and gardening.  My husband also teaches them how to work on cars,  lawn maintenance, and fixing things around the house.  They are well rounded by the time they graduate.  

      I have some ideas to share with you so you can instruct your children in each of these areas as well.  We want to demonstrate the right way to do things at an age when they can understand  and benefit from our teaching.  

       Early on our children can learn to work.  I have always had my little ones working beside me.  Here is a list of age appropriate chores: 

     Teaching our children to cook is so important.  This is a tool they will use on a daily basis. We want them to be able to feed themselves and their families healthy and good meals.  Even when my kids were little they would help me cook.  They loved stirring, kneading dough, and adding ingredients.  It wasn't always an easy undertaking for me as they would make messes, but it was a valuable lesson. By the time kids are 9 or 10, they should be proficient at making some meals like eggs, macaroni & cheese, and any type of sandwiches.  In their early teen years, they should be able to make any meal that they have a recipe for.  We have our boys and girls taking turns cooking so they will feel comfortable in the kitchen.  

     We have fun learning many tasks together such as gardening, computer skills, and sewing.  I was never interested in these things as a child, so we have learned them together by reading books, looking at videos, and good ole' trial and error.  We have been determined to learn these jobs.  It hasn't always been easy, but we stayed focused and were able to overcome.  I felt that my kids needed to accomplish these projects so they would be able to teach their children.  

     I have been blessed with a husband who has taken time to instruct our children in many subjects such as mechanics, electronics, soldering, lawn maintenance, fishing, driving and much more.   He was taught many things while growing up and he has extended that knowledge to our kids.  I have learned quite a bit from him too.  It's all about patience.  Taking the time to sit down and coaching your young people in duties they may need to perform one day when they are grown and on their own. 


      We have had our kiddos take on tasks that they wanted to learn on their own as well.  It's awesome to see them accomplish goals for themselves.  If our children work hard, they will be able to succeed.  If  they put their minds to it they can do it!   Our youngsters have taught themselves photography, hair cutting, guitar playing, and game designing.  They did this all on their own.  They were motivated to learn because these were things they were interested in knowing.  I believe we should encourage our kids in anything they want to learn.  

       I hope that you have fun teaching your children these wonderful life skills.  They will learn so much as they grow up in our homes.  Enjoy it!  Take time to just savor those little moments.  Don't fret over the small things.  Give your children the gifts they need to grow into healthy and happy adults..... that is the gifts of your love and attention.    Have a blessed day!!!!

       It is important to have goals for your homeschool.  I have made us a worksheet to use each month to keep us on track.  I want to share it with you.  

To save and print, hover over the image, right click and choose "save image as".

Friday, December 9, 2016

Let's Get Creative

"When you do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command 
the attention of the world." ~ George Washington Carver

      I don't know about you, but some days I have got to be creative with my kids.  Rather it be how I discipline or how I encourage them to do their work, I am always trying to think of new ways to do it.  The Hebrew word for create is bara.  It means to shape or form.  Isn't that what we are doing on a daily basis.  Shaping and forming our children to be servants for the Lord.

     God is also constantly forming and shaping us into who He wants us to be.  Sometimes it hurts doesn't it?  When we are going through the many fires of life, we need to sit back and ask ourselves, "What is God forming me to be?"   

     I have heard many people say that they are not creative.  We can all be creative.  We are motivated to get creative when we are given a task that we are not familiar with.  We have to find ways to make it work. We need to ask the Lord to help us become more creative in our thinking.  The Bible is full of scriptures to help us develop this quality.

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. ~ Proverbs 8:12

     I have creative kiddos.  Each of them have their own gifts in different areas.  Our oldest son Robert loves to build computers from scratch.  Our daughter Mandy can crochet, write music/lyrics, and  play the guitar.  Meg, can draw and paint beautifully.  Ryan can build any lego creation you can come up with and builds programs for the computer. Josh can write stories, build websites, and enjoys making videos. Our youngest, Hope, can draw, paint, and loves to do any DIY project she can find on You Tube.  I was never this creative as a child, so watching them all grow into their talents, was a unique experience.  I am so happy that they have had the opportunity to explore and learn what their skills are and are developing them.  

     Do you encourage your children to be creative?  Do you allow them to go outside of the lines?  Children are not afraid to live outside the box and as parents we need to help them cultivate their creativity.  If your children ever come up to you and say they are bored, give them some suggestions to use their imaginations.  Let them get a little crazy like building forts from the couch cushions, or making a spaceship from old boxes.  

God is our ultimate source of creativity!

I am contributing over at MOMS ON A MISSION today. 
Come on over for a open and honest post on
 letting go of perfectionism. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Enjoy the Little Things

     I think after years of marriage it is easy to begin to take our spouses for granted.  Life gets busy and we don't take time to enjoy each other.  Those little things that made our love grow in the beginning are no longer being noticed.  We become like two ships passing in the night. 

     If we want our marriages to thrive, we have to make time for one another.   Time that is set aside to just talk and be together without interruptions.  If we do not set aside time to this, we will grow apart. It will happen gradually.  You won't even realize it until one day you wake up and realize you are laying next to a stranger.  

      I believe the days we are living in, it is possible to grow apart while sitting next to each other.  Life used to be more simple.  A couple didn't have the distractions that we have today.  Cellphones, televisions, computers, and video games can become a source that takes the attention off of your spouse.  You don't even realize they are longing to be the one that you gaze upon.  Instead of looking into each others eyes, we are staring at a screen.  

      We need to turn off these diversions.  We need to realize they are keeping us from showing our spouses affection.  They are a tactic that Satan is using to tear families apart. Distraction is a wonderful way to destroy a marriage.  We don't know what happened until it's too late.  By the time we realize that we have been growing in opposite directions, we are so far apart that it is almost impossible to get back. Trust me it happens and when you look back you don't even recognize where things went awry.  

       Do you remember what made you fall in love with your spouse?  You know those little things that they did that made your heart go pity pat?   In order to continue to  love our mates with the kind of passion we had in the beginning of our marriages, we have to be looking for those little things even after years of marriage. Here are just a few from my list.......
  • He use to look into my eyes and his eyes would sparkle with anticipation.
  • We would lay awake talking for hours.
  • We would sit and play games and just enjoy one another's company.
  • We didn't have much money, but we would find ways to date and just be alone with each other.
  •  He use to write me little letters (not texts) in cards for no reason except to say he loved me.
       Do you have a list of your own?  Would you like to rekindle those feelings of love and admiration?  You know those goosebump moments where your love grew so much that you thought you would burst?  

       In order to succeed , we have to take the first step.   Put down the distractions and begin to observe your husband or wife.  Take your eyes off of the screens and look into the heart of the one who you married.  Are they feeling alone?  Do they feel like you care more for things than them?  Are you so far apart that you don't even know each other anymore?   Is there a way to restore the passion that was once in both of your hearts? 

        Here are a few things to begin today in order to rebuild your marriage:
  • Kiss your spouse.  Not just peck on the cheek, but a kiss that says I am happy to be married to you.
  • Hug one another.  Embrace like you did the day you first told one another that you were in love.
  • Write him/her a note saying that you love and appreciate them.  Leave it somewhere that will bring a smile to their face when they see it.  
  • Begin to do a couples devotional.  A couple that prays together stays together.
  • Set aside time to just talk.  Share intimate thoughts just not superficial things.
  • Be present.  Pay attention. 
  • Sit down and plan a date night. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a time to get to know each other again. 
        If we keep allowing ourselves to be preoccupied with everything but our spouses, our marriage can fall to pieces.  We need to be intentional when it comes to being a companion to our husband or wife.  It is too easy now a days to get engrossed in other things and forget that marriages need our attention in order to grow and flourish.  Otherwise those little sparks that ignited the fires inside us when we first married, will be snuffed out, and once a fire is extinguished it is hard to get it going again.