Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What I Want My Children To Know Before They Leave Home

Traditions Make Life Special
 "Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you." Deuteronomy 32:7

Traditions are unique to each family. They are the simple things we do each year to commemorate an event or make a holiday special. They are the things our children will remember about their family.

God is very traditional. He personally told the Jewish people hundreds of times to remember things that He had done for them, places they had been and events that had taken place. It was God who set up the Jewish holidays knowing that without them, the people would forget who they were and how they got there.  Annual events gave the parents an opportunity to tell their children the amazing things God had done and give Him glory.

I want my children to know how important tradition is to the memories of our family and important events in life.  I want them to have a desire to start traditions on their own both now and in the future with their own family.

Discuss with your children what traditions they enjoy in your family as well as  possibilities for new traditions they might be thinking about.  Remember to give God a special place in your traditions so that the stories of God's amazing love will continue through all generations.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Advent Week One HOPE

Welcome to the Advent Season!
 Carri Lynne Pratt
Tomorrow is the beginning of Advent, a time when we not only get to look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ but also a time to look forward to the second coming of Christ.  This is a wonderful opportunity to share the excitement of Christmas with your children.

Each Sunday a candle is lit representing the corresponding theme of the week.

Week One is HOPE and we light the first of the four (or five) candles. The optional 5th candle is lit on Christmas Eve along with all the others.

Day to light the 1st candle:  Sunday November 26, 2017
Candle to Light:                    The first candle
Prayer:                                   Thank God for the HOPE we have 
                                                 in Jesus Christ, His only Son.
Family Scripture Reading:   Luke 1:26-38

“The Lord Himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will conceive, have a son, 
and name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Friday, November 24, 2017

Above All, Love Each Other

Above All, Love Each Other

We are humanity. 

We live on this planet as wide variety of people of many differences of culture, beliefs, location, languages, interests.

  Yet, our differences, they do not matter--they are not the way in which to look at each other.

The human race is just so full of variety, and so very beautiful. And just like the seasons, if there were no variety in the seasons, just think how bland that sounds.

We all have the same beating heart. Each of us wants to protect and love our family and guard our children.

Jesus was our best example of pure unconditional love, and for all no matter the circumstance. God can certainly help us see His creation the way He sees.

This Christmas season, and upcoming new year, let's commit to keeping our thoughts pure for one another. Cast off evil thoughts, labels, and judgements. Allow yourself to really SEE beauty in all the many faces you encounter. See their hearts and ask them to tell you about themselves. 

Lean in....
Learn more.
Love MOST!

Honor Humanity. This will make you Christ-like. This will honor God, the father. This will serve God and change the world.

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people." 
Ephesians 1:18 

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." Romans 12:9

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 
1 John 4:7

women encouraging women

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What I Want My Children To Know Before They Leave Home

THANKFULNESS - Be still and consider the good gifts God has already given you.

As I listen to my children discussing their Christmas lists, I am reminded of how often we tend to focus on what we want rather than being grateful for what we already have.

I want my children to see that God provides in amazing ways for His children and His creation. We can count on His goodness, His mercy and His provision.  We can know for sure that Spring will follow Winter and that crops will grow when properly planted and cared for.  We know that the sun will rise in the morning and that time heals most of our wounds. We know that His love endures forever. We  know that He gave His only Son for our salvation.  It is encouraging to just be still and consider the good gifts He has given you.

This week my goal is to spend a few private moments with each of my children discussing this very thing. I want them to know how much God loves them and I want them to realize how much they already have from Him. I also want to know what they are most thankful for in their lives.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."
Psalm 136:1

Friday, November 17, 2017

I Want A Divorce

I Want A Divorce

This is where I was 15 years ago this month. 

I had filed for a divorce. I told my husband. All of my friends and family knew I was done. 

I wasn't the type to quit so easily or to even consider divorce, but we had become so distant and I felt so cold and alone.

My thoughts had slipped into a dark pit of remembering each and every disappointment, every hurt, every hopeless thing.
All of which was justifying my decision. 

I was so DONE, but God sure wasn't.  
My husband's initial reaction was hurt, betrayal, and anger. 
Except God quickly and consistently intervened. Our loving heavenly father placed amazing men with wise advice into his life.

Specifically: Jay, Jeff, Mike, Kyle, and Reggie all told him the same thing: STAY ON THE MARRIAGE LINE.  Even though I had stepped off the marriage line, our God and Vince would not. 

 My husband,Vince, took the time to really hear me, and he prayed for me continuously and he refused to argue with me. 
He chose faith as he made his relationship with God his first priority. 

Vince never wavered from the marriage line because he trusted God  that I would return to it. With only a few days left until the divorce was final, God broke though the lies of evil and my heart was clearly and precisely being called back and not to quit that the best is yet to come. 

I returned to the marriage line and praise God there stood my husband.  

God IS in the business of bringing dead things to life and this was miraculous. Our best was yet to come. 

Since then, we now have 3rd child who is an absolute blessing to us. We are also so attracted to each other, we have a million inside jokes, we go on dates often, we travel and we love being together. 

Only this man knows all the history of our family. He was willing to humble himself and to fight for this family. He is here to raise our children together as we navigate the tough times and celebrate the victories as a strong family unit. 

Please know that:
Anger and blame simply cannot co-exist in recovery.

Ironically, this is also our Anniversary month and we get the privilege of celebrating 24 years together and we simply couldn't be happier. 

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not demand it's own way, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." 
2 Corinthians 9:15
women encouraging women

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What I Want My Children to Know Before They Leave Home

You Are Loved

The number one thing I want my children to know and to carry with them through this life is that they are loved. They are loved unconditionally by their father, by me and by their Creator, their Heavenly Father God.  My hope is that they will not only know they are loved but have the ability to love others and to love God.

God gives us this command when He states, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:4-and in addition, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31.

How do I show love in an appropriate manner?

   * Say "I love you" everyday!
   * Spend time with your children
   * Do things they like to do
   * Understand their love language
   * Discuss God's love for them
   * Discuss Jesus' sacrifice for them 

Say "I love you" everyday
This is not something I used to do. I noticed a mom saying it over and over to her child and it finally came to me that yes, my children needed to hear this too! I made an intentional decision to tell them I love them as often as naturally possible. It actually felt uncomfortable to say it so often, but it became a habit that my children love. 

Spend Time With Them
Time is fleeting and precious. It is one of the only things we can't buy and would love more of. It is also the number one gift our children long to receive.  Sit with them, listen to what they want to share, watch a show and have popcorn. Our children are only with us for a very brief time. Spend it wisely.

Do Things They Like to Do
We have started a couple of new traditions in our family. The first being date night with the children. I make a date with each of my children individually and allow them to choose where they want to go and what they want to do. (My oldest son is the most recent to plan his date for the opening weekend of the remake of Jumanji!) They love this special time alone with mom or dad.

The second tradition we have started is the Summer Fun List. Around April or May we sit down after dinner and discuss the things the children want to do over summer vacation and make our list. We then choose the things that are within our budget and plan our schedule accordingly. We then post a calendar on the fridge and put it in our phones so everyone knows when and where. This has helped us enjoy summer together before it flies by. 

Understand their Love Language
You have to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. He has even come out with a new book geared specifically towards teens. (which I am ordering asap! Will keep you posted)  Look on our printables for a Love Language quiz.

Discuss God's Love for Them / Jesus' Sacrifice
It is so important for our children to understand how much God loves them (and us). Help them to memorize John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Friday, November 10, 2017

Behind Every Young Child Who Believes In Himself Is A Parent Who Believed First

Behind Every Young Child Who Believes In Himself 
Is A Parent Who Believed First 
~Matthew L Jacobson

When parents encourage their children to help in the kitchen or help making a repair it makes for confident learning. Allow them to get involved and to make mistakes, it's the best way to learn. 

It is much more than cracking the eggs, flipping the pancakes or replacing a bulb, it is you saying, "I believe in you", "Come learn beside me".

As we occasionally and gently correct them, but mostly encourage the kids in all these life lessons--they will grow up with great confidence.

Knowing you believe in them is the best way for them to try new things without fear of getting criticized. 

"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged." Colossians 3:21 

women encouraging women

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What I Want My Children to Know Before They Leave Home

Greetings Sisters in Christ,
I am so grateful for you amazing women who embrace the role of mother on a daily basis. Being a mom is the most difficult job I could ever imagine! Much encouragement to you.

As a mother of three I want to do the best job I can to provide for and nurture these sweet spirits. I am in constant prayer for both their well being and my capabilities to meet the challenges of each day.  Recently the Holy Spirit has been convicting me of the fact that I have a very limited amount of time left with my children at home. (The same might be true for you.) My oldest son will be graduating high school in less than three years and it grieves me to think of all of the lost opportunities I had to share moments and important advice with him but didn't. I may have chosen to do something important (like laundry or dishes), but actually it wasn't the most important.

I sat down and wrote a list of at least fifty different things I want them to know to prepare for their independence and luckily there is still plenty of time! 

Henceforth, I have made a commitment to share at least one piece of advice or a life skill with my children each week that I absolutely want them to know before they leave my home; and I am going to publish it here on with the hope that you will serve as my accountability partners. 

I welcome (and crave) advice and suggestions for things that you want your children to know before they leave your home and enter the world on their own. Please share your thoughts with me. If you are feeling conviction about your children, please listen to the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to guide you as well.  
I will be posting each Tuesday and look forward to hearing from you. 

A prayer for our Journey
     Heavenly Father God,
                 We pray for guidance, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We know the struggle is real for the hearts and souls of our children and we call upon You to give us Godly wisdom. Help us to train up our children to be prepared for life, to know You and to love and obey You and to call upon Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.
                We love You and praise You, In Jesus name, Amen.

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old, he will not depart from it." 
Proverbs 22:6

Friday, November 3, 2017

No Regrets

No Regrets

Have you ever done something like take a class, do a bible study, even run in a marathon or be in a relationship and immediately after it was over wish you had given it more?

To conquer the flesh we must get in the habit of pressing though the old mindsets that limit us. It's pressing through that moment of physical pain or a mental block that says, "This is not happening", "You must quit", "Take the easy way", or "It's not worth it". 

Being a good steward of your life means making the most of every situation and throw off distractions, disappointments, and/or possible offense that are stealing from you.

 Now, I do not wish to make anyone feel guilty. I want us all to start this day forward remembering to be present, purposeful and intentional with each moment we are gifted to have.

As you take on this new mentality, you are going to find strength, joy, courage, momentum, physical results like weight loss, defined muscles, youthfulness, and personal success.

"Don't you know that all runners in the race run, but only one receives the prize. So run to win!" 1 Corinthians 9:24 

women encouraging women