Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is our Easter candy worth it?

Last September, I went to the Influence Conference, and I learned a lot of things. Some of those things I am still processing.  One of the phrases that stuck in my head was "You don't have to do everything. But you can do something."  Sometimes it seems overwhelming with so many good charities, organizations, and missions available. How do I choose which one to participate in? In true awesomeness, I usually tend to get overwhelmed and not do anything. But walking away from the conference I felt empowered. I can't support every good cause that comes my way, but just choose something, and do it. I know. I'm pretty profound.

Photo from Food Empowerment Project

So anyway, I'd like to share with you a simple way to make a difference. Easter is coming up and soon, and baskets will be filled with chocolate, candy, and little bunnies.  But what if buying your kids, grandkids, or students at school candy for their basket, meant that another child was sold to make it?  Is that worth it?

Hop on over, and read my full post at The Healthy Hen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beauty in the ordinary

Today has been long, and I'm tired.  I should change into my jammies and go to bed, but I just needed to get this out.  Tonight.  This week. All ordinary.  All great.  Maybe nothing spectacular happened, and it probably seems boring to an outsider.  But tonight for the first time in a while, I am excited for tomorrow.  I'm excited to set my alarm for 7am and try once again to wake up before the kids.  I'm excited to meet with God and let Him set the tone for my day.  I am excited to quietly unload the dishes in the morning (if I actually get up), while the rest of my people sleep.

Tonight I snuggled with Shepherd on the couch as he had his bedtime bottle.  I just kissed his head and rubbed his fingers.  I thought "Ya know. He's probably old enough to get rid of his bedtime bottle".  But then I thought "Eh, I like our night-time ritual, and I'm gonna enjoy this little snuggle session as long as I can".

During this time Inara was having her bed-time snack of cereal.  She's obsessed with cereal lately and pretty much asks for it all day long.  She's just like her Dad.  So she's eating at the table and I hear "oh, no! Momma. I spilled my milk on my chair and undies". (Because yeah, she eats her bedtime snack in just her undies).  I reply "Its ok baby.  Just grab a dish towel, wipe off your chair, and change your undies".  And then it hits me. 1) God has done a good work in me to allow me to not reply in frustration at the mess she's making, but to reply calmly and with grace. Guys! This. is. huge.  2) I have a big kid.  Big enough to eat her snack unattended. Big enough to not freak out and be emotional when something doesn't go her way.  Big enough to receive 3 commands for what to do next, and then DO THEM ALL WITHOUT BEING REPEATED.  It was like an out of body experience.

I put Shepherd in his crib.  Covered him up with his 2 blankies, gave him his doggie stuffed animal, turned on his mobile, one last face stroke, and left the room.  I went into Inara's room where she requested a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible (seriously though, why have you not bought this yet?).  It's about the 10 Commandments.  She informs me she doesn't like the way Moses looks because "That's not how Mr. Langford draws him".  So we discuss that for a while.  Then we discuss The Law and how its good (Thank you, Peter Laruffa, for your last sermon).  Somehow we get talking about how not everyone has a Bible and knows about Jesus.  She doesn't understand how that can be possible and keeps asking "But why, Mom?"  I love her child-like faith.  We finish our conversation, we pray for kids without Bibles, and I sing "Come Thou Fount".

And Scene.

It is simple.  It is my life.  And it is good.

 Disclaimer: Affiliate links used in this post

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Celebrating The Resurrection with your kids

A few years ago, when Inara was 2, we did an Advent calendar with her. It was great, and I was surprised how much she caught on at such a young age. As Easter approached, I looked for something similar. I didn't want Christ's resurrection from the dead and defeat of sin to go un-celebrated. The only thing I could find was Resurrection Eggs, but I was just looking for something different. 

So I gathered resources from my 2 favorite Mommy bloggers of littles (Amanda at Oh Amanda, and Desire at When You Rise). And I put together one activity a day during to do during Holy Week (You can see what we did the past 2 years here). Well this year, Amanda has put together a something much more organized and I am SOOO excited to use it!  This year she released her ebook "A Sense of the Resurrection: An Easter Experience for families."  I've just skimmed some of it.  Guys, its going to be great!

I love her vision for what this book is.  "These are not small craft projects or little devotions. They are big experiences that will help you lead your children into an understanding of and relationship with Jesus." Yes, and yes!  The book is broken down into 12 activities to allow your kids to use their senses to experience the resurrection and its power.

Quote from "A Sense of the Resurrection: An Easter Experience for Families"

 Each chapter or "day" is set up to include a "sense" (sight, smell, etc.), scripture, activity, and a talk.  Yes, there is some sort of crafty activity, but I love that she reminds us that the craft isn't the point.  Its even easier because the ebook includes a printable bunting for each day.  Honestly, I'll probably pick 2 or 3 of the activities to do that I think will be the most meaningful to Inara and then do the bunting the other days. I'm not super crafty and don't love that type of thing, but I do love teaching Inara about Jesus and at this age, crafts is a helpful tool.

Now that Inara is older, I'm so excited for the conversations we will be having this year.  It's only $7.99, which is really a steal since it comes with the printable bunting!  I probably won't get to start until next week, but I can't wait!  So, who wants to join me?

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book as an affiliate, affiliate links are included.  But all opinions are 100% mine!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Write Your story

Lately there have been lots of cuddling and rocking with Shepherd. It's sweet and I love it. I soak up every moment. His smell.  His breathing. His growing legs wrapped around me. I gently cover his little head with kisses being oh so careful to not wake him. And as I sit there, so thankful for his life and his presence in our family, I can't help but ache for the child we never got to hold. It's a bitter sweet moment as I rock my youngest son and wonder about my middle child. For some reason I think she was a girl.  I probably would have named her Corrie Elizabeth after my favorite sisters Corrie and Betsy ten Boom. I wonder about her, mourn her absence from our family, and rest in the hope of Heaven and seeing her for the first time.

I don't want to forget my miscarriage because I don't want to forget my middle child. But how to you close that chapter of pain and loss without forgetting it's story?  I'm not quite sure, but I think it's by knowing and trusting the Author. He's written my story. And it might have some pain and tears, but there is more there too.  There is joy, even in the tears.  There is hope. There is peace.  Knowing the Author and how my story ends makes it a story worth living.

I wrote most of this post sitting under a blow dryer getting my hair did.  I didn't want to read the fashion magazines, so I wrote this.  Somehow I made it through without sobbing, and got in my car. I turn on the radio and what do I hear? I hear God. I hear him confirming that he's a good Author and to trust Him with my story.  I've never heard this song before, but when I turned on my radio I heard a Francesca Battestelli song "Write Your Story".  It was perfect timing, the providence of God.

They say
You're the King of everything
The One who taught the wind to sing
The Source of the rhythm my heart keeps beating

They say
You can give the blind their sight
And You can bring the dead to life
You can be the hope my soul's been seekin'

I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I do, that You can make me new, oh

I'm an empty page
I'm an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won't You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won't You write Your story on my heart

My Life
I know it's never really been mine
So do with it whatever You like
I don't know what Your plan is
But I know it's good, yeah

I wanna tell You now that I believe in
I wanna tell You now that I believe in
In You, so do what You do, oh

I'm an empty page
I'm an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark
 Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won't You write Your story on my heart
I want my history
To be Your legacy
Go ahead and show this world
What You've done in me
And when the music fades
I want my life to say

I let You write your story, write Your story
Write Your story, write Your story

And so I guess that's what this blog is.  It is me, telling people of God writing my story.  The story or redemption. The story of hope.  Because that's the story he has written on my heart. He is faithful even when I am not. There is hope because of Christ.  I pray I never tire of telling His Story. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The latest quotes

I keep forgetting to keep her little quotes updated. But I love them because they are little glimpse in her little mind!

Oh my, some of these are so old, but I want to remember them!

On our way back from Florida, when she woke up in cold Kentucky, Inara said "Fall tricked us mom. It's supposed to be cool but it warm here. I don't care about the cold weather mom. I ONLY care about the warm weather and being warm."

Inara and I were playing Star Wars and I was pretending Darth Vader was coming back to life.
Inara: This is Star Wars Ten, where Darth Vader keeps coming back and back and back to life. 
Me: How do we defeat him then?
Inara: With the force of course!

Inara was trying to tell Shepherd what to do, while I was sitting right there
Me: Thanks for helping, but I'll be his mom, you can just be the sister
Inara: Well, you can be his mom, but I'm his lesser mom

We were watching a lot of Ninjago and she starts running around twirling in her dress. "My ninja move is twirl power!"

"Mom, last night I had. Bad dream about dinosaurs. When I close my eyes the bad dream has the same episode but then when I open them the channel changes!"

Justin: Inara, what are you doing in there (the bathroom)Inara: Oh, I'm just doing my science experiment

Guess what? If Tick-Tock-Crock ate Captain Hook's other hand he would be called Captain Hooks.

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