Motivational Monday: Make it Count


time well spent

” To every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under the heaven” 

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Make it count.

There are a lot of areas in life where we use this term.

We use it in sports when we are talking about scoring a point. You have one shot; make it count.

We use this term when we are talking about spending money. Make every penny count. 

Today I am talking about time spent as a family. Make every minute count. It is passing more quickly than you know.

This weekend was fun for our family. We did not have any big plans. We did not have some big goal in mind to reach.

I told my husband last week, ” I want Friday to be a family day for us.” To my delight, our Friday turned into an entire weekend spent together.

Friday evening we made homemade pizza, watched television together, and watched the kids play some new games they had gotten. All in all, it was just a fun relaxing evening with our children.

Saturday played out just about the same way. We did not have anything in particular to do. We were just together as a family. We watched the kids play in the yard, we visited with family, and we even rode our ATVs around for a while.

Sunday found us in church as a family. The afternoon was spent outside, watching the kids play and visiting together.

We made this weekend count.

I believe as  a  mom, that it is very important to share these times with our children. There are so many things going on in life. I believe that as parents we need to take time with our children to just make memories.

Make your time count.

There does not have to be a lot of money spent, or a far off adventurous vacation taken. Time well spent can be taken right where you live.

Whatever your circumstances are, make it count.

If all you can do is sit together and play a game, make it count.

If you can cook a meal together, make it count.

If you can build something together, make it count.

Whatever it is that your family can do to spend time together, do it. You will make memories that you and your children will remember for years to come.

As a parent, I sometimes get caught up in the bigger and better moment. I want to give my kids the biggest and the best.

This weekend was a reminder to me that bigger is not always best. It is about quality, not quantity.

This weekend I had the privilege of watching my family play together, laugh together, and make memories together.

I thank God for my family. My husband is my best friend and I pray that God allows me to have many more years with him. My children are the light of my life. I love watching them grow and change. Most of all I love to see them smile, to know that they are happy. I love knowing that we are raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)

I want to encourage you today. Make your time count. Remember: it is not about quantity, it is about quality. You do not have to spend a lot of money or make big extravagant plans. Do what you can do, but make it count. You will be glad you did.

I hope this has motivated you today.

Now, I would like to challenge you. Make plans soon to have a family day. It does not have to be just like ours. Make it your own.

I would love to hear about it. Consider leaving a comment telling us what your day was like, and what you did that was special to you.

This may be a regular occurrence at your house. If it is, kudos to you!

If you have suggestions you would like to share,  I would love to hear them.

How do you make your time as a family count?

Creating a Safe Place for our Children


Children

“But Jesus said,

‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them,

for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 19:14

Life should be like Chuck E. Cheese: A place where a kid can be a kid.

This was a quote from my eleven year old as we sat and had one of our many mother/son visits.

I have been blessed with two sons, the oldest of which is just now getting to the age where life is caught between childhood and adolescence. I try from time to time to sit down with both of my sons and connect on their level. I want to raise my children to understand that they are free to talk to me and ask me questions. I believe that if we start this now while they are still young, that we will be able to continue it throughout their lives.

There are things in this world that I wish my children never had to know about. There are evils in this world that I can protect my children from, but there are also things which I can only prepare them to handle.

As we sat down to visit, I told my boys, ” There are things in this world that I wish you never had to learn about. The world should be a place where…” as I paused in an attempt to find my wording, my oldest son looked at me and said, ” Where a kid can be a kid, like at Chuck E. Cheese?”

Imagine the look on my face as I came to the realization that at just eleven years old, my son understood exactly what I was trying to say.

We went on with our conversation and discussed why the world did not carry the same motto as Chuck E. Cheese, and why they had to be careful as they grew. We discussed some of the evils of this world that I had realized I would not be able to protect them from and the best way for them to handle these situations.

After my boys had gone on to play, I was doing my motherly duties around the house and that simple little phrase from such an innocent source kept coming back to my mind.

The world should be a place where ” A kid can be a kid,” but the sad truth is that we are raising our children in a world where that has been made almost impossible. These days, our children are faced with so much more than even I was at their age.

Parents, I want to encourage you today. Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents, this is for you as well.

Our children need us. They need us to teach them about the world, not by the world’s standards, but by God’s standards.

Too many times the children of today are left raising each other. They are raised by the radio, the television, the video games. Please understand, I am not saying any of these things are wrong, but they can not take the place of Godly parents and the influence that God intended for us to have on our children.

We have been called by God to make our homes a place where ” A kid can be a kid.” Our homes should be a place where they can come in, shut the door, and lock the world outside.

It breaks my heart when I think about the children that are being left to raise themselves.

Our daughters are being taught that you have to dress a certain way, or be a certain size or have particular shape if you want to be popular and accepted in this world. They are not being taught to respect their own bodies and to demand that same respect from those around them.

Our sons are being taught that you are only cool if you dress this way, or look that way. They are being taught that respecting women is a thing of the past.

Children are being faced with things such as sex, drugs, and pornography long before their brains can even comprehend it.

Sadly, our children are being asked to grow up in a grown-up world where things exist and go on every day that they should not even have to know about for many years to come.

Fathers: Completing the Task at Hand


father's day

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

Psalm 127:3-5

As I was searching for a Scripture to use this morning, I realized that there were many I wanted to share with you concerning fathers and the occasion that we will celebrate this Sunday: Father’s Day.

As I sat down to write, this question came to my mind, “What makes a good dad?” I think the best way to answer this question is to go to God’s word and see what He tells us a Godly dad looks like:

1) A Godly dad should mirror God’s image.

“So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God created he him;

male and female created he them.”

Genesis 1:27

I believe the only way to be truly successful as a father is to follow God’s example. We are told here in this verse that God created all of us in His image. That tells me that we were created to be like God and to mirror His ways. To be successful as a father, I believe you must first learn from your Heavenly father.

2) A Godly dad should teach his children Godly ways.

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children,

and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,

and when you walk by the way,

and when you lie down,

and when you rise.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

As a father, God has given you the job of passing down to your children the things which you have learned in His word. I believe this is the most important job you will have.

3) A Godly dad should stay plugged in.

“He must manage his own household well,

with all dignity keeping his children submissive,

for if someone does not know how to manage his own household,

how will he care for God’s church?”

1 Timothy 3:4-5

I can not say I know what it is like to be a father, but I am sure that there are times when all that is required of you can seem more than you can handle. Let this verse be encouraging to you today. Remember: God will never ask you to do anything that He has not equipped you to do. This verse gives you a commandment, therefore, God has equipped you with the tools to complete it. Proverbs 3:6 says:

 “In all thy ways acknowledge him,

and he shall direct thy paths.”

4) Carry your task out to the end.

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;

he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.”

Proverbs 23:24

My husband and I are still in the process of raising our children, so I can only imagine the joy that comes from knowing you have raised Godly children. I am sure that there are times when your job as a father may seem hopeless. Be encouraged today that your work is not in vain. God will bless your efforts if you will do what He has called you to do to the best of our ability.

There is one final verse I want to share this morning. I know that in spite of your greatest efforts, each child has to make the choice of whether or not to follow the teaching that his father has instilled in him. Let this verse be an encouragement to your heart today. Proverbs 22:6 tells us:

“Train up a child in the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This does not mean that our children will always make the right choices. I believe that it means no matter what choices they make, the things you have taught them, and the ways of God that you have planted in their hearts will never leave them. They may choose to stray, but at some point in their lives, those words you taught them will come back to them.

Fathers, be encouraged today! If you are walking in the truth and doing your best to raise your children in the same truth, God is going to bless that. Remember, God has given you a very important job to do, and He has equipped you to do it.

God bless each father, not only this weekend, but every day hereafter.

********************************************************************************************************************

I have to take a moment to say, “Happy Father’s Day” to my dad, who raised us up in the word of God and is still showing us what it means to be a Godly father, and grandfather. I love you daddy. Thank you for all that you do for your family.

I also have to say a very special, “Happy Father’s Day” to my husband and the father to my beautiful children. Thank you for always providing for us and for teaching our children the ways of God in everything that you do. I thank God every day for blessing me with a Godly man to lead our family.

Last but not least, to all the dads who will be celebrating Father’s Day this weekend: God bless you all. You are each one of a kind and this world could not run without you. Stay in the Word, learn from the Master, and then pass those things along to your children so that they may be able to grow into Godly men and women.

God Bless each of you today.

Confessions of a Tween Mom


mothers love

 “Train up a child in the way he should go:

and when he is old,

he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

Confession: I am a mom, and I do not have all the answers.

There are times when this is the hardest thing for me to admit. As the mother of a “tween,” a nine-year old and a five-year old, I often have to admit that I no longer have all the answers. As much as I would like to believe that I have it all together, too many time I am faced with the stark reality that I do not.

As a woman, a mother, and a wife I want to believe that I know what I am doing. I am reminded, however, that there is still so much that I do not know, so much that I still have to learn. Every day I am learning exactly what God means in His word when He tells us not to lean on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

Just recently I was faced with the reality that I do not have all the answers that my children need. I suddenly found myself faced with a conflict for which I was not prepared. I had to sadly admit to myself that I had failed. As a mother, I was not prayed up. I had not taken the time to seek the knowledge, from the Lord, that was needed to minister to one of my children in need.

At that very moment, I had to cry out to God. I was in desperate need of help. I knew I was traveling in uncharted territory, and I needed guidance. As I poured my heart out to God, I felt a peace come over me that I knew could only come from God.

As I began to council one of my children, I knew that God was right there holding my hand and healing the broken heart of a child. As I talked to him about the issues of a young person, I could see God working in his heart. I could see that God was already doing a work in our child’s life. All I needed to do was to trust God with the results and be there to offer support and guidance.

As I sit back and look at my children, I see just how fast they are growing up. While they will always be my babies, God is growing them into precious young people. I often look at my children and wonder what God has in-store for them. I trust and believe from the bottom of my heart that God has big plans for each of them some day.

I want to be prepared to minister to my children when they need some guidance. I realize that the days of hard knocks is coming. We are soon going to have a teenager in our house, I can only imagine what that is going to mean for us.I want to be prepared for those years. I know they are going to be the most important years, and I want them to be years of making memories and building dreams.

I was reminded this weekend how much more I need to be praying for my children. I pray every day that God will keep them safe and healthy, but I realize now that there is so much more for which I should be praying.

As a mom, I need to be praying for wisdom. I need to be seeking God’s guidance so that I can lead my children in the right direction when those temptations come to wander.

Psalm 127:3 tells us:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

My children are such a blessing to my heart. I love to watch them grow, and mature, and become the people who God would have them to be.

My prayer is that I can be the Mom that they need me to be . I pray that God will empower me with the knowledge and the wisdom I need to raise them to be Godly boys and girls. I pray that I will never forget to whom they truly belong, that these precious children of mine are just lent to me for  a season. I pray that I can honor my Heavenly Father with not only the life I live, but the lives that I teach my children to live.

I want to encourage you, today. If you are a  parent, please take the time to realize what an awesome responsibility you have been given. Our children are our future. We should be on our knees every day praying to God for guidance and wisdom to raise these precious little ones with whom He has entrusted us.

If you find yourself lacking the wisdom and the knowledge that you need, as I did, go to God. Cry out to Him. He will give you the answers that you need. He will give you the wisdom that you seek.

I pray that as parents we will cling to the promise that is quoted at the top of the page:

 “Train up a child in the way he should go:

and when he is old,

he will not depart from it.”

God Bless you today!