Archives for September 2011

Devotional: Laughing At Troubles

Written By Amy

I wanted to share with you a devotional from “Jesus Calling” for kids.  When I read this to my kids, I often think how simple and true the words are for me too.  Before you read it, answer these questions:  Do you laugh freely?  Do you find joy in each day? Or, is your smile and joy buried beneath heaps of worry and troubles?  Here’s words for kids, and us, from Sarah Young:

She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.   Proverbs 31:25

Learn to laugh at yourself and the world.  Instead of getting bogged down in the mud of worry and fear, laugh and be happy because I am by your side.  Just as parents delight in the laughter of their children, so I delight in hearing you laugh.  I feel happy when you trust Me enough to enjoy your life.

Don’t let worrying over troubles–especially things that haven’t even happened yet–keep you from laughing.  Live each day to its fullest by being full of My Joy.  That doesn’t mean you won’t ever have any problems.  It doesn’t mean you won’t ever be sad.  But it does mean that when troubles come, you can still have Joy because the Creator of the universe is right there beside you–helping you with your problems.

So learn to laugh at your troubles….and you’ll find that they aren’t nearly so troublesome.

Jesus Calling, 365 Devotions for Kids, p. 176

Parenting : A Lesson In Parenting

Written By Jen

Once they apologize sincerely, STOP.  On the first day we scrunched our toes on our new carpet my daughter and I had a discussion, upstairs, on our new carpet, about why it was a bad idea to bring her Frappuccino upstairs.  She was being defiant explaining how careful she could be.  (I also had my latte upstairs, not a good example.)  I gave a long lecture on how accidents are not planned; therefore, regardless of her care there is still a risk.  My mom was there and I decided now was not the time to start a war.  My mom and I moseyed downstairs and were chatting at the base of the newly carped steps.  Thirty minutes later my daughter heads down the stairs to join us.  She is wearing socks and slips on the second stair.  At this point it turns into a slow motion movie in my mind.  She is thudding down the stairs and the chocolaty chip Frappuccino is flying through the air.  The cup is firmly in her hand as the wall of brown milky sweetness soars through the air with gravity demanding it soaks the carpet.  The stairs are soaked, my mom and I have it on our shirts and in our hair and she has it all over herself as well.  The irony has me in stiches.

By the grace of GOD, literally, my mom was there.  The three of us cleaned the stairs for an hour.  They may still smell like chocolate.  I was proud of my carpet choice because you can’t tell she spilled a thing.  Of course I was furious.  Her defiance earlier fueled my raging insides.  My mom’s presence made me keep a steady voice.  Between my long lecture earlier and her perfect enactment of slipping down the stairs she now has a clear definition of the word accident.  She was humiliated and mortified.  Of course I laid into her a bit and once she stopped arguing and said she was sorry, I wanted to continue talking about it.  Making absolutely sure she got every possible angle of what just happened to prove my point.  I just wanted to keep on laying it on her.  My mom saw her sincere apology (so did I, I was just mad), but she calmly said, “Jen, she knows she did wrong.  You need to stop.”  (She didn’t need to give me a long lecture on why.  I heard her in one small statement and I knew she was right.  As my daughter would have heard me in one small statement as well .)

She was right.  I did need to stop.  She sincerely apologized and when I stopped it allowed her to learn a lesson with dignity.  I didn’t need to rub her face into the ground over it.  Even though I really wanted to and I really didn’t want to spend the next few hours scrubbing the stairs.

It was a good lesson for my daughter.  The next time she had a drink, with no reminder, she thought it was a good idea to leave it in the kitchen.

It was an excellent lesson for me.  I needed to know when to quit.  I really needed to learn that lesson that day.  I hope I can remember it in the heat of the moment.

My mom was sweet.  She was ready to go before the spill, but she stayed an extra hour and the three of us had a good talk as we scrubbed away.

 

Our Life: Family Faith Night

Written By Amy

Over the past couple of years, our family has started doing something we call “Family Faith Night.”  It was born out of a desire to supplement what our kids were being taught in church and expand on those ideas.  Things such as how to look up scripture in their bibles, the significance and meaning of biblical terms, and just some deeper delving into what it looks like to be a Christian in their schools and friendships.   Our kids are now 13, 11 and 9, so this is a great teaching age for all of them. We do Family Faith Night when it works for our family….when Jon is home and not traveling, or on a night when we all are home without sports, etc (this is very challenging!).

We had a Family Faith Night last night and I wanted to share it with you.  It was on Gentleness.  This is a concept we have been working on with our offspring for a while now, because they seem to struggle at times with having a gentle heart with each other.  While all three have sensitive gentle spirits, they seem to wear those outside the home and then hang them up on the hook alongside their backpacks when they come through the front door (personal conviction…I do the same thing!!).   The result is often irritated tones, and overreactions to each other instead of grace, kindness and gentleness.

When I stumbled across a lesson on Gentleness, I thought it would be a great topic for Family Faith night. I found last night’s activity in a Thriving Family magazine that we subscribe to from Focus on the Family (August/September 2011 issue).  Great resources in these pages!!  We adapted it to our family….here’s what we did:

We gathered in our family room and Jon gave a short talk on gentleness what that word means.  The kids shared their ideas.  Then Jon read a passage out of the article in the magazine which talked about how Jesus had a gentle spirit, and shared Jonathan Edwards quote, “All who are truly Godly and are real disciples of Christ have a gentle spirit in them.” We had the kids look up five verses on gentleness and read them:

Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 25:15, Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:12, and 1Peter 3:15

The kids love looking up and reading verses aloud.

 

Then came the fun part.

We took the kids into the garage and explained that we were going to play and egg tossing game (raw egg!).  Eggs are fragile, like our feelings.  We need to treat them gently, with care or they break and make a mess.  Hannah, Hunter and Maddie were to start in a triangle close together and say one way they can demonstrate gentleness in our family.  Then they needed to toss the egg to their neighbor.

This continued as the kids took a step away from each other each time it became their turn.  So fun and funny!

Of course, in the end the egg was tossed a little too hard and a little too far:

This whole lesson only took 20 minutes!  Family Faith Night doesn’t have to be a major event, but it does have to teach something meaningful and include some fun!  You can pick several topics to learn about or you can sit on one for a period of time.  A year ago we read aloud “The Power Of A Praying Kid” to our kids and it led to some wonderful discussions over several weeks.  I worried about our kids being bored, but honestly their eyes light up when we tell them it’s going to be a Family Faith Night and you know why?  Because they love the time together as a family combined with inspiration and laughter.

Do you do anything like this?  We would love for you to share your ideas too!

 

 

 

 

And the Winners Are….

Written By Jen

Amy and I are so thankful for all of your encouragement with Grace Full Home.  We love posting and hope that it adds light, life, laughter, encouragement and something positive and good to your day.  We know each one of you has great value and worth and we strive to love on one another and encourage one another as we journey on the winding roads of life.  These give aways are our way of saying THANKS to you!  Alright, on to the winners….

The winners are:

Jill Felix of the Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread and Pecan Pumpkin Butter!

Made with fresh pecans and an aromatic blend of spices, this mix makes an autumn classic easy to prepare. The quick bread emerges golden brown from the oven, ready to slice and serve warm with butter or jam.

 

AND

Stacy Winsberg of the Fall Cookie Cutters, and a Pumpkin Trivet and Napkin Holder from Crate and Barrel.

 

CONGRATULATIONS Jill and Stacy!

Challenge: Are You Worshiping the Wrong Things?

Written By Amy

I am reading a great book called Real Moms…Real Jesus.  Jill Savage, the author, writes about how we tend to worship the wrong things in life instead of worshiping God.  God had been speaking to her heart about her addiction with pride and control…and how that was an act of worshiping another God in her life.  Here’s a bit of the conversation she was having with God:

“Over the next few days, God took that conversation a little farther.   He took me to Exodus 20 where you can read the Ten Commandments.  The first commandment is “You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me” (verse 3).  I have read that verse many times before but this time it struck me differently.  All of a sudden I saw pride differently.  I never thought of it this way before, but it is actually the worship of ourselves.  We begin to think, often subconsciously, that our ways are the best ways–even better than God’s ways–so we move our eyes off of God to ourselves.  We worship the wrong thing.”  (Page 38)

She goes on to share other things we have set up as “Gods” in our life:

*Worry is The Worship of Our Circumstances

*Unforgiveness and bitterness is The Worship of  Hurt Caused by Someone Else        (Page 40)

I’m adding some others:

* Jealousy is the Worship of Others

* Discontentment  is the Worship of Want

* Impatience is the Worship of Me and My Schedule

* Control is the Worship of Things Going My Way

* Judgement is the Worship of Self Promotion

Me and I just seeps out of those phrases doesn’t it?  God wants us to take the focus off of ourselves.  He lovingly knows that when we stop worshiping ourselves and focus on him, life falls into perspective.  Here’s what I mean:

Peace is worshiping God and trusting Him with our life

Contentment is worshiping God and  believing what He has given us is more than enough

Patience is worshiping God and trusting in His timing

Hope is worshiping God and knowing He is always good

Grace is worshiping God and understanding we can extend grace because we have been given grace.

Forgiveness is worshiping God and having strength to forgive because we are forgiven by Him

Where is the focus of your worship?  How is the scale tipped…you vs. God?   I don’t know about you, but I will be thinking twice when I get impatient with how long my kids are taking to get in (or out of) the car, or when I get a little bent out of shape because my husband doesn’t do something the way I would do it.

Less of me, more of God.

 

 

 

 

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