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What We’ve Been Working On Today

The last couple weeks, the girls have started fighting…real knock down drag out fights. The kind that last all day and the kind that makes you want to scream “stop the drama!!  You’re not even prepubescent yet!”

In the exhaustion following the week of sickness, I’ve been dealing with the girls’ fighting by sending them to the corner and taking away toys.  It was all I had the energy to do.

Today was the day to quit dealing with the wrong behavior and start dealing with the heart issue behind the behavior.

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”  Matthew 12:34

Its amazing.  Simply defining love as the Bible defines it  and then writing down every time they show certain aspects of love has completely changed our day.  Its also helped us memorize I Corinthians 13:4 faster =)


Dedication

Justus, this morning we stood before the church and declared that we would raise you to walk in the faith of your family. We desire to remain humble and dependent on the Lord in order that He may use us to point you to Him. I know we will fail at times, but I pray the Lord’s grace will reign over this household so that His strength will prevail even in the midst of your parent’s weakness. We prayed this morning and will continue to pray that you will come to faith in Christ knowing that He alone will bring you joy, contentment, and life. We love you buddy.
(the verse we are praying over you)
the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
Ephesians 1:17-19

Attempting

Over the last 6 months or so, I have been attempting to practice some of the spiritual disciplines I’ve been implementing in my life with my kiddos. Prayer and worship are the two disciplines we’ve decided to just focus on for now. Here’s what we’ve come up with =)

After dinner every night, we sing songs and read one story out of a children’s Bible. We dance and sing fast and fun kids songs and then sit and sing slower songs as well. All while talking about worshiping Christ. We try to ask lots of questions about the Bible story because the girls are very literal at this point! For example, last night, after some probing questions, Avery truly believed that if she lied, God would send her away from her family like He did to Cain! oops…need to remember to think literally about all the stories we read to avoid instilling fear in our kids =)

Every morning after breakfast, I get two candles out and give the girls a word to think about. (obey, truthfulness, self-control, etc…) Its usually a characteristic we have been working on. The word stays the same for the whole week. I then ask them to close their eyes, be really still, and pray in their hearts and ask Jesus to help them practice that characteristic throughout the day. Whenever they think they are done praying, they blow out their candle. They decide how long this lasts, and its usually a 30 sec to a minute thing. And the candle means nothing, except its fun for them to blow out the candle, and they tend to sit in stillness and silence longer when they have something to blow out when they are finished.

Not that they get what spiritual disciplines are and not that I expect them to, but we just want them to understand how to sit in silence with God or how to be still and just know He’s God. One day we pray that these disciplines will be a channel for them to eventually discover not just salvation but the abundant life and relationship that Christ offers.

Oops =)

So I said I would post this last Tuesday…oops. Christmas fun got in the way of remembering to do anything!

I had talked about wanting to start serving as a family outside of the church. I’m still searching for something permanent, but in the meantime, Brent and I decided to start doing small things together. Last week was our first attempt.We took the girls to a nursing home and sang carols for the residents as they were getting ready to play Bingo. The girls were really excited when we practiced at home, but a little overwhelmed once we got there! After a couple songs, Elliana warmed up though and started dancing for everyone. Avery just stood stone faced and sang very quietly. But, once we got back to the car, both girls were bouncing off the walls with excitement and couldn’t stop singing. I think they really enjoyed it.

Now for the next opportunity…tune in to see what we come up with next =) Feel free to give me some ideas if you have any!

Team Fun

Our team (Bible Study) at Northwood got together last night to decorate a Christmas tree for a teenage mother. We put all sorts of baby stuff on the tree and then started a basket for a pregnant teenage mom as well. It was so fun to just hang out, talk, work on this project together, and watch all our kids play together.While the girls sorted all the toys and baby items and decorated the tree, the guys entertained the kids with the Pampered Chef apple slicer and some caramel to dip it in. The kids loved it and I think all the dads had a pretty good time as well!This was the perfect activity to occupy 8 kiddos fingers while we worked away in the other room.
We didn’t get to finish the tree, but we got a good start on it. Here’s a picture of our half finished tree. I’ll post some pictures of the finished tree and basket after we finish it next weekend.

Lights clicking on


Avery had a realization this morning. In keeping with the mediation theme, we are trying to integrate the practice of meditation into the girls’ lives as well. We read a story out of the Bible in the morning and give Avery one message from the story to think about all day. I ask her questions about it all day as we play and we try to put into practice whatever the story talks about. This week’s story is the Prodigal Son. Yesterday we talked all about forgiveness and asking God to forgive us and she nodded but every time I asked her about the story yesterday, she couldn’t remember anything. I had to keep prompting her.

This morning, after reading the story again and discussing the theme of forgiveness, she asked us to read Jonah instead (if you’ve been around her in the past 5 months, you know that she is obsessed with Jonah!). Not exactly the response Brent and I were looking for but Avery went on to tell us about Jonah and when she got to the point where Jonah was in the whale’s belly, Brent and I pointed out that Jonah asked God to forgive him.

She looked up with bright eyes of understanding and said “the stories are the same!! We ask God to forgive us and He does!”

Don’t you love when they get it =)

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