Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Internet as a Tool

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to share a little about what's on my heart this week. Technology has become such a stronghold in our culture in the last ten years. (Have you been in the situation when you are talking to someone and they are constantly texting or checking FB on their phone during the conversation?) I feel like technology is good in many ways- but it is also bad in many ways. I don't want my children to see me constantly checking my email, being "updated" from social media sites, or constantly searching the web. I want them to see me Living Life to the Fullest, Enjoying God's Creations, Building Real Relationships with People, reaching out for Christ, Dancing Silly, Singing Loudly, Laughing, Reading, Cooking, Cleaning, Making a Home, and Playing. Our little gifts are like sponges! They pick up on everything. I want to set a good example for them on how to embrace our gift of life and use it for God's glory. With all this being said.. I want to teach them that the internet is a tool and can be used for good and can be used wisely. I want them to know that it can also be a timewaster. To avoid the pitfall of it being a timewaster- you must set limits on yourself and use your "net" time wisely. Here's something we do at our house..... We set a pen and pad by the computer. When you think of something you need to look up or something you need to use the computer for you go to the desk and quickly jot it down on the notepad. Then when it is the appropirate time to be on the computer- You do all those tasks FIRST before moving on to your "timewaster" activities. I am constantly wanting to look up new recipes or how to do something, or get an idea of Pinterest (my favorites are DIY/CRAFTS, FOOD, and KID ACTIVITIES) . But I can not and will not devote my time to it or make it more important than training my children and loving my husband. The Lord has blessed me to be a mother and wife and I ACCEPT AND EMBRACE that calling willingly with a thankful and full heart. I believe anything you do- Do it Good and Right. That's how I feel about my calling as a wife and mother. I want to be the best that I can be with God's help and Grace.
Blessings!
Amanda

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Re-Freshed

Woo Hoo! It's a new day! I love life and just want to embrace every minute of it. When I go to bed at night I'm already looking forward to the morning to see what a new day's going to bring!
This year- I've really been sorting out my priorities. (Don't you like that refreshed feeling that a new year brings that makes you feel like you need to get re-organized, re-prioritized, and re-Freshed. I love it~  My husband and I have really been going over our goals for the year as a couple, as a family, and individuals. (I'm not going to say he enjoys this as much as me)

Something that I am learning as a follower of Christ is.... The more you want to live your life to glorify Him- the more "different" you're going to be from the rest of society. Which is why it's so important to find your Identity in Christ. Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

I want to be one of these people! Who are not conformed but transformed! I'm very easily motivated and inspired. I get really fired up and encouraged when I see other people living their life identified with Christ and making choices and who have actions that reflect that(fruits). Their choices are usually very different than the mainstream choices. But it very much touches my heart and brings me pure Joy to see this! They don't hang their head when they make these choices or stands. They do it proudly and confidently with love and grace. It cheers me up to see people rooted in their identity and Christ. Let's all do that:) That is... To find our identity in Christ and live in that way boldly, intentionally, and passionately. It will bless those in our lives, be pleasing to the Lord, and minister to someone that we don't even know. Lord- help me to live passionately and intentionally for you!

With all that being said--- and going back to my goal/priority statement. What are some of your goals this year that support your identity in Christ? How are you different? How are you conformed but need to be transformed?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cultivating Little Minds

Hi Friends!
Hope everyone is having a blessed day! Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made, Let us REJOICE and be glad in it. I just wanted to share a couple of book recommendations.



There are several versions of Storybook Bibles out there- But this is the one my family decided to use. It is illustrated very well and reads well also. The way it is written is more in a modern day language that captivates little ones attentions and is easy for them to understand. Now- I know some of you are hardcore-KJV only fans- But my husband and I enjoy reading this to our children and then going back and talking about the story to them. My daughter is constantly asking us to read "her bible" to her. It is amazing how much stuff they pick up on. I would recommend this if you have young children.
"Stand Back" Said the Elephant, "I'm going to Sneeze!" is such a cute book. It is written very well and is super fun to read. It rhymes all the way through the book. It is humorous and keeps the attention of the kids. There are so many good pictures in the book. Sometimes, we just look at the pictures and point to them and talk about them. It is a book that we will have in our library forever. There are alot of words in the book- but don't let that intimidate you from adding it to your toddler library. Since- it is a rhyme it is fun to read (especially when you do good voices)

This book is written by Francis Chan for small children. He also wrote Crazy Love, which I thought was a very good, thought provoking book for adults. Anyways- this book is about Halfway Herbert who only does things half way. The moral of the story is to not do things halfway- but to Love the Lord your God with ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. (Mark 12:30) It is a very short book with nice pictures. I recommend it for your library. I love books that have Christian meanings.
This is one of our favorite books at our house. It is short, sweet, and simple. (and of course it rhymes) My daughter enjoys picking out all the animals. Every page ends with ".... and the Bear Snores On". Kids enjoy hearing you make the big snore sound. After a couple of reads they will be reading it to you.

My ABC Bible Verses; Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts  I should have put this book at the top. It is one of our absolute favorites. It goes through each letter of the alphabet with a corresponding bible verse and story to match it. At the end of each story there are memorization cues and thought questions for toddlers. It is a great resource for encouraging children to memorize and APPLY scripture. We love it!

The Squire and the Scroll We really like this book and the meaning behind it. It is basically about a young man keeping a pure heart by following God's word, hiding it in his heart, and seeking God in all decisions. The story is about a young squire who goes on adventure. (Boys will love it) We have this in our library, but feel like it will be something for when our son is a little older. He is only 8 months right now. There are lots of words and it is lengthy. But the message and story is awesome.

We absolutely love this book! The Princess and the Kiss It is all about purity for girls and saving your Kiss for that one special someone. It is beautifully written and full of love. It goes through several types of guys that your sweet daughter might one day encounter. Like the one who wants to woo her with money, or sweet talk her, or who is super strong- But the important this is finding a man who loves God and loves his word. We read it to our toddler now. I recommend this book for anyone who has a daughter.

This book is written more for babies. But we absolutely love it. It's about loving your children through and through. It goes through all the body parts.... Example " I love your fingers and toes... Your ears and nose..." Your baby/toddler will love pointing to all the body parts. Mine really have fun with this book. It is a favorite. (Can you tell we have a lot of favorites)





Okay- I could go on and on and on and on.... But I will give you a break for now. These are just a few books that I would recommend adding to your library. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Building Your Inner Circle

Hi Friends!
Now that Holiday's are over it's time for all of us to get back in the "normal routine" of life. With a new year starting, lots of people are going around talking about  New Years Resolutions. I'm not a big new years resolution type girl. I'm more under the mindset that you should always being trying to improve yourself in whatever way you feel you need to. Let's face it most people make goals to lose weight, eat better, don't drink tea for a year or something like that and by March they've forgotten their goal. Don't take me wrong- I think goals are GREAT and AWESOME! I'm a big time goal setter. I just set goals all through the year. I do love the "fresh slate" that a turn of a new year brings. It feels so clean and refreshing. It's a great time for self- reflection and goal making for the next year. With all that being said..... I've had something on my heart lately. "Building your inner circle" I'm an extremely social person. I've been told by friends and family I could wear you out just talking. Sometimes it can be exhausting just listening to me and all my ideas. haha I'm the type to constantly be starting something new. My husband just laughs when I tell him "Hey I have an idea... What do you think about this?" I'm always wanting to start a new project, a new group (whether it be a bible study group, exercise group, mom group, once a month girls night, etc.. etc..) My plans are endless and constant. I love people and being around people. Aren't you so glad that God designed us for fellowship and relationship? (most of all with Him) Anyways- My point is that I can get carried away with wanting to start new things with new people. But lately the Lord has really been talking to me about building my inner circle. I'm a mom of two sweet, sweet babies. This is such a blessing and also such a short season in my life. Why do I focus so much energy on being social, when my real calling is right in front of me. It is so important to build your inner circle- being my husband and children. This is my time to invest in their lives and their hearts. (Don't take me wrong and think that I'm saying you mustn't do anything else) The Lord has just been teaching me that sometimes you have to say "No". I can't be apart of every social function that is taking place around me. I must choose wisely and carefully- so that my main focus is still on the Lord and building my inner circle right now. I'm so thankful for the way he teaches me and the peace He brings you when you're obedient. Investing in your husband and children is so important and there are many ways that you can do this. A scripture that come to mind is: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
I'd like to give you an example of a way that I've had to say "no" lately. I used to coach basketball before my calling as a mother. I very much enjoyed it. I've just recently had the opportunity to coach a summer basketball team. While at the beginning of this opportunity- I was super excited and giddy. What a sweet deal! I still get to be a mom, and I get to coach in the summer while my husband's home from school. SWEET! My husband and I talked it over- and he said he would be completely be supportive of whatever I wanted to do. I was really getting the ball rolling- planning my tryouts, getting a tournament schedule together etc... I was already planning practices in my head. I had big plans. But something just wasn't settling right in my soul. (I knew what it was the whole time, but just tried to ignore the feeling) Finally, I did what I know I needed to do. I went to the Lord about it. He gave me an answer very clearly. While, I love basketball, love coaching, love the girls that would've been on my team- I would have completely enjoyed it--- Where would my family be? My husband said he would come to games and take the kids. It would've been every weekend from March-July plus my practices. What kind of investment would that've been for my family this summer? How would that be building my inner circle? My children are still very young- so it would've been me more dragging them around, making them sit in hot gyms, having my husband entertaining toddlers at games (there wouldn't be much watching from him, as I know because that's how it is when I'm at his games... ) We decided that it would be better for our family to spend our time investing in our precious little gifts hearts and souls, giving them a peaceful secure feeling at home- building our inner circle, having them run and play outside. Explore. Get Dirty. Build Things.  There was such a weight lifted from me when I turned the job down. It is not the right time for me. Maybe in another season- but not this one.
With all that being said- I encourage you to evaluate your relationship goals for the year. What do you want to invest in? How do you plan to do this? Why? Set some time apart to spend with the Lord and ask Him- what he wants for you this year... What are His plans for your life? not yours....
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