Sep 15, 2014

Monday Minute--Use your Fives!





This morning I was behind before I even got up.

We had a late night, and I didn't make Mr. Measure's sandwiches the night before.
I didn't do the dishes.
I didn't fill and program the coffee maker.
I didn't start the dishwasher.
Laundry is overflowing.

So, while the coffee was brewing I thought I'd go as fast as I could and see what I could get done.
I made the sandwiches.
I started a load of laundry.
AND, I loaded the dirty dishes and started the dishwasher.
All before the coffee finished.

I was shocked!

Today, if you are already feeling behind, find five minutes and work as hard and as fast as you can getting something (or many things done). 

Five minutes are hiding everywhere in your day!


Sep 13, 2014

The Power of Telling your Story

When we went for our week long camping trip this summer, along with several families from our church, I brought along a couple books that I wanted to read while we were there.

One of those books was The Sticky Faith Guide for your Family.  It is just packed with stuff, as you can see in my review here.  

But the best part to come out of this book, was the paragraph about sharing your story with your children. 

So we did.  

Many, many of our friends and all our children heard stories about how we each came to faith in Christ.

There were a few blow-you-out-of-the-water faith conversions, and a lot of stories about being raised in a Christian home and how they grew in their faith.

We and our kids need to hear BOTH stories!  So many times people think because they don't have a dramatic story of conversion their story isn't worth listening to.

I, on the other hand, think those stories are the stories that our children NEED to hear, because for many of them, that will be similar to their story.

Because of this time together, I also learned some great bits of info about how important it is to share your story with others.

1.  It grows frienships.  If you have friends that you are more acquaintances with, try sharing your story with them over coffee or dinner, and ask if they'll do the same.  So many friends that shared during camp,  I had NO idea about the things they've done and lived through.  It gives you a place to start asking good questions and getting past the superficial answers.

2.  It grows faith.  Just to sit around that campfire and hear how perfectly timed God worked in our friends lives to bring them to faith, increased my own faith.  God knows the perfect time and the perfect way to show people to Him.  Some were through tragic death, some were through a message at a youth group or Bible camp, some were a gradual realization of their sin and God's holiness.  In each case, God's care and love showed through.  

3.  It helps share the gospel.  Think about it, no one is going to argue with you that your salvation story is wrong.  It is your personal story.  There is no argument.  You are able to give an account for the hope that is in you and let Christ do the rest.

1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...

4.  It helps encourage our children to do the same.  If they see and hear us sharing our true inner selves, our ugly hard parts, and how Christ changed each of us individually and carefully, it will help them grow in their faith and relationships and love for others.

Challenge:

I challenge you to think through your salvation story.  Have a long version (5+ minutes) and a short and sweet version (>1 minute).  

After you have done that, shoot an email to that couple or family in your church you've been wanting to get to know better and ask them over to your place for dinner or dessert and give them a heads up that you want to share your story and ask if they wouldn't mind sharing theirs with you and your children.  

It's pretty awesome!

Sep 11, 2014

Book Review-- Simplify. ten practices to unclutter your soul.

Simplify by Bill Hybels



I received a copy of Simplify from the publisher to read and review and it was a great book.  It is more of a decluttering and simplifying your mind type of book rather than your house.  Which is what I need anyway.

Things it got me thinking about:

When I'm filling in my calendar with all we have to accomplish that week, am I taking the time to fill in my priorities FIRST on the calendar?  Date night? Quiet, alone time? Priority relationships? Family night?

He stresses the importance of stopping the crazy running around on empty day in and day out, and instead scheduling the priorities of life. The stuff you'll be wishing you did if you were laying on your deathbed.  Not the things that others required of you, but the things that make for a rich life.

It is also full of other eye opening and thought provoking things, things you normally wouldn't think would be in a simplify book, like managing your finances and why you should give (I like his reasoning here, because giving of money has always been a struggle for me).  

Why and how to make room for forgiveness.  

Friendships and how to be a better friend and how to gracefully leave friendships that aren't good for you.  

How to get unstuck from a past season of life.

Why you should have a life verse and how to pick one.

It was a great, rubber meets the road book full of do-able and practical applications.

The author has a great conversational style and a gentle way of giving you a kick in the pants when you need it, and a lot of first hand accounts of working with people struggling in these areas and what they did to overcome. 

I've already put quite a few things I've learned in his book to use in my own life.

Would I recommend buying it?
It was good, especially if you are struggling in the area of decluttering your mind.   $23 average retail price is pretty steep for me, but definitely pick this one up if it's on sale (currently $15 on Amazon!) or from the library.  




Sep 9, 2014

...even when you don't feel like it.

Do your work....

If it is raising your children for the Lord.

Homeschooling.

Correcting those papers... again.

Housework.

Editing.

Grinding out the 9 to 5.

Do your work,
with excellence,
 even when you don't feel like it.

(1 Corinthians study... grinding out the editing)


Sep 7, 2014

PBP #2--Ask Questions

Parenting Best Practices #2 is

ASK QUESTIONS

"Choose curiosity over accusation"  -Bravewriter.com

Some questions to ask the people in your life (especially your children),
instead of assuming or accusing or lecturing.

Do you want help with that?
 (instead of jumping in and doing it for them.)

Are you annoying me (frustrating me, irritating me) on purpose?
 (watch your tone of voice on this one, sincerity instead of sarcasm.)

Are you avoiding your work on purpose?
(instead of GET BACK TO WORK FOR THE THOUSANDTH TIME!)

Do you know why I asked for that?

Is that what you meant to do?
(curiosity over accusation/assumption)

How do you want to make that right?
(instead of "Go apologize to your ____!)

Is that what you wanted to happen?
(instead of WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!?)

follow up with: What did you want?
follow up that with: What will it take to get to that?
follow that up one more time with:  Do you want any help with that?

What would motivate you to want to _________?

What do you think the point of __________ should be?

.
.
.

I wish I could remember where I found these questions
(they didn't originate in my brain!)
but I just have them scrawled on a piece of notebook paper from years ago.
If they sound familiar to you, let me know and I can properly link to it.