Monday, December 09, 2013

And a Child Shall Lead Them

Months later and here we are busy as ever preparing for the most wonderful time of the year. The Gracie girl has one of the leads in the play at the CUMC, Hotel Bethlehem. As a stable girl at the Hotel Bethlehem, Grace sings about miracles and encourages Joseph to "never forget there is hope." She invites the hotel owner and the Samaritan visitor to offer the Christ child their heart and love as gifts to welcome the Savior. I am thrilled that Grace has an opportunity to shine and share the love of Jesus with others through this children's play. I'm so proud of her and praying for God to use her little...her big voice to point the way from the manger to the cross.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

No One Should Go Hungry

This has been a week of helping. The Great Chicago Food Depository put out a call for help to harvest a field of squash donated by a Morengo farmer.  This is a cause near and dear to our hearts so we volunteered. About 30 people picked over 33,000 pounds of squash in about 4 hours. This provided over 100,000 servings of delicious and healthy squash to Chicagoland families. What is not to love about THAT? Here are a few pics from our Grace FULL Day:

happy helper


baby squash
 

Grace is learning to use the clippers

Monday, September 16, 2013

Soaking

I recently read that we have only 18 summers with our kids. That's not very many summers when you really think about it. Not many at all. While we LOVE the summer theater camp, it really eats up a big bunch of our summer days. Sadly, the school calendar says summer is over and we have not yet been to the beach!! Got to get there! What in the world is school doing when we still have so much summer to live out? Now we must squeeze in summer where we can - while we can. In the three short weeks since school began, we have visited three new beaches including our first Michigan beach adventure. There's not much time. We have to soak up these summer days!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Learning Cursive

Gracie hopped in the car today all excited! "Guess what! We started learning cursive today in school! Finally!" Wow - she is really thrilled to do this "grown up" writing. In fact, we stopped in to get my time sheet signed by my boss and all it took was one question about how school was going. Gracie laid it all out how she is learning to write all cursive swirly. My boss, the Special Ed Coordinator, was thrilled right along with her.

Interestingly, a colleague posted an article from Psychology Today about the benefits of writing in cursive including the integration of sensation, motor movement and thinking. In fact, one of those benefits are likened to the those of learning to play a musical instrument. That is music to my ears! Studies show kids "wrote more words, faster, and expressed more ideas when writing essays by hand versus with a keyboard." Fact is, cursive writing makes kids smarter and I like the sound of that. See the link here for the full blown article.

Friday, April 12, 2013

We love to sing. It runs in the family. This is one of my favorite kid songs. In fact, when someone asks me "What is today?", I might say the day with my mouth, but in my head I'm singing this bright song. All you hungry children, come and eat it up!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Details


God is into details💗

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Sunshine

 
♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭You are my sunshine, my Gracie Sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. I thank God for Gracie today. ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭  You are such a lovely girl, Grace.  I was watching you sleep before the sun was even awake today.  I know mornings come too early some days; most days.  I just couldn't help but sing over you that sweet little tune my mama sang to me.  You make my heart sing, sweet girl.  It runs in the family.  Zephaniah 3:17 says "The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."  I wonder what song He sings. I wonder what His voice must sound like. Is it like the ocean waves, or a babbling brook, or maybe a great and glorious waterfall? Is it simple, like the song of a bird or that of a child? I can only guess for now, but maybe He's singing something like this sweet song, "You are my sunshine ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ You make me happy ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ You'll never know, dear, how much I love you ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭"   I love you, Gracie Girl, and I'm so glad God gave me a gift so great as you. His heart is full of love for His children and I know how that feels. ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭
Pinned Image

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I Spy

   
I Spy, by Keith Parris: 
Remember the game I Spy?  The leader would find a color in the room and say, "I spy something black" or whatever color the object happened to be.  Then every one takes turns trying to guess what the leader was seeing.  Sometimes, if it was really difficult to find, the leader would give hints by saying "You're getting warm."  
I was thinking how the closer we get to God, the more things we see about ourselves that need to change. Sometimes things are very clear and the truth is hard to handle about ourselves. It's easier to walk away and try to forget that we ever seen ourselves in that light. So we walk away and forget. But walking away won't change me. I have to humble myself before God and others so the thing can be removed. James describes it this way, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." James 1: 22-25 NLT

Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."

Monday, January 07, 2013

Counting Gifts




61. A journey ended and new beginning.  It is official. I am a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.
62. Contentment in a job well done.  Anything worth doing is worth doing with excellence. It may not always be recognized by the eyes we want, but it never goes unnoticed by those who matter, especially our Maker above.
63. Trusting God in His amazing work with loose ends. Think tapestry and the ugly mess of the underbelly of something lovely and grand.
64.  Strengthening our core at Oasis.
65.  A bit of fun with lots of  hugs from our Summer Theater Camp mini reunion.
66.  A time of fasting, purging and drawing close to God. Make us new. Revive us and set us focused with purpose.
67. Blessings that spill over; cups that run full and free. Thank you, Lord.  Your provision is ever faithful.
68.  Time to refresh, replenish, and sometimes that means sitting and sleeping. Thank you for a place to do both and safety in getting to that place.
69. God, you see every tear - you catch it and bottle it with tender, loving care. Psalm 56:8 says so:  You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.  
70.  In fact, not only do you see each tear - You said this in your word, which really relates to 61-63 above:
My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.   
This I know: God is on my side!
I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?
71.  Time with treasured friends - laughing, reminiscing, pledging to forget, and loving. LOVING.
72.  I'm thankful for the giggles of our children that ring delightful from the next room.
73.  Sister gifts.  She filled me up with all sorts of ME blessings. She knows what I love. =)
74.  The generosity of St. Nicholas, who by sharing his gifts, bestowed on us the spirit of Christmas - For God so loved the world, He gave...
75.  Together time while waiting for the bus. We take a moment to gather ourselves and pray before Grace goes to school. I love that. I'm thankful for those moments to launch her into her sphere of influence with the covering of prayer to learn and shine her little light.  I heart that girl and take great comfort know that God loves her even more.  She is destined for great things in His kingdom.
76.  A deeper meaning of the word favor. Mary was highly favored among men, but it began with "Do not be afraid" and went on to an anguished heart at the foot of a cross where her son lay down His life for all mankind. Favor is not without pain as we yield ourselves to the glory of God.

Affirm

DAY 6: AFFIRM

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

- Psalm 139:14 {ESV}
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Affirm: To validate, to assert as valid or confirmed, or to express dedication to.
This earthly world does a good job of robbing us of the affirmation our hearts instinctively crave. The affirmation God has created each of us uniquely and wonderfully. The truth and affirmation that we need to hide in our hearts (and share liberally with our children) is that God loves us for who we are and for who he has created us to be. Although the world does a good job of distracting us and trying to convince us otherwise, we must be vigilant to remember God’s affirmation of us and we must affirm and dedicate our hearts to Him.
Sweet Heavenly Father, you knit each of us together. You knit each of our children together. Your amazing love of each one of us is beyond my understanding but I am so thankful. And I am thankful too for the opportunity you have given me in parenting my child. Please, I pray, help us to share this truth with our children. The truth that each one is a unique and special creation designed especially by You. Help each of us to affirm that truth to their hearts today.   By: Katie Howard Clemens

 ~ Resource of the Day ~  Grace Based Parenting

From Family Matters - 31 Days of Prayer for Your Children

 



Sunday, January 06, 2013

Purpose

 

Day 5:  Purpose

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"- Micah 6:8 {ESV}

To know one’s purpose is to have a life direction – a target at which to aim. Having purpose is different than knowing what we want “to do” someday. It’s more about knowing “how to do” life. God’s word makes it clear that we must walk humbly with Him, but how does that look in real life? It is doing life in an unpretentious way, or as Webster would say, “to destroy the power or prestige of”….which sounds a whole lot like doing life God’s way not my way. Being humble is being unassuming. When we walk closely with God we can allow Him to direct and guide us without us assuming we’ll take over when we think He’s not doing it right. We can trust Him.

Let’s pray that we, as parents and care-takers to our loved ones, will be the example our children need to see, and the ones they want to emulate because we’ve listened carefully to our Creator to fulfill the purpose He had for us.  By: Joe and Cindi Ferrini
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Friday, January 04, 2013

Affection

Day 4:  Affection  

“And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”- Mark 9:36-37 {ESV}

There are some beautiful pictures in the Bible.  Profound moments etched in my mind when Jesus spoke love tangibly.  Although He could have simply stated His wisdom and love, He often chose to reveal it through His actions.  Jesus not only touched to heal, He touched out of pure and simple love as well.
Mark 9:36-37 shares the sweetest scene of Jesus tenderly taking a child onto His lap as He addresses the disciples’ argument about who was the greatest.  Their disagreement might have caused another to be angry or frustrated, but instead Jesus lovingly draws a child into their midst to remind them of His desire for us to approach Him as children and to serve even the least.  Jesus affectionately deals with the disciples and the child.

He loves us all – big and small! When we recognize God’s great love for us, we are better equipped to show affection to our children.  When we rest in that love, we can offer affection – deserved or not.
Lord, please use us to love our children – display Your love and affection through not only our words, but our actions.  And Father, thank you that you love us as passionately and purposefully as you love our children.  By:  Sue Birdseye
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 ~ Resource of the Day ~ Grace Based Parenting