One of my daughters had a minor surgery (she got a set of tubes put in her ears) a couple weeks ago. Her sister wanted to pick up a get well balloon for her for after the surgery. We went to the Dollar Store and she picked out a balloon that she thought would “make her smile”.
Instead of the traditional get well balloon she got a star balloon because her sister loves anything related to space. The balloon was a big hit and is still floating above her bed even now. It amazes me how long the Dollar Tree balloons can stay up!
This little gesture of kindness, from sister to sister, reminds me of how thankful I am for kids who are thoughtful and loving (most days) towards their family members. Sometimes it’s the little things you do or acts of kindness that make the biggest impact on the lives of others. We need to do more acts of kindness to show we care for our family, friends, and those around us. It only takes a little effort from us, but it may go a long way in lifting someone’s spirits, much like this balloon lifted my daughter’s spirits.
Recently I was reading the devotional book with the girls about the donkey in the Bible that talked. Several days later as I was going through a decision process in my own life I was again reminded about the talking donkey. If you have prayed about something for so long God will give you an answer even if that means being as direct (like a talking donkey) to get your attention.
Other times it may come from Scripture:
Often times after weeks of praying you can come across a verse during your quiet time that hits home. You have been praying earnestly for an answer and on that particular day and at that time He gives it to you through Scripture. He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. You may have read that verse many times in the past, but it really struck a chord on that specific day and time.
Or it may come from people in your life:
I don’t know about you, but a donkey has never spoken to me, however, God has used people in my life to speak truth to my heart. Sometimes they speak truth not even knowing the situation I am currently facing. God uses their words of encouragement to help answer my prayer.
It’s amazing how having kids can open your eyes to so many things, including learning more about yourself, life, and God. A couple years ago my cousin got the girls a rock tumbler. They LOVE it and are always on the look out for neat rocks (yes, my girls love rocks). On numerous trips, hikes, or walking through the yard they can be found collecting various rocks to run through the tumbler. It is a great activity for kids and can be a neat teaching tool as well.
The rock tumbling process goes something like this……
The whole process takes days and seems forever for the kids, but the end result is something beautiful and well worth the wait.
Recently, I came across a bag of rocks while I was cleaning. I had to smile knowing exactly why one of my ziploc bags had been used to stash a handful of ordinary, dull, and plain rocks. The girls know that even though they look like any old dirty rock once they are tumbled and polished their true colors will shine beautifully.
As I was standing there looking at those old, dusty rocks it struck me that my heart is much like those sharp and dirty rocks. There is a lot of junk that needs to be knocked off my heart and life before the beauty of God’s love can shine through. Thankfully with His help and a tremendous amount of patience on His part He slowly and faithfully cleans the dirt away, smooths out the roughness, and round the sharp edges. When His love, goodness, mercy, and kindness radiates from my brokenness it opens the doors for opportunities to make a positive eternal impact on the hearts and lives those around us.
An example of a rock tumbler you can get from Amazon if you are looking for a fun activity to do with your kids!
I cannot remember how old the girls were when we started with official Date Nights, but we always tried to make sure we had one-on-one time with each child even when they were little. That could mean taking one child to the grocery store while Daddy reads to the one at home. Now that the girls are older we give them several Date Night options that appeal to them.
We do a mix of “Home Date Nights” and “Out on the Town Date Nights” to help make it more cost effective for the family. Most months we swap, usually one of us goes out with one child and the other stays home (great chance to watch a movie or do puzzles, play a game or build a castle out of legos). The date nights with the kids give us time to have fun, make memories, and opens up a multitude of opportunities to have some heart to heart conversations with our kids.
Also, it is very important that your children see you and your spouse go on Date Nights and have fun together too. Usually when Jake and I go out the girls want to make sure that their “turn” is coming up soon! Thankful for time to spend with my family!
Do we know what “silence” sounds like anymore? Having complete silence may drive some people crazy while others are begging for just few minutes every once in awhile. Life gets busy as a Mom, Wife, Business Owner, or whatever title you carry. Your husband needs you, the kids have homework, deadlines are approaching, papers are piling, the house needs clean, laundry done, and a stack of emails are waiting for your reply.
Occasionally we need to take a Moment of Silence to get away from the demands of life. We all need down time to re-group and refresh. I am thankful for a husband that recognizes that and encourages me to take time to myself or out with a group of girlfriends. He encourages me have some time to re-group, rest, focus, pray, and relax. I love my family much, but it is nice to have some time alone and with others.
Sometimes it is during those quiet times that I can focus on what God is trying to teach me. Usually there are items weighing on my heart and mind that I need to work through. There are many times when I am driving I will turn off the radio and focus on some time of quiet. Do you allow yourself some times of quiet? Do you need it? Go ahead turn off the radio, put down your phone, put away your computer, get alone for a few minutes, spend time focusing on the quiet, pray, and allow God to speak to you. Hope you get a “moment of silence” soon!