Category: Heart Reflections

Apr 30 2014

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The other day I was filling out a card for a cousin who recently had a baby.  As I was writing the card I had a whirlwind of thoughts, advice, and things I wanted to share with this couple who just recently began this wonderful parenting journey.  This is part of what I shared with them which was also a great reminder to me and hopefully an encouragement to you if you’re a parent as well.   I have edited it to remove their specific names on the card.

Congratulations!  We are so happy for your sweet family!  Welcome to the crazy and fun parenting party!  Wishing all of you a lifetime packed full of laughter and wonderful memories.  Praying that parenting will be a great adventure for you.  We are thrilled for all of you and wish you the very best!  Many Blessings!

Parenting Tips We Want to Share  (I added a couple more to the list since writing the card):

    1. Laugh as often as possible (even at your own mistakes)
    2. Make a point to hug your child and tell her that you love her everyday
    3. Cherish the memories, they really do grow up way too fast
    4. Show grace and mercy often
    5. Never discipline when you’re angry
    6. Take lots of pictures, especially of your times together
    7. Seek God’s wisdom daily for your life, marriage, and parenting
    8. Be a positive and encouraging cheerleader for your kid
    9. Take time regularly to listen to your child
    10. Breathe deeply and count to 10 when your patience is being stretched thin
    11. You will feel more like a “SuperDad” and “SuperMom” after a full nights sleep
    12. Spend quality one-on-one time with your child
    13. Read to them, sing with them, and play with them
    14. Pray a lot – some days you’ll really need it
    15. Protect, guide, and nurture the best you can then trust that God will work in their hearts
    16. Words can be used to build up or tear down (make sure to chose them wisely)
    17. It’s the little things that make the biggest impact on our kids
    18. It doesn’t have to be flashy or expensive to be fun
    19. Be content with your life
    20. Give generously to others
    21. Find teachable moments each day  (kids love learning new stuff)
    22. Speak kindly to and about others (little eyes are watching what you do and hearing what you say)
    23. Stand up for what’s right (even when it’s hard)
    24. Allow your kids to make some mistakes on their own so they can learn
    25. Get creative and have fun together – life’s too short to be boring
    26. Smile, slow down a little, and enjoy this wonderful part of your life
    27. Make the “normal” everyday events exciting
    28. Go on adventures
    29. Do family devotions and pray together
    30. Explore and try new activities together

There are so many areas of our lives that are stretched when we are parents.   While being a parent is the most rewarding experience it is also one of the most challenging.  It feels like I am constantly making mistakes or doing/saying something that’s not edifying or encouraging to my kids.  Yes, they know very well how to “push my buttons,” but that doesn’t mean I have to over react either.   Thankful for my kids and the many lessons they teach me about parenting.

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Mar 06 2014

Flower Surprise - Sweet Friend

Beautiful bouquet of flowers from a friend!

I am thankful for friendships and for the amazing blessings in my life!  A sweet friend dropped this beautiful bouquet of flowers off at my house one evening with a card!  Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect….isn’t it awesome how God allows friends to time a surprise so perfectly!!!  It was one of those crazy busy days and I was trying to balance all the activities that were going on with our family as well as prepare for some upcoming events.  I was in the middle of working with the girls on homework, making dinner, picking up the house, making lunches for the following day, among a handful of other tasks when the doorbell rang.  When I heard the doorbell  I didn’t think too much of it because I  figured it was probably just the neighbor kids wanting to play.  Jake was home and on a phone call, but he was the first one to the door.  He brought back these beautiful flowers which totally surprised me and made my day!!!!

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Love fresh flowers!

Even though it has been over two weeks since these flowers arrived on my doorsteps they are still in the vase on the table!  I think God has allowed these flowers to remain beautiful so long to continue to remind me of his goodness and the blessings of friendships.    I have only  pulled out a couple flowers that were wilting, but several still look amazing!  The best part about these beautiful flowers is every time I look at them I am reminded of my sweet and thoughtful friend who delivered them to me.

Friendships are a wonderful blessing in our lives.  They take time to cultivate and grow much like flowers.  God allows us the opportunity to walk through this journey with special people we call friends.  Friendship also means we have the joy of celebrating the good times with our friends as well as spending extra time in prayer as a friend goes through a rough patch.  Everyone needs these types of friends to laugh with during the joyous moments and encourage you when it seems like your stuck in a whirlwind.

Every time I see these flowers or smell their refreshing fragrance when I walk into the room I am reminded of my friendship and take a moment to pause and pray specifically for that friend.  I pray for her to have the strength, wisdom, and energy she needs to walk through her day.  I may not know what challenges she faces each moment or joys she experiences throughout the day, but I can still lift her up in prayer knowing that God knows what she’s facing today and He alone can give her exactly what she needs.

Thanks Dee for the beautiful flowers, your friendship, and for walking this journey of life alongside me!  May we always continue to grow ever closer to our Savior.  You are a true blessing in my life!  Thanks sweet friend for the beautiful surprise!

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Jul 10 2013

There has been so much that has happened over the course of the week its hard to know how to sift through all that is going on and use those moments, sometimes even times of heartaches to start some tough conversations with our kids.  Conversations about life and yes, death too.  While it is my preference to focus on the happy and fun moments sometimes God allows something that brings tears to mold my heart as well as the hearts of my kids.

How we handle those conversations can be key to reaching the very heart of our children.  As they deal with the death of a precious pet, loved one, or something else they will want to know answers and find peace amidst the heartache.  While circumstances (like in our case the death of a family pet) will prompt conversations it’s never easy answering the questions when your child’s heartbroken.

Another great way to start some good conversations with your children is through devotionals.  One of  the best parts about reading through a variety of devotional books with them is that it really seems to initiate some good conversations.  Some of the conversations can extend over several days too.

I pray that Jake and I will seek God’s wisdom so that we know what and how to explain God’s goodness even in the sad moments as well as taking opportunities to share truth during those happy times.  May we always cherish the times we have with the ones we love even more.

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Jun 13 2013

Is it just me or do you seem to repeat the same mistakes too?  Sometimes I feel like take two steps forward and one step back in the process (possibly at times is it more like 2 steps forward and 3 steps back)

It is hard to be find joy and contentment in every moment of every day, especially when it seems like no matter what there’s always little ripples that happen throughout the days, weeks, months, and years.  How do we find joy in the moments when we want to just go back to bed or go somewhere quiet or escape the stress of life?

  • Find joy in the little things.  Everything may not be going well, but there is always something to be thankful for in your life.  It could be your health, family, friends, a job, home, food on the table, a vehicle to drive, sunshine, or a whole bunch of other things we tend to take for granted.  Taking a few moments to count your blessings can really change your outlook on life.  A thankful heart is a positive heart.
  • Point your focus upward. When we look to Christ for our guidance we tend to see a bigger picture and we realize that it really isn’t that bad after all.  Yes, we make choices that can make life easier or more challenging for us, but we can also put our lives into the hands of the one who created the universe and trust that He really knows what is the best for us.  Just knowing that He holds my life in his hand can take some of the pressure off my tendency to micro-manage all aspects of my life.
  • Spend time helping others. We are by nature selfish people. When we take a few moments to focus our energy on someone else it can also lift our spirit too.  Take time to do something nice for someone else today and don’t expect any reward (or favor returned).  Not only will you help another person in the process your heart isn’t stuck on yourself and your issues.

If you find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over again.  Ask God for help, he can help you overcome even the little things that pop up in your life.  Find people that you trust to be an accountability partners for you.  You want people in your life that are not afraid to confront you if they see something in your life that isn’t wholesome for you and your family.  Take time to pray and spend time with people who will encourage you to live a life that reflects goodness instead of  repeating the same mistakes.

Look for the blessings in your life throughout each day.  Turn your focus upward and outward.  Every one of us has the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives around us.

 

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Jun 05 2013

God, you are the glue
that holds my life together.
 
When schedules get interrupted,
things don’t go as planned,
and life seems to be coming at me from all directions
You are what keeps me from coming apart at the seams.
 
On those days when I am exhausted
and it takes everything in me to keep moving forward.
You give me the strength and energy to face what lies ahead of me.
 
When it feels like I am spinning my wheels
and getting no where fast.
You give me a new perspective.
 
God thank you for being my glue.
For loving me especially when I don’t deserve it.
For bringing a song to my heart for encouragement when I need it most.
For reminding me of your word and promises.
For revealing your truth in unique and amazing ways.
For the countless ways you shower me with your mercy and grace over and over again.
Thank you God for holding my heart and life gently in your hands.
May I continue to trust as you mold and make me into the person you want me to be.

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