Monthly Archives: May 2016

Is it bedtime yet?

It’s 1:00am. I should be cozy and cuddly in my bed dreaming all kinds of wonderful dreams, but wait, I’m a mom! I’m basically not allowed to sleep! And so I find myself trying to fall asleep as I’m sitting upright on a couch with a child on my lap. Tonight, it’s a headache. Sometimes it’s a bad dream or an “Oops Mom, I didn’t make it to the bathroom!” A mom is always on duty, always on call, never catches a break. We empty ourselves into our children daily, and while we should be sleeping and “reloading” for the next day, they’re still coming at us. It literally doesn’t stop. It’s exhausting. It’s physically, mentally and emotionally draining. How many times have you, as a mom, counted down the hours ’til bedtime while still at the breakfast table? We’ve all done it. Heck, I do this like once a week! When does it end? Well, the answer is, it doesn’t.

As we continue this life­long task of motherhood, it will evolve. Instead of our little kids waking us up super early on a Saturday morning, we will be waking up our teenagers on Saturday afternoons. Our reasons for being awake at 1:00am will be because they’re an hour past curfew and we’re pacing the floor. And their little problems of bad dreams and wet beds will become those of worldly pressures and broken hearts. So, perhaps we should stop for a moment and think about just how crucial our job is as mothers. If we can find a way to stop focusing on how exhausting it is for us and just how incredibly important we are to our children, we can change our perspective just a little bit. So, embrace the chaotic days! Let yourself laugh when your child decides to roller skate through the kitchen naked. Enjoy the sounds of your kids playing together regardless of how noisy they may be. Listen intently as they talk non­-stop about their day at school. Give those extra hugs and kisses. Pray with them each morning and each night. Let them know that they are your greatest treasures and how you love them more than life itself. The truth is that they are only little for a little while, but regardless of age, they’ll always need you.

We, as moms, often say we deserve a night off. It’s true. We deserve so much more than that. We deserve our own island for goodness sake! (And thank God we don’t always get what we deserve. But that’s another blog for another day.) But yes, go on a date with your husband. Have a girls night out. Go relax and get a massage or a mani­pedi. Read a book. Or simply take five minutes and lock yourself in your room to breathe! All of this is well and good, just as long as you don’t become self­-centered. Remember what our role is everyday. God gives us moms a special amount of grace to keep going. There’s a reason God chose you to raise those precious lives. You’re doing a great job! And a special shout­-out to the single moms and moms of children with special needs! You ladies are incredible! So let’s pray that we stay focused on what’s important and stay the course.

Ways to Develop Your Child’s Creative Writing Skills

The development of good writing skills is critical for children not only because it greatly fosters their success in school, but also because it will provide them with a valuable tool that will help them excel professionally as an adult. Additionally, it provides children with a way to communicate their thoughts and feelings and also provides them with a way to be creative.

Here are a few ways you can help your child develop or improve upon his or her creative writing skills…

Make Time

Writing takes time. So, ensure your child has the time to relax, unwind and contemplate his/her writing.

Make Space

Make sure your child has an adequate writing surface (e.g. table, desk) in an area that is free from distractions, along with the necessary tools (e.g. pencil, notebook).

Provide Inspiration

Good readers make better writers, as reading introduces children to different topics and writing styles. Therefore, one of the best ways to provide inspiration for writing is by reading with your child. Asking your child questions about what was read allows him/her to develop a better understanding of writing structure and also gets the creative juices flowing!

Encourage Creativity

Encourage your child to “think outside of the box”. Don’t focus too much on grammar and spelling, but instead, encourage the creative process. While editing is certainly necessary to develop good writing skills, it’s important to first lay the groundwork for a supportive environment that encourages creativity.

Connect Writing with Your Child’s Interests

If your child is interested in baseball, encourage him/her to write a story about a favorite player. Or if your child is interested in a particular television show, suggest that he/she write about a favorite episode or even make one up.

Being a Good Role Model

Finally, demonstrating the importance of both reading and writing by doing both in front of your child on a regular basis will serve as powerful way to develop his/her creative writing skills.

References: Schlauch, K. (2016, March 19). 5 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Creative Writing Skills. [Blog post]. Retrieved from: http://www.libertychristianschoolmd.com/blog/page/2

 

Purity. What’s that?

Abstinence. Remaining a virgin until marriage. Not having a dirty mind. Those are all things that are, quite honestly, missing from today’s society. Whether watching t.v, surfing the Internet, listening to the radio or flipping through a magazine, sexual temptation is everywhere. It’s almost impossible to escape it in our current culture.  Yet, as Christians, we are supposed to live a life of purity; a life set apart, a life that is different. Is that even possible in today’s world when the word “purity” is pretty much non-existent?

Whether single, in a relationship, or married for years, the struggle to be pure is a constant battle.  Unfortunately, too many Christian men and women have not valued their purity and as a result, have given it away too easily. Marriages have fallen apart because of worldly temptation and infidelity. Far too many young people are having sex before marriage and as a result, end up in broken relationships and with unplanned pregnancies. It’s a sad reality that a majority of Christians have lost their worth, their integrity and are now feeling hopeless. The question is, are we too far gone? Have we crossed too many lines? Can we have a second chance?

If purity were left to today’s standards, then yes, we would be too far gone and we would all be living in a world of hopelessness. But because of Christ and his forgiving love, there is hope that purity can always be given a second chance. The Bible says in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Making mistakes and messing up are all part of being a Christian, but the true test of purity, is if you “repent and remain in sin” or if you “repent and move on from sin.” Too many Christians make a mistake, ask for forgiveness, but then do it again! That isn’t true repentance. For example, in the Bible, David who was a liar, adulterer and murderer was also the same person the Lord said was a “man after God’s own heart.” Wait, what? How can a liar, adulterer AND a murderer be a man after God’s heart? David certainly wasn’t pure and he acted on his temptation by having Bathsheba’s husband sent to the front lines to be killed, so he could marry her. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, David tried to cover his baby that was conceived out of adultery. Talk about committing some pretty bad sins! But thank God that He doesn’t look at our failures or shortcomings, but rather at our heart. When David realized what he had done and how far he had fallen from purity, he cried to the Lord for forgiveness and repented of what he had done. He did not repent and remain in his sin, but repented and moved on from his sin. It was due to David’s genuine repentance that God called him a man after His own heart. David is the perfect example for anyone who is struggling with their purity because despite his many mistakes, God forgave and restored him.

But what about when someone isn’t a “David” and really crossed the lines? What about those who are remaining a virgin until marriage? Well, if that’s you, then you will relate to me. When I was a young girl, I made a promise to the Lord that I would remain pure until marriage. At the age of fourteen, I met my husband Justin. His family came to our church, we became the best of friends and fell in love. Throughout our relationship, I kept my commitment to be pure to the Lord until our wedding day. I was able to keep my promise because I kept my standards high and wouldn’t settle for less than God’s best. But throughout my teen years, I met lots of young people who didn’t keep their promise to the Lord. They lost their way and their vision became cloudy. They crossed lines and had their heart broken.  You see, being pure isn’t only about guarding your body, but it’s also about how we view ourselves. Our purity is our most precious gift and is meant to be protected.

So maybe you’re single and remaining pure until marriage. Or maybe you lost your way, made a lot of mistakes, and want a second chance on purity. Whatever your circumstance, Jesus provides the strength and forgiveness you need to live a life of purity. As a single person, purity is something that will be given to your future spouse, so protect it, because it will be worth it. As a married couple, keeping your mind and spirit pure is one of the most precious gifts you can give to your spouse. In today’s world, there are very low expectations on relationships. Being a true man or woman of God is not only being faithful with your actions, but faithful in your heart and with your eyes. Is it possible? Absolutely! Living a life of purity is possible in today’s world, even if you already made mistakes and have fallen short of living a pure life. Like David who was given a second chance, we also have the same opportunity to live a life of purity with Christ’s strength. With the Lord’s help we are able to live a life of purity in a not-so-pure world. Being pure is the belief that YOU are worth more than society’s standards. It’s knowing that your body, mind and spirit are more important to you than what those in society tell us.