Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Will Survive (for Moms)



Throughout the month of August, The Mom Squad has shared a lot of great tips and advice on back-to-school issues.  

My advice for moms is to remember to laugh (and sing) throughout all the morning chaos, the homework blues, and the bedtime drama.

Everything that you think is a struggle now, will be just a distant memory in the future -- this too shall pass.  It's very hard to believe that my youngest child is now entering middle school!  Here come the hormones - for the third time around!  


Today, I just want to share with you a video of a song that I re-wrote for fun and encouragement.  This may be your current mommy stage or one you went through a few years ago.  Whether you have infants, toddlers, teens, or adult babies, I hope this song will bring a smile to your face as you listen to the words. 


Each day, remember to laugh as often as possible.  There is a time to laugh!  

Ecclesiastes 3:1-12
  There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

If you have a favorite or funny song you sing in the mornings or a particular way you "survive" the often-hectic back-to-school mornings, please visit The Mom Squad Facebook Page and share your survival tips with us.   







Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The ‘Simpler School Day’ Finale: What We Can’t Send Our Kids To School Without! (PLUS A FREE PRINTABLE)

It won’t be long before they take Him out completely.  God, that is.  Detrimentally, He is being removed from our schools at a pace faster than we can react.  This is scary to me.   However, the truth is that they may be able to take Him off of walls and out of books, but they cannot take Him out of our children.  In fact, as sad as this is, some of our kids’ peers and even the adults they see on the daily basis, may only have experiences with ‘God’ through their interactions with our children.  This leaves us with a great obligation- how can we keep God in our schools and share His love inside those walls in a way that accurately represents Him and yet is still real and personal to our kids?  I came up with the following.

My final ‘Simpler School Day’ tip is called:
Simple Showings-
Showing God’s Still In Our Schools: Because They Can’t Take Him Out Of Our Children!
1.         Encourage your kids to practice love in action.
o   Have them pick a classmate that they feel is in need of ‘something’ extra- The need can be friendship, attention, or even just conversation and then have them follow-up on that need by taking action.
o   They can share a favorite snack, a kind note or even a beloved toy from home that would surely make that classmate feel extra special.
This practice will help them learn how to see through the eyes of Jesus as well as understand how to demonstrate His ability to love, even when it’s uncomfortable.  This may inadvertently touch the other kiddos heart for Christ in a way he/she has never experienced.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

2.         Encourage your kids to love being last. (With balance of course.)

o   Challenge them once a week to give up their place in line, their favorite seat, or even the option of going first while playing a game and instead offer these things to another classmate.
This practice will help them understand the humility of Jesus and His actions while on Earth, as well as demonstrate this now-a-days peculiar behavior to their peers.  It could be trend setting.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

3.         Encourage your kids to bring joy and reassurance to their teachers.
o   Have them tell their teacher at the end of the week what their favorite lesson was for the week and why.  They can thank their teacher and even tell him/her how they are going to apply this lesson to their own lives.
o   Have them bring a handwritten note or a special handmade gift to school once a week or so thanking the teacher for something that they REALLY felt grateful for.  Maybe it was a fun lesson, a kind word or something special that the teacher did uniquely just for your child.
This practice will help them understand how to respect authority and understand why it is so important to God for them to do so.
 
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. Romans 13:1
4.        Finally, pray with your kids.
o   Pray with your kids before the school day and ask the Lord to bless teachers, staff and students.  Ask the Lord to give your children opportunities to demonstrate His love and grace so that they may be a blessing to others.
o   After school, ask your kids if there was anyone they thought needed prayer that day.  If there was, what made them think so?
o   Then pray with them in the evening.  Ask them what they were most thankful for that day and what they think would be most important to pray for in the day to follow.  It will be a blessing to show your kids how the Lord answers prayer throughout the school year.
This practice will help them understand communication with the Lord as well as develop in them an ability to trust Him as they see Him work through prayer.  They will share this ‘help’ method with their classmates at some point, especially as they grow more confident in Him and His abilities.

Never stop praying.  1 Thessalonians5:17

There are so many ways our children can keep Christ in schools.  The above are a just a few, but the list could go on forever.  I pray that we see and hold tightly onto the value that our testimony is to our kids.  If we live at home in a way that misrepresents who Jesus really is, then our kids will not only struggle to believe in Him, they will also never bring Him to school.  Our part of this is just as important as theirs.  
Remember- They can take Him out of buildings and books,
but they can’t take Him out of our children!

I DID NOT FORGET!  I put together a FREE PRINTABLE!  Use this SUPER CONVENIENT ‘Simple Stick-up’ for your fridge.  Print it once on Sunday and then use it all week long. This worksheet will help you keep notes on your Simple Solitude time with the Lord, plan meals for everyday of the week, jot down ideas on how the kids can bring Christ to school daily and finally, keep track of any mom must-do’s that pop up along the way.  If you need suggestions on any of the above check out my posts from Week 1 and Week 2 of this ‘Simpler School Day’ series.  Lastly, if you can think of any additional ways our kids can share Christ at school, please share them here- the need is real friends and we’re all in this together.  Any thoughts or suggestions would sure be a blessing to us all!  Until next time, be blessed!

(IF 'FREE PRINTABLE' LINK DOES NOT WORK I HAVE INCLUDED A PICTURE YOU CAN PRINT OUT HERE: PRINT AT 8 1/2 X 11 SIZE AND STICK IT TO YOUR FRIDGE!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Carlisle Inn's Mom of the Month, Carol

It is our pleasure to introduce to you our Carlisle Inn Mom of the Month winner, Carol.  Every month we will be giving away a free night at the Carlisle Inn.  All you need to do is nominate a deserving mom at www.955thefish.com

I had the privilege of interviewing Carol via email and found her to be a wonderful mother filled with wisdom and encouragement.  I hope you find her answers to the questions I asked her encouraging as well. 
 
Congratulations again, Carol, and may God richly bless you and your family!

1. Tell us about yourself. How many children do you have, how old are they, etc. 
I am a blessed mother of 8.  My husband and I have been married 26 years and have 7 living children and a child waiting for us in Heaven.  We have 4 sons ages 25, 23, 21 and 20 and 3 daughters ages 18, 15 & 13.  We also gained our first daughter-law in July, 2014.   We have home educated all of our children through the 8th grade and then they have moved into our public high school.  Five of our children have now graduated high school and entered into college and my oldest son just graduated with his Master’s Degree.   The greatest blessing is that all of our children have trusted in Christ as their Savior and are walking with the Lord.

2. Who has been the biggest influence on your mothering?
My own mother.  My loving mother, although she didn’t come to know the Lord personally until her later years,  loved my siblings and I with her whole heart.  She made many mistakes and ALWAYS apologized for them.  My mom was a wonderful example of a truly humble person.  She was sooo funny too.  In her later years, she seemed to lose her “filter” and would say whatever was on her mind, good or bad.  It was always the truth and taught us a good lesson even if it embarrassed us a bit.  She was my greatest “cheerleader” when I became a Christian and also when I became a mother. 
 
3. On hard mothering days, how do you find encouragement and/or from whom?
To be honest, as a mother, every day has a few hard moments.  I remember in the early days of motherhood, when my newborn would just sleep and eat, an outsider might think my days were a piece of cake but in all reality I worried about so many thing: Would I be a good mother? Would my child love Jesus? Could my husband and I provide all our child needed? Would my child grow up healthy?...and so much more.  As each child grew older, new challenges occurred: Is my child growing in Christ?  Will he/she keep up with peers?  Am I helping them reach their potential?  I guess my point is, is that as a mother, every day will be hard if you focus on the “what ifs”.   I find encouragement in the Word of God and spending time with the Lord and focusing on His truth.  When I don’t spend time in God’s Word and in prayer, my fears can overcome me.
 
4. What is a funny mothering story that you can share with us?
Oh my!  There are so many stories and usually I am embarrassed by them.  For instance, when I took my children to the golf clinics in the Metroparks.  I had my 4 boys, ages 7, 5, 3&2,  as well as my newborn daughter.  I made the mistake of wearing a summer dress to this clinic.  In one arm I was holding my newborn, in the other I was holding my diaper bag (which was quite large) as well as the golf clubs for my older boys.  A kind gentleman walked over to say “hello” to my boys and my youngest son promptly lifted my dress all the way up to hide under it! I could have died!  There was NO appropriate way to cover up my embarrassment or, I’m sure, the reflection from my bright white, tummy tucking undies!
 
5. What advice can you give other moms?
As a struggling mom, I would advise moms to study the Word of God & hide His Word in their hearts so that when they are doubting or discouraged they can turn to the ONE that has the BEST advice, no matter what the topic. (2nd Timothy 3:16 All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.)
 
6. Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Yes!  Moms- I would encourage you to connect with a Godly group of women that will help you along the way. A woman or group of women that will always advise you with the word of God.  Stay accountable!  Also, please know that you are NEVER alone!  All of us have struggled with our marriages and motherhood.  Remember and keep your commitment and covenant with God at all times.  The Lord will never leave you or forsake you! (Deuteronomy 31:6)
 
Again, Congratulations Carol! Enjoy your much-deserved night at the Carlisle Inn!  God bless you! 
 
Remember to nominate a deserving mom in your life at www.955thefish.com and be sure to "like" our Facebook page at The Mom Squad where we will announce the winner every month!