Monday, August 30, 2010

Open Your Eyes

“All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1

This weekend I was on the west coast of California and what a blessing it was! I had the privilege of seeing spectacular sights. The Monterey Bay Aquarium was the highlight, displaying a fantastic array of God’s beautiful handiwork.

On a drive up the coast I saw the sea lions and otters and a fantastic view of the coastline which I will never forget. When I observe God’s marvelous creation, I can’t help but praise Him for His wisdom and variety in creation. Open your eyes to the beauty all around you and allow it to point you to our glorious God. Recognize His power, creativity and wisdom, and thank Him that He loves you and wants to relate to you.

He is our creator. Each of us has been given unique and different qualities. Thank the Lord for the wonderful way He made you and the variety in all creation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Created in His Image

“What we believe about God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer

Genesis 1:27, - 31 “So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.’ And God said, ‘Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.’ And so it was. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way.”

Mom’s Reflection:
Amazing! “God created people in his own image,” and His creation was “excellent in every way.” The power of these truths can have a tremendous impact in our lives and in the lives of our children. He is our creator and He chose to make us in His Image. Perhaps you don’t feel so God-like all the time. Me neither! Created in His image doesn’t mean we are exactly like him (which is quite obvious), but it means we are a reflection of his character. We can reason. We can show love, patience, kindness, and forgiveness. We have a soul, which sets us apart from the rest of creation.
When we are tempted to think, “I just don’t have what it takes to be a good mom,” or “God must have made a mistake when He made me,” we can rest in the assurance that God has created us and did so in an excellent way. Our worth is based on the fact that we are made in God’s image. Knowing that we bear God’s image gives us a positive view of ourselves and of others. Let us not criticize what God has made, but rather rejoice in his creation knowing that He makes no mistakes.

Glorious Creator, marvelous Father, thank you for the way you created each and every one of us. Thank you for caring so much about mankind that you formed us in your image. I rejoice in your excellent creation. Help my kids to begin the grasp the fact that you created them, and they are a reflection of your image. May they be assured that they are created in an excellent way for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

My Choices:
This week I will choose to rejoice in the fact that I am created in His image.
This week I will choose to encourage my children to know that they are made by God in an excellent way.
This week I will choose to enjoy every person in my path as a unique creation of God.
Further Reading: Genesis 1 - 3

This week's blog is an excerpt from my book The Power of a Positive Mom Devotional (Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to School

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs." Albert Einstein

As the beginning of school approaches, we want to help our kids approach it with enthusiasm and an attitude of expectation. This week focus on the preparation and anticipation of learning. Here's the last of my summer theme weeks. I hope you have enjoyed them.

Activities: Shop for school supplies, school clothes, locker supplies, get haircuts, get together with friends to play, visit your new classroom if you are able, prepare homework stations in the house, shop for lunches and lunch bags.

Morris Goes to School by Bernard Wiseman
The Magic School Bus Series, by various authors
It'S Back To School We Go! by Ellen B. Jackson

Crafts: Decorate notebooks, tennis shoes, school bags, make pencil holders for homework work stations, draw a picture to give to the teacher for the first day of school, put together school supplies for children in need.

Devotional: This week focus on praying for the coming school year. The Bible tells us to be anxious about nothing, but to pray about everything. Here is your opportunity to instill a heart of prayer as you prepare for the year.

Monday: Thank the Lord for the opportunity to learn and grow. Thank Him for your teachers and for the class in which He has placed you, and the new friends to be made.
Tuesday: Pray for the teachers at the school and all around the world, as the prepare to teach.
Wednesday: Pray for the principal and administrators and lunch room ladies and janitors.
Thursday: Pray God's blessing on the school year and that you will grow and learn.
Friday: Pray for new friendships and reaching out to new students.

Blessings to you as you prepare and encouarage the kids excitement with your own positive attitude.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unrushed Week

A walk is a wonderful way to see your world. All too often we are going, going, going at a running pace, and we miss so much of the beauty around us. With the start of school around the corner, life tends to roll at an even faster pace, so my suggestion for a theme week this week is some wholesome and deliberate slowness. Yes, quiet, unrushed and relaxed time is the intention for this week. Our kids can benefit from stepping back, being quiet and not filling every waking moment with busy activities. Most importantly, when we create space to be quiet and creative, we also open up opportunity to listen to our Creator’s voice.

Activities: Take a walk, ride bikes, take a nap, play in the sprinklers, build a fort with sheets covering the kitchen table and just hand out there, play house, read, watch a few videos, look at clouds, look through a magnifying glass and a telescope to see more of the beauty in creation.
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
Glimpses of an Invisible God for Teens: Quiet Reflections to Refresh and Restore Your Soul by Vicki J. Kuyper
101 Relaxation Games for Children: Finding a Little Peace and Quiet In Between by Allison Bart

Crafts: Begin with a blank paper. Draw, paint, create using crayons, colored pencils or pastels. Use foil to make foil figures. Play with play dough.
Monday – Be still and Know that He is God. Psalm 46:10
Tuesday - Meditate and dwell on God’s word. Psalm 119
Wednesday – He leads us by peaceful streams and green meadow. Psalm 23
Thursday – Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. James 1:19 – 21
Friday – Seek first the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:25-34

“How rare it is to find a soul quiet enough to hear God speak!” Francois Fenelon

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Compassion and Kindness week

“The one sure means of dealing with boredom is to care for someone else, to do something kind and good.” T. Haecker

This week I want to encourage you to focus on stepping up and reaching out in order to show kindness to others. Compassion takes intentional thought and deliberate steps of action, and we want to teach it to our kids at an early age. The summer offers a wonderful time to encourage kindness in your kid’s hearts and help them to understand the joy of serving others. Here are some activities, books, crafts and devotionals to make it a tremendous week.

Activities: Bring toys to kids at a children’s hospital, read books to the elderly at a nursing home, volunteer at a Special Olympics event, bring cookies to a neighbor, write letters to military men and women, clean up trash at a local park, visit a homeless shelter, contact your church to find out some of the parishioners needs, have a garage sale to raise money for a charity, volunteer at a local food bank, surprise someone in need with an anonymous gift.

A Little Book of Manners: Courtesy & Kindness for Young Ladies by Emilie Barnes, Anne Christian Buchanan, and Michal Sparks
The Kindness Curriculum: Introducing Young Children to Loving Values by Judith Rice
Jesus Teaches Me Kindness (An Arch Books Series) by Inspirational Press

Also, visit to read about a wonderful girl who served others during her precious, brief life here on earth. You’ll find even more ideas on how to show compassion and kindness at her site.

Crafts: Decorate paper lunch bags and pack lunches to hand out to the homeless, draw pictures to hand out at nursing homes or children’s hospital, bake cookies or decorate cup cakes to give away, help someone paint a room in their house, make cards to send to service men and women, cook a meal for someone in need, decorate aprons to give to the school lunch ladies, create a photo album to send to grandparents and make their day.

Monday: God is kind and gracious. Psalm 103
Tuesday: What does true love look like? I Corinthians 13
Wednesday: Christ was our example of serving. Philippians 2
Thursday: If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to serve. Mark 10:44
Friday: Clothe yourself with kindness and compassion. Colossians 3:12-14