Monday, November 29, 2010

Joy for the Season

During the Holidays many of our fondest memories are made in the kitchen as we gather together to bake, eat and fellowship. This month, I'm featuring ideas and activities to do with your kids in the kitchen. Go to my website at: and click on blogs to read my weekly update. Please feel free to post your favorite kitchen ideas here on this blog.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Demonstrating Thanksgiving

Our own example offers the most effective teaching tool when it comes to teaching gratitude to our kids. We can try to pound the lesson of thankfulness into our children's hearts and minds, but when we demonstrate a grateful heart with our words and actions they catch the lesson and keep it. So how do we demonstrate gratitude? Here are three ideas to get you started:

1. Tell your kids how thankful you are for them. That's right, be specific and tell each child several of the qualities you really appreciate about them. It's something our kids need to hear (as opposed to nagging all the time) and they need to experience how it feels to be on the receiving end of kind and grateful thoughts. Although we assume our kids know how thankful we are for them, they need to hear it specifically expressed now and then.

2. Speak in a grateful way about the rest of your family members (that means your husband as well as your extended family). Instead of complaining about aunt Nancy's conversation skills or her awful sweet potato casserole, talk about how thankful you are for her gifts or talents or character qualities. Let's demonstrate to our children how to look for the good in others, rather than what is wrong with people.

3. Take time to stop and thank the Lord for His blessings. When you recognize God has allowed something good to come into your life, take a moment to say, "Kid's I just want to stop and thank the Lord for His kindness." Then ask the kids to join you in prayer as you thank the Lord. Even when things aren't going so perfect, you can always thank God for His presence and His help in time of need. I'm reminded of the story of the ten lepers. Ten were healed, but only one came back to say thank you. I want to be like that one who said thanks.

This week, take some time to allow gratitude to fill your thoughts and hearts and allow it to overflow from your mouth. You are never so beautiful as when you are living a grateful life. Show others what a thankful heart looks like as you celebrate this week with family and friends.
I'm thankful for you! Keep shining His light.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Praying Friends

"Rich is the person who has a praying friend." Janice Hughes

This past weekend I traveled to Eugene, Oregon (home of the #1 ranked U of O Ducks no less) to film a set of videos to go along with my upcoming book entitled A Woman's Secret to Confident Living. It was wonderful to be there with my dear friends at Harvest House Publisher as well as the crew at Chambers Productions.

Filming six videos in one weekend is a task beyond my capabilities, and so I asked a group of friends to pray for me. What a blessing to receive emails and texts and calls from these dear prayer warriors letting me know they were lifting me up before the Father. It gave me encouragement and strength. God so richly answered their prayers.

We all need praying friends. The powerful apostle Paul even recognized his need for prayer. In his letter to the Colossians he wrote, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ....Pray that I proclaim it clearly as I should."

As we go about the work God has given us, let us not neglect to ask for prayer from our praying friends. We are in a wonderful place when we recognize our need for God, and as we cast our cares upon Him. Instead of saying, "I can do it myself," we ought to humbly proclaim, "Father only by your grace and strength can I accomplish this work." Invite your friends to join into God's work as they pray for you, and you in turn pray for them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Beauty of Loyalty

"We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty." G.K. Chesterton.

Loyalty is a rare commodity in today's world. When the going gets tough most people get going. Now and then it is healthy for us to do a loyalty self-check. We can ask ourselves, "Am I loyal to the people in my life through my words and actions." "Do I speak kindly of others behind their back, or do I use my opportunities to tell juicy stories?" "Do I guard my mouth when it comes to my kids and their issues?" Let's be aware of our level of loyalty and ask the Lord to help us guard our mouths and only use our words to be kind and build up others. Our kids learn how to be a loyal friend as they watch our kindness in action.

"There is one element that is worth its weight in gold and that is loyalty. It will cover a multitude of weaknesses." Philip Armour

Monday, November 1, 2010

How Devoted are You?

This past weekend I went to the Baylor UT game down in Austin, Texas and cheered the Bears onto victory! Although I was sitting on the UT side, surrounded by devoted fans dressed in orange, I still loyally shouted for the green and gold. It's amazing what we will do when we are devoted to our team.

The apostle Paul talked about devotion in his letter to the Colossians. "Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful." Imagine if we had the same devotion toward prayer as we do for sports teams. Devotion to prayer looks a little different than wildly shouting at a game. Devotion to prayer means a heart and mind that continues to look to God for strength and help. Being devoted to prayer means we have a quiet dependance on God instead of solely depending on ourselves.

As moms, let us grow in our devotion to praying for our needs as well as the needs in our family. Spurgeon said, "Sometimes we think we are too busy to pray. That is a great mistake, for praying is a saving of time." When we give our day and our cares to the Lord, we don't waste precious time in worry and the what ifs. May we continually see the Lord to guide our paths moment by moment each day.