Survey

Not Saying, “I’m Sorry”, Again and Again

fullsizeoutput_7c2d
Many times after falling short with my kids, I’ve wanted to say, “I’m sorry”, over and over again, but I’ve been trying not to. I don’t want my kids to think they need to ask for forgiveness again and again to be forgiven.

Just before Jesus died and rose again, he said, “It is finished.” Not “It is halfway done”, but “It. Is. Finished.” The Lord COMPLETELY forgives us when we ask him to. It’s over. Done. Erased.

By not apologizing over and over to our kids about the same thing, we can SHOW them that once they ask for forgiveness for something, they are also fully forgiven. Period. It’s over. Done. Erased. No need to bring it up again.

The Beauty of Grace & Forgiveness.


An awesome quote to share with our kids:

fullsizeoutput_7c2f

 

Sometimes Kids Have Bad Days, Too

My recent article published by Her View From Home:

The other night was marked by my 6-year-old daughter’s mega meltdown.

I racked my brain for any way to help her escape her bad mood. She suddenly yelled, “I’m mad at everyone and no one in this family likes me!”

Huh? We constantly tell our kids how much we love them so this curve ball threw me for a loop. Until I remembered she’s a child, upset, and just needs to let it out. I thought about my daughter adjusting to full-day school in first grade, and the many expectations placed on her there and at home.

As I listened to her wail, watched tears flood her hazel eyes, and anger pour from her lips, I drew her close and hugged her tight. I didn’t give another exhausting lesson on good attitudes, but just let her be. I let her release. Silence and comfort calmed her and she melted in my arms.

There isn’t always an easy answer. Sometimes we just have a bad day. It is what it is.

I try to remind myself that it’s OK to be in that and not get cheered up. As Psalm 30:5 says, “Joy comes in the morning.” Another day will be here, and our spirits will be lifted. To continue reading, click here: Sometimes Kids Have Bad Days, Too.


With a busy week last week, I’ve been thinking about all of you single parents, as well as those of you with spouses deployed, and ways we can rally around you:

fullsizeoutput_7bf7

My husband was on a work trip for one week. One week. And I was so grateful when he returned. But my mind went straight to single parents and those with spouses deployed: balancing all the sports’ activities, coordinating rides when one of your kids is sick, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and just keeping up with it all.

How do you do it?

You. Are. Superheroes.

But, if you ever need help, please reach out.

To those of us not in this situation, how can we help?

Is there a single parent or a parent whose spouse is deployed we could drop a meal off to? Or watch their kids for an hour or two? Or just go over to their house and hang with them so they don’t have to get a babysitter anytime they want friend time? Any more ideas? Please share them!

Let’s show our support so these superheroes know they’re not alone.

That we have their back.

That we are for them.

It takes a village. So, let’s be that village.

 

Noonday Earrings Giveaway Starts NOW!

To enter, just COMMENT below and you’ll be entered with a chance to win these awesome earrings! (If you SHARE this post, you’ll get EXTRA entries.)

To learn more about Noonday, check out Emily’s website: EmilyStokes.NoondayCollection.com.

fullsizeoutput_7bf5

* Giveaway closes Friday, May 10th at 1pm. Winners are randomly selected and can only be in the continental U.S. because of shipping.*

 

You Are Beautiful. As You Are.

fullsizeoutput_7bd9

I love my daughter’s innocent words in the picture. What if we took this to heart. That God made us just as he wants us to be.

What if we stopped the comparison game, the envy, the self-critique. What if we stopped always trying to change something about ourselves.

What if we knew God made us beautiful. Just as we are. And relished in that.

What if we let go of fads (who cares about them anyway) and enjoyed our own style, a reflection of who we are.

Beyond that, what if we spent more time caring about who we are over appearance.

The Lord said these powerful words: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

What do our kids see we care about most? What do we notice in others? Do we compare ourselves out loud or do we reflect contentment with how we look and who we are. Because our kids will mimic us.

Let’s show our kids what it looks like to celebrate the beauty in our friends as well as ourselves. Just as they are. Just as we are.

And above all, let’s show our kids what it looks like to look at the heart as the Lord does and to celebrate THAT in people.

***Noonday Jewelry Giveaway coming soon for Mother’s Day!!!!

Messes & Grace

56631960_867487713590845_2262045084507701248_n

As moms, isn’t it easy to get frustrated when our kids make mistakes, but look past our own?

Recently, someone in our house spilled a bottle of nail polish remover all over our dining room table, dropped a whole tub of HOMEMADE pesto pasta, and shattered a salt shaker into pieces. Ugh! Guess who did it all? 😂

Yep, it was me. After I thoroughly stained the table with nail polish remover, I thought about how I’d react if one of my triplets had done that – eeks.

Days later when I spilled ALL the homemade pesto pasta we were so looking forward to, my kids came alongside me and helped me clean it up. As we scooped pasta off the ground, my daughter said, “It’s okay, we all make mistakes. No big deal.”

How often do I jump to frustration and impatience at my kids’ mistakes? This verse popped into my mind: “…you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1

When I react imperfectly to my kids, I’m thankful for their unbelievable grace. It makes me want to lead with a whole lot more of it.

The next time our kids make a mistake, let’s think back to the last thing we broke, dropped, or spilled, and instead of reacting in anger, let’s choose calmness, and maybe even laughter (with all the things I’m dropping lately, I sure need to!) 😂.

 


 

Loved this meme from Her View From Home. So true…

56879364_2342744792412928_4872228780531253248_n.png

 

Easter Activity & Teaching the love of Jesus through Everyday Moments

IMG_4725The other day, my daughter, Brooklyn, was mad at her sister for not sharing the fort builder sticks. When Brooklyn came down to talk about it, I first asked her to put her and her sister’s plate in the dishwasher. To my surprise, Brooklyn didn’t say a word but just did it, even though she was frustrated with her sister.
When I see a teachable moment, I try to jump on it.
I huddled our kids together and shared how Brooklyn had loved like Jesus loves us – even though we sin and mess up, Jesus still loves us deeply and even gave his life for us. When Brooklyn chose to wash her sister’s dish, she was still frustrated with her, but she did it because she loves me and her sister.
That is life. That is love. That is Jesus.
Fast forward to that afternoon. I was frustrated with my husband and saw his dish on the counter. I’m not kidding you, I said to myself, “He can get his dish.”
Immediately, I thought of Brooklyn putting her sister’s plate in the dishwasher. Convicting! So, I chose to replace my ugliness with love. I cleaned his dish and put it away because I love him. In that simple grace-filled moment, I asked the Lord for forgiveness and to love better (And, yes, I told my daughter that her example helped me love her daddy better!).
Isn’t it nice when our first reaction is great? Well, when that doesn’t happen and our responses stink, we have a chance to rewrite them.
Instead of making the mountain of bitterness bigger, we can squash it with grace. Let’s choose the latter.
That is life. That is love. That is Jesus.
___________________________________________
22308761_621928471480105_6264220382069561091_n
This great Easter Activity is from Courtney DeFeo’s book, “In this House We Will Giggle”:
1. Tie two sticks together to make a cross.
2. On Good Friday, you and your kiddos write down some of your sins- ways you have not loved God or others. Tape them on the cross (we taped them backwards to keep it between them & God).
3. Easter morning before your kids are awake, throw the papers away so they only see the cross.
This is a great visual to explain to our kids that when we believe in Jesus, we are forgiven of ALL our sins and can be with him forever. Jesus took our sins upon himself when he died on the cross. But the good news is that he rose three days later, giving us life now and forever with him! The Lord’s love is more powerful than anything!
Happy Easter!