Faith, Marriage, Other

Doors opening in God’s Timing

Over the past few years I have begun to realize that EVERYTHING happens in God’s timing and not our own.  I also understand that if something is God’s will he will try to get us to see and understand it but we must make the final decisions.  The question is do we make the right one or do we ignore all the signs from our Lord?

This can be really challenging especially when it’s hard to see all the signs at that time.  Hind sight is 20-20 but in the midst of these situations things can be cloudy.

So what do I do when I am facing a challenge or decision that needs to be made?  Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray!!!!  The first and foremost is to give it to God and ask him to direct my path.  I am currently praying about a decision that could potential change a lot in my life.  I don’t want to rush into it.  I want to research and pray and take my time in the decision making process.  I was approached about this awhile back and choose to pray about it before talking to my husband.  I also wanted to do some research so I could be knowledgeable when bringing it to him.  After a few weeks of prayer and research, I was leaning toward declining the offer. I didnt think this was right for me so I didn’t even talk to my husband about it.  I had decided against moving forward with the opportunity.

Wouldn’t you know, God must have different plans than I! I am pretty sure God knows best so I am listening a little closer this time.  My very dear friend called me last night explaining that God had placed me on her heart this past week and she felt very lead to talk to me more about this opportunity.  We talked more about it and I shared my concerns with her.  She encouraged me to pray about it and to talk to my hubby.  I agreed to do just that and said we would be in touch.

My husband was sitting in the living room during the phone call so he knew something was up.  We talked very briefly about it and I told him I needed to pray about it and just reflect a little before talking about it again.

My husband tends to makes me laugh which is just what happened this morning. He texted me asking me what I prayed about and I explained to him my prayers.  He then proceeds to ask, “so what did you hear?”  I giggled to myself before explaining that I had not “heard” anything yet, I just need to pray more and be patient.

Since we have not made a decision yet, I can not say anymore at this time.  Stay tuned because I feel that I will be sharing more in the near future. Prayers are welcome.

God Bless, Crystal

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Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 26: Peer Pressure

Day 26 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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How do you handle peer pressure with your children?

All children face it at some point in their young lives.  No parent wants to see their children hurting or struggling with decisions to do the right thing or to follow their friends.  How do we teach our kids not to “Fit In?”

This can be challenging because we want our kids to be liked and to have friends and not to be picked on but we don’t want them to sacrifice their values.

I don’t think God wanted us all to do the same thing.  I am pretty sure God wants us to be our own individual which is why he created us all unique!!

My husband and I try to express to our children that they don’t have to do what everyone else is doing especially if they know it is wrong or if they feel led to do something else.  We all feel judged by others at times and that is hard for kids to experience.

Lynn Cowell is a wonderful woman that will help direct you to raising wise daughters!!!  My two oldest children are girls so I like to use her resources.  I have yet to find a great resource geared toward boys but I am still looking.  If you have any suggestions please share them with me.  I like to have go to Christian resources for ideas!!

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How do you handle peer pressure in your house?  What do you do to prevent your heart from hurting due to the mean things people can say or do when we don’t fit in?

Remember that God is the only one we have to please!!

God Bless,

Crystal

Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Fitting In

Fitting in is so much easier than not fitting in, right?  Peer pressure is hard to handle!  Young kids are not the only one who face peer pressure.  Unfortunately it never goes away, no matter your age.  That is depressing but there is hope.

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My husband and I try to teach our children that they don’t have to fit in to be loved.  That is much harder said than done.  Trust me, I know and that has been an issue I have (I would like to say “had” but I still struggle at times) to deal with each and every day.  I will say that since becoming a Christian it is easier because I know God has plans for me and they don’t always include fitting in with others or with the ways of the world.

As we address this topic with our children we have to remember to keep our heads and hearts in check and in line with the Gospel.  My devotion today was a perfect reminder.  Check it out here!  As my daughter struggles with making decisions that feel right in her heart versus what people will think of her decision this can be a comfort to her as well.  In the end it will not matter what others thought of us!!

Another topic I have talked about lately is Santa.  This kind of goes along with the following others and the fitting in issue if you really think about it.  We don’t want to be different but what about being different when we know it is right to be different?  That is tricky!  I have been battling with myself on this very topic.  I enjoy Santa and have since I was very young.  I see the excitement in my kids around Christmas when Santa is mentioned.  On the other hand there are things about Santa I don’t like.  I don’t think that he should only come if the kids are “good”.  I think too much emphasis is put on that aspect.  What child is going to be “good” all the time just because a big jolly guy will bring presents to them?  As parents are we really going to stop Santa from coming at the first sign of misbehavior?  Why do they only have to behave shortly before Christmas rolls around and not year-round?  This is nuts to me!!

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Our children know the real reason behind Christmas and they will tell you it is not truly about Santa but about Jesus.  We talk about Jesus and his birth and why we celebrate Christmas in our house.  We also talk about Jesus, God, and share the Gospel year-round, not just in December.  I am pleased to hear my children praying and talking about God in their daily lives!!

A great friend of mine knew just what I needed and sent me a wonderful message and included a very well written blog post about another family that had the same Santa struggles as I.  Read about it here! I feel more at ease after talking with family and reading this post.  I think a little tweaking will make me feel more comfortable with this whole Santa thing.

So with all that said, we don’t have to fit in to be loved.  God loves us just as we are and he is pleased with our decision even if our “friends” are upset with our choices.  In the end, God is the one judging us not our peers!

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God Bless,

Crystal

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 14: Consistency Update

Day 14 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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I just want to update ya all on how our routines are going.

My morning routine that I talked about in Day 1 is not going well at all!  I am being honest and telling you that I is HARD to get up early especially when I am TIRED!!!  Now part of that is my fault and I know that.  I have a hard time going to bed early but last night I was in bed with the lights out at 9:30 and my goal is 10:00!!!!

Finally I can go to sleep and get a goods night rest, right??

NOT!!!

At 10:30 I woke up and I can’t even remember why!

11:30 the dog was barking like crazy!

At around midnight my youngest was coughing so hard I thought he was going to throw up!!

Needless to say I almost slept through my alarm which I changed in the middle of the night to 7am instead of 6am:(

On a happy note, the morning routine for the kids is going well in part because we have been picking their clothes out the night before like I talked about in Day 2!

I get them up at 7am and they get dressed.

Then they eat breakfast.

Teeth and hair come next.

Last they get their shoes on and watch for the bus!!!

This works pretty well most mornings except when they have poor listening ears which is mentioned in Day 4!

So they last thing I want to talk about today is the bedtime routine.  Day 10 lays out the plan for that.  It is going okay!  We had a very busy weekend so that was a challenge but we are working.  Each night gets a little easier!

I just told my dad a few minutes ago that he needs to give it all to God so I am going to take my own advice and give all the worries and issues over to God because I know he has this.

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AMEN!!!

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 10: Bedtime Please

Day 10 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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What does your nighttime routine look like?

Do you have one?

Do you even know what that means?

I would like to say that we have one and it is amazing and it goes ever so smoothly BUT that would be a lie.

Mine can be pretty chaotic which is why we are trying to get a good evening/bedtime schedule down.  We had done good for awhile but then I took on a part time job outside of the home.  This job required me to only be gone a few nights a week but my hours are from about 6 pm-9 pm so as you can imagine this tends to put a damper on the routine.

My husband and I have an idea of what we want that to look like.  Let me lay out our goal for each evening.

~6:00 pm~ Supper

~6:30-7:00 pm~ Clear table, dishes (each person helps), clean kitchen

~7:00-7:30 pm~ Pick out clothes, gather PJ’s, bath time

~7:30-8:30 pm~ Quiet time, read books, finish homework (if not done already)

~8:30 pm~ BEDTIME!!!!

I don’t understand why this is so hard for us to stick to!!  It feels so good to follow through and the next morning seems to go smoother.  Why is that not enough to continue the next night and the night after that??

Part of the problem is that my husband has to take over all of the above when I am working.  The other part of the problem is that we are selfish and want to do our own thing.  I know this is terrible but it is the truth and it is easy to fall into our own things that all of a sudden it is 8:30 and the only thing done is supper:(

Our goal is to forgot our own agenda and concentrate on the kids until they go to bed at 8:30 then we can do our stuff!!  Lets see how that goes:)

What does your evening look like? With or without kids, do you have a routine for the evening/bedtime?  Any advice would be welcomed as well!!