Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 14: Consistency Update

Day 14 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

used

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.

d85691542eab3c2cd4570eeca5e91437

AMEN!!!

God Bless, Crystal

Advertisements
Cleaning/Organization, Other, Parenting

Day 11: Keep Them Busy

Day 11 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

used

Children like to stay busy! They will always find something to do even if you don’t give them something to do and when that happens you may not like what they pick!

They will find entertainment like when my 3 year old was cutting paper which was a wonderful learning time to work on fine motor skills until he decided it would be cool to cut his own hair!

hair cut

What I forgot to mention is that they should be supervised while doing these things. I know! I know! That is a good time to do a quick load of laundry or some dishes or jump online quick but they should at least be in your sight!

I have learned a lot since going from full-time to part-time! My kids love doing crafts, art work, reading or really any activity. They like doing things that are monitored with direction which surprised me a bit. It is funny how much I didn’t know about my children! That breaks my heart because my husba n d and I had these little people with no intention of having someone else raise them. I am enjoying what I am learning about each one of them!

So I have been online looking for simple, cheap ideas to do with them. I figure the key to this is to pick a few times each day to work on such things. Consistency! See how I threw that in. Sneaky, right??!!!

Another good resource is the Family Fun magazine. I had subscribed to it years ago and cut out the ideas I liked and created a binder for the such ideas. I put them in categories so I can easily find a holiday or season project to work on. I can finally use these cool ideas because I am with my kiddos much more often which makes this momma happy!

imagesL42BJJEV

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 8: Discipline

Day 8 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

images (7)

Discipline?

What does discipline mean?

According to dictionary.com, discipline, in noun form is “training to act in accordance with rules;” or  in verb form,to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.”

So what does that mean???

We must “train” or teach our children to act in an appropriate way so to have order and control.  This teaches obedience.  This is helpful in our homes as we raise our children.  It will prepare our children for the world as we all have rules and regulations to follow our entire lives.

What does God say about discipline?  This has been a little confusing to me in the past but with some research and Bible study it is clearer now!

Proverbs 22:6 (As I have been using as my header for the 31 day challenge) says:  “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The things we teach our children today they will remember and use even when they are older.  Hopefully they will teach their children the same.

images (26)

Now let’s look at Proverbs 3:11-12: “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

God is our father and we are his children.  Who better to learn from then our Lord.  He teaches us and disciplines us because he loves us.  Now make note that Discipline and Punishment are not the same.  This is where I would get confused.  God is not punishing us but teaching us to live in the way we should.

God teaches his children and guides them on the straight path.  We would be doing an injustice if we did not do the same with our children!

What discipline methods do you use with your children?  What discipline story do you have to share?  I would love to hear from you.  I have not been very consistent with disciplining my children but that is an area I am working on with the help of our good Lord!!

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Why did God not turn the light on???

A few years ago we started talking about God in our house with our children.  We started praying at meal times and individually.  We have not really prayed as a family but occasionally we do.  One thing we just don’t think about or realize is how our children interpret things unless they clue us in which every now and again my children enlighten me.

images (24)

If you have been following the 31 day challenge I am doing you read about my five year old son having surgery yesterday.  This little guy is smart and very inquisitive!!  He asks questions a lot and if he doesn’t understand the answer he will let you know and expect a different answer.  I love this about him even though at times it is hard to explain the answers to him.  He is also a big worry wart.  Now this is bothersome to me a little because he will worry about something so much that I fear it is not good for him.  I knew that having surgery was really weighing on his mind so on Sunday night when we were laying together before bed and I asked him if we should say a prayer.  He likes to pray and does it often.  He will even stop what he is doing and go somewhere he can be alone and pray!!  Anyway, as I was praying asking God to give the medical staff steady hands and wisdom to perform the surgery I asked God to comfort Blake so he would not worry and not be scared.  He stops me in the middle of my prayer and says, “That doesn’t work!”  A little shocked I ask, “What doesn’t work?”  He informs me that when he is sleeping and it is dark and he is scared, God doesn’t come turn the light on for him!!!  Wow, I had to hold back from laughing but his kid was dead serious.  This was no joking matter.

Obviously my prayers are much different than that but to a five-year-old that is an important prayer.  So now I have to try and figure out how to explain why God doesn’t come turn the light on and hope this doesn’t make him think God doesn’t answer prayers.

images (25)

The good news is that when we got home from our hour and a half drive from the hospital, my son says, “God did help me!  He helped me at the hospital and he made sure we got home safe!”  This made my heart smile!  He had not given up on God because one prayer was not answered the way he thought it should be.  What a smart kid!!  It is funny what we can learn from our children.

Even when we don’t feel like God is answering our prayers we need to keep turning to him in prayer!  As I learned in my Devotion this morning, prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us!!  We need prayer to soften our hearts. We need prayer to grow closer to God.

As I was worried that my son would not pray anymore or that he would question God, I read my devotion this morning titled “Questioning God!”  How appropriate!  God wanted to ease my mind as a parent and he did so through that devotion.  God is good!!

I just wanted to share that little story to encourage you so you can see that God is here for us even when we question him or when we don’t think he answers our prayers.  God is doing some amazing work in my little mans heart.  Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

My son before surgery with mom and dad
My son before surgery with mom and dad
After surgery-not so happy:(
After surgery-not so happy:(

The thing he was looking forward to the most about having surgery was that he might get to ride in a wheelchair so we made sure that happened:)  He was a trooper and I know God was watching over him!!

God Bless,Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 4: Listening

Day 4 of the 31 Days of Consistency & Children!

images (15)

My goal is to post each morning during this 31 Day Challenge but today that did not happen.  The temps are dropping here in Iowa and my hubby had to fire up the wood stove last night.  This morning we sent a few hours cutting wood and this is the first chance I have had to jump on the computer.

I don’t have very much insight for you today.  I am actually not feeling very consistent or happy with my children today!

Today’s post is my cry out for help.

My children appear to have forgotten what listening ears are.  We have been working on our listening ears in our house.  My kids have talked a lot about listening ears because at school that is the term the teachers use.  If their listening ears are working they are doing a good job listening but if they are not working they are not listening well.  Today in my house their listening ears must be broken!!!  I have asked kindly for little favors or for the kiddos to do their chores and everything seems to fall on deaf ears.

download

Frustrated is an understatement as to how I am feeling.  I need your help today!  What strategies do you use to get your kiddos to listen?  What suggestions do you have for me today?  How do you regain control of behaviors?

I appreciate your feedback and assistance!

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other

Pay Attention

God really does speak to us. We just need to pay attention. In my current Bible Study the memory verse this week is a new favorite of mine:

“My son, pay attention to what I say, listen to my words carefully.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” ~ Proverbs 4:20-22

Over the last year I have learned to really listen and pay attention to what God is saying to us. Mostly from his words in the Bible which is the most important book you will ever own. It is our instruction book for life. Everything we will or have ever faced is in this book. Studying and really learning what God is telling us is so crucial to our lives!! I have been doing some reflection lately on the words I say and how powerful they are. Over the past few weeks God has really been trying to show me the importance of my words. Just to show you how God has been working in my life involving my words, here are some things I have run into (and not by accident my friend)!!

I had been part of planning my 15 year class reunion and there were many people with negative comments.  There were many things I wanted to say back to them but God reminded me that I really need to be careful with what I say.  I need to make sure that the words I say reflect who I am and not just spew out a few words that I think will make me feel better.  I actually felt better by not saying anything!!

Lather I came across a blog which talked about using your words in a kind way and not to hurt others!!!

Then my devotion a few days later was about words.

I just kept running into talk about how to use my words.

You see God was talking to me and reminding me that the things we say are more than just words, they can make or break you and they can hurt or help others.  We need to be very careful and we MUST think before we speak.

God teaches us exactly how to behave.  We must listen and truly listen, then do what we have heard.

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”

~Matthew 15:18

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”

~Matthew 12:36

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

~Proverbs 16:24

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”

~Colossians 3:8

May God bless you in all you do and SAY if you are obedient and you turn your life over to God!  Have an amazing weekend:)

Faith

What’s New????

Something is new!

Something is different.

What is going on?  What has changed?

change

My Life !!!  My life has changed dramatically since August 10th, 2013!!  Many years ago I was slowly changing many areas in my life.  This was very new and quite scary for me.  I was resisting the feelings and pain from the past.

My story starts back in February of 2007.  I started a new job right after graduating from college with my Bachelors in Social Work (BSW).  I was introduced to my co-workers and I was really drawn to one specific person.  Not only was she very friendly and she really seemed to know a lot about the area she worked in but there was something else that interested me.  As I got to know her more and more I grew more interested in what made her so special.  She loved Jesus and followed him all day every day.  I used to tell her that she scared me because I didn’t know anything about Jesus!!  We still laugh at that today:)

She not only became a great friend but an amazing part of my families life.  My husband also saw something special in her which if you know my husband that is pretty amazing.  My daughters adored her.  There was just something very special about her. As she spent a large amount of time with us we realized that she was an angel sent by God.  (Those are my husbands words!!!)

I believe he sent her to our family for a reason!!

My husband was very interested in learning more about God and the amazing things that God could do in his life.  Our angel, as I will call our friend, was a huge support to him.  He became to know God and was reading the Bible and going to Church and even attended a men’s retreat!!  Now please know that this was huge.  He doesn’t do that kind of thing.  At one point many years ago, my husband told me that he didn’t know if he believed in God.

I really wanted what she had and what my husband was finding but didn’t know how to get it.  I started reading the Bible a little and really wanted to find a Church that was right for me and our family.  We checked out a few but was not really feeling connected to any of them.

Long story short (well shorter anyway)!  Our dear friend met one of our close friends (which was a very interesting journey) but now they have been married for 2 years and have 2 beautiful children.  He is in the military so they were transferred to another state.  This made our family very sad as we knew we would not see them as much as we had.  With that said, I was not strong enough in my faith to continue to support my husband in his new journey and we didn’t have any other friends that were active Christians so my husband didn’t really stick with God like he had been.

Footprints-in-the-Sand-300x240

Life moved on and I still felt a longing to be closer to God but didn’t really know how to build my relationship.  I was also beginning to understand some of the issues from my past.  I believe that I was trying to find something and going about it in all the wrong ways possible.  I am realizing that I had been searching for God way back then but didn’t really know what I was looking for.

Last summer, my daughter (13 at the time) and I were trying to find a church we liked so we checked out a Non-Denominational Bible Church just up the road from our house and I instantly fell in love with it.  I felt like I belonged there and that God was reaching out to me!  Also to find out they had a very active youth group.  I told my daughter to go check it out and she was hooked!!  She has rarely missed a night in the last year and she has become a wonderful young woman who follows Jesus and is making huge changes to her life.

Shortly after finding our church I heard of an event that was going to take place right in our little Iowa town.  I was excited about it right away.  I was going to go!  Then life took over and I decided not to go.  Then I came across the flyer again and got excited and felt like I should really go.  Then Satan attached and told me that I didn’t know anyone that was going and I would be afraid to go myself and so on and so on!!  Then for the third time it was put in front of my again.  I saw on Facebook that a friend (whom I didn’t know was a Christian) was also going so I talked to her and she said I could sit with her and her family.

ReNEWed Life Women's Event

I was scared but decided at the very last minute to go.  I really felt like God was telling me to go.  So August 10th came and I went to the event.  It was an all day event with a wonderful meal and some amazing stories!!  I met some really awesome people.  That day my life was forever changed!!!

I have NEVER felt God’s presence so strong in my life!  He wanted me to go to that event and meet those amazing people and hear their stories so he could soften my heart!!  It is hard to explain what happened to me that day so the best way I can express it is to say I was saved or born again on August 10th, 2013.  My journey started in 2007 and (because I am slow) I found the right path in 2013!!

untitled

And so my Journey continues each and every day.

Now I read my Bible daily, I pray all the time, I attend Bible study with two of the most amazing women I know and I seek God in all I do.  This is not an easy journey but the best one I have been on.

The-journey-to-God

There are many areas of my life that I am working to improve and to do according to the Bible!  It will not happen overnight and I realize that but I am working each day to live right!!  I want to raise my children in a Christian home and teach them the things God wants them to know.

God is so amazing and we must listen to him!  Don’t be afraid!  Listen to God.  It is not easy to follow the right path at times but in the end it will be more than worth it!!

VectorIlloTemplate

Tell me about your story.  This is the first time I wrote my journey out on paper (or a computer) and it feels really good to share.  I want to hear from you.  Have you found the right path? Have you been saved or born again? Do you hear God speaking to you?  Please share in the comments or send me a personal message!!!  God Bless you each and every day:)

born-againEg

Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

God Will Provide

God will provide!  Won’t he? He will provide when we need him to, right?  For a long time now I have had the mind set that God will provide for us in our time of need.  But in the back of my mind I have those questions.

This week was the first week in our new season!  I started my part time hours at work and when I say part time I mean part time.  I am only working two days a week.  My hubby and I have been thinking about taking this step for about three years.  When our youngest baby was born, which made 4 kids, we thought it might be wise to stay home.  I felt I was missing our on our kids and day care was not cheap.  We talked about it and talked about it and talked about it but in the back of my mind I never really thought it would happen.

Well it DID happen!!  Finally!!  I am home (most of the time) with my kids!

happy

BUT now the questions have jumped back into my mind.

Will God really provide?  We will have enough money at the end of the month? Will we still be able to go places and do things with the kids?  What if we can’t make ends meet?

I now realize those doubts are Satan whispering his lies to me.  He really needs to leave me alone!!  He has no place in my life and I am finally able to discern Satan’s voice and know that I just need to ignore him and pray, pray, pray!!

Last night after my nightly prayer asking God to help me figure all this out and to provide for our needs even when it gets really tough, I picked up my Prayers and Promises for Mothers book and looked up Faith.  Guess what I read??

Prayers and Promises for Mothers Book

The title of the prayer was “God will Provide”!!!!  How crazy and amazing and totally Godsome is that?  I read the prayer and felt like I wrote it.  It was exactly how I have been feeling and just what I have been praying for.  Read the prayer below!!

God will Provide

(“Dear Jesus, there are several mouths to feed, as well as bodies to clothe, in our family; and we are certainly not wealthy.  Of course I am thankful for each member of my family, an I cannot complain about the cost of their food and clothing.  I’ve no need to be concerned, because You have always met all our needs.  Remind me that You will always provide when the supplies run low–right along with the cash.  Faith isn’t easy when our minds are taught to believe only what we see; but faith is rewarding.  It is better to walk by faith, because You will never fail us.  What we see in this world does have the potential to fail us.  So help me live by faith.”)

God Will Provide!!  I am listening and I know he hears me as well. We have to live life with complete faith in God.  We have to trust fully that if we do as he asks he will make sure we are taken care of. Spending time in his word daily, living what I learn from the Bible and prayer are the keys to a wonderful life!!  I am very excited about my new journey and my time with my kids.

God Bless, Crystal!

 

Faith

God Speaks!

Wanna hear a cool story…I brought my bible today (we are in Amery, WI for Dee’s wake and funeral) which I don’t usually take my bible unless going to church and youth group. I sat down at the hotel to read the bible before the wake and I read Matthew 15:22b. “Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” I laughed a little and asked my daughter, Haley if she felt okay. We went to the wake and I didn’t think about it again until we got back a little bit ago. I jumped on Facebook and there was a link to an article about an Iowa priest being selected to learn Exorcism. So that took me back to the verse. I read the rest of the scripture. At the end Matt15:28 it talks about the great faith of the woman and that Jesus healed her daughter. Long story made long…I have been praying multiple times a day to read and learn the bible and to live the way God wants me to. My take is that I am going in the right direction and I leaned on the word in a tough time and that is what I am supported to do. It really has nothing to do with my daughter being possessed. God was really speaking to me!!! GODSOME!!!! Thanks for listening! Love you;)