Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Power Of An Ordinary Story by Katie Reid

The Power Of An Ordinary Story: "I also wrestle with the everyday-ness of my story. There are better writers, better singers, and better speakers than I. Sometimes I am tempted to stop offering my thoughts and reflections because compared to “so and so” my insights seem insignificant. But then, I remember…there is something remarkable about my life after all. It’s him (with a capital “H”). When Jesus comes and invades our story with the redeeming work of His love, He brings the “extra” to our ordinary. He takes our normal lives and uses them for eternal purposes."

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This blog post spoke to me so I am sharing it with you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Family Activities for Holy Week

A Holy Experience:    'via Blog this'

There are three family activities in this blog post: how to celebrate a Christian Passover; three bowls and a crown of thorns; and how to make a GRACE Easter garden. Very meaningful to keep our thoughts on Jesus and the holy days that changed the world.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Time Flies

Time flies when you're having fun! And I'd add that time flies faster as you get older. At least it's a true perception. I haven't blogged for a couple weeks. So thought I'd put some thoughts down tonight.

Since November I've been leading a women's Bible study at my church on Wednesday noon's. We've used books to guide our studies. Before Christmas we used Liz Curtis Higg's book "Women of Christmas." In January we began a study of St. Paul using Beth Moore's "To Live is Christ." The four weeks before Holy Week we stopped our St. Paul study and used Adam Hamilton's "24 Hours That Changed the World." The week after Easter we will continue with our study of St. Paul. 

This has been a wonderful experience for me. I haven't led a Bible study for years. The group of women that attend are eager, perceptive, easily lend their thoughts and voices to our discussions, and we have a trusting atmosphere which leads to sharing of all sorts of life experiences. We include prayer concerns as well, praying before and after each time, or in the middle if the Spirit leads us.

My "assistant" leader is a friend from church that I didn't know very well until we started this Bible study together. Now I so admire her and her discipline of Bible reading and her many experiences of women's Bible studies at other churches. Plus I am so impressed with stories of raising her children who are now young adults. 

Molly also has a well-worn leather Bible that I've been looking at from afar. She writes in her Bible, including dating some of the pages as she reads them (in small letters with pencil). We read a Psalm last week that she had read on 9/11/2001, and the date was written there. 

Well I do not have a well-worn Bible, for one reason I haven't been very regular with daily Bible reading, as well as not participating in many Bible studies recently. Over the years I've gotten different translations and types of Bibles---like the Good News Bible, RSV Bible, Quest Bible, Jerusalem Bible, NRSV Lutheran Bible, Amplified Bible, and so on. So I have a collection. I've taken notes in some and highlighted passages in others, but not all in the same Bible. So I admit to Bible "envy"! I have now ordered a NIV Life Application Study Bible, which is what Molly has. I'm spending more to get a bonded leather one. This Bible will be the one I use from now on, read daily, make notes in, and wear out. My other Bibles will be good for expanded study or comparing translations. 

I've written previously about the Christian blogs I've been reading. And the books that have been deepening my faith, one being Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts." Add my women's Bible study, and I know my spiritual growth will continue. Plus a fabulous new Bible is certain to add many dimensions to my study and life.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

15 Ways to Teach Kids How to Work Hard — We are THAT Family

15 Ways to Teach Kids How to Work Hard — We are THAT Family:

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I'm on a roll! And a theme! Another great piece by Kristen Welch. Our daughters went off to out-state colleges and both were amazed when they met dorm kids who had never done their own laundry, swept or vacuumed a floor, etc. They will like this blog post I think.

I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical  -  Bunmi Laditan

I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical -  Bunmi Laditan:

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Our daughter shared this article on Facebook, and it's so very good that I'm sharing it here. The author's points can apply to grandparents as well as parents. (This is where my husband cheers---because I tend to buy things for our grandkids; yes probably too many.) Looking at my previous post, I seem to be on a theme.

There are various reasons for grandparents giving and giving and giving to grandchildren. I know for me, being at a distance (Missouri to Minnesota) causes me to want to bring a present to my two northern grandkids every time I visit them. Or to have something special at our house every time they visit us. They are only four and almost two, and they have plenty of toys at their house, plus the toys we have at our house are often 'new' to them because it's been weeks or months since they last played with them. So why do I do this?

Frankly, I admit at first I was jealous of the local grandparents in Minnesota who got to see our first grandson so often. Add to that they live in the country, have horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and more. Everything a kid loves. I felt I had to compete for my grandson's attention, to make sure he thought I was special. Those jealous feelings dissipated rather quickly, and instead I was so thankful our daughter had the support of her in-laws in helping with the baby. Now I too have that opportunity, to be a support to our local grandson. 

When I started this "Nana Care" gig for Benjamin, I needed to get the appropriate and necessary baby gear. As he's grown, I've either found old toys in our basement for him, or I have bought toys (from eBay and Amazon). These have not been elaborate or expensive (except the ones with jillions of pieces to put together). 

I do look on Pinterest for kid activities and ideas that use simple materials. There are more on my "Kids' Stuff" board than I know what to do with! I need to glean the best ones to put on another board.That is more my intended style, to be creative and play with simple home-made things. 

I fondly remember the many games and activities I played as a little kid in the 1950's: paper doll houses made out of a box with glued-on Sear's catalog photos for furnishings; an oatmeal container cut out to be a doll baby's cradle; tin cans with string for stilts, or for telephones; outside making mud pies; folding paper to make fans, flowers or airplanes; playing in our sand 'box', a used tractor tire on its side filled with sand; old socks for puppets; string and a button for a spinning toy; floating paper boats in the gutter after a big rain; hopscotch; jump rope; and so on. These were fun and magical for me.