Sunday, June 25, 2017

Another Spiritual Lesson Learned From my Son

Last year, my son taught me a couple of spiritual lessons, you can read it here. Tonight, I was again taught an important lesson by seeing an interaction between my husband and Little Man.

The past couple of days we have been having trouble with my son throwing fits and wanting his own way. It seemed like my husband had to give Little Man a lot of 'talks' tonight at church, and it didn't end when we got home either. My husband felt bad that he had to get on to Little Man so much and said 'You know what, Little Man, I love you.'  As soon as the words came out of his mouth, our son ran into his arms. Love, pure love.

I was struck with how much we should be like that with God. When we step out of His will or stray from His commands, He disciplines us as a father would.  When discipline comes, though painful, it should make us want to get closer to the Lord. He desires us to come, running into His arms and be in closer communion with Him.

"And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:5-11
I pray the next time that the Lord gives me a 'talking to', that instead of being annoyed or upset, I come running into His loving arms!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Little Kids in Big Church

Our church is quite small, and Little man is one of the few (and sometimes the only) little one his age. I haven't really liked the idea of having someone miss worship service to watch my one kid, so I have opted, since he was born, just to keep him with me. Something that was almost necessity, has become something I'm starting to feel quite strong about. At the very least, it's become something I quite enjoy.  I really enjoyed reading this article, and when the time comes and Little Man is old enough for children's chapel, I may make the decision for him just to remain with me.
It's been a learning experience, to say the least, with having him sit (or stand) quietly where he is. I'm no where near perfect, and he's nowhere near perfect. Just recently I had to take him out, when he wanted to whine-loudly. If you are a part of a small church like me, or perhaps you would just rather have your little one with you, here are some tips and activities for little ones from baby to toddler.

Baby-6 months:
I didn't know when I had it good! This stage is easy and hard at the same time. Babies cry, sleep, get hungry sometimes when it's the least convenient. The best thing at this stage is getting a schedule for your baby that will allow you to sit through church. It doesn't always happen, and my husband and I would swap Sunday Morning/Night Service, so that we got at least one a piece. What worked for me was letting Little Man nurse and nap during Sunday School, and be awake during church.

6-12 months:
Things get easier at this point, at least in predicting your baby's schedule. It's also easier than the future, entertaining your baby. At this stage I had touch and feel soft and board books and quiet baby toys. Here are some of my favorite books:


I also liked the 'Is that my..." series from Usborne, for touch and feel books. These are still entertaining him today!

12-24 months:
Here is the hardest time to quietly entertain, in my opinion. One of the things that helps is when you read your child a story, make sure they sit for the entire thing. This will get them used to being quiet and letting someone else talk. At this point they are more likely to start getting bored with just looking at books, but too little for more of the toddler quiet play. Things like stickers, crayons, quiet toys, Cars, little people, etc. are good for this stage. And I'm going to own up to this-but my child ate plenty of those Puffs during this stage! Those things can keep them busy!

2-3 years:
Ahhhhh....We are back to an easier stage! You might be thinking, "What about the 'Terrible 2's tantrums?" I'm not saying it's always great, but at this stage, your child should know when you mean business, and know that church is not the place to get very loud. Also, when you take your child to the nursery if they act up, make them sit in the chair with you and not let them get up. Then the nursery will not seem like the fun option during church. They will want to go back to the pew where they can at least play with their toys! Here are some of my favorite quiet toys and activities:
I love the little 'go' packs from the dollar store. They have a lot of the Disney movies that my son likes.
Also at the Dollar Tree they have those sticker scenes that can entertain for a long amount of time!
Pipe cleaner activity

*My son loves the Water wow!! This entertains him for a long time!
This can be paired with books, stickers, legos, cars, etc. I have a church bag that I try to change out each week so that there is something new and exciting. I also have a few things that he only does at church, so it feels special

4-6 years
Here are the unknown years for me, but I can tell you what my parents did for me and my siblings, and what I plan to do with my little boy. At this point, especially if they are being schooled (by you or elsewhere), they should know how to sit and be still. Because they still haven't reached the point of finding sermons very interesting, coloring books, tracers, and sticker books are really great. Most of these things allow you to listen to what is being said. I was six when I came to know the Lord, so I can tell you that little ears hear more than you give them credit for! Also, make learning about the Bible something you learn about every day in your home. My little boy is not yet 3 and he will tell me when he hears a familiar name or story being told by the preacher. The key is not only making your child quiet so others can hear, but the activity not so engaging that they don't hear what's being said.

7+
I believe that once a child gets saved, it's very important that they listen to the sermon. After they join the church, they are just as much a member as anyone else. This is key growing and maturing time for them. This means that you need to make church going, and Bible time at home a priority, if you want your child to see it as such.
That being said, this is a good time for sermon note taking. When they are just learning to read and write, maybe they can draw a picture of what is being preached about, and maybe a sentence or two of what they learned. The sentences can get longer and the drawings can become more doodle-ish (I myself am a doodle note taker. It helps me to think!).

So there you go. Some tips on helping your child stay with you during church. Of course, I am not against children's chapel (my son went just this last week!), and if you feel like you need to then by all means. I will encourage you to ask your child what they learned and have them pay attention in class. God's Word is so important, and teaching your children young is so important! Let me know what you do to keep your child with you in church.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Peppa Pig Party for Boys...on a Budget!





My son loves Peppa Pig, but unfortunately for those of us in the US, it can be challenging to find Peppa party supplies for girls, let alone for boys! Pinterest was scoured, my thinking cap put on, and a thorough search made for Peppa supplies around our town.  If you are like me, with a little boy who adores Peppa Pig, but limited on supplies and money, here is the post for you.


Party Supplies

If you've read my post on how to save money on birthday parties , then you'll know that one of the ways I save money, is by buying just a few things on theme, and for the rest, just buy things in the colors that go with it. This time, I decided to use yellow, blue, and red. These colors are very prevelant on Peppa, and great for a boy. None of our big stores carried Peppa party supplies, and I didn't want to buy the entire set (or pay shipping!). I found a few things at a local party store, and bought cups, plates, and a banner. I only bought cups and plates for the little ones, and bought the rest in solid colors.

Cake

I am normally a DIYer with the cake, but to say that the cake was a disaster would be an understatement. We wound up getting a plain cake with border from Albertsons, and I piped the decorations on top and added the Peppa figures. My son thought it was the most amazing cake ever, and it wound up being economical and simple. I also made some homemade cupcakes with themed colored icing.




Party Favors

I didn't get any pictures of this, but I found an 8 pack of bubbles on sale that had the colors I was going for. It only cost me $2 or $3 and then I printed out this printable I found online , cut around the pink border and glued it onto some card stock in the color scheme I was using. I wrote "thank you" on the back, punched a hole, and put it together with some curling ribbon. I had favors for just a few cents per kid!

Party Food

I only went on theme for a few things. The cake, cupcakes, and muddy puddle pudding! It made it look cute, but I didn't have to invest a lot of time or creativity.  We had the party in the afternoon, so I only did desserts. Pinterest does have some cute ideas (pigs in a blanket, anyone?) on savory food ideas.


Other

My son had a George shirt, as well as a George stuffed toy. We had some balloons, and some wooden letters that spelled TWO to complete the decorations. If you want big and extravagant, there are certainly some great ideas to achieve that. However, if you are going for cute, but on budget, I hope I have helped give you some ideas!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wait Patiently for the Lord


Image result for psalm 27 14Reading the Chronological Bible this year has made David's plight, as he runs away from Saul, come to life. They put the correct Psalms with the same stories that you read, and you hear David's voice as he goes through this very low time in his life. He pleads with God to work, and fast, but when he gets his chance to kill Saul, he doesn't, and says that he is waiting on the Lord. It seams David's trials helped him to achieve patience and trust in the Lord. 


My own little trials seem small in comparison to David's, but I feel his words as I read them. After a miscarriage this past December, and the months turning into a year of praying for a little one, I continually pray that I'll be able to echo these words 'Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.' (Psalm 27:14)

I want things on my time table, but God needs me to wait, to trust him and His plan. I want certain things, but the Lord seeks that I would be content in what He has already provided. As each month goes by I pray for peace and joy when I am asked when I'll have another baby. I pray for peace and joy when others announce their own joy at expecting one of their own.  Ever since the day I found out I was losing my little one, I was given such peace about it, and it helped me get through it. I pray that I continue to seek that peace, that the Lord gives me that peace through every month. 

Maybe this is what you needed to hear, maybe it's just for me, but it helps me to write thoughts like this down. I pray that it encourages and helps someone today!


Budget Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Note: Amazon links are affiliated After sharing non-toy gift ideas, and the few things I am getting my kids for Christma s, you may ...