Category Archives: Priorities

Setting priorities, learning how to prioritize

Don’t Take It At Face Value

Standardized test May 2016

It’s standardized testing season. And I have a perfectionist child. He wants to get everything right – the first time – without exception.

He finishes his practice test and discovers after checking his work, that he got several answers wrong relating to interdependence, cooperation, and wants vs needs. Initially, he was crushed, and came to me about it. Instead of immediately agreeing with his answers being incorrect according to the answer guide, I asked him to explain the answers he selected. I was taken aback. And thrilled. He’s an outside-the-box thinker. He doesn’t just accept the answer at face value. He thinks, reasons and examines.  And I don’t want to change that about him for anything in the world.

I love my little homeschool family. I love my creative thinkers. I’m ecstatic that he understands the answer that may be desired on the test and why, but can still defend his thoughts. It’s an amazing feeling to see his young mind at work.

He doesn’t just accept an answer at face value. Indeed, I’m raising individuals. And I love it.

The Together Shirt …. Raising Up Parents

20160312_110158[1]

My boys would not stop arguing this morning. I’d had enough. They are normally very sweet, considerate and get along well. But alas, it was one of those mornings. Out of patience, I decided to get creative with a solution. I stuck them together … literally … by wearing a huge Together Shirt.

They balked at first. Even cried, lol. Ah, I have a winner here. I grabbed one of my big shirts, squished the boys in, and voila, Together Shirt. I went back to work, pleased with myself.

A funny thing happened. They came up to me ten minutes later, asking if they could wear the shirt all day! It was fun, they said. They were reading, doing activities, and were pretending to be one big monster!  No fussing on my part, no yelling, no additional punishments – just teaching a valuable lesson to learn to work together.

How is this raising up parents? I read an article today about the rise in Kindergarten suspensions – Kindergarteners!!! For throwing chairs, bullying other kids, drugs, even lewd conduct. Sad. Disheartening. Also angering. And preventable.

Parents – where are you? What are you doing? Raising children is not a pastime or hobby. You don’t do it when you feel like it. You don’t get to decide when to pay attention and when to ignore. It involves time, effort, diligence, energy and patience! It also involves love, caring, sacrifice, and as you can see by my example, a little creativity. What is your “together shirt”? How do you reach your children? No answer? Then that is your answer. Get busy doing it. Now. Don’t know what to do? Get help from books, resources. Put in the time and effort.

In raising up your little ones,  you’ll find yourself growing, too.

Champion Kids Nuggets – Train them Up

 

Train up a Child February

The Bible talks about the importance of parents training kids up according to the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I love the admonition of putting the Word of God into our children, so that it takes root in their hearts, and remains to guide their lives. However, I believe that this verse is talking about more than just teaching our kids scripture. I believe it is speaking of training them up in every facet of life.

We need to be training them up to be business-minded entrepreneurs. We ought to be training up our children to have a strong work ethic, not an entitlement “gimme what’s mine” attitude. We should be training up compassionate, giving children; children that care about the world around them and are willing to work to make a positive difference. We must train children who are goal-oriented and focused; children who understand the importance of education not merely for the sake of good grades and memorization, but for the sake of knowledge because knowledge is power.

Take the time to train up your children in the way they should go.

Learning to Listen

February Learning to Listen

Overwhelmed.  Yep, that best describes where I was.  Three decisions – major ones – and I was at a loss for each. While none were life or death, each could either be a blessing or a hindrance, depending on my choices.  No pressure, though. Lol.

So I did what I always do.  I prayed.  I asked God for His wisdom and revelation for each decision.  Then I waited. Now I was active in my waiting – gathering information, getting sage advice, even making my infamous pros/cons lists (yes, they really work).  I started to have some clarity, but thinking the answers couldn’t be right, I just kept praying.  Then God made it abundantly clear what I was supposed to do.  Problem is, I thought He got it wrong.

See, just because He knows my end from my beginning, loves me more than I can imagine, sees and knows things I can’t even fathom, doesn’t mean every answer He gives is correct.  Just because I can look back on countless times that I’ve heeded His wisdom and been so thankful for it, doesn’t mean He’s correct.  Just because I have faith and trust in God and His direction doesn’t mean He’s correct.  Especially if it doesn’t line up the way I think it should …. Or does it?

And there lies my answer.  I can’t name a time when I’ve truly heard from God, and honored the instructions, that He’s steered me wrong.  Not a single time.  In fact, the less sense it seems to make to my head, the more faith it requires to follow God, and it seems the better the results.  So in spite of myself and my head, I’m going to follow the One with the answers and wisdom I need and seek.

I’m listening, Father.  What’s next?

Marriage: It’s Beautiful, It’s Natural, It’s Incredible

Couples-Holding-hands-love-35144299-900-600

I just felt like sharing this again.  Enjoy  ….

Married love is a funny thing. Built on a foundation of respect, honesty, commitment, and genuine friendship, it has to be nurtured, protected, developed, and honored. It’s almost like a child in a way – you give birth to it when you walk down the aisle. Then in the first few years of teaching it to “walk” or “work,” there are bumps and bruises as you get a feel for it. Finally, the cruising begins and you’re on your way…to more lessons, bumps and bruises, failures, and triumphs. Yet through it all, you have each other.

And while many in today’s society view marriage as antiquated, unnecessary, or even unrealistic (despite scores of happily married couples who beg to differ), those of us who are married know how joyful, fulfilling, and secure it can be. That’s why it’s so important to work to keep your marriage happy and healthy. I want to do something a little different today. Instead of telling you ways to keep your marriage spark alive, I want to help you understand the reason it is so crucial – and what can happen if you choose to let the flame extinguish.

You can miss an opportunity to experience a beautiful, God-created institution.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all . . . “ (ESV). Marriage is the institution designed for us to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. However we are also meant to enjoy it! It’s good and wonderful in our sight!

You can lose valuable opportunities for personal growth and development.

How many times in my 13 years of marriage have I wanted my own way, to do exactly as I felt like, spend money as I desired, or simply do nothing at all? PLENTY. But when you’re married, it’s not just about you. You don’t get to be selfish, petty, or have a pity party. Being lazy, bossy, or manipulative doesn’t work too well either. Instead, you learn how to share, give of yourself, sacrifice for someone else’s greater good, and generally become a better person. Positive growth is a benefit of marriage.

You can miss the sheer joy of companionship and comfort.

Teddy Pendergrass sang, “it’s so good loving somebody and somebody loves you back.” And that’s a fact. It’s a wonderful feeling to be loved and cherished in a strong, healthy marriage. It’s great to enjoy activities and times of fun with your best friend. It’s an amazing thing to make memories that last a lifetime. You are afforded that privilege in marriage.

To say I’m a big proponent of Godly marriage between a man and a woman is an understatement. I believe that when done right, there’s no place else you’d rather be. And that’s a fact.

Why I Homeschool . . .

Homeschooling December 2015

When I started this journey over a year ago, it was daunting, to say the least.  I really wasn’t sure I could do it.  I mean, the thought of the responsibility for all that my children would learn, being in my hands, overwhelmed me.  Good teachers, teachers who care and love and have a passion for helping children, are amazing and deserve our respect and accolades!  I hardly thought I could measure up.

Then a funny thing happened.  I realized I didn’t have to measure up.  It’s not a competition.  Instead of trying to teach in a certain way or be like that amazing teacher, I had to put my trust in God to navigate this journey.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do my research, lesson plans, preparations, field trips, grading papers, science experiments (I’m getting tired just reading that J).  Rather, it means if God has trusted me with this noble calling, then He will equip me to do it.

So in spite of myself, my limitations, my shortcomings, I homeschool.  I homeschool because I am putting more than academics into my boys.  We are studying Godly character.  We have a lot of life lessons – we study how to prioritize time, how to make decisions on what is most important and why.  When we’re all tired and no one can focus, we can take a break and go play outside, or head out the door to a field trip.  We play together, talk together, have lunch together, think together and dream together.  We study what intrigues them, and have time to research fun activities. We take vacations when the beaches are empty, and do science experiments at night. We stay at the free university called the library for hours, or make grocery shopping a time of math and critical thinking – why should we get milk instead of chips? We have afternoon cuddles and wonderful story times of reading. It is an amazing adventure.

It’s not easy.  It’s not convenient. But I love it, and I’m so thankful for homeschool.

Things I’m Thankful For . . .

Thankful November 30

The older (and wiser) I get, the more my perspective changes.  I get what really matters.  It’s funny, when I was younger I was all about climbing that career ladder, getting my big break, being on my hustle and my grind, and making it happen – whatever it was.  I still have goals and aspirations.  Now, however, they take a back seat to things a thriving career, and a networking connection can’t get for you.  In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday I was so blessed to celebrate with friends and family dear to me, here’s a look at some things I’m thankful for.

  • A husband who cooks, cleans, is humble, and selfless. He’s an amazing daddy and an incredible marriage partner.
  • Two beautiful boys who are my heartbeat. Their smiles, their unconditional love, and their innocent acceptance make me want to continue to do all that I can for them.  My heart melts when they laugh.
  • Parents who are living, love me and are an integral part of my life.
  • Siblings who are now dear friends.
  • Inlaws who I genuinely love and appreciate.
  • The privilege to homeschool my boys. Yes, I am sacrificing much, but boy, is it worth the sacrifice.
  • A place to lay my head, clothes to put on each day and food to eat. Truly things we usually take for granted.  Truly things to be grateful for.
  • My health. So very precious to be healthy.
  • Joy! The joy of the Lord is truly my strength.
  • Peace of mind. I could write for days on this one ……
  • And last, but certainly not least, the love of Jesus that permeates my being and makes me who I am today.

 

I am grateful.

I Will Remember You . . .

remember

I Googled myself.  Have you ever done that?  I write a number of articles, have a few IMDB credits to my name, and just wanted to see what popped up.  It was interesting.  I found a few places where my writing has been posted that I wasn’t aware of.  I found intriguing comments that I’d missed on some of my writings.  And I was able to take a nostalgic stroll down memory lane.

As I read through an online summary of my professional and public life, I realized how much was missing.  While it highlighted some achievements, it didn’t express how important my family is to me.  It didn’t talk about the importance of my faith in God and love for Jesus.  It failed to communicate my desire to put people above things.  It didn’t capture the essence of me … and what I want others to remember me for.

And it helped put some things in perspective.  It feels great to be recognized for good work, or professional achievements.  I smiled at the number of articles that came up with my name attached.  I felt accomplished.  However, none of that matters if my heart for God, devotion to family and love for people isn’t seen.  When I strip it all away, that’s what really matters.  And that’s what I want to be remembered for.

How will people remember you?

Breathe Again

Breathe Again -photo

I was busy. Who isn’t, you’re probably saying? But I was the type of busy that it truly took too much time and energy to consider taking a rest. Between working a job, freelance work, homeschooling my kids, volunteer work, and being a wife and mother, I was stretched way too thin. And signs of wear were starting to show. I felt in a constant state of stress. I was barely sleeping at night, and snapping at my family during the day. There just weren’t enough hours to get everything done. I was sinking. Fast.

– See more at:  Gospel Today – Breathe Again

What’s Stopping Me?

Have you ever been in your own way?

There is something burning in you …. something you want to do, be or achieve. Yet for various reasons … sometimes excuses you try to find … you’re not doing it?

I found myself there the past few days. And to be fair, my main reasons for not moving forward are valid, and even wise. However, it’s time to throw a little caution to the wind. And shake some things up.

After all, what’s stopping me?