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Tuesday, February 24, 2015


We don't currently attend a liturgical church that observes the religious calendar, but in my quiet studies I like to have these seasons of reflection and preparation, particularly during Advent and Lent. I've been struggling with what to do this year. I've been a person to "give up" something but my friends have inspired me over the years, and last year I chose to give up a specific ipad game. It seems silly, but I had  gotten into the bad habit of playing the game first thing in the morning instead of doing my usual Bible reading. So I used the weeks of Lent to get back on track spiritually by intentionally setting  my game aside and re-establishing my regular time in the Word. This year I already feel on track and focused in my walk, so I can't think of a specific tangible thing to give up for this season, or forever, that would better my relationship with God.

Some people choose to add in a new habit, which is great! But for me, I feel like I am already doing that as my goal for the whole year. And I don't want my Lent to be full of Busy and Activity like Advent.  I want it to be a season of stillness.

I browsed for a family devotion we could do but just couldn't find something that wasn't entirely centered around the act of fasting. So this is what I decided. I sat down and wrote up a list of verses to meditate on as a family for this Lent season. We will reflect on:

Love and Devotion
(eternal) Hope

(I guess it's real similar to the Color Gospel actually.) For various reasons intentional Bible teaching with the kids has become something I just don't do consistently like I desire. We do talk about faith quite a bit as we go about our day and life and in prayer so I trust that they see and know that faith is a relationship not just a Sunday event. But still, I want to help create opportunity for their spiritual growth by doing study as a family. For them and for me. So here goes Lent 2015.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Birthday Celebration Week!

I started a new tradition for our family last summer with Eli's birthday and for all the kids' birthdays apparently. I was thinking of how during Homecoming Week at school the kids do "spirit week" and they all dress up as something specific each day of the week. I thought we could do a sort of "spirit week" for birthdays too. We don't do much for presents and try to go out for a special outing instead, and I thought we could add on to that idea and celebrate Birthday Child and his/her favorite things all week long by doing a special activity each day.  Now,  just like with Advent activities, I do NOT like things that require prep. Party decorations, themes, fancy games and cakes...I hate all that stuff. But THIS, I can handle. And most importantly, the kids love it. What child doesn't love to be heard and the freedom to CHOOSE??  I hope they truly know how loved and special they are.  

So here are the specifics and ideas of what types of activities you can do each day:

* Read his favorite book (or 5).
* Play his favorite game. Inside or out. Eli has a summer bday so he picked kickball at the baseball field. Carter picked Jenga and Duck-Duck-Goose.
* Watch his favorite movie.
* Everyone in the family wears his favorite color for the whole day. Whether it's the full outfit or just a colored string around your finger, it doesn't matter.
* Eat his favorite snack.
* Go to favorite restaurant.
* Go on a special outing.
* 1st all day.  First in line, first served, first pick, first whateverthekidsalwaysfightabout.
* Party day!

In this house party days don't always land on the actual birthday week. Neither does the outing necessarily. But in the pictures, BOTH happened to land during birthday week which made planning the activity days easier. Had to get creative and work with the calendar and the available time each day, but it's worth it, fun, and memorable!

Hannah's birthday is next week so we'll be gearing up to do this all again! If you have other activity ideas, leave 'em in the comments!  Thanks!

{Kids Song} If You Love God and You Know It

As I was preparing to sub in for Sunday school music last week, this song popped into my head. Thought I'd share it here...

to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

If you love God and you know it, praise His name!
If you love God and you know it, praise His name!
If you love God and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you love God and you know it, praise His name!

Now for additional verses, change out the underlined parts with these words or words of your own:

...read His Word...
...give Him thanks...
...pray to Him...
...feed the poor...
...help the sick...
...be a friend... 
...follow Him...

That's it! So simple!

God's love is unconditional. Our salvation is through Jesus only, and not by anything we DO, but still, God desires our hearts and our lives. Our actions should pattern after Jesus' life and reflect Him. That's our purpose on this earth. To serve Him wholly.