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Monday, November 28, 2011

Random acts of kindness for Advent

An amazing friend of mine has been sharing some of the blogs she has come across for helping our children remember why we celebrate during Christmas.

It is so easy for us to forget to teach our children that Christmas is about more than just the presents.  It is about more than the tree.  It is about more than what we want.

Each year I try to make sure we do something extra to teach our daughter about the season of giving.  And each year I challenge myself to add more to that teaching.  Last year we started to develop this thought of just random acts of kindness.  We did really little things like taking cookies to Daddy's office, spending an extra hour at adoration during the week, etc.   But I had no idea that there was this whole big "world" of people who thought like we were....and that they were taking it to a level that is exciting and empowering.

I have found some of the sites full of great ideas.  Things I hadn't even thought of!

It is easy to get caught up with thinking, "I cant afford to do that!"  Or I already do "this and that, for this organization or this tree..."  BUT....does it really cost you much more to buy that check out person a pack of gum?  Do you have extra ornaments you really don't need and can just slip them on peoples car antennas?

It is truly about the giving and the action, not the dollar sign!

I hope to hear from all of you what acts you embark on this season....just as I look forward to sharing with you all we participate in!

Have a glorious first week of Advent.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

IBS OR BUST

My doctor says I could have IBS....really!?!   He proceeds to tell me all the things I should avoid, how I should destress: don't watch the news, limit time with complainers, exercise, quiet reflective time, don't eat this or that, don't drink this or that.  UGH!!!

Again I say:  REALLY!?!

What I want to know is how can I not want to be informed in what is going on in the world?  How can I possibly be of help and service to those around me if I don't let them vent?  I realize he is asking me to create balance hence the exercise and meditative aspect.  Now the exercise part is easy.  I realize I have fallen short on my quiet reflective time.  This use to be very structured and ritualistic.  I have somehow allowed it to be put on the back burner.

Reflective time doesn't mean plugging into the TV or other social medias to "unplug".  That is really not unplugging that is avoiding.  True unplugging is giving yourself the opportunity for 20-30 minutes to breath, reflect, pray, and be.  Be prayerful.  Be with God.  Be in His presence.  Be open to hearing His voice.

On the list of foods and drink that I'm suppose to avoid, I already do many of them.  Then I came to coffee and alcohol.  And once again I say: REALLY!?!

I live for my coffee!!!  I breath my coffee!!!

And what is Italian food without a glass of wine?  Isn't it nice to wind your day down with a relaxing drink of some sort?

Here I realize that just because I "sacrifice" many other foods of desire doesn't mean I shouldn't be open to more sacrificing.  That the only true desire I should have is to be filled with Jesus...with God...with the Holy Spirit.

Thus, is my sacrifice truly a sacrifice or more of a celebration of life.  A celebration of what God does for me in my life.  A celebration of knowing He will take care of me.  A celebration of relinquishing control and giving fulling unto Him.

I find it interesting that this all ties in quite nicely from my previous post.  It could be easy for a person to want to throw in the towel and say I surrender or want to hide from the world.  God doesn't put us here to just hide.  He wants us and needs us to get out in the market place to spread His word to do His work.

I see this, I know this, I just need to be reminded from time to time.  I need to breath and remember for thing there is a season.  He has truly given me a season of blossoming in the market place and I just need to take it one day at a time.  To take caution, to reflect, to remember first my vocation and my calling....but to be okay and realize that the calling aspect can and will change as He sees the need.

So if it is IBS then bring it on!  I'm up for the challenge cause I'm not the driver in this car...I'm just the tool trying so very hard to be all HE needs me to be....sharp, precise, and efficient!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TO RETREAT OR NOT TO RETREAT...

I sit and ponder at how God works in us and through us.  I ponder how we are able to take a moment and  reflect upon it we can truly see His hand in the events of our life.  And how it can make sense.

I reflect on this because I found myself retreating when I had my beautiful angel 8 years ago.  I didn't desire to be social.  Part of this lack of desiring social interaction was due to having a baby who was extremely colicky and having many sleep sensitivity issues that demanded a need for a  consistant schedule and early bedtimes. This became more important, not only for her health but for my sanity.

Thus, I believe God put into my heart a desire to actually stay home and be very content with isolating myself as well as not over-extending myself.  I really tapped into the introvert of my being.

Before my angel was born I was always very involved and active in so many things.  Even though I was always "social" and going, going, I did find myself being resistant to events and large groups.  I forced myself to do it because I knew it was for great reasons.  I believed I was a social person.  After all I was a cheerleader in HS.  Thus, aren't cheerleaders very extrovert people?

During the first couple of years of my angels life I became so content and comfortable with retreating from social life that I convinced myself I must surely be a 100% introvert. I figured I must have "forced" myself to be an extrovert for many years.

The last couple of years I have found myself becoming more involved in social settings through church and friends.  And this very last year I have found myself really flexing my social muscles in ways I wouldn't have thought I would be willing to flex even 2 or 3 years ago and most definitely wouldn't have fathomed it 7 or 8 years ago!

What this flexing has taught me is that God gives us the opportunity to have true peace at the moment to handle what He and life are dealing us if we are willing to embrace that peace and situation.

I have learned that no matter what our nature is, introvert or extrovert, He has us retreat sometimes and then go out among the people at other times.

I believe the moments for retreat are to gather our strength.  If we truly tap into the moments of retreat it can give us the opportunity to strengthen our Armor for Him through knowledge gathering, studying, lots of reflective and contemplative prayer.  And for me and my sweet Angel the chance for me to really tap into understanding my faith on a level I never truly knew and therefore teach and pass it on to my beautiful daughter.

Then when He needs us to go out into the "market place" we are able to be strong, knowledgeable soldiers for Him.

I have also found that it is okay to be social with a desire to have quiet moments.

I have found that just because I am not able to do my rosary or my chaplet sitting still doesn't mean I am praying any less or that my prayers aren't just as heart felt or said.

I have found that He is asking me to GO OUT THERE AND BE IN THE MARKET PLACE...

AND I have embraced it with great joy and love because I know it is from Him.

I have found I am enjoying being social, not because I crave it, but because I know it is where He wants me now.

I know He gave me the chance to build a great, strong foundation not only for my daughter but for myself so that now as I go out to share the world with my daughter and share our faith with other that I am able to remember the balance of importance of God first, Family next, Church Family....and so forth!

I am so grateful for all the growth He keeps giving me.  And I am so grateful to all of you who read what I have to share.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I Want to Sing Sing Sing....

...I want to Shout Shout Shout...and praise the Lord!!!...

My sweet child has this tune stuck in my head.  I have been singing it all day long.  I find it fitting and freeing.

I wasn't able to post on Examiner.com all week long just due to unexpected access to my computer.  Yet, really if I would have had my computer I'm not sure if I would have been able to since there was so much going on anyways.

I thought I would be more anxious at not having been able to post my average articles of 2-3 a week, but I wasn't.  Instead I found it giving me the much needed time to reflect on my writing as well as sit down and do some old fashion pencil to paper kind of writing!  It was very freeing and fulfilling.

The time away from the computer has given me the opportunity to reflect on some of the articles I have written.  Such as the one written about keeping balance in our life.

or the first one I wrote about prayer.

It has been a great week of reflection.  I am ready for my day of Sabbath tomorrow to not only feel renewed but to truly Rest with the Lord.

I pray you each have a blessed Sunday....a continued celebration of the Resurrection!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Books, Books, and More Books

I have a list of books I want to read RIGHT NOW that probably stacks up to about as high as I am tall.  Okay I know I'm not that tall, being only 5'1" but still that is quite the stack of books.

I wonder sometimes why God leads us to books to read yet also gives us lots of interesting work to do for Him that keeps us from our reading list.  Of course I'm learning that He needs us to do both.  We can't just sit back and fill our minds with all this knowledge He asks us to gather and not be willing to be out there in the ranks doing His work.

Thus the challenge of balance!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Assumption of Our Lady

Wow...today was a beautiful day!  I couldn't have asked for a more glorious day.

Even though the church decided that the feast of the Assumption would be celebrated on a Sunday because it fell on a Monday this year, I still went to Mass.

I find this feast especially powerful because it is the baptismal day of my daughter.  She is an amazing child who challenges me in my faith each and every day.  It is because of her that I am the the faithful Catholic who works very hard at being 100% in my faith.  And it is because of her that I challenge myself to continue to learn and grow.

Happy Feast of the Assumption to each and everyone of you!  May you each find Mary's love and motherhood as glorious as I do!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dry Spells

Do many of you wonder why there are moments in our life that we are just going through the motions?

Not that life isn't good or peaceful but it may just feel blah or stale?

I have been having a sort of writers block. It's not like words and thoughts aren't swirling in my head but when I go to write them down...well nothing! Ugh...

Yet, I wonder if the point of a blah or stale moment is to remind us sometimes we need to stay still to reassess, refocus, reexamine where God is calling us to in our life. Yes, He wants us to be doers but He also wants us to stay still long enough to hear Him and be guided by Him.

So I am here Lord waiting and listening!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thank You God!!!

Many of you know I began an interesting journey last year.

I embarked on my first Daniel Fast about this time last year. I had originally entered it to pray for my husband with his discerning about his job. The journey brought about so many blessings.

The interesting thing about it is I was given this book to read from a friend. She just said I had to read this book. Many of you have read my review from previous post about this book. Thus I dont have to go into great detail. But what I discovered through this Journey is the amazing power of true open conversation and connection a person can have with God.

I always thought I had a pretty good spiritual life but that Daniel Fast rocked my world, for a lack of better descriptions...lol.

Our family experienced great answers through that fast not only about my husbands job but about my health! It was amazing. And it continues to be amazing!

So in honor of all God had done for our family, and for me personally, I wanted to do another Daniel Fast to thank Him to celebrate the year anniversary of all He has done in our life.

Now some of you may wonder this is odd....most people do a fast to pray about something, to heal from something, to beg for intervention about something....but why cant we make a sacrifice for honoring, for thanksgiving?!

I am doing a 40 day devotional for personal discovery as well during this fast but I just really wanted to thank God for all the beautiful gifts He bestowed on our family this last year.

After all what do you get for someone who has EVERYTHING literally!!!???

Don't we make sacrifices for those we love on a regular basis? Spouses....children...family...country?

Why not make a sacrifice for the Creator of all!!!

I'm grateful I can make this sacrifice...I'm grateful I'm alive...I'm grateful for all HE DOES IN ME AND THROUGH ME!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

To Love, even when we dont want to....

I was in great disbelief when my husband text me yesterday with the Casey Anthony verdict. I just didn't understand how this could be possible.

I felt so many emotions, human emotions. It was only my faith of knowing God takes care of us all, and that He loves us all, that truly helped me not give into some very real emotions.

I am sure many of you can relate.


So many of us want answers....but we have all learned in life that sometimes we aren't going to have answers. And we have to learn to be at peace with no answers. We have to learn to have faith. We have to not allow the unanswerable to consume us.

My prayer this day:

Lord help us to not fall into the pit of judgment, hate, anger, or ugliness.

Lord help us as Christians to truly turn to you in times like this, in all times, to truly TRUST IN YOU!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LOVE...

I have really had fun this last month with my writing for Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/catholicism-in-amarillo/kelly-frick

I have been turning my weeks into themes or series. I have been taking an idea and trying to dissect many aspects of that topic.

Currently I have been really looking at the virtue of Love and how it works in our everyday life. It has ended up spreading out over two weeks because of our vacation. I really thought I would be able to still keep up with my article posting but I realized it was becoming quite a juggle. Thus I abandoned trying to work my theme of love into a week and am allowing it to spread over two weeks. It is perfect though...because of the trip I was inspired for two of the articles that will show up toward the end of this week.

Tomorrows article is interesting to me especially with being in the world of writing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Evolving through life

Life evolves. Human nature evolves. Faith evolves.

We all know the saying "hind sight is 20/20". That is true on many levels.

For example, I started this blog a couple of years ago with the sole purpose to write reviews about books I felt compelled to share with everyone. I wrote some very detailed and quoted reviews about these books. I was afraid if I didn't write all those details I wouldn't be able to give them justice. If I didn't basically paraphrase and quote the books you couldn't possibly get out of the book all the nuggets of gold. Silly me! 20/20!

I now find myself not only wanting to still share with you all about different books but about life, about life's ups and downs on a more personal, more real level.

I still want to share with you the books have been reading, even the ones that I haven't even finished but feel overwhelmed to already start talking about...but I want to do more than just review them. I want to share with you what it is about the book that excites me or disturbs me. I want to just talk about the book and if through my just talking about the book you feel compelled to get your own copy or check it out of the library, that's great!

But I also am going to just start writing when things compel me to write. I have been learning a a great deal as I have been writing for Examiner.com. I have learned the power and flow of writing each and every day. I have learned to share, be personal, be real, but need to still keep it objective and not too personal.

Blogging is for the personal...and that is what I am going to do here! I'm going to make it real and personal.
Ups and downs.
Joys and tears.
Gotta love 20/20. Gotta love the power of an ever evolving life.

After all if we weren't continually striving to evolve what is the point?
And what would we learn?

And wouldn't we be dead: spiritually, mentally, emotionally....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

THE DANGER OF RAISING NICE KIDS By Timothy Smith

Amazing…profound…scary…these are just a few of the words I would use to describe this book.

I truly figured when I read this book I would not be learning anything new. I arrogantly entered into it with the thought I would just be confirming I am “doing it right”.

Wow did my eyes become opened. There were moments I felt confirmed and reassured I was on the right path of raising our child, yet there were moments I found myself feeling sucker punched. I realized there were some things in raising a child just really don’t matter. Yes it is nice for your child to keep their room picked up, but in the long run does it really form who they are morally? I want her to excel academically, yet just because she can spout out facts about math, science, or history does it mean she is going to make a moral/ethical decision when faced in a difficult peer pressure situation?

Does my child have Godly character? Because THAT is much more important; it is what truly matters in the whole big picture of life. This is what she should be living for. This is what my job as a parent is all about. Not if her room is perfect every day, but if I am raising a soldier for Christ; if I am disciplining her for God.

Thus this was another one of those books I felt I have to give you, the readers, direct quotes and page referencing, chapter by chapter. There is just so much to glean from this book I didn’t want to take the risk of you missing out on any of the great details that stood out to me. Why mucky it up with my paraphrasing or summarizing when you can read the direct quotes from the author.

Thus let’s began this journey into “The Dangers of Raising Nice Kids”.

CHAPTER 1:

Page 12: “One Danger of raising nice kids is that they will end up too delicate.” “We live in a culture that is not child friendly. It is increasingly becoming antifamily.” “...this isn’t just another parenting book. This is a guide to take you to the next level of parenting, where you actually disciple your child.” “…discover how to grow a child with passion.” “...capture your child’s heart and ignite her God-given passion.”

Page 13: “…how to develop nine critical qualities that most parents fail to develop in their children. Qualities that will help them survive and prevail into challenging times in which they are coming of age.” “…become warriors…” “…nine forgotten qualities…vision, authenticity, listening, empathy, compassion, discernment, boundaries, contentment, passionate love…”

CHAPTER 2: PARENTING AS DISCIPLESHIP

Page 25: “Christian parenting is less like a cotillion and more like book camp. It’s not simply about manners and proper decorum in public; it’s about being conditioned and prepared to take on life’s challenges.” “Tim Stafford highlights:…We live in an era when traditional beliefs have been tossed aside and when popular culture –television, movies and music – displays terribly corrosive morality.” “As our children mature, our style of parenting has to flex, particularly when it come to making the mind.” “Discipline introduces the ideas of personal responsibility and choices through consequences as a means of training.” “…introduce logical consequences – consequences we set up in advance with our child, aiming to help her make wise choices and know what results her choice will bring.” “Punishment doesn’t always teach our kids.” “It requires a moral judgment…you made a mess go to your room! Consequences help the child learn moral responsibility: you made a mess. Clean it up.” “Punishment tends to focus on the pas and on behavior. Discipline tends to focus on the present and on our child’s will.”

Most parenting books stop here, content to show parents how to stop the misbehavior, fix the strong-willed child or help the child take personal responsibility for his choices.” “We need to move beyond punishment and discipline to discipleship.”

“That’s right, we are to disciple our kids, just as Christ discipled his followers.”

Page 27: “Discipleship is an intimate, personal relationship designed for growth an learning through imitation, dialogue and observation.”

“…we are to understand parenting as discipleship, the primary goal of parenting isn’t teaching, it’s modeling.”

Page 28: “Parenting, like discipleship, is a teaching/learning relationship.” “Children are the disciples of their parents, for better or worse.”

“Discipleship focuses on the mentoring relationship between parent and child. It focuses on what the child learns, not simply changing his or her behavior.”

“A focus on discipline generally creates compliant kids, but it rarely produces courageous ones. No, I am not advocating a permissive style of parenting; I am calling us to a more demanding style of parenting – one that requires us to change and grow and provide the examples. Discipleship calls on us to set the pace, knowing that our children are most likely to absorb the values they see lived out in our lives.”

Page 30: “…discipleship means that both the child and the parent mature.”

“If a child, particularly a teenager, sees his parents growling and working on the same issues she is trying to develop in him, he will be more open to the values transfer and les likely to rebel. Why? Because growth is something we do as a family. Growth does not simply mean ‘changing the kids’ behavior.’”

“Some of the most difficult teens…are the ones who play the compliant game.”

“They look nice on the outside…masks an interior that is morally weak and two-faced….learned how to play the game…aren’t prepared for life.”

“…80 percent of U.S. high school graduates graduate from the church when they go off to college…eight out of ten kids who were active in their church stop attending church when they hit the university campus.”

“…main reason…first year college students stop attending church is because they weren’t disciple in high school.”

Page 32: “’Shouldn’t we all be mentors of one kind or another?’ It resonates, doesn’t it? Why not start at home? Why not start with your child?”

“Our culture is suffering from a huge disconnect.”

“This lack of community has caused teens to feel devalued and forgotten.”

Page 33: “How can children learn from their parents if they aren’t available?”

“If a parent is not available or is emotionally tuned out or burned out, that parent is actually contributing to the emergence of an immoral child.”

“It may be unpopular to demand certain ethical standards of our kids, but it is necessary.”

Page 34: “Sadly, the current generation of parents generally does not seem interested in going to the trouble to have conversations about morals…have delegated that responsibility to the Sunday school teacher…we are missing out…we should not ‘outsource’ their moral and spiritual development to another.”

Page 37: “…tend to avoid dealing with the issues in our kids that remind us or our own…shouldn’t assume that our child understands something just because she says she does …test, observe, try again.”

“…in a discipleship-oriented home both parent and child can grow and learn…emphasis is on the process, not perfection.”

Page 40: “Vision is seeing life from God’s point of view. It will give you perseverance when you need it. Vision gives you perspective. It will help you spend your time and energy o the right things.”

“A 2005 nationwide survey of parents…only 4 percent…thought it was important to help their kids develop moral values.”

“…over a third described themselves as ‘born again Christians’.’…most Christian parents are not sure how to raise their kids in a way that is distinctive from families that don’t claim any faith.”

“We are putting too much emphasis on things that in the long haul won’t matter.”

“If we are seeking to disciple our children, the goal isn’t their happiness but helping them prepare for life and make wise choices…imparting a vision to their child…helping her discover her purpose and see herself as a significant member of a larger community, contributing to a greater cause.”

“…most parent…reason, ‘I need to work long hours to provide enrichment for my kids.’…it’s easier to work long hours at the office than come home and deal with the uncertainties of intimate relationships.”

Page 42: “Education, love and happiness for our kids are noble goals, but they shouldn’t consume 90 percent of our time, energy and emotion…there is something more important.”

“I want them to know and love God…that is a big one, actually the most important one. If a child receives Christ, he becomes a new creation in Christ…our children need to become more like Christ.”

Page 43: “THE TARGET…What we want our children to be like at eighteen years old…spiritual: faith in Christ…social: wise decisions…physical: good health habits… emotional: feel capable, confident…mental: prepared for opportunities…character: honest, just, compassionate…life skills: develop skills…”

Page 45: “Each element…becomes a measurable goal.”

“It is your vision of what kind of person you want your daughter or son to mature to become. Your children are more likely to become persons of vision if they have grown up in a home that believes in and reinforces vision.”

“DEVELOP A VISON FOR YOUR CHILD”

“Are you modeling the values you want your child to emulate?”

Page 46: “Ask God to help you remember your vision for your children and to have his creativity and consistency to help your children progress toward the Target.”

Page 47: “ARROWS UNLEASED”

“The psalmist compares children to arrows: Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man, whose quiver is full of them, (Psalm 127:3-5 NIV)”

“…children aren’t a curse – they are a reward. They are seen as assets that help us in battle.”

Page 48: “If…like arrows…need to be aimed in the right direction…toward the target…an unaimed arrow is a dangerous thing…a child without direction is just as dangerous.”

“…our role…is to aim our children toward the bull’s eye of righteousness and wisdom, create tension by pulling back on the string, then release. A failure to release will have the same result as not aiming: we will miss the target.”

“The point of Christian parenting isn’t keeping the arrows in the quiver; it’s using them, which means releasing them. Yes, there are hundreds of things that could go wrong…but you have to let go…for an arrow to fly, you have to release it.”

Page 49: “DEVELOPING YOUR CHILD’S VISION”

“Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost (Proverbs 22:6).”

Page 50: “As we look tour children’s future, we should focus on the things that we can influence and hold loosely those we can’t…But we can model what’s important to us and train them in the skills that they will need.”

Page 51: “Our kids are desperate for vision. They are craving purpose.”

“Vision breeds motivation. Kids’ key motivations can be summed us as AIM: Adventure…Intimacy…Meaning.”

“Our kids want to be part of an adventure – a movement or a cause.”

Page 52 and 53: “Our children are eager for intimacy. They want to be part of a caring community…desperate for meaning…want to know why they are here, who they are and what they can contribute.”

“It is our job to help them see beyond what they can currently see…with a clear vision of who they are in Christ, your children can handle a variety of temptations, assaults and detours.”

CHAPTER 4: EMBRACING AUTHENTICITY

Page 72: “To Jesus, performance wasn’t as important as relationships. After the miracle, Jesus didn’t push the team for ‘excellence’ or even ‘working up to your potential.’ …Jesus sent them to their boat, while he dismissed the crowd…he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray…then he joined his crew…walked out on the lake…another miracle…it wasn’t simply to prove his deity; it was to be with the ones he loved.”

“Grace and truth in relationship. Authentic friendship.”

“Kimmel captures this concept: ‘This kind of grace makes all the difference in the world when it’s coming from God, through you, to your children. Children brought up in homes where they are free to be different, vulnerable candid, and to make mistakes learn firsthand what the genuine love of God looks like.’.”

“What would an authentic family look like? If grace and truth infiltrated all the relationships in a family, what kind of impact would that have?”

CHAPTER 5: LEARNING TO LISTEN

“If our child feels heard she will feel honored and appreciated…when we listen…investing our time and attention…don’t always have to have a solution…be a good listener…”

“Best way to develop listening skills in our children is to model them ourselves.”

“We show our love best when we listen.”

CHAPTER 6: SHOWING EMPATHY

Page 100: “…parents…lower ...expectations for grades but raise…expectations for…involvement in helping…focus on others…he (the youth) became less argumentative and moody and more cooperative and he managed to raise his grades in all of his classes….learned to concern himself with the needs and feelings others…learned empathy.”

CHAPTER 7: DEMONSTRATING COMPASSION

Page 104: “There is a profound link between convictions compassion and courage. Growing compassion in the lives of our children is difficult because there are so many forces that oppose it. But our kids can learn to be caring and compassionate at home.”

Page 113: “When we show compassion to the least of these and teach our kids to be compassionate toward those without a voice, we are being the hands and feet of Christ.”

CHAPTER 8: DEVELOPING DISCERNMENT

Page 120: “when your child is born, you have 100 percent responsibility for her, but as she matures, you give her more freedom and more responsibility to make choices. You say, in effect, ‘I want to work myself out of a job – the job of controlling you and making decisions for you. I want to give you more freedom as you assume more responsibility. Are you interested?’ “

Page 121: “You are helping your child do more as you do less. In this setup our kids have to think. This is what helps them learn discernment.”

CHAPTER 9: COURAGEOUSLY SETTING BOUNDARIES

Page 143: “when we really believe that God is with our child, we allow her to make her own choices we empower our child when we train her to courageously set her own boundaries.”

“This is difficult, because sometimes our children make the wrong choice. We want to rush in and rescue them from the pain and hassle, but we shouldn’t.”

Page 145: “There are costs to boundaries…but…courage and setting of boundaries gave…a lesson for life.”

CHAPTER 10: CHOOSING CONTENTMENT

Page 146: “Mix a little foolishness with your prudence; it’s good to be silly at the right moment…HORACE.”

“…we are preparing future adults who are preparing for future families. Why not send them into the future smiling? Let’s make our homes dens of laughter. Let’s model contentment to our kids. Let’s show them how to be joyful.”

Page 147: “to embrace contentment, you have to have the freedom to be different, a preference for humor and a default setting of gratefulness.”

“An unhappy home focuses on what we don’t have.”

“Contentment isn’t necessarily comfort. Don’t make things too easy on your kids; if you do you may be robbing them from a genuine contentment…”

Page 150: “It seems to me that the more fun we can have with our children, the more influence we will have on them. And in some cases, we may have more influence with the fun stuff than the serious stuff.”

“…if you are friendly…you can teach them moral and spiritual truths. But you can’t skip the fun and go straight to the heavy stuff.”

“When kids laugh, they open their hearts. When kids laugh, they open their minds. When kids laugh, they relax and feel a part of the group or the family. So let’s laugh!”

Page 151: “One of the equalities of a healthy family is the presence of laughter, usually with plenty of inside family stories to swap.”

Page 156: “Contentment is a choice. It’s not something that happens to someone; it’s something that a person chooses… decides to be content.”

“We can embrace what is given us and make the most of it…each day is a gift…with that alone we should be content.”

CHAPTER 11: LOVING PASSIONATELY

Page 159: “We may be raising the most disconnected generation.”

Page 168: “…love really does make a difference, and we should not leave our family’s moral and spiritual development to others. ‘Each of us who has the privilege of relating to young children these days shares a special goal: to help transform those children into spiritual champions. It is will not happen by accident…We have no right to complain about how our children develop if we are not heavily and purposefully investing in those outcomes.”

CHAPTER 12: STAND-UP KIDS IN A LIE-DOWN WORLD

Page 171: “As parents in the new millennium, we are preparing our kids for battle…we are modeling for them the virtues we want integrated into the fabric of their character….to grow courageous kids, we need to see the home as a boot camp rather than a retreat.”

“Tim Kimmel says it well…’the real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race…raise their families in the most hedonistic communities and yet not be the least bit intimidated by their surroundings.”

“We have not done this well. We are better at the extremes, because they demand less of us. We either abandon our kids to the culture, figuring kids will be kids, or we isolate them in the Christian sub-culture, seeking to protect them from the ‘secular humanists’ and other bogeymen out in ‘the world’.

Page 172: “WE AREN’T TO BLEND IN WITH THE CULTURE OR HIDE FROM IT; WE ARE TO INFLUENCE IT.”

“…the Great Commission to parenting:…make God-followers of our children…focus isn’t protecting our kids; it is preparing them to be disciples…priority is given to God’s timeless commands and principles…God is with us at all times…”

“It seems to me that we Christians have abandoned the culture to itself. The less we engage with the culture, the more it is left to its own devices and the default setting of our society is secularization. The more we withdraw, the less influence we have on the lost world around us. We need to be in the world, but not of it.”

Page 173: SALT AND LIGHT

“This book is about growing kids who can positively influence their world. It’s about more than stopping ‘bad behavior’; it’s about growing leaders for the next generation. It’s about making disciples of our kids to affect the culture for the sake of Christ. It’s about being and training our kids to be salt and light.”

Page 174: “Too many of us parents have been the bucket when we should have been the light stand. We’ve been hiding the light, protecting the light, isolating the light, thinking that it is up to us to keep the light. It isn’t. It is up to us to share the light.”

Page 175: “We want to make our kids thirsty for what we have.”

Page 177: “When we focus on character, not performance, we are being salty parents.”

Page 179: “We must disciple our children in definable absolutes in a world that does not believe in absolutes.”

Page 181: “We can influence our world, one child at a time.”

Page 184: “We all make mistakes, but we need to live in ‘no matter what’ homes…homes where kids are allowed to be kids and parents don’t have to be perfect and nobody will be written off.”

“Raising nice kids is not enough; we want to raise courageous kids with character…our emphasis is on growing courageous champions, they come wise and discerning, making them actually safer.”

“Preparing your child to change his world means focusing on his heart for than his behavior, looks or accomplishments…if we get our child’s heart right, we don’t get sidetracked by the externals…when she learned to focus on the internals, their relationship improved…”

Page 185: “You are not alone. Raising stand –up kids in a lie-down world requires God’s power. A faith-based, grace oriented approach to parenting affirms the unique personalities of our children, and is alert to the corrosive cultural elements, but is focused on confidence in god rather than the worries of the world.”

“We don’t need to be afraid of the culture for our children. We simply need awe and respect for God. He is our fortress. He is a refuge for our kids. With his strength, they can change their world.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

THE PRINCESS AND THE KISS By Jennie Bishop “A Story of God’s gift of Purity”

This beautiful children’s story book teaches young girls how precious their “first Kiss” is. The princess discovers her parents had kept safe her first kiss until she was old enough to start making decisions on her own. She was now responsible to decide who she would want to have her first kiss. She interviews many princes but none seem worthy. She begins to worry she will never get to share her kiss. Her mom reassures her that even if she never marries the gift will still be hers to cherish.

This story gives a young girl a great way to start understanding the preciousness and beauty of her purity. Another exciting aspect to this book is the companion book you can use along with the story book. It will help a parent to develop great conversation and direction for their young lady in the making.

I truly believe this is a must have for all girls being raised in today’s confusing time of “do what makes you feel good” world. Especially since this attitude is directed so much toward our morality and sexuality.

A side note: There is also a purity story for boys titled: THE SQUIRE AND THE SCROLL.

THE REST OF GOD: RESTORING YOUR SOUL BY RESTORING SABBATH by Mark Buchanan

A friend of mine lent me this book after having had a profound conversation about fasting. I felt it was perfect because I had been wanting to learn more about how to “keep holy the Sabbath”. My mind frame was set into one direction when I started reading this book . I figured it was going to talk about the “letter of the law” of Sabbath. Instead, it opened up a whole different world for me. I discovered it is beyond important to keep holy the Sabbath but not in the way I initially thought.

This book confirmed to me how important it is to keep Sabbath yet, more importantly to keep the spirit of Sabbath holy. Keeping true Sabbath is not being legalistic about it but to embrace the spirit, the wholeness, the communion with God. I discovered there were many things I did in my everyday life that I viewed as me just being wacky were actually very Sabbath like. I felt very encouraged, yet knew I had a long way to still go in order to truly honor God and His day of rest.

We live in a time when everyone thinks we must have every minute of our day scheduled out. We get sucked into believing if we are not constantly going and scheduling something we are not being productive. It is almost looked upon as lazy if you’re not running from one scheduled event after another and multi tasking several things. Yet I wonder how productive are we really being when we are multi tasking. Are we truly giving these tasks our best work? Do we enjoy rushing from one scheduled event after another?

How many times do we find ourselves just staring at the computer because we are overwhelmed by work that we don’t know where to begin. Or we have lost time because of our dawdling.

What happened to just being open to what God might have in store for us in that day?

I discovered through this book it is not only good to have a day of rest but it is imperative for our entire being. It is important for our health, our soul and our relationship with God. He needs us to rest with Him so we can strengthen ourselves for the next task He gives us. He needs us to unplug so when we do plug back into the world we can give it our best work for His glory. He needs us to be still thus allowing us to breath in His beauty and have clarity on what He may throw at us unexpectedly.

This book will teach a person how to truly rest with God and feel no guilt. After all it is what He asks of us!