Tag Archives: spiritual life

thankfulness :: my family

I’ve been reading through Titus with a group of women over at She Reads Truth. It’s been such a fulfilling study on unity in the body and what we do with discipleship and love for each other. 

Titus 2:1-8 says 

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

My spiritual mothers have always played a huge role in my life. God seems to bring an older lady into my life just at the right time. The great thing about these mentors is that they’re also some of my greatest friends. They’re women that see me where I am and want to be a part of my life. These women are not all from the same path of life. One has 10 kids, two of them have 2 children, and one of them has only spiritual children. I also see where Titus exhorted the church to just do life together. My life has been filled with a mom who loves The Lord, and with a sister who loves God more than her next breath, and who happens to be my best friend. 

Because of all of this encouragement, I have a desire to share that with younger girls, who I also get to do life with. Some of these girls are moms now as well and we get to share in the joys and sorrows of motherhood. Others are well on their way, and I get to see them love on my family like they will one day love on their family. 

God created us to be together. To encourage each other. To share in the joys and the sorrows. To be real with each other. If I didn’t have mentors in my life, I’m not sure where I would be today. Several years ago, my friend and mentor Kathy, told me she would never stop learning from older women. At the time, her husband was the pastor of a very small southern baptist church with the main demographic being senior citizens. Kathy had already been mentoring younger girls and could have seen her life as not needing those older women to encourage her. However, she saw it has the opposite. She wanted to learn from them and embrace their knowledge  because they really did have so much more wisdom than she did. I hope I never grow tired of learning from older women and from sharing in community with my sisters in Christ. We need each other and we need to embrace each other in our strengths and weaknesses to sour each other on for the gospel’s sake. 

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books i’m loving right now

one of my favorite blogs, emily at jones design co., had book week this past week with a linky party. i feel like she and i would be friends if we lived in the same city.

for awhile now, i’ve wanted to do a post on some of my favorite children’s bibles, as well as some of my favorite parenting/mothering books. this might be funny, because i don’t like to read. some people LOVE it, and just drift into lala land while they’re reading. me? i need to be doing something. i have the hardest time just sitting there reading, unless i’m on the beach. then, i’ll read an entire novel in a week, when it’s hard for me to read a 150 page book in 4 weeks at home. go figure.

anyway, our bedtime routine is a pretty important part of our day. the boys love for us to lay down with them (when we can, which is most nights) and sing “my maker”, “bless the Lord”, and “Jesus loves me” (or “bible” as s calls it), and we also pray together and read the bible.

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our favorite and most loved children’s bible is “the Jesus storybook bible” every story in this bible points to Christ, and that’s just how we do church. no matter what text our pastor is preaching on, it always points to Christ. so, obviously, we were on board with this one. this bible is good for 18 month olds-6 year olds. we’ve used it from day 1 with our boys, and right now, all of them still love it, even though we’ve read through multiple times.

we also love “the beginning reader’s bible“. this bible is scripture, plus it has a “pray God’s word” section, a “remember God’s word” section, and a “do God’s word” section. so, it’s great to memorize scripture together, and sometimes do the activity the next day and be able to talk about the story we read the night before. we like this one for 3-8 year olds. since it’s straight scripture, sometimes it’s hard for the little ones to maintain their attention through the whole story. the pictures in it are wonderful, though. good illustrations are really important to us in any book we get for our kids.

the last one that we love, and that i hope we do from time to time, is “sammy and his shepherd“. this book is a fictional story that is based on psalm 23. we learned psalm 23 as a family while doing this. it was so great to see the lightbulbs go off in our kids’ heads while we were asking them questions about the story to relate it to everyday life. this book is good for 4-12 year olds. it’s a chapter book, but the chapters are only a couple pages long. however, there’s not a lot of pictures, so it’s harder to hold the littler kids attention. also, the discussion questions are pretty advanced, but can be asked in easier ways for younger kids.

i think i’ll do a different post with my favorite mothering/parenting books. this one is full enough! what do you do for bible reading time with your family? is there a certain routine you follow, or scripture reading plan? let us know in the comments!

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the new year

this year, i want to be more intentional. i think that this has been brewing for sometime. as posted on my last post, we did RACKs 2012 for advent. that was my first attempt at being more intentional. since then, that word continually comes up in life. ben and i talk about what we want to do with our kids this year, what are our goals for our family for 2012, and all i can think about is wanting to be more intentional with them. i want to memorize scripture with them. i want to play more board games with them, and have more meals with them. i want to be more intentional with who they hang out, with what they see me do. i also want to be more intentional with my relationships, with what my husband and i do together, and just how we do life in general.

philippians 2:1-8 says:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

this is what i want. i want to have the same mind as Christ. in everything i do. whether it’s in a birthday party, a baby shower, a wedding, dinner with my family, taking my kids to school, taking care of sick kids, or how we run our home. i want to show others that i truly love Christ.

what are you going to do this year or even this week? if it’s too hard to think about all of 2013, start by thinking about what to do for a week, or a month. take it a week at a time. and if we mess up, we try again the next day. because Christ forgives us, and i’m eternally grateful for that.

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