Saturday, August 30, 2008

Its 2 AM! Countdown to incoming family!

Yikes!!! What am I doing up??? Well, I'll tell ya what...

...Finishing my cleaning...Earlier I made chicken salad and fruit for our incoming family! That's right, I said "incoming fam". David's mother, Aunt, sister-in-law and her daughter and son are coming to see us! (Since Jordan and I played today with friends, I had to pay for it later. It was well worth it though! I tend to work better under pressure anyway. =) Jordan was SUCH a big help this evening too!! She is a hard worker!!!)

We are so excited to get our first visit from family since we moved 5 hrs from them. YAY! It has been 1 yr since we moved, and too too long! There have been friends to come visit us, and we have gone home a couple of times too, but this is the first time family has come here. The children are so thrilled to spend time with their cousins, and we are all looking forward to this.

My niece will be singing "Redeemer" for our church on Sunday. She has such a beautiful voice, and I am soooo looking forward to hearing her sing again.

We plan to celebrate Jordan's birthday with the fam while we are together.

Her request for a cake is "Red Velvet" with buttercream icing. This is a first. Usually she wants my home-made chocolate cake with chocolate icing. =)

Last yr we made a tier cake from scratch, and all of her "new" friends of the neighborhood helped decorate it. This yr that won't be happening...unfortunately. It kind of makes me sad to see how things were then, and how much the children all enjoyed one another at this time...

This yr we are only doing a family party. Perhaps we will have a Jordan day too. =) This is where Jordan decides what she would like to do, and for one whole day she makes the rules (within reason, and as long as it is within our budget). Sometimes she will bring one friend along, and sometimes she just wants it to be family.

Either way, she is not picky about having a full blown party. Don't get me wrong, she is the proverbial party girl! Yet she is just as content to be together with family on her birthday too.

I'd better try to get a few hours of sleep at least.

Have a wonderful weekend dear family and friends!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photos of Sarah and sweet girl time together...

100_3021, originally uploaded by jennifercreates.

Today Jordan and I had a "girls day" with our friends in a nearby city. It was a much needed break for us, and so uplifting for Jordan especially. She has missed having a friend to play with lately.
(Dad and Josh had a guys day here.)

During our visit, our girls made the moms some funky jewelry...they had fun making funky earrings to give us a little "bling". I'll have a pic of that in my flickr streaming soon. =)

Also while visiting, Martha mentioned wanting some school photos made of her daughter Sarah. Sarah is home-schooled as well, and was a part of our small co-op group last yr.

Their family was out of town when Drea took our group shots (actually we thought they had moved for good-they went to the International House of Prayer temporarily) . So, I offered to take some photos of Sarah.

Keep in was my slim jim handy dandy Kodak 6.1 mega pixel 10X cam. Of which I am growing more and more frustrated with it because I am craving the professional quality of SLR...

I know..I'm whining once again! Sorry about that...hehe.



Sweet Sarah!

100_3019, originally uploaded by jennifercreates.

Looking to the Heavens

100_3043, originally uploaded by jennifercreates.

Sarah with Flowers

100_3051, originally uploaded by jennifercreates.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another Cute pic of Burger and Slap

My friend Drea stopped by to show off her was amazing!

Boy how I would have loved something like that stroller when my two were toddlers. I especially like the safety wrist strap feature.

While they were hanging out, I caught a sweet moment with her son and our neighbor's Cat...the famous "Slap" the cat. heehee.

Here is a little video from this morning's visit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Amber Pennell Survives!

We are praising God!!!

Amber Pennell lives in our home town. We did not know her personally, but we did frequent Hannah's barbecue and she worked there.

It is so amazing how her husband did not give up on her. Through lots of prayer and faith, God led the search team to her and she was still ALIVE after 5 days!! Incredible! Click here for the full story.

To see her truck, it would seem unbelievable that anyone could survive this.

Thank you Lord for answering their prayers.

Here is what her truck looked like after they pulled it back up an 80 ft embankment. Wow....

Amber Pennell's wrecked truck...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Ants Go Marching 3 by 3...

If anyone can offer any advise on how to get ants out of the kitchen, without having to use harmful pesticides...I'd love to hear. =)

This summer has been the worst for us with ants. Also, this summer has been the most fruitful for us as well. I'm thinking that all of the bountiful fruit from our pear trees, and the beautiful fresh garden vegetable are perhaps driving them in. Or, it could be a few weeks of extreme heat driving the ants to come in and find drink! Either way, it is a bit frustrating when they are actually getting into our foods!! I'm even sealing all of our foods in ziploc bags and somehow those tiny critters are getting through the seals. They are also getting through the prepackaged foods that I have not even broken the seal on yet! Boy, they are like little magicians!!!

I'll have to admit, I started out "saving the ants". I hate to kill anything, even a bug. But sometimes when it comes to roaches and ant...I give in and smash the boogers! I also gave in 2 times and cleared our kitchen, sprayed with ant killer, and then clorox'd everything...guess what..they came back!

I was sitting at the table looking outside...and noticed how much fruit our pear trees still have on them this year. I mean...we can't give away these pears!!! We have given buckets and buckets away, and the trees seem to produce more and more fruit...even though I know that pears are not like zinnias...I mean, they usually do not product more in a short amount of time when you pinch them back! lol. Yet, it sure seems like it to me! Last year we did not have near this many pears. It has been so wonderful to give them away. It has also been bad because lots of them are getting spoiled because they fall, and we can't get them all sometimes, and we can't eat them all either. We tell our neighbors and friends, take all you like! There is an abundance! A good many of them we did share...every day we go and pick up pears to share. They just keep comin'! What a blessing!

As I looked at the pear tree, I thought about how the ant are most likely coming in on the fruit. =) Also as I was looking out of the window and thinking all of these things...I looked down at my green tea with honey...hmmmmm the short time I was sitting there with my cup of Green Tea with Honey...a few of those little critters were climbing my cup to partake of some sweetness! HA!

Looking across my kitchen table

Bountiful Fruit!

The drink that our ants love! My Green Tea with Honey!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fireworks at Turner after Atlanta Braves Game, GA

I loved how this came out because it looks like a flower, or actually a dandelion. =) Got lucky with this one!

This was taken last yr by my Kodak 6.1 megapixel 10X zoom lens...thin line cam.

God Making Opportunities Through Myspace

Ok...Many months ago I did something I said I would never do...which is join Myspace. :o)

I've always been a little fearful of joining due to all of the stigma attached to it from the media...all the things you hear of bad stuff that goes on there. And there is bad stuff on there (and everywhere for that matter), and for that reason I do not allow our children to explore on Myspace. (Our computer laptop stays on our kitchen table, where it is completely supervised. The only places I explore are in the areas of christian music.)

Yet as I prayed about it, God put it on my heart that I must not be driven by fear, but be driven by truth of sharing the love of take His light into the dark places. I figure whomever comes to my page, especially those who do not know Christ, will see Christ reflected on my profile.

So, after a fellow ministry (WFI Ministries) invited me to see their page on Myspace, I prayerfully decided to join. Here is the link to my page if you want to see it and haven't already: Click here for my MySpace Page!

Anyway, I said all that to say...Through Myspace God has so opened doors in ministry opportunities for me that I never thought it would. I've been able to encourage many youth for Christ from our churches back home, as well as friends and family members too. I've met some wonderful christian artists....worship leaders....singers and songwriters who have been of great encouragement. One of them being Andy Rogers.

Not too long ago he polled for advise on his recent 20-20 praise and worship CD project called "Mercy Tracks Me Down".
I participated, and it appears that he will be crediting me (and others who participated) on his album! This is exciting and so neat how God works!!

Here is his recent email to me:

from Andy Rogers
to Jennifer Kent
date Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 7:50 PM
subject Jennifer, get your name in the credits of the new album...
Aug 20 (3 days ago)


Hi Jennifer

Hello from a very wet Northern Ireland. Just the other day,
in our Irish summer, we had 3 weeks of rainfall in 12 hours
- many places ground to a halt with flooding!

Anyways, undeterred here in the 'lab' I wanted to write a
quick note to tell you that I'm about to press the 'go
button' on the new studio album launch but I want to
include your name on the project if you're interested.

Let me explain.

The album title is 'Mercy Tracks Me Down'. It's a
collection of worship songs from big guitar driven anthems
to intimate prayers and you'll be able to get it as a
download for instant access as soon as I 'go live' with the

Most of the songs are the final versions of some of the
20-20 project.

Now, if you've been on this mailing list for any time
you'll remember that project last year were I set out to
write 20 songs in 20 weeks simply as a discipline to help
me manage the transition that I had made into the life of a
full-time musician/worship leader.

Well that process went incredibly well as a result of your
feedback along the way and I want to credit everyone who
helped shape those songs. Maybe you left a comment on the
blog, or you sent me an email or you simply listened to
those early rough drafts, all of that was incredibly
helpful so here's what I need you to do.

Go to this blog post
and in the comments section leave me your name and, if you
want, a web link - it could be your website, your myspace
profile or your blog etc and I'll include you in the
credits section of the album download and on a special
credits page on my site.

Not only will your name appear in the credits but you
should get some additional visitors to your page - it's

However there's a deadline, I need you to do that before
next Monday (25th August) if I'm going to be able to add
you to the credits.

Cheers - Andy


Andy Rogers
N. Ireland BT52 1JB
United Kingdom

Needless to say...I am pretty STOKED!! Isn't God the God of unexpected surprises? =) I think so!

This is so inspiring me to continue moving forward with my dream of leading corporate praise and worship, and song-writing.

I hope you will check out Andy's music via Andy Rogers Myspace. He is a real and sincere.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

JJ Heller - Free Album Download

By way of Myspace I've met so many wonderful Christian musicians and songwriters who are so in love with Jesus...and who are so real.

JJ Heller is one of them!

She is fun and sincere about her relationship with the Lord.

Right now she is offering her newest CD completely and fully for free as a download!!! It is called "Painted Red". All of the songs are so beautiful!

It is a christian folk style, and she has the kind of voice that is so pure and true in sound. Most of all, she loves the Lord, and this shows through her passionate lyrics.

Right now she is expecting her first baby, so that is kind of neat too. =) There are many of you blogger moms with young toddlers and babies who will be able to encourage this new mom.

I love to go on youtube to see her studio videos. They are so funny and make me smile. =) Also, they give me hope that someday my dream of recording praise and worship music will come true.

Don't miss out! You will be glad you took hold of this offer!

So check out JJ Heller's website, and add her as a friend from her myspace page. Also, you can check out her youtube videos!

She is also asking that you display her button to let others know about her free download. I many artists out there in general offer their WHOLE CD as a download?!?! What an awesome witness!

Download the album and display! The button is also at the bottom of my opening blog page where you can click to take you to her website. (I tried to put it up closer, but it is so big that it wouldn't fit in the upper right gadgets areas. =)

Be Blessed in Jesus Name!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friends Come to Play!

Today we had our friends over! YAY! We love it when friends come by and hang out with us...

Drea came with Caleb and Taite. They played dance dance revolution, while I cheered them on. (I'm not as coordinated-hehe) Jordan and Josh had such a great time with them all. I think they enjoyed playing the video game with Drea the best!

After lunch, and more dancing, we went outside with Jordan's home-made popsicles. =)

Here are a few pics that I took while they were here with us. These were taken with Kodak P850. =)

Caleb on drums

Josh and Burger playing the ring game. It is a game where you swing a metal ring that is dangling from a fishing line, and you try to get it on the hook at the opposite end of the carport.

Jordan and Caleb with Slap the cat

Taite kissing Slap the cat

My Josh!

It was a great day! And just an hour ago, Drea's family came and took Jordan and Josh bike-riding with them! We so appreciate them spending time with our children.

Yard Sale Time!

My friends Drea and Angela are having a yard sale with me. YAY!

We will be moving...somewhere! We think! Everytime we think we have it figured out, God changes our direction. =) Ever have that happen???

My husband David is beginning a residency at a hospital which is about 40 miles from here. We are thinking that it would be better on our family to live near the hospital. He may be there for 2 yrs. The apartments we are looking at are walking distance from the hospital.

BUT, we will continue to attend our church here, and we know God brought us to this area too. So we are not absolutely sure if moving 40 miles is the right choice yet. What we do know is that we need to trim back our monthly expenses. If we lived near the hospital, we could get rid of my van, and use one car for 2 yrs. Since he would walk to the hospital...this would cut our gas costs tremendously! Then we would not have insurance, taxes, upkeep and gas for that second car. Seems all logical to me...but like I said, God may have something else in mind. Afterall, He is God and we are not. =) So ya'll pray for us to walk in His steps and only with His guidance and will for our lives.

Yesterday I tackled my daughter Jordan's room! I was pleasantly surprised that she was ready and willing to let go of items she couldn't bear to part with 6 mons ago when we did this! (She even let go of things that I tried to talk her back into keeping) But she put me in my place and said, "Mom, we ARE simplifying, right??? I don't need these things!" =)

Today we will finish her room, and move onto Josh's. His is a tough-y...he soooo loves ALL of his cars, small hand held superhero guys...stuff like that. Even though he is 10, he still plays with all of his toys. There are so many boys in the neighborhood who think he is a baby for doing so. I'm glad he still plays! Most kids these days are so into video games, and things on the internet that are way too mature for that age. They don't even know how to imagine and play! I told him to feel good about being a kid and enjoying the "playing". =) There is PLENTY of time "later" for more grown up things.

I've got lots of stuff, and looking forward to getting it into the hands of someone in need who can use these items. (Kelly if you want to get in on this yard sale too, we are having it Sept 6th at Drea's.) The more the merrier!

Wish me luck as I sink into the abyss of stuff! hehe

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Angela's baby belly:Eden's toes

This is a photo I took the other day with my friend Angela's Canon SLR camera. I'm so diggin' the SLR! =)

Creative Advise Requested

Today my new friend Angela asked me for advise on picking colors for her home. How exciting!!!

This was interesting to me, since recently I met a lady who does this for a living and I thought to myself, "that sounds like a wonderful way to make a living". I LOVE color...vivid, and lots of it!!! Needless to say, I was quite flattered that in the short time I have known her, she would ask my advise on something so big as coloring the interior of her home!

So, I piled J&J in the van, and headed to her home. Road trip-YAY!

Ok, getting off on a tangent here...but have to get it off my chest:
Now, my daughter J #1...Jordan is 11, and sometimes forgets that she is, in fact, 11. About 1/3 of the way into the process, she jumps right in to what we are doing, and wants to begin making color choices. She did not get the subtle or blatant messages several times over from me, that her place was not to make these types of decisions right now. She was quite persistent! =)

I'm trying to teach her to respect adults, and to remember that she is still a child. Whereas I do allow her to give input many times, and to use her creativity and ideas in our home, there are times where she will not be able to. Quite often I will ask her advise because she truly has a flair for decorating, yet in this case, it was not the time. Choosing paint colors for a home is a BIG deal, and it takes a lot of thoughtful consideration. There were several instances where I had to redirect her while we were working.

Later tonight, Jordan and I had "a talk" about how important it is to respect other adults and their space, and most of all to remember how important obedience is. I told her that she is very creative and talented, and reminded her that as she matures she will have opportunities as she grows older to use her talents in big ways.

It is hard because I do understand that feeling of being child, and wanting to do what the grown ups are doing...(even as OLD as I am, I can remember how strong willed I was too! And still am! hehe).

On the other son Josh, I hardly knew he was there... except for an occasional, "I'm going outside mom".

Anyway, sorry to get off on a tangent there...back to the color! I had no idea how much fun I would have helping decide on interior colors. It was interesting to see Angela's personality come through her color choices, and to see what makes her feel calm, bold, and cozy in her home. It was really neat!

Now...I have to admit it is a little unnerving to think that once the color gets on the walls, all of this good feeling "could" change. You know how unpredictable paint can mysteriously it can change colors once it is dry on the walls. So I pray that the decisive opinions I gave regarding her color choices will be "true" from the can to the walls, and enjoyed long after the paint dries!

It was inspiring to me to be a part of this, and perhaps when we are in a place where I can put color on the walls (we are renting right now and not allowed to change our wall colors), I'll "go for it" too with something rich and bold. I love the colors she decided on. I'm looking forward to seeing the end results, and hope she will be happy with it too. Can't wait!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Feeling Blah!

Today Jordan and I both woke up with stomach bugs...yukko! It is like the bad headache, nausea...for Jordan she had the vomiting...I had the other..."D"...

Anyway, not a pleasant feeling!

Thankfully David and Josh are feeling fine. David preached this evening at our friend's church here in town, and he said it went wonderful!

Josh had a friend to visit us this weekend. We met his mother halfway on Friday to pick him up. At first he wanted to spend the rest of the summer with us, but day 2 into being with us he got really homesick. Last night he cried a couple of broke my heart! His father ended up driving here this morning early to pick him up. It was probably for the best since Jordan and I became sick all about the same time!

Only, Josh was pretty sad that his buddy was leaving. They have been best friends since kindergarten and had attended the same school together back in western NC. Their family moved to the southeast part of NC about the same time we moved to the northeast part. So, both boys have been very homesick for their friends and family back home. They did have a fun time during his visit, even though it was cut a little short. I have some cute photos of the boys that I'll post tomorrow...right now I need sleeeep!

It was just a strange weekend.

I'm looking forward to a productive week this upcoming. I've got a lot of cleaning out and clearing out to do here...more simplifying. =) We really need to have a yard sale next weekend! Not sure if I can pull it together for next weekend though.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fun with the Gilbreaths!

Josh, Eden and Jordan, originally uploaded by jennifercreates.

Today we had a wonderful day with our friend Angela and her sweet daughter Eden. We visited at her home with her animals, picked vegetables, and even talked music!

Then we drove to the home of her church members to check out the animals. You can view more photos HERE.

We had such a fun day! What a blessing! But Angela...after shooting more with your Canon...and after I've already shot with Drea's...I'm totally diggin' the SLR. Looks like that will be on my Christmas List this yr!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Nice Surprise!

Today I went to our friend Drea's to get some accompaniment tracks.

David and I are singing at church tomorrow...we had a song in mind to do that we already knew, but we aren't sure that it is the right one for tomorrow. So Drea gave us some more options. =)

While I was there picked up the CD's, Taite wanted to come home with me to see Josh and Jordan. It was so sweet and also flattering to me that he felt comfortable enough to go with me.

Josh has been a bit down lately, and Taite sure lifted his spirits! Here is a little sneak peak. ( We had videos of him playing in puddles after the rain today, but I could not get them uploaded from my camera...still working on that! )

Thursday, August 7, 2008

J&J in the Raw

This evening my friend Drea tooks some photos of Jordan and Josh in the RAW setting of her professional cam...she even invited me to take a few shots! This is one of my favorites that she took. They are all wonderful! She has such a way of capturing the moment...what a gift!

Check out more on her Flickr.

Thanks Drea! Beautiful job!

What Do You Think About My Work?

These are photos I took at Grandfather Mountain last yr, to be used in a friend's book she is writing about her life...her walk though much pain in her life, to much healing.

Here is one of them:

Jesus says, "Take My Hand, and I'll Walk with You"

Check out my streaming flickr for more photos on this subject. I didn't post all of them, but you will get the idea of where the fear begins, then the fear of facing the bridge of walking through the pain of the past...and Jesus walking each stage through adulthood.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

P.T., Calebs and Burger to the Rescue!

I'm slowly getting the children back into a tighter routine. In the past few weeks, (well since our beach vacation) they had gotten off track from the summer home-schooling that I wanted to keep them on.

They have been playing a lot with the neighborhood kids. Josh doesn't seem to be having good luck with the boys in our neighborhood. He tries to include everyone and just have fun, but some of them like to take the crowd and gang up on one kid. I think since we are pretty much the new kids on the block, Josh is chosen as the one to be picked on. He is good about walking away (he does have a pouting issue we deal with), yet it really bothers him because he so would like to have good christian friends that he can hang with. Or even friends that would not be flat out mean! He has been praying for just one good friend...and he did meet someone, but he lives across town and it is hard getting them together.

It is a good lesson though. We are able to talk about how Jesus is our number one...and He will never let us down. He was persecuted, yet he spoke not a word. And we talked about how our purpose on earth is more than just making a bunch of friends, but about loving others with the love of Christ. Sometimes this is real hard thing to do... love those who are unlovable or who are spiteful and mistreat.

Jordan on the other hand is such a loner, and just enjoys a good book or hanging with me for the most part. She does not like getting caught up in the clicks that some girls tend to form. She can play... then if no one wants to play with her she finds herself a good book.

Today she is spending time with a friend in the neighborhood who she doesn't get to see often because she lives several streets over. She was also invited to swim at the local Country Club. Which was a nice treat! This will be her first time getting to go there!

Josh has been hangin with me most of the day, and been a bit mopey. To get his mind off of his troubles, we have been creating fun videos together...we have a blast doing this! It was something creative for him to keep him attention on.

While we were working on a vid, he looked up and saw Pastor Travis ride by with the boys attached to his bike! hehe. So, Josh got his bike out and rode with them.

Afterwards, P.T. invited Josh to come play with Caleb and Taite B. Now, Josh is much older, but he so loves these little guys, and he really looks up to P.T.! It was a real blessing for Josh to spend time with them.

Here are some photos...

Getting Ready to Ride

Burger Looks Hot! It is 95 degrees here!!

Off They Go!! Thanks Pastor T.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Neat FREE Online Children's Devotional

Today I found a wonderful website for FREE online children's devotions. It is called Hem Of His Garment Bible Study Online

I hope you will check it out.

It is a great devotion for children, and they even have each Bible verse linked to take you directly to a site that has the verses for the day in order for you, which is so user friendly!

Each devotion gives you a verse or few verses that correspond with the short lesson. Then at the end there is a memory verse. The children and I were able to memorize it together right then! We even made up a little rappin' song beat to go with it. (Josh has rhythm)

There are also a few discussion questions at the close, which really open up more opportunities for the children to share and learn about the Lord in ways to apply to their every day lives.

There is so much more on this site to, free course, how to study the word of God and fellowship forums.

I'm so excited about this! The children and I had such GREAT discussions this morning, and fun doing it.

The message today was titled "Fast Food" it is below if you would like to see an example. When you have more time, check out the website. You will be glad you did.

Fast Food

Bible Reading: Psalm 19:7-11; Luke 11:28

"Okay, kids. Into the car," called Dad after Kiara's swimming meet had ended. "We have only half an hour before Keagan's soccer game,"

Mom nodded. "Looks like we'll have to grab a quick supper at some fast food restaurant again!" she exclaimed as she closed her car door.

Keagan let out a whoop. "All right!" he said. "I like this! I could live on fries!"

"Well, I'm actually sorry that we're going to a fast food restaurant again," said Mom as they headed out. "It's really not a very healthy choice."

"In school we're learning about food groups," said Kiara. "We learned that our bodies need something from every group so that we get the right mix of vitamins and nutrients and have the energy we need to grow and be healthy."

Keagan laughed, "I'm fine with the food groups of fries and burgers," he said. "Oh . . . and frozen dairy treats, too! Keep them coming Mom!"

Mom smiled. "I know you like those things, but we need to either figure out a way to eat healthier in spite of our busy schedule or make the schedule less busy."

"We just may have to do that," agreed Dad. "A schedule that's too busy can also interfere with our spiritual diet. We often get a big dose of Bible on Sundays but settle for spiritual 'fast food' the rest of the week-like a quick prayer before meals and only a nibble of a verse here and there on week days."

"I know," said Mom. "I'm afraid we forget the importance of the Bible and all it does for us. Long ago I learned Psalm 19, and it often comes back to my mind. It says God's Word makes us wise, gives us joy, lights our way, and warns us. Plus-when we obey it, we are rewarded!"

"Right," agreed Dad, "and Jesus, Himself, said those who 'hear the Word of God and keep it' are blessed."

"Sounds like the Bible is a healthy choice!" said Kiara.

"Yeah," said Keagan as Dad parked at a fast food place, "but I'm glad we're having supper here!"

Mom smiled. "This will do for tonight," she said, "but it sounds like it's time for our family to make some changes so we can have healthier bodies and healthier souls!"


All Scripture is . . . profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

How About You?
What kind of spiritual food do you get? Do you just get a good meal of God's Word-the Bible-on Sundays? Is prayer just something you quickly squeeze into your day? What specific things can you do today to improve your prayer life and your intake of God's Word so you'll have a healthier relationship with Him? Look over today's Scripture once again and list all the benefits you will get from "eating" more of God's Word.

Key Thought of the Day: The Bible is a "healthy choice"

Today's Keys for Kids is provided courtesy of CBH Ministries. Archives of Keys for Kids are available at the Children's Bible Hour Ministries website.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Great Day to Hang...

It is very sunny today. The perfect day for hanging laundry. This is always when I thank the good Lord for air conditioning because as of right now it is 92 degrees! So it is nice to cool off after hanging.

Laundry Hangin'

Josh's Favorite Shirt

Fruit Hangin'

Kids Hangin'

It was also a great day for the children to hang out with friends to watch their favorite comedian, Tim Hawkins. He is really so funny (remember the "Homeschool Family" video...heehee) and the kids really have enjoyed watching his DVDs. You can catch him on You Tube as well.

Hope your day was full of blessing, even if all you do is "hang". =)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Power of Our Words

My daughter came in this evening from playing, and shared something that really hurt her heart. This really touched me that she was so sensitive to this, and how she realized that whereas we are not a perfect family, she recognized that we did not use some words that some children are used to hearing from their parents.

So I felt compelled to write a message to remind ME first, and to share with all of us as a reminder... how much power is in our words.

In Proverbs 18:21, the Bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. In James 3:4-5 we are taught about how an enormous ship is carried by winds of force, yet it can be steered with such a small rudder. The same is true with our tongue. One word can chance the course of something ENORMOUS in our lives. We can speak life into a situation with our words, or we can speak death with our words.

Jordan was witness to a parent scolding their small child for not getting the door closed all the way tight (something of which is still a challenge even for our 10 and 11 yr olds. They get excited-They get in a hurry-They are still kids who need reminding)

The words she heard from a parent to a little child were, "You don't THINK...This is what you do when you don't get your nap...You become a SELFISH BRAT". These words came from a christian to a small child. Jordan said the tone was stern and scary to her too. The words alone are so piercing for me personally, because for a child who is only kinder/1st grade age, this is very impacting. For ANY child! Basically, these are the words she may begin to believe about herself. "I don't think"..."I am a selfish brat".

It really got me thinking about my own self, and when I get a bit "beside myself" and speak in short tones. Or at times I "react" and say something I really don't mean. (Even our vocal tones, facial expressions and body language can speak life or death to our children) It caused me to revisit again how much power our words hold. It reminded me again to remember to speak to our children with life-giving words, expressions, and body language.

I once read that what we tell our children, (and how we treat our children), is what they will believe of themselves. This was years ago when I read this and to be honest, I am not sure of the title of the book either. It did make an impression on me though. At that time, I made a deliberate choice to speak words to our children that are corrective to the behavior, but not degrading to their character.

If you tell a child, "You are dumb, You are a brat...You are disappointed in them"... etc. Children really do believe us, and they will begin to believe that these words define who they truly are.

Personally, I think there are many other ways to teach lessons to our children, and to train a child to remember responsibilities, without degrading them.

Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech always be with "grace", seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one".

I think GRACE is the key word that jumps out to me here. If we all as adults/parents truly think about how our heavenly Father bestows us with grace and mercy, (even in the midst of our shortcomings and mistakes), why would we not do so with one another and especially our own children? We receive grace and mercy from God, yet we do not extend this example to our own precious children... who are small and learning so much about life from the "big people".

God disciplines us so lovingly and patiently. This is so how I want to be with our children!

This is a challenge for me (I am preaching to myself here first) because I was brought up in a home where critical words were a part of our every day lives. If someone is brought up in a home where they are constantly degraded and told how wrong they do everything, it is a difficult bondage to break in adulthood. In most cases this bad habit repeats to their children and children's children...unless the cycle is broken. This takes purposeful and thoughtful chosing; to think about EVERY word that is about to proceed out of our mouths. It takes training...take it from me... I certainly don't EVEN have it all down in this area! Most of all, it takes staying in the word of God and in prayer.

I'll never give up trying! I hope you won't either.

With God ALL things are possible!! We can "...take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ" the Bible says in 2 Corin 10:5.

Lord, I pray to be a parent who disciplines with great love and compassion. That I would be a parent who chooses my every word carefully and thoughtfully... so that I may speak LIFE into our children, and not death. That even when they misbehave...I'll correct the behavior in a loving and nurturing way. That every day I will remind our dear children of who Jesus says they are. I pray that I will not label who they are by their misbehavior. I pray that in times that I do "mess up", that you would give me the awareness to recognize and STOP right then, forgive myself, and to be real enough to let them know I was wrong. Right then!

May we as parents extend the same love to our children that you extend to us, Dear Father. May we love with your kind of love as in 1 Corinthians 13 where you tell us:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.

May we truly BE love, and LIVE love out as examples of Christ's love to our children.

I am writing with a heart full of compassion regarding this subject, and with much desire to work on serve the Lord wholly through my parenting.
In Jesus name, Amen!