Family

Happy Birthday Poem for Liz

Dearest Lizzie,

Of all your wonderful years on earth (so far!)
I’ve known you more than half
You may have even grown more wise – but
Still act the eejit to make me laugh

You most of all, have sacrificed a lot
Continually putting the kids and I before yourself
I tried to be like you on Mother’s Day
But it was much too exhausting that I had to stop

Your birthday is one of my favorite days
Because I get to spend it all with you
And with our little mini-me’s at school
We get to do whatever WE want to do

(Just kidding, Nathan, gossssh. Sort of.)

Before I close I need to say
How drop-dead gorgeous you look today
I hope I look as good as you
When I reach 21 too.

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Family

I Need To Leave Grown-Up World

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Katie and Me

We sat around after dinner the other night to do our family devotion. The scripture was from Philippians 2:5-11, and is about how God left his world and came into ours – in human form.

As we read through the story that accompanies the scripture verse, this following section really challenged me.

No matter how grown up you get, you need adults to show interest in your activities and concerns. Your need for attention is met when a caring adult leaves the grown-up world for a period of time and gets into your world.

God intends for us to get that kind of attention showered on us through our families. When we receive that attention, we know that we matter to others – and to God. We feel significant. We feel like we are worth spending time on.

I love my kids so much and we do a lot together, but I don’t take enough time to completely leave everything in my world and come spend quality time in their world.

Liz has been setting a good example with this for a while. She will take the kids individually on ‘dates’. This is time that Liz can fully immerse herself in their world and they have her undivided attention without distractions from their siblings.

This weekend I am starting this practice and attempting to weave it in regularly to my schedule. Katie and I will be going for some breakfast and shopping for a dress.

I’m really looking forward to it!

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Family, Resources

Family Devotion Time

We try to do a daily devotion with our kids each night around the dinner table. Each of the devotions are written at such a level, that even our youngest (8) can fully participate in the conversation.

Family What?

“Family devotions”, you say!  “They’re one of those families”, you exclaim!

I used to think the same thing before we made ourselves adopt this habit.  We still have a TV, we still send our kids to public school, and we don’t have a large smacking paddle engraved with verses of scripture – and yet we have family devotion time.

It’s A Gauge.

Previously I could have told you my kids knew Jesus, but that’s really all I would have had to say.  Now after daily dialog, I can gauge how deep their relationships with God really are.  I can discern where they need encouragement or have questions.

To my surprise, I’ve actually been blown away with some of the answers my kids have been coming out with during our discussions.

Praying Together.

I do like it when the kids pray – especially on behalf of the family as whole. It’s like they have a stake in our family walk with God.  They get to talk to God on our behalf and conclude our devotion time.

It’s also a wonderful habit to form – not just being comfortable to pray in front of people, but regular prayer time with God.

Unity and Peacefulness.

Everyone looks forward to it.  The kids remind us if it looks like we are going to forget.  We have always aimed to eat together around a table each evening, so it was a fairly natural progression to tag on our devotion time.

It’s a time of family unity, and peacefulness (most of the time).  We all are focused on one thing together for a short time each day and there’s something very rewarding about that.

Challenge

If you don’t already do this with your family, why not give it go?  The book we currently use is One Year Book of Josh McDowell’s Family Devotions 2 (Beyond Belief Campaign) and I’d highly recommend it.

If you try it, I’d love to know how you get on.

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