Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Teachable Moment About Social Invitations

Mothers: Have you ever turned down a social invitation in order to spend time with your family or tend to your home? Tell your children (especially your daughters). That's a great opportunity to teach them that one, it's okay to say no sometimes, two, family time should be protected and treasured, and three, that you DO have a life and friends outside of your home.

And by the way . . . say YES to one or two of those invitations!

#guardfamilytime #beinterestingtoyourchildren

Monday, March 23, 2020

Don’t Waste Your Coronavirus Quarantine

I can honestly say that if it weren’t for the robust sermon that my pastor preached the last time we met in person, my Loopy Factor would be substantially higher than today’s meter is registering.

One of my biggest lightbulb moments occurred when he referenced John Piper’s “don’t waste” series (don’t waste your life, your time, your cancer, etc.) Our pastor encouraged us to embrace this time at home—be still, and figure out how not to waste this unprecedented time.

Well, I’m always at home. My office-based career changed when a sweet-smelling little 8-pounder was placed in my arms. I come from a long line of homebodies, so I have plenty of stamina for this time. But I don’t want these days to look like all the others.

I started thinking of my children, who are always watching (especially my little one--anyone else have a Nosy Rosey?) This is a big deal, a historical event, and something that will be talked about for years to come. It’s my job to make an impact. What will they see over these next few weeks?

I want them to see me submit to authority. Regardless of our personal feelings about elected officials, they have a huge team of highly trained scientists giving them advice. They want success, and success to them means a low number of deaths in our country. Now would be a great time to consider Hebrews 13:17 as a family.

I want them to see me treasuring our family time. We’ve seen the jokes about how we’d almost rather take our chances with this virus than have to teach our children Proof Theory, but be careful that they don’t overhear you complaining about having extra time with them. (Matthew 18:10)

I want them to see me acting out of faith-filled confidence. You know the deal—trust the Lord and wash your hands. Hope for vaccines and medicine and good health, but don’t turn any of that into an idol. (Proverbs 14:26)

I want them to see me loving my community. I will be checking on my elderly friends daily, and if they need food or medicine or even if they just get a hankering for their favorite brand of gingersnaps, I’m going to be available to them. (Galatians 6:10)

I want them to see me being resilient. This one is hard for all of us; even our most extroverted and spontaneous loved ones still like their routines, right? But no one’s life turns out exactly the way we expect (and if yours has so far, then hang on). You know how you put an address into the GPS but then ignore its directions for a few steps? What message pops up on the screen? “Recalculating.” That’s what we all need to learn to do in these days. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

These are also days to relax the rules a bit. There should be pajama parties, slightly later bedtimes (don’t go crazy—kids need structure, and you need that time to spend with your spouse or to take time for yourself), movie and popcorn nights, and a lot of family time. Our grandchildren are going to ask our children what this experience was like. Let’s plant some seeds (and make some memories)!

--Andrea (with gratitude and virtual hugs to Pastor Chuck Parker)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Tradition of Faith

There's a new trend that we are loving: buy a new Bible with extra large margins and then spend a year (or more) reading it, highlighting your favorite passages, and writing notes in the margins--for the purpose of giving it to your oldest child. Then buy another one and start all over for your next child. Some couples divide them up--Mom does Bibles for the girls and Dads for the boys.

Have you done this for your children? Please join our Facebook discussion and tell us all about it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

For Our Daughters

A lesson for our daughters:

LEARN TO TAKE A COMPLIMENT with the grace and ladylike manner the good Lord intended for you!

YOU are HIS creation . . . and it is GOOD!

Friday, February 28, 2020

A special day for us . . . .

If she has ever prayed for you, mentored you, encouraged you, made you laugh, or brightened your day, please join us in wishing Stacey Watts a happy birthday weekend!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Encourage Independence

If your children are over age two, encourage their independence.

Let go of the lie that boundaries are bad.

Children must learn to do for themselves in order to desire doing for others. Esteeming a child to the point that he still believes he is the center of your world beyond age two produces the opposite result most well-intentioned parents want. Your goal is to foster self respect, which grows respect for others.

Holding on to your image of that sweet babe (who, just yesterday was swaddled so tight!), keeps him and YOU from much happiness and growth.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Managing fear

Whether it's a big storm or a weird shadow in the middle of the night, scary moments are going to happen for our children. When they do, you can bet they'll be watching to see how WE react to them. Adults who are calm and fully in charge in the home allow their children to be children: less anxiety and more self-confidence.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A Message for Wives

Starting off the year thinking about R-E-S-P-E-C-T . . . and ladies, who craves it more than our men?

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Blogspot!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Stay Off the Hot Mess Express

My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.”  --I John 4:1 (the Message)

A colleague and I were talking recently about current events, and we got into a discussion about feel-good messages. There seems to be a movement geared toward women—especially self-proclaimed exhausted mothers—with a lot of empty, pseudo-biblical banners. I commented, "You don't go to church to hear what you want to hear but to hear what you need to hear." Sure, no one wants their toes stepped on (figuratively or literally—kids, I’m looking at you!) but I tell ya, those hard sermons and conversations are always the most personal, and they stick with me long after my Sunday afternoon nap. 

We’re living in a society where books, conferences, Pinterest posts, and Facebook memes are supposed to bandage the parts of our lives that need repentance and the grace of Christ. The fact that we continue to seek self-help books and messages proves that they aren’t helping us; otherwise, we’d read the one book, get our lives together, and then go spend our hard-earned dollars elsewhere. 

Despite the warm fuzzies all these “well-intentioned” messages send, RARELY do we hear what we NEED to hear, and thus starts a cycle that begins to define us as well as our relationships. Oh sure, there may be mantras to get up, get it together, you are woman, take up your banner . . . but are we following sound theology as we go a-marching? As women, we are also a pretty prideful group, no matter how far off the rails we’ve gotten riding the Hot Mess Express. It’s almost as if the bigger your “mess,” the better your yoga pants.  

By the way, life as a woman is so much more than yoga pants, wine, dry shampoo and *gasp* being mom . . . I digress.

While feel-good messages make us feel—well, good (for a bit)—they don’t call us to action. They just comfort us while we stay in our collective mess. So many lessons are left unlearned because the steps to learn them are unpopular or too harsh. I'd venture a guess frustration and joy are painfully amiss in these situations as well.

When you think about the woman that God created you to be, what does she look like? Is she a hesitant, self-absorbed girl who is wearing yoga pants and a messy bun, drinking wine and pouring over a “go get ‘em, girl” book filled with vague, empty messages that aren’t even biblical? Or is she respectable, confident, and hard-working? Is she timidly searching the internet for answers to her questions, or is she a person who seeks and speaks truth, understands what true love is, and acts as a formidable authority in her own home?

Want some real truth in this area?  Titus 2 is where it’s at!

Who do you go to when you need advice on womanhood? Marriage? Parenting? Careers? Bible study? Take a careful look at who’s trying to sell you their books and get you to come to their conferences. Do they have their act together? Do you see fruit in their lives? Are they motivated by sales, celebrity, and owning the most polished corner of the internet, or do they have a passion for seeing you become a thriving woman in Christ?

And for that matter, do these people even KNOW the Bible?

When you’re reading God’s Word and seeking His heart, then there will be times that you’ll feel comforted, protected, loved, and satisfied. Celebrate those moments! But ladies, if you’re not also fairly regularly feeling corrected, convicted, humbled, and flat-out schooled, then that ain’t the gospel!

Our children need discipline and correction. Well, guess what? We do too. And we need friends, mentors, and heroes who are willing to remind you that life is not all about you, it’s about Christ, and if you’re wallowing in your own mess, then you need a reality check. We NEED to hear what is painful, we NEED correction, we NEED to redefine acts of love. If, as parents, we never correct our children or allow them to fail—or, God forbid, be sad--how are we showing them true love?  A child NEEDS to see a husband put his wife first and vice versa.  A child NEEDS to know a husband and wife that lead in the home. A child NEEDS to hear “no.”  A child NEEDS limitation. But most of all, a child NEEDS you to step up and be confident in who Christ calls us to be:  a loving authority in the home modeled after His love and correction in our relationships with Him.

As women, we should not embrace the mess as a collective effort. We are better than that, y’all!

Know His truth. Embrace the hard messages with the fuzzy ones. Tear up your ticket for the Hot Mess Express. Let those toes hang out!

Chipped polish and bruises are calling cards of something great.