November is Here!

In this month’s Family Time column, we talked about making turkey cookies in a jar. Click HERE to make these cookies with your family! Also, don’t forget to check out THIS POST for this month’s Family Time Calendar.

Have a great Friday, y’all!

 

Printable Scripture Word Art: Matthew 5:6

Just click on the link below for your free, printable Scripture Word Art from HomeLife!!

Scripture Word Art Matthew 5:6

Heart Warming Links for Your Tuesday

Have a wonderful day!!

Printable Scripture Word Art: Psalm 75:3

Scripture Printable Nov

Scripture Printable Nov

Tips for Scripture Reading with Little Ones

I like to read Scripture to my children while they eat lunch. This is not Bible “study” time. This is just them hearing the Word (and a little commentary from their mother because they just don’t get enough of that during the day!) I do this during lunch because they are all together, seated, have full mouths and are unable to interrupt. For those of you working outside of the home, you could do this at breakfast or dinner or bath time. Now, before you become too impressed, please know that I have been doing this for several weeks now and we are only on Genesis 16 and this is with me skipping the part about Noah getting gassed and naked because, well, who has time for that?kitchen bible

The fact is that there are days when I get about three verses read before the baby cries or someone steals their sister’s pickle or the 3 year old falls out of her chair. At first, this stressed me because I had this vision in my head of a chapter each day. I am a list maker and a list checker offer, so I have to guard my heart against making Scripture reading just another to-do item to get done.

I started the lunch time reading because I wanted the Bible, God, Christ to not be compartmentalized. Sure, we study Bible during school. But I don’t want it to be just a subject that they have between math and Science. I encourage them to have private time with the Lord during the day. But I don’t want their relationship with God to just be something they do at the end of the day in their beds. I want Christ to be what their lives are all about. I want their faith to be as natural and as necessary as their next breath.

So, I read – and here are some things I am learning along the way.

Tips for Scripture Reading with Little Ones

  • Have a designated Bible that stays in the kitchen.  If you have to run and find a Bible each day, it will never become a lasting habit. At first, I kept one on the window sill. It was a little out of sight, though, so I would often forget. Now, it sits in a bowl in the middle of our table.
  • Don’t have a preconceived notion of how much you will read each day. If you only get two verses read before someone has a meltdown, don’t sweat it. Smile, close it up and know that tomorrow is another day.
  • Point out interesting facts that they may miss. For instance, point out that Abraham was promised a child when he was 75 years old. Issac, however, was not born until he was 100 years old. No in depth study here. Just an acknowledgement that, sometimes, we must be patient as we wait for God’s promises.
  • Don’t be afraid to paraphrase. We are not having seminary classes here. If you think the words or content are beyond your little one’s understanding – use your own words.

Just have fun with it. In twenty years, your kids will not remember that you could not pronounce the name of a city or person. They will, however, remember growing up in a home where God was honored and His Word was read.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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You may also find these Bible Study Tips for Busy Moms helpful!

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

GIVEAWAY: Celebrating 5,000 Likes on Facebook!

We have reached 5,000 fans on Facebook!thank you

As our way to say “thank you” to our FABULOUS readers, we have some goodies to give away. Click on the link below to enter your name for a chance to win. You can get up to three entries!

Y’all are so very loved!

It’s a giveaway!

Some Lovely Links to Start Your Week

Here are some of my favorite reads from around the web.

Enjoy!

Whatever Monday brings your way, sweet friends, you are so very loved!

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

25 Ways to Refresh Your Spirit

The high today is 68 degrees in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This makes my heart so very happy. I’m throwing the windows open, lighting a pumpkin spice candle and listening to the sounds of children playing in the yard. snowman mug

There is just something about the freshness of a new season that just makes everything, for a moment, seem okay. Those bills piling up on your desk? Yeah, they can totally wait. That to-do list of yours? Not today, my friend. This day is for refreshing your spirit and reflecting on the goodness of your God.

25 Ways to Refresh Your Spirit

  1. Warm some apple cider on the stove.
  2. Open all of the windows in your home.
  3. Listen to the sounds of nature.
  4. Eat lunch outside.
  5. Visit a pumpkin patch.
  6. Stretch out on the ground and watch the clouds.
  7. Play some music.
  8. Light a candle.
  9. Rearrange the furniture.
  10. Write in a journal.
  11. Count your blessings.
  12. Read.
  13. Bake some bread.
  14. Take a walk.
  15. Just breathe.
  16. Go to a park and sit on a swing.
  17. Sing an old hymn.
  18. Write a note to an old friend.
  19. Take some silly pictures of your kids.
  20. Take some silly pictures of yourself.
  21. Cook something you normally only make on special occasions.
  22. Tell someone that you love them.
  23. Take a break from social media.
  24. Pray.
  25. Have ice cream for lunch.

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

Pastor Appreciation: 5 Ways to Say Thanks

With apologies to Gary Chapman for playing on his well-known Five Love Languages theme, I asked 24 pastors how a church member might speak to each pastor in his own love language. Though 24 persons don’t constitute a massive survey, I was amazed at the consistency of the responses.

To fit the theme of five, I determined at the onset that I would only report the top five responses. To my surprise, there was an obvious break between the fifth and sixth most frequent responses. Thus, the five love languages were a natural fit.

So how can you speak a love language to your pastor? Here are the pastors’ top five responses in order of frequency. I offer a representative response from one of the pastors for each of the five.

Express Your Gratitude

Books. “I have a limited family budget, so I can’t just go out and buy a bunch of books. But I sure do love books. One year a deacon gave me a $200 gift card to a Christian bookstore. I was estatic! Now the church gives me a $300 book allowance each year. I know it’s not much for the type of books I get, but I sure am grateful.”

Encouraging notes. “I treasure every word of affirmation I get. It helps to soothe the pain of the criticisms. I keep all of my notes of encouragement in a box, and I sometimes read many of them at one time to remind myself how blessed I am. I particularly appreciate handwritten notes. I know the church member took time to write that to me.”

Time guardians. ” My most encouraging church members are those who try to help me protect my time. They do everything they can to make sure I have enough time to prepare for my sermons and spend time with my family. They’re able to speak to other members about my time constraints in a way I am not.”

Compliments about children. “There are times I feel sorry for my three kids. They’re good kids, but they aren’t perfect. They live in a glass house, and any wrong move they make usually gets the attention of a church member. But I have a few church members who go out of their way to tell me the good about my children. One sincere compliment about one of my three kids makes my day.”

Defenders. “You know, I deal with critics, and I realize that in any leadership position, there are those who will judge. My greatest hurt takes place when my supporters remain silent in the face of intense criticism toward me. They’re more afraid of rocking the boat than speaking the truth. But I have one church member who always speaks a defending word for me unless he thinks I’m wrong. Then he speaks to me privately. I could use a dozen church members like that.”

Church members, do you speak any of these love languages to your pastor?

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Thom S. Rainer serves as the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys in life are his family: his wife, Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer publishes a daily blog at thomrainer.com and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

There’d Be Days Like This, My Mama Said

I had three crying kids before I could even brush my teeth. The three year old wanted to be in the school room with us, but did not want any part of schooling.  I found where someone had been playing in the Desitin and, then, wiped their hands on the carpet. If you have ever tried to clean that stuff up, you understand my pain. Interruption after interruption and I knew this school day was going nowhere. walmart

I decided we would go to Walmart – where the floors are always sticky, the buggies are always squeaky and the cashier is sure to roll her eyes when she sees your stack of coupons. Because, after all, isn’t that what any mother would do when her kids are all tired and whining and fighting. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t my best idea ever.

I’m not saying that the baby was unhappy, but three different people stopped me to say they thought my little one may be tired. The suggestion here was, Please take your screaming baby home. I was determined, though. I went down the cereal aisle and, as my children began fighting over who could get the Pop tarts off of the shelf, an older lady handed me a box of granola bars and asked if I could read the ingredients to her. So, I did. It was a long list, y’all. After every couple of words I would look around, count the kids (1, 2, 3, 4 – okay), and continue.

Next, she handed me another box of granola bars and asked if I thought they were also fiber bars. I just didn’t know. She explained her dietary issues to me and turned slightly away from me to scan the other options. I was still holding the items she had handed me. I didn’t really know if I was supposed to leave or continue to stand there. Eventually, she thanked me and took her items and we moved on.

Two aisles later, the baby is still crying, one kid is walking backwards and one is insisting that I pretend she is a new kid whom we don’t know. Another lady walks up and says that she is new to this store and can I show her where the milk is located. Not tell her, mind you, but show her. So, off we go to the opposite corner of the store.

At this point, I knew that this grocery shopping trip was a wash. I looked at my buggy: some toothpaste, brown sugar and Pop tarts. Surely, I can make a meal out of that. 20120903-130942.jpg

As we are leaving, my eldest looks at me and says, ” You helped two people in there, mama. I guess that’s why God wanted us to go there.”

I just hope everyone remembers that when I’m serving Pop tarts for dinner.

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.