Category Archives: family

Can I Help You?

IMG_0169Jesus said to me “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28

As a church member entered the building with her cane in one hand and her purse in the other, I offered her help.  She handed me her purse, grabbed my elbow and said, “I never refuse help.” It was such a refreshing response. Many times when we offer help, we are met with rejection. “No, I’ve got it.” “No thanks, I’m good.” And, many times we respond that way when we are asked. Now I understand that sometimes when we are holding things just so, handing one item off would upset our balance, but many times we simply could accept the help and don’t.  So why don’t we?

Most of us would ask for help if we were lifting a refrigerator, but we avoid getting help with the smaller things.  The same may hold true when we are talking about our spiritual burdens. If a real crisis hits, we go to God, but these little pesky everyday burdens we choose to handle on our own.  We all know that if you keep adding pebbles to a bucket, the bucket eventually gets too heavy to carry and I believe the same holds true for our pesky burdens. They will keep adding up until they become too heavy to carry and then we will turn them over to the Lord.  We don’t have to do that. We can share our little burdens with God, just as we can accept help with some of the little tasks we face in our lives. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

So, for your spiritual burdens, give even the little ones to God and for your physical burdens, share them with your friends and family. That way we all get to participate in God’s plan for us.

Thanks, friend, for accepting the offer of my help.  I think it actually helped us both.

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Filed under Devotionals, family, Inspirational, Life, Scriptures

Want to Make a Difference?

IMG_0225While cleaning out my closet this past week, I came across a piece of paper with “If I really wanted to make a difference, I would ________”  written on it. The blank wasn’t filled in, and I have no idea when it was written, but I wonder what I would’ve filled in during that time.  If I had written it when I was a child, it might’ve said, “If I really wanted to make a difference, I would clean my room or study more.”  Maybe when I was mothering younger children, it would’ve read, “If I really wanted to make a difference, I would make my kids turn off the TV and play outside more.” But how should I answer it today?  What should I write in the blank?

If I really wanted to make a difference, I would _______.  Wait.  This time around, I realize I don’t have to include the blank.  It can be a complete sentence and a complete thought. “If I really wanted to make a difference, I would.”  I know how to make a difference and I have opportunities to do it every day.  If I really wanted to make a difference, I would raise funds for Haiti.  If I really wanted to make a difference, I would bake bread for my father in law. If I really wanted to make a difference I would organize a Salvation Army red kettle drive for our community. If I really wanted to make a difference, I would donate clothes to our local clothing drive or food for our local food cupboard.  If I really wanted to make a difference, I would help someone carry their groceries to the car. If I really wanted to make a difference, I would.

The season is upon us when we have the opportunity to make a difference in a variety of ways.  Instead of waiting to fill in the blank and consider what you would do to make a difference, just do it.  If you really wanted to make a difference, you would.  And, if you need any ideas on how just give me a call!

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In all things I have shown you how, working like this, you must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  — Acts 2035

Let every man give according to the purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. — 2 Corinthians 9:7

And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, truly I tell you, he shall in no way lose his reward.  –Matthew 10:42

Give and it will be given to you: Good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will men give unto you.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you. –Luke 6;38

James 1:22 says ” Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” 

 

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Filed under family, Inspirational, Life, Scriptures, Uncategorized

Decluttering

IMG_0170In the last few years, I have been taking a slow and steady approach to ridding my home of excess.  Remember, I said SLOW but I also said steady.  It has been on my mind and quite honestly, I have made some progress, but there is a lot more that needs to be done.  I have enrolled in an online course to try to implement some of the things I know about simplifying and decluttering my home.  It’s early in the course, but one exercise that was recommended was to walk through your home and look at each room, see what it is you like about the room and also note was is excess that you don’t even enjoy. THEN, (this is the hard part) get a garbage bag and within an hour, walk through your home and fill the garbage bag with things you don’t want. My level of anxiety was going up just as I read the instructions.  I know things are lurking in my home that I don’t need or want, but I also don’t want to get rid of them.  Why is that?

Fortunately, the article I was reading suggested that you might find garbage and outdated magazines and clothes that don’t fit.  OK, I can do that…but can I? A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out a portion of my basement and came across lids for large storage containers.  18 to be exact.  18 storage container lids with no containers! Apparently, I didn’t want to throw out the lid because I was sure that I would find the container, but either the container got lost or broken and it’s lid remained.  They are gone now, but I’m sad to say that some of those lids date back a couple of decades! In the spring, I cleared out over 30 wine glasses from my cupboard.  That’s a lot of wine glasses for a Red Solo cup kind of girl! Just for fun as I rid myself of some of these items, I will count them. It may entertain me, but at this point, it also may sadden me. I have SO much.  I have been so blessed and there are so many that don’t have anything. I want to be ever mindful of the less fortunate.  As I go through my house, I hope I find things that I can give away so that others can find a use for and I look forward to getting rid of the tote lids and other useless things! Care to venture a guess on how many unmatched socks I might find?

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Looking for Kindness or Compassion?

IMG_1497I am raising a 13-year-old girl.  (Applause please.)  No, seriously, I am raising a 13-year-old daughter and the truth is I’ve done this twice before, so I know I will survive it, but this time around I seem to struggle more with this reality.  The fact is 13-year-old girls are mean.  Not all of the girls all of the time, but all of the girls some of the time, including my daughter and yours!  The variable of this fact is that you never know which girl may be mean at which time.  My daughter will come home from school one day and say, “Can so-and-so come over to spend the night?” And I have to respond, “Is she even speaking to you this week?”  So, one minute, best friend, next minute, not speaking.  And, from what I’m hearing, this is not just occurring in my home, but in homes of Junior High girls everywhere. I googled “mean girls” and got 1,760,000,000 results in only 1.7 seconds! So I’m certain it just isn’t my daughter or in my house!

This fall I’ve been wondering what I, as a concerned mom, can do about it.  I decided that any time I had a captive audience (which means I’m driving teen girls somewhere) I would instill a message of kindness.  So, the standard “lecture” goes like this: “Hey, welcome! You get to get a quick little lecture from me! Have you ever had someone not talking to you? (the answer is always yes!) How does that feel? (bad, obviously.) Then, for goodness sake, don’t do that to someone else!  I am here to tell you that you should be kind.  Just be kind.  If everyone would just start acting kind no one would have to feel that way.” So in less than one minute, I can suggest that this teen be kind.  I then, write the name of that person on a silk leaf, place it on the wall and add members to this elite group when I can.  Currently there 12 girls who have officially been prompted to be kind.

But today, I wonder if I am missing something.  I’ve been talking a lot about random acts of kindness and kindness in general, but being kind means to just be friendly, generous and considerate.  All good qualities, but with these teen girls, I think we need to elevate it a bit and get them to become compassionate.  Compassion is being sympathetic and showing concern for others. So, while kindness may make us do something for someone, compassion is a feeling.  I want these girls to recognize how their actions make others feel. I think that alone will motivate them to be kinder.

It’s one thing to sit with a lonely person at lunch so that you can tell your mom that you did it later when she asks, but it’s another to really look at this lonely person and feel what she feels. To sit with someone that no one else is sitting with because you care about their feelings because you know what it would feel like if it were you.  That’s what I want these girls to recognize.

So, I guess I will modify the “lecture” a bit and promote compassion over kindness, and I also think I will recognize for myself that this, too, will pass. In a few short years, these girls will have survived this awkward mean stage and will truly become who they were meant to be!

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Be Kind & compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. — Col 3:12

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one antoher, be compassionate and humble. –1 Peter 3:8

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Filed under Big Kids, family, Parenting, Uncategorized

A Book Review -Teaching Art in the Primary Grades

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About the Book

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Book: Teaching Art

Author: Jerry E. Twitchell

Genre: Nonfiction  EDUCATION/Teaching Methods & Materials/Arts & Humanities

Release Date: February 20, 2019

As Simple as 1-2-3

Everything needed to structure and teach an effective art program for grades one to three is made simple for the home-school parent or teacher.

This step-by-step process for teaching art is perfect for home-school teachers or parents with limited art skills or time to create their own programs. This system of insight, responses to judgments, ideas, and feelings aligns with public school and state visual arts requirements.

Teaching Art in the Primary Grades is designed to foster lifelong interest in the arts, provide a gauge of what can be expected of children at various ages and grade levels, and present a baseline for measuring growth and skill.

Lesson plans with goals, objects, time frames, techniques, steps, illustrated examples, and assessment of growth are included.

Click here to get your copy.

 

“Time for Art!”

Jerry E. Twitchell’s book Teaching Art in the Primary Grades does all the work for you so that you can simply say “Time for Art!” and dive right in. This 319-page book appealed to me from the moment I saw the cover and the simple structure.  The introduction prepares you to confidently teach art skills to your students. The grades are divided by units and lessons complete with goals, expectations, and ways to assess progress.

As a former homeschooling mom, I could envision my daughters completing each session.  While instructing on cutting, modeling, drawing, painting, and weaving,etc., Twitchell looks at so much more than simply the procedure. He adds important reminders regarding the child’s development, self-worth, and pride.  He reminds the teacher/parent to be aware of the differences in artistic abilities and achievements and also gives instances where the art project can be integrated into other academic subjects. He gives many examples of open-ended questions to ask the child so that you can encourage their creativity while furthering communication and understanding.

Though presented in an appealing simplistic way, it is not lacking in educational merit. It is full of concepts and terminology that were new to me. (I must admit that I didn’t know a weft from a warp, do you?) The author’s love of children and love of art is evident on each page and I believe that using this book as a curriculum will foster a love of art in all. I look forward to sharing this book with our school district’s art teacher!

About the Author

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Jerry E. Twitchell, DEd, is a retired educational administrator and art and history instructor. With over thirty years of experience as a teacher and principal, Jerry has nurtured primary through secondary students to experience the excitement of art. In his work with parents, teachers, and especially children, he has sought to bring to life a love and passion for art.

More from Jerry

Ever since I was young, I have always loved art.  It was only natural for me to be teaching and sharing the love of art to young people. Over the years, a number of parents, students and fellow teachers and administrators suggested that I should write a book about teaching art, particularly to the emerging beginning artist.  This would hopefully help them gain confidence in themselves in return would flow into their reading and writing subjects. After retiring, pondering and headaches, I started putting it together and throwing around ideas to myself on what should be included and “Wala”…..here it is.

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 12

Mary Hake, September 12

A Baker’s Perspective, September 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 14

Kathy Anderson, September 14

Vicky Sluiter, September 15

Lis Loves Reading, September 16

Creating Romance, September 17

janicesbookreviews, September 18

Texas Book-aholic, September 19

Quiet Workings, September 19

A Reader’s Brain, September 20

Older & Smarter?, September 21

Inklings and notions , September 22

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 23

The Artist Librarian, September 23

For Him and My Family, September 24

Beck To Basics, September 24

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Jerry is giving away Gift basket with Basic art Supplies, Stack Card and a Athabascan People of The North coloring book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ec3a/teaching-art-celebration-tour-giveaway

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

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Filed under family, Little Kids, Reading, Uncategorized

“Please Pray”

please prayWell actually it said “Please Pry” but I knew what he meant.  I received the familiar text while visiting my Mom. The pit in my stomach is as real as the PTSD I suffer from parenting a child from hard places.  I now get to sit and wait for the phone to ring with the explanation of why I need to pray.

It could be that a friend is sick, it could be that he lost his key or more probable, he’s in trouble.   He admitted at work to some wrongdoing on Friday so I knew that he may be facing consequences today and I thought I prepared him mentally for this.  Did I?  Does he “get it?”  Will he learn from these consequences? Is there any way to rectify this wrong? I don’t know because I don’t even know what I’m praying about.

But, I do pray. When the bible says to “pray without ceasing” I didn’t realize that it meant that I would pray without ceasing for this child from the moment I met him. I didn’t realize that he would be in constant need of prayer. And, I definitely need more direction for the prayer. WHAT IS GOING ON? What am I praying about? There is a chance that I am the one needing prayer.  I need prayer to actually be able to pray about this situation whatever it is.  I am betting that I need to pray that I will have the grace to handle the call when it comes. I need strength to hear about yet another failing. I need prayer to not allow this situation to undo all the good that we have been working on.

So, you know what…I will pray.  I will be thankful and pray that he will use the skills that he has been gifted with. I will pray that he is with someone who can comfort him. I will pray that the consequence is fair and just. I will pray that he will learn from his mistake. But in all honesty, I’m praying that the phone will ring and that this suspense will be over soon!

I’d like to tell you that I will fill you in later, but chances are, it won’t be something that I will care to share.  BUT, I will give God the glory for getting us through whatever it is that we are going through.

And, hey, “please pray.”

 

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

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Filed under family, Inspirational, Trauma-mama, Uncategorized

Tuesday News Day!

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Sarah is working on a new procedure at work, Nicole bought a TV, Lori had her friends build a human pyramid, Kevin made a new friend, Paul saw a movie, Linda was sick with the flu, Kaylee had a school snow day, Cale bought a couch and George has been busy cleaning up after the house flooded. These are all examples of the latest news in our family.

Starting in January 2019, I wanted to come up with a way to stay in communication with all of my kids who live in varying parts of the country and to try to keep them in contact with each other.  Hence, the creation of Tuesday’s News Day!  The group text is sent to Seattle, Denver, Richmond, New Castle and to some within the same house.  I begin with a short recap text of what I’ve been up to in the last week and invite the rest to chime in.  It’s been such a fun, easy way to learn more about each other and what our typical or less than typical week looks like.

Scrolling past over the last 8 weeks I see where I finished reading Little Women, George is grateful for the book Cale bought him for Christmas, Nicole spent time in Florida, Kevin has been trying new recipes, Sarah binged on a podcast, Cale is trying to walk more, Lori took a Lyra class, Kaylee was cast in a musical & Paul went with his Dad to see the movie Escape Room.

Though I wish we all lived closer, I take comfort in knowing that on Tuesday, my phone will chime multiple times as people report in.  Gone are the days of waiting for handwritten letters in the mail, even live voice phone calls are sometimes hard to fit in, but the well-timed Tuesday text brings joy to all!

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“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”  –Romans 10:15 NKJ

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I’m so grateful to those who bring glad tidings!!

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