Posted by: naeliz04 | May 19, 2012

Proverbs 31:1-2

1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. 2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! Proverbs 31:1-2

Reading this makes me think of my boys and how much we pray that they learn to listen and obey, right away, the first time we ask…or as my girlfriend says “Listening is quickly, sweetly and completely”

Oh how I pray that we are able to raise our boys to be great men and great leaders. To love the Lord with all that they are. To find wives that are willing (and active) servants of the Lord.

I want them to yearn to serve others, to have the conviction of being humble, loyal, honest, dependable, loving, kind, courteous men. I want others to see chivalry is not dead in my house.

How do you foster that desire in your child to learn and grow? A mother has a desire to teach and show and explore everything with her children. This world is such a dangerous and scary place, and we only get a short time of helping to shape and point our children to the Lord.

I am soo grateful for a husband who is such an amazing example to our children of a true Godly man. Along with the examples of a very involved Gumpy and Great Grandpa. It breaks my heart to think of the children who don’t have this in their lives.

Also, I believe as mothers we are called to properly instruct our children in Biblical teaching, Godly habit training, worshiping by example, memory work, manners, work ethic, obedience, respect for elders, Reading the Bible together, being consistent with and involved in a body of Christ, respect for property and others belongings, a tender helpful spirit, going the extra mile, showing others the love of Christ, teaching them Bible songs, etc…What a wonderful yet daunting call.

“Children are like sponges! What am I emphasizing to them by my example? What am I repeating over and over? Words of praise? Bible verses? Words of love? Gossip? Criticism? Lies? Foul Language? Do I get easily irritated when I have to repeat something to my child? Am I sure they a re listening to me in the first place? Am I raising my children according to the ways that please the Lord? Can I improve?” taken from Valerie Basham

I believe I have work to do in this area. I need to watch my tone when I am speaking. I tend to get frustrated with them and snap sometimes. I think this shows a need for greater patience needed as well.

I am trying very hard to focus on praise rather then negative words. They still get punished for doing wrong, but I feel the day goes so much better when I am intentional about praising and thanking them. Grace goes a long way as well. I think they feel better about themselves as well. Who wants to try when all you hear is things you did wrong?

I also have been challenged to spend more time with them…as well as slowing down and taking time for things that really matter…Sorry Babe, you may have to help me with laundry and dishes, but we spent significant time digging for “dinosaur bones (sticks)” and reading books, and “nuggling” (snuggling) because that’s where the memories are made. 😀 Luckily, I have a husband that agrees and supports that.

My husband and I have agreed a value we want to instill in our house and with our children is that every child/person that comes into our home will feel loved, valued, wanted, and would be taught about Jesus. Boiled down…the only thing that really matters is eternity…Fostering the desire for it in our children is what life is all about.

Posted by: naeliz04 | May 18, 2012

Proverbs 31-Beginnings

Over the six months the Lord has really been working on my heart. Last summer I left my “making money” job to be fully vested in the lives of my beautiful children. I am so completely grateful to my wonderful husband for allowing me to do this. 

I must admit it has been really hard for me though. Up to that point I had been the one working to pay most of our bills, house work…well I fit it in as best I could, down time — what’s that? I got to a point where I felt like I was carrying a serving platter everywhere I went and more and more kept getting piled on even though I was dropping things right and left. 

Since then I have been truly challenged. Being home full time was huge. Yet still I felt lost and like their was no way to fully be vested. I always have dirty dishes, and dirty clothes, and don’t get me started on bathrooms, vacuuming, etc. 

Life with four toddlers and infants is intense, stressful, crazy… Yet, God has given me these blessings for a purpose and reason. Only a few decades before people did 7, 10, 12, 14 kids…I can do four right? Well, not without the Lord’s strength and his new mercies and grace each day.

I have often felt so exhausted by the end of the day that my husband gets the left overs. In 15-20 years when my kids are gone, he is who I want to spend the rest of my life with. I don’t want to get there and wonder who he is. 

I believe God has laid on my heart a desire to truly change my schedule, priorities, standards, etc to allow my husband and kids a fully present wife and mother. I have spent the last few months study Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 and really “taking time to smell the roses” and watch the ants and pick dandelions.

So here goes…for the next 14 weeks I am working through an even more intense study of Proverbs 31 and I am going to attempt to read through the Bible by the end of the summer…I know putting this out on the internet now keeps me more accountable. Feel free to ask me how it is going…

My girlfriend and I have also being reading Finding the Hero in Your Husband by Julianne Slaghtery. It is a great book…Maybe I will try and update on some of the things I am learning too. 😀 

I know that is a lot, but I want my kids to see me actively praying and seeking the Lord’s direction. If I expect them to do daily devotions as they get older, they need to see me doing it too. I am so thankful God got a hold of my heart while my kids are still young.

Posted by: naeliz04 | January 4, 2012

My New Year’s Resolution By Heidi Rogers

I am what most people would classify as a perfectionist. Type A. A goody-goody. You know, good grades, hard worker, natural-born leader…all that jazz. When it comes to life, I’ve done things “right.” I set my goals and I accomplish them.
But when it comes to mothering, all that flies out the window. I want to be patient during tantrums in the middle of aisle 12 and during colic at 3 a.m., but I find myself feeling guilty for snapping at the whining and crying over the crying. I forget to change diapers. I give up easily in the battle over vegetables. I want to scream when sleep and naps don’t take place. And sometimes I do scream.

“Striving for perfection
and mothering
just don’t mix.”

I have never been more humbled than I am as a mother. Striving for perfection and mothering just don’t mix. As appealing as it seems to have it all together and react calmly to every hiccup I encounter, I’ve found I learn more from mistakes and seeking forgiveness. My New Year’s resolution for 2012? No more resolving. Instead, I choose to sit in the place God has placed me, and let Him shape me into the mom I could never be on my own.

Dear God, thank you for not expecting me to be the perfect mother. Show me how to step back from striving and let you transform me instead. Amen.

Posted by: naeliz04 | December 14, 2011

The Real Meaning of Christmas

One week before Christmas, a well-known visitor made a surprise appearance…
I had just finished the household chores and was preparing for bed when a noise startled me. I cautiously opened the door to the front room. To my amazement, Santa Claus stepped from behind the Christmas tree! He placed one finger over his mouth so I would not cry out.
“What are you doing here?” I exclaimed. Then I realized that Santa had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. The eager, boisterous soul we all know was very sad. Santa offered one, simple statement, “TEACH THE CHILDREN!” I was puzzled—what did he mean? Anticipating my question, with one quick movement he brought forth a great bag from behind the tree.
I stood there bewildered. Santa explained, “Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. So many people today have forgotten what Christmas is really about!”
Santa then reached into his bag, pulled out a tiny FIR TREE, and placed it on the mantle. “Teach the Children that the stately fir tree remains green all year round, showing the everlasting hope of mankind. The needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of our prayers that always reach God.”
Santa again reached into his sack and pulled out a brilliant STAR. “Teach the Children that the Bethlehem star was the sign of promises long ago. God promised to send a Savior to deliver the world. The bright star pointed to the fulfillment of that promise—God’s only Son had been born!”
Next, Santa pulled a CANDLE from his bag. “Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Jesus, God’s Son, is the light of the world. When we see this light remember the One who overcomes the darkness.”
Once again Santa reached into his sack. This time he removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. “Teach the Children that the wreath reveals the endless nature of God’s love. Real love never ceases. Nothing can stop God’s amazing love.”
Santa then pulled from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. “Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we show to others because God has given us His very special Son. Don’t forget to tell the Children that Saint Nicolas was not part of the first Christmas in Bethlehem.”
Santa then reached into his sack and carefully placed a CANDY CANE on the tree. “Teach the Children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s staff. The crook on the staff rescues sheep who have strayed from the flock. God never gives up on people who wander from Him.”
Next, He removed a delicate ANGEL and lifted it to the very top of the tree. “Teach the Children that angels shouted the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. These heavenly messengers sang ‘Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good will to everyone on earth!’”
Finally, Santa pulled out a beautifully wrapped GIFT. He said, “Teach the Children that God deeply loves people, so He gave them His most precious gift—Jesus, His only Son. When the wise men arrived in Bethlehem, they bowed before the Child and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This is why we give gifts to others each Christmas.”
Then Santa paused. He stared at the tree and seemed to be pleased. I saw that the twinkle had returned to his eyes. He turned, looked at me, and smiled. Santa offered these final words, “Remember to teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas. Please don’t put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant. Jesus Christ is the real reason for the Christmas season. I am glad to join all others who bow down and worship Him, our Lord and God.” —Author Unknown

Though a vast number of children’s ministry resources are available today, many of those products may not receive “passing” marks. Listen to the insights of John H. Walton, PhD, professor at Wheaton College and former professor at Moody Bible Institute for 20 years: “It has been my practice over the years to work with the Children’s education program in my church to evaluate curriculum and train teachers for the pre-school through elementary grades. What I find in curricula is consistently shocking from a hermeneutical standpoint. I should hasten to say that curricula are often excellent from an educational standpoint—for that is the expertise of those producing curriculum. In the area of hermeneutics, however, the violations of sound method are frequent and obvious.”1
Scholars, like Walton, who study Biblical hermeneutics are concerned about correct and consistent Bible interpretation. Principles of hermeneutics help us know how to interpret, understand, and properly apply the Bible. Removing Bible verses from their cultural context leads to all kinds of misunderstanding. That is why sound Biblical hermeneutics is essential.
What are our children learning?
In his book, Revolutionary Parenting, Christian researcher George Barna states that:
Most of our children are biblically illiterate.
Less than one out of five kids believes that sharing her faith is important; and
Less than half believe that their faith is important to their lives; and
More than half believe Jesus sinned just like us while he was on earth.
One quarter of our children do not believe there is a God; and
Just over half believe that God is all-knowing, all powerful, and rules over creation.2
The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself. When we tell children Bible stories, our primary aim should be to direct children to God—who He is and what He is like. Instead, children often hear more about the Bible characters than they learn about God, Himself.
What truths are we transferring?
Psalm 78 reminds us why the next generation must hear about God’s marvelous works:
“We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers—a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him” (Psalm 78:4-8 NIV).
So that you may know the certainty…
Luke did extensive research on the events surrounding Christ’s life. He penned the third Gospel: “… so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught” (Luke 1:4, The Message). The word translated “taught” refers to a systematic approach of learning about the Christian faith. The early Church developed a process for instructing children and new converts in the essential Christian beliefs. In other words, “taught” describes the New Testament discipleship process.
Contrary to popular belief, discipleship is not an option. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). The main action in the Great Commission is to “make disciples.” The other three verbs (go, baptize and teach) describe how we are to accomplish this.
The entire ministry of the Church should be structured around the ongoing process of discipleship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated it well; “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”3 Like the apostle Paul, we must work wholeheartedly to help children become spiritually mature. Disciples must be equipped to pass on their faith. Our work is not done until new believers are able to make disciples of others (Ephesians 4:12-13).
Let us be ever mindful of this powerful verse: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). To keep the sword sharp, we desperately need to use sound Biblical hermeneutics when we teach our children!

Posted by: naeliz04 | December 3, 2011

The Real Meaning of Christmas (Author Unknown)

One week before Christmas, a well-known visitor made a surprise appearance…
I had just finished the household chores and was preparing for bed when a noise startled me.
I cautiously opened the door to the front room. To my amazement, Santa Claus stepped from behind
the Christmas tree! He placed one finger over his mouth so I would not cry out.
“What are you doing here?” I exclaimed. Then I realized that Santa had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly
manner was gone. The eager, boisterous soul we all know was quite sad. Santa offered these simple
words, “TEACH THE CHILDREN!” I was puzzled—what did he mean? Anticipating my question, with one
quick movement he brought forth a great bag from behind the tree. I stood there, bewildered.
Santa explained, “Teach the children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. So many people today
have forgotten what Christmas is really about!”
Santa then reached into his bag, pulled out a tiny FIR TREE, and placed it on the mantle. “Teach
the children that the stately fir tree remains green all year round, showing the everlasting hope of
mankind. The needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of our prayers that always reach God.”
Santa again reached into his sack and pulled out a brilliant STAR. “Teach the children that the
Bethlehem star was the sign of promises long ago. God promised to send a Savior to deliver the world.
The bright star pointed to the fulfillment of that promise—God’s only Son had been born!”
Next, Santa pulled a CANDLE from his bag. “Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Jesus,
God’s Son, is the light of the world. When we see this light, we remember the One who overcomes the
darkness.”
Once again Santa reached into his sack. This time he removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree.
“Teach the children that the wreath reveals the endless nature of God’s love. Real love never ceases.
Nothing can stop God’s amazing love.”
Santa then pulled from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. “Teach the children that Santa Claus
symbolizes the generosity and good will we show to others because God has given us His very
special Son. Don’t forget to tell the children that Saint Nicolas was not part of the first Christmas in
Bethlehem.”
Santa then reached into his sack and carefully placed a CANDY CANE on the tree. “Teach the children
that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s staff. The crook on the staff rescues sheep who have
strayed from the flock. God never gives up on people who wander from Him.”
Next, He removed a delicate ANGEL and lifted it to the very top of the tree. “Teach the children that
angels shouted the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. These heavenly messengers sang ‘Glory to God
in the highest! Peace and good will to everyone on earth!’”
Finally, Santa pulled out a beautifully wrapped GIFT. He said, “Teach the children that God deeply
loves people, so He gave them His most precious gift—Jesus, His only Son. When the wise men arrived
in Bethlehem, they bowed before the Child and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This
is why we give gifts to others each Christmas.”
Then Santa paused. He stared at the tree and seemed to be pleased. I saw that the twinkle had
returned to his eyes. He slowly turned, looked at me, and smiled. Santa offered these final words,
“Remember to teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Please don’t put me in the center, for
I am but a humble servant. Jesus Christ is the real reason for the Christmas season. I am glad to join all
others who bow down and worship Him, our Lord and God.”

Posted by: naeliz04 | November 29, 2011

Truth in the Tinsel Review

I am sooo excited to share with my friends here all about Truth in the Tinsel. An e-book by Amanda White found at http://truthinthetinsel.com.

I enjoyed reading through it immensely and can’t wait to start crafting the ornaments that go along with my favorite story of the year…Jesus birth…

I LOVE advent season and was looking for something perfect to do with my Preschoolers and Toddlers and this defiantly is it.

The stories are short, yet use the Biblical story from the Bible and she has great activities ideas and crafts to do each day. Check out her Facebook page at http://facebook.com/truthinthetinsel.

She also has several different countdown calendars and ideas to use with special clues each day…ekkk…I don’t want to give away too much…You should try it and see 😀

I have really learned a lot from Amanda at impressyourkids.com and look forward to watching my kids learn more about Jesus birth…Will you join us on this adventure this Advent season?

Posted by: naeliz04 | October 15, 2011

Superwoman’s Freedom Plea by Beth Moore

Oh, Lord, who said there’s just One Life to Live?
I’m sure I’m livin’ a thousand!
The few times I do awake to pray
All My Children start arousin’!

Uh, oh! No time for quiet now
Think quick! The day’s beginnin’!
I’ll try to recall all Oprah’s advice…
Then my head starts spinnin’.

Make those younguns religious, cautious but not suspicious
And watch their self-esteem!
Yet you be professional, look sensational
And keep that house squeaky clean!

And perish the thought you’d forget the needs
Of that marvelous man you married
Why, throw yourself before him when he raises his eyebrows
And quit thinking, “I’d rather be buried!”

Oops, now I’m late for work, the kids hate their clothes
And the baby’s got a cough
As the World Turns so quickly, I’m severely tempted
To take the next jump off.

Surely they’re kiddin’, Is there anyone left
Who’s honestly Young and Restless
As for me, I feel centuries old, completely worn out
And cellulite infested!

It’s gonna take more then Ryan’s Hope for this woman to survive.
I cannot abide another deep breath of these Days of our Lives!
Superwoman? She’s a curse. To fake her is impossible!
And if I try for one more day, I’ll wind up in General Hospital!

I’ve gotta be here, I’ve gotta be there
I frankly cannot face it.
Rescue me from havoc, please, show me what is basic!
Slow me down, Lord, save this life and keep my eyes on You.
Satan can have this rat race world —
Thanks God, I’m just passin’ through.

Posted by: naeliz04 | October 15, 2011

A Matter of the Heart by Beth Moore

I’ve arrived at a conclusion,
maybe on of life’s rare finds
that there’s not a lot worth salvaging
within this heart of mine.

It’s ever ready to destruct
and lies above al things…
It tends to laugh when it should cry
and mourn when it should sing.

I’ve wasted countless hours begging,
“Fix this heart, Lord, please!”
while it stomps its feet, demands its way
and floods with sin’s disease.

At last, you’re able to get through
and lay it on the line:
“You must give up that heart of yours
and trade it in for mine.”

So I cry out with the psalmist,
create within me, Lord
A new heart crystal clear
that only Calvary could afford.

A heart which pounds the rhythm
of heaven’s metronome
and issues forth a boundless love
and beats for You alone.

I want to love that which You love,
despising what you hate
and see myself as least of these
oh Lord, retaliate

The efforts of the evil one
who seeks to make my plea
that of his own, “I’ll make no move
til I’ve considered me.”

Peel away my fingers,
finally make me understand
the power to love and please You
can’t be found within a man.

So, my Lord, I bring this offering;
a stubborn heart of stone
And ask You, in its absence,
please exchange it for Your own.

Posted by: naeliz04 | September 5, 2011

Week Two

Got a little behind in posting…
Monday — We went to millenium park and played with some friends from church. Then we headed to the library, read lots of stories, played with blocks, colored, and much more. We did some matching with car pictures, colored pictures, and Ellie practiced writing her name. Ellie and Benny enjoyed practicing their measuring skills by making no-bake cookies. Daddy loved the treat.
Tuesday – Today we played outside for quite a while. We met a little girl that lives down the street from us, the girls had bike races, while Benny and Gabe raced with the Thomas ride on and the trike. We did a Ballerina activity today. Putting O’s in the circles that make the letter B’s. She also did several practice cutting sheets. She is getting great with the scissors. We made homemade zucchini Bread today. It was very yummy…One of our kids’ favorites.
Wednesday – We took the kids to the zoo with a group of friends. Saw all the animals, watched a pirate show, had a picnic, and played on the tractors. We came home and they drew pictures of animals on the farm. After that our friends came over to play. The kids had a blast dressing up, playing kitchen, etc…
Thursday – Ellie traced the whole alphabet upper and lower case. We played the biggest to smallest today. More time outside playing today, Daddy put the kids pool together again and they played in it for quite a while. We made peanut butter and oatmeal cookies.
Friday – We went and hung out with our friends the Mitchells. After that we went to the park with some friends from church, and then went to their house for dinner. The kids had a blast playing together. Ellie, Benny, and Gabe are very excited to spend tomorrow with Grammy and Gumpy.

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