Have you heard of this website? I was looking through a current Parenting magazine and saw an ad for Cozi.com.
One of my favorite features is the journal part where you can quickly type something memorable that happened or something cute your child said...add a photo...and you've got instant scrapbooking! ;)
Watch the demo and see what you think.
How about that expression on Mac's face?? ;)
The little blond sitting in front of Mac is Angeline. Mac tells us that she came up to him the other day at PRESCHOOL and said "Hey, be my boyfriend!" And Mac said his reply was "Uh...that sounds kind of gross, but okay!" Since Mac was committing himself to an exclusive relationship with this girl we barely know, we asked him to tell us about her. He said:
"She has white hair...sometimes she wears it up and sometimes down, but when she wears it up she looks most beautiful. We go to computer class together and we play together outside. We sit by each other in the classroom."
*I should also mention that after I took the photo above, Angeline looked at the image on my camera and said, "Why did she get in the picture??" (regarding the sweet little girl standing behind Mac!)
From the Facts of Life tv show? Her name is actually Lisa Whelchel and she is no longer an actress. She is an author and speaker and encourager to Moms! She spoke this week at a local church and I went with a friend to hear her. She was great. She is a Mom of 3 and understands how busy Moms are and how frustrated we get when we don't feel like we have time to spend with the Lord. She has felt that way too. But she's learned what to do about it (instead of heaping guilt on yourself). And she has written several books to address this (I had no idea! I thought she maybe had one or two).
My friend Karey told me she had read Lisa's book called Creative Correction and LOVED it. In fact, she told me she even refers back to it a lot. So I purchased that book (and had her autograph it) as well as another book that looked good called The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer. Today was my second day to use it in my quiet time and I love it! For each day, she gives you a "focus" for praising God and a focus and a scripture to pray for your husband, for your kids, for yourself, and others. I love that each day is a new focus for a different person. (Just to give you an idea, today's praise focus was on God's mercy. The "self" prayer focus was your role as a wife. The "husband" prayer focus was for his daily devotion time. The "children's" prayer focus was getting along with siblings (I was all into that!) The idea behind this is for you to cover many people in prayer about many things in a fairly short period of time. It's really cool. And I like that she demonstrates how to pray specific scriptures and then gives you blank pages to journal your own prayers. So if you are limited on time, you can follow what she has provided, and if you have some extra time, you can go deeper and use her words as prompts for your own journaled prayers.
She talked a lot about prayer in her message the other day and I wanted to share some of the tips she offered. As I said, she really encourages Moms not to beat themselves up because they can't always get up before everyone else to have a "quiet time". She teaches how to incorporate prayer and bible study into your normal, everyday routines. I loved her ideas!
For instance, she was saying that as you are doing the laundry...the first thing you do is sort the clothes. Well, as you are sorting, she said to take that as your cue to pray and ask God to help you "sort through" your day and help you make wise choices, etc. Next you add the detergent. She said you could take that as a cue to pray for God to "cleanse" you...to forgive your sins. You get the idea. Another suggestion was to pray as you dust the television. That could be a reminder to pray about what you allow into your home for your kids to watch. Pray for wisdom as you decide which shows your children (or YOU!) should be allowed to watch. Get the idea? A few other suggestions:
The idea here is to live out the "pray without ceasing" scripture by scattering lots of simple prayers throughout your day...using your everyday chores as triggers to guide you! I love that, don't you? She said you could take this a step further with your kids and do things like this in the car. She said as you drive by an American flag, you could use that as a reminder to pray for our country or the President. When you drive by a church, let that serve as a reminder to pray for your pastor. Isn't that neat?? And she encouraged us to think of lots of other "prayer triggers" inside and outside our home. If you do these things, you hardly realize that you have spent the better part of your day talking to God! :)
The other thing she talked about what meditating on scripture. She talked about how bible study is truly a good thing to be able to participate in if you can, but if you just don't have the time, you can incorporate "bible study" into your daily routine! Yes, she gave more great tips!
All that being said, I'm off to lie down for a bit now as I am dealing with KILLER cramps! Yay me! ;)
I just read something that SO convicted me...I wanted to share it...
"When we give, when we pray, when we worship, or whatever we do, God is looking at our hearts. Motive is everything. When you give, realize that God is aware of it. It comes down to this: If we remember, God will forget. If we forget, God will remember. Leave the bookkeeping to God." ~Greg Laurie
If you're interested, here is a link to the article it came from:
I was in the kitchen cooking dinner late yesterday afternoon when Mac started singing in the sweetest, most angelic voice. I paused and smiled as I listened to a song he was obviously making up as he was going along. And I have to say I was caught off-guard by the surprise ending. It went like this:
"I love God...
God loves me...
He is good...
And we will all DIE!!!!
I'll let you know how it is! ;)
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:2)
I went to Barnes and Noble the other night and came across a book titled One Month to Live: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life. When I saw it, I remembered that one of my girlfriends had recommended it to me not long ago.
Oh my gosh it is SO good!! The couple who wrote it--Kerry and Chris Shook--are in ministry together. The book says they "founded Fellowship of The Woodlands near Houston, TX with eight people in 1993 and since then, the church has grown to more than 15,000 people". I have to admit I have never heard of them or their church!
Anyway, this couple wrote the book after years of ministering to many terminally ill people in their congregation and noticing that people who find out they do have a very limited amount of time left, suddenly change their perspective. They focus only on things that truly matter in their lives. Activities that used to take up a lot of their time become meaningless.
This book was written as a 30 day challenge to help you change your perspective...to live as though you have one month to live. It is divided into four sections (or weeks) with each section highlighting a different principle: live passionately, love completely, learn humbly, and leave boldly.
One of my favorite parts of the first chapter says this:
"Looking at old tombstones, I can't help but recognize that entire lives are now reduced...to two dates and one little dash...each person's life really comes down to what transpired between those two dates. It comes down to what's in the dash...we don't have control over many things in life...where we were born...who are parents are...which time period and culture we face...we don't get to decide the dates on our gravestone...only God knows...But there is one thing we have a vast amount of control over. We get to decide how we're going to use our dash."
The authors share a couple of passages of Scripture in this first chapter to remind us that our lives are short compared to eternity:
"Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should" (Psalm 90:12 TLB).
"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).
While this may depress us in some ways, the authors hope that instead it will motivate us to start living differently...to be more authentic and deliberate about how we spend our time.
In the Foreword portion of this book, Rick Warren says:
"At the end of your life, the only thing that will matter is whether you accomplished God's purpose for your life...embracing your mortality sets you free to live a meaningful and satisfying life without regret. As He did with Queen Esther, God put each of us in this world 'for such a time as this.'"
The first "assignment" in the book is--without thinking too hard--make a list of 5 things you'd change about your life if you knew you had only a month to live and start doing one of them RIGHT NOW.
So what would you change? I said:
1. Spend more time enjoying my family...giving them more of my attention...being "fully present" in every moment...and being much more intentional about sharing with my kids what Jesus Christ means to me and what I have learned from Him...making certain THEY also understand what it means to have a personal relationship with Him.
2. Be a better steward of the things God has entrusted to me--my body, my home, my time, my money. Give Him my absolute best.
3. Talk to God more. Listen for Him more. Be more intentional about seeking Him and following His Spirit's leading in every hour of every day.
4. Make sure I have asked forgiveness of everyone I know I have offended AND express my appreciation to everyone who has had a positive impact on my life (and explain why).
5. I would be determined NOT to let other people or circumstances steal my joy. And I would share it with everyone I encounter! :)
And so after making this list, I can't help but wonder the same thing the authors of this book are asking...Why am I not doing these things NOW? Why on earth would I WANT to put them off until I get closer to the end of my life?? I don't! I want to start now. And the one thing I am choosing from my list to start on NOW is #1...enjoying time with my family and being fully present in every moment we share together.
I challenge you to come up with your own list and decide which one thing you will start to change TODAY.
I don't know if you've picked up the September 2008 copy of Southern Living, but I recommend it! I found several great recipes to try out on my family...and my husband even prepared one of them for dinner tonight...it was wonderful!
We paired it with a salad and the only thing Stephen changed up was the type of pasta. The recipe calls for fettucini but we love orzo and used that instead. Even Mac ate this up! :) VERY tasty.