I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the other day and found this picture that really hit home!
Well, I liked it immediately and commented, ‘Yes! LOL!’ But, then I got to thinking more about that. It’s not just the younger generation that’s glued to their phones and tablets, is it? I’m right there with them when we go out to a restaurant or coffee shop.
I hate that my house is dark and dim. I want to throw open all the curtains and let the sun pour in! But my husband complains that there’s a glare on the TV. He can’t see the pig hunters, or the pigskin throwers…That’s a whole other story! Well, I found a kindred spirit in Liz Curtis Higgs. She says it’s not just her love of light, but an aversion to darkness that started when she was a child. Her parents left her alone one evening when she was 12.
She writes on her blog, “While they were gone, I turned on every light in our old house. Every. One. Our antiquated electrical system couldn’t handle the load, so the fuses blew. Every. One. My parents returned home to a pitch-black house and a freaked-out daughter. They quickly got the message: this girl hates the dark. Now, the irony: I lived in darkness for a decade. But God, the Source of Light, is very patient. I met a couple who taught a Bible study at her office. They were positively filled with light. I’m not kidding. These two people glowed! Then I heard them read, “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). I was sure they were talking about me. It was like turning on a floor lamp in a darkened room. No light? Light everywhere. No truth? Truth everywhere. In the midst of all my sin, God’s light broke through. Not to shame me, but to claim me…to give me a new beginning. Now, when I need more light in my life, I don’t look to others, however brilliant they may be. I look to Jesus.”
What kind of family is yours? Is everything perfectly in its place in your house? Or is there a messy lived-in chaos? Are the expectations and rules so high, that there’s no room to fail? Or is there forgiveness? I’d like everything to be perfectly clean and my kids to give 100 percent and pursue their dreams. I want to be able to have dinner on the table at a decent hour and the dishes done before bedtime and laundry finished (it never is!) and make ends meet and always be able to communicate effectively with my husband. But, things are FAR from perfect! And that’s why there’s grace. God demonstrated it when he forgave us. So, we should model that in our homes. Be real, make mistakes, say you’re sorry, give second chances, have fun, give hugs, forgive and love. That’s family!
Have you sung the song Oceans? And really asked God to – as the song lyrics say – “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me” Well, Nashville-based author and speaker Annie Downs posted a powerful blog this week that is convicting to the core. She asks, “Do you actually mean that? You and I are willing to sing the song on Sunday because it feels good, but will we move when the Spirit leads on Monday? Do you know what it is like outside of the borders? It is wild. And unpredictable. And dangerous. Also? It’s exhilarating and life-giving and exactly the kind of brave people God wants us to be. BUT, If you are only singing the song and not living the life, stop singing Oceans. If you will really read the lyrics, if you will know what you are singing when you sing, and if you will listen to the Holy Spirit and follow when He leads you deeper and farther, then buckle up and sing your heart out, because it’s going to be a beautifully messy ride.”
If you’re like me, you’re probably at the store right now buying food for dinner because you didn’t plan ahead. Well, that’s a budget killer! So, here’s a few helpful tips from the Kids Activity Blog to help you stick to your family’s food budget:
~To curb impulse buys, create a 30-day shopping list. So, plan your meals and list all the ingredients you’ll need.
~Research the prices at different stores – you can download Nikki’s spreadsheet to get started. Nikki’s Price Comparison Spreadsheet
~Then ONLY shop from the list. If it is not on the list DO NOT BUY IT.
~Shop at Discount Grocery Stores whenever possible.
~Go meatless 1-2 nights a week. Yay for dry beans! They are VERY cheap and filling.
~Eat out rarely if ever!
My husband gave my daughter a lesson recently in starting the weed eater after it flooded. Apparently, when you flood the engine, there’s too much gas in the carburetor and it messes up the fuel/air mixture – so it won’t start. The remedy is to let it sit and drain for a bit. Makes sense. Well, you can apply that same remedy when your brain is flooded and you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you’re juggling – the stresses, the deadlines and workload of your day. Try being still and letting all the day’s “stuff” drain out of your mind and instead be filled with thoughts of God’s beauty, and mercy, and His power. You’ll be recharged and be able to rev up and get started!
“I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.” ~ Ephesians 1:19