Loving Life

“Do you love being a teacher?”  Her words took my eyes from her math page of long division to her smiling face and blond curly hair.  She continued, “You see, I’m thinking of becoming a teacher when I grow up.  I’m wondering if it’s a good idea.”  I smiled and began to tell her how much I loved teaching, how much fun I had and how I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

She smiled and said. “Oh good.  I think I will be a teacher when I grow up.”

The conversation was over and she went back to her desk, but that conversation has replayed in my mind many times since then.

Smiling Teacher

Loving Teacher

It’s caused me to evaluate my life over the last few weeks.  Do I truly love my life?  Is it evident to those around me?  Or does it look like I am just enduring and struggling through?

After that conversation, I began to look at everything I do.  I began to wonder what others saw when they looked into my life.  I wondered if people saw me serving out of duty or with true love and joy.

I imagine we can all think of people who make us want their life.  They seem to love their life and what they do.

I think of a single woman who embraces her single life and lives it to its fullest while waiting to be married.

I think of a wife who joyfully serves and ministers to her husband.

I think of a mother who uses her “free time” to do something special for her children to add some excitement to their lives.

I think of an older lady who encourages others who are lonely through cards, phone calls, and letters; even though she herself may be lonely.

I can remember some people in my life who portrayed to me that they truly loved their life.

I remember a teacher who was quiet and reserved in public, but became excited and animated in the classroom.

I remember a mother who talked with fondness of the cuddles she got from her children when they were up sick in the night.

I remember a pastor’s wife who loved ministering and encouraging the people in her church.

As I have spent some time thinking through these things, I have asked myself the following questions: Will young ladies want to be married based on my response to my marriage?  Will another want to be a teacher based on me?  Will children that I minister to want to grow up and minister for the Lord based on my attitude toward ministry?

Sometimes there are rough patches.  Let’s face it.  The laundry hamper explodes, you get the stomach flu, and someone criticizes.  But if we minimize these things and focus on the “good” parts, everything changes.

I tried to buy a plate at an auction a little while ago.  Written on it, was the saying, “It’s a pleasure to serve those we love.”

Do your actions and attitudes portray this?  This can’t be done by a status on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, or a picture on Instagram.  This is done by intentional living day in and day out.  This is done by choosing to focus on the good in a situation.  This is done by being thankful for what you have and choosing an attitude of service when ministering to others.

I pray that those who are looking at my life will know that I love my life and what I do.  I pray that they will see the joy of the Lord shine through in all I do.  I pray that they remember their time under my influence as a time that was meaningful in their life.

6 Ways to Communicate Love to Your Child

Communicate with your children

In this age of emails and text messages I find that the art of communicating is being lost.  Facebook and Twitter have made conversation almost non-existent as everything anyone could ever want to know is splashed across statuses.  Too often we spend more time in front of the computer than in communicating with our children.  Even children are spending their time in front of computers/tablets/ipods/ipads, now.

Lately I’ve been feeling the need to communicate more with my child.  And I’m not talking sit him on my lap and have a conversation.  There are so many other ways of communicating love to a child than just by talking.  And, let’s face it, a 2 year old doesn’t really get much when you sit down and try to have a conversation with him!  He’ll probably be more interested in the buttons on my shirt or that toy over in the corner.

Today I want to share some of different ways of communicating with children (that even I can work on!) and at the end I’m sharing a free printable that you can use for Valentines Day (or whenever you want really).

1. Pray with them.  I think this is monumental in communicating with children.  Since I’ve started praying with Little Man I have seen his heart really soften towards the Lord and church.  At his young age I want him to understand what a real relationship with the Lord is like.  And you should hear the things he prays for all on his own!  It’s a really sweet time for us together.

2. Play with themNo, I’m not going to alliterate all of them (grin).   I read somewhere once that children feel more loved and accepted by their parents when moms and dads spend just 20 minutes of one on one time with them each day.  20 minutes!  That, seriously, is nothing when you consider how many minutes are in a 24 hour day.  I bet we lose that amount just checking Facebook once a day.

3. Love your husband.  Your children need to see you spending time with your mate.  That communicates so much to them!  Let them see you sit together on the couch, hold hands, kiss, etc.  Knowing that you love each other will communicate your love to your child as well.

4. Discipline them.  This is not a very popular topic in our world today.  However, children need rules.  And they need to know that you love them enough to discipline them when they don’t follow the rules.  Hebrews 12:6 tells us that God loves us enough to chasten us.   Love disciplines.  Children will respect you if you are consistent and often will disobey just to get attention, even if it’s the wrong kind!

5. Listen to them.   I don’t have time as a mother to sit with my child on my lap all day and let him talk to me.  However, Little Man will often come and tell me things (whether or not I understand him) while I’m working around the house.  And he knows when I’m not actually paying attention to him.  His voice gets louder and louder and he repeats himself over and over until I fully give him my attention.  As women, we do have the gift of multi-tasking and it’s not that difficult to give your child your attention while continuing to wash dishes or fold laundry.

6. Send them messages.  I love sending notes to people.  My children, however, are not old enough to read, therefore it would be a little silly on my part to send them a hand written note.  For older children this would be great, though (remember the mailbox idea from last week’s Valentines Round-up?).   I still have some notes that my mom left under my pillow when I was growing up.  However, there are many neat ideas of ways you can “send a message” to younger children.  Especially around Valentines Day!

a.  Make a badge for them to wear.  You can make it look like a war medal, a sheriffs badge, or an athlete’s medal (Olympics start tomorrow!).  Just put the simple word, Loved, on it and tell your child what it says (or another word that you like).  I can guarantee they will be so proud to go around wearing it and show it off to Daddy when he comes from work.

b.  Use your child’s name to make a mural on the wall.  In October, we had a Thanksgiving Tree on our wall.  The falling leaves (our handprints) held the things we were thankful for each day.  I had Little Man’s name on one leaf and he knew it!  He loved that his name was up on the wall and would point it out to people.  No, he can’t read.  He just knew which leaf had his name on it.  Something simple will mean the world to them!

c.  Decorate their bedroom doors so they get to run through something fun when they wake up in the morning.  And we come down to the free printable I’m sending your way.  I’ve seen this done for birthdays, but I decided to do this for Valentines Day this year.  Owls was our theme for Little Miss so I made a set of pink and purple owls for girls and a set of blue and red for boys.  I can’t wait for Little Man to wake up to this next week!

Communicate with your children

I made my owls bigger for the purpose of the picture.  They are smaller and I would space them farther apart.  The hearts have little messages on them.  Little Man’s “song” that we’ve shared since his birth is, You Are My Sunshine, so that is on one heart.  And we love the book by Robert Munsch, I’ll Love You Forever, so I used the phrase, “My baby you’ll be.” on one heart.  Another heart says “Love”, and a fourth says, “Be Mine”.  I left a few blank so you can add your own phrase/note, or just leave them blank.  Just click the links below to download the set you’d like to use!  I also made one set just black and white so if you don’t have colour ink for your printer and want different colours you can personalize them to your taste.  Just print off as many pages as you’d like.  Cut out the pictures.  And attach them to yarn. It’s as simple as that!

Girls Valentines Printable

Boys Valentines Printable

Black and White Valentines Printable

 

Communicating with your children is very important.  Are there other ways you communicate to your child?  I’d love to add my list.  Please leave me a comment below!

31 Days–Love

Blog Button  31 Days 2013

God is Love

I know this seems cliché in our world today.  It seems to be the only message that a lot of people are sending about our God.  The only character trait they seem to want to focus on.  But, I couldn’t do 31 days of God’s character without touching on this aspect of it.  Because in all truth, our God IS filled with love.  More love than we could ever comprehend.

912 Love

His love goes beyond where we are willing to go.

His love covered my sins.

His love took my suffering.

His love endured my pain.

His love NEVER ends.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. – 1 John 4:8