Friday, September 28, 2012

A New Way to Praise

A new way to praise your kids, that is!!!  So, a few days ago, I was chatting with my sister and she shared this article with me.  Now this article is about 5 pages long, so let me share the long and short of it with you.  (I did some major speed-reading while my Monkey Blossoms climbed on my lap!)  There was a study done on kids who were praised by telling them how smart they are and kids who were praised by telling them how hard they tried.  And the results were astounding!  Children who were constantly told they were smart, quit trying, got frustrated in adversity and frequently avoided hard problems and situations.  Children who were praised for real effort, tried harder, enjoyed a challenge and looked for more difficult things to attempt.  In short, failure freaked out and devastated the "smart" kids.  The others dealt better with failure.  After reading, it made sense.  I think a child unknowingly thinks, "I'm smart, so this should come easy."  When it doesn't, they get scared.  ("What's wrong with me?")  The other children learn eventually that their genuine effort is rewarded and consequently, they work harder to succeed.  Praise now sounds something like this here:

- I love how hard you are working to write so neatly. 

- I noticed you were trying hard to spell that word correctly.

- I saw that you were trying hard to be nice to your sister, when she was mean to you.

- I was grateful that you worked hard to clear the table so nicely for Mommy. 

I'm pleasantly surprised at how well this is reinforcing hard work and good, consistent effort in our house.  Try it.  Betcha won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Experimenting Time...

The Sparkly Explosion!
Microwaving Ivory Soap

Good times!!!  :) 

A New Favorite Tradition

At the beginning of the school year, I instituted a new tradition.  It is referred to as the "Friday Experiment" here.  Every Friday, I have scheduled a hands-on, science experiment/experience.  "Oh," you say, "what is so impressive about that?"  Well, it's big stuff to me.  I don't like messes that can be avoided.  Read: I avoid Play Doh like the Bubonic Plague.  It is not allowed inside the house here.  I. just. can't. take. it.  However, I was raised with a Hands-On kind of Mom.  I know that is how kids learn so many important things!  So, I have to make myself do messy things with my Blossoms.  And, we're a few weeks into it.  I'm loving this new tradition!  We have microwaved Ivory Soap (just to see what happens) and made our own "bouncy" balls.  We are looking forward to a Sparkly Explosion tomorrow and making our own Fluffy Bath Paint too.  Pinterest is loaded with good ideas for our new tradition.  And I'm glad we're getting our hands dirty trying them. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

More on

An entirely different option is available on the home page of this amazing site.  Type in a passage of Scripture (ex. Ephesians 5).  In the right column, click Read/Print.  You can read the Bible in two formats (verse or paragraph) in the translation of your choice. 

Additionally, click LISTEN and you can choose from 4 translations for an audio version of the Bible.  (My husband paid a lot of money for my full set of Bible audio CDs.)  This truly is an amazing (free) tool for wives and moms.

Studying the Bible isn't just for pastors and Bible school students.  We, the average Christian, need to feed our spirits and be able to defend our faith.  We need to grow in doctrine!  It is our responsibility! 

Do you think that Bible study takes too much time? removes that excuse, The answers are instantaneous.  You can find out what a Greek or Hebrew word means.  You CAN study the Bible.  I've been truly blessed by this web site.  I hope you find it as useful as I do.  Be blessed in your study of the Word!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A New Resource

My sister and I were recently discussing word studies and the easiest way to find where else in the Bible that same Greek or Hebrew word was used, no matter how it was translated.  I've used Strong's Concordance, as well as Dake's Annotated Reference Bible.  Voila!  She shared with me!  What an amazing resource!  I love it!!!!  I've been tickled pink with it every time I've used it since then.  Here's why:

- With the Bible/Dictionary search, you can search for a word in 18 different translations (rather than just KJV with a Strong's Concordance)  OR
You can search for a specific scripture.

- From there, you can check out the meaning of that word by clicking the Strong's Number superscript.  OR
You can click the Scripture reference and look at each individual reference and context with that word you searched for in it.

- Then, when you've clicked the Strong's Number superscript (that's the little tiny upper numbers), it will bring up the meaning of the word, how it is often translated and all the other references using that same word.  Also, you can click to check out connected Greek or Hebrew words. 

More next time...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't Miss My Point

I'm not attacking Pinterest or creativity.  I like and can appreciate parties that match and are well-coordinated.  My point is that fancy favors and matching water bottles and ornate decorations, don't make me as a guest have a better time at the party or in your home.  Maybe you don't consider yourself a great entertainer.  It doesn't matter.  The Biblical point is to think of others.  According to the dictionary, hospitality actually means, "The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers and the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests in a warm, friendly, generous way."  All the matchy-matchy-ness in the world isn't going to make you any warmer, friendlier or more generous toward your guests.  So, think of your guests and balance that with the little touches that the Lord would approve.  Be blessed in your hospitality!  I know I feel challenged to a renewed dedication to hospitality.

Monday, September 17, 2012

And then, there's the TIME issue

There are more questions to ask myself.  I oftentimes, must prioritize the simple activities in our home.  Believe me, I love crafty things like scrapbooking and decorating cakes and making snazzy favors, but really, they aren't the most important thing.  I wonder, will the time spent on this glorify God?   Does using my time in this manner glorify God? Am I being a good steward of my time when I spend time making fancy signs with impressive flourishes and ornate gift bags with fancy name tags at the expense of my own personal devotion time with God and giving my family the attention they need? My free time is very limited and I really want to do what pleases Him. So, lots of times, I put aside what I enjoy and would like to do.  I make sure my relationship with God is cared for first and foremost and then caring for my family factors in as well.  Instead of all those pretty gift bag labels, my daughters write the names on the bags and decorate them.  I use it as a learning experience for them.  It doesn't have to be perfect!!!  This is about hospitality, not impressing folks.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Questions I ask myself...

Here is where the Lord has brought me. I look at each wonderfully, creative idea that pops into my brain and I say to myself, "Will this help my guest have a better time? Will this meet a need of my guest? Will this make my guest more comfortable?  Do I want to do this idea just to illicit a complimentary response from people? Do I want to do this idea because everyone will say how creative I am?" Usually, the answers are pretty obvious to me and although, my flesh doesn't like to be "shown up" by nicer parties with prettier, more coordinated decorations, I opt for the simpler route, trying always to keep the guests in mind.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You know you're distracted when...

Actually, I prefer to use the term, "Deep in thought," as opposed to "distracted."  Anyway, you know you're deep in thought when, you're attempting to wash your hands, you squirt the soap and it lands in the bottom of the kitchen sink because you neglected to place your other hand under the soap dispenser.  The only thing I could think to say to myself was, "Duh." 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Original Point

So, here's my original point - Christians are falling into the world's version of entertaining.  Christians are starting to try to IMPRESS people when guests come to their house or party.  Yes, ladies, God gave each of us special talents.  But, we must remember the point of using them.  We must ask ourselves.  I see so many beautiful, smart, creative ideas on Pinterest.  I look at them and I know I could do them.  But, WHO is the point of this idea?  Is it ME (my "mad skills") or is it my guest?  As a Christian, my guest matters.  How I treat the guests, sends the message of God's love.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Hospitality Word

You'll also find hospitality in the Bible. In various verses, Christian pastors and Christians themselves are called on to be hospitable to one another (1 Peter 4:9 or 1 Timothy 3:2).  It means to be hospitable and generous to guests. Another word also translated hospitality means, "Love to strangers and hospitality."  The point of both words - entertaining and hospitality - in their use in the Bible is bringing someone (stranger or believer) into your home and treating them in a way that would please our Lord.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Entertaining vs. Hospitality

With the rise of sites such as Pinterest, I've noticed that Christians are falling into the trap of entertaining.  You wonder what I mean.  Yes, the word, "entertaining" is in the Bible.  "Some of you will entertain angels unaware." (Hebrews 13:2)  I love the possibility of angels that the verse is sharing.  The word, "entertain" means to receive as a guest, to entertain hospitably, to lodge or be lodged.  Most of the other times in the NT that it is used, it is translated, "lodge."  My point is that it is referring to the generous sharing of your home, not an impressive meal or party. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scooter & Her Dust-buster

Scooter was doing post-supper chores, which involve dust-busting the kitchen chairs.  I heard giggling from her and Skipper, along with some dust-buster noises.  I turned around from the kitchen sink only to bark out, "Scooter, do NOT dustbust your sister."

Happy Birthday, Scooter!  You're a sweetie!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I noticed something

I decided to be quiet... really quiet about my husband's "flaws" or even little "habits."  If the Bible says an unsaved husband can be won without a word, it made me wonder what difference a quiet, Godly woman could make in her saved, Godly husband by being quiet. 

Big Shocker - - - - The difference I noticed was in ME. 

When I started being quiet, mustering all the self control in me and every bit of grace that was offered to me by the Holy Spirit, I noticed that I prayed more for my husband... in the right attitude.  Wow.  Is that what quietness does?  Does is make a Godly woman focus on the right things?  Praying instead of nagging or "enlightening" or reminding. 

Lord, help me to be more quiet.  Help me to pray more fervently.