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Archived entries for Widsom

Rest-olutionize your Faith

We live in a world that is constantly trying to find ways to do things better or faster, decease a world that doesn’t seem to ever slow down. We all have way too much to do. Yet God tells us not to confirm to the patterns of this world (Rom 12:2) and to stop working for one day each week (Ex 20:8).

A couple of years ago, ailment our family started to really focus on implementing the principle of keeping the Sabbath holy in our home. It started off kind of awkward, not really sure what to do or not to do on this holy of days. Over time, we have gotten into a non-legalistic rhythm that works well for our family, most of the time. Taking the simple step of obedience to practice the Sabbath has revolutionized my faith.

We typically observe Sabbath on Friday or Saturday because those are the days when no one in our family has to go to work or school. If we are taking Sabbath on Friday, we will start Thursday at sundown. My favorite way to start is with a baby-sitter and date night, but that doesn’t always happen.

My Dos & Don’ts
I don’t work, cook or clean. With three little children, this is NOT easy. It requires preparation especially because I like to start with a clean house. Think crock pot breakfast, picnic lunch and a pre-made dinner that you can just pop in the oven. Paper plates & plasticware is how we roll because I have a hard time relaxing with dishes stacked in the sink.

I do play, laugh and pray. The day of rest has been essential in strengthening my relationship with my husband and children. I am so grateful for our uninterrupted time together. However, Sabbath is primarily a day to focus on God and my relationship with Him. During the kids naptime in the afternoon, I allow myself an extended quiet time to really sit and try to hear God’s voice. Observing the Sabbath deepens my dependency on the Lord because there are many times when I have a heavy workload and don’t think that I have time to rest. However, whenever I take that step of obedience, He somehow lightens my load or helps me to be more productive during the other days of the week. When we honor God by keeping the Sabbath holy, He blesses it. (Ex 20:11)

If you aren’t already doing so, experiment with the Sabbath in your home. It isn’t going to be as perfect as you may want it to be, but that is when grace comes in. As you practice, remember Jesus’ words in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Maternity Leave

There are several things that I miss about working – mostly the people and the projects, purchase but one thing that I have not yet had the opportunity to miss is getting paid to have a baby. At my preivious job, audiologist  I had disability insurance that sent me a check every week for six weeks while I was off work on maternity leave! Tomorrow, thumb we are anticipating the arrival of our newest addition and, unfortunately, I won’t be getting those disability checks to supplement the income that I don’t have. However, I’m still planning to take a little maternity leave and while I do, I’m so excited to announce that I will have a guest blogger. Jessica Carpenter is one of my dearest friends who recently re-entered the blogging world and you are sure to find her posts to be humorous, enlightening, entertaining and inspiring. This is her first guest post:

Galatians 5:22, 23- The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. We are using my friend Jenna’s Truth Cards each week to learn a different Bible verse with Austin. I’m going to share how we are using the Truth Cards and incorporating them into our daily routine and school and training time.

A little background: Austin is a typical 4 year old boy. So, a lot of our training time is spent practicing getting self control, following instructions, focusing on the task we are doing for more than 2 minutes, holding still, and slowing down a bit. Having fun is not something we have to work on. He is a good combination of Travis and I; but he definitely has some of my crazy hurricane-like excitement. So, when we learn a verse, we also usually learn a song, dance, or motions to it by request from Austin. I try not to make them seem too much like a cheer; but they do end up that way on occasion. So, here are some of our ideas and ways we are using the Truth Cards to learn the verse and other learning activities:

Learning with Motions: This week we made up motions for each word of the verse. I think this works well for him when it’s a verse that has a list. We did this for Isaiah 9:6, too.  Love – hands over our heart. Joy- hands in the air. Peace- peace sing. Aren’t I original. Patience- hands at our side. Kindness- Austin made this one up, he leans forward and smiles. Well, usually he then falls on the floor, too. Goodness- thumbs up. Faithfulness- marching in place. Gentleness- hands on our face. Self-control- folded hands in front of us. He likes to do some sort of crazy motion at the end for the reference and either have a reason to hit something or play air guitar or punch the air.

Video:We also googled a fruit of the spirit song/video to watch. Honestly, super cheezy. I’m not gonna post a link to that here. But, it was fun to watch with him a couple times.  He loves to look things up on the computer.

Keeping them In Sight: We keep the Truth Card on the kitchen table so that he sees it at every meal. I put it in a plastic picture frame. I really believe in the importance of teaching the Word of God to him. I also believe that using the time to focus and memorize and learn concepts is going to help him developmentally, too. So, honestly, the Truth Cards have become a major source of our training/school time and are helping me have a focus for my sort of randomly created home-pre-school.  2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..(ESV).

Activity following the Theme: This week I decided to add an activity to match the verse, too. Sort of help me focus my activity/school time with him. So, obviously, there is so much to do with the fruit of the spirit. But, here is something we started impromptu this week to help with the coloring and focusing area. Austin likes to color really fast and without looking at the page. Yep. Boy! Cracks me up. But, seriously, we need to be able to color and actually look at the page.

So, I googled fruit of the spirit, found this clip art. Printed two copies. I colored one, and I let him color one. We used mine as the base. Then we cut the fruit off the one he was coloring (with his new scissors) and pasted the fruit to the matches. Again, these are things he loves to do. Cut. Paste. Match things. I have incorporated that he needs to listen to my instructions. So, I had him color each fruit the same color that I colored mine. I also asked him to match them in order and say them with me. Then we looked for the letter to each word. He likes to sound things out. So, we said “k-k-k…where is the word that starts w/ ‘K’?” I did use this activity again a few days later.

Side note: If you paste the fruit on, most of the time it can be peeled off later. So, I peeled it off & we re-pasted it in order of the fruit. And P.S. Yes, that is a crumb on my table in the photo. Thought y’all might like that.  I also found all kinds of ideas on spreading out weeks and lessons on fruit of the spirit and baking things, etc. Obviously, the fruit of the spirit is an easy topic to google search for ideas.

To check out Jessica’s incredible blog, please visit: http://jessicacarpenter.wordpress.com/

Wisdom, Joy & Endless Pleasure? Yes, please!

Our new baby is coming soon… forget the fact that we don’t have a nursery, more about we need a mini-van to transport all of our children in the same vehicle. The condo we are renting is under contract – do we build or buy? What can we wisely afford? Starting a new business is an incredible adventure and has been such a blessing from the Lord, obesity but how will we maintain it? What are we going to name our third baby girl? What am I going to make for dinner this week? Among others, these thoughts swirled around my mind and kept me awake all night. When I finally gave up the battle for sleep and read by the light of the Christmas tree, Psalm 16:11 leaped off the page at me.

“You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11 (italics mine)

What a verse! What a promise! I’ve read and overlooked this incredible verse many times, but these three wonderful promises from the Lord became alive to me today.

The Path of Life
Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” When we spend time with Christ, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to gain the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and become able to discern God’s plans and actions. In the age old story of Mary and Martha, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said… Martha was worried about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary [chose] what is better and it will not be taken away.” (Luke 10:38-42, emphasis mine) During busy seasons, it is so easy to become consumed with our lists of things to do that we neglect to spend time just sitting at the Lord’s feet. I’m learning that during the times of seeking wisdom and direction from God, the most important thing, the better thing, is to sit at His feet and listen to what He says.

What more could we ask for than wisdom for life’s decisions, complete joy and eternal pleasure? God is so good. Amongst the chaos of my life, my prayer is that I will be able to stay in His presence and walk alongside Him. I’m pretty sure that if I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, the rest will follow (Matthew 6:33).



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