Missional Living Room Layout with Lots of Littles

We finally took on the challenge of "rotating" our living room.

 Missional Living Room Layout with Lots of Littles

Have you ever viewed your home's layout as intentional for furthering the Kingdom? Call me crazy, but I'm starting to see everything in my life as a possibility to share Christ...even down to how I decorate or arrange my home. Let me explain, I'm sharing over on Successful Homemakers, how and why my family recently rotated our living room.

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Boom. Parenting like Jesus 101.

During those oh so rare times I am driving alone and get to complete a thought, my mind seems to wonder. Maybe it's more like circling. Yeah, circling a point to complete itself... Any who. See what I mean.

House_MD

Anyways, today I was heading home from delivering my 802K items {hyperbole for dramatic effect} to the consignment event in town and was whining to myself about the back muscle I pulled while trying to hulk through my procrastination-induced tagging frenzy yesterday. Not sure if its pulled, pinches or what but it's one of those that you're constantly aware of and if you make any sudden, unskillful, rash moves if feels like someone stabs you in the shoulder blade. {ouch}

During this little pout/rant inside my head, I was lecturing myself for not taking more tylonal before going into town. Then I was making a methodical map of how, in what order, which items first, what path into the house to take, etc in order to not have to return to the car for things but more importantly how to create the fastest route to the pain meds.

Then I remembered I had expired pain pills from after my c-section. I kinda smirked to myself. "Oooo, I bet that'll knock out this pain fast!" I thought to myself. "Where did I put that?"

Then my detailed plan started vividly laying out the possible consequences of taking such strong meds for just this back pain. I found myself in Dr. House's doctor's office having to explain all the minute history of my "health" to get an accurate description even though we all know I'm dying because of that one expired oxycodone I took for my back. It all seemed so innocent. Find a pill. Swallow it with my amazing Dr. Pepper from the hour of happy at Sonic {my reward for successfully delivering my 802K items before said hour was over}. Laugh, play, be amazing with my hubs and kids. But NO. That's not how it's gonna end.

Then Dr. House then begins to drill me on where I acquired my poor education on medication consumption. He shames me for having expired medicines in my home and for taking them!

Then, if you're me, the obvious thing that comes to mind next is the amazingly bold, snarky, wish-you-would-really-have-the-guts-to-say-it-to-someone retort you'd deliver to that Dr. House. "Well, Mister House. {see what I did there- demeaning title change} If you didn't shame your patients for making less than wise choices, maybe they'd be more honest with you right off the bat and you wouldn't have to spend 1/2 of every episode trying to find out what's really causing their health issues because as you always say, "Everyone lies about something."

That's when it hit me. What the smack to I do to my children every time they are caught in a lie, admit fault, have their poor choices laid out in front of the both of us? I shame. I lecture. With good intention I think this will modify their behavior. But that's not Christ-like parenting. Our heavenly father does not shame us. We already know the outcome of our sin. He loves us. Snuggles us. Gives us lil smoochies. Fixes us up and sends us on our way all the while teaching us His ways and looking forward to the day(s) we follow Him in them and don't show up at the doctor's office.

Boom. Parenting like Jesus 101. now...how to implement that?

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Practical Fun Fall Decor {with Lots of Littles}

I'm a practical kinda girl; sometimes to a fault. That even oozes over into how I decorate my home, imagine that. I like a minimally clutter house so my incessantly wondering mind is calmed but I do love fun seasonal decorations! I'm sharing 3 questions that help me determine if I have practical decor, and if you're like me and you'll want some fun fall decor that work well with lots of littles! Just a few of the countless ideas out there of course. All of which is over on the Successful Homemaker's TODAY!

Fun Fall Decor with Lots of Littles

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My Kids are Getting Dumber

I wanna quit. My kids are getting dumber.

My Kids are Getting Dumber

I've had this urge this entire school year. I keep looking for all the reasons my kids don't need me as their teacher. Missional living seems to be the one satan is using most often but God's not letting this go. "It would be so much easier to love on people if we were in public school" doesn't seem to be a good excuse for Him.

Today I banished my children to the backyard for "recess" after blowing up multiple times for Not. Following. Directions.

My insides hurt. Do  any of your insides just hurt so bad they bust out of your body in the form of tears after temper tantrums haven't done the trick? I'm using their time of banishment to try to figure out why I'm supposed to be doing this homeschool thing. They aren't learning anything. If they are, it's seemingly counterproductive. I've even pointed myself back to- my intention for homeschooling is not to make them geniuses or scholars but to more fully I can fulfill my purpose as their mother, teach them that God loves them and we should follow Him to find life. But am I? Am I really  teaching them to see God in the true light of HIS character as their awful teacher?

What letter are we learning about this week?

{blank stares}

What letter have we been talking about?

G!

No. What comes after G?

{blank stares}

A. B. C. D. E. F. G..........H!

{murmur} H

We are working on the next page in your H book. We are going to color the letter Hh, then cut it into a puzzle, then we are going to put the capital letter H puzzle together in this box and the lower case one in this box, and then glue them down.

I turn my back to help Mags start work.

Scribbled boxes everywhere, glued pieced in random places, blacked out box with no sign of the letter H behind the brown.

I tried to pull the pieces off to help her try again but there was no turning back. The same goes for the giant brown square. I give them a different sheet to work on and go to print new pages...which of course takes forever because my computer and printer hate me.

I return and decide to walk them through the page on step at a time. Color only the Hh. Trace them to show me where the Hh is. What letter? H. Where is it? Yes! You just traced it. Good. Color only inside the lines of the Hh.

Jamin is utterly confused and continues to freak out because he doesn't know where the Hh is that he is supposed to color.

I turn my back to work on the sticker chart because obviously we're going to need some reinforcement today. When I turn back around I find Izzie is cutting. Not only cutting even though she wasn't instructed to but cutting the Hh out rather than on the lines to create the puzzle pieces.

I correct Izzie and tell her she looses a sticker for not following directions.

She cries.

Jamin finishes coloring and start making fringe along the edge of the paper while I'm dealing with Izzie. Sticker lost.

I want to pop off little heads because I have taught them nothing. Nothing other than my pleasure in them is dictated by their behavior and therefor is a portraying Jesus as a behavior based god. Why am I doing this? The thing I'm trying to target, spiritual growth, biblical knowledge, correct portrait of God, I'm jacking it up.

My kids are running a tyranny in the backyard as I type. Who did they learn that from? me.

All I keep thinking is, "If they were in school, someone else would be teaching them to follow only the directions given, color instead of scribble, SIT, not talk, wait their turn to be helped with work, understand that they can't have someone's undivided attention, and to Follow Directions." Yeah, all those things public school parents think or even say aloud to be off-handed, "Yeah, if they were in school they'd get in trouble for or learn to do _____."

Then, I write those words I realize, someone else would be teaching them those things. And the thing about that sentence that's worse than the someone else is the those things. I often forget that my actions teach them what to expect from others but more importantly teach them how to life.

I don't want my kids to only follow the directions given. I want them to learn initiative, anticipate what's next, see what needs to be done and try it even if that means you might fail.

I don't want my kids to color instead of scribble. I want them to always think outside the box because my God is bigger than any form we could ever imagine.

I don't want my kids to sit ad not talk. I want them to burst with energy and talk through things.

I don't want my kids to wait on help. I want them to beg for help unhindered; with no fear that God will shoot them down the moment they need help.

I don't want my kids to believe they can't have undivided attention. I want them to know God has the ability to give them His undivided attention and is always waiting for them to come to him.

I DO want them to follow directions. God will always be at work in their lives. Sometimes it will be easy 1. 2. 3. steps that make us feel accomplished and smart. Other times the directions will be hurry up and wait. Complete 1. and anticipate 2. Listening clearly and following directions first time is a vital part of spiritual growth. It involves patient listening and immediate action.

I guess letter Hh week stands for humility. Now that I've stopped blubbering and God's redirected me, I guess I'm going to listen to His gentle directions and act with humbleness as I go apologize to my kids, do a fun Hh craft, and start lunch.

My kids don't need me as their teacher. They will become dumber. They will follow the ways of the world...if I'm not life-long-learning from my teacher and teaching them to look to Him rather than me for their learning as well.

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“Be Holy as I am Holy” Ehh?

As Christians, especially those of us who are "lifers" {been in church since the womb}, have a hard time naturally "sharing the gospel". Can I get an amen? ;)

I think the biggest reason this is unnatural is because we're taught so often that we are to be holy. And we are. And we don't get what that means. We are supposed to be holy -set apart- but that doesn't mean separate [from "heathen" things]. Set apart does not mean separate. Christians are "set apart for God". We are chosen for a purpose. We are chosen to be a part of God's plan.

I think it's kinda like a recipe. Let's say the recipe ingredients calls for 2 cups of mozzarella cheese but in the directions is says, "Mix in 1 and 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese in to [yada yada] and set aside the other 1/2 cup to sprinkle on the top at the end. We are the 1/2 cup of cheese set aside for the top. We are set to the side because we have a different, more specific purpose, not because we aren't to be part of the main dish. God has a plan to spice up the recipe!

Holiness: Set Apart as Part of the Plan to Spice Up Life

Well, hopefully that made any sense. You know He's a lot smarter than my cheesey illustration and our purpose is much more grandiose than extra creaminess. {budump bump} ;) Basically what I mean is, we are not made to huddle together with those who believe, think, look, parent, talk, dress, etc just like us. We're meant to get our hands dirty with the real ingredients of life. It's not always pretty, it will be a LOT of messy, sometime challenging, but it'll taste awesome when it's done.

Be Holy -------> Jesus -------> Friend of Sinners

We're told to be holy. Holy like Jesus. Jesus was a friend of sinners. So what should we be doing? Befriending sinners! Not walking along side them at the store/game/restaurant and thinking how much better was are because we follow Jesus. We are to break down our misplaced pride, remind ourselves we are just as sinful as the next person {follower or not}, and actually care about others.

Holy means set apart for a purpose. Not just tossed to the side to be looked. That's wasteful and there is no waist in the economy of God. Don't separate yourself and become useless. Be Holy as Christ was Holy.

 

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