Seven Ways to Find Joy

This week’s post for the Greeley Moms was inspired by a good friend who made the best of a tough situation. This is something I’m working on daily. Thanks for reading and letting me share from the heart! What would you add to the list?

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/12234909-113/yourself-camper-friend-joy

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Raising Courageous Kids

My heart sank heavily Monday morning after I watched a news clip on GMA about murder charges being filed against the fraternity in the December death of 19-year-old Chun “Michael” Deng. Michael died two days after experiencing blunt force trauma to the head during a hazing ritual with his fraternity on a retreat in Pennsylvania, and the tragedy grows deeper as the details of the story unfold.
After Michael lost consciousness, his fraternity brothers waited an hour before three of them took him to get medical attention.
One full hour.
This delay, this hesitation, this time to debate and decide and worry about getting into trouble, is where this tragedy grips my heart. I truly hope some of those fraternity brothers knew what they needed to do to save their friend. So why didn’t they act? Is this an example of negative peer pressure at its worst? Or is it an example of self-preservation outweighing the value of another’s life?
As a parent, this tragedy fills me with compassion for all of the families involved while also stirring a deep desire for me to do my best to raise brave, courageous and compassionate kids. Even though my children are only two and a half, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start to instill these values.
I want to take my girls to volunteer, serve and give of themselves so they will learn the value and joy of making sacrifices for others.
I want to encourage my girls to consider the perspectives and feelings of others so they won’t hesitate for even a second when it comes to seeking help for the suffering.
I want my girls to learn to own their mistakes, even when it means facing the consequences of their actions, so they will value integrity.
I want to teach my girls how to stand up for what’s right even when they hear 29 (or more) of their friends trying to convince them to do otherwise.
I want to find news stories about courageous men, women and children and share them with my girls to encourage and inspire us all.
I want to remind my girls about the bravery of their great-grandfathers who fought in World War II and the Korean War and challenge them to live a life worthy of the sacrifice made by these great men with whom they share a family name.
This compassion and courage won’t develop over night, and I know I will have to model these values daily if I truly want to teach them to my girls. The task seems daunting, but I’m up for the challenge. Michael’s loss deserves to be honored with a commitment to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring in the future.
Parents, are you with me? Who knows whose lives may depend on the courage of our children one day.

Adventure Playgrounds: Dangerous or Genius?

Parents, I can’t wait for you to see this post for the Greeley Moms. Would you let your kids (over age 5) play here? I initially thought this idea was crazy, but the more I read and thought about it, I decided it’s pretty amazing. I’d love to hear from you!

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/11150005-113/kids-adventure-parents-danger

A Mama’s Heart on Fire: Sharing your Faith with your Kids

 A Mama's Heart on Fire Easter

 

Happy Easter! This week brought an amazing surprise which my mama heart was not expecting.

I had one of those parenting moments which brings tears to your eyes, stops you in your tracks and grabs your heart, and it caught me completely off guard.

My girls and I have been talking daily for the last few weeks about Easter, and we spent extra time last night (Easter eve) retelling the Easter story so they would know exactly what the holiday was about.

While we were eating dinner, my husband and I told the girls once again that we’d be celebrating such a happy day tomorrow because we’d be celebrating how much Jesus loves us.

We told them all about how he came to earth because he loved us all so much, how he was brave enough to die for us, how he came back and will save all who believe in him. I finished up by telling them how amazing heaven will be: how everyone is happy, how we’ll all be together, no one will cry and there won’t be any more “owies.”

Y’all.

Those few simple sentences, broken down into toddler-friendly language, and thinking about how much our Lord loves our sweet babies just completely overwhelmed me.

I have always known and believed the Easter story, but telling it to my girls and realizing how much it defines our lives here on earth, how much it matters to us and how thankful I am to be able to tell it…that was amazing.

It seems like God takes our mama hearts through the fire and refines us just a little bit more through our children. He deepens our faith and our stretches the boundaries of our hearts through these tiny people he gives us to look after.

As silly as this sounds, I feel like I own the Easter story even more after sharing it for these past few weeks with my girls. It didn’t change any; I still know it is just as true as I did before, but I seem to grasp the importance of it even more so as I see it through the eyes of a parent.

Have you noticed your faith changing through sharing it with your children? May you have a blessed and happy Easter weekend!

 

Open Ocean Sailing With Young Children: What Do You Think?

Would you cross the Pacific with young children in tow? Were these parents living the dream or putting their children in unnecessary danger? Here is this week’s blog post for the Greeley Moms–thanks for reading and sharing if you choose! 

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/10970392-113/parents-boat-diapers-family

 

Don’t Discount Public Schools

Whatever type of education you choose for your child, it is your choice. I support you! If public schools are an option, I’d encourage you to give them a second look. Here’s this week’s post for the Greeley Tribune:

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/10866886-113/public-child-schools-choice

Thanks for reading and sharing if you choose.

In other news, we listed and accepted a contract on our house last week! A month of prepping the house and cleaning up after two toddlers has left blogging on the very bottom of my to-do list. Now that we are under contract, though, I have some time to do more than paint trim and organized closets. Watch for a Mama’s Heart on Fire post soon. I have been AWOL on reading and commenting on all of your fabulous blogs, and I am so sorry. I will do my best to play catch up. I’ve missed my WordPress friends!