Monday, July 27, 2015

Outside Looking In

This post came to me while going through a journal I had written in last December. It's July, I'm talking about Christmas. Christmas in July!

We changed into our Christmas pajamas, headed to Sonic for chocolate peppermint milkshakes (We live in Texas, it doesn’t get that cold in December) and drove to the neighborhood that was getting all the buzz for their light displays. There was one house in particular we wanted to see. It was something off of YouTube; a house strung with over 50,000 lights and they danced along to the music that played from a certain radio station you could only tune into when you were within a certain number of feet of the house. It was beautiful and special and wonderful to hear my two little girls laughing and then quieting down, in silent awe of the beautiful display. 

Then, the front door opened. It wasn’t St. Nick or tiny elves coming to dance a jig and entertain, but a father and son. The little boy was in his Christmas pajamas too. The father and son were holding hands and they walked down their driveway and across the street to stand in their neighbor’s yard to take in the greatness of their hard work that had brought so many in our community smiles and joy. This precious act, of a young boy, wanting to take in the excitement of his house lit up and dancing to Christmas carols warmed my heart. The fact that even though he lived there and saw this daily for at least a month, wanted to enjoy it too, reminded me of our own houses; our own lives that are cause for celebration, even in the small things.

How often do we look into other people’s lives and catch a glimpse of their happy times, yet we don’t stop and enjoy what we have been given and what’s happening in our own lives that is cause for celebration? We see happy faces on social media, pictures of birthday parties, baby showers, engagement parties, weddings, all these glimpses of happy, joyful times of celebration, yet it makes us feel even smaller inside. We don’t stop, open the door, walk out front and take in the beautiful view of our life. The daily doldrums of errands and to-do lists squash the tiny moments of celebration we can celebrate every day. I'm not against social media and sharing those brief happy glimpses of our lives. I do want to remember that it's a brief glimpse, though. I want to take a break even from my own perfectly cropped and filtered photos and enjoy ALL of it from the tiniest success to the tiniest defeat; knowing that all things work together for His good. The good and the bad.

Even if life is full of hurts, sickness, frustration, there’s always room for celebration. Maybe it’s your daughter, learning to fasten her own safety belt and she’s so proud she can’t wipe the smile from her beautiful face. Or, your son, figuring out a math problem that has stumped him for days. Or maybe it’s a moment to celebrate your husband, who made a breakthrough with his boss over a big project right before the final deadline. Maybe it’s you. You have worked so hard to get it all together when you don’t realize that together, you have it all. (Cliche? Yes? But, true). We are all a part of the body of Christ. He has given us all special gifts and talents and each is supposed to be celebrated. Remember, like that little boy, not to forget about your own excitement and celebrations. Take time to walk away from it all, stand back and take in the sometimes messy, but always beautiful view.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chore/Behavior Punch Cards

Since my last blog post about chores I decided to re-think how I'd handle chores and allowance for Anna, who is almost 5. I found a chore chart on Pinterest that lists chores for children of different ages. I created my own chore cards that Anna places in our hanging chart each day. She chooses one and I choose one. I let her know that there might be more added to her chores depending on what we are doing that day.

Over the last year or so we have stopped and started giving her an allowance several times but recently we have been giving her some change each day; that totals up to her weekly allowance. That is, if she does what she is supposed to do. That got me thinking that I would rather not give her money, candy, toys, etc. at the end of the day but for her to wait for the end/beginning of the week.  Viola! Punch cards!

I saw some punch cards that I have from my favorite retailers and thought it was a great idea to create my own for her chores! We have been focusing on Anna's heart lately so I went with a heart theme. Not her literal heart but the condition of her heart and how she handles the "no's" and the discipline and her feelings and emotions. I also used Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people." Hopefully this works a little better and I know she will love keeping it in her wallet and pulling it out each day! We are going to have her redeem it for her allowance and then maybe every 4 weeks if she's earned her allowance the past weeks, give her a trip to the Dollar Store or something like that. We haven't thought it all the way through...we will keep you posted! What incentives or systems do you use with your children? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...