Category Archives: Parenting 101

Recycle your way to fun

School is officially out for my daughter and we are on a never-ending search to find fun ways to spend our time.  Of course, there are always the go-to ideas: swimming pool, playground, library.  However, we have begun an endeavor to Recycle our way to Fun!  Each time we are about to put something in the recycle bin, we ask ourselves “could we craft something with this?”  We have, many times, answered yes to that question and so we put a separate bin in the kitchen for any recyclable item that we deem fit for crafting!

Our first experience was the easiest craft idea we could conjure.  My daughter seems to like pirates [thank you, Jake and the Neverland Pirates!].  Therefore, she had mentioned several times wanting a “pirate telescope”.  We had saved up many paper towel rolls and we determined to use these!  We each decorated a few, with boats and waves and fish and the like.  Then, we decided to make it even more fun.  We took several pieces of saran wrap and colored them with markers.  We then placed one on one end of each roll.  Glorious!

It is amazing to me how just taking the 10-20 minutes to craft these VERY simple telescopes made my daughter’s entire day!  Once we were done decorating them, we went to the yard and explored with them for at least an hour.  What sheer joy!

My encouragement this summer, especially if you have young children, is to find simple ways to create fun experiences with them.  You may think that what you have in mind is too simple or boring, but chances are that just the opportunity to spend the time with you is exactly what your child is craving!

Fun and adventure can truly be at every corner, if you just look for it!

Crystal

 

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” ~Danny Kaye

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Signs and Wonders

Good Day, All!

In my time in the Word this week, I found this verse in Isaiah that is truly challenging my perspective.  It reads, “…Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders…”  I have always believed that the Lord had great plans for my daughter, but seeing this verse that so clearly states it really rocked my socks off.

Now, the challenge to my heart has been, “am I holding her to this standard?”  Each day, am I believing that SHE has an assignment of the Lord just as I?  Each day are we approaching His Throne together in prayer so that she can see an example of one that will fully trust in Him to bring forth signs and wonders through us?

In the end, it is clear.  God GAVE me Daliah for signs and for wonders.  This day, I would challenge you in this same way.  Do you see that the Lord has GIVEN you children for signs and for wonders?  The signs and wonders may be for you, your family, friends…or for those multitudes out in the world that your children will minister to.

This is an amazing gift and an amazing responsibility.  Lord, give me the wisdom to know how to parent my sign and wonder.  Give me the patience and lovingkindness needed to nurture the gift sitting within.  Use me to show her how to follow after You in a way that so surpasses that in which I have.  And I thank You for my sign and wonder. Amen.

~Crystal

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Good Day, All!

I decided to write about the moments in the past week that my daughter has astonished and humbled me with her faith.  My daughter’s name is Daliah and she is 3 years old.  This last week, my husband got sick from a co-worker and so I knew it was only a matter of time before it passed to Daliah and then on to me.  I was hoping that I was wrong, but this did tend to be the pattern.

Well, I came home from Church last Wednesday night and, sure enough, Daliah was sick.  I spent that night nursing her ailments.  The next day, she kept saying “I’m sick”.  Knowing that our words hold much power, I reminded her that Jesus will heal her, we just need to ask and believe.  So, we prayed that she would be healed.  Later she told me the first of my lessons for the week: “mama, Jesus is going to make me better because Jesus loves me!”

The following day, she told her grandma the same thing and now she is all healed!  Then on Saturday at Church, she was talking to a gentleman that had an accident at work in which he lost a finger.  He was explaining this to her and afterward she told him, “when God is happy, He will give it back to you.”

It is amazing how God uses all of His creation to speak of His goodness and miracles, even “little babes”.

 

 

 

 

~Crystal

A house full of the Word of the Lord

Hello All!

We have implemented something in our household this week that I wanted to share with you all!  We were discussing holiness during a recent ministry conference.  There had been a video by Leonard Ravenhill where he said that if you expect your children to walk in holiness, you must first do the same.  A very simple, yet powerful truth – lead by example.  And thus began the wheels a-turnin’ in my brain.  How can we, as a family, grow closer to Him and the holy lifestyle that He has called us to?  Well, since our daughter is a mere 3 years old I decided we should start “small”.  Gaining wisdom from Proverbs 22, where it says:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

So, we are learning scripture together!  We have decided to find “simple” scriptures each week to learn.  We write them on our chalkboard in our kitchen and recite them and use them as reminders for how to live our lives.

When we see the scripture for that week, we are parents are reminded to uphold His Word AND to speak it over our daughter and teach her His Words.  This has been a great reminder to never lose sight of His glorious and wonderful Word that He has given us.  What an honor it is to be able to read and understand His Word AND to be able to teach it to our children!

 

Have a blessed evening!

~Crystal

He is Great in the small things

“For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.”

~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

It was in my time with my sister’s family today that I was thinking on the quote above.  It was a “small” moment, but one that I feel was divine and years in the making.  I was sitting in her living room and then my brother in law says to the middle daughter, “Marissa, you should get your church CD to show Crystal your dance.”  Now, I pause here to add that my sister and her family had never attended church until the past month, so I found this quite striking.  Marissa proceeds to put in the CD and the Rock of Ages song blasts throughout the house.  Pretty soon she is singing all the words and doing the motions too.  Then, I see that all 3 girls are singing along.  It brought tears to my eyes to see such joy in them to show me the things they had learned in Vacation Bible School.  Honestly, this has been a desire of my heart for 10 years now – to see my sister know the Lord and her household following Him.  What a simply beautiful moment.

Have a blessed evening,

Crystal

Faith Like a Child

Since the birth of our daughter 3 years ago, I have learned innumerable life lessons!  One of the most important and humbling came today on our car ride home.  As we were driving, Daliah was eating a snack I had given her.  She bit her tongue and began to cry.  As I was consoling her, while trying to keep my eyes on the traffic, she simply asked me, “Mama, can you pray for me that my tongue won’t hurt?”  Surprised and caught off guard, I quickly replied, “pray for you?  sure!”  I reached back and placed my hand on her knee and said a quick prayer for healing for her injured tongue.  Then she said something so beautiful, “it still hurts, but Jesus is going to make it feel better.”  It was in that moment that I so clearly saw what kind of faith God has asked of us.  To believe so innocently and whole-heartedly that He will answer our needs, even if it is a “little” thing like a bite on our tongue.  Once we were home, I was relating this story to my husband and Daliah said, “my tongue is all better because of Jesus“.

Today I saw how simple it truly is to believe Him at His Word.  He says that if we ask, we shall receive.  He says that He loves us with a jealous love.  He says that He has a plan for us.  He says that we were fearfully and wonderfully made.  And in this pure moment of words from my daughter’s lips, my eyes were opened to see this in operation.  And, oh, how I was humbled.

Matthew 21:16, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.”

~Crystal