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You have your hands full #1

You Have Your Hands Full!

“You have your hands full!”

The man in Walmart’s canned vegetable aisle gapes at my brimming cart and the 4 small children hanging off in every direction. Then his eyes travel down to my protruding belly.

Like every mom with small children, I’ve received this comment more times then I can count.

It doesn’t bother me anymore though.

(On the contrary! I’m excited by the opportunity!)

I look him in the eye so he can see my sincerity and give him a genuine smile.

“The BEST kind of full you can have!” I exclaim.

My response gets the reaction I was hoping for, and his eyes prove that they can indeed widen farther.

I push my cart on – hoping that my thankful attitude concerning my kids planted a seed in this stranger’s heart.

In a society where children are increasingly devalued, we as Christian parents find ourselves in a powerful position that simply no one else is in.

The pastor can preach about the value of children, politically active can picket and hand out brochures on not killing the unborn, but we, sisters, are the ones who live out a love for our children in front of the world.

The spoken truth is never more potent then its testimony – and we Christian moms are the testimony.

- When you fall on your face before God and find the grace to love a less-then-loveable child, you are a testimony of unconditional love.

-When you lay down your own desire for respect from others, (I’m not talking becoming a revered doctor, national speaker or movie star – I’m talking someone – anyone being impressed by anything you do – because parenting – while insanely hard – rarely gets any applause-)– Yet, even in the midst of obscurity and loneliness, when you find your fulfillment in His sustaining promises – you are a testimony.

-When you are in Walmart, Taco Bell, (fill in your most recent child-threw-a-tantrum-in-front-everyone-spot here), and your child is acting like a sinful little brat and totally humiliating you, and by God’s grace, you zone in and help that child through his/her spiritual battle without losing your cool, you are a testimony.

Satan doesn’t just attack Christ’s name. He attacks Christ’s truth.

And one of the biggest truths attacked in America today is the value of motherhood – AND by default the value of children.

(Satan is busy. He is constantly telling women that they need exciting careers, thin bodies, big houses, and a dozen other things that won’t matter on our deathbeds but will be stifled by faithfully parenting children.)

And the world is listening.

Despite longer lives and better healthcare, the worldwide national fertility rate (the number of children the average woman will bear in her lifetime) has steadily dropped from 4.95 children per woman in 1950 to 2.34 children in 2015. Oddly, this trend is dominant in the countries where we can actually afford children. In America, the average woman has birthed less then 2 children since 1972.

If numbers speak, children are not a priority in the western world today.

But there is one thing Satan can’t stifle – the Truth – and the testimony of the Truth that we get to be.

We are the undeniable picture that children are awesome and being a mom is a high and worthy calling – one that surpasses the rest.

So the next time you are rushing through the grocery store, and the inevitable comment comes –

“You have your hands full!”

Proudly hoist your battle-worn banner up on your shoulder and make the most of that fleeting opportunity.

You have your hands full #2

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Thank You Elisabeth Elliot

I was 2 years into parenting, and life was stretching in front of me like one massive laundry pile after another.

Gone was the glory of the Christian walk that I’d dreamed of while in Bible college – back when I’d had hours to study and contemplate all the beautiful and exciting ways God’s plan was going to unfold in my life.

There was no glory.

There was no excitement.

There was just a very challenging toddler, a newborn, and a husband who was working feverishly just to provide enough for us to scrape out an existence.

And there was the nagging fear that maybe I’d missed God’s will for my life – that if I’d ‘caught’ it, I’d be off making glorious differences in God’s work because obviously I was made for more then dishes, laundry, and toddler tantrums.

And there was the discouragement and depression that comes every time I start giving into fear and forget to notice God’s working hand.

But then came the pivotal phone call with my older sister – that got my head screwed back on, and the quote she gave me that has become the motto of my every day.

It was an encouraging call – as they always are when I take the time to call the godly woman who I get to call my older sister, but at the end of it, she offered to send me a quote by Elisabeth Elliot.

I agreed – having been blessed by a couple of Elisabeth Elliot’s books – though doubting someone who had actually gotten to do awesome things in God’s work could ‘get’ my menial existence.

But I found in the quote – a life outlook that I needed desperately to adopt. It was one of trust, and it was one of seeing God’s hand at work in every. single. task.

 “This job has been given to me to do.

Therefore, it is a gift.

Therefore, it is a privilege.

Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.

Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.

Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way.

In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”

 

Elisabeth Elliot

 

I printed the quote, capitalized the words I wanted to think about, framed it, and have read it multiple times a week since.

I have many framed Bible verses around my home, but this is the only human quote, and it sits front and center above my sink because I seem to need this reminder often.

(In the summer it usually has dandelions next to it, but as you can see, my kids have upgraded to chives this year.)

My life is still filled with the menial, but this life outlook has helped me to recognize that every time I’m sweeping the floor, I’m fulfilling a task God has called me to do – to exemplify a content attitude and create a calm home for my children to grow.

When I fold the 97th load of laundry this year, I recognize that it is a gift to be able to do whatever God has for me – exciting or not-so-exciting and to teach my littles how to fold wash clothes, pants , (and two of them can now fold shirts!).

And when I start seeing past the temporal exterior that enshrouds every task, I start to be overwhelmed with the privilege.

That is when I finally start to realize that my uneventful day is an offering I may make to God.

Then the gladness and thankfulness for getting to do a service for Him comes.

Then my heart opens and reaches up to God – eager to learn the lesson of the way that He is teaching me.

Then, slowly, I can strive for faithfulness.

- Verity

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Target, it’s Time to Part Ways

Two months ago an Ohio mom got angry that her local Target had girl’s building blocks specially marked as ‘girls building blocks.’ (Seriously!!) This sparked a platform for Feminists across social media to reign down a tirade on the entire Target Corporation.

 Target has now decided to make the majority of their toy section and several other sections gender neutral – to appease the abrasive and offended.

 Media is predicting Walmart, Disney and other retailers to follow depending on the public response.

 CHRISTIANS, don’t be silent!

 Let’s light up social media and boycott Target so they see the difference in their sales.

Target,

You are the dream store of mothers –

From the in-store Starbucks, the multi-kid carts, and the cart cup-holder to the awesome kid clothes (heck, mom clothes too!) and the beloved cartwheel app, you make shopping a little like a girl-date…

(Just without the girlfriend and usually a multi-kid cart full of kids).photo 5

I love your bright and happy colors, your shorter-than-your competitor lines, and those BIG foofy pink skirts my sister-in-law got for my girls last year in your clearance section.

Alas, no store compares with you.

But despite my love of your 5% off card and free shipping, I’m ready to walk away.

Because as much as I love those cute winter boots I got for $10.81 at your end of season sale, I love my kids being confident in who they are even more.

I love that my son is proud of being a little boy – and that he is excited about being a strong and heroic man someday. I like taking him somewhere where he can gush about the super-heroes and dragons – surrounded by his interests.

photo 1I love that my girls love being little princesses – beautiful both inside and out, and when I take them shopping, I love watching them delight in the sparkles, puffs and bows of the girls’ section – reveling for a few short minutes in a section designed just for them.

I love that my kids are confident in who they are. They are confident in the bodies they were born into – and they are comfortable and happy with there being a difference between them.

And like all moms, I want my kids to be supported in who they are. And I hope that enough of us moms stand up and let you know that your stylish clothes and knock-out prices are not worth the message you are sending our kids – that God or fate somehow messed up, and they are not to be proud of and confident in the femininity or masculinity they were born with – maybe you’ll take a hint.

On the contrary, I’m going to take them places where they can celebrate who they are – and at the moment, that place is not you.

 - Verity

 

 

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Missing in Action

This blog, the friends made through it and the joy of sharing what God’s teaching me have been an important part of my life the last couple years.

I honestly never expected to drop the ball on it – ever!

But 3 1/2 months ago I totally did.

It started with a shocking text from my husband.

“Do you want to get the house ready to sell and move?”

I didn’t even text him back.

living_room1I seriously thought he was joking!!!!!

The house was really workable (unless we had more kids which I really, really did want at least one more…)

But he came home, and he was serious.

He was ready for a house and neighborhood that fit our goals and family better.

 

And as we looked at the economy in our exact area, we realized the time to sell – was NOW – or in 3 years.

So we SCRAMBLED

The next week my 3 oldest spent almost a week at my mom and dad’s house, and we worked REALLY hard.

And the whole house was A MESS. Projects in every room. Clutter on every surface. Me missing my babies. (5 1/2 still counts as a baby – right?)

And there was the emotional struggle. Apparently moving involves a lot of emotional struggle. (At least this one did.)

master_bedroomThis was the final step for me in accepting that doors were really closed on other dreams. We were really NOT going into full-time ministry any time soon. (The house we were buying, while a better fit for our family and goals does require my husband’s much-higher-than-most-pastor’s-make salary) We were not moving out to the lovely little town we’d dreamed of living in – surrounded by dear friends who I still deeply wish I could be closer to.

I spent a lot of time reading the last several chapters of Genesis. Again and again I was awed by God’s working hand in Joseph’s life.

Living the American dream was never my plan for my life. Missions. Sacrifice. Martyrdom all sounded much more spiritual then buying a nicer house.bedroom2

But I finally had to come to terms with one thing – my ministry is my family right now. We could afford to give our kids a house with a better lay-out to homeschool them in, a house that was more condusive to build my husband’s dream business, and I needed to recognize the ministry in front of my nose instead of lamenting the ministries God has given to others. I agreed to work with him in his home business, something I’ve not done in about 3 years, and I accepted that God has given me this ministry, in this place, at this time.

As I internalized all this, I couldn’t write. I couldn’t call friends. I needed to deal with the chaos in my house, deal with all the projects we’d procrastinated for 6 years, and come to the final acceptance of what God had for me and my family.

bathroom1And then we did the showings – 42 in 3 1/2 weeks. Sometimes I’d get a text 30 minutes before we needed to be out of the house, and I’d shoo the kids outside and do a desperate wipe-down to ensure the floors looked gorgeous and the house did NOT look like 4 kids under 6 and an 80 pound poodle occupied it.

Then came the low-ball offers and wondering if all our work on the never-ending-fixer-upper would never pay off.

The low-point was 3 weeks in. We’d spent thousands of dollars to get ready ready to sell, lowered the price as low as we could go, and were exhausted from abandoning our home daily to showings. The kids cried often, and I think I cried more…

In that weekend, we surrendered the whole thing to God. If it didn’t sell, it would be okay. He would provide. We could see the many lessons we’d learned – the joy of finishing the fixer-upper house we’d started several years earlier, the lessons in communication to each other, the lesson of contentedness, the strong realization that He was working – whatever the outcome.kitchen1

The next day the offer came. It had actually come in 6 days earlier but had gone to our realtor’s spam envelope by mistake! There was no doubt in my mind that God allowed that so we could learn those vital lessons that one day earlier and surrender it all to Him.

They asked for a closing only 28 days later.

More scrambling.

We found the ‘perfect’ house, lost it, and found what was really the right house. And the owners, who had already moved, agreed to a closing on the same day as our other closing only three weeks later.

And here we are.

If you had told me in January that by June I’d be in a gorgeous 2 story house with a massive fenced yard overlooking the most lovely pond you can imagine, I’d have laughed at you.

But here I am – so amazed by the provision of God that even 2 weeks in, I still feel like I’m dreaming.

(And one week after we moved, Lydia and Matthew were called to pastor a church in Florida – so her moving story is just beginning!)

Things are finally unpacked enough that I’m able to start writing again.

If you have sent a note or comment, I am really, really sorry. I have 41, 537 comments which I’m going to delete because I’m guessing at least 41,500 of them are spam and the thought of sorting them sounds horrible. :-I (SO PLEASE COMMENT AGAIN in a couple days once I get those figured out!)

We would love to hear from you!

-Verity

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April Showers Crafts and Games!

It’s that time of year when we stand on the brink of sunshine and hours of outside play. So close we can almost smell it… yet it’s not quite here.

We are having one of those classic April weeks in Minnesota, where it’s too cold to play outside and every day looms of rain, so we decided to make the most of it! Today we learned all about the seasons, rain, and why there are April showers. ☺ I came up with a list of activities that would both demonstrate how rain works, and give the kids a hands on experience, plus a craft project o remember it by. It just happened that I was also able to incorporate appropriate books throughout the day to go with each activity.


The Seasons:

IMG_4136First, I chose 1 item to represent each season: a wooden snowflake, a red leaf, a small wooden flower, and a yellow circle for the sun. I placed the items in a bag and had each child reach in (without looking) to pull one out. We discussed each one and what it represented. They really enjoyed the suspense of this activity!

Then we read “When?” by Leo Lionni and “All Around Us” by Eric Carle. These were perfect! They both cover the seasons and things that happen in them. We talked about how we are in the season of spring and specifically, the month of April. In April it rains a lot so flowers can grow etc.

April and Rain:

IMG_4139Next, we moved to the dining room table where I placed a large mason jar filled 1/3 of the way with boiling water. I placed a plate on top and let it sit for a few minutes while we discussed how and why rain works. You can read more about it HERE. Next, I set 8-10 ice cubes on the plate. Within a few seconds, we could see a gentle mist coming down the jar from the bottom of the plate which looked like a light rain. They loved it!

Making their own rain clouds:

IMG_4142I filled a large clear container half full with water and added only 2 drops of blue food coloring. I wanted them to see the blue, but I didn’t want it to stain anything. ☺ I gave them each a container with cotton balls, a piece of paper, and tongs. If you don’t have enough tongs, we also used 2 matching serving forks and 2 matching serving slotted spoons. These may have even been easier. :-D I would also cover your workspace with a towel—everything got quite wet.

I explained that their cotton balls were clouds and they needed to fill them with water to become rain clouds. They dropped the cotton balls into the blue water, let them get wet and then set them on the paper to make designs. They LOVED this!! Before long, the cotton balls were back and forth and everywhere else. They wrung them out with their hands and started the process again. Everybody was wet, but they did this for about half an hour. Very fun activity that serves as a great visual for rain!

Rain Craft:FullSizeRender

I gave each child a piece of cardstock with a simple cloud drawn in the top portion. I had them fill it with Elmer’s glue and then cover it with cotton balls. Next we discussed how rain comes out of rain clouds, so they made their rain with the glue. I then sprinkled blue glitter on their rain, poured off the excess, and Voila! Beautiful rain coming down from their clouds. They were pretty giddy about all that glitter—especially since I was doing this with 4 little girls. ☺

IMG_4147Listening Walk:

It just happened that it wasn’t raining this afternoon, so we decided to get outside for a few minutes—it was still cold! :-D I wanted the walk to go with our spring theme though, so we read, “The Listening Walk” by Paul Showers, then we got bundled up and headed out for our own listening walk. This was a lot of fun. All of the kids noticed things they had never noticed before. We discovered a lot of unique and new sounds as well finding some new life on trees and in plants. They were surprised to see and hear so many of the signs of spring we had been learning about.

FullSizeRenderOther books we read to go with the theme:

“Dora’s Serach for the Seasons” by Samantha Berger

“A Bunny for all Seasons” by Janet Schulman

“My Spring Robin” by Anne Rockwell

“Wee Little Lamb” by Lauren Thompson

Coloring Pages:

We finished the day with a couple of coloring pages that coordinated with the theme. I just got them off Google images and turned them into coloring sheets.

Soon the luster of spring will be here and we will miss these cold rainy days to do projects inside our home. I love the opportunities to take advantage of these less than desirable times! ☺

Happy Spring!

-Lydia

 

Resurrection Day Invitation to Play – Easter Crafts

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During a season of bunnies, chicks, and eggs, it can be hard to direct our children toward the real meaning of Easter. This year, I wanted something that was hands-on and interactive but not a typical craft project. I came up with an Easter Invitation to Play that was God focused and reviewed many of the truths we have been learning the last few weeks.

I think there are a lot of ways to do this, but here’s what we used. You can tweak this to adapt to your materials and needs.image

White Play dough
Green Play dough
Three toothpicks or small sticks to serve as crosses
Pom-poms or small flowers
A strip of fabric or paper
Small pieces of paper or stones where you have written examples of sins
The bottom portion cut out of a cup

imageI gave each of the kids a plate with the above items. We have been learning all about the crucifixion and the resurrection so it was all very fresh in their minds. Before we began this portion though, we sat down and discussed the fact that it was our sin that sent Jesus to the cross. He was perfect and did not have to die to take the consequence for his own sin. He died for us: it was our sin that paved the way to the cross. I wanted them to understand the significance of this truth. I had very small pieces of paper, maybe half inch by half-inch, and we wrote a different sin on about 30 of them. This was significant and they really understood it. Therefore, when they each received their plate with the items to use for the invitation to play, they each had about eight of the papers with sins. I explained that they were going to set up the scene however they would like. The toothpicks could be used as crosses, the white Play dough could be used to create a tomb and to cover the cup portion, or they could use the cup portion as the tomb and the white Play dough as the stone. I explained that the pom-poms could be flowers, or some other type of decoration. They could use the strip of paper as a road or some type of pathway. They could even use it as a linen cloth to wrap up a pom-pom to serve as Jesus. :-) The green Play dough could be used as grass or as a hill for the crosses to sit on. The one thing I told them I wanted them to include for sure was the pathway of sins. They all thought this made a lot of sense and were excited to dig in!

imageThey worked on this project for probably close to an hour, and came up with all sorts of scenes. I think it really helped to solidify the truths that we have been learning this week in a hands-on experience where they could actually do something with what they have been learning. I hope that you find this to be just as profitable with your kids!

Happy Easter!

-Lydia

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Sun Catchers Craft

​As we gear up for spring, (and that extra hour of sunshine!) the kids and I did this great craft project I have to share with you! It’s cheap, easy, and makes a great gift to brighten someone’s day. We made sun catchers.

What you need:

• Contact paper
• Tissue Paper
• Ribbon
• Hole Punch
• Scissors
• Small suction cup with hook

​Simply trace a circle onto contact paper with a little hump on the top. It will look similar to a Christmas ornament.

​Cut out 2 of them for each sun catcher.

​Cut out several small squares of multi colored tissue paper.

​Peel the backing off the contact paper. This takes a bit of patience…

​Have the kids place their tissue paper squares all over the sticky side of the contact paper. My 13 month old did this no problem and loved it!

​When it’s full, place the matching contact paper circle on top. Line it up best you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfect at all.

​Trim around the edges. This will catch the tissue paper hanging off the edges and is also an easy way to even out the circles.

​Punch a hole in the center of the hump part at the top.

​String a short thin ribbon through the hole and tie it in a loop.

​Hang on a window with a suction cup that has a hook. They sell 10-12 packs at Dollar Tree.

​These make great gifts to brighten someone’s day!

​Enjoy the sunshine!!
- Lydia

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Daylight Savings Activities for Kids

Daylight Savings Time: The dreaded day when we lose an hour of precious sleep and our kids schedules are changed for the next 7 months. I got to thinking though; why not use the opportunity to teach my children? They are currently 1, 2, and 4, with the girls I nanny filling in the gaps at 3 and 5, but it’s a great opportunity to teach them about Daylight Savingsastronomy, time telling, reading the calendar, seasons, and more!

Here’s what we did!

First, I pulled out a toy that happens to have a large clock face with movable hands on one side. You could use a real clock, a toy, or make your own. We discussed times they are familiar with such as when they wake up in the morning, lunch time, bedtime, and so on. Next we went through a full day hour by hour and I explained how the clock cycles through all the numbers twice each day. We talked about when it’s light outside, when it’s dark and some key times in the winter vs. summer when it’s light or dark. Once they were fully synced with me on the subject, I took them into the concept of daylight savings time: why we do it and how it works. I showed what it looks like to fall back and spring forward on the clock and how that would affect the times of day they are familiar with. They were fascinated and had a decent understanding of everything. To enforce the concept, we played some games.

Game #1

IMG_3798I had the kids stand shoulder to shoulder on a line in our home. You could make one with masking tape. When I said “Fall Back!” they had to take a giant step backward. When I said, “Spring Forward!” they took a giant step forward. Each time I gave the command and they responded, I gave a high five to those who had responded correctly. That was plenty of incentive for them. We did it several times until they were all getting it correct each time and there were plenty of giggles. ☺

Game #2

IMG_3802I had them all sit Indian style on the living room floor. When I said, “Fall back!” they flopped onto their backs. I had them sit back up, and sit Indian style again. When I said, “Spring forward!” they flopped onto their tummies. We didn’t play this one as long as the other, but they still loved it!

 

 

Craft #1

They colored this picture. Isn’t it cute? I felt like it summed everything up perfectly!

Craft #2

FullSizeRenderWe made pocket watches. The kids needed a tactual way to remember all we had learned, so what better project than to make a clock of some sort? You could do anything, but I thought these were super cute!

First, draw 2 circles near each other on colored paper. I used construction paper, but colored paper would hold up better. Connect your circles to create a book type look. I guess it almost looks like a pair of glasses if that helps. Cut them out all connected.

Draw a smaller circle on plain white paper and cut it out as well.

Glue the white circle to one side of the colored circle.

Write the numbers of a clock face around the white circle.

IMG_3805Cut out 2 tiny arrows, one slightly larger than the other, on black paper. I was disappointed with how well the construction paper held up, so another option might be better. Use a safety pin to prick a whole through both arrows and the center of the clock face and back of pocket watch. This will make it so much easier when you poke your brad through it. Make sure the hole is a good ways down the arrow sticks so they don’t rip through when you insert your brad.

Next, poke your brad through both arrows and the clock and backside of your pocket watch.

Lastly, feel free to decorate the pocket watch and enjoy!

We did one last craft project to welcome the extra hour of sunlight each day, so come back on Friday to read about that one. ☺

Even if we are about to lose an hour of sleep, at least we have the opportunity to teach our children so many concepts leading up to it! ☺Daylight Savings Time Spring Forward Coloring

-Lydia

 

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The Love Story that Saved my Marriage

Even now my love story is hard to write about without great emotion.

It’s been 8 years since the majority of my story takes place. 11 since I met my husband.

We became friends in Bible college, and he immediately impressed me with his love for doctrine and the Bible. I quickly viewed him as a great spiritual leader.

After almost 3 years, we hoped to be engaged, but my dad had reservations. Although we had stayed pure in our relationship, my dad was unsure if we were well-matched and mature enough for marriage.

We said we’d wait as long as necessary, but my father asked us to end the relationship and break off all contact.

With incredible sorrow (and a couple days of trying to persuade my parents otherwise), we agreed to honor my parents and submit to their counsel.

There were many spiritual struggles I had to deal with during the coming months -

- Bitterness toward my father and those who spoke for the break-up

- Fear of man’s opinion. What if people thought we were broken up because we sinned?

- Jealousy toward my twin sister who, with my parents’ blessing was planning a wedding to a mature and godly man she’d dated for 6 weeks before becoming engaged

- Deep, deep grief. I actually went through the 5 stages of grief as if my boyfriend had died.

But the greatest struggle by far was wondering if I was ‘missing’ God’s will for my life – I feared that if I obeyed God, honored my parents, and broke up with my ‘soul mate’ I’d miss all that God had planned for me.

I feared that my dad (who never talked about the Bible and theology as eloquently as my boy friend) was not ‘in tune,’ to God’s leading.

Finally though, I had to realize that my struggle was NOT whether or not I trusted my dad.

My struggle was whether or not I trusted GOD.

During those deeply lonely months, I had to wrestle with my view of God.

Was He good to allow this?

Was He powerful enough to work this out for good?

Was He going to work it out for MY good or only His good?

I remember driving alone early on a cold February morning sobbing about Romans 8:28.

(Romans 8: 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.)

“Lord!” I cried. “Is the ‘good’ MY good or YOUR good? Can it be good for me too!?”

Slowly and mercifully, God grew my faith in Him and my love for Him.

He would work out good for me – despite imperfect leadership, loss and failure.

One thing that stands out in my mind from that time was when I held a Bible study and special dinner for a couple of newly saved teenagers and chose to use the special dishes bought for the home I planned to make with my lost love.

I stood there looking at the beautifully patterned place settings and seeing a clear physical picture of God  taking my lost dreams and working them out for good.

God was both good and powerful, and even if He did not allow me to marry the man I loved, He would have something even better for me.

5 months later, at the right time and in the right way, my parents gave their consent for Jeremiah and I to reestablish contact, and the next year we were married with their blessing on 8-2-08, a fluke coincidence that always makes me smile when I think of my wrestle with Romans 8:28.

Love Story 2But the deeper love for God and greater trust in His omnipotent hand that grew in my new husband and I during our separation came with us into our marriage.

In almost 7 years, we’ve endured miscarriage, unemployment, a premature baby, 4 children, a fixer-upper house, ministry and family struggles and so much more, but our marriage has stayed strong.

And I contribute this greatly to the faith God grew in us during our break-up.  When confronted with great loss, we learned that God will always work things out for good.

As a wife, I’ve found it easier to follow my husband’s leadership because I’ve grown to recognize that I’m not trusting him – an imperfect sinner (albeit cute as can be ;-) ).

I’m trusting God. He promises GOOD. He will do GOOD.

So while I’ve been telling you about my love story with my husband, the love story that has saved my marriage – and any marriage – is the love story of God’s love.

We are His beloved children, and His perfect way for us will prevail despite imperfect leaders, and financial or other life struggles.

If God be for us, who can stand against us?

 

-VerityLove Story 3

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Valentine’s Day Game

With Valentine’s day quickly approaching, I wanted an opportunity to teach my kids about the most important love of all—God’s love. I wanted it to be interactive and kind of fun, so we went on a treasure hunt!

To start everything off, I had each of the kids make their own mailbox using this site. This is completely unnecessary, but so cute and was definitely a special touch. They could just as easily use little treasure chests, bags, buckets, or nothing at all.

I explained that last night I had gone on a treasure hunt through God’s Word, the Bible. I had gone looking for treasures about God’s love and I was going to share with them what I found. In order to find those treasures though, they had to go on a treasure hunt through our house! ☺

I had them leave the area with their mailboxes while I hid 14 prepared hearts around the first floor of our home. Each heart had a different truth about God’s love written on it. Here is my rough list if you want to copy the concepts. I’m sure there are others though!

God’s love is Everlasting
God IS love
He loved us first
God’s love never changes
He showed it to us when he died for us
He loves it when we do good
God loves the world
God loves Jesus
God loves to be an example for us
God’s love is an example to us
God has the greatest love and He showed it when Jesus laid down his life for us
Nothing can separate us from God’s love
God’s love is great
God’s love is overflowing

After they found all the hearts and had them carefully stashed in their mailboxes, we met on the floor in the living room to discuss their treasures. We simply went around the circle and each child pulled out one heart at a time. We discussed the concept found on that heart and interacted a bit about the truth that was there. We continued until all the truths had been discovered. At the end, we reviewed what we had learned about the treasure of God’s love and how His love was unlike any other love.

I encouraged them to keep their hearts in their mailbox with the flag up, so they could send their treasures to someone else who would like to know about the great treasure of God’s love. They each left the room excited about the depth of His love and eager to share their treasures with others!

 

-Lydia