Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Three New Questions

If you have ever sat with us during dinner, you probably have been asked our three dinner questions. Tonight, before we even started, Eldest asked, "Why do we always have to ask the same old questions? They're boring." (Many things are boring when you are eight.)

"Ok," I said, "You come up with three new questions. Go."

And to my surprise, he came up with three brilliant questions.
  1. What was something interesting you saw today?
  2. What was something you discovered today?
  3. What is something you like about Christmas?
It was fun answering new questions and actually easy to come up with answers. The kids had been getting a little bored with the questions and were not participating as I would have liked. Tonight, however, everyone had a ready and interesting answer.

What do you do to engage your kids around the dinner table?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dancing Through Life - Book Review

I have been a fan of Candace Cameron Bure since I was a young mom. I had always kind of been a fan of hers since Full House, but it was when she actually took her faith seriously that I really started following her.
When I heard that she wrote a book about her journey to lose weight, I snapped it up. I was in a place where I needed my lifestyle to change, and so I was very encouraged while reading Reshaping It All. When her second book, Balancing it All, came out, I didn't even care what it was about, I bought it and read it. I loved both books. They gave me encouragement and motivation to change and grow in many ways.
So I was excited to hear that she had written another book, this one about her time on Dancing With the Stars. When an opportunity came up to be on her launch team, I jumped on it and got accepted, and I am so honored to tell you about her newest book.
I have never watched Dancing With the Stars before, but when I heard Candace would be on Season 18, I watched religiously. I was impressed with how gracefully she handled herself when questioned about her beliefs that I voted for her as much as I possibly could; I wanted her to make it to the finals just so she could show the world what a real Christian looks like. There were times I cringed at the spin that the producers were trying to put on her words, but she was always able to correct any misconceptions with grace and conviction.
I think it is her conviction, more than anything else, that has made me continue to be a fan of hers over the years. In Dancing Through Life, she tells us how she came to have her unwavering conviction. 11753648_10207316851423324_4803858889684125517_n
What I like most about the book is how easy it is to read. It flows just like she's having a conversation with you. And she is real, honest, and vulnerable; she doesn't hide her flaws.
"I decided that I'd rather be the best Christian with all my flaws and be true to my walk than to live my life so that other people will feel like I'm making the right choices."
The gospel message is clearly spelled out; I appreciate that she was a "good girl" who didn't think she really needed saving. I was that way, even though I've been a Christian as long as I can remember. I never did anything really bad, so I felt that I never had a good testimony (in fact, when I was in college, I was told my testimony didn't resonate with anyone because I hadn't been worldly at all.)  Candace shows that you can have a good life and yet still need saving. (In the back of the book are appendices with great advice for finding a truth-centered church and growing your faith.)
If you're a fan of Dancing With the Stars, you will enjoy reading about what Candace learned while she was on the show, and she tells a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff you didn't see on the show. Even if you're not a fan of the show, like me, you'll still enjoy reading about her adventures. There is a section in the middle of color pictures of her dances, practices, and fun memories of her time while on Dancing.
11825123_10207376760161005_6765605789659705330_nI was so encouraged by Candace's strong Christian stance on DWTS, and I have been even more encouraged by reading Dancing Through Life. When the hard times come, when your faith is challenged, when you get tired of running the race...stand with your convictions, lean on God, and choose to be joyful.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marriage Wrecker

I sat uncomfortably at the table with the two other moms I had just met. They were talking about their husbands. One was flippantly saying how she is always threatening to leave her husband. The other wondered why her husband always "smelled like butt" at the end of the day.
I had no idea what to say. They were silently asking for me to laugh at what they were saying, but I couldn't. I mean, what they were saying was making me squirm in the tiny toddler chair I was perching on. I didn't know these women, nor their husbands, and I didn't need to know these very personal flaws within 30 minutes of meeting them. I felt like I was seeing into a private life that should be kept private.

Ladies, when you flippantly complain about your husband, you are doing a disservice to yourself, to your husband, and to your marriage. I understand that you are trying to be funny, trying to connect with other women, trying to find common ground that is seemingly inconsequential, because, after all, every husband has his little faults.
But I am telling you to stop. Marriages are under attack, and Satan does not need your help in undermining your own marriage. I understand that there are irritations in marriage that you feel like you just need to get out. I have those too. But you do not need to get them out like verbal vomit to every person you meet.
Ladies, what we need to do is to encourage each other in our marriages. Yes, there are irritations. Yes, there are problems. Are you contributing to those problems by bandying them about like jokes? Problems in marriage are not a joke, they are serious, and I, for one, want to help my marriage, not hinder it, by building up my husband in front of other women, not tearing him down.
Here are some of my thoughts on how to build up your marriage. If you have more, please add them in the comments!
  • Most important: spend time in the Bible every day. I know it can be difficult, but you can MAKE time.
  • Pray for your husband.
  • Pray with your husband.
  • Determine only to speak good of him around acquaintances.
  • Determine to speak any negative about your husband to one trusted female friend who can give you Godly counsel and will encourage you in building up your marriage.
Marriage is hard enough. Support your friends' marriages. Support your own marriage. Let's decide to build up the foundation of our homes by building up our husbands.
Note: if you are having serious problems in your marriage, please find Godly counsel. Do not stay in a situation that is harmful, but seek help. Seek God. God is the only one who can change hearts.