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What's the big deal about Young Living

Devotional Ebook SALE {HALF OFF}

HALFOFF ebook

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I am offering my Wholesome Talk ebooks for 1/2 OFF through December 31st. These are perfect for New Year’s resolutions! Use the code “HALFOFF” to get 50% off.

The kids version includes 30 scriptures on controlling the tongue, and I briefly explain what each one means in terms my own children would understand. I give examples of what the scriptures would look like in daily life, and include some dialogue that might occur between siblings or friends. Each lesson is short, intended to take 10-15 minutes to complete, and focuses on the scripture of the day.

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I wrote this with my kids, ages 7 – 13, in mind, and it includes printable pages with dotted lines for copying the scripture and completing the S.O.A.P. method of Bible study for each scripture. (You can see a video of my then-kindergartener doing S.O.A.P. here.) There is also a cursive and a printed example of the scripture for the purpose of copy work, so this can even qualify as your child’s handwriting assignment.

This 30 day challenge can be used for 30 consecutive days, or if you wish, 5 scriptures a week for a unit of 6 weeks, or even one scripture a week for a 30 week unit. I used the same scriptures, in the same order, as the adult version of How to Manage Your Mouth, (I also included printable journal pages in the adult version!) You can participate in the challenge right along with your children!

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GET THEM BOTH NOW FOR UNDER $5!

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Standing in the Gap for Your Children

sewing a quilt

If you follow Smockity Frocks on Facebook, you may know that my children have been diligently preparing for our county livestock show and fair, which takes place in January each year. Livestock can be shown, but also handmade items. We always do both.

working on a quilt

They start months in advance planning out and working on their various projects.

quilt

In the “Family Living” division, children can show quilts, canned goods, pies, knitted items, wooden crafts, welded trailers, or almost anything else you might see at an old fashioned country fair. They can be awarded blue ribbons and their item can make it to the auction on the last night of the fair if it is good enough. There, members of the community can bid on the items and buy them. Sometimes the kids make quite a bit of money for a quality piece of work.

Really, my children don’t care about the money. They just love getting to display their hard work and having people admire it.

That’s why we were all devastated when we found out that our entry into this event was denied because, when turning in the entry forms, I did not turn in w-9 forms for the children. These were required for the first time this year because a few children earn more than $600 in the auction. I had overlooked this new requirement, and the deadline had come and gone before I became aware of my mistake.

goat show

Not only would they not be able to show their handmade items, all the hard work with the goats would be lost, too. There would be no fair for us. No stock show. No ribbons. No crowds admiring their work.

My children were in a frenzy of tears and questions. I was kicking myself for not noticing the new requirement, for being so busy that I didn’t get the paperwork turned in earlier, for letting my children down. What kind of mother encourages her children to work hard for a promised reward and then allows the reward to slip from their grasp?

It seems silly now, but I was in tears myself. I prayed that God would show me a way to make up for this mistake. Then I wondered if God really cares about children participating in a county fair when there are so many larger issues in the world.

I showed up bright and early as soon as the offices were opened the next morning with warm cookies in hand. I also brought the quilt pictured above and I begged, teary eyed and voice quivering, for the county extension agent to make an exception and let us in the show with a late entry.

He was very compassionate and understanding, but explained that it was not up to him. The livestock raisers association of our county made these decisions by holding a board meeting. He then told me that this sort of thing had happened before and the board had never in its history allowed a late entry, but I was welcome to make an appeal at the next meeting.

I went home feeling worse than ever. What kind of mother…?

I explained to the kids what I had been told, and they had mixed reactions. One told me I should go to the board meeting and plead with them to let us in. After all, I had persuaded the library board to change its book check out policy by speaking at their board meeting. Another said, that would be pushy and we should just resign ourselves to not participating. The little ones cried.

I continued beating myself up. What kind of mother…?

I went back and forth arguing with myself about attending the board meeting which was to be held in a few days. I prayed some more. And wondered some more if God concerns himself with the failings of absent minded mothers.

Read the conclusion here.

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A Modern Day Parable

footprints

Once there was a mother of, let’s say, 8 children.

This mother was a very busy lady, with very active children. Even though she was aware that she should keep her eyes on the end goal, the big picture, she often inadvertently, and to the detriment of her family, found herself focused on short term goals. This tendency played out in a very tangible way one blustery, winter day.

A soccer game had concluded on a bitterly cold, windy November evening. With her children following along dutifully behind, bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves, the mother trudged through one empty soccer field after another toward the large parking complex.

She kept her head down, only looking up occasionally, to keep the wind from whipping in her face. Finally, her feet left the soggy sod and reached crunchy gravel of the parking lot. She looked up to find the big white maxi van, usually easily spotted amongst normal size vehicles.

The van was nowhere.

She looked one way. She looked the other.

Finally she saw the problem. While walking with her head down, she had veered so far off course that she was now 2 parking lots away from her intended destination. Because of her mistake, she had to walk just as far to correct her path as she did when she started the journey back at the benches.

She groaned and altered her course. She strengthened her resolve. This time she kept her eyes up and faced the wind head on. This time she reached her destination and did not waver right or left.

Does this story sound familiar to you?

During my high school days, my drill team team instructor used to shout through her bull horn from the stands, “IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, YOU WILL ALL FALL IN THE DITCH!!!” when the leader of our 50 member team would carelessly strut past the 50 yard marker, where we were supposed to turn one at a time, one behind the other, and march with precision to center field.

Of course, that meant every single girl would end up in the wrong place, all because the leader missed her mark.

Sometimes we moms are so busy focused on when our toddler will ever pee in the toilet, or our 2nd grader will ever learn to read, or our 9th grader will ever understand exponents, or our high school senior will ever get into college that we forget our real destination.

Sometimes it’s even easy to forget that those milestones aren’t a destination at all. They are simply milestones. Markers on the way to the real goal.

When I’m frustrated by life’s little daily frustrations, backed up plumbing, car trouble, cranky children, it’s so easy to put my head down and try to plow through, just get through that one day, without looking up.

The trouble is those days tend to pile up, end to end. And before we know it, we look up and we are just as far from our destination as if we had never started, with our children following along behind.

As for us, our long term family goal is to be together in eternity. On days, or weeks, or months, when we find we have our heads down and our eyes not focusing on the goal, we readjust and remind ourselves of where we want to be heading.

Are you headed toward your goal, Mama? Your children are following you. What destination are you taking them to?

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Trying Out the HTC M8 Harman/Kardon Edition Sprint Phone

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf Influence Central for Sprint. I received sample devices to facilitate this review.

HTC M8 Harman/Kardon

I was so excited to be invited to be a #SprintMom and try out the new HTC M8 Harman/Kardon Edition Sprint phone!

I was able to visit the Sprint store and hear straight from a rep all the cool features of this phone. Here are a few of the things that caught my attention:

  • It turns on with a simple double tap on the screen.
  • When receiving a phone call, you can answer by picking up the phone. No pressing buttons or swiping.
  • All metal parts
  • Screen replacement free, for up to one year
  • Spotify Premium is a standard feature.
  • The phone supports HD music tracks, so the sound is amazing!
  • Beautiful, crystal clear photography
  • FUN, built-in photo editing app

100MEDIA$IMAG0047

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You can colorize, cartoonize, 3D-ize, and lots more fun stuff.

100MEDIA$IMAG0052

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These are all straight out of the camera!

I was actually sorta bummed that I already have a phone, so I passed this one along to my 17yo son. You see, we have each been holding out, waiting for the other to buy him his own phone.

I kept saying we don’t pay for teens’ phones, and he kept saying he didn’t need a phone. The trouble is we can’t keep in contact with each other when he is out and about, and his friends keep calling me to see if he is available to hang out. So, we have both been waiting for the other to cave.

photo 1

And now that I have this brand new, awesome phone to test out, well, it just made sense to let him have it. The good news is that it comes with a $50/month, unlimited data, NO COMMITMENT service plan!

So, he is stoked to have a phone with an amazing sound system, and I am relieved to be able to text him to ask him to bring home milk after the movie. It’s a win/win!

Do your teens have phones? 

Need a stocking stuffer? This is on sale NOW! (affiliate link)

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Helpful Links – Homeschooling and Parenting

I frequently get emails or private messages on Facebook asking my advice on different topics I have already written on, like homeschooling and parenting.

Since I don’t have time to answer each inquiry individually, I though I would give you all a roundup of helpful links with my post popular posts on those topics.

Homeschooling

Parenting

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Parenting Mistakes I’ve Made {The Series}

Parenting Mistakes

If you’ve been reading here recently, you know I have started a series admitting some of the parenting mistakes I regret. My hope is to encourage you in your parenting journey and give you hope that you can recover from your mistakes.

One of the mistakes I made, in which I had only the best intentions, was isolating my children until I could see that one of them was actually depressed about having no friends.

Now, I don’t mean that she was sad one day about all the girls at church not including her in a slumber party.

I mean that for a period of 4-5 years there were very few kids at church besides our kids, and I did not go out of my way to invite those kids to interact with my own kids.

You see, I had read and believed that brothers and sisters could and should be best friends. And I still do honestly believe that they really can and should be the best of friends.

The problem was that I interpreted this to mean that they did not need any other friends.

And my sensitive daughter began to feel like her brother and sisters liked her and spent time with her because they didn’t have any other choice. They had to be her friend. They lived with her. They didn’t choose to be her friend. And she didn’t have anyone in her life who liked her because they simply wanted to spend time with her.

One day she came to me in tears because she had no friends. None. Zero. And when I comforted her, I couldn’t argue with that fact. When I tried to think of who she could count as a friend, I couldn’t come up with a single one.

When she confided to me that she was having severe anxiety issues, trouble sleeping, frequent stomach aches, grinding her teeth at night, etc. all because she wondered if she was worthy to have people like her, I was heartbroken!

What had I done???

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed her anxiety issues before she brought it to my attention, and I was so sad that she felt that there was no one in the world who wanted to spend time with her by their own choice. And all this happened because I hadn’t seen the value of including outside people in her life.

I immediately set about figuring out how I could correct the mistake I had made. I invited friends over, signed her up for sports, and encouraged her to participate in youth group activities. I also asked her to forgive me for making such a hurtful mistake.

It wasn’t as easy as that though, since her self esteem was very low about how valuable she was as a friend. It took a couple of years for her to gain the confidence to feel like she was valued as a person to those outside her family.

The lesson I learned from this was huge for me. My children needed to know and experience that they are liked by those who are not required to be nice to them. They needed to know they are liked simply because they are fun to be around. And for us this needed to come from outside the family.

Now, I’m not saying every family should automatically take the steps I did and start signing your children up for more activities. (That could cause as much stress as no activities.) I’m saying pay attention to each child’s needs. Notice signs of stress and depression. Ask questions.

What is right for our family may not be right for your family. What is right for one child may not be right for every child.

But if you find that a child is suffering needlessly because of a parenting mistake on your part, ask them to forgive your and change your course.

My hope in sharing this story is to warn anyone else from making this same mistake. Your parenting journey will not be mistake-free, but we can learn from our mistakes and correct them to be better parents than we were before.

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