Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Making the most of each moment October 23, 2009

Filed under: Extending Kindness,Keeping inspired — Kate @ 3:11 pm

Well, obviously we are all in the ‘moms of toddlers’ stage of life!  There are plenty of things that call for our attentions at home and just meeting those demands can be all consuming at times.  BUT we are created to be relational beings and at some level we need and want friendships in our lives!  In order to make and maintain friendships at this stage in life, my mentality has been ‘make the most of each moment!’  Some things that I do to implement this are:

Multitasking

  • I must confess that if I am talking you to on the phone I am most liking doing something else at the same time!  I find that this gives me the time to do two things that I value highly …. caring for my family and home and also maintaining friendships!  I’m not going to be doing something that requires too much brainpower, but folding laundry, washing dishes or making sandwiches are a few things that can easily be done while having a conversation and if the conversation needs to go a little deeper I can simply stop for a moment and focus in on the call.
  • Another favorite for me are the famous ‘play dates!’  Getting to chat with another mom while our kids play together (at a home, park or play area) is a wonderful way to connect with a friend and to care for my kids at the same time.  I’m always so grateful for the time together and thankful for grace and understanding as we continue to parent our children in front of each other!

Be Spontaneous –

  • Like Leah mentioned in her post, inviting someone over for dinner at the last minute might seem unconventional, but it never hurts to try it!  I like to call people when I am thinking of them and invite them for sometime that week.  Maybe it works and we are able to connect, maybe it doesn’t and then we can get something on the calendar for a later date.
  • Sit down and write a note/e-mail or make a phone call right when I think about it.  Most thoughts don’t survive in my pregnant brain too long, so doing something about those thoughts in the moment is a must!  (If I don’t have time for something right at the moment, I write it down … lists are a MUST around here!)

Are there some ways that YOU ‘make the most of each moment’ with your friendships???

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The Not-so-social Butterfly October 21, 2009

Filed under: Extending Kindness,Hospitality,Keeping inspired — Leah @ 6:00 am

I totally agree with the points that Andie made yesterday:  Friendships were leagues easier to maintain before marriage and children arrived on the scene!  But unlike Andie, I do not have the natural desire to be overly social.   Therefore, as my time is spent caring for my husband, my home, and my children- I can very easily neglect friendships without even meaning to!  Here are some ways I have found to encourage myself to seek out friendships:

Pick your friends wisely: My husband and I aim to spend time with other couples/families that will not only spur us on, but who we can encourage as well- knowing that God often blesses us through our relationships.

Remind yourself that your family is not necessarily built like you are: I have to remind myself often that just because I am content at home with a book or a movie…my kids and husband may not be!  I try to schedule some kind of playdate (for the kids) and talktime (for the grown-ups) each week.  Sometimes it’s during the day with just me and kids and other times it’s in the evening or on a weekend when Daddy can join us.

I know, some of you are thinking “ONLY ONCE A WEEK!?!?” but trust me- that’s a big deal for some of us.  :-)

Invite someone over on a whim: If I think about it too much- the invite never happens….so I am realizing more and more that it’s not wierd (and often not even inconvenient!) to invite someone over for dinner with just a hour or two to spare before mealtime.  Families with children are flexible beings and are almost always up for  the adventure!

 

Time for friends?? October 20, 2009

Filed under: Extending Kindness,Hospitality,Keeping inspired — Andie @ 8:17 am

This week we will be discussing the question, “How do you maintain friendships without neglecting your other responsibilities?”

This has not honestly been a topic that I have given a lot of intentional thought to. At this stage of life, I think I have sort of let the chips fall as they will. Immediate family relationships come first and then friendships fit in around them. Somehow, I have managed to see my friends on a semi-regular basis.   Having small children has forced me to have a more narrow group of consistent friendships than I had before. I still have lots of people I consider friends, but very few are “every week” sort of friends. For that matter, even my closest buddies are not “every week” buddies anymore. Here are a fews ways I maintain friendships:

-Make sure to celebrate!- One way I keep up with friends is to make special occasions a priority. Who cares if it’s the second little baby girl in a family and there is ‘no need’ for a shower? We have a party anyway! It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it is precious to celebrate life’s special moments with friends and it provides an opportunity to catch up. In addition to this, I have some friends I always celebrate birthdays with. This usually only happens with a few friends in my life, but it insures that I have non-kid time with those friends at least a few times a year.

-Friendships change with time aka. I can’t be committed to everyone deeply all at the same time- As I mentioned before, my group of consistent friends is smaller than ever before. Less free time has meant less deep friendships. I am super social and there are many people I would love to see more often, but I purposely hold myself back from planning dates with all the people I’d like to hang out with. I have to make myself FOCUS on the friendships I feel God wants me to pour more deeply into. With that said, I do look out for newcomers.  I know how hard it is to be new and not know anyone. When I moved here, I mostly only knew Gretchen. She let me come to her house every day for awhile because I didn’t have anywhere else to go. That was such a blessing to me and I try to make it a point to welcome newcomers who cross my path in the same way. This can be time-intensive (in a totally positive way) for awhile. Eventually newcomers make other friends, too, and I don’t see them as much. This is okay with me and this ebb and flow idea is how I approach most friendships in my life.

-Do it when you can and do it right away- This is something I find helpful for keeping up with the people I love but don’t see or talk to often. If there is a person on my heart I haven’t been in contact with, I just write a quick note or email. I try not to put it off until I have time to write something long because then it never happens. It doesn’t have to be a full update to be meaningful. Just a note that says, “This reminded me of you….” or “I was laughing about the time when we….” tends to really encourage people.

 

Christo-centric rap electic September 15, 2009

Filed under: fitness,Keeping inspired,Products we like — Andie @ 9:49 am

cwvDm9asA3Lw9ZsWobl5etGTAA

Get ready to groove, ladies. This is awesome, encouraging, energizing hip hop. Awhile ago, Gretchen posted about how the same music that gets her through working out helps her do the dishes at the end of a long day. I have to agree. I have had Rebel by  Lacrae for several months now and I can’t get enough. I love the lyrics, I love what these godly Black men are doing producing quality hip hop with redeemed lyrics.

Sample some music from Rebel here.  You can purchase it here.

Lastly, click the link and you can listen to and read the lyrics from one of my favorite tracks, Identity:

In Christ she is loved she secure and accepted/ She’ll never be rejected by God who’s elected her/ Her beauty is her Godliness/ and she ain’t gotta try to flaunt it cause it’s obvious/ Identity is found in the God we trust/ Any other identity will self destruct

I’m not the shoes I wear. I’m not the clothes I buy/ I’m am not the house I live in/ I’m not the car I drive/ I’m not the job I work /You can’t define my worth/ By nothing on God’s green earth, my identity is found in Christ

 

Motivation by Deprivation September 8, 2009

Filed under: fitness,Keeping inspired — Leah @ 6:00 am

whole-familyMy latest motivator to get up and get on the treadmill in the morning is the DVD series I am borrowing from my sister-in-law.  I made my own rule for myself that I may not watch the DVDs EXCEPT when I am on the treadmill.  :-) So far, it’s been a decent motivator for me!  I’m currently watching the first season of Little House on the Prairie, and will move to subsequent seasons when it is done.  I also have the Gilmore Girls coming from the library soon, which I have never seen, so that will be a great motivator too.

Whatever works, right?

 

Friday Nights! August 27, 2009

Filed under: Activities,Keeping inspired,Mothering — Gretchen @ 2:51 pm

As we entered a new stage of life with kids in school and a crazy work schedule for my husband we had to seek out new ways to reconnect and rest with each other.  We realized that for at least this stage of life we are all home on Friday nights and we are all REALLY tired by the time Friday rolls around.  So we started movie nights!  There are tons of classic and new family friendly movies out there.  We usually have something fun for dinner that requires little prep on my part like nacho night, pizza night, or appetizer night.  The girls love Friday nights and so do I :)  When school is in full swing movies and tv are rare which make movie night a treat!

 

Between the pages

Filed under: Activities,Keeping inspired,Mothering — Kate @ 12:03 am

One of our favorite ways to refresh as a family is to read a good book together! During the day, I read the kids books before naps and at the end of the day Matt and I both sit down with the kids and read the Bible as a family. Not only is it relaxing for the kids, but it helps for us as parents to sit down together and really have focused time with the kids.