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Just the Two of Us

My husband and daughter attended their very first Daddy and Little Princess Dance together on Saturday. My daughter’s elementary put on the special event with dinner for the 2 of them, a horse drawn carriage ride (around the parking lot) and a night together they both will remember forever. What an intimate moment, just she and her dad shared.

She went to the dance, holding her Daddy’s hand with the biggest smile on her face. She was more excited than I have ever seen. She couldn’t wait to see how much fun they would have together. I instantly envisioned her leaving the house for her high school prom. The next flash was her wedding day. When her Daddy gives her away to the man of her dreams. These moments that she shares with her dad will be one the foundations to live her life by and the people she shares her life with in the future.

How much more does the Heavenly Father want to spend time with his daughter? To treat us to moments that leaves a lasting impression. How much do you anticipate an intimate moment just between you and Him? The Heavenly Father wants his children to encounter Him in such a way that we are thrilled to seek out His presence at every event our lives hold. Don’t you desire for Him to sweep you away into His arms of Love? Desiring to set time aside for the Father to treat you like a princess.

Trust that the Heavenly Father wants to spend time you. You are valuable to Him. He treasures you so dearly. Make the choice to allow Him to be apart of the special moments, between just the two of you.

Candy Craze

Candy Craze
I chaperoned on a field trip with my daughter’s 1st grade class today to the Grapevine Mall here in TX.  Each of the children had raised money to go to Build-a-Bear to make teddy bears to donate to a Children’s hospital in Fort Worth. It was a wonderful cause that the kids would remember for a lifetime. Yet all I could think about was carbohydrates. Yes, the bad ones!

During the one-mile walk around the mall’s loop I counted 6 specialty candy stores, 3 Cinnabons, 4 Pretzel shacks and 2 cookie stands.  I decided on New Year’s Day, like the rest of the country, that sugar was no longer my friend but my foe. I felt like a crack addict on payday.  Sugar was my addiction of choice. ‘Why punish the whole body for something the mouth did’ is a phrase that my Mother-in –Law has coined.  That so true.

I should have been focusing on the meaningfulness of the trip and the purpose of why we were all in the mall today, yet all my mind kept wondering about was…how much would a pound of Jellybellys cost? Wouldn’t a nice big fatty Cinnabon go good with a Sugar Pretzel?  It is only 9:50 in the morning. I could have cared less that a Cinnabon cinnamon roll has 670 and a whole bunch of those bad carbs that I swore off days before.

I did not let my temptation get the best of me. I gave myself a mental reprimand and shrugged off my foolish impulsions.  I grabbed hold of my wavering thoughts aligned them back to the goals I established.  I was reminded how much better I feel without that junk in my body.  As much as I would have enjoyed a nice big bite of something sweet it wasn’t worth it in the end.

I can break my sugar addiction.  I will conquer you sugar.  In the end I will win.

I want to be like Regan

On January 1st 2006 my son, Regan, found my Power 90 workout tapes in my daughter’s room. He asked me if he could work out. “Oh course”, I said. HE came back to me about 3 minutes later and asked me where his dumbbells were. Last year I was aggressive with using these tapes and I made a rule if anyone bugged me, or came in the room to ask me a question they would have to join in the workout. Needless to say the 2 little ones were my constant workout buddies.

I bought all the kids their own weights. Regan had 1lbs, Maddison 2lbs and Tyler had the 3lbs. This day, Regan was persistent in asking,” Where are my dumbbells?” “All the way in the garage.” I said. I was cleaning up the kitchen from an earlier explosion, lunch. He came and took my hand and asked me to show him where in the garage the dumbbells were. All the way in the upper corner, next to the garage door track and surrounded by cobwebs. Looks like I haven’t used them in a little while. That was the very place that I placed them when I moved them off the U-haul 5 months ago. Nice!

I went back to cleaning the kitchen and told him, ”the box was too heavy to carry inside, and we should wait for Daddy to help us.” The box had all my dumbbells totaling 32lbs. A few minutes later Regan was out making noises in the garage. I went to check. “What ya doing buddy?” “I am opening your box to find my dumbbells.” Opening the box with a sharp kitchen knife might I add. “Hey why doesn’t Mommy help you?” “Mom I really need these dumbbells for my workout.” he said persistently.

I didn’t even want to touch the box with the spider webs on it. In WA no big deal mostly a daddy long leg or something, but here in TX you could get a serious bite from a poisonous arachnid like a black widow or even a brown recluse. I pulled the box of dumbbells over with a shovel handle. Beating the box to scare away any critters. Regan looked at me in bewilderment. “Okay Regan let’s get your weights out.” HE was so excited to see his little 1-pound weights. Finally he has obtained what he is in pursuit of. So you would think he would be occupied for a little while right…nope.

“We need all the dumbbells to come inside with us, mom.” He is adamant to get each and every dumbbell into the house. We grabbed a laundry basket to load up with dumbbells. He helps me drag the basket from the garage, through the laundry room and into the downstairs family room. “Good job buddy, are you ready to work out?” Go for it.

I went back to being busy in the kitchen. About 2 minutes later Regan came down stairs holding the VCR from my daughter’s room. He is pretty good and sweaty by now, even his cheeks are flushed. “Mom there wasn’t enough room in Maddison’s room to work out in so I am bringing the ‘VTR’ downstairs so we can all work out. Are you ready to work out, Mom?”

Good grief this kid is on a mission. He set up the VCR and armed it with a workout tape. He called all the kids down to come join us in the workout. “Come on everyone, we are ready to work out!!!” I am sure he would have invited the neighbors over too if the sun wasn’t setting. I have to say that we all did enjoy a great workout all thanks to Regan. He worked out for hours just getting everything prepared for the rest of us.

Tenacious means holding firm, strongly adhesive, persistent and courageous. I was so taken by his tenacity. He was so persistent in what he wanted to accomplish. He was driven to follow course all the way to the end result.

In my walk with the Lord I want to be someone that has a tenacious spirit. Desiring to be someone that can hold firm no matter what. I want to be persistent and courageous in all the adventures ahead of me. My son taught me something amazing a few days ago. Get your mind set on the future and pursue it no mater what obstacles are in the way. Go after things tenaciously. We should all have the urgency that Regan felt and even the passion that pushes him throughout his day. I want to be like Regan.

Servanthood, be like Jesus

I just returned home from serving at a 10th Annual Christmas Party for the BWS (Battered Women’s Shelter). I was such a wonderful opportunity to serve. This organization provided presents for adults and children, a worship service catered to them, food baskets loaded to the brim, even Santa and Mrs. Clause were flown in by helicopter to join in the festivities.
During the holidays, most people are frantically running to the mall in pursuit of the last few Christmas gifts, going to the nearest Costco to stock pile for the Christmas feast, and keeping the homebound Christmas vacationers occupied with Blockbuster rentals so that they aren’t ‘bored!’

Christmas should be the time when we step out of our comfort zones and really search out opportunities to serve in your community. Most people are aware of needs within their neighborhoods, but only a few actually do something about it. It might not be the first thing on your mind during the hustle and bustle of Christmas, but maybe it should be.
Today I didn’t do anything exceptional, or even difficult. I was in a classroom, playing games with 12 adorable 3 year olds so that their mom’s could pick out the one present for them they will receive this year. I was slobbered on, had a tea party, played duck duck goose, read Rainbow Fish 4 times to the same little girl, held a few criers, broke up a few fights, rocked a little boy to sleep, and even dined on a cookie and lemonade. It was the best day that I have experienced so far. Anyone could do the same.

This day will impact me deeper than any of the holiday parties, white elephant gift exchanges, or even getting together with family and friends. When we step out of our areas of comfort we are able to be a blessing to others.

Jesus was an amazing servant. Everywhere he traveled, all the people he encountered throughout His ministry, he moved with compassion and with a servant’s heart. His thinking was never about Himself but always on the focus of others. Matthew 20:28 Just as Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.

During this Christmas season let’s remember to be a servant to others the way Jesus did.
Have a blessed Christmas. Remember that He is the reason for the season.

E-Prayer

I have to admit that I am a bit computer challenged. Our main PC had a motherboard issue a month ago. We had a virus or something. We have a Dell laptop that is a great back up. I have found that my fingers had to learn a whole new way of maneuvering around the keypad.

I enjoy emails. Receiving forwards with cute little phrases and humorous innuendos. The ones that catch my attention are the emails that have a meaningful poem or prayer written out with the warning at the bottom to forward to 10 friends or else. Great in concept, but couldn’t we add another more powerful step?

We have all had someone close us you send out a concern or prayer request via the email. Whether the mail was from family members, friends, or co-workers the need is urgent to them. Instead of emailing back a typical response, “ I will be praying for you, God bless you!” Lets use this keypad for something more powerful and lasting.

Hit that reply button with authority. Not just that you will be praying for them, but that you want to pray with them right now. “ Jesus, right now I pray for so and so. Be with them now as You are the Comforter and Peace giver ect…” I have personally done this 4 times this month. It is powerful to see His power come forth in our hands.

It is easier for me to agree with someone verbally, then to write what He might want to me to pray. Think about it, when was the last time you had to stop in the middle of your prayer with someone and ask how to spell ‘supernaturally’? Don’t let that detour you. You can uplift someone this week. Follow His leading. What you may write might be something they print out and hang on their fridge for a continual encouragement and support. It is a promise that you both can stand on until the prayer is answered.

Prayer is powerful. Agreeing together with someone is a wonderful comfort. The Word of God states in James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”(NLT)

Prayer has many forms from quietly spoken, to out loud in a group, to the heart cry in solitude and to the E-prayer. Use this tip today. Bless family and friends today with an E-prayer. Be willing to write the encouragement that the Lord wants you to give. If I can do it in my lack of skills on the computer, anybody can. All He wants is a willing heart.

Have a great day.

Megan

Lessons from an Elf

With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season it’s hard to stay joyful. We were watching the movie Elf the other night and something stuck in my head. If you have seen the movie you know how much “Buddy” loved christmas and the holiday season. He was almost to0 happy! He was childlike in his faith of Santa. It got me thinking about our Faith in Christ. Sometimes you just have to break it down into simple thoughts. So here is the Code of Elves, followed by the Code of Christ.

The Code of Elves.
1. Treat Everyday like Christmas
2. There is room for everyone on the nice list
3. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is signing loud for all to hear.

The Code of Christ
1. Utilize every day to spread the joy of Christ!
2. There is room for everyone in the Lamb’s book of Life, nothing is too small to make a impact in reaching those in your community.
3. The best way to spread Christs cheer is to have His Spirit reflected in our everyday lives.

At the end of the movie a relationship was restored and the spirit of Christmas spread througout the community.

Perhaps if we were as joyful in our everyday walks as Buddy was about Christmas we could see a few lives changed. Just a thought!

Flood Conditions

It is so important in our technological and media focused culture to protect our children (and ourselves) from the blatant and hidden dangers they face. We have a responsibly to protect their eyes, ears and hearts from the things that this culture has accepted as normal. The media venues that are targeted to children have lowered the standard simply for a viewing pleasure. The TV programs that children are glued to after school or on the weekends teaches nothing of character and morality.

Our children rely on us to guide them through this life, equipping them with tools needed to be successful. We should be teaching them every opportunity how to handle a bad day, how to handle being picked on, how to treat others, how to show kindness and love to people unconditionally. It is my purpose, as a mother of 3 children, to make sure they are prepared for the anything the world wants to dish out to them.

This week I was studying Genesis and I found some interesting nuggets that encouraged my faith. What captured my heart was in all the wickedness and violence of that day was Noah’s pursuit of excellence. He managed to keep his faith strong. It encouraged me to remain steadfast and true to the direction God wants me to head in, not the direction that I want to go. Do not allow the outside influences whether it’s TV, Movies radio, friends or family rob you of the purposes that God wants you to pursue. Don’t allow the ridicule of others bring you to the point of forfeiting the future.

I admire Noah. Did you ever think how Noah managed to raise three Godly sons in the midst of all the corruption? God wiped out the entire population only sparing Noah’s family. My heart is saddened for those lost in the flood but what leapt out at me was this.

What an amazing dad Noah must have been, to equip his three sons with the strength to remain true to God in the middle of a faithless world. I have to as a mother equip my children to follow the Lord no matter what. Preparing theirs hearts and filling them full of Biblical truths to draw upon for a lifetime. I wouldn’t say that we live in the same conditions as Noah did, many people today are searching for peace and much more open to exploring their faith.

Noah had 120 years to follow the Lord while building the ark. He could have over that century plus given up and joined the crowd. The pressure could have worn Noah down to point of throwing in the towel. We have all been to that place, its called life. Just as God knew Noah was righteous He knows that we are ready for our hardest mission ahead.

What is it? Simply put, you were created for something wonderful. God has a plan and a purpose for your life (Jer 29:11). We have a great responsibility to develop and encourage our children to become grounded in their faith. Get your eyes, ears and hearts ready for the greatness ahead of you. Trust God like Noah. His plan might not make sense to you today but trust God to reveal the big picture. I want God to be able to look at me and know that I will follow His direction no matter what.

Megan Simmons

Welcome to Family by Design

Thanks for checking us out. I hope to help you on the journey of creating a great family environment. I believe that everyone is designed for a purpose much greater than we can imagine. Read Romans 8:28, this is the foundation for my desire to help everyone achieve their maximum potential according to His purpose. On this blog you will find helpful hints for the family, thoughts of a mom with three kids, and other insights. This is a work in progress and put this on your daily read list (or every other day). Also, I will add links to family friendly websites and other articles along with great podcasts. God Bless, talk to you soon!

You can also check out http://www.828central.com for other resources.

Megan

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