“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” Psalm 1:1-6 NLT
In early junior high a popular girl came to school wearing socks that did not match. Her friend was cracking jokes. I chimed in, uninvited, of course (I was never invited ) and told her that I safety pin my socks together before throwing them into the wash so I don’t lose them. I just knew I would be in the popular group after my profound advice that day. Wrong! She told me in a hateful way that pinning your socks together is “so INCREDIBLY lazy”. Being the unpopular girl I was I never pinned my socks together again and of course I lost most of them.
I often wonder how many God callings we walk away from. I lost years worth of socks. In the same way we lose years of God opportunity’s all because of an unsuited opinion we value more than our All Knowing Father. That one person you so highly placed on a pedestal tells you that your idea is stupid, silly, impossible, not for you, wrong, weird, too risky, too expensive… go on…fill in the blank. Suddenly you find yourself living every moment for a like or comment on Facebook from the person who carries an attractive title. You stop asking God if He approves and you start living life for the approval of those who don’t know your true value and worth. Be careful whose opinion you allow yourself to be pinned to.
A popular girl whose name I can’t remember and who I haven’t seen since junior high- her opinion left me with years of unmatched socks. Who are you allowing to keep you years behind God’s plan for your life? Start listening to the one who will encourage you to continue pinning those socks together.
PSA: Not all popular girls are like the ones I knew in junior high. I’m simply encouraging you to surround yourself with people who are popular because the way they live their life points you to Jesus!
I also believe Jesus has placed Godly council in each of our lives. Seek those relationships out. These Godly relationships are the ones you can trust to pray with you through tough decisions in life and who will ultimately encourage you to ALWAYS listen to God over all other advice.
Hug Like Jesus!
Ellie loves to give and receive hugs from kids. AKA “friends”. Recently she came dashing out of the play area at chick Fil a to catch a new friend at the exit. He was leaving and she wanted to hug him good bye. It’s not an uncommon occurrence for her to hug every kid who leaves the chick Fil a play area. However, this is the 3rd time this month that her hug has been turned down. 😢 We’ve been teaching Ellie that not everyone is open to physical touch. She has to ask for a hug and can’t demand it. If the friend says “no” we encourage her to smile and say “I had fun with you” before saying goodbye. Today when getting Ellie in the car my heart hurt for her little heart. So, I asked her how she felt when the friend didn’t hug her. She responded with a big smile,.“It’s ok mom! Maybe next time!”
There are moments in life when we get so hurt by others. A friend does not respond the way we were hoping, a coworker isn’t easy to get along with, a student is pressing our buttons or that stranger is not open to our help. We take these situations to heart as if there is something wrong with us. We leave the situation hurt and confused. Maybe we should all respond the same as Ellie. We should just say “Maybe next time.” The reason people behave the way they do is sometimes nothing more then they just aren’t feeling a hug at the moment. Don’t carry the reactions, responses or choices of others on your shoulders! That’s a lot of weight to carry. Continue offering help. Continue to respond in love. Continue to be patient with that co worker or student. Continue to offer up hugs. Eventually someone who really needs it will hug back. Most of all continue to be just like Jesus in every situation.
I don’t know about you but I struggle with being able to focus and stay organized. Being on this struggle bus really makes it difficult to sit down with Ellie to have fun learning. However, I recently went around the house gathering all her learning tools and putting them in one tub. This works for both of us. Ellie’s tub is packed with learning tools that focus on her needs. Each day we grab the tub and spend an hour or two working through it. It’s filled with hours of learning fun because learning at EVERY age should be fun. What I love most about this tub is our next child’s tub will look different. You get to fill it with materials that fit your child’s specific learning goals.
Like I said, I’ve been really focusing lately with getting organized so that we can enjoy our home and each other. I believe we make life overwhelming. We think the way we run our home needs to look like everyone else’s life but it doesn’t. Do what works for you. When you feel yourself sitting on the struggle bus find a way to get off at the next stop! In fact, don’t wait till the next stop! Throw your hands up and say “Im done! Now! Let me off now!” Find a way to make life happen. That’s what I’ve been doing recently. Getting creative and finding ways to get and keep my family more organized. This learning tub is the way I make learning more organized so that it will work in our house.
What are some ways you stay organized?
Below are a few ways we engage Ellie in learning with materials from her learning tub!
A few months back in Chicago we played a fun game we learned from Ryan’s Toy Review! We call it hotel hide and seek. Mom or dad hide toys around the hotel room and the child gets to seek them out! We used small unopened toys from Ellie’s Easter basket and Christmas stocking. Some of the toys were mini slime cups, mini coloring books, mini paw patrol characters and mini paint sets. Ellie loved going on a hunt around the hotel room and I loved that it gave her fun activities to play after walking around Chicago all day.
It’s story time!
We had just arrived in Illinois. Joanne and Ken greeted us and as we walked through their door Ellie runs into the kitchen and shouts,
“What’s for dinner Grandma?”
Although in a moment of crazy humiliation, we knew we were right where we belonged.
We are so thankful for this couple right here. They are a true blessing. They so joyfully opened their home to us for two months and were not phased in the least bit when Ellie called them Grandma and Grandpa. (She still calls them Grandma and Grandpa) 😂 They were both missionaries in Brazil so they have some awesome stories to share. Joanne is one of our dedicated volunteers in Kids Life and Ken serves in the men’s ministry. We just want the world to know that we are so thankful to call them friends! ❤️
Sprout has a few new friends! Today I had Ellie encourage her Lima beans. I told her what to say and she repeated…
Your growing so big!
You’re doing a good job!
I believe in you!
We all need a little encouragement to keep growing in life. Who can you speak life into today?
One of the most important parts of my wedding was having my class attend. They were part of the engagement and I had to have them there on that special day as well. One of the parents of a little girl in my class showed up the day of our wedding with this beautiful creation. As a gift she decided to make Ice cream cake treats. Im forever thankful to Rhonda for going out of her way to bless our wedding with so much yummy goodness. These treats were a hit with the kids and adults too.
Guys! This game was so fun and exciting at my bridal shower. Mandy gave everyone an envelope with a picture of Jessie and I inside. Only, each picture had his face replaced by some famous person or cartoon character. Everyone opened their envelope and the winner was the guest with the only picture that did not have Jessie’s face replaced. I have never laughed harder in my life. When I came across these pictures the other day I had to find a place to hang them in the house. I still laugh each time I pass them. Zoom in to discover who Mandy replaced Jessie’s face with in each picture.
What is a fun game that you had at your Bridal Shower?
I recently found a CD of a few wedding pictures. Forgive me if they pop up on my feed over the next few weeks. 🤣🤣 I love going down memory lane. This picture is one of my favorite taken by Anna Claire Issa. My sisters facial expression in the mirror gives me all the good feels. Thanks Laci Dawn for helping me feel extra beautiful on my wedding day. Anna thanks for taking such great pictures that I still obsess over 5 years later.
I made my flowers for our wedding. I even bought fake flowers from Hobby Lobby. I didn’t see the point in spending so much money on such a small part of the wedding. I’ll always have this keep sake picture of the flowers I created. When I think back on our wedding day, what I remember most are are the ones we shared that day with and the fun we had celebrating with those we love most. If you are getting married soon; don’t stress over little things like flowers and cake (which we bought from Costco BTW). Focus on having fun and soaking up every moment of that day. However, if you do want real flowers and a fancy cake GO FOR IT! Its your day! Your choice. The best choice I made that day is saying I DO to Jessie Rayos.