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I would be just fine if I didn’t eat another sweet potato until Thanksgiving, I’m just saying.

There are only so many ways that you can make a sweet potato… baked, french fries, hash-browns, and that pretty much sums it up. Think about it, what else can you really do with it (besides making it into a pie). Well the past couple weeks I was fasting by only eating seven different foods and sweet potato was one of my items. Everything was going smoothly and I had no complaints until about four days into the fast. Between the items that I had picked for the month I didn’t really have much option of sugars, besides an apple, as well as the drastic decrease of calorie intake I began to have some issues. My blood sugar dropped and I wasn’t eating enough calories in the day to even get me enough energy. So I made the executive decision to swap some items out for bread and strawberries to meet the needs that my body was lacking. But with all the switching of ingredients the sweet potato stayed. Ugh! I have a love/hate relationship with that vegetable! You see I have always enjoyed a good slice of sweet potato pie, or give me a big scoop topped with marshmallows and brown sugar for Thanksgiving! However, when I am eating them every other day without the delicious marshmallows I began to realize that I just do not care for them as much as I had thought.

I would love to say that this month I used each repetitive meal as an opportunity to be more grateful. I’ll be honest with you, that was not the case. I found myself complaining about my meals- the texture, I am so sick of the mushy texture! It would be so nice to eat something that doesn’t need so much effort to make. UGH, I am so SICK of sweet potatoes! I even found myself wanting to end the fast because I “never” learn from food fasts. All I wanted was to prove this thought so that I could eat something for dinner other than the same thing I had eaten for breakfast and lunch. Then it hit me- WOW, I have a terrible attitude! Within one week God brought it to my attention that I needed to work on my attitude, more specifically He told me to be more positive in my current circumstance. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the same thing from God three different times within a matter of five days I assume it safe to believe that this is a lesson God is really wanting me to learn!

Confession: when I learned that God wanted me to be more positive I still had about a week left of the fast. I tried to reason that since I had learned what God was showing me I was now able to end the fast early.

Not my finest hour.

Then I was humbled by my husbands response. “Maybe you learned the lesson a week early so you could spend the next seven days of the fast implementing the positive attitude.”

Wow!

So that is what I did, I spent the next week eating my fast friendly foods and praying constantly for God to transform my attitude. And He did! I have to say that it was an amazing week, I could actually feel God’s presence as he helped me change the way I thought and how I looked at the rest of my fast. It has even carried over since the fast has ended. Now when I am in a frustrating situation my mind has started looking for the positive.

Truthfully I love this lesson that God gave me because who couldn’t use an extra dose of positive some days!

Photo Credit: Marie Kare

Table Tantrums

July 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

Every parent book out there will tell you that the secret to raising a child is consistency. I would have to agree with this statement. BUT, there are some cases where it feels like no matter the consistency, your child is just NOT going to learn anything from the situation and your efforts are completely hopeless. This was such the case last night at our house. It was time for dinner and Eli came running up to the tabel exciteed for his meal. We sit him in his chair put his plate in front of him and immeiately began the tantrum! I made something new for dinner but I had intentionally put sides of potatoes and carrots on his plate, which he normally loves. Every word from his mouth was “no!” He pushed his plate away, we scooted it back, he pushed it away… this was an ongoing process. Throwing the food to the dogs was his next step in his plan of action. Now I don’t know about you but I was completely at a loss, my child has never been a picky eater. I have never dealt with him completely refusing to even try one bite! I had always said that I didn’t want to be a short order cook and make several different meals every night to meet everyone’s taste buds in the house, the kids didn’t have to like what I make but they had to at least try it. Sounded real good before I had any kids… now it’s finally the current chapter in my book. Everything is always easier when you are not facing the situation at the time! So what’s a parent to do when your toddler refuses to even taste dinner? Consistency… right? That’s what everyone will tell you but sometimes it’s just hard when they are in the midst of a tantrum and you are thinking to yourself… is he even learning anything from this? Yes, after an hour Eli did eventually try his dinner after my attempt to dip his potato in ketchup (which grossed me out because I can not stand ketchup, but hey, he tried it!) Whether you have a child that is grown or a newborn, as parents we have all faced or will face nights like these. So remember… while consistency is the key so is supporting each other along our journey in parenthood!

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs  22:6 (NIV)

Last week a few of my friends and I went to a ladies night at church. It was such a great evening! One of the points that I loved and has stuck with me was intentional parenting. My husband and I have said many times that we want to raise strong Christian children and that’s what we try to do daily with our son. The thing about intentional parenting that really stood out to me was the daily aspect, the speaker talked about finding Jesus in the everyday moments and taking those opportunities to teach our children. We don’t have to wait until Sunday morning during their Bible lessons for our children to be taught about God’s word. No child is to young or to old to start. All it takes is a simple moment where we pray, read the Bible together or talk about the beautiful day God created to start the curiosity in our child to continue asking more questions about God. If we find a way to daily teach our children about God then it won’t be by chance that we raise a strong Christian child, it will be because we were intentional!

When I think about raising my children and teaching them the most important lessons, I have realized that my children will be my legacy. With that in mind I started to think about what kind of legacy would I want to pass on? What do I want my children to learn most from me? There are so many things that I want to pass on to my children, but here are my top ten things that I want my children to learn from me…

  1. Love God with all your heart and put him first in your life
  2. Turn to God first in all areas of your life
  3. Seek out what God’s plan and vision is for your life and follow it
  4. Be a world changer! Make an eternal difference in the lives of people they meet
  5. Find what you are passionate about and pursue it
  6. Be an example by the life that you lead (do not live by the saying “do as I say, not as I do”)
  7. Live a life of compassion, help those that are in need
  8. Do not take for granted the blessings God has given
  9. Trust God with all areas of your life, do not try to do it on your own
  10. Keep God at the center of your life, including the center of relationships with family, friends and spouse

“But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—” Psalm 103:17 (NIV)

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV)