November 11th: Fiercely Safe

Navigating through parenthood is often a trial and error scenario.  What works with one little person doesn’t with the other and we raise them often hoping that they just turn out right.  Fortunately, we can do some things with the assurance that we are doing them right; one of them being, keeping our children safe.  This is perhaps one of the most important things we can strive to accomplish in this chaotic phase of life!

At the November 11th meeting, Cambree Applegate from Safe Kids Utah came and spoke to us at length in regards to car seat safety and reviewed general safety guidelines we can keep in mind and implement at home.  Many things about keeping little ones safe seem like common sense and would be straight forward, however there are times that things are not.

safekids

We are very appreciative of Cambree for coming and enlightening us on many of the in’s and out’s of carseat safety and we hope that you are able to implement her tips and ensure that your child is kept safe in the event the unthinkable happens.

Speaking to GCBC MOPS about car seat safety

Speaking to GCBC MOPS about car seat safety

If you are interested in having your car seats inspected, please check out the links below.  Many of them require an appointment and various locations have set days and times in the week that they perform inspections.  Having your seats inspected provides the ultimate peace of mind.

www.safekids.org (Utah)

clickitutah.org

To see all the details of our MOPS meeting for announcements, discussion and details, click HERE to read our November 11th Meeting Minutes.

Feel free to CONTACT us if you have any questions or want any further info from this Meeting.

Andrea 3

Written by: Andrea Madison, GCBC MOPS Coordinator

Noticing Goodness And Knowing What is Good

Noticing Goodness And Knowing What is Good

   This is one of our 2015-2016 Mops Themes – that is “Noticing Goodness”. I chose months ago to write about this theme first and foremost because I want to become a more grateful human being. I chose November to write because I love Thanksgiving, when people gather to celebrate “thankfulness” for the “good” things in life. Ever since I chose to write on “goodness”, I have been more intentional about my observation of this life’s abundant blessings, whether seen, touched, felt, heard or tasted. I hope you all have experienced, like I have, much “good” and not “bad” in your life as well since we started our “flourishing” Mops 2015-2016 year!!

Now did you notice that, unfortunately, in noticing “good” we can’t help but think of its antithesis- “bad” or even “evil”?  Being the questioning sort of person that I am, I began to contemplate how does one intrinsically know what is “good” from what is “bad”. Or do we sometimes get the two mixed up? Have you ever experienced something “bad” that actually turned out quite “good” or vice versa? I must admit I like to watch the Dr Phil show from time to time. I also watch the world news and read the newspaper fairly regularly. It becomes overly apparent that we seem to live in a pretty “bad” environment. Why can’t people and nations just get along? There seems to be chaos and disconnect everywhere, intermixed with some “good” positive news as well.

So I want to raise the logical question: “Is moral ‘goodness’ an absolute or is it subject to reinterpretation according to the desires of society?”  I can take this question to the extreme; one society says I should not murder you or harm you in any way. Another society says you can and you may be my next meal! A favorite family story of ours illustrates my point even better. We like the movie “End of the Spear” and books about Jim Elliot and Nate Saint. These Christian missionaries dared to befriend a very dangerous tribe in Ecuador called the Auca Indians. To make a long story short, both lost their lives when the tribe turned on them because of a slanderous woman’s misinformation. This happened after spending a week with them enjoying each other’s company with many talks around the camp fire.   But the story did not end there. Their wives befriended a girl who managed to leave the tribe and she in turn taught them the Auca native language. The wives again made contact with the Indians where they lived in the jungle peaceably for over 2 years. The tribe’s members, through these women, experienced love and forgiveness that they had never seen and their lives and society were dramatically changed through the Biblical principles learned from their new friends living amongst them.

I believe the forefathers of this great nation understood that the God of the Bible, and the practice of His truths and principles were the essential ingredients to a peaceful “good” existence between individuals, government, allied nations, individuals and families. I illustrate this with the words of George Washington himself when he proclaimed Thanksgiving a “public day of thanksgiving and prayer” to “Almighty God”.

As President, on October 3, 1789, George Washington made the following proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America:

 Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

 Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

 And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

 Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington again proclaimed a Thanksgiving in 1795.

  So this Thanksgiving will you, with your family and alone in your prayer closet, take meaningful time to meditate and to Praise God for “all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2)? Will you think about all the good He provides for mankind – His crowning creation – the only one’s created “In His image” (Genesis 1:26-27)? Will you look to Jesus, the Savior, by trusting in Him for the greatest gift of all – that is, never ending life? If you haven’t done so will you take the time to read the Gospel of John?

Titus 3:4-7 explains that simple faith alone in Christ is all that is required. Mercy is undeserved and cannot be earned:

4 But when the goodness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 This Spirit He poured out upon us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that having been justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the promise of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

 

 Mary Visnovsky

Written by Mary Visnovsky- Mops Mentor Mom at GCBC

October 27th – Raising Children to Flourish

     Today’s meeting was all about how to raise our children to flourish.  Martha Rudd started the meeting with a devotional about praying for our children daily.  She gave us an amazing handout with 10 verses to pray over our boys and 10 verses to pray for our girls.  If you missed you can find them at the links below:

Prayers for Boys              Prayers for Girls

     Martha shared the verses that she has prayed over her two boys throughout their lives.  For her son Jeremy is “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). and Joshua is “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).  She encouraged all of us moms to find a verse and pray for our children daily whenever we find the moment whether it be while nursing, escaping to the bathroom, or in the pick up line at school.

     We then had a guest speaker Erin Myers.  A mother of eight children ages 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, and twins that are 2.  She recalled becoming a Kindergarten teach and all of the tests and exams she had to take in order to prep her for becoming a teacher, but then when she became a mom there was nothing.  They hand you a newborn and send you home.  You instantly start regretting things that you have done wrong as a parent.  She said for her it is funny how everyone says with eight she must have so much patience.  She exclaimed that is far from the truth and that she actually has almost no patience but instead grace.

20151027_102143

     She started the meeting by telling us of three instances where she remembers losing her patience and what that led her to realize.  The instant the resonated with me the most was when she shared that her daughter asked for a cup of water at bedtime.  Not really a big deal, but by the end of the day we are all tired and just ready for them to sleep.  She recalled being so angry that she went and grabbed the cup of the counter and threw it at her daughter.  These instances led her to pray for the Lord to give her peace and patience and grace for and from her children.

     Erin shared with us to two principles and one practical advice tip on how to raise our children to flourish. The first principle is to build relationships with your children.  She shared of course we are with them all the time so that’s building a relationship, right. Wrong.  She encourages us fellow moms to seek the difference between having a physical presence in their lives but to be intentional with our connections.  Take the time to listen to the stories and look at what they have created even when it seems monotonous.  We have to find the balance between our to do list and our relationships with them.

     She encourages us to start building the relationships now when they are young because as they get older the naturally want to separate from you.  She warns if you do not take the time to nurture the relationship when they are young it is even more strained as they become teens.  When they are teens and naturally want to pull away is when we are trying to have the hard adult conversations these are easier if you have taken the time over the years to cultivate a relationship with them.

     The second principle is extending grace to your children when they fail.  She says we need it when we fail like when she threw the cup at her child, but they need it too.  We receive the most grace from our Father, God and in his likeness we should pass this onto our children.  She says when you find yourself wanting to belittle and berate them instead come beside them, link arms and do it together.  You need your children to see that, “I am with you and I am for you.”

20151027_103451

   Lastly, her piece of practical advice.  Pick up a good book and read to them.  The benefits are not only academic, but spiritual and emotional too.  She shares that reading with a child demonstrates love because you took the time out of your day to be with them intentionally.  It is not something you can do in a passive way.  It creates memories with them; things you guys can look back on and laugh about together.

   She shared a story about picking up a poetry book and being able to hear her dad’s voice as if he was reading them when she was a child.  She said read stories that emulate behaviors, virtues, and godliness that you want to see in your children as they grow older.  She shared how when everyone is fighting in her family, they stop and read.  It helps everyone to settle down and it diffuses the tension often letting them continue their day in a much more positive manor.

The last piece of information is that as we all look back on our mother we will find things that we regret, but one thing no one will ever say is I regret the time I spent with my kids.

Thank you Erin for sharing your story with us and encouraging all of our moms on how to raise our children to flourish.

Proverbs 31 Woman

PROVERBS 31 Woman

Proverbs 31 is typically known as the description for a NOBLE women.

The Proverbs 31 women is the “superwomen” .  She had a lot of things going on and still managed to look good doing it.

A lot of women feel intimidated by the Proverbs 31 women because they think she’s perfect and not attainable.

This proverb was written to provide wisdom and instruction on ways to live our lives better.

It’s impossible to be a perfect wife and mother, but we can glean some solid wisdom from her.

I look at Proverbs 31 as a string of pearls.  Each characteristic that she embodies is like a pearl on the strand of life.

We don’t just automatically have the whole strand put together.  Some of us are long strands, some short bracelets , but all are a work in progress.

We’ve got to face the fact that this is something wonderful to strive to attain.  We have to work at it.  All the “pearls” don’t come naturally to us.  Some of us have to work hard to string the thread through the pearl to pull it onto our strand.  Sometimes our pearls get loose and a few fall off and we need to work to thread them back on to our stand.

Pearls of the Proverbs 31 women:

  1. Noble Character, VS 10- a brave women with great courage.  We need to be a brave women –one who can face trials and tribulations of life with tenacity knowing, Phillipians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
  2. Trustworthy, VS 11- Need to be a women of integetrity both in heart and actions. Being truthful in every word that comes from my mouth.
  3. A willing worker, VS 13
  4. A good Manager , VS 14,15
  5. Industrious, VS 16- First thing in the morning, she dressed for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.  She’s up before down, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.  She is skilled in running an effient home and senses the worth of her work.  This is a women who can’t wait to care for her family.  Usually the first to rise and last to go to sleep. She’s thinking of her family first.  Her priorities are in order.
  6. Charitable, VS 20- she’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to the poor. Am I reflecting the love of God to those outside my family?  Am I quick to help the hurting, lost and broken?
  7. Well dressed, VS 22- makes her own clothing and dresses in colorful linens and silks.  This is not a women who wears sweats everyday and hasn’t showered in days.  This is a women who takes pride in her body, heart and mind.  She celebrates her womanhood.
  8. She’s busy, VS 27b- not lazy, watches over the affairs of her household.  Makes sure everyone is well taken care of us. Proper food, clothing, etc.
  9. A good mother- VS 28- her children respect and bless her. Husband praises her.  All her sacrifices, “extras” she’s gone without are worth every moment.  Her value is known and celebrated by the one’s who love her.
  10. Fears the Lord, VS 30. Most important attribute of all.  Her beauty is not only skin deep, it reaches to her soul.  We need to be in God’s word, having a daily prayer time and fellowship with like believers so we can reflect Jesus Christ, to be a women after God’s own heart.

Closing:  when we look at all the wonderful qualities of a Proverbs 31 women, it can be overwhelming, but if we look at each one as a “pearl” to thread into our life, we can start to make the strand out of them that God intends for us.

Keep our lives in tune with Christ daily is a big part of making our qualities as women something that reflects Christ.

SO, are you threading your pearls?

Written by:

IMG_3211

Martha Rudd – Mentor Mom