Posts

5 Things I’m Doing This Summer to be More Intentional

Now that school is out summertime can be a busy time of the year.  As a working mom, if I’m not intentional with making plans, summer will be over and kids will be back in school before I know it.  I’m entering into a new stage of life, where my kids are becoming ‘tweens’ and I have the joy parenting bad attitudes and arguments with their sibling.

I want to make summer fun, but I also want to use it as an opportunity to grow and learn.

5 Things I’m Doing This Summer to Be More Intentional:

1. Making Day Trip/Weekend Getaway Wish Lists:  This year I’ve asked the kids what are some fun activities you want to do this summer or some local places you want to visit we would normally not do during the year. We have an RV and want to go on weekend camping trips so we’ve made a list of places we want to visit.  We are a military family and never know how long we will be where we live, so we want to visit as many places as we can!

If you live in Colorado, places that have made the list are The Denver Mint, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, Durango, Estes Park, Aspen, trampoline park, Royal Gorge train, Cave of the Winds, and indoor sky diving.

2.  Making a reading list.  I love to read.  Summer is a great time to catch up on books, I haven’t had time to read.  So the kids and I are making a summer reading list of books we would like to read.  If you have any recommendations for a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy, Please leave in the comments below.

My kids aren’t the most avid readers so we have to be intentional about making time to read.  Their school has a point system where they receive points for reading which goes towards a grade which is a wonderful incentive for them to read more!  And also the fun day trips we planned can be a fun incentive.

Books I want to read this summer Thirst by Scott Harrison, Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors, A Case for Miracles by Lee Stroebel, Dear Wife by collaborative writers and Boys in the Boat.

3.  Making a Chore List.  Boring, right?!?!?  As a parent if I want to help build character in my child, chores are one of the best ways to do it.  Doing chores helps us all be a part of a team that helps contribute towards maintaining the household, it’s not just one person’s job to take care of everything.  We pick age appropriate chores (and they receive an allowance), and make sure they’re done daily/weekly.

Giving them an allowance also helps teach them how to manage money by saving towards something they want to buy themselves (which they always appreciate more than when something is just given to them).

4.  Setting side an intentional time for family games and devotionals.  Do you have any fun favorite family games you like to play together?  Going camping has definitely got us more motivated to play games together.  But at home my favorite game to play is SPOONS.

It’s a card game, where everyone sits in a circle.  One person has the deck of cards.  Each player has four cards in their hands.  The purpose of the game is to get 4 of a kind.  Whoever gets 4 of a kind first takes the first spoon until all the spoons in the center are gone.  Whoever is left without a spoon gets a letter.  Whoever spell the word SPOON first loses.  Sometimes this game does not always end well.  There may be the occasional fighting and tears, but the more we play, the more we learn it’s not always about winning, but just being together.

Setting side a time to do family devotionals is an ever evolving process.  The time that usually works best for us is right before bed.  We’ve picked You Version Bible App   Bible reading plan we can read together as a family and have meaningful conversations that really work on our hearts.  Two Bible reading plans we’ve picked to read together are Compassion: 30 days of heart work and Homegrown: Cultivating Kids in the Fruit of the Spirit.

Does your family read devotionals together or a Bible reading plan?  Which one do you do?

5.  Joining a Bible Study Group.  This summer I’ve opened my home to a group of women from my church to complete the on-line Bible study by Kelly Minter “No Other gods,” by Lifeway.  This summer Lifeway is offering the videos for “No Other gods,” for free when you sign-up to do the on-line study.  It is a great way to connect with other women who I would normally not connect with and we get to complete a Bible Study together!  And if you’re schedule is too busy sign up to do the on-line study! Just click on link above or image below.

No other gods by Kelly Minter

What Bible study are you working on this summer?

I would love to hear what you are doing this summer and what steps you are taking to be more intentional.

Did you enjoy this blogpost? Please share with others! Want more encouraging messages sent right to your inbox? Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE E-book The Jericho Prayer and a weekly Monday Message or like my Author Facebook page to catch the latest posts.

I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below!


Subscribe

Receive Daily Encouragement Right to Your Inbox

A Biblical Trek Through the Great Land of Alaska

 

Moving to this great state only a couple of years ago, I can’t help to take in all of it’s greatness, it’s beauty, and magnificence. As a newcomer to this state, my fresh eyes see things that capture my attention and can’t help to notice as I venture through this great land, all the biblical references.

Alaska itself lives up to it’s name meaning, ‘the great land.‘ I can’t help to think how this great land relates to Moses and the Israelite’s wandering in the desert for 40 years, for God to lead them to ‘the promised land.’

As the looming physical darkness of our winter season approaches, there has also been a presence of spiritual darkness lurking in our great land. Every day there seems to be news of another shooting and murder. It seems that evil has taken up camp and resided here.

No matter how dark the darkness, it can never extinguish the light of Jesus. In fact, the darker it gets, the brighter his light shines. Evil can never change what God has already done. Our God is bigger and cannot be defeated.

It is true that evil is present in our state. But truth is, evil can never take away God’s presence. He is very much here with us every moment of every day. He has left us reminders in this state how one day we too will be taken to the promised land.

God’s goodness is here, present, alive within us and in this great state. Let’s imagine for a moment we are the Israelites wandering around Alaska instead of the desert.

A Biblical Trek Through the Great Land of Alaska-

It all started in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth. I think God had fun when he created Alaska. He put so much thought and detail into creating this amazing land. There are over 3 million lakes, over half of the world’s active glaciers and has 17 of 20 highest peaks in the U.S. Alaska has over 43 of the 53 active volcanoes in the U.S. It is home to the Northern Lights, and viewing of some of the most amazing constellations and stars. Alaska has over 35 species of mosquitoes, home to some of the most amazing wildlife and has some of the most stellar fishing for halibut and salmon.

This winter, look up and you will see the star lit on top of the 4,000 foot Mount Gordon. For 55 years the tradition of lighting the star every winter season, illuminates the night during our long season of darkness. I can’t help to think about the three wise men following the star to Bethlehem in hopes to see baby Jesus.

Head south towards the Kenai Peninsula and you will enter into the town of Hope. It is a town nestled amongst the mountains and at the mouth of the Turnagain arm. What a treasure to discover Hope among the mountains and deep waters.

Travel even further south and we come upon the Resurrection Bay in Seward. What a wonderful reminder of God’s plan for us. That we are not defeated by our circumstances but resurrected in Christ because of what he did for us.

Let’s travel north to the town of Bethel. Bethel means ‘house of God.’ In biblical times, this is where people went to seek counsel. It is where Jacob had his dream of a ladder to heaven and angels ascending from heaven.

It was God’s message to Jacob that, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” (Genesis 29:15 NKJV). Jacob then wakes up and says “surely the LORD is in this place and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than that house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Genesis 29:16-17 NKJV).

Lastly, there is an anchor in Anchorage. Chances are if you are reading this post, you are a woman in the word; a woman who prays. Prayer is what is what will anchor us through this darkness and bring the darkness to light. Together we can shine the light of Jesus brighter than any light, by staying devoted in prayer and allowing God’s light to shine through us.

“This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” Hebrews 6:19 NLT

Despite the present spiritual realms of darkness, stay focused on God’s presence, in His greatness and goodness. Don’t let the enemy fool you in putting your hope in what you see. God is at work in a bigger way than we can ever imagine.

There is an eternal hope in Alaska one that can never be extinguished by any darkness. This winter season, don’t focus on the darkness, but on how bright the stars shine, God’s purpose, intent and creation.

Am I missing anything? What other wonders in this great land of Alaska has God has showed you?

Did you enjoy this blogpost? Please share with others! Want more encouraging messages sent right to your inbox? Subscribe to my blog and receive a weekly Monday Message or like my Author Facebook page to catch the latest posts.  Have a blessed week!

I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below!

This post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com.


Subscribe and Receive a Weekly Dose of Encouragement Right to Your Inbox!

There is Victory When He Is Enough!

The other day our family was fortunate to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity, to not only see one of God’s greatest creations but to experience it to it’s fullest.  We were going on a plane to see Denali the tallest mountain in the United States and land on a glacier.  We weren’t just going to see Denali, we were going to stand its presence and take in its magnificence.

Before the day even started there was grumbling and complaining from our children.  ‘I don’t want to go!’  ‘I don’t want to wear or bring a coat!’  It took every parenting effort to make our kids put food in their mouths, brush their teeth and put socks and shoes on their feet nonetheless get into the car!  There were tears of fear of the unknown, what to really expect, how was this day really going to play out?

We tried explaining to the kids we were going to have one of the most amazing experiences in their lifetime.  We described landscapes, picturesque views, mountain tops, planes, glaciers you name it to prepare them what to expect.  We explained, people from all over the world travel to come see the grandeur of Denali and the beauty of Alaska.  They were going to experience what most people never experience in their lifetime.

Regardless of our tireless explanations, we realized they needed to come to their own conclusion and trust in our promise of an amazing day.  Our puny words would never bring justice in comparison to what they were going to experience.

As the plane took off, we were a little nervous because we had never been on a plane that small amongst the mighty mountains before us.  There arose a lot of questions, ‘What if we crashed?’ ‘What if something happened to the plane?’ ‘What if…….?’

It made me wonder, how many times have I done this before with God and questioned Him, ‘What if’?

How often do I put my hope and faith in what I see?

How many times has he tried to nudge me in a certain direction and I gave him a hard time?!?

How many times have I gotten in God’s way, when he tried to tell ‘me’ I have the greatest plan ever for you, one where you will experience the abundance of everything I have to offer if you just let me show you?!?!   

Just like our kids, I don’t need to know every single detail of how everything is going to turn out, I just need to TRUST IN GOD’S PLAN!  His ways and plans are so much greater and better than mine. There will never be answers good enough that will suffice my human understanding.  The only answer I need to know is God loves me and that is ENOUGH.

Is God’s Love ENOUGH?  

Each time I ever question God, ‘Are you sure?’ or ‘What if?’ he gently reminds me, He’s got it.  He sees at a God’s eye view, the bigger picture of what is really going on.  He has all the details under control, I just have to trust his plan is good enough.  

There will be times where it seems he is asking us to go down rocky paths or troubled waters, but I promise you His love will always bring you home.  His love will never take you where his grace cannot protect you.

I am happy to report we saw the most amazing views we would ever see in our lifetime.  We had the most unforgettable experience.  It would never have happened if we didn’t take a step of faith and got on the plane.  We would have missed out on so much if we didn’t trust in his plan and go.  His love is able to do so much more than I could ever do.  When God’s plan is the plan for your life you will have the most Amazing Life Ever!

Where do you find your hope?  In your circumstances?  In what you see?  In yourself?

What do you put your trust in?  Yourself?  Or God’s love?  

God has the most amazing life ever waiting for you to have RIGHT NOW.  He designed you to live the best life ever in him, live life to the fullest, one that is filled with his abundance of everything he has to offer, something this world can never give you.

Will you trust in his love for you?  

You are victorious when you rest in the only answer you ever need, God's love.Click To Tweet

Trusting in  God’s plan allows His love to intercede on your behalf and make all things possible.

There is Victory when He is Enough!  

Did you like this blog post?  Please share with others!  If you would like more encouraging messages sent right to your inbox, Subscribe to my blog and receive a weekly Monday Message or like my Author Facebook page to catch the latest posts.  Have a Blessed Week!

I would love to hear from you!  Leave your comments Below.  


Subscribe

Receive Daily Encouragement Right to Your Inbox