My Little Scripture Journal

 

 

ScriptureJournal

I received a message from a reader asking me what verses do I put in my Scripture Journal that I mentioned on the God Centered Mom Podcast.  Specifically, she asked for verses that help battle negative self-talk.

So let’s go backwards.  My Scripture Journal or I might have called it notebook, is something I started using to hold all the verses I wanted to remember.  These  are verses that I wanted to memorize or verses that spoke to me.  You know ones  that really minister and give life, but sometimes you can’t remember exactly where they are in the Bible. I now write those verses down in this little journal.  It can be any little journal that you have lying around.  I know you have one:  you received it as a gift or saw it in Target and bought it and you are saving it because it is too cute to use.

Well, I have the use for it, gal.  No more saving.  That little Surseee of a Journal can become your truth fighter; your reminder of who you are in Jesus. Your little go-to when the day starts and you are slow. and can’t figure . out. What to read?

Do you ever feel like that?
I do.   I am too tired, too sad, too whatever to even figure out where to read in the Bible, so I grab my Scripture Journal and voila! It is all there.  It is not great quotes or worldly wisdom, although I do have files for great quotes. ( You knew I did, right?)

The Scripture Journal is my little go-to for those mornings I described above and let me tell you, it works.  God’s word does not return void when I read it, and as I go through the verses,  I am encouraged, given life.

Reminded of who I am in Christ and my identity as a daughter of the King.  I’m forgiven. Free. Loved.  Bought with a price.

I am also reminded of what I need to think on–Things that are good and right and beautiful.

I also am encouraged about God’s faithfulness.  But I stray.

The Scripture Journal is for you to fill in.  I can’t tell you what to put in yours…  What speaks to you right now?  What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell You?  What have you been learning or moved by when you read the Bible.  Those verses are what goes in Your journal.

A Scripture Journal is also a great gift/SURSEE for a graduate or a new mom.  You could write a few of your favorite verses in there to start them off.  How lovely is that? Your handwriting and your verses.

Hope this idea of a place to save verses helps you.  Hope it helps you get in the Word in an active way. Tomorrow I will talk about some verses that help me to specifically battle that negative self-talk.

Do you have a favorite verse you would include in your journal?  Do tell.

XO

 

Mentoring Moment :: You Have What You Need

 

Mentoring-2

You have what you need.  I am thinking here about wisdom for living.  Being a friend.  A wife.  A mom.  A neighbor. Just being YOU. You have what you need to live.  You just have to receive it.  But let’s go back a few years ago to a conversation I had when I was stressing out about raising teens.

My mentor spoke some wise words to me when I was wondering what books she would recommend to me to read about raising our teens.

Her words kind of took my breath away.

“You don’t need another book, Leslie.  You have what you need.  In the scripture.”I remember thinking, Whaaaatttt?  But I have so many books, and so many of them half-read on my night stand.

The other part of me thought. Yes. She is right. Again.

We are all into simplifying right? So how much simpler can it get than to search God’s word for wisdom in raising your kids?  It is all right there.  And, if you have joined me in the One Year Chronological Bible reading, you will get to it all in 2016.  It is all right there, divided into 365 beautiful bite-sized pieces.

Now I don’t think she was saying that we never read a book about kids or spiritual life or whatever.  But the crazy, frenetic pace of life that I was in and thinking that just one more book would have the answer to all my questions was just not true.

She encouraged me to trust that the Lord could speak to me through His Word and to have faith that the Holy Spirit could speak to my spirit and give me what I needed for the everyday.

Another mentor, just a few months ago, challenged me that I needed to study scripture with my Mom Heart group.  She asked me what we went through when we got together and I told her a book about marriage or kids, or sex or spiritual life.  She looked squarely at me and with no hesitation said,

“You need to be teaching those girls that they can get into God’s word and study it for themselves.  Teach them they don’t need to go through a study or another author.”

She was very firm. She always was.  And I have thought and thought about her words.  They are true.

You have what you need in the word of God.

So. I am telling you gals; I am passing on what I learned- You have what you need.

Spending time in the Word is all you need for life and godliness.  You have what you need, gal. There are wonderful Sursees waiting in God’s word for you today.  Let me know what you find.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as fas as the division of soul and spirit , of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

 

 

Reading the Chronological Bible in 2016 :: Finding the Sursees

morning and night chronological bible

Y’all have heard me talk about reading through the Bible using the Chronological Bible before, I know.  But I just have to toot its horn one more time. I have received some emails/messages from friends about how do I do it over and over OR what do I do when I read through it again; so I thought I would share a few ideas about how to make the Chronological Bible reading work year after year.

Let me just start off and say that I love reading through the Bible this way.  It weaves the stories together and you feel like you are reading a novel.  For instance, when you are reading through the stories of David in Kings and Chronicles, you also read through the Psalms. When you read through the Gospels you read all the versions of the miracle back to back.  When you hit Acts, you read the Epistles that match with what is happening in Acts.  Love.

The  deciding factor for reading this version of the Bible was the first year I read through it and hit Leviticus.  Now that is not the most scintillating book, but I was struck with the repetition of the phrase,

I am the LORD your God.

 

Chronological Bible

Over and over I read that and underlined it. I was encouraged by God’s reminder to them that He was their God and then His instructions would follow.  I need those reminders that He is who He says He is. That He is looking out for me.  We all forget don’t we?  Thank you, Leviticus, for the reminders.

So here are some tips for reading through the Chronological Bible.  Hope this helps.

I mark it up.

I underline passages that speak to me and write a notation for the year. Like thisShowing the years in my CB                                           It is amazing when the next year I read and I see my underlining and think, “I don’t even remember that!” Or, I put another  year marker by it because it still speaks to me.

I also grew more bold and wrote bigger in the margins with things that I wanted to remember.  Like the word GRACE or Thankful for this.  This year I plan to get some of these

 

Chronological Bible-4

to draw a little in my Bible.  I know there is a whole world of Bible journaling out there where people decorate their Bibles.  Going to try a little of that.

I Write it down

I buy a little journal or spiral notebook to keep with my Bible, and I write the date for the day in it and write longer thoughts about my reading.  Just something that causes me to think or a question I have, or a praise for something I read.

I Look it Up

When I am in the Old Testament and have a question about something in Ezekiel, I look up the passage in one of my Bible commentaries and read what a scholar has written to try and understand what I am reading.  I also have looked on the internet in John MacArthur’s website at his sermons that correspond with the passage and listened to that during the day. Dallas Theological Seminary also has resources that I have used to try and understand some of the more difficult books.

I ask a Question

I have several gals who are reading through the Bible with me and sometimes when I get stumped, I email or text them to ask my questions.  They are so helpful to respond and tell me their thoughts or questions.  Love that idea of community and reading with a group of gals.  It also like a little accountability group for me.  I know they are reading, so I keep on plugging through, too.

I tell a Friend

In my little community of Chronological Bible Readers, I will often share a verse that meant a lot to me in an early morning text.  I love the connection I feel with them when I do that and they share randomly with me.  Really makes me feel like part of the Body of Christ. Like I am not alone out there reading.

I also use texts to send out to gals that I mentor when something has jumped out at me.  I will make  a visual and send it out.  I use the You Version Bible app because it lets you highlight a verse, copy it and text it.  It also lets you put a pretty background on it and send as an encouragement.  I love the feeling of connection I get when I do that and I hope that it encourages the gals that receive it.

I use the Kindle version when I travel

Instead of lugging my big Chronological Bible around on a trip, I use the Kindle app and have downloaded a version so that it is at the ready.  I found this was easier than trying to read it on my phone with just the Bible app and my notes about where to read.  A lot of times the Chronological Bible skips around between different books and it makes it hard to do that on the Bible app.  I am all about easy and the Kindle version of the Chrono Bible is easy.  Now, I will say, it is not the same translation as my hardcopy  Chrono Bible.  I don’t worry about that. At all.  I just read the day that it is and go on.

I do not stressed if I get behind

If I do get behind, I just read a bunch of days when I have the time.  I also have just skipped to the day that I am living.  I figure that I will read it all again next year and will catch the days that I missed then. God just wants me to spend time with Him and wash over my brain with His Truth.  I think He gets it when I get behind, and I have learned to not sweat it.

Join me?

So will you join me this year?  Let me know in the comments, and I  will add you to my community of gals reading through the Bible.  It is such a great, great way to read through the Bible and be encouraged.  Let me know if you want to join…I am reading the older NIV  Tyndale version, but you pick the version you want and we will mostly be together.  Let’s look for Sursees together.

I have to say a big thank you to my friend, Paige, who introduced me to this wonderful Bible several years ago. She encouraged me to give it a go and I have loved it.  xoxo

 

 

 

How to make authentic friendships with your kids in tow

how to make authentic friends

I was on the God Centered Mom podcast recently talking about friendships and wanted to write a little more about some of the things I did when my kids were younger in the area of friendship with other women.

As I was talking with Heather, a flood of memories came back about how I connected with other women when my kids were young.  I think I needed women’s friendships and was looking for ways to live life with other gals.  One way I made meaningful authentic friendships was to invite people into what I was already doing.

Sports? With four boys you know I was involved in sports.  I would bring cooked hotdogs/buns/chips and a camping table and serve a quick meal to the families of the ball players.  Not so hard, really.  I had to feed my troop; I might as well feed others.  And hot dogs were an easy go-to.  I would grill at home and then wrap in foil and put in a cooler to keep warm.  I learned to embrace the sporting event and see that as a place to make relationships, instead of dreading the time sitting in lawn chairs in the heat.  It took a little while I might add, to figure that out.

In the summer we had a membership to a neighborhood pool, and I would invite friends to come swim with us.  Scheduled around lunch, we would swim for a few hours, eat lunch and then everyone would go home ready for a long afternoon nap.  When my kids were babies, they would nap in the shade in the pack-n-play.  Lots of good conversations happened around that pool.

Sometimes I would do things without my kids.  I had night time events where I would make a gal’s dinner and we would have a speaker or work on crafts.  Have a girl’s night once a month at your house.  Serve easy snacks and have a topic to discuss or watch a chick flick or talk about what you are cooking.  Make the time for girlfriends.  You will find that you will be rich in relationships when you are done.

I would invite friends over for a casual lunch and let the kids play in the backyard and then sometimes let the younger ones nap while the older ones played and the moms visited.

For a weekend night, we would invite another family over to eat an easy pizza supper and then lay kids down on pallets while the adults visited or watched a movie.

I tried to get involved in women’s ministry and have that morning be a time of conversations and teaching.  Good for the soul.  Look around the circle of your group and pick one gal to call later that week and connect with her.  Make intentional choices- cast that net.  It is worth it to step out and reach out.  We are all wanting connection. You be the one to do it.

Through my homeschooling circle, I signed up for all kinds of fun field trips and would enjoy the fellowship that happened over a quick lunch after.  I remember going to the What-A-Burger by the airport and the boys loving watching the planes take off and land while I got in some quick conversation with the mom before the whole thing fell apart.

I mentioned on the podcast that I had to embrace the chaos and not expect everything to go perfectly.  That worked better when I thought through our schedule and made sure no one was hungry or in need of a nap during a time with friends.

I met friends at some of the cool parks in town and was always ready to explore new outdoor spaces.  Lots of good conversation can happen around the swing-set and climbing forts.  I always tried to remember water and wipes and snicky-snacks or made a quick lunch that we ate there.

I also piled the kids in the car and would go visit friends who lived in another city.  The picture above is when I drove a few hours to have the life-giving love and conversation of a dear friend. What a gang of kids!  Those were good times.  The fun of lots of kids running around and deep and long conversions with a friend who lived on the other side of the state was worth all the hassle of packing up all my people and driving.

I used to have a day a week when I would set these play/field trip/ friend times so that it worked with my schedule.  It was a fun day to look forward to all week.

As you can see, I like to schedule. I feel like that helps me to make connections.  If that is not your forte, hang out with someone who has that strength and let her plan for you. I have several friends who tell me all the time, “If it were not for you, I would never do anything fun!”  Well, alright then.  Find those gals who plan and link up with them.

I also scheduled in time to call or write friends.  I had to schedule it.  Back in the day, it was expensive and you had to call on the off hours when it was cheaper.  Now, I text a friend to find a good time we can both talk.  Ahh,  so much easier.  But I still schedule those phone calls into my week.  And I write a lot of letters.  What is more fun than getting some snail mail?

As your kids get older, pick moms in your kids classes to be intentional with and get to know.  You will be surprised at the relationships you will gain, such a treasure trove.  In each of my boy’s classes I have dear, dear friends that I met and grew to love because I was intentional in serving with them at school, calling them, hanging with them at the basketball games and having them over to eat.  I also organized fun activities with the boys and their friends as they got older and would invite other parents to join us- a trip to the swimming hole in Ft Worth, A Senior Ski trip with the whole class, trips to check out colleges, TV watching binges- hello LOST watching group, after game pizza and ice-cream parties. The list goes on.

Another way to have authentic friendship in the midst of the crazy is through a mentor.  She can listen, encourage and laugh with you.  She also can give you ideas of ways she spent time with others when she was younger.  She will often be able to meet you where you are and be more flexible than someone your age.  I had mentors that would come stay with the boys while I went to get my hair cut and we would have a good visit on the front end.  A mentor will be a life-giving gal who can breathe energy and new ideas into those days that seem impossible.  I know mine have done that and still do!!

Hope some of these Friendship Sursees help you figure out how to make connections with other women.  Would you share ways that you connect with others or find the time for friendship? We all need a little help and imagination in this area.  I would love to hear from you…. xoxo

 

 

 

Sursee Saturday :: Let’s Share our Best Ideas

 

A friend recently sent me a text with an idea for a Friendship Sursee.  Check it out.

Friendship Sursees

These cute little kleenex boxes fit in the cupholder of your car.  Love.  Our Kleenex box is constantly rattling around in the back floorboard, just out of reach of my arm when needed.  When the boys were little, it was stepped on and crunched by feet or empty! This Kleenex tube sits protected in your cup holder, ready to help.  A great idea for a fun Sursee for a friend or your own car.

Another friend told me what her dear friends did for her this week.  Listen to this.  She lost her wallet and later that night her friend brought over a new wallet!  Not only that, it was filled with more Sursees…restaurant gift card, cash and a VISA gift card.  Woo-Hoo.

How sweet is that?  Losing your wallet is the worst.  This made the day end on a joyful note for my friend.

I love hearing stories like the one above because it gives me ideas to file away in my brain about how to love well.

These two examples also sparked an idea in me. I need to ask you all to send in your best Sursee Ideas for a friend or family member.  We all need inspiration, and I know y’all have received some awesome Sursees over the years.  So send me your ideas.  Give us all some inspiration and encouragement as we see and hear about your creativity.  Comment on this post below or tag me on IG so I can see your fun idea

When I return from Italia, I will have a Readers’ Sursee Saturday and share them all with you.  Sound fun?  I am excited.  I need some infusion of creativity, and I bet you do, too.

xoxo

Sabbatical Sursees :: The Italian Adventure

A note from Sursee Gal

Dear friend,

A good friend recommended that I write a little note to tell you what I will be doing the next month.  I will not be blogging.  Even writing that makes me feel a little anxious.  Am I the real deal if I take time off?

Yes, I think so, and here is what I will be doing.

I will be in Italy with Craig, Sabbatical Dad. AKA Sursee Guy.

We will be:  Living.  Eating. Walking. Praying. Napping.  Being.  Drinking in God’s beauty and goodness.

Taking a break from computers, Instagram, blogging.

I want to try to be present and with Craig.  A good friend emailed me and said,

”Don’t worry about what you are missing,  Celebrate what you are experiencing.”

Ahh, good friends.  They know you. The above is so true for me. There is nothing worse than being one place and wishing you were another place.

She also encouraged me to take less photos with my camera and let my “eyes and heart remember”.  I have already thought about that, and we are going to have a little contest.  I get to take as many pictures as I want to every day, but, at the end of the day, we have to cull through them and delete down to 10 photos…ack. Can I do it?  I think so.  I have even thought of culling down to my top 5!  How many pictures do I really need? How many do you want to really see when I get back.  300? or 150? Hahah.

I am not going to get all twisted and never check email or texts or take an IG photo.  I am going to try to unplug and BE more.  I am bringing a new journal and my favorite pen to write everyday.

I want to blog everyday and let you see all that I am seeing, but I understand that I can’t do that in real time.  Can you wait till November to see and hear all the details?

In October a whole slew of bloggers try a 31Days where they blog everyday on a topic and practice the discipline of writing every, every day. No skipping days.  I have heard that it brings out new stuff you have swirling around in you and is a great experience.  But I am not going to do that this October.

My friend, Jacki at The Jesse Tree Project told me her great idea for 31Days.  She is going to write every day and not post it.  I think that is what I will do.  Then I will have loads of good stuff when I get back.  It will be a good discipline for me to sit and write every, every day. Thanks for the great tip, gal.

Terri over at White Pitchers is writing about the tending of our souls.  If you haven’t read her musings yet, I recommend checking in with her this next month.  She is a beautiful wordsmith and paints gorgeous pictures with her eloquent prose. Please check her out in October as she explores making white space for our souls.

I think that is all.  I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in our lives.  I will be checking in on IG so follow me over there if you are not already-  @SurseeGal

Ciao and xoxo

 

Sabbatical Sursees :: The Beginning

Fall flowers Sabbatical Sursees

Long ago when I first learned about blogs, I followed the cutest gal who wrote so beautifully and honestly; I felt like I knew her.   One of her adventures that she wrote about was when she and her husband decided to go live in Italy for a time, to give him a break from the long, long  years of working.  I can’t remember how many years that was, but I am pretty sure it was less than 15.  I can remember reading that to my husband and our response was, “What the heck! You’ve been working way longer than that.  We are the ones that need a Sabbatical.”

Thus the seed was planted for a break, a sabbatical of sorts.

Over the years we sought counsel from good friends and business associates.  We prayed and had many, many conversations on our walks and drives and during meals.  Every year it was a New Year’s Resolution, until one year when we brought it up as this new idea, a dear friend pointed out that we had talked about Craig switching jobs for years.

Uh,oh. Busted.

So this year was different.  We, in earnest, started planning and scheming for our Sabbatical and in August the deal was done and IT began.  Goodbyes were said.  The art from the office walls was taken down and desks cleaned out.  I remember on his last day, after I kissed him on his way out the door, I had a panicky feeling in my gut.  “What are we doing?” I thought.  Then I remembered that The Lord was in control, and we were not doing something rash and foolish.

One issue that popped up though.  We didn’t really know what to call this break of sorts. Craig has not retired. He resigned and is redesigning, taking a break.  We think of our break like a Reset for this second half of our life.  A Sabbatical of Sorts, really for both of us.  I looked up the definition of a Sabbatical and found this:

a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher for study or travel, traditionally every seventh year.

I liked the idea that a Sabbatical was for study or travel, both of which we hope to do.

Fall Hollyhocks

Another definition is:

any extended period of leave from one’s customary work especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

Yes, we are taking an extended leave from Craig working full time to rest and reset.  I love this word picture of acquiring new skills or training.  

One more entry in the dictionary included the reference to Leviticus 25:2-7:

a year during which the land was to be left uncultivated, debts annulled, etc, supposed to be observed every seventh year by the ancient Israelites.  

Or this reference found in Exodus 23:10:

 they were told to let the land in the seventh year rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave, the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

So we decided to call this time period our Sabbatical; it will be a time where we reset our lives and spend some time resting.  We will let some fields lie fallow.  Acquire some new skills. Travel! Learn.

As we face the second half of our life, we wanted to really look at all we are doing and make sure we are doing what God has called us to do.

We are letting go of the security of a paycheck and wanting to rely on the Lord’s provision.  We are wanting to trust God in the big and small things, together.

We are on an adventure. A new twist to our lives.  We are asking God to lead us, to guide us and are listening to hear His direction. What do we need to let go of, release?  What to hold onto?

We are rethinking everything.  Everything is on the table.  Do we keep our newspaper subscription?   We are cleaning out our house and garage.  Using up, saying no, not buying, choosing wisely in all areas.  It has been exciting, scary and an adventure all rolled into one.  Ye Olde Budget is back in play and it is good to see where the money goes.  What do I really need?  What do I think I need?

We bought a ginormous white board and scribble our planning sessions on it.  It is super helpful to us to see all the possibilities written out big and then see the connections.  We brainstorm and eliminate and elaborate- then take action.

Fall road

Simple.  That is one word we keep coming back to during this Sabbatical Season.  A simple plan.  A simple vacation. A simple wardrobe, garage, meal.

Sweet.  Another word I would use to describe this time with Craig.  Like being newlyweds, really.  To slow down and rest together is sweet.

Intentional.  Thinking through this next half of life and resetting what we think it should look like.

Join me on this adventure?  I will be writing about it on and off,  from my Sabbatical Haircut to our Italian Adventure- Sursees Galore!  I hope it inspires you to do a reset in your life wherever you are.  Isn’t that what God is calling us all to when He says:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

xoxo

Ciao!

Sursee Gal’s Cure for Burns :: Pass the Mustard, Please!

Mustard bottles

Here is a super great tip that you are not going to want to forget.  Well, if you are like me and sometimes burn yourself when you are cooking, you will not want to forget this!

The other day I was cooking and cooking and pulled a hot cookie tray out of the oven, and when I put it on the stove top, I knocked over my olive oil.  As I reached for the olive oil, the pan jostled, the hot pad fell out of my hand and my now bare hand gripped the pan full on and yEEOWWWW!   I burned my finger and palm as I gripped the pan full on.

I immediately grabbed a piece of ice and then remembered that is not the correct remedy so I googled what do you do when you burn your hand?  So love the internet at times like these. I scanned the first few entries and spied the mustard cure.

What? Mustard? Plain ‘ol yellow mustard? Yes. Yes. Yes.

I squeezed a large blop of it on my very sore and blistered hand and felt some relief.  As it soaked in and a few minutes passed, the pain started to fade.  Reading further, the article suggested placing a gauze bandage and tape over the mustard poultice which I did for the afternoon.  I removed it after about 3 hours and washed it.  The burn hurt a little as I showered and the hot water hit it, but not as bad as I expected.

That night at my dinner party, my hand felt a tad sore, but not like usual when I have a burn.  The next morning was the clincher for this remedy.  No big giant blister and I could bend my fingers with no pain.

mustard cure1

A miracle I say!

Go out and buy yourself a jug of that French’s mustard and be ready for your next burn…Sursee Gal over and out.

4 Great Podcasts to Follow

 

 

podcast pic

Listening to podcasts is fun for me.  I listen while I put on my makeup or drive in the car or fold laundry or iron…you get the picture.  Have you ever listened to a PodCast?  It is not hard to download through the Podcast App on  your iPhone or on your computer. I subscribe to a few and listen to them while I work or walk or drive.

I am a learner and I find listening to a variety of podcasts is stimulating to my creativity-kind of like going to an art museum or being outside in nature feeds me.   Another perk of podcasts is you can listen with your older kids.  Sitting side by side in the car listening to a podcast is great for teens.  They need loads of creativity at this stage of life to spark their imaginations, and it is important for them to hear about all the jobs and possibilities that are out there.

So check out my favs below.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Such a fun listen.  Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth talk about all kinds of ways to live and work: like new creative habits to try, or suggesting ideas for how not to procrastinate, to giving you permission to stop reading a book.  What?

I like the Try it at Home Tips she gives.  I have read her Happiness Project book and the sequel and gleaned so many fun, creative SURSEES from her.  When I listen to Gretch and Elizabeth, I feel like I am sitting with my gal pals sharing and connecting.  You will be encouraged.  The link above leads to her site and also gives the deets about her podcast.  I would love to hear what you think about her Gold Stars.  Fun to listen with your kids and discuss or try some of her ideas.

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry

This guy is just plain interesting and also talks with all kinds of intriguing people.  One of my favorite episodes was when he talked about Your Collective  about the relationships we should surround ourself with to help us do our best work.  Fascinating.  I would go back and listen to it again. Love his tagline at the end- “Don’t be a cover band.  Cover bands don’t change the world.” Yeah, baby!  Good for teens.

God Centered Mom by Heather MacFadyen

Back to the gals.  Heather is an awesome podcaster over at The God Centered Mom and talks with so many different people.   She encourages no matter what life stage you are in.  I am often forwarding her podcasts to other women; Heather is a great resource.  From talking about movies you can watch with your kids to learning new ideas about discipline, to trusting God in the hard times,  her interviews are always helpful and succinct and make you want to know and love more.  Love Heather!  Listen to Heather and I talk here.

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn is all over the place talking to entrepreneurs, bloggers, business owners.  I found an amazing Banana Cream Pie recipe after I listened to this gal from The Woodland Bakery and heard how she grew her business and blog through an online presence and videos.  Her pies are Amazing! Craig and I have also listened to a few and have had some interesting discussions afterward about career and life.  A great place to be inspired.  Also a good listen with your teenagers.

Tell me what you think about these podcasts and also share what podcasts you are digging.  I am always surprised when people say they don’t listen to podcasts or haven’t heard about the ones I like.  So do tell in the comments and help us all get smarter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words for the End of the School Year :: Dear Middle School Mom,

Tips for May transitionsHere it is May again, and I always feel busy during this month and I don’t even have kids at home!  A friend told me once, “Never schedule anything for May.  No doctor appointments, no lunches with friends, no nothing.”  I think she is right.  There is enough crazy without me scheduling in more.

May is the end of the school year and the time of graduations and moving on.  Even with grown kids, I find May to be a month of transition.  So I looked back in the files of Sursee Gal and found this Letter to Middle School Moms, and I bring it back to you because I think it might be just the encouragement you need right now. Even if your child isn’t about to enter high school, I think there are some truths here to get you looking down the path with hope.   I am praying that as you face this time of transition and endings and beginnings  you will see the Lord in the middle of it all and that you don’t have to go it alone.  So read on dear friend and be encouraged.

Could you pass this on to a mom who might be struggling with this time of year?  That would be an awesome Sursee!
Dear Middle School Mom,

As I look back over my 11 years at our school, I remember what it was like to have a middle school student just beginning here. For those of you who don’t know me, I have four sons and my youngest is about to graduate in a few short weeks.
Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project, says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  And I am here to tell you, that is true!
So here, at the end of these years,  as I am rounding the corner and heading toward the finish line, I wanted to encourage you with some truths I have learned along the way.
First, I want you to know it has been a good ride.  And, yes, the work was worth it !
I want to exhort you as a mom to not be afraid.  No fear!   God is in control of all the details of your life and your child’s life. Your child will go to college somewhere when it is time. I promise.
Mom, No comparing.  It robs you of all joy.   No one else can be you with your gifts and talents.  No one else has the same child you do.  So, No comparing, friend.
Embrace life and all the ups and downs of mothering.  When we say yes and embrace wherever God has us, we are saying, “I trust You Lord, and  I believe You are in control.”
Middle school is the pitts.  It just is.  It was when you were in middle school. And it still is.  But, Your child’s class will survive. Your child will survive. And I promise, YOU will survive. The mean girls will get nice and the goofy boys will grow up. So encourage your child that this is true, and teach them how to extend grace.
Pray for the kids in your child’s class. Get to know the kids in your child’s class. God is using them to shape and mold your child.  The small classes here are like  your family, you don’t get to choose your family, and  yet, you love them and accept them. Show your child how to love those who are not like them. And in the end, when they graduate, you will be amazed how your class jelled and came together.
It is not too hard for them up here.  It is work, but it is not too hard.  Learning and being engaged is demanding and it requires discipline, but it is not too hard.  It is a new way to study.  A new way to think.  It is worth it.  There are no shortcuts.
Latin is one of the most important subjects your child can take.  Have them take as many years of it as possible.
Read. Read the books your child is reading.  Read the school newsletter.  Life works better when you are in the know.  Read your emails from your Class Mom. In fact, be the class mom one year.
Join up and join in. Our school works best when you participate. Serve on a committee.  Come to the parent meetings.  Head up something.  You might meet a new friend. Attend Moms in Touch.  Pursue friendships with other moms up here.  You will be thankful you have others to walk through these years with you.
Believe in the professors.  Get to know them.  Pray for them. Speak words of life to them. And, speak well about them to your child.
Make breakfast for your child.  It really is the most important meal of the day.
Go to events that involve the older students at your school.  See the finished product.  It will encourage you.  It will give you hope and fuel you to inspire your child through the years. Go to Declamation.  Attend the Ladies Tea.  Send your son to the Men’s Cook-out every year. Sit front row and center for the plays.   When you see the seniors and older students at these events, you will see what the target is and so will your child.
Attend all the different sporting events.  Lots of conversations and life happens there.  On that note, get your student involved in sports here. Character work goes on here that you don’t want them to miss.  Plus, it will be some of their favorite memories.  And yours.
Drive a carpool to a school event.  You learn so much.  Enough said.
Go to bed.  Teach your child to go to bed.  A good night sleep cures almost everything and things always look better in the morning.
Kiss and hug.  A lot.  Before they go to school and when they get home. Even when they are a senior.  Even when they are a boy.
Use less words with your kids and Believe in them.  They know the right thing to do.
So Middle school mom, this school isn’t a perfect place, but it is a great place.  And, it really is worth it.