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If you’re a regular reader, we hope you’re enjoying the updated look! If you’re new here, welcome! This blog covers adoption, attachment issues, homeschooling, parenting, and more! We’re glad you’re here! Feel free to read the most recent posts or just browse the archives.

Thriving Through Christmas 25 Day Countdown Day 8

Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and thriving guide. Make sure you click the follow via email button on the right to receive your “25 Days of Thriving through Christmas” in your inbox each day! Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s why the Positive Adoption Team has put together this handy little series. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning, open your inbox and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!

Tip 8-

Do something for someone else and have the kids participate.

You know the old saying “it is easier to do something yourself than to ask for help”? Throw it out the window. Let’s replace that with something more meaningful and eternal, “it takes time to train others and be patient when they don’t know what to do, but the time is an investment, not a waste.” Time is a precious and irreplaceable resource, but people are more precious. Some of our children have gifts that we are not even aware of. And isn’t this the season of giving gifts. Let’s let our children give their gifts to the Christ child and watch them grow!

This season, two of my children and I have been involved in a major production of Scrooge, A Christmas Carol.  

This season let us use our resource of time and ourselves and pour it like a precious drink offering into the kingdom!  And let me tell you, the kingdom is fun, it is not dry or boring. It is exciting and energizing to work side by side with brothers and sisters!

The most important harvest of this season is new names written in the Lambs Book of Life. The Lord used the vehicle of Scrooge to do just that. Thank you Jesus for new siblings in the kingdom!

Biblical Application:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (the place of the dead), where you are going.”-Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,: Colossians 3:23

We can quickly and inadvertently give our children the idea that Christmas is all about them and gifts. The act of Jesus coming to earth as a infant, leaving His throne in heaven and sacrifice Himself for us is the ultimate gift. We honor Him when we sacrifice for Him, the very gifts and talents He has given us, when we give our hands for His service, whether it is passing out food at a food pantry, ringing a bell at the mall, taking gift baskets to shut-ins or waiting on our own flesh and blood with a patient attitude in our own home. Do whatever your hand finds to do with all your might today!

Scrooge 2014

Thriving Through Christmas 25 Day Countdown Day 7

Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and thriving guide. Make sure you click the follow via email button on the right to receive your “25 Days of Thriving through Christmas” in your inbox each day! Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s why the Positive Adoption Team has put together this handy little series. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning, open your inbox and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!

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Tip 7-

Have a cookie day!

Instructions: make loads of sugar cookie dough ahead of time (or buy some)

Make lots of icing and have food coloring handy.

Have an array of sprinkles on hand.

Dig out grandma’s old cookie cutters.

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Get out the rolling pin and the cookie press.

Invite some friends over.

Turn on the Christmas tunes and slip on your apron.

The point of this day is to make cookies and eat lots of them. Don’t over stress. Don’t try to make your home perfect for guests. Get ready to make a mess!

Note: When my girls got older, their cookie making got more serious and lots of other things appeared on the table-elaborate cookie trees made out of stars, different recipes, different shapes. As for the males? No, just give them a pile of cookies with lots of icing.

Biblical Application:

Christmas is a time for rebuilding the walls around your family and creating some new memories for you and your child.

Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.- Nehemiah 8:10

This is Nehemiah style wall building/family stuff. They read the Word. The people wept. Then [Ezra] told them, “go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink and send portions to for whom nothing is prepared”. This day, each day is holy to our Lord. Celebrate today as such.

 

Thriving Through Christmas 25 Day Countdown Day 6

Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and thriving guide. Make sure you click the follow via email button on the right to receive your “25 Days of Thriving through Christmas” in your inbox each day! Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s why the Positive Adoption Team has put together this handy little series. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning, open your inbox and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!

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Tip 6-

Draw names.

It is so tempting to buy for everyone. My kids used to ask me for ‘dollars’ so they could buy a present for everyone in the family. With a large family, that is a lot of pressure for a little one. To eliminate some stress, draw names. This gives the child the opportunity to focus on one person. Through focusing on one person, the child is able to study and think about someone other than themselves. The gift doesn’t have to be store-bought. One year my daughter and her younger brothers made theme jars, a mason jar with small themed presents.

Biblical Application:

Wise Men Gifts

And going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His Mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented Him with gifts-gold, frankincense and myrrh.”- Matthew 2:11

“St. Matthew recorded that the Magi brought three gifts, each also having a prophetic meaning: gold, the gift for a king; frankincense, the gift for a priest; and myrrh — a burial ointment, a gift for one who would die. St. Irenaeus (d. 202) in his Adversus haereses offered the following interpretation for the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh respectively: King, God and Suffering Redeemer as well as virtue, prayer and suffering.” –www.catholiceducation.org

Three gifts.

  1. A gift for the personality of the receiver, i.e. gold for a King, hunting boots for the hunter, a crown for a princess
  2. Something useful for the current occupation, frankincense for the King, a book for a student, crayons for the child artist
  3. Something for the future, myrrh for the Suffering Redeemer, a gift that points to the future, music for the future musician, medical supplies for a future paramedic, journals for the future author

 

Thriving Through Christmas 25 Day Countdown Day 5

Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and thriving guide. Make sure you click the follow via email button on the right to receive your “25 Days of Thriving through Christmas” in your inbox each day! Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s why the Positive Adoption Team has put together this handy little series. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning, open your inbox and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!

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Tip 5-

Don’t give up on Advent Readings

I know, this tip seems late on the list, it isn’t. I find that towards the end of the first week is when it is most tempting to give up on advent readings. You may have missed a reading due to a late night event or you forgot and started two days late this year. Don’t throw in the towel. Keep the baby and the bath water. Remember the baby? Remember Jesus? The kids and the waiting? The schedule changes? The parties? What it is all for. You know. You want your children to begin layering on years of understanding so the focus becomes more and more -the creator of the universe and not the commercials. The only way our children build these layers is year by year, reading by reading, verse by verse. If you need to catch up, read extra on the weekend. If you over zealously picked readings that are too lengthy for your little ones, pick something else. You are the boss. If you are too busy, then go back to number 4, say no to something.

Biblical Application

 [My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been [a]orally instructed.-Luke 1:4

If we want our children to “understand with certainty and have security against error” it is our responsibility to share orally. Make it a priority for them to understand the truth of the Gospel. It is not a bright string of lights around the tree or a batch of Christmas cookies, or presents under the tree. That’s just the outward sign of our celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus, the savior.

Thriving Through Christmas 25 Day Countdown Day 4

Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and thriving guide. Make sure you click the follow via email button on the right to receive your “25 Days of Thriving through Christmas” in your inbox each day! Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s why the Positive Adoption Team has put together this handy little series. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning, open your inbox and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!

 

Tip 4-

It’s okay to say no.

You cannot do everything and you don’t have to. There are so many opportunities to celebrate the season, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are good for your family even if it takes place in your home church. It would be awesome if each of us had unlimited energy and time. We don’t. We live in outer shells that are finite. Our children have more limitations than we do. We adults can listen to another carol and think deeply about the meaning and ignore our growling stomachs or yawns without collapsing on the floor into a meltdown (well, I hope we can). Kids cannot. They wear their insides on the outside.Children who come from hard places may need extra time to recoup from each outing. Give them the time. It is okay to say no for your family’s sake.

Bible Application:

Then Herod sent for the wise men [astrologers] secretly, and [f]accurately to the last point ascertained from them the time of the appearing of the star [that is, [g]how long the star had made itself visible since its rising in the east].

Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go and search for the Child carefully and diligently, and when you have found [h]Him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.

When they had listened to the king, they went their way, and behold, the star which had been seen in the east [i]in its rising went before them until it came and stood over the place where the young Child was.

10 When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy.

11 And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh.

12 And [j]receiving an answer to their asking, they were divinely instructed and warned in a dream not to go back to Herod; so they departed to their own country by a different way.

The wise men essentially said no to Herod after being warned in a dream not to return to him. Herod said he wanted to worship Jesus, that’s a good thing, right? The wise men couldn’t have read his mind or known Herod’s motives. Why not do all good things? Because not everything is good for us. What if the wise men didn’t listen to the dream, didn’t trust their own intuition? They would have led the murderer, King Herod to the Christ child. Use wisdom. Don’t say yes to everything.