Saturday, August 27, 2011

Detour Blessings

I hate road construction. There I said it. It's everywhere. A recent survey in my area informed that no matter where you are in the local vicinity, you are always within 10 miles of road construction.

Over the past 18 months, the main road in front of our subdivision underwent a road widening project. Even though I despised the highway expansion, I knew and understood that it was necessary.

Tearing apart the old road was part of their initial work. It took months to remove the street that was more than decades old. During the days that passed, intense destruction and hauling away took place. The final months gave way to detours, dump trucks, repairs, and repaving. New dirt, new asphalt and new striping. New sod and street lights make the four mile ride enjoyable once again.

This morning I was able to drive down the road at 55 mph vs. 25 mph in bumper to bumper traffic. I took the time to glance over and take in the magnificence of it all.

Midway through the drive, it hit me.

The road construction project was painstaking, frustrating and annoying but essential to experience the effortless drive that will last for years to come. What seemed like eternity was just a brief moment in time to now reap the harvest of a wonderful, stress-free drive to work.

You maybe experiencing a "highway project" in your life right now. Perhaps you are moving toward a new level of faith in your life that can only come through situations where you can't see your way out. If you can see your way through the challenge, it's not faith. Maybe you are in a moment of detour. Life's journey is moving down a different path than you originally anticipated. Maybe you are being torn apart, hauled away and removed to make way for a new person, attitude and strength you couldn't see possible. Finances, spouses, or even children are being stripped away. Trust me, I know what that feels like.

It is HARD.

I know intimately the pain of being in a season of life where your faith is tested to move you into a deeper place of trust in Christ. I can tell you from first hand experience that it is difficult in my own strength but peaceful in Him. When you submit and yield to the "construction" process, it will provide encouragement. You move to an understanding of it's purpose in your life. Just like with new road construction, the development of your faith is only for a season in time. It will come to an end and give way to a great new "drive" in your life. (Posted by Renee)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back To School-Part 2

With today being the first day of school for our daughter, there is so much excitement in our home. The anticipation of meeting the new teacher, wearing a new outfit and sharing summer stories with friends adds to the enthusiasm.

Parents and students share the responsibility of making a school year successful. Here are some helpful tips from our mom. She is a retired educator with over 30+ years of classroom experience.

    Advice for K-12 graders:

  • Make the teacher aware of any medical conditions concerning your child. Don't depend on the information to be relayed from the application completed during student enrollment.

  • Realize that the teacher/student relationship is not a friendship or a "love affair".

While growing up, there were times when I would tell my mother that the teacher didn't like me. It was my form of an excuse to explain away my grades. In her eyes, that wasn't justification for mediocrity. There was always an expectation of greatness achieved through trying your very best. Emotions and feelings didn't play into the equation.

  • Communicate with the teacher throughout the school year.

There is a tendency to have contact diminish after the first few months. Make sure it continues. Read the papers/notes sent home on a daily basis. This is VITAL. The messages provide an opportunity for the teacher to share information. It also offers you the chance to share concerns or comments. Always check to see if homework is assigned. Help your child with the project to help understand what your son/daughter is learning.

  • Become familiar with the plan of the classroom.

Understand the class rules and teaching style of the educator. This will help strengthen the teacher/parent relationship.

Advice for parents of college students:

For some reading this post today, it is the first time you will begin the school year without your baby at home. You won't be there to drop them off to school or give them a kiss at the end of their day. Mom's advice for you is simple.

Let them go.

Realize that you have done your part. You can now rest in the assurance of Proverbs 22:6 (KJV). "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Find comfort in the wisdom spoken from this verse. Our almighty, sovereign God will protect, shelter and keep watch over your precious angel.

We pray these helpful hints will make for a successful school year. Please share your advice with us on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments section of this post. If you missed 'Back to School-Part 1', click:

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(Posted by Renee)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BTS-Back To School!

Can you believe how fast the summer flew by? Many of us are getting our kids ready for a new school year. A dear friend of mine is getting ready to drive her daughter to college. I am proud that she is driving her to the University of Florida (my alma mater). Her heart is filled with anxiety and also excitement. It is amazing the amount of emotions that live inside one body! Her text to me today inspired this post.

As we get ready to enter into a "new" season, we have to leave many things behind. For instance, a late night run to Cold Stone or the freedom to sleep in late. We move into a season of homework, schedules, extracurricular activities, and early morning alarms. Each new season, even in life, allows us the opportunity to continue to grow. We must let our little ones go into a big new school or college campus and know we have done the best job to love and teach them to be independent thinkers.

Here is a simple prayer as you enter your new season:

Lord, thank you that my life belongs to you. I am not able to control all of my emotions. I don't know what my future holds but I am assured that YOU hold my future. I commit (insert your child's name) into your care. Thank you for allowing me to partner with you to raise this child. I am filled with gratitude knowing that you will keep him/her safe from danger. My child WILL excel in all things. Amen!

A rich king once said, "Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon that path." ~Proverbs 22:6

In your moments of being worried, let a gentle Savior whisper in your ear: "Don't be afraid". I will need that same whisper as my oldest heads off to middle school on Monday. (Posted by Roslyn)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Train Hard!

This is the time of the year for kids to head back to school. For those of us who live in South Florida we have about 2 weeks until the start of school. If you have kids you know that means buying supplies, uniforms, and shoes to get our little ones ready for a successful school year.

As a mom of 2 boys I am constantly buying sneakers. On my last visit to the Nike store I saw this poster and was intrigued. Both of my boys play baseball and the last thing they want to do is lose. The thrill of winning is what keeps you coming back to the game. The funny thing is, sometimes the amount of time spent practicing really sucks! It is August in Florida and sitting at a 3 hour practice on a Saturday morning is NO fun at all. My boys quickly learned "how you practice will be how you play" ~Tyjuan Rice

Now for the life lesson: How are you practicing at the game of life?

We are all on a life long journey but it is interesting to find so many people not practicing or building muscles to prepare themselves for the "game" we call life. Here are a few ways to prepare:

1. Don't live life ruled by emotions
Many of the decisions or mistakes we make are because we allow our emotions to "rule" us. Step back, take a deep breath and think intentionally. Usually the decision you make after you have cooled down and prayed will be the right decision.

2. Shh, it's time to think
Our world moves at a fast pace. We are receiving information constantly from social media, news, email, and text messages. We need to spend time alone reflecting on the events of our life. We don't want to go around the same mountain two and three times because we didn't learn our lesson from the beginning. Slow down and think! Allow God to speak His will into your life.

3. Your words have power
You hear your voice more than any one else, so stop being negative about yourself and others. Declare that you are strong, intelligent and not weak willed and desolate. The words you speak and the thoughts you think, will soon become your reality. Think and speak positively!

Training is not always fun. But the reality is that storms WILL show up in your life. Life's interruptions come in many ways like death of a loved one, negative health report, loss of a job, etc. You want to be prepared. Remember losing is the hard part, but God has already declared we are winners! (Posted by Roslyn)

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