Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Yumminess of God

When describing my personal study to our oldest I referred to the "yumminess of God." She laughed with me as I continued to talk about how many times God's goodness and provisions are expressed with terms like taste, sweet, hunger, satisfy. It's pretty telling, especially when words like fruit and harvest are used, that God fully intends to meet, not only our need of him, but also our desires.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are certainly more references than this in all of scripture. But feast on these verses and see how God is truly good and can satisfy all our needs and desires.
Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

Psalm 119:103
How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.

Proverbs 16:24
Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Proverbs 24:14
In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.

Proverbs 27:7
A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

Psalm 107:9
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:36
He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities.

Psalm 146:7
He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.

Proverbs 10:3
The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

John 6:35
Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

God, You are good and You give us good things, not only for our health and wholeness but also for our enjoyment and pleasure. Open my eyes to Your Word every day so that I can see that You alone can satisfy my deepest longings and desires, that my greatest need for comfort is found in You. Help me to be faithful in seeking You first to satisfy me and fill me. Forgive me of my sinful craving for things that are temporary and will not last. Even my desire to be physically fit is fleeting and not of eternal value. But desiring Your presence and spending time in deep heartfelt worhip of You, Lord, is forever! Thank You for this revelation!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dishwashing Dates and Rocking the Chore Charts

After several frustrating weeks of dishes piled in the sink, laundry piled on chairs, and shoes, books, and toys piled in the corners of various rooms I decided that our system of designating chores was just not working. Everything was on one page and, while it might have worked if everyone was over the age of 30 and understood how to read it, it just looked like no one was working together. Shared activity is very important to our family, be it special outings or simply hanging out at the fire pit. So I decided that that needed to be incorporated into our chore schedules.

So I sat down at the laptop and came up with three distinct areas of housekeeping that could be accomplished within the day, even around school and other responsibilities. The pages are "laminated" (with packing tape) so names can be circled off with a dry erase marker for the current day's jobs. The main key is shared jobs and working together. Many hands make light work, right? I believe this nurtures relationships and fosters a sense of teamwork. Cooperative attitudes are encouraged and built up and not one person is left to feel like they're doing everything all the time.

And those "Dishwashing Dates"? Well, for me, washing dishes has never been especially pleasurable but knowing that two days out of the week I wash dishes with Bill makes it something to actually look forward to, like a special date at the kitchen sink! This is also shared, now, and the girls will end up washing dishes with each other or with either Bill or me. It gives us a chance to catch up on their lives and address any problems in a calmer manner.

So far this has been working well and will need revision as our children get older. But, for now, we are enjoying the closeness that this brings to our family.


Monday, April 04, 2011

Spring Break Activities for a Rainy Day

Spring Break, here at the haven, is getting off to a soggy start. That's what we get for living in NorthWest Washington! So, with this in mind my search for Spring Break ideas resulted in these ten great activities that will keep our kids busy having fun.

Creative Party Buzz has these top 10 suggestions for Spring Break boredom busters!

1. Put on a Show — Gather the gang and challenge them to stage a play or show off in a talent contest. If they are stuck for ideas, have everyone put their best suggestion in a hat (including you) and draw an idea at random.

2. Get Busy with a Mini-Field Trip — Visit one of your local indoor attractions, such as the bowling alley, skating rink, Laser Tag, indoor pool, climbing wall or even the library. Lots of places offer special events and rates during Spring Break.

3. Get Your Game on! — Raid the game cabinet and find a family favorite to play. Start a puzzle or get active with a game of Twister or Wii.

4. Bring Your Favorite Outdoor Activity Inside — Keep everybody moving by playing a game of Nerf basketball, indoor bowling (roll a rubber ball down the hall to knock over some empty bottles), or beach ball volleyball. You can also come up with lots of fun games using balloons, such as seeing how long you can keep it in the air, or playing monkey in the middle.

5. Have a Treasure Hunt — Make up some clues for your kids to follow to hunt around the house for a hidden treat.

6. Do a craft — Paint, color, make play clay, blow bubbles, or gather up some random bits and pieces and see what your kids’ imaginations can come up with!

7. Exercise — Sometimes a rainy day calls for burning off some extra energy. Break out your exercise videos and get moving. Many cable networks offer lots of exercise shows on demand, or you can usually check out an exercise DVD at your local video store or library.

8. Get Cooking! — Plan a meal or special recipe as a family. Take a trip to the grocery and buy what you’ll need, then come home and work together to prepare your menu. When it’s time to eat, put out your best tablecloth, good china, and some candlelight and enjoy your kitchen creation!

9. Build a Fort — Break out all the cushions, pillows and blankets and build a giant indoor fort. When it is made, pull in your sleeping bags, a special snack, and some flashlights, and cuddle up with a great book.

10. Let it Rain! — Who cares if it’s raining…button up your overcoats, pull on your galoshes, and go play oustide! Run, splash and fool around. Then when everybody is done, gather for a wam bath or some hot chocolate and cookies.

Have a Wonderful Spring Break!