I was so annoyed. I needed to to get some work done and wanted them to leave me alone. BUT. THEY. DID. NOT. They won. I pushed my cleaning agenda to the side and sat on the room floor with them. It was ONLY 9:30am and we had already had multiple meltdowns, wiping runny noses, toilet breaks that interrupted my cleaning flow…WE ALL NEEDED a word. I must say I did not start off with a willing heart, my mind was on all that had to be accomplished. BUT I KNEW it was needed. I grabbed for an old kids bible song book and was flooded with a lot of pleasant memories. It was the same song book that I used 10 years ago when I began my journey as a stay at home mom. I had no clue what I was in for. I had much zeal back then as a new mother, often striving for an illusive perfection. But from a sincere heart, I wanted more than ever for my sweet little girl to grow to love My Jesus. I desired for her to make a choice to serve him at a young age and stick with that choice; avoiding some of the mistakes of her mother. So my journey began with teaching her the word of God through song.
I have changed a lot since then but the desire for all of my children to know Jesus remains. So with dirty dishes in the sink, and clothes that needed to be ironed, I sat on the floor with the younger three, opening the song book and began to sing “Jesus loves me.” Well, let me rephrase that. We all sat on the floor. I began to sing Jesus loves me (off key if I may add) while Faith climbed all over me. Isaiah and Elijah were everything BUT attentive. They were too busy fighting over another book. But I wasn’t the least bit deterred. I kept on singing. Elijah realized I wasn’t going to stop so he decided to join in and I suspect with time Isaiah and Faith will get the clue. After our mini praise and worship I read a short bible story with half of a captive audience. That 15 minute “interruption” changed the course of our day. There was a noticeable shift in attitudes. I especially had to take note of Elijah’s willingness to help clean up. Let me tell you, that was a major miracle because this boy becomes an instant attorney/politician when work is required of him. He can tell you every reason why he is not able to clean.
Parents often become discouraged when sharing the word of God with younger children. We feel like they are not attentive enough and aren’t really “getting” it. The temptation is there to wait until they can sit long enough to really pay attention and ask deep theological questions. But I want to encourage you with this truth today, more is registering than you realize. Changes are being made in their spirits. Start sharing the word of God today even if it is just in song. God knows how to take our efforts and do a work in our children beyond what we can see. They are never too young.
I invite you to visit my site again because I will be posting some practical ways to share the word of God with young children. In the mean time, I would love to hear the strategies you use to share the word of God with your children. Please leave a comment below.
Today is THE big day, another round of WHOLE30! I am excited for all those that are joining especially because I was told by three individuals that their husbands are on board. How awesome is that? Things are so much easier when you receive support from the home front, but that’s another post all by itself. On to tips and recipes, shall we? You may not be able to implement all of the suggested strategies but find what works for you.
- Try batch cooking once a week. One of the quickest way to guarantee failure on the Whole30 is to not have ANY approved food readily available when you are hungry. Do not set yourself up for failure, cook in advance. I tend to do most of my cooking on Monday, and I am normally cooking again by Wednesday. WHY? Because my family of 8 LOVES to eat!
- If you are not able to cook all your meats in one day, try seasoning the meat and freezing it. This way the meat can go from freezer to oven. Most vegetables and meats can be frozen. Check out this site for a week’s worth of freeze ahead Whole30 approved crock pot meals.
- Chop veggies (onions, peppers, carrots, etc) ahead of time and store in fridge. When you are ready to cook, you don’t have to worry about spending too much time on the prep work.
- Grill once a week. In the warmer months I TRY to grill at least once every two weeks and store all the meat in a big roaster pan in the fridge. Grilled meats also freeze very well, so if you don’t get to all of the meat, no worries just freeze it for another time.
- Keep it simple. Try a few new recipes a week, not everyday. When I first started the Paelo diet, I was a bit extreme and was trying a new recipe like EVERYDAY! After awhile this got to be very tiring. These days I am a bit more realistic and stick to my oldies but goodies and try a new recipe a few times a week.
- Think outside the box…breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast. For breakfast tomorrow, I plan to have some left over zucchini noodles with my curry chicken and some avocado. Why not?
- I try when possible to be one step ahead of the game and have some extra cooked protein on hand (chicken wings, chicken breast, frittatas ) or at least some canned fish in the cupboard. Homemade mayo on canned fish with some avocado and sweet plantains on the side always makes for a great emergency/backup meal.
- Try to make at least one frittata a week and keep in fridge for backup.
- Use your crock pot and Roaster. Visit this site for 30 Whole30 crock pot meals. YUMMY!
- Learn ways to make multiple dishes from one meat. For example you can cook multiple pounds of ground meat of choice using basic seasonings. Then throughout the week you can use that same ground meat for different dishes like chili or lettuce wraps topped with avocado, sauteed onions and pepper and whole30 approved salsa. Or I typically bake two whole chicken each week and store in fridge. One night we may have baked chicken with sauteed greens and butternut squash. Throughout the week I may shred the remaining chicken and use it for a creamy tomato soup served with a big salad and why not toss some shredded chicken on the salad while I am it.
Perhaps you have some tips and recipe you would like to share, please leave a comment below. Remember you can do this!
As promised, I have uploaded the first of 3 videos for different kitchen gadgets and a few recipe demos for the Whole30. Please visit my youtube channel for the first video. I have created amazon links for all of the products that were featured in the video. Hope this helps…now let’s get to cooking!
2. Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender with Blending and Whisk Attachments
3. roaster oven
4. Ball Regular Mouth Half Pint Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12
5. OXO Stainless SteeL Garlic Press
6. Swissmar Borner V-1001 V-Slicer Plus Mandoline
7. No Cry Cut Resistant Gloves
9. Lemon Squeezer
I had the opportunity to present on the Whole30 program at the Purposely Created Advance last weekend. I was so blessed by the many women who were willing to give the Whole 30 a try. To those that were at the conference, welcome to my blog! As mentioned in my session, I am willing to join you on this journey starting October 1st. You can read my previous posts concerning the Whole 30 here and here. If you are in need of some kitchen tips and recipes you can also visit this previous post and my Whole 30 pinterest board to get more ideas. I also plan to upload some videos to my youtube channel by tomorrow. Please leave a comment to let me know if you have already started the Whole 30 or plan to join the party on October 1st.
My floors were gross and in desperate need of cleaning. I passed on using the steam mop and chose to go the old fashioned route. Out came the bucket and rags as I got on my knees. My intention was to clean JUST the floors. However, being on my knees allowed me to see other areas that also needed to be cleaned…my walls, the legs of the table and chairs, the baseboards and the cabinets. Needless to say, I was on my knees a lot longer than intended, but the results were worth it.
Isn’t that how it is when we get on our knees in prayer? Admittedly, I have times when I just want to blow off some steam in prayer and get on with my daily agenda, but being in the presence of God brings all the “dirty” stuff to the surface. As I commune with Him in sincere prayer, He shows me areas where I have such things as unforgiveness, jealously, bitterness, and pride—areas that need some serious cleansing.
It is not enough to just get on my knees for a moment, but I must be willing to stay there longer than intended sometimes. I must enter into His presence with thanksgiving and be willing to be like my three year old, sometimes stuck on repeat, saying the same thing over and over again. “Thank you Lord for this…” “Thank you Lord for that…” “And for this and for that…” I must offer true praise, acknowledging who He is and what He has done for me. I have to get comfortable with crying out to God, telling Him all, withholding nothing. But it doesn’t stop at me sharing, I must be willing to have a dialogue and learn when it’s His turn to speak to me during prayer. I must be willing to stay on my knees as opposed to running away when He doesn’t answer the way I desire.
To get really ‘clean,’ I cannot rely on a quick “I’m just praying because this is what a Christian is supposed to do” kinda prayer. My life would be no cleaner than my kitchen, showing a surface cleaning. No, prayer must be a priority. After all, He is coming back for a church without “spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.”
Yes, it takes time but the results are a positively transformed life and greater connection with God and like the satisfaction I gained from my housekeeping duties, it is well worth it!