Moms & Tots

encouraging mothers of young children

Growing Joy August 13, 2011

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Months ago I started studying the Fruit of the Spirit. I want to get back to sharing with you what I’m learing.

As I studied joy, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been tired and weary of dealing with some of the everyday things we face as mothers and wives. As I was exhorted by a friend this morning to do what I know I need to do and pray and trust God to complete the rest, I needed this reminder of where joy comes from and that I can have it despite how I feel.

First let me remind you that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness comes from the circumstances around us and can very easily disappear. Joy comes from God, and while we at times allow it to disappear from our life, it can be a constant companion despite circumstances.

Where does joy come from? As I was doing this study two specific passages jumped out at me. The first is John 15:11. It says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Christ clearly points that the previous teaching in this passage is where joy comes from and not just partially, but completely. So all we have to do is look at the previous teaching in verses 1-10. Christ is speaking about abiding in Christ. With out being deeply connected to Christ, we will not have the joy He promises we can.  The second passage that stuck out to me was Psalm 16:11. It says, “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” While this is more specifically talking about literally being in God’s presence in heaven, I think it can also be applied to being in His presence on earth too.

So what do we do to be joyful? Two things, first abide in God’s presence, spend time with Him consistently. 

 Next focus on God and not the circumstances around us. I can’t help but think of the joy we’ve seen some Godly women have despite trials and circumstances. The freshest in my mind and my heart is Alyssa Stolvoort. I had the privilege of having her when I did my practicum in college, and then again as one of my students. She was also one of the counselors I worked with at Hidden Meadows and a precious friend I got to spend time with. When the seizures started to happen while she was at Clearwater, I had spent time talking with Alyssa on the phone and our conversations went all the way up until the last stages of her cancer. Alyssa had a joy that reached beyond human comprehension. It was noticed by all those around her. It came from focusing on God and His promises for her.

For me, I try to consistently build my biography of God. How do you focus on God and abide in Him? Would love for you to share your ideas on how you stay joy filled.

 

Moms Night Out August 3, 2011

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Moms and Tots Pool Party

Thursday, August 18

7-10 p.m.

Margraff Home (Elyse’s Parents)

Please let us know if you are planning on coming!

 

2011-2012 July 26, 2011

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It is hard to belive that August is almost here. Summer is full of vacation and doing things that aren’t usually in your schedule, so we didn’t make posts a priority. But as Fall is approaching, as well as the beginning of another year of Moms & Tots, we will get back into the routines and start giving you the information of what is coming.

As ladies are home from vacation, we will also be able to get more of the blog posts to help us grow spiritually and as wives and mothers. One set of posts I’m looking forward to is going to be from one of the workshops from last year’s ladies conference.

Let me take this time to introduce you to the book we will spend this coming Moms & Tots year studying. We will be working through What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp. You won’t want to miss this time of growth as we strive to grow our marriages with God’s help. We have 2 wonderful ladies that will be team leading our study! (I’ll tell you more later.)

If you would like a copy, you can purchase it through the Bethel Bookstore for approximately $15. Please let us know that you would like to do so, so that Tara can make sure we have enough copies.

Looking forward to what God has in store for us in the next year.

 

Get Ready, Get Set, Be Still – Practical strategies for change for caregivers May 27, 2011

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Here is a handout that Debbie Heffernan gave us when she spoke at our Bible study. This is great information for us being caregivers as mothers, but is applicable to all caregivers!

Psalm 46: 1 and 10

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” “Be still and know that I am God”

Unless you practice being still before God, you will forget who God is and that He is your “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” So in the midst of the pressures of your life, you need to make sure you don’t give up sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning from Him. Instead of a huge block of time, spend shorter periods of quiet time during your day.

  • Practice the presence of God while caregiving – live out of an ongoing dependent prayer, cultivate a thankful heart, listen to worshipful music, be in church regularly.
  • Attend to your own health – eat properly, drink water, get enough sleep, and spend time with others, take care of yourself so that you can attend to the needs of others.
  • Plow your own heart – “Where we are no longer able to change the situation we are challenged to change ourselves.” God is intent on transforming you more fully to the character of Christ as you care for others. Evaluate how your own desires, demands, fears, insecurities, wants and expectations are having an impact on your ability to care for others.
  • Depend on others for help – ask family, friends, and your church family, share your struggles and accept the support others give.

Thank you so much Debbie for the wonderful insight and suggestions you have given us. Ladies, feel free to contact Debbie with any questions and for suggestions. She is a wealth of wisdom.

 

Temptations as Care Givers May 24, 2011

Filed under: Motherhood — bbcmomsandtots @ 8:22 pm
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On Thursday night we had a wonderful Bible study with Debbie Heffernan. She gave us great insight into being better caregivers for our children (she gave some great tips for when we have to care for our parents in the distant future also). I just wanted to share with you one part of her lesson and there will be another post in the near future with some tips she gave for changes we need to make in our hearts and lives.

Debbie pointed out three temptations that face us as care givers. Each one is accompanied by some thoughts you may be having.

  1. Struggle with anger –  All I want is for things to go smoothly,God is asking for more than I can handle, I need relief.
  2. struggle with fear – I don’t know if I can handle anymore, I always seem to do the wrong thing.
  3. Struggle with being “indispensable” – Nobody can do it like I can, If I don’t do it – nobody will.

Have you faced any of those feelings? I know I have. Thankfully God has provided an answer to our temptations in Hebrews 4:16 – You will find grace, mercy and help in times of need.

Are you struggling with anger?  Go to Romans 8:23.

Are you struggling with fear? Go to Luke 12:32.

Are you struggling against being indispensable? Go to II Corinthians 12:9.

The Lord gives an answer to all of our needs.

Want more information and suggestions from Debbie, feel free to contact her. She would love to talk and share what the Lord has taught her.

 

Bible Study with Debbie Heffernan May 2, 2011

Filed under: Up Coming Events — bbcmomsandtots @ 11:27 am

Bible Study

Thursday, May 19

7 p.m. at the Seifert Home

You won’t want to miss our last study! We will be hearing from Debbie Heffernan as she shares her wonderful insight on being the caregivers to our children. Afterwards we will be going out for dessert. Come and enjoy this refreshing time of learning and fellowship.

Please let us know if you are coming so we have enough space!

 

Revival Meetings: Getting a Fresh Start April 25, 2011

Filed under: Biblical Womanhood — bbcmomsandtots @ 8:14 am
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I always loved the beginning of the school year! Why because it was time for a fresh start. You could change the methods you used and you had a clean slate to start with. Now that I’m home with my children, I always look for those same opportunities.

Revival meetings can be an opportunity for you to get a spiritual fresh start. First let me encourage you to be out each night this week. I totally understand how hard it is. I have three children ages 4 and under. It is not easy on them. We’ve already had a melt down over breakfast. Randy starts work at 5:30 each morning, and I work from 3-5:30 at school making dinner and getting to church a challenge for both of us. But let me encourage you to

  1. Plan ahead – have dinner planned and just know that you are going
  2. Have an open heart and mind to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in your heart
  3. Just do it – Thursday (and the rest of the next week) you’ll be able to get everyone back on schedule

Last night we heard a great message on the revival Isaiah experienced in his own heart. Let me challenge you to first of all, listen to the message when they put it on line, but secondly to look for these 4 items in your own heart and life this week.

  1. Get a fresh perception of God, who He is and His characteristics. (This would be a great time to look at and work on your “My God Is” notebook that we learned about from Mardi Collier.)
  2. Get a fresh passion for God. Get back to being passionate about your relationship with Him.
  3. Get a fresh purging of sin. Just as Lynn challenged us last week, get rid of those hidden sins.
  4. Get a fresh purpose for your life. All of what we do is driven by a purpose. Renew your purpose of doing all for the glory of God.

I’m so excited to see what God is going to continue to do in my heart this week. I’m praying that He will do a mighty work in and through each of us this week. Hope to see you out each night!