Tag Archives: Family

From Busy to Blessing – Blessing Your Children Through Time Together

This is one of those things that I struggle with carving out time for the most. We each have our own idea of what quality time is. For me, it’s sitting quietly together and reading countless books. For my oldest it’s doing whatever is striking her fancy at the moment. I have yet to figure out what each of our triplets’ opinion is.From Busy to Blessing How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary For Your Children through Quality Time @JessicaMWhite.com

One thing our oldest and I can always agree on is reading, just before naps and bedtime. She’d like me to read for the entire time period, successfully avoiding sleep, while I have a bit more structure to the time frame.

The hardest thing with this is that it isn’t about us as the parent, it’s about our children and what speaks to them, what their love language is, and with children that is constantly changing, because they are c
hanging. It’s up to us, to put forth the effort to learn our children, to study them, and figure out how they tick.

I’ve lost count of how many articles I’ve read that press the importance of just being there for and with your children, particularly upon entering the teen years.

What things are you doing in the home, that you can turn into a group effort? Maybe it’s raking leaves up, cooking dinner, or folding laundry. Perhaps it’s sitting together on the floor and playing with toys or doing puzzles. While this can be a very intense and lengthy process, and make tasks take much longer, the bottom line is still the same…helping your child to feel valued and loved by you.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

Using Your Martha to Be a Mary for Your Children

Parenthood.
Motherhood.

We want our children to do just what we want them to do, but somehow that never happens. We end up short with them, upset that they don’t do what WE wanted them to, and all around are reduced to a puddle of tears by them, only to miss them and want to wake them up when they’re sleeping.

From Busy to Blessing How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary for Your Children @JessicaMWhite.com
I love my kids desperately, but sometimes…

This parenting thing is not easy. There’s no way to do it right and a thousand to do it wrong. The cards are stacked against us, but we long for our children to grow in their faith, to know Christ, to rest in Him. But how do we show them what that looks like, when most of us are struggling with it ourselves? {Or at least I am.}

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Matthew 18:6
Gulp.

Each day I begin with thinking about how I want the day to go, what things I want to do with the kids, do for them, my husband, our home; then I get out of bed; pedal to the metal; crashing back into bed at the end of the day wondering what happened. The day never goes along with my vision of domestic bliss.

There are certain things that need to be done each day, and sometimes my fantasies, no matter how well meant, don’t happen. I have to look at all of it differently, what things do I HAVE to do, that I can focus on doing intentionally for or with my children? How can I go about not only being intentional with what needs to be done, but doing it with grace, love, kindness, and showing my children Christ’s heart for them, through my own?

This Week’s Challenge: What is one very specific thing you can do for your children to show your love for them?

From Busy to Blessing – Reverse Hospitality

I’ve stolen this phrase from a friend, because I love it! I love welcoming people into my home. I’ve somehow managed to get over the fact that my house needs to be perfect to entertain {this has only been by God’s grace and 4 kids}. I have yet to decided whether this is a good thing or not; I fear I may have become too lax in this department now.From Busy to Blessing Reverse Hospitality @JessicaMWhite.com

If you feel that you just can’t imagine welcoming people into your home, for one reason or another, this is for you. Do something that brings the hospitality directly to them; absolutely no effort on their part. This is reverse hospitality; when you seek to bless those around you in their own homes.

What does this look like, though?

  • How about sending a card to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • What about calling a friend one morning and telling them you’ll be dropping dinner off that night.
  • Going around your neighborhood and delivering treats.
  • Heading to a party: HELP the hostess!
  • Offering to clean someone’s home.

“Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
Proverbs 11:25 ESV

These are all ideas of Reverse Hospitality. They are ways in which you can reach out to others. Using your busy work, to bless them. These don’t even have to be things that you’re taking time to intentionally do. You’re already cooking dinner, so make a bit extra, stick it in the freezer and leave it there until you need a meal to pass along, whether to a friend or member of your church. The same thing with baked goods.

 

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

Our Top Ten Favorite Picture Books for Little Ones

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Our Top Ten Favorite Picture Books for Little Ones

We love books in our house. If it’s possible to love them too much, we might be at the edge of that page. I grew up with a mother who loved books, who would sit us down as often as possible and just read. I remember winter nights in which our wood stove roared, with the wind battering our house, reading Little House on the Prairie, by candle light, because we had lost power.

I remember summer rains, much like the ones we’ve been having, setting up camp under a tarp, so that I could be outside, and reading. Endless, ENDLESS days of summer spent nose in book. All of it, there were always books. Always words. Always stories. I only hope that I can impart a fraction of the books my mother read to me, and I read to myself, to my children.

I’m rather fastidious about books for our kids. I’m not a “book for the sake of a book” person. I’m very much a words and pictures snob. If the book leaves me wanting, then you can guarantee it won’t be staying on our shelves very long. Because if it is doing nothing for me, who has had {almost} 31 years of books and using my imagination, then it’s going to do nothing for my children.

Bold-Italic—Loved for Illustrations and Words
Bold—Loved for Illustrations
Italic—Loved for Words

1. The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed
This is one of the books that my mother read to us growing up, it was put on a shelf and forgotten, until many years latter I was raiding her stash of children’s books. The first time I read it to Ave I cried. I had forgotten what it was about: An old couple who desperately wanted a child.

2. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
This was a gift from a friend of our’s to Avelyn. I absolutely love the illustrations in this book and the words are just beautiful. If I could have pages of a book blown up into artwork, this would be it.

3. Basket Moon by Mary Lyn Ray
We loved this book, when we had gotten it from the library…so much so that it went on our Christmas Wish List last year. Oma was more than willing to add it to our collection. The illustrations are beautiful {also done by Barbara Cooney} and the words are more like poetry in different parts.

4. Fletcher Series by Julia Rawlinson
The story lines aren’t too much to talk about, pretty standard fare. Although I do like the onomatopoeia and alliterations that the author uses. The illustration style didn’t even strike me too much in the book, during our first read through. It’s the last few pages of Fletcher and Springtime Blossoms and Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, that I love.

5. The Hat by Jan Brett
What can I say about The Hat….There is not a book of Jan Brett’s in which I DO NOT LOVE the illustrations. I love the Nordic influences, I love her use of colors and weaving parallel story lines into the borders of each page. They are some of my absolutely favorite books to read.

6. Pumpkins by Mary Lyn Ray
It wasn’t until I came up with this list that I realized that this author also wrote The Basket Moon. Again her words are a delight! The illustrations in this book are pretty good, but they don’t thrill me.

7. Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss
I’d never even heard of this book until my parents got it for the kids for Easter I believe. It’s Dr. Seuss, so the words are awesome, but the entire story line is so funny that you can’t help but giggle.

8. Eloise Wilkin Stories {A Little Golden Book Treasury} by Eloise Wilkin
This is one of our favorites for bedtime. If you remember anything of the old Little Golden Books from the 50s and 60s, these are a collection of some of the more popular of those books, specifically written by Eloise Wilkin.

Growing up, one of my brother and my favorites was, We Help Daddy. After several years of searching I found Matthew and old copy of the book, only to discover that there was a We Help Mommy to, which is a part of this collection. There are a couple of pages in here that I would love to have blown up and framed for the kids’ rooms.

9. Snuggle Up, Sleepy Ones by Claire Freedman
The story is less than stellar in this one, but the illustrations of the Savannah of Africa, are beautiful. Such a wonderful use of colors! We have a few books illustrated by Tina MacNaughton because I just love her work.

10. Easter Babies by Joy N. Hulme
A simple counting book, that is more about Spring, than anything to do with Easter, but the illustrations are, again, beautiful…each page looks more like a painting than a page from a simple children’s book.
*These books are in no specific order.

It’s not always the illustrations that make me love a book, sometimes it’s the words, and very rarely is it both. Of course we have some of the more silly books {If you give a…. series} that we love anyways, but there are some that are just so wanting that we don’t bother with them, and usually pass those on.

Of course, this isn’t ALL the books we love; believe me that would be a very long list. But these are some of the ones that we enjoy the most. Perhaps another day I’ll share a few more of our favorites.

What are some of YOUR favorite children’s books?
Ones read to you, or you’ve shared with your own children?

Desperate {a Review}

While at Allume we received a freebie pdf copy of Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson’s new book, “Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe”. desperateI downloaded it and swiped through a few pages, before deciding I really didn’t want to be bothered with reading it on the ipad. I could tell there would be a lot of things that I would want to highlight.

And I was right.

Can you see there? Just how many pages are dog eared, so that I can easily find my notes and annotations?

Going in to this book I had thought to myself, “I’m not desperate. I’m a relatively well adjusted mom. Of course there are always ‘those-days’ but I’ve got it pretty together.”

Oh my. Such words for my heart. I have been struggling lately, not so much with being a mom, but with other things….which will be another post. I’ve never really given Sarah Mae much thought before; yea, she’s the co-founder of Allume, but beyond that I’d read her blog a few times and that was all. Sally Clarkson was about the same; I started reading her book “The Mission of Motherhood” prior to Allume because I knew she would be a speaker and that was about it…and that was what I knew about her.

I have to say, “Desperate” was wonderful. It was like being a part of a conversation between Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson on dealing ]with the every day of being a wife, homemaker, and mother. It was hearing Sally’s wisdom of years of {awe-inspiring} mothering, applicable to my daily life. I kept reading this book and thinking, “I so want to share this with every single mom I know. How many copies could I justify buying to hand out?!”

Whether you feel DESPERATE as a mom or not, READ THIS BOOK. There is wisdom to be gleaned from its pages and comfort for hurting hearts.