3 Ways to Gain Perspective In Your Marriage

I’m honored to have the opportunity today to share my heart over at one of my favorite marriage blogs, Nitty Gritty Love.

I am far from perfect, but daily I go to the foot of the cross and plead with the Lord to change my heart. I want to be a wife who loves her husband the way Christ would have me love him.

Read more by clicking on the link below.

3 Ways to Gain Perspective In Your Marriage

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With love,

Lis.

Missions board.

What a blessing it is to be able to support missionaries or worthwhile organizations, whether it is by prayer or financially.

But how often do we receive a notice in the mail with our receipt or because we are on the organization’s mailing list, scan it over, and toss it aside or in the trash?

I want to be intentional with the organizations I support.  If I am investing my time, prayers, and sometimes money into them, I want to be sure the items they send me are important to me and not just cause for more recycling.  I also need to be reminded to keep them in my prayers because so often my own worries will cloud my mind.

For many years now, we’ve kept a Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Map (You can get one FREE if you contact the VOM office.) somewhere in our home.  I wanted to add to that, so for a couple of months I began taping letters or postcards we received from missionaries to a wall in our extra bedroom (as opposed to them getting lost in the clutter on the fridge or our kitchen corkboard where I keep reminders and invites) alongside the prayer map.  I knew I wanted to highlight these endeavors and make them a focal point in our home.  Well, of course, that unappealing visual could only last so long.

We purchased an Ikea magnetic board (in white) with some fun magnets {& other generic Staples magnets I already had on hand} to go with it.

And voilà:

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Our missions board was born.

Although the board is small, every month I change out old letters for new ones, when applicable.  Since the map takes up the bulk of the board, I lay other papers on top of it as needed.  I do hope one day we would be able to add greatly to this board, and when that day comes it will be easy peasy to simply purchase another board if the space is needed.  This board does not represent every single donation or commitment to pray we ever give.  These are organizations that send us something or that we support on an ongoing basis.

I do not want this board to simply be a visual decoration in our home.  But we’re not at a point yet where we gather as a family around it to lift these folks up in prayer.  I do hope we get there.  But the point for now is for the reminder to be there.  When we walk in and out of the room, I pray our eyes will look over the board and we will remember our brothers and sisters in the faith fighting the good fight.  I pray that it will serve as a reminder on rough days what others are doing and going through for the cause of Christ.

Before ending this post, I’d like to highlight a few of the missionaries we support.  I pray you would click on their links and if so moved, donate to these worthwhile causes or even simply sign up to learn more about them.

Boro Pregnancy Counseling Center – This is the organization nearest and dearest to my heart.  I volunteered for over one year before becoming a part-time employee.

Boro Pregnancy Counseling Center is a private, not-for-profit organization that helps women and their families cope with the concerns of a crisis pregnancy.

BPCC offers free pregnancy tests, non-medical pregnancy consultations, peer counseling, material assistance, education about options including abortion, post-abortion support, and other practical, emotional and spiritual help to empower women and men facing pregnancy-related concerns.

The link above will take you to the client website and the supporter website can be located here.  If you are interested in making a donation or signing up for our mailing list, do not hesitate to contact me personally by leaving a comment or messaging me on this blog’s Facebook page.

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Student Venture NYC – Student Venture is the high school ministry under the Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) organization.  My former co-worker and now friend, Moses Sanchez and his wife, are part of this worthwhile ministry.

Born and raised in the New York Metro area, [Moses and Marilette are] excited to work together as a married couple to reach out to the young people and community in New York City, and pointing a lost generation to Christ.

This is an old video, but gives you an idea of the work that they do: Student Venture.

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World Vision – It was somewhere around 2007 or 2008 that I was working at a Christian school and a representative from World Vision led a chapel service.  At the end, child sponsorship packets were distributed in the hopes that adults present would be compelled to sponsor a child.  The little boy that fell into my lap was from Brasil, and I knew it was no coincidence.  He was meant to be a part of a family.  I wish we did a better job of writing to him.  I read many blogs where families do a wonderful job of really making the child a part of the family–praying for them daily, etc.  We are not that good.  Nonetheless, I get excited every time an update about our little Eduardo comes in the mail or a piece of artwork he has drawn for us.  We’ve watched him grow for about five years now and I am amazed and what World Vision can do with the little we give.

This link specifies how sponsorship works and how your money is used to change the life of a child.  If you are led to sponsor a child today, click here.

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Kevin and Sarah Cooney – Kevin and Sarah work with an organization called To Every Tribe.  To Every Tribe exists to extend the worship of Christ among all peoples by mobilizing the church, training disciple makers, and sending missionary teams to plant churches among the unreached.

As Kevin writes on the “About Us” page of his family’s blog:

Together, the 3 [referring to their precious daughter, Lia] of us are currently en route to the tropical jungles of  South East Asia, after having lived near the beautiful Gulf coast of South Texas, the Rio Grande Valley to be exact, since the Fall of 2011. We count it a privilege to be servants and vessels who may get to bring the Gospel to some of these last places on earth where it has never yet gone. May the Lamb who was slain receive all honor and glory! He alone is worthy.

I am excited to follow their journey and encourage you to subscribe to their blog to follow as well.

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Soulfishing Ministries – My husband and I have been long-time friends and partners of this ministry led by Pastor Philip Sessa.

Soulfishing Ministries is a gospel-centered ministry that exists to equip God’s people to be “fishers of men” by following Christ and having a God-entrenched vision of all things pertaining to life and godliness.

Soulfishing Ministries ministers during many community events, offers training on evangelism to interested churches, and has a heart to disciple people in the faith.  It is such a blessing that an organization like this exists.  To sign up to be a prayer partner or to make a financial contribution, click here.

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Destiny Church – Last but certainly not least, I want to give a shout of to one of my best friends who together with her husband followed a call by God to plant a church in the South Bronx.  They are ministering to the hearts of a population that is so very broken and meeting the needs of their community in practical and tangible ways.  Stay in the know about Destiny Church happenings by joining their group on Facebook.  One day my BFF is going to open up a counseling center, and I cannot wait to write about that! 😉

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Again, this is just a small sampling of the organizations we currently support or have supported in the past–not all financially, but in prayer and time as well.

Sometimes we think that all we can give is money and if we don’t have that then we shouldn’t bother.  Not true at all!  We all have gifts and talents we can use, even if it’s a one-time project or simply a note of encouragement to the missionary.

If you have any worthwhile organizations or events that you’d like me to explore and possibly highlight on my blog, I’d love to know.

Have an awesome day!

Love,

e.

Missions Board

Our Family’s Missions Board

Disclosure: I was not asked to write about or compensated by the organizations highlighted in this blog post.  My heart is for these organizations, and I simply want to share about them with my readers.

Fun in a Jar {Summer activity idea for children!}

October 1, 2013: What a fail.  I wrote this post back in July and never published it!  I figure better late than never.  It will be here for reference and I’ll link to it next summer.  Or just change all the “summer” words to “fall” and enjoy! 🙂

You may have noticed in my post Keeping a Summer Schedule for Your Child this picture and what’s written toward the bottom:

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so today I’m here to explain our Tuesdays and Fridays and what “local fun” and “special fun” means!

I work part-time and even though it’s only a few hours those three days, it doesn’t leave much time to go a long distance or do most outdoor activities.  Goob will either want to stay home anyway since he hasn’t been there all day, or I’ll just use those days as our appointment/errand days.

So the goal as a part-time working momma is to maximize the two days I do get to be with my little man all day!

I know how easily the summer can escape from us and how tempting it is to be lazy around the house watching television or playing on the Wii.  Those things have their time and place, but in declaring this summer the Summer of Fun, I want to make sure I’m taking Goob to fun new places, learning about new things {even in the summer}, and seeing as much as there is to see in our beautiful city.

Even if those adventures don’t always turn out like how you plan. 😉

I am very much about involving Goob in decision-making as much as I can, especially when it affects him.  And so I came up with an idea to make sure we had a way to hit all the places we wanted to see and things we’d like to do, but make it a little spontaneous and him more willing to compromise on locales that may not have been his first choice.  {Life can be a bit boring if it’s too planned, don’t you think?}

First, we made a list on my iPad mini of the things we hoped to accomplish in the summer a few days after school let out.  {It’s important to let those first few days just be a time of rest for their little minds!  No chores, no works, no errands, etc.  R-E-S-T!}

IMG_1136{Local friends reading this; click on the picture to make it larger so you can steal some of our ideas! :)}

Of course, we’ve added things to the list as we remember activities we forgot to include or I see ideas and events online.  This was just a foundation.  Listing out activities made it a joint decision so it wasn’t just me as the momma bear determining what WE would do this summer.  It also gives us something to look forward to!

Next, I grabbed some construction paper and wrote these activities out on a strips of paper.

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 I then grabbed a jar I scored from the clearance section at The Container Store, which I was waiting to find a purpose for.  Throw them in and voilà!  Fun in a jar.

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I love that on Tuesday and Friday mornings, Goob will ask, “Can we pick from the jar today?  It means this wasn’t just a lame idea {well, maybe it is!} but that he really thinks it’s fun!

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So what is “local fun” and “special fun”?  It’s important to not go overboard, both because vacation shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured and because the money isn’t flowing either!  Local fun keeps us close to home and costs nothing at all.  Special fun {I couldn’t think of anything else to call it!} involves some travel and spending money.  Having written out things that are in the jar though, I know to scout online for deals or simply put aside money for when the times come that Goob picks it out of the jar.

I differentiated the type of activity by the color of the paper.  {Lesson learned for next year to get two small jars.  Goob still has fun closing his eyes and hoping he picks the right color!}

Here he is picking a “local activity” last Tuesday.  We either play baseball in our backyard or go to a local ballfield.  It’s versatile, and that’s important too depending on what kind of day you are having!

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Of course, with any idea there’s a learning curve.  I realized that for the “special fun” on Fridays, it was not the best idea to pick the place the morning of as it eliminated the possibility of asking friends to join us.  So though it defeated the original purpose of spontaneity, Friday’s pick has to be a bit pre-planned.

As with any ideas you’ll ever see me post about, it’s so super important to remember to be flexible.  You are not tied down to this!  I am happy to say that most of July was filled up with playdates, trips to places like Six Flags, and so forth.  We did not need to pick from a jar, because life planned itself.  We’ve only used this idea in the past couple of weeks, but it’s been good.  It encourages us to get out.

You might pick something and the weather may not be cooperating or, as was the case one day, Goob kept picking activities we both really were just not up to doing.  So you know what?  YOU make up your own rules.  And we did.  We just kept picking, laughing each time, until he picked something we were happy with.  {And that will be featured in an upcoming post!}  The jar of fun is a guideline and in no way is it meant to be restrictive or taken as law.  What’s the fun in that?

Now it’s your turn!  Tell me any fun ideas you’ve had to keep your little ones occupied in the summer months.

Are you more of a planner? Or do you like to be spontaneous? Do you just go with where the wind takes you or make a conscious decision the morning of about where you’ll be going that day?

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What’s in your jar? 🙂