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Posts Tagged "Josie"

Cherry Limeade, Christmas & the Facts of Life

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in My Life

My kids and I made a Sonic run the other day. If you live anywhere near Oklahoma, you know the lure of Sonic Cherry Limeades. Make it “happy hour” and it’s hard to resist. 🙂

Driving back, my two oldest are talking about where they’ll live in college and who they’ll live with. Keegan (10) is patiently explaining to Josie (7) that she’ll live in a dorm room at college and have a roommate.  Perplexed, Josie confirms, “Mom, can my roommate be a girl and not a boy?”

The conversation that ensued was comical, at best.  I listened as Keegan tried to explain that boys can’t live with girls and girls can’t live with boys b/c that might lead to “making out and other inappropriate things”.  I sat at the wheel trying not to laugh out loud.

At this point I stepped in to direct the conversation a little.  You see, I want my kids to grow up with a healthy respect for sex.  Though I’m a little spooked that my 10 year old understands that there is more to do than just ‘making out’… I’m not going to freak out over it.  I’m not going to teach him to fear it.  I’m going to teach him to cherish it.

Cherish – (verb) to hold or treat as dear; to care for tenderly

For the next 5 minutes I talked to them about kissing, hugging and other things that married people do to share their love.

But these are only for when you’re married.  Why?  Because it’s a special gift only for that person.  A lot like a Christmas gift.  What happens when we open our Christmas gift a week before Christmas?  It spoils the surprise!  There are special things that are only for your husband or wife.  Special gifts that are spoiled if you open them too early… like before marriage.  It’s our job to protect and cherish this gift until God brings the right person to receive that gift.

My hope is to set the stage for open dialogue with my kids about appropriate boundaries, healthy perspectives and the gift of sex.

Likely the first of many ‘facts of life’ conversations over a Cherry Limeade.  🙂

How would you explain this to your kids?

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Confessions of a Kids Pastor

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in My Life

As a pastor I confess that my job can get in the way of my family.  It’s an ongoing challenge to ensure my family comes before my ministry.  There are moments I do that well… and moments I do not.

Last week I had a moment that I did not.

Though numbers are not the focus, we certainly track attendance as a barometer to help us determine the success/effectiveness of an event.  With goals set, we chase those ‘carrots’ all year long with the best intentions.  One such goal is to maintain strong attendance in our discipleship program from August to May.

Why do you need to know this?  Setting the stage, I guess.

Last week was the first week of school.  Josie started the 1st grade.  She was puh-umped.

All day school… Lunch in the cafeteria… more nervous energy than she knew what to do with.

It was also the first day of KONNECT.  (KONNECT is our kids discipleship program.) Now that Josie is 6 years old, she gets to participate in KONNECT.  Again, she was puh-umped.

After picking the kids up from school, we ran some errands, horked down grabbed some dinner and headed off to church.  Josie was borderline psychotic clearly tired by the time we arrived at church.  She’d had a few melt-downs since leaving school.  I debated on the wisdom of sending her to church and thus being up 2 hours past her bedtime.  I envisioned the following morning and the probability of outbursts that register on the Richter scale.

Despite the wisdom of just keeping her home and allowing her opportunity to rest, I took her to church.

Why?

Numbers.

If she wasn’t there, it would count against our numbers.

Like I said, sometimes I do a good job of putting my family first… and then there are moments like these. 

(Cue music as she is crowned ‘Mother of the Year’)

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I laughed til I cried…

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

We took the kids to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum yesterday.  We passed through a section full of Indian artifacts (i.e. moccasins, blankets, tools, etc) then entered a section tributed to western actors.  Josie saw a few vinyl records on display.  “Look, mom!  Those were the Indian’s CD’s!”

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Celebrating with Purpose

Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Ministry, My Life

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday.  Turning 9 years old and soon to enter the 4th grade, she is growing faster and faster every year.  I’m watching her mature and I’m amazed at how God has shaped her heart.

Yesterday’s purpose was singular.  To demonstrate to Josie how special she is and how much we are grateful for what God has done through Josie the past 9 years.

Now… not everything went perfectly yesterday.  I learned a lesson about Knox County schools and their nutritional policies (nix the cupcake celebration) and my youngest came down with the stomach bug in the middle of the day (nix the plan to pick her up early from school).  However, here is what went well:

  • When Josie arrived home from school she was met by her big brother and a couple of riddles to solve
  • Solving the riddles led her to the one thing she has asked for over and over and over and over again for the past 6 months… dwarf hamsters.  (Yes… we are now officially owners of 2 fish, 1 peppermint shrimp, some other various aquarium paraphernalia and two furry, cute, poop-wherever-they-want dwarf hamsters. *sigh*)
  • We ate Chic-fil-A for dinner  (Not sure why that was the restaurant of choice… but okay)
  • Sitting outside Maggie Moo’s we each took turns telling Josie the things we love most about her

Looking back on the day there is only one thing I want to add.  We do a good job of looking back and expressing gratitude for how she adds value to our lives.  But I’d love to build in a sense of purpose in her by looking ahead at how we envision her adding value to our family, to her friends, to her neighborhood and to her church in the coming year.

I want to set the bar in Josie’s mind.  To help her see how God has equipped her with gifts and talents.  And how she can use those gifts and talents for His glory and His honor.

Parents, celebrating our child’s birthday is an important event every year.  But let’s take advantage of the opportunity to build a sense of purpose in their lives.  Let’s be the one to paint a picture in their mind for how you we them growing.  Scripture states that Jesus grew in wisdom, maturity and favor with God and men (Luke 2:52) And God desires that we grow as Christ grew.  As parents, we play a key role in helping our kids grow in that direction.

We may have missed this opportunity yesterday.  But Kyle and I will find time this week to help focus her eyes ahead on how she can invest in God’s Kingdom as a 9 year old.

What an amazing gift to be parents.

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Leave Your Phone at Home

Posted by on Jan 11, 2011 in My Life

I posted over here today at the Faith Promise Church blog.  Here is what I shared.

The other day I took my daughter to the store with me.  No boys.  Just the girls.

She’d had a rough day with her brothers that day and it seemed a good time for some alone time with the two of us.  We got a mile away and I realized I’d left my phone at home.  I debated mentally whether I should turn around but decided that it was possible to survive an hour without it.  (For those that know me well… that’s a feat!)

As we walked through the store we talked about random things.  At times I would reach for my phone to make sure I didn’t receive a text from the hubs reminding me of a needed item.  The empty pocket of my purse reminded me that my phone was several miles away.  “You’ll be fine, Gina”, I mentally coached myself.

At one point Josie turned to me and said, “I love having this time with you, mom”.  Suddenly the lack of wireless connection was less important.  I was less distracted.  And she noticed.

When we were done shopping we stopped at Starbucks.  Drinking her hot cocoa, she recounted the stories from her American Girl books and we talked about how different it would be to live during World War 2.  Josie is incredibly animated.  When she tells a story, she tells it with her whole body.  I wasn’t the only one entertained in Starbucks that day.

I’m reminded of a statement I heard from a prominent Student Ministry leader.

“Hold your kids more than you hold your phone.”

This is a convicting statement that I need to be reminded of often.  That was a rich afternoon for me and I look forward to more this year.  From one parent to the next, I encourage you to find ways to connect with your kids individually.  “Fight for the Heart” by setting aside time to focus on them without the distraction of cell phones, tv’s & computers.  It goes further than you can imagine.

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