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15 Things To Do As A Family During Quarantine

So much time at home. Honestly I am loving it! I am a Visionary by nature and so I love coming up with ideas. Wanted to share with you some of the ideas I have come up with to do during our quarantine that don’t involve a screen.

1. Hot cocoa time. Sounds simple right? Hot cocoa time is powerful! It’s a great reset and I like to use it especially with someone who is having a bad attitude. Who doesn’t have their frown turn upside down with a cup of hot chocolate? 🙂 I like to have all the good stuff in it too! I buy whipped cream when it’s buy one get one free at Safeway and all sorts of sprinkles at Dollar Tree. Then we make the hot cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkle it on top and sit down and talk about our favorite things!

Hot cocoa and homework make for a great combo.

2. Get outside! It doesn’t have to be extravagant. We have a sled that we fill with water and the kids play in that for hours and we also have been doing egg hunts quite regularly. The big kids love hiding them and the littles love finding them 🙂

Big brother Ricky is a great egg hider.

3. Read! Read out loud to the kids. Have a big kid read to the little kids. Have each child go to their own space with two books and read. I love taking advantage of meal time and reading. This is the book that I am currently reading to the kids from at breakfast, lunch and dinner and we are all learning so much on how we can serve the Lord better!

4. Get artistic! Amazon has not run out of craft supplies 🙂 we love to paint in this house and do any sort of craft with the understanding that we will have a big clean-up party after 🙂

5. Music! Sing! We are working as a family on memorizing two hymns and two contemporary worship songs. All this time at home should be filled with lots of praises!

6. Legos! Fun toys. We have a rule in our house: no toys with batteries. Batteries basically take the place of your child’s brain in allowing them to be imaginative and creative! Be sure to pick out one toy at a time. This helps with mess. So you can say “Legos and duplos for now.” And then have them play with toy cars or blocks later.

Every mama needs one of these Lego bags that you can just cinch up to clean up the Lego mess so easily.

7. Work on the house! Most importantly involve your kids! There is so much to do around the house isn’t there? Involve them and help them to take ownership of the home with you.

Ricky was tackling our big weeds and involved the two Littles.

8. Play games! Dust off all those board games and get busy 🙂 we have been playing many, many many games and it’s such a great way to build character and learn and fellowship with each other.

Care Bear and Chloe love to play Othello. Especially with hot cocoa 🙂

9. Look for things you can do for others! So many lonely people out there. Draw some pictures, paint some cards, pick some pretty flowers from your yard and put them in a mason jar. Drop them off at the neighbors or a friend’s house. Make someone smile with things made by your children’s hands!

Rhea has been busy making floral arrangements!

10. Learn together! There is so much fun stuff out there to learn isn’t there? Johnny and I have been learning a lot about George Washington Carver. A neat Christian man that was also a slave and that God used tremendously!

We use a plethora of homeschool curriculum including ACE paces.

11. Cook/bake! Let your kids in the kitchen! Ricky made us all Belgian waffles this morning. I know there is a shortage of flours so we have been having to be better at planning but you can also substitute oats for half your flour in your recipes… usually. We also buy cake mixes and make cake cookies. All you do is get a box of cake mix and blend in 1/4 cup oil and two eggs.

Ricky is 11 and makes our breakfast everyday. He does a great job!

12. Spend more time in the word of God together! Write it out together. Read it out loud together. Act it out together. Listen to it together.

13. Cuddle! Children naturally love affection and their dopamine goes up in their brain when we hug them and touch them 🙂 stick close together on the couch, hold hands when you go for a walk and give random hugs and kisses.

This sweet little baby has been getting lots of cuddles.

14. Don’t forget to smile. Find a good joke site and share jokes at the dinner table. Dance around the house to Seeds Family Worship. Run around outside with your kids. Look for things that make them smile and you will smile too!

This girl makes everyone smile!

15. Relax together. In a busy, busy world this time away is a blessing. But we can even get overly busy even at home. Sit in a swing with them in your backyard. Lay on a blanket outside and look up at the clouds or stars. Sit in the living room and enjoy each other’s company. Learn to be still together.

These 3 love to relax in the swing.

More pics below from our family quarantined time.

Enjoy this time friends!

Love, Katie

P.S. Looking for some good reading material FOR YOURSELF?? Be sure to check out my husband’s Amazon best seller!

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Are We Getting Too “Gospel-Centered”?

What in the world??? “Too Gospel-centered”??? How could there be such a thing???

The gospel. The good news. The power of God to salvation. Can we have too much of that?

Well…yes and no.

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, and in which you stand firm. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” 1 Cor. 15:1-2

How could I get too much gospel?? Ok, so that’s not really what I mean. Let me explain.

There seems to be a trend…a movement…and if you aren’t riding on it’s train you are legalistic. If you aren’t gospel-centered everything: parenting, marriage, relationships, work etc. then you are getting it all wrong.

This train in some circles requires you get on board and never talk about works or repentance. Every message, every sermon, every conversation must revolve around the gospel. Here’s the problem, the bible doesn’t do that. Jesus didn’t do that.

Take the sermon on the mount for example. The best sermon ever preached, given by the best Preacher of all time and there is no talk of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

In chapters 5-7 of Matthew we read the sermon on the mount. Christ opens with the beatitudes. Blessed are these people, blessed are those people etc. Then he talks about how we are the salt and light of the world and ending that section explaining that it’s our good works that will bring glory to our Father in heaven. Christ then explains that He came to fulfill the law for us and that our righteousness must actually exceed that of the law in that we must obey from the heart, not just outwardly. He proceeds with a bunch more practical application and exhortation on things like anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, loving our enemies, giving to the poor, how to pray, laying up treasures in heaven and not on earth, fasting, not being anxious, judging others, asking God for things, the golden rule, our salvation compared to fruit on trees, explaining the importance of knowing Him and building on the rock.

That’s it. No mention of the word gospel or his death, burial or resurrection. No mention of Him dying for our sins. Does that make him a bad preacher? Some “gospel-centered” folks nowadays would say so. They may even say He sounded legalistic and talked WAY too much about what we are supposed to do as His followers rather than what He has done for us. Way too many rules. He was too focused on works and people who don’t have them going to hell.

Another thing Christ said that is important for us to consider in the midst of this trend we are seeing in the church comes from the great commission.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” Matthew 28:18-20

Hmmmmm, um, was Jesus confused? Teaching them to OBEY everything He commanded?? Aren’t we supposed to teach them how to preach the gospel to themselves everyday? Wouldn’t that be more profitable?

No it wouldn’t. Christ was very intentional in His parting words. He did not lose sight of the gospel. He did choose to tell us: go make disciples and teach them to obey.

Of course in our disciple making process we will share the gospel but we must also be teaching them to obey and that’s what Christ chose to emphasis.

I am seeing a sort of pride come out of this movement. A sort of judgement toward pastors who just aren’t “getting this gospel-centered” thing right.

I want to be very clear. I love the gospel. I wouldn’t be saved without it. I just don’t want to be more gospel-centered than Christ. I want to focus on what He focuses on. If you need to preach the gospel to yourself daily that’s fine but don’t judge those who don’t. There is no such instruction in the bible to do so.

We are saved by grace through faith not by works. But faith without works is dead. There are lots and lots of commands and instruction for living in the bible and we cannot neglect those. We must read those in light of the gospel and read the gospel in light of all the teaching on works. Works don’t produce faith but saving faith produces works. That’s not non-gospel of me to say. That’s truth. Don’t lose sight of the sanctifying work that God wants to do in you. Don’t quit working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Don’t forget the gospel. Meditate on and live out of the entire counsel of God.

Love, Katie

P.S. here are some videos I recommend (by some of the most gospel centered authors out there).

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Some Thoughts on Contentment

Contentment. Wow. Such a beautiful thing. Such a hard thing to maintain. Why?

Contentment requires rest. Intentionality. Thankfulness. All difficult things to cultivate. But with Christ’s help and by abiding in Him contentment is possible! Believe it mama! You can be content and joyful in whatever circumstances you are in if you LEARN (like Paul did). It’s a process. It is not natural. It must be learned and practiced.

I read this “prescription for contentment” this morning from the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and I just had to share it with you mamas! As a side note, anxiety and discontentment are deeply connected. Practice contentment and you will find your anxiety decrease.

A woman’s prescription for contentment:

  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything-not even the weather.
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
  • Never compare your lot with another’s.
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow-remember that tomorrow is God’s, not yours.

Hmmmmm, seem extreme?? NEVER??? Yep. Contentment is extreme. It’s polar opposite of what your flesh wants and what the world promotes. We have to be extreme in order to combat discontentment. So you in? One day at a time we can put into practice this prescription for contentment and watch our hearts and minds change.

Love, Katie

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 1I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

p.s. Have you checked out my new devotional book?? Would love for you to get a copy and be encouraged to keep your minds on eternity in the midst of the temporal and mundane. CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

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My 7th Birth Story

This is my least favorite. It really was death of a vision.

I have done four hospital births and two home births. I wanted this one to be at a birthing center and thought it would be the best of both worlds. I could get away and have someone take care of me and not have people bugging me constantly.

I started having contractions that were noticeably different Sunday morning. I sat through my husband’s preaching and had to close my eyes a few times 🙂 My five year old was sitting next to me and said: “Mama! Open your eyes!” (Didn’t want me sleeping through daddy’s sermon).

I came home and thought: “Hmmm, might be today!” But… the contractions were so sporadic.

Sunday night around 7 p.m. my family went to evening service and I stayed home with somewhat painful, erratic contractions. We decided to have my kids go stay at my inlaws and my sister’s house in case I went into labor at 2 a.m.

Welp, 2 a.m. rolled around and we decided to go to the birthing center. I had anxiety about it because my contractions were still… strange… all of my labors up to this one have been very similar but his one was…different and just not progressing like the others have…

I was a four when I got to the birthing center…I laid in the bed and it felt like the labor really slowed down… It was stressful because I felt like I was wasting the midwives’ time. At about 4 a.m. I asked my midwife what I should do. She gave me some tincture (cedarwood maybe?) and told me to take a shower and rub my chest to stimulate contractions. I did that and after only two doses of the tincture and a shower I felt like things were changing. I got back in bed to get ready and sure enough I felt a BIG one coming… BAM! My water broke with that contraction and my midwife came in. We both seemed excited and I knew things were progressing…but then…we saw the meconium. She looked at me and asked: “Did you have an ultrasound recently?” Me: “No…” having no idea why she asked that… She said she wanted to check me again… I laid down and she said: “Katie, I’m so sorry but your baby is breech and we can’t legally deliver her. You’re going to have to go to a hospital and I am guessing they will want to do a c-section.”

I was bummed….but said: “Ok, let’s go then…” We pulled up to the ER and went in. I was trying my hardest not to cry and keep my sense of humor going. When the midwives said: “I’m so sorry.” I just replied: “I’m ok, God is sovereign over all of this.” That was really the only thing comforting me at the time. Knowing that God knew Ruby would enter the world via c-section.

I got checked into my room and the Dr. came in and said: “Hello, I am the one doing your surgery today.” No questions like: “Would you like a c-section?” Nope. I was going into surgery and that was it. Unfortunately, I was ready to go at 7 a.m….right when everyone switches shifts so I had to labor for another hour while everyone got checked in and ready.

By the time they were wheeling me into the operating room I was full on shaking… I usually do that right before I start pushing. Bummer.

They did the spinal tap. Creepy. And I laid down to get cut open.

I was still shaking hardcore and it was not a good feeling to think people would be cutting into me while I was shaking…. I started dry heaving over and over but couldn’t throw up. It was terrible. For anyone who thinks a c-section is the “easy way out”, think again…

After some serious tugging I got to see my sweet Ruby Nell. They held her up to the plastic screen and I started to cry… believe it or not that was the first time I cried when seeing my baby. Usually I was almost giggly and would say things like: “My baby! My baby! Look at my baby!” 🙂 But I think all that bundled up emotion came spilling out when I finally got to see her.

They had to take her aside and do breathing treatment on her as well as pull out lots of stuff from her lungs. I didn’t get to hold her or have her next to me till after I was all stitched up. When they finally plunked her on my chest I was so ecstatic.

They wheeled me back into the room where I started throwing up…not sure what that was about.

We got wheeled from that room to a recovery room and it was a lovely room.

The recovery from a c-section has definitely been worse for me physically but for whatever reason my emotional recovery has been my best yet (I have been taking lots of supplements though including ones to improve my gallbladder health…so…who knows?)! I did have two weepy days over having a c-section…wondering if I could have really pushed the hospital and forced them to let me have a breech birth…but I have counseled myself to move on since there is nothing I can do about it now. My midwife did tell me I am a great candidate for a vbac if the Lord should choose to fill my womb again. That’s encouraging.

So. That’s it. My 7th birth. I can’t believe I have done this 7 times. It really feels like my 3rd time. I still feel like a “new mom” 🙂

noahandruby
Everyone is excited about Ruby Nell…But I think Noah is the most excited 🙂

rubynell
Here she is. So perfect.