Tiny Tithes!

This past week I taught my children the principle of tithing. We gathered our piggy banks, a Bible and some coin rolling papers. We started off with the notion that everything that we have belongs to God and that he askes us to give back to him 10% of what we have. He is giver of every good and perfect gift, it is a joy to give back to Him. I taught them about the principle of tithing (giving a tenth) from a Biblical perspective, in kids terms of course:) God says if we test Him in this He will bless us for our obedience. (Malachi 3)

We used fishy crackers to demonstrated how 10% actually isn’t really that much and how God could have asked us for 90%:) We counted all their money in their piggy banks and they decided that it was time to give God back the tithe. It was surprising to hear Judah say, “a tenth isn’t actually that much mommy, I still get to keep all of this?”!

Fishy crackers were a great teaching tool!

It was a such a joy to teach them this principle, something that they will impact them for the rest of their lives and that will bring blessing and opportunity to give even more. I look forward to all of the other money principles that we will talk about; “the love of money being the root of all evil”, “being good stewards of our money:,” the joy of giving”, “God’s plan for us as believers to mobilize the gospel”…there is so much that I can’t wait to impart into them! I cannot wait to see our children, Judah and Mercy, bringing their tithe to our church and giving it back to the Lord!

Have you take the time to impart important principles into your little ones? It’s never too late:)

What are some other principles that you think are important to teach?

One thing I have learned about family and children is that we need to be intentional about what we do! Be sure to mark it down when God gives you ideas of what to teach them. I believe He tells us specific things at certain times because these are windows of opportunity. Take advantage of these windows.

May you be blessed today, May you have the grace you need to be all that he has called you to be!!!

From our family to yours:)

Enjoying the ride!

As a mother, do you ever find yourself getting so caught up in ALL the activity in your home that you are not able to just sit back and enjoy the days with your little ones? Sometimes I find myself doing so many little things in a day that I forget to take time to really enjoy my kids. It seems strange seeing as I am home all day but it happens!! As mothers we need to be intentional about making time to spend with our kids. There are days when I get to the end and realize I haven’t really spent much quality time with them. It’s easy to be present in their lives but to set aside undivided attention is essential to make those strong relational connections! Life with little ones is definitely a unique, fast and unexpected ride; one that I really want to enjoy!!

I have found it helpful to set aside time each day to  focus only on the kids. Now ideally, it would be amazing to set aside all my time for them but that is just not realistic. I need time to run our household and they need to learn that Mommy has things she needs to get done in a day so that our family can be provided for. I have chosen specific times each day to devote to only them. When we wake up from 8am until 11am my attention is undivided. This is when we do homeschool, play games, go outside, read books together, play dress-up, go on a little field trip, etc. It is a time when I am not answering my phone, not doing laundry or dishes, not sweeping or doing anything other than making them my first priority. From 11 until about 3, we eat lunch and then everyone has their nap or quiet time and THIS is the time when I spend cleaning up, doing dinner prep, sweeping the floors, journaling, reading doing whatever needs to get done. Once everyone is up again from about 3-4pm we spend more quality time and then they take time from 4 until daddy gets home to play together or go outside. This doesn’t happen every single day but when we are home I try to stick to this schedule.

I have found that it makes such a difference when I take that uninterrupted time for them, we get more accomplished and we are are able to sit back, relax and enjoy each other. I find that time already flies and my children are growing up so fast, the last thing I want is to look back and regret spending quality time with them. Some of my favorite time are; listening to their stories, watching their puppet plays, playing pretend salon, battles with knights and dragons, having car races, eating all sorts of fun creations from their play kitchen, playing Mr. potato head, colouring together, and talking about God.

What are some ways you could rearrange your schedule to ensure that you are maximizing your time together?

May your connection with your children deepen this week. May you sit back and enjoy these simple and sweet times together and may you give thanks to the One who gave you these precious little lives!!!

Bridging the Generations…

Nana and Mercy reading together this morning

As a mother who is passionate about family, I am VERY passionate about cultivating the relationships between my children and their grandparents and great-grandparents. I smiled this morning as I was watching my little Mercy listen to her great-grandmother read to her. My grandmother is 85 years old and such a beautiful woman. There are 82 years between Mercy and my grandmother. She loves to read to the children and they love her so much, they call her Nana. It has been such a gift to have her with us and for my children to learn from her and allow her to pour into their lives. This unique relationship gives my children a reverance and curiosity for Nana and her life and the kids bring a joy and purpose into my grandmother’s life that I see everytime they spend time with her. I thank God for this unique relationship!

May you encourage your children to build bridges between the generations to learn and glean from them. There are things that they have experienced that we never will and it is an irreplaceable treasure for our kids to hear stories from them rather than reading them in a book!

Bless you as you encourage your family today!!

A Simply Thankful Life…

Enjoying the fall in our backyard!

My heart is full of thanksgiving as I take a moment to reflect on all of the incredible blessings in my life. I am SO thankful for…cool autumn walks, changing fall colours, baby kisses and snuggles, a creator who loves me, the sound of little feet that pitter pat down the hallway, a son who is beginning to look like his father, a warm home, my little girl’s blue eyes and blond hair, amazing friends, a fun backyard to explore in, warm coffee, freedom to dance, hearing little people call me “mommy” all day long, being loved, being able to love others, a wonderful family of believers, long distance friendships that I can count on, coconut muffins, being born in this generation, sharing life with my best friend, being home with my babies, not knowing what tomorrow hold but feel hope and anticipation every morning I awake.

May you enjoy rich family time this weekend. May you have a wonderful thanksgiving as you remember the One to whom all “thanks” is due!!

Thankful for Toddler Tantrums??

Our Mercy girl!

I think over the last two weeks I am more emotionally exhausted from the temper tantrums that my 3 year old has been throwing than everything else I do in my life COMBINE! We have been dealing with Mercy’s wonderful and expressive emotions over the weekend and it has been taxing on ALL of us!

She is my first 3 year old girl and I must say that she is quite different than our son Judah. I have come to realize that when she enters into the overwhelming cloud of her emotions there is no rational or logical answer to her problems. She is simple exercising her WILL in hopes that she will get whatever she wants. UNFORTUNATELY for her, we do not give her whatever she wants so she gets upset and tries to find other ways to get her way; yelling, crying, spitting, screaming, tell me she “hates having time outs, they are boring”, throwing items, you name it, she tries it! I have been reminded by many wise mothers that “this too shall pass” and that it is important to remain consistent and eventually she will learn. I am beginning to wonder if “I shall pass-out!” before she gives in:)

Somedays I wonder why she is still fighting? It seems as though she is hoping to accomplish something…but what? By the end of her tantrum she often doesn’t even remember what she was upset about in the first place. My son wasn’t like this, he would cry over something realize he couldn’t have it and then move on. This is different. This is really hard.

I am reminded of my life as I watch her flail her arms and cry about something that really isn’t that important. Do I ever do this? Maybe not physically but emotionally and spiritually do I tantrum? Are there things in my life that I want so bad that I will do whatever I can to achieve them?

I remembered a situation recently where I thought a certain situation was going to work out in my favor but in the end it was delayed and fell through. I was angry and frustrated. I complained to the Lord, whining about all the implications of this situation and the concerns that I had. I basically had a spiritual temper tantrum and then finally got over myself! Since then I have been thinking about the importance of a verse in the Bible. It is in the book of Thessalonians 5:16, it says “Be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. I felt like reading this was like a spiritual spanking. Who do I think I am trying to complain and argue my way out of situation that God has allowed to come into my life? What was I hoping to achieve?

Just like my Mercy, her situation was out of her hands but rather than choosing to obey she wallowed in her sadness, self-pity and anger. Anger turned outward is hostility and rage, anger turned inward is self-hatred. Rather than obeying the Lord, being joyful, prayerful and thankful I was complaining and grumbling. I apologized and asked God to give me a new heart one that was grateful and trusting. Since then the situation has taken a turn for the best and hopefully in a couple days it will completely resolve itself. I love how my kids reveal mysteries to me every day by their actions and behavior. I suppose I should be thankful for Mercy’s tantrums because they have proven to be opportunities for me to learn and grow;)

Do you ever experience personal temper tantrums? What are some ways that you can avoid having them? What are some practical ways to be joyful, prayerful and thankful?

I pray that you will enjoy a day of peace and confidence in our gracious God. May you know the deep love He has for you. May you have the grace you need to be His hands extended to your family today!! Blessings!

Praying for Relationships

Relationships are complicated! There is NO easy way around it. Every person is different and the dynamics of relationship are delicate. I have been seeing this fleshed out in the small relationship between my two oldest children, Judah, 5, and Mercy 3. They are two completely different children. Their personalities, social tendencies, emotional abilities, and cognitive understandings are worlds apart. Their gender, their age and most of the things they enjoy to do with their time is different. As you can imagine this has caused some major conflict in our household. We have had several disagreements, yelling fests, name calling, hitting, and teasing! When this first began, I was worried. I thought that I wasn’t doing a good job as a parent and that I needed to MAKE them see eye to eye on everything. I could not have been more wrong.

I was reading in the book of 1 Samuel about the relationship between Jonathan and David, and God spoke to my heart and told me to start praying for my children (all of them) to cultivate relationships like this. I felt like there is a higher standard of love that our children can have towards one another. It doesn’t come from me forcing them to connect but a rather through a deeper spiritual connection enforced through prayer. Jonthan and David were two very different people. Jonathan was the prince of Israel, supposed to one day become king and David was a shepherd who was looked down upon by this family. Their upbringings were different, their interests and their futures. There was potential for jealous, envy, greed, bitterness and all sorts of other things to come between them. However, I believe it was God’s Spirit that united them and allowed them to engage in a relationship like no other.

1 Samuel 18:1 says “After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself“. This is profound! This is Biblical. We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves. My children have the opportunity to love each other as they love themselves. My job is NOT to force that but rather to pray, guide and instruct. PRAYER is the most effective tool, I pray that God will give them this unique and divine relationship in which they would lay down their lives for one another.

Rather than feeling frustrated I am ferverent in prayer. I choose not to look at their shortcomings or get upset with their bickering, instead I declare unity and love to be the foundation of their relationship. I recognize their differences but those are no longer excuses for their relationship. I believe that God can knit their hearts together and I trust that in His time He will allow it to happen.

Do you pray for the sibling relationships in your family? Do you believe that God can give them amazing relationships?

May your children embrace one another today. May you have faith to believe for His will in their lives. May you experience the joy that comes from watching your kids grow to love one another as you pray for God to bind their little hearts together! Blessings!

Simple is Beautiful!

Atirah enjoying some summer sun:)

I have been finding more and more that keeping things simple can be the most enjoyable for our family in this season in life. There are days when I try to overcomplicate and overplan activities. I believe the lie that a full timetable equals fun for my kids. Time and time again I see the negative outcome that this has on my kids and my ability to lovingly mother them. When I try to create lots of activity I find myself tense and stressed out, I am tired and really unable to spend quality time with the family – NOT WORTH IT IN THE END! Lately we have been trying to do activities that are close to home and have little preparation and clean up. We go for short walks, meet friends at the park, water the gardens, have a snack picnic, read books together outside, run in the sprinkler and work on puzzles. It has been refreashing for me and for the kids to give up my “busyness mentality” and embrace a more simplictic outlook on life. I find I am able to enjoy my children and their cute-little-selves when I am relaxed. We speak kindly to one another and I sense a deep joy that wells in their hearts for eachother.

May you be encouraged in knowing that striving and accomplishing tasks for your kids does not increase your value as a mother. I would liken it to this example; many times I try to get my kids to eat more nutricious food. Judah will tell me that we wants a hummus wrap but I feel the need to add veggies. So I will cup up lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, make a side dish of carrot sticks and offer it to him as a more complete meal. While it definitely fills up the plate, I he will still end up only eating the hummus and the wrap, leaving all my hard work behind. I feel frustrated and disappointed when all the while he only asked for hummus and a wrap, I am the one who tried to complicate things! Your children want YOU not all the activities. Yes, adding does enrich their lives and there are times for that but remember the most important thing you can do as a mother is be present in their lives:)

May you embrace the simplicity that each day bring. May you take in the sweet moments of beauty! This season is so short lived, enjoy every minute!!!


A Passion for Family!

I am so excited to finally be writing a blog! It seems like ages since I have been able to have enough time to gather my thoughts and express them through the keyboard on this computer. Life with 3 little ones can, at times, be a blurr. Someone is always needing mommy and I have felt the need to take some time away from the blog in order to refocus and realign myself with the purpose behind it. I am currently working on switching over this wordpress blog to a website called Passion for Family. Let me explain:)

Photo Credit: Expression Photography

Our Children – the fruit of our labour!

The Lord has been really impressing on my heart the importance of having vision and purpose for everything I do. Initially, I had started this blog to honor mothers as they pursue the important calling of motherhood/homemaking. Over the past year I have felt God nudging me to make it more about family. I felt like he has been showing me that the family is the fabric of society. Because there is such a breakdown of family in our culture we are loosing touch with God’s orignial intent for the family unit. As a result we are seeing a breakdown in society. I desire to help bring clarity and refreashing to families through these words.

Photo Credit: Expressions Photography

Our Family – the greatest gift on earth!

Through much prayer, I have decided to change the name of the blog to PASSION FOR FAMILY. This is my heart for the site. PASSION is defined as the object of an intense desire, affection or enthusiasm, a powerful or compelling emotion, strong affection or enthusiams towards a concept. I AM PASSIONATE about families!! I feel like there is so much that has been stolen from the family and I believe that it is God’s heart to see families healed and restored!

After being married for the past 8 years and having 3 children I now realize that the family is the training ground of everything in life. As I raise and nurture my children in our family I am instilling in them all of the skills that they will need for their lives as adults. I desire to bless and encourage families across the world. Whether you are single or married, dreaming of having a family or already have a large family, whether you homeschool or not, whether you work or stay home, this blog is desired to enrouage you.