Thursday, June 21, 2018

Don't speak out of your wound, speak out of your wisdom

People are always looking for peace. They just don't know it. 
I look for peace when life gets out of wack. The unexpected illness shows up. The friendship turns toxic. Family harmony turns to family hate. Life has a way of mixing all the pieces we carefully put together.

When such moments happen, we have the tendency of using our mouths. My advice is, "don't speak out of your wound, speak out of your wisdom." If you haven't arrived at wisdom yet, do yourself a favor and cultivate quietness until peace comes.

You and I probably spent a lot of time reading/watching/listening to people speaking out of their wound on social media and in real life. Here is what I do. If it is a close friend who will be able to receive advice, I discretely tell them they might want to reconsider their wounded words.

This habit of speaking out of your wound has become acceptable because it has earned the title of "real (add profanity here)." Somehow, watching people bleed while doing absolutely nothing to help them, has become an admirable character trait.

I went to a hospital today and I can tell you exactly what they would recommend if someone was bleeding. The first step is to stop the bleeding. The second step is to treat the cause of the bleeding so the person can heal.

We don't behave this way online. We have accepted the internet as the primary place to bleed (or vomit) while many applaud it without questioning the health of the wounded person.

What happens when the person speaking out of their wound is the one reading my words? The first step is to recognize you developed such habit. You need help. I am not implying that one should be fake online. I am advocating for wisdom to arise out of the deep hurts we all experience. If it can't help, it shouldn't be said. A close friend, a counselor might be a better audience for such words. There are always proper places for our words. Wisdom comes when we can discern where those places are.

Please don't think that you shouldn't say what you feel. My friend, you certainly can. Feelings were given to us for a good reason. I believe that sharing wisdom is more effective than sharing the wound only.

Let's get real (without the cuss words). I know that this post will not turn the internet into a wisdom-only place. Darkness will always be out there. The truth of Jesus compels me to believe that darkness will not overcome His light. We can all make a difference if we change our behavior. How do we do that?

We can use silence when the pain is working its way through our being. We can all take a break from  shiny screens so we can focus on the lessons learned out of pain. We can reach out to a person, in real life, that can benefit from our story.

If you are looking for peace tonight, be sure you take the time to find it. Reach out to a good friend. Turn off your screens for a while. Turn on your heart and know that God can redeem, restore and renew. Let's get to wisdom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Balancing life during the summer

Friends, this is the first summer I’ve worked full-time in a long time. This is also the first summer I have 4 of my nieces and nephews with us for 10 weeks. It’s been fun to go out in public and watch people count the number of kids. People have been so kind and encouraging!

Parenting any number of children can be challenging any time of the year. I also know that if I do not put God and health first, there is very little I can do for everyone around me. This ‘let’s run first thing in the morning’ thing is the method to my master plan.

I want to propose that having a successful summer, includes doing one thing at a time, prioritizing the spirit, resting and finding a cheerleader.

Do one thing at a time • multitasking is a myth. I have succeeded in different areas of life because I do one thing at time. I addition to that, I finish what I start. I noticed that in the past, multitasking led me to a lot of untied ends. My new way of living consists of doing one thing at a time and finishing what I started.

Prioritize the spirit • I can’t give what I don’t have. I need peace, joy and a better attitude. My spiritual life is a priority for this very reason. I feel that when I go to God first, He fills me and restores my spirit. Only then, I have something good to offer everyone else.

Rest is wealth • I have suffered from the loss of rest and it was no fun. I practiced knowing my limits for years and I have practiced shutting everything down so I can get rest. Rest is not glamorous yet, it leads to a healthy life. You can’t put rest in a pill, you just have to do it. I heard someone say that “the less we rest, the less we trust.” You know that’s true.

Find a cheerleader • Joining a group is not always the best way to get encouragement in life. Having one person to cheer you on is wonderful. Someone to whisper you can do it, pray for you and rejoice with you is priceless.

I have a lot of help with the kids, still, we all know it is challenging. I started the summer asking myself, what is a gift I’d like to give myself by the end of the summer? The answer was to make steps towards reaching the health goal I set in January. I believe I can do it. Here is my question for you: if you could give yourself a gift by the end of the summer, what would it be? What is the first step towards reaching that goal?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Integrity of Fatherhood

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him. 
Proverbs 20:7 (NKJV)
My husband, a few moons ago.

that time my dad was going to run a 5K
but got lost and ran a half marathon. I know...
I get it from my dad. 

I want to honor my father, my husband and all fathers out there.
I thank God for the integrity of my father and my husband.
I can say that our children are blessed because of the fathers in our family.
Fathers are not perfect but God is. I’m thankful that for every failure men many have, we have the perfect love of God surrounding us on every side.
Enjoy your father if you still have yours. I have mine and I’m thankful. If you don’t have your father for any reason, I honor his memory and his legacy in your life.
Happy Father’s Day, thank God for fathers.

Friday, June 15, 2018

6 Years Ago 6 anos atrás

So Blessed!

Happy Birth Day
Thank you Jesus!

Our youngest turns 6 today. Nossa mais nova bênção completa 6 anos hoje. Thank you Jesus. Obrigada Jesus.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summer Activities for a Large Group of Kids

This summer we have 7 kids total hanging out with us. Some are my kids, others nieces and nephews. It’s been a joy and a privilege to have such influence. Also, we have a lot of help. I keep thinking about my friends who have more kids than I do and parent their kids with so much gusto all the time (fist bump). I don't have an extra large family all the time so here's what I'm learning:

We love VBS - and we appreciate those who volunteer each year. I volunteered every since we started taking the kids. Actually, when I was a teen, I helped my mom with VBS. We believe in children’s ministry and we are thankful to everyone who serves. My husband is serving this year, which has been awesome.

We do everything together - I realized a few years ago that doing everything together works well for larger groups of kids. Sometimes we divide and conquer but most of the time, we are on the same schedule. Speaking of that…

We follow a summer schedule - we’ve done that for years and this time is no different. We have a little flexibility on weekends but our summer schedule is a wonder. I also made a summer calendar so the kids can see when we have special dates such as birthdays or special outings.

Swimming is our friend - we’re so blessed with a variety of community pools in our area. We have swimmers and non-swimmers in our camp. We found a pool that works for everyone. If that wasn’t an option, we’d hit the splash pad.

Being bored is legal - I keep the TV and screens off a lot. It took a little adaptation but once everyone saw that being bored was the norm, their imagination kicked in. I gave everyone a notebook and a pen for writing or drawing. The kids have come up with talent shows, stories, games and even songs. Being bored is great for the mind.

I hope you are having a fun summer with your camp. I hope to inspire you to make some great memories with your kids.