Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Friendship Quotes

"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost."

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

"A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else."

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it
back to you when you have forgotten the words."

"Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to
become what they are capable of being."

"Friends are God's way of taking care of us."

"An honest answer is the sign of true friendship." - Proverbs 24:26

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who
falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them."
John 15:13

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance." - Proverbs 27:17

"Friends are like money in the bank, longer you keep them, the more they are worth."

"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even
though they know you are slightly cracked."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Healthy AND Wealthy

Healthy: Research evidence suggests that marriage (1) reduces certain health risk behaviors (in particular, heavy drinking); (2) improves access to health insurance; and (3) improves mental health (in particular, reducing depressive symptoms). Therefore, it follows that marriage may also have benefits for physical health and longevity. Indeed, studies consistently show that married people live longer and enjoy better physical health than unmarried people. http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/marriageonhealth/report.pdf

Wealthy: Divorce causes a decrease in wealth that is larger than just splitting a couple’s assets in half. By the same token, married people see an increase in wealth that is more than just adding the assets of two single people.On the other hand, divorce can devastate your wealth. Divorce drops a person's wealth by an average of 77%. Contrary to popular belief,the research shows that the wealth of divorced women wasn't significantly worse than that of divorced men, in terms of real money. If you really want to increase your wealth, get married and stay married. - Jay Zagorsky, Ohio State, Journal of Sociology, Jan 2006

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Six weeks ago, WhyMommy from Toddler Planet was told she has Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Now she is getting the word out so that other women will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms - which often mimic mastitis - and get to their doctors as soon as possible.

With this aggressive and deadly form of cancer, early treatment is critical. But Inflammatory Breast Cancer doesn’t show up on a mammography. It doesn’t appear with a lump. So how do we protect ourselves? How do we know we have it?

Please click here to read more about her story and what she wishes she knew two months ago about Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

Also go to You Tube to watch a news report about this aggressive form of cancer

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Winner



Thanks to everyone who participated!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Disciplining Preschoolers


  • In the Bible in Proverbs13:24 it says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
  • We often interpret this verse as spanking, but in reality, the rod was a tool used by shepherds in Biblical times to direct the sheep in the way they should go. It was not a tool for punishment.
  • Discipline is a word that has two meaning. One of the meanings is punishment and the other is to teach. The ideal discipline program for a child is one that teaches what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors are not acceptable.
Effective Discipline
  • Helps children learn to control their behavior so that they act according to their ideas of right and wrong, not because they fear punishment.
  • For example…they are honest because they think it is wrong to be dishonest, not because they are afraid to get caught.
  • This is our goal for our children…they don’t start out here.
  • We have to be the ones who teach them right and wrong, and hold them accountable until they develop their own sense of right and wrong.
  • Our job as a parent is to work ourselves out of a job.
Before we can figure out discipline techniques we have to understanding the preschoolers we will be disciplining!
  • Preschool children are busy learning about the world around them
  • They ask lots of questions
  • They love to imitate adults
  • They are learning to share and take turns
  • They like to try new things and often take risks
  • They may try to shock you at times by using “forbidden” words
  • Getting attention is fun for a preschooler, being ignored is not
  • Preschoolers like to make decisions for themselves
  • They have lots of energy
  • The psychological stage of a preschooler is autonomy vs. shame and doubt. They are figuring out that they are their own little selves and that they can say NO and MINE!
  • They can get carried away by their “power” and get bossy.
Ideas for Parents
  • There is no one right way to discipline
  • But there are things we can do to assure that our children grow up learning the difference between right and wrong!
  • Set a good example!
  • Preschoolers love to imitate adults!
  • Watch your habits because your kids will be sure to copy them!
  • If you want them to treat each other kindly, you have to demonstrate it
  • Good eating habits, how much you watch TV, the language you use will all be caught rather than taught!
  • Praising children encourages learning, independence, and strong self-esteem in children.
  • Say things like, “You did a great job putting your clothes away,” or “This painting has beautiful colors!”
  • Watch your language and focus on what to do rather than what not to do!
  • Try saying:
  • Slow down and walk instead of Stop running
  • Come hold my hand instead of Don’t touch anything
  • Keep your feet on the floor instead of Don’t climb on the couch
  • Use your quiet voice inside instead of Stop screaming and shouting
Natural or Logical Consequences
Help children understand the connection between their actions and the results of their misbehavior
  • Natural consequences are results that would naturally happen after a child’s behavior without any adult interference.
  • We don’t allow natural consequences to happen if they would be dangerous or impractical. (letting a child run into the street and get hit by a car.)
  • Logical Consequences require adult intervention
  • A child who runs into the street has to play inside
  • A child who throws his food across the room because he doesn’t like the snack offered goes without a snack.
  • Distraction and Redirection
    • Sometimes when a child is doing something that you don’t want them to do you can distract them with something else or redirect them to something else.
    • Try to ignore the behavior if the child isn't doing something that is harmful (or if it isn't something that you directly told them not to do).
    • Withhold all attention and praise or support.
    • This works when the child is trying to get attention by screaming or saying bad words.
    • Sometimes you can tell the child that you can go into the other room and scream if you would like to, but not here.
    Remember it is more effective to reward good behavior than to punish bad behavior.
  • Positively rewarded behavior is usually repeated
  • Be careful not to give too many rewards
  • Does Spanking Work?
    Preschoolers often respond well to physical action when you need to discipline them.
  • Touching them on the arm, taking them by the hand, picking them up, holding or restraining them are all good ways to get their attention.
  • Spanking will also get their attention, but it doesn’t do a very good job of teaching children how to behave.
  • In fact, it generally distresses a child so much that he or she can’t pay attention to your explanations and directions.
  • It’s hard to reason with a screaming, crying child.
  • Sometimes spanking is OK…in extreme circumstances.
  • Usually when a parent spanks a child the first swat is for the misbehavior and almost every subsequent swat is the parent taking out his or her anger and frustration.
  • Spanking may put an immediate end to the behavior, but it is teaching the child that physical aggression is the way to resolve a problem.
  • They learn to obey out of fear.
  • Time Outs
    Time outs can be used in situations that are out of control.
  • Putting a child in a quiet room or a special chair until they can calm down helps the child regain composure, and gives the parent time to think through discipline
  • Let your child know what specific behaviors will earn a time out
  • Pick the area of the time out (not the kids bedroom if they have every convenience know to modern man in their room!)
  • Limit time outs to 1 minute per year of age
  • Ignore the child’s pleas or actions when they are in time out
  • Do not reassure the child that “time is almost up”
  • When time out is up, invite your child to leave the time out area and resume normal activities
  • Taking care of yourself
    Parenting preschoolers is challenging and works better when you remember to take care of yourself.
  • Rest, eat well, and relax
  • Above all, try to maintain your sense of humor
  • When you discover you child doing something like pouring the Crisco oil all over themselves in the kitchen, grab a camera and take a picture!!
  • I wish I had…you will want to remember this and tell your grandchildren!!
  • Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Wordless Wednesday

    Go here to see more Wordless Wednesday pictures

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway

    Hey, it's a blogosphere giveaway extravaganza hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer! I am joining other bloggers in the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway. My giveaway items are two new boxes of stationery and envelopes. One is a snowman print, and the other is a Thomas Kinkade print. Just comment on this post and you will automatically be entered in the contest. On Friday, July 27th, I will randomly choose one winner to receive both sets of stationery! Once you have commented here, go to Rocks in My Dryer to link to others bloggers who are giving away some great prizes! Good luck! And check back on Friday to see if you are the lucky winner!

    Sunday, July 22, 2007

    Sunday's Quote of the Day

    "Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..."
    C.S. Lewis --Mere Christianity

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Stressless Saturday


    Here’s a good definition for anxiety: Living out life’s bad scenarios in advance.

    The word “worry” is an Old English word which literally means “to choke”, “ to strangle.” When you’re worrying it chokes the life out of your life.

    The Greek word for worry is the word that means “to pull in different directions,” “to divide into pieces.” Worry divides your mind, divides your energy, and wastes your time.

    1 Peter 5:5-7 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

    A – N – X – I – E – T – Y

    A = Analysis paralysis

    Thinking too much. It’s when you try to anticipate every turn in the road and try to figure it all out ahead of time. Over analysis causes anxiety when you try to use your mind so that you don’t have to trust God. But what if you forget something? The Bible calls us to think things through and to plan wisely, but that can become a real block to obedience and faith. When Jesus called Peter to come walk with Him on the water, what if Peter had allowed Analysis paralysis to take over?

    N = Negative assumptions

    Assuming the worst. It causes a lot of anxiety when you try to live out all of life’s worst possibilities. It also doesn’t make much sense. How many of those negative assumptions are correct? And how much energy do you lose dreading things that never happen? This is the opposite of living by faith. It is faith in the negative. That’s not God’s plan for us. He wants us to have faith in Him.

    X = Xtra bills

    Our finances are a source of anxiety. We always want to make sure that we are being good stewards of the money that God gives us but sometimes extra bills are a test of our trust. Will we trust God or not? The Bible teaches us how to handle money and not let it become too powerful in our lives.

    I = Insecurities

    When we are unsure of ourselves and feel inadequate it is another source for anxiety. What if we fail? What if everyone laughs at us? Insecurities keep us from having fun in life. They keep us tied up in the fear of man or the fear of failure. The Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God. As a Christian, you and I are CHILDREN OF GOD!! Therefore we do have significance in Him.

    E = Expectations of others

    We live by the power of what others want. This causes anxiety because we are always afraid of disappointing the one who is pulling our strings. This is not living by faith, it is living by remote control.

    1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men, but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed – God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.

    T = Tomorrows - anxiety over the future

    We worry about the future. We worry about what has not happened. Jesus taught us in Matthew chapter 6 –
    Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. MT 6:34

    Y = Yesterdays - Anxiety over our past

    The sad thing about anxiety over our yesterdays is that we can do NOTHING to change them. The same holds true for anxiety over the future. We can’t change the future or the past. Anxiety doesn’t help, all it does is wreck our todays. And God wants us to live in the NOW of our lives, enjoying HIS blessings.

    Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

    When we worry it shows a lack of trust in God’s character. As a matter of fact, ALL anxiety ultimately comes from a misunderstanding of the nature of God. He wants to care for you. Will you let Him? Or will you keep holding onto your anxiety?

    Illustration: Have you ever watched a movie and told the character in the movie to be careful or “watch out!”? Our getting tense or gritting our teeth does not help the character in the movie.

    So, how are you going to live? Constantly worrying, or restfully trusting?

    • Give all your cares to God – He cares for you.
    • Give all your cares to God – He is able to take care of them. Relax and let God do the caring. He careth for you.

    • Give all your cares to God – He will do the CARRY –ing!

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Tip Thursday

    So, it is the middle of July...summer vacation is half over, and the kids are bored. What do you do? Get the family together with a decorative jar, strips of 1"x 3" paper, and your imaginations. Brainstorm together to create a family fun jar with activities that involve everyone in the family. Then, once a week draw a strip of paper from the jar and have some family fun.

    Here's a list of activities to get you started:

    1. Have a progressive dinner...with each course at a different fast food restaurant.
    2. Go out for ice cream
    3. Do a jigsaw puzzle together
    4. Trade places...have the kids be the parents for an evening
    5. Go miniature golfing
    6. Shovel the neighbors driveway together
    7. Bake and decorate cookies...and then take them to a local nursing home
    8. Plan a family picnic...in the back yard
    9. Catch fireflies
    10. Go to the airport to watch the planes land
    11. Make homemade ice cream
    12. Blow bubbles when the temperature dips below freezing (They freeze!)
    13. Have a Make Your Own Pizza night with English muffins and lots of toppings
    14. Camp out in the back yard

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Girls Going Mild(er)

    I used to teach psychology classes at a local community college. In the Life Span Development class we talked a lot about teenagers and how they have changed over the years. I have an article from a 1950 something newspaper in which parents are complaining that their children are being corrupted by the new bowling alley in their community. Oh for the days when bowling was the worst thing parents had to worry about!

    Teenagers are often rebelious, and they often pick some behavior that their parents never did to push the limits. So, how do the children of a generation who has done it all, and revealed it all, rebel? Maybe by reverting back to modesty in dress and behavior.

    In the July 23, 2007 issue of Newsweek Magazine, Jennie Yabroff writes about "a new 'modesty movement' aims to teach young women they don't have to be bad, or semiclad."

    Check it out at Newsweek

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Marriage Monday

    It has often been said that there is a difference in the sex drive between men and women. I found this picture several years ago that easily explains the difference. It obviously takes a lot to get a woman working well....men, just flip the switch!

    Saturday, July 14, 2007

    Stressless Saturday

    I have been thinking a lot lately about the way I talk to myself. Most days it is not a problem, but there are some days when the words I say to myself I would never say to another human being. We’ve all had those days, when nothing seems to go right, or we say something stupid, or we make a mistake. Recently I found myself driving to my office berating myself for something dumb that I did earlier in the day. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was raking myself over the coals! By the time I got to my office I was feeling terrible. I was irritated, depressed, ashamed, and sick to my stomach.

    I realized something about our thoughts that day…they have an impact on our body. We use phrases to describe our emotions that include their impact on our bodies…

    “What a pain in the neck.”
    “She’s a thorn in my side.”
    “He’s a pain in my rear end.”
    “I feel like he stabbed me in my back.”
    “It has been such a heartache.”
    “I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.”

    We all have a certain place in our body where we hold our stress and tension. And most of the time we don’t even realize that our bodies are crying out for us to pay attention to the connection between our mind and body. It is bad enough when others cause us pain, but even worse when the pain is self-inflicted through our negative self-talk. Often we are harder on ourselves than we would be on anyone else.

    Our self talk blows our “crime” out of proportion. When our self talk is negative, we perceive things as more stressful. It is not the event that causes our feelings, but rather what and how we think about the event that determines how we feel. By learning to identify, challenge, and change negative messages, we can reduce our stress, and the effect that stress has on our body.
    So, take some time to listen to your internal self talk. When you catch yourself being negative, instantly replace the thought with a more realistic and positive one. It may take practice to train yourself to think more positively. But in the long run, it will be worth the effort for the peace of mind you’ll gain.

    Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

    Proverbs 17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.

    Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Six Characteristics Strong Families Share

    1. Commitment

    2. Expressions of Appreciation/Affection

    3. Share Positive Communication

    4. Spend Large Amounts of Time Together

    5. Nurture Spiritual Well Being

    6. Cope Successfully with Stress & Crisis

    · Dedication to the Marriage Relationship
    · Commitment to Each Individual in the Family
    · Commitment to Putting the Family First
    · Commitment to Honesty
    · Commitment to Family Traditions
    · Commitment to the “Long Haul”

    Expressions of Appreciation/Affection
    · Need to be appreciated one of the most important human needs
    · Gives each person dignity and worth (or takes away if withheld)
    · Affection—Both verbal and physical

    Share Positive Communication
    · Spend large amounts of time talking with each other, creating a sense of belonging
    · Positive communication allows for successful conflict resolution

    Spend Large Amounts of Time Together
    · Leads to good communication
    · Prevents isolation, loneliness, and discourages alienation
    · Provides a family identity
    · Nurtures Relationships

    Nurture Spiritual Well Being
    · Celebrate religious traditions & rituals as a family
    · Share religious heritage of the family
    · Pray and meditate together as a family
    · Study God’s Word together

    Cope Successfully with Stress & Crisis
    · Learns to keep things in perspective
    · Lets go lets God
    · Focuses on something bigger than self
    · Has a sense of humor
    · Takes one step at a time

    Adapted from Family Treasures, Creating Strong Families, 2006

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    It All Starts With God

    For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible
    and invisible,…everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.
    Colossians 1:16 (Message)

    Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.
    Bertrand Russell, atheist.

    It’s not about you.

    The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.

    The search for the purpose of life ahs puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point-ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. The Bible says, “It is God who directs the lives of his creatures; everyone’s life is in his power.”

    Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself. You’ve probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for! If I handed you an invention you had never seen before, you wouldn’t know it’s purpose, and the invention itself wouldn’t be able to tell you either. Only the creator or the owner’s manual could reveal its purpose.

    Self help books, even Christian ones, usually offer the same predictable steps to finding your life’s purpose: consider your dreams. Clarify your values. Set some goals. Figure out what you are good at. Aim high. Go for it! Be disciplined. Believe you can achieve your goals. Involve others. Never give up.

    You could reach your personal goals and still miss the purposes for which God created you. You need more than self-help advice.

    So, how do you discover the purpose you were created for? You have only two options.
    Speculation: guessing, theorizing.
    Revelation: We can turn to what God has revealed about life in his Word. The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it. The same is true for discovering your life’s purpose: Ask God.

    “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11 (The Message)

    Taken from The Purpose-Driven® Life, Rick Warren, 2002. Chapter 1.

    Monday, July 9, 2007

    Marriage Monday

    In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Gottman says "happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer or more psychologically astute from others, but keep their negative feelings from overwhelming the positive ones."

    After many years of marital research, Gottman states that he is able to predict the outcome of a marriage by noting the presence or absence of destructive behaviors. "I can make the prediction after listening to a couple interact for as little as five minutes." Couples who present with the following four behaviors will, Gottman believes, have unsuccessful marriages: criticism, contempt, defensiveness or stonewalling.

    Criticism is different from complaining, according to Gottman. A complaint is bringing a difference of opinion or need to a spouse for discussion whereas a criticism involves making that complaint demeaning. "I wish you wouldn't drop your clothes on the floor," vs "you are such a jerk, I'm not your maid!"

    Contempt in relationships can be seen through sarcasm, cynicism, hostile humor, mockery, eye-rolling or name-calling. Gottman views contempt as a way to convey disgust and when feelings of disgust are present, chances of reconciliation decrease. Stonewalling is easy to recognize. Reading the paper, watching TV, putting on a "stone face" in order to avoid conflict are all signs of stonewalling. In essence the individual is saying "I don't care." Defensiveness quickly and quietly erodes a marriage. When partners are defensive, they blame each other without taking responsibility for their own actions.

    His research suggests verbal fights are not harmful to marriages as long as contempt, withdrawal, defensiveness and criticism are absent. These are a sign of a marriage in trouble.

    Gottman's first book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail gives detailed explanations of his marriage research and the behaviors present in failing marriages. In The Seven Prinicples for making marriage work, Dr. Gottman has put together seven principles essential to the success of any marriage.

    1. Maintain a love map.

    2. Foster fondness and admiration.

    3. Turn toward instead of away.

    4. Accept influence.

    5. Solve solvable conflicts.

    6. Cope with conflicts you can't resolve.

    7. Create shared meaning

    Dr. Gottman's unique questionnaires and exercises will guide you on the road to revitalizing your marriage, or making a strong one even better.

    Sunday, July 8, 2007

    Sunday's Promise

    Isaiah 41:10
    Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
    The Message

    Saturday, July 7, 2007

    NeatReceipts Scanalizer Contest

    My addiction of reading blogs could pay off! Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and check out the contest to win a NeatReceipts Scanalizer! It looks like a great product that would definitely help cut down on clutter and keep tax receipts in order. I love the idea of taking all the business cards I have collected and letting the scanalizer do the data entry into Outlook! Check out the demo and enter the contest!

    Stressless Saturday

    Be aware of your reactions to stress

    We have both physical and emotional reactions to stress.

    • Begin to notice what events stress you out.
    • Figure out how your body reacts to stress. (I have a connection between my stomach and my brain…when I’m stressed my stomach hurts!)
    • Listen to your self-talk about the events that cause stress.

    Decide if there is anything that you can change

    • Can you avoid the events that cause you stress?
    • Can you take a break if you can’t avoid it completely?
    • Can you streamline what you do to reduce your stress? Eg., recently I realized that every time I needed to print an envelope I had to reach to the shelf on the left side of my desk for an envelope, then put the envelope in the printer on the right side of my desk. It wasn’t a big deal, but I have streamlined the process by putting an under shelf basket directly over the printer.

    Look at your emotional reactions to stress

    • The stress reaction is triggered by your perceptions more than reality! This article appeared in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 1938. A wave of mass hysteria seized thousands of radio listeners between 8:15 and 9:30 o'clock last night when a broadcast of a dramatization of H. G. Wells's fantasy, "The War of the Worlds," led thousands to believe that an interplanetary conflict had started with invading Martians spreading wide death and destruction in New Jersey and New York. The broadcast, which disrupted households, interrupted religious services, created traffic jams and clogged communications systems, was made by Orson Welles, who as the radio character, "The Shadow," used to give "the creeps" to countless child listeners. This time at least a score of adults required medical treatment for shock and hysteria.
    • Are you trying to please everyone? People pleasers are constantly stressed because they are trying to do the impossible!
    • Do you see even small events as a crisis? Work at putting situations into perspective.

    Learn how to relax

    • Your breathing is the connection between your mind and body…slow down your breathing to stop your mind from racing.
    • Exercise to release stress.
    • Relaxation is learned…over time. It may be difficult to relax at first if you have been hooked on adrenalin. You will need to practice relaxation techniques so that they will come naturally when you face a stressful event.
    • Learn how to meditate. I use Philippians 4:6-9 as my basis for meditation: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)

    Take care of your body

    • Eat healthy foods
    • Keep your weight under control
    • Don’t abuse your body with tobacco, alcohol, or drugs
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise
    • Play

    Take care of yourself emotionally

    • Learn to laugh. Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused!
    • Build close friendships. Research shows that healthy and supportive relationships can reduce stress and improve your overall health and sense of well being.
    • Be nice to yourself. Monitor your negative self-talk! Stopping negative thoughts and creating habitually positive self talk can reduce stress and empower you.

    Friday, July 6, 2007

    Thursday, July 5, 2007

    10 Communication Tips for Parents

    1. Be interested in what your child has to say.
    Turn off the TV and put down the newspaper. Kids can tell when you are not concentrating. Maintain eye contact, this lets your child know that you are really interested in what they have to say. If you truly do not have time at that moment, promise to get back to them later, but then do it!
    2. Keep conversations brief.
    The younger children are, the more difficult is for them to sit through a long speech. The goal is for parents to pass on information a little at a time while checking that their children are paying attention to and understanding what is being said at regular intervals. Parents should let children decide when enough is enough. Look for clues like fidgeting, lack of eye contact, distractibility.
    3. Ask the right questions…avoid dead end questions.
    Avoid asking questions that just require a yes or no answer. Ask questions that begin with what, where, who or how. But…don't let your questions turn into an interrogation!
    4. Communicate at your children's level.
    Come down to their level both verbally and physically. Use age appropriate language that the child can understand.
    5. Express your own feelings and ideas.
    Communication is a two way street. Parents can teach their children many things, for example, morals and values, by expressing thoughts and feelings. For example, watch TV together and engage the child in a conversation about why you believe what you are watching is wrong or immoral. Be careful, however, not to come off "preachy" or judgmental.
    6. Regularly schedule family meetings or times to talk.
    Use the dinner hour as time to catch up with each other. Or use quiet times before bed as a time to find out what the child has planned for the next day.
    7. Admit it when you don't know something.
    When a child asks a question you don't know the answer to, use it as a learning experience for both of you. We need to teach our children that the smartest people are not the ones who have all the answers (an impossibility), but the ones who know how to find the answers. Teach your children how to find out the answers to tough questions.
    8. Try to make explanations complete.
    When answering questions give as much information as the child needs, even if the subject is something that you don't feel comfortable with. If parents answer tough questions without strong reactions, children learn that no subject is taboo, and they will probably lose interest after they get their answer. Remember, anything you make an issue will become an issue.
    9. Let your children know they have been heard.
    Keep interruptions to a minimum. You can offer encouragement through a smile, touch or nod, without interrupting. When they are done speaking restate what the child said. For example, "Boy it sounds like you had a really tough day!" Not only will this let the child know that you have been listening, but it will often give the child a chance to clarify or give more information.
    10. Avoid negative communication. Examples of negative communication:
    · Nagging and Lecturing
    · Interrupting
    · Criticizing
    · Dwelling on the past
    · Controlling through the use of guilt
    · Using sarcasm
    · Telling children how to solve their problems
    · Putting children down
    · Using threats
    · Denying children's feelings

    Tuesday, July 3, 2007

    You Are NOT an Accident

    I remember talking to a teenage client whose life was a complete mess. She told me that she overheard her parents talking about how they never wanted children, and how much she had "messed up" their lives. I couldn't imagine living in a family where I wasn't wanted. My heart breaks for kids who grow up in extremely dysfunctional families. It seems that they don't have a chance of a "normal" life if God doesn't intervene. Obviously, this is not the way God intended for family to be. This teenager needed to know that she was loved by at least one parent...her Heavenly Father. Her parents may not have wanted her, but God knows and loves her, and has a plan for her future...and for ours.

    "I am your Creator. You were in my care
    even before you were born." Isaiah 44:2a

    Your parents may not have planned you. But God did. Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It was not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. The Bible says,”The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” Psalm 138:8a

    You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.” Psalm 139:15

    “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!” Psalm 139:16

    “From one man he made every nation,…and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” Acts 17:26

    While there are illegitimate parents there are NO illegitimate children. Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. God’s purpose took into account human error, and even sin.

    “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love.” Ephesians 1:4a

    "I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you.” Isaiah 46:3-4

    Excerpts from The Purpose Driven Life. Rick Warren

    Monday, July 2, 2007

    Marriage Tips

    1. Love is not a feeling, it is a decision. Don't buy into the fairy tale that “they got married and lived happily ever after,” it’s called a fairy tale for a reason!! Marriage takes work, and commitment.
    2. Establish healthy communication.
    • If possible, stop what you are doing and give your spouse your full attention.
    • Listen without interrupting
    • Maintain eye contact
    • Don’t make assumptions about what is being said.
    • Respond without criticism.
    • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand what your spouse is saying.
    3. Set a ground rule of no swearing. It's OK to argue, but never use curse words to express your anger. Swearing at another human being is only done for one reason…to demean them.
    4. Use three filters before criticizing. Ask yourself if what you are about to say is 1) true, 2) necessary, 3) mean? If your words can’t make it through all three of the filters, keep your mouth shut!
    5. Different does not equal wrong. We often assume that our way of doing things or thinking is right, and if our spouse does things differently, they are wrong. Different ≠ Wrong…Different = Different.
    6. Plan a weekly date night. If you are not intentional about spending time together, life will slip away and your relationship will slip away with it!
    7. Once a week ask your spouse, “What is one thing that I did this week that was irritating,” and “what is one thing I can do next week that would make you feel loved?”

    Sunday, July 1, 2007

    Sunday's Promise

    Philippians 4

    4:6 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

    4:7 Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
    The Message