3 Ways to Spend Time with God

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The Creation of Adam – Michelangelo

How does your family spend time with God?

Our family believes it’s important to spend time with God and I’d like to share three practical ways we do.

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1. Read the Bible – If we want to learn about someone,  we read a biography or an autobiography about him/her.  The same is true about God. The way we learn about His nature and will is by reading the Bible. It doesn’t matter how many chapters you read per day. It’s about spending quality time soaking in the word. There are many translations from challenging King James to simple like The Message. I enjoy New American Standard NASB and the rest of my family likes New International Version NIV.

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2. Listen to Worship Music – We enjoy praising God through music. Today, it’s easy to look up your favorite songs on the internet, listen or sing along. Lately. There is a Cloud by Elevation Worship speaks to me.

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3. Journal– A few years back a pastor friend of our Ken Cornell from Hilltop Ministries taught us about journaling with the Lord.  You simply sit quietly and listen to what the Lord has to say to you. Sometimes, we do this in the privacy of our home. Sometimes, we find a quiet place such as Prayer Mountain or a nook at the beach. It’s a great way to spend intimate time with God as we are in relationship with Him. It’s not just religion.

These are just a few ways we spend time with God as a family and as individuals. I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to share with us.

Blessings,  Rebecca

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Family Events

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We heard one of favorite Christian teachers, Joyce Meyer, would be speaking at the stadium where the San Jose Sharks NHL team play. So, we jumped in the car and drove over the hill.

The SAP stadium is beautiful.  We found our seats and enjoyed listening to a powerful worship band called Jesus Culture.

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Joyce had lots to say, but what resignated with me was her point that we are partners with God. He has a part and I have a part in our relationship.  She reminded us we can’t do His part and He will not do our part. It’s a simple truth that I needed to be reminded of.

She went on to say works of the flesh equals frustration. If we try to help God along, we can become frustrated. I know that’s been true in my life, because when I want something and force it along, I get frustrated; especially when the result doesn’t turn out as I expect it to. For instance, for years I wanted to get married.  I kept trying to find the right partner and it never seem to work out for one reason or another.  Perhaps he wasn’t faithful, did drugs, or there wasn’t mutual feelings.  Finally, at age 32 I surrendered my desire to God and I met my husband to be, Randy, two months later.

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Afterward the event, we headed home and rested for awhile.

Then, Alicia asked if we could play tennis as a family. So, we grabbed our tennis rackets and headed to our local park. Believe it or not,  it was our first time playing together. We’ve always concentrated on other sports such as baseball or basketball.

All in all, Saturday was packed full of fun family events.

How about you? How was your weekend?

Blessings, Rebecca

Girl’s Day Out

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My daughter asked me to spend a day together just us girls. So, I took her school shopping part deux Since she She will be a freshman in high school in less than a month, I took her school shopping part deux.

We headed to the big city over the hill from us about 60 miles away. First stop, we ran our truck through the car wash and got fuel.

My stomach started rumbling.  So, I took her to a fast food chain my dad took my younger brother and me to when we were kids. I savored a delicious chili cheese hotdog, because we don’t have this place where we live.

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Next stop we checked out two local clothing stores in the neighboring town. Alicia found some cute jeans and hoody.

We then went to the mall to her favorite department store where she purchased a couple of darling shirts.

20180728_163444They say love is patient. So, while I patiently sat waiting for my daughter to try on multiple outfits, I realized we definitely were not the only ones shopping here as it took 20-30 minutes to find parking and the store was ransacked.

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The technology had changed in the mall. We saw these approximately 4ft robots guarding the high end designer stores.

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Also, it was pretty cool to see construction equipment putside. I chuckled to myself at their sign that said 200 stores still open during expansion, because our local mall has less than 100 stores/services.

After our day together,  we headed back up the mountain, grabbed a u-bake pizza and chilled with the boys for the evening. I enjoyed hanging out with my girl and look forward to our next adventure.

Have you spent the day with your child one on one giving them special attention? If so, I’d love to hear what you did.

Blessings,  Rebecca

 

School Shopping

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I can’t believe school starts in less than 30 days. Wow!

My parents sent the kids some money to buy school supplies. So, my daughter and I set out to get paper, pencils, glue, binders, protractor, etc.

We went to Target in the mall and we came across their sale display. What a blessing to get key items for $0.25, $0.52 and $0.99.

Next, we went to the shoe store to get her some new shoes. Again, we were blessed to find a pair that was on sale, because every little bit helps. Also, I signed up for their rewards program that offers 10-15% discount.

We took a break to catch the sunset at the coast.

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Then, we visited a dollar store near our place where we found other items like composition books.

We still need to purchase backpacks, lunchboxes and clothing, but it feels good to get a lot done ahead of time. So, we’re not scrambling when school starts.

Have you gone school shopping? If so, what tips do you have to share?

Blessings,  Rebecca

Creek Walk

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This weekend my son invited me to a creek walk at Mount Hermon. In all honesty, I’d never been on one before.

So, we strapped on our sandals, decended down the hill and walked 1/4 mile adventure.

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We plunged into cold refreshing water of Bean Creek and walked to where it meets the Zayanye Creek. While my body adjusted to the temperature,  I listened to our feet splash and different birds chirp along the way.

As we hiked, the ebb and flow reminded me of life. There were unexpected twists and turns. We had to dodge fallen trees, mossy rocks, poison oak and deep pools as a team. Yet, we were pleasantly surprised with peaceful waterfalls throughout our journey. Austin said, “Mom, I like the sound of running water.” I replied, “Me too and grandma Dinky loves the tranquility of water features.”

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Although it was a sunny afternoon,  we encountered shady canopies of redwood trees in various nooks and crannies of the forest. I ran my hands across the rugged bark and steadied myself as we passed the trunks. I watched dragon flies flutter by and water bugs skip along.

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As we rounded the final bend, I heard a distant whistle of a Roaring Camp locomotive. We happened upon Ferndell Falls. Magnificent! I took a deep breath of fresh mountain air and enjoyed its spray against my skin.

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We concluded our time together on rustic wood bridge. Although this was my first creek walk, I suspect it won’t be my last.

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Have you explored a stream? Please share with us.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Road Trip

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This past weekend, we took a road trip to drop off Austin and Alicia to summer camp in Santa Barbara. I had never been there so we made an adventure of it.

Our first stop was in San Luis Obispo to grab a coffee in town. We walked around a bit and my daughter really liked the “vibe.” I may have to bring her back down again some time soon to see if she would like to attend Cal Poly.

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Our next stop was at our camp site at Rancho Oso RV park. It was a blistering hot day and we reserved a special tent. {See below}

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We were eager to sight see. So, we headed downtown to the State St. There my daughter found a three story Forever 21 store. As you can imagine, she loved every inch of it. Also, we strolled along the Sterns Wharf.

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Another stop we made was in Solvang; a cute Dutch town for a delicious meal at the Viking Garden Restaurant and danish treat at Olsen’s bakery. Randy and I finally got to visit this adorable spot after many friends’ recommendations.

windmillWe then headed back to our campsite to take a dip in the pool and was pleasantly surprised they had a DJ playing music which made for a lively evening of entertainment.

The next day, after breakfast, we headed to the Santa Barbara Beach, played in the water and rested under a shady cypress tree. Afterwards, we went into town and ate at Mesa Pizza restaurant. From there we headed to Westmont College to drop the kids off at Frontier Ranch camp. The campus is quaint landscaped with beautiful trees and gardens.

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On our return flight,  I was merging from the fast lane on Highway 101 into the slow lane when my husband and I felt the car get sluggish. We pulled off the highway and noticed our front passenger tire had blown. We prayed for safety and quickly changed our tire. In a few short minutes, we were on our way again. While working on the tire, a car full of college students stopped to make sure we were okay. That was very kind of them. We noticed our spare tire only had 29psi and it calls for 42psi. So, we prayed again, drove gingerly to the neighboring town and put air in it. Thank the Lord we arrived safe and sound to both destinations.

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Have you taken an adventurous road trip? Please share with us…

Blessings, Rebecca

3 Ways We Save

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Have you ever been on a tight budget? Then, you know how to be creative in your spending habits.

This week, I’d like to share three ways we save.

20180701_170516.jpg1. Coupons–  We use coupons that come in the mail such grocery, retailer or restaurant coupons. We used to get the Sunday newspaper which has entire section devoted to clip out coupons. Periodically, we will support students selling coupon books filled with discounted local attractions. My kids’ enjoy when mom decides to use a Papa Murphy’s coupon, because they know it’s pizza night.

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2. Garage Sales- This technique I learned from my mom as a young child. She’d drive us around on a Saturday morning hunting for bargains.  Today, you can do the same or many social media groups have virtual garage sales. For instance,  I just purchased this like new crackpot for $5. Also I picked up a bread maker for $10. The best find so far is a fire pit for five bucks.

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3. Store Sales– I am frugal by nature and look for the best price for items. When I bought my new Honda Accord in the 90’s I researched all the local dealerships to find the best sale, rebates, etc. I do the same for smaller purchases too such as appliances or vacation packages. Recently, I discovered one of our local grocery stories has a $5 sale on Mondays to help drive customers on their least busiest day. As a result, I save several dollars waiting to shop at the beginning of the week instead of weekend. Plus, it is less crowded.

My friend worked at a major chain retail store refuses to pay full price, because she knows firsthand the hefty markups. She now shops at Ross and Marshalls which are heavily discounted.

These are just a few things we do to save money.

What are some ways you do to stay on budget? I’d love to learn.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Camp

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Working at Mt Hermon, I can feel the energy rise as summer camp begins. An additional couple hundred of summer staff have joined us for three months. Also, we will host thoudands of guests from near and far seeking R&R with their families.

We love camp! Over the years, we have attended many and I’d like to share some memories with you.

One memorable time was when we served at Camp Attitude. We helped families with special need children by washing dishes, cleaning cabins and taking out trash. Who knew it could be so fun?

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We’ve attended family camp as guests enjoying all the exciting activities too.

Then, there are Mother-Daughter and Father-Son camps spending quality time one on one with our kids.

Of course there are youth camps Austin and Alicia have a blast at with old and new friends.

In addition, it is a treat to have fun with girlfriends at a women’s conference.

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Randy has attended men’s conferences and Man Camp which boast of guy fun.

I went to one reflective retreat; a solemn time indeed.

So, that’s just a snapshot of some fun camp memories which I hope our children continue the tradition with their future families.

As I write this, it occurs to me that Randy and I should attend a couples retreat now that the kids are older.

What camp memories do have to share? I would love to hear them?

Blessings, Rebecca

Dad’s Day

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I’d like to wish all the dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day!

To be honest, Father’s Day has been a little awkward for me in that I didn’t grow up with my dad. My parents divorced when I was six years old and my brother was just two months old.

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We spent time on weekends with our dad going bowling or out to eat. However, my mom never remarried. So, we didn’t have a male role model in our home.

My husband’s parents divorced when he was nine years old, his middle brother was 4 years old and his youngest brother was 1 1/2 years old. Their mom remarried, but unfortunately it didn’t last.

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Later in life, we learned neither one of our dads had strong father role models growing up either.

Randy and I hope to break this cycle and are committed to raising our children together.  Sure, there have been bumps along the way and we aren’t perfect. Yet, we look to the Lord for our strength and guidance for our family.

A father to the fatherless 

A defender of widows 

Is God in his holy dwelling.

– Psalm 68:5

How was your relationship with your dad? I would love to hear about it.

 

Guest Blog by Jane Isay and Book Review

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I was approached by Jane Isay’s publisher to share her latest book Unconditional Love. I was excited, because it introduces a new perspective on my marriage and family blog. I’ve not had a guest share her grandparental insight with us. It’s a treat to learn from our elders as they pass knowledge and experience on to future generations.

Please welcome Jane!

Blessings,  Rebecca

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About the Author

Jane Isay is the author of Secrets and Lies, Walking on Eggshells and Mom Still Likes You Best. As a book editor for more than forty years, she discovered Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia, commissioned Patricia T. Connor’s best selling Woe is I and Rachel Simmon’s Odd Girl Out, and edited such nonfiction classics as Praying for Sheetrock and Friday Night Lights. She lives in New York City.

You can reach Jane at:

Facebook

Twitter

Web

 

The 10 Commandments for New Grandparents

1. Praise the new parents. Repeat the praise.

2. Don’t like the name? Never complain.

3. Never criticize your daughter-in-law. Ever.

4. Remember that you are no longer in charge.

5. They aren’t doing it the way you did? Relax. It’s their turn.

6. House a mess? Don’t say a word. Nothing to eat? Pack a snack.

7. In a crisis, stay calm and hold the baby.

8. Sleep-deprived new parents are also fussy babies: give them love and acceptance.

9. When things get tense, get out of the house.

10. Complain to your friends, not your kids.

About the Book

Difficulties rarely appear between grandparents and the grandkids. Suddenly our grown children
have the power to let us be with the grandkids—or not. We may be welcome—or not—on the
basis of what we say, what we do, and how we behave. How can we overcome these conflicts
and accentuate the love that leaps? How can we help the grandchildren blossom in this troubled world? Help is on the way.

Review

I truly enjoyed reading Unconditional Love and the way Jane breaks down grandparenting from receipt of the joyful news through older grandchildren. I highly recommend Unconditional Love for parents and grandparents alike. My aha moment is when Jane reminds us that relationships look a lot different today than a generation ago, and to be accepting of your family member’s partner choice. I imagine this step can reduce unnecessary family strife.

Do you have any granparenting insight you’d like to share with us? Please do!