Wednesday, 20 February 2013

It's All In The Heart

Hello again lovely readers! It's so good to have you join me here at Sufficient Grace! If you're new then welcome, make yourself comfortable and join in the journey! I am so glad to have you stop by!

The other day I gave my kids an activity to do, it was a really nice simple one, but it was one that helped them to focus on encouraging somebody in their lives who is irreplaceable. Teaching them the value of stopping and doing something for someone just because you love them.

Long story short, I cut out over 100 paper hearts of different colours (I have a heart shaped cutter, it would have done my head in to cut them out by hand!), and asked the kids to write something on each heart that they loved about the recipient. We chose MR S' family (grandparents and uncles) and my Nana to write them for. After the sentiments were written (little scribbles for Mr R's drawings and myself writing his words) and artworks were finished, we popped them in an envelope and sent them off in the mail (have I mentioned I love hand-written letters?!)

We have had phone calls from both heart receivers thanking us for such a lovely thought and the encouragement it gave them. It was so much fun for us, it really wasn't a hard task at all. We chuckled at the things written and laughed when talking about times spent with these people. But, best of all, it achieved what we desired it to; it bought encouragement and let our families know that they are so loved, we appreciate them and they are an important part of our lives (despite the geographical separation between us!) The kids enjoyed letting them know they are loved. Such a simple thing for such a beautiful impact.

It's all in the heart; and that is priceless.

Maybe you could do this activity, or similar, with your children for anyone you think might be in need of some extra love and encouragement. Oh, and be sure to let me know what their response is, I'd really love to hear all about it!


Friday, 15 February 2013

Just The Usual

I've spent the biggest part of this rainy day at home today, the first in a week or so. I've not done much actually; some washing, some cleaning, some folding, some dog-feeding, cob-webbing and re-arranging of bits n pieces. I went into town with Mr R for a quick trip to Mitre 10 for some paint for our lounge room and some veggie punnets ... tomorrow's projects! (weather and motivation permitting!)

I had a friend pop in with a beautiful blessing of a lovely skirt and gorgeous dress for little Miss P who because of her growth spurt, is now too tall for all of her dresses. I have such wonderful friends. Little Miss P will be over the moon.

While writing this post Mr R is sleeping and I am listening to Belfast Revival ... I love Irish music! I've really not done much at all today ... so why this post? Because I am so happy to be at home, relaxed and keeping our lovely home clean and orderly for my family. Yes,  I know I hear you, it's just the normal stuff that we are to do every day with or without recognition. What's the big deal? 

There is such joy and peace in serving my family with a heart attitude of love, joy and thankfulness. That's the big deal. A heart doing the mundane things of life with a good attitude is a heart giving praise and thanks to God for the blessings He so lavishly gives.

We can scrub, wash, fold, dust, re-arrange, pick up odd socks, sweep up carcasses of sunflower seeds from our children's beloved birds, clean out the fridge, cook, mop floors, weed weed and weed again, all to the glory of God!

My heart is full, not burdened, just full to the brim of His love for me and His provision and care for me and mine. Full of thankfulness for friends who love my children as well as me. Full of thanks for this home that is ours to love in and mine to keep.


Everything is beautiful with thankfulness.

For more inspiration on home-making click here.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Some Favourite Books

I thought I would share with you all some of my favourite parenting/mothering books that I return to regularly and really enjoy! (Yes, with a cup of tea!)

This is just a quick little post, so here's the list for you to peruse, with links to my most favourites (you can purchase most of these from any on line bookstore in most formats):

  1. 'The Power of a Positive Mom' by Karol Ladd ... this is a brilliant book!
  2. 'Teach Your Children to Pray' by Denise George
  3. 'Bringing up Girls/Boys' by Dr. James Dobson
  4. 'How to Really Love Your Child" by D. Ross Campbell, M.D.
  5. 'Words Kids Need to Hear' by David Staal
  6. 'You & Your Child' by Charles R.Swindoll
  7. 'Parenting; from Surviving to Thriving' by Charles R. Swindoll
  8. 'Heart Focus Parenting' by Belinda Letchford ... this is a 'magazine' style layout, for quick and easy reading in small chunks of time ... very, very good.
  9. 'His Needs, Her Needs for Parents' by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
  10. 'A Mom After God's Own Heart' by Elizabeth George ... she is one of my favourite authors, very biblically based and positive!
I hope you enjoy these books if you purchase them, one day I'll do a post on the parenting/mothering books on my kindle for you too.

Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? What are some of your favourite parenting books?
Be blessed !

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Birthday Celebrations!

We have had two birthdays these last two months! In January we celebrated our little precious girls birthday! It was such a great time! We went down to visit family so that Little Miss J could spend her birthday with cousins and grandparents, aunties and uncles this year ... and at the beach! I can't believe she's six!

I am completely smitten with this little princess. She makes me smile and laugh and I can't get enough of her smoochy kisses. Here's six things I love about her at six ...

  1. her kind and gentle nature - she always helps people when they are injured or unwell.
  2. the way she giggles and squeaks when something is really hilarious to her! she's very cheeky!
  3. her willingness to help our family, she is such a kind sister and daughter
  4. her love of painting and drawing
  5. how small she still is ... her beautiful eyes and smile
  6. how she fits perfectly into our family ... right in our hearts.
I love that God chose me and MR S to have this beautiful strong willed, quiet, yet loud little gem in our family. Love her to bits! I love being her mum.


A couple of days ago we also celebrated our oldest child's birthday. Mr S, turned 11 ... now that I find hard to fathom! Wasn't it just yesterday that I gave birth to both of them?! We intended on visiting family for him too, but with the recent flooding and road damage we have had here, some roads were closed. So, in a couple of weeks time, we will go visit family for a belated celebration which Mr S will love! We still had a brilliant day with him though, just our family, with an early morning visit to the markets, lunch at the park, dinner and a movie ... and a new family puppy. It was a fantastic day!

This boy is becoming such an amazing young man and it's such a beautiful privilege to watch and be a part of his growth. He makes me proud and yes, I still cry at the thought of both of these two a year older (you do with your kids too, I know you do!) But, I am loving seeing them grow all the same, it's an incredible journey.

Here's 11 things I love about him at 11 ...

  1. his sweet heart and handsome face ... he's so much like his Dad in nature and looks, it's wonderful
  2. his love of learning and reading ... this is where he's like me
  3. how he protects his little sisters
  4. how he plays with and leads his little brother (who calls him my 'big bro')
  5. his love of languages ... a passion I don't have, but is amazing to see how this makes him so individual
  6. the little 'mother/son' jokes we share and the books we love reading together.
  7. his heart for the Lord ... it's evident in his gentleness
  8. his love of tree climbing and farming with his Dad
  9. his spazzo sense of humour ... yes he gets that from me too!
  10. how he is becoming more responsible with his own chores, guitar practise, homework etc.
  11. how he doesn't hug us in front of his mates ... but doesn't stop when it's just us at home!

Thank you Lord, for the blessing of these two children of ours. That you gave them to us is incredible! Keep them, watch over them, and grow in their hearts a deep abiding love for You.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Life Beyond the Screen ... What One's Imagination Can Do

Without going into all the scientific/behavioural/health research about this topic (of which there is a very substantial well-founded amount and would take far too long!), I want to share with you something that has hit me like a tonne of bricks over these school holidays. The negative effects of television viewing on my children.

Am I completely against watching television? No. But I am becoming more aware of  how even just a little viewing is so impacting on my children, in a negative way. I am not suggesting that I sit my kids on the floor, pat them on their heads and say, "stay here all day while I go paint my nails, drink tea and talk on the phone!!" (Pffft, when is there ever time to do that?!!) And I'm not saying that I always put it on for the kids while I am doing housework,  just to keep them out from under foot (although, I have done that a few times!).

What I have seen is a troubling over-all decline in their ability to problem solve without fighting. A lack of concentration with activities/tasks. A battle to always 'be the child in charge', even though I've told them its actually Dad and I in charge many times! (Yes, other factors can cause these things too, but there is a direct relation to TV viewing and these behaviours in my children). 

I am fighting to keep them paying attention to me when it's on and I'm talking to them ... so, I've started turning it off. Gasp! I tell my children, "Too much of this in your life is unproductive and unhealthy. God gave you all amazing brains and imaginations, I'd like you to think of something else to do".  I have actually declared that today is a 'use your imagination - no T.V. at all day'. Right now, they have made a giant cubby in the playroom and have been playing there happily for well over 2hours! (It's been raining here for a few days, so it's perfect cubby weather!)

Our children enjoy a very wide range of activities. Everything from riding bikes, climbing trees, jumping on trampoline, gardening, basketball, playing with our dog (hard to do when raining yeah?). But they also enjoy painting, play dough, dolls, reading, knitting, board games, baking, lego, drawing, cars, scrapbooking, card games, hide-and -seek, collage, listening to music, making cubbies, writing stories, playing superheroes (Mr. R has just named his super-hero alter ego 'Hero Boy' ... love that kid!), playing Kings and Queens, Mums and Dads (in which Little Miss P always ends up talking in an American accent! ... too cute!)

These activities are so amazingly easy and simple and they love doing them too, so it's a given that these are a healthier option. All of these encourage team-work, waiting and sharing turns, making sure everyone is involved, concentrating, deep thought, creativity, development of life skills and they even help them with school work (weighing with baking etc.). They are all relatively cost-effective if not free, and what I love the most is they encourage positive imaginative play, development of family relationships/friendships, an increase in communication/comprehension skills, and sweet priceless family memories (I'm sure there are many more positives too).

So, what things are we, as Godly Mothers up against when our children view too much TV?

Provocative dress, foul language, nudity, divorce, suicide, violence, fighting, materialism, greed, same-sex promoting, theft, anger, dis-regard for the law, display of sexual relations, lies and deceit, me-ism, murder, drug usage. Stop there. I don't allow my children to watch any show with any of these things in them, I screen what they watch very harshly,  these things can be viewed in commercial adds alone. It's appalling and disgusting. I urge you to really pay attention to even the content of the adds these days, some of them are revolting and completely inappropriate for adults, let alone children!

There are lots of great shows that can be viewed where you learn good information (I still think a book is better any day!). However, I co-labour too hard (and I'm very sure you do too) on reaching the hearts of my children with the values and virtues that honour God alone, I will not stand by and let it be sabotaged by the influences of television which more often than not, follow the ways of the enemy and encourage us to imitate that instead. I am simply stating that for my children and family, the television is going to be on even less than it has been, and I am looking forward this year with another change, to be seeing what ones imagination can do!!


If you have been convicted of too much TV viewing in your home, please don't' feel condemned. You are so loved, I am so loved. We are not failing, or failures, we are His children! Start making small changes and experiencing the big differences! In God's strength alone (and how I need it!) we can choose what is best for our family in all areas - even TV viewing.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

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