Character Building Wednesday

Hi everyone! How did letter “G” go for you this past week? Our choice of words was gladness and gratitude. Being grateful has a way of changing how one looks at life. Sure enough there were bumps in our life in the past week and YES it was difficult to be thankful for them. Like knowing that I offended someone because I see things as black and white. When something is wrong and  I know its wrong then I am not afraid to stand for right. This at times causes offenses. How does one be grateful for negative reactions? On the other hand, I found so many things to be grateful for all week-long and really mean it. Things like hubby going yard sailing with me, walks on the old railroad bed as the children rode bike, for my parents, being able to celebrate Conrad’s Grandpa’s 85th birthday after which the family sang, and many other things.

Things that make me glad:

    Poppop buys watermelon for his one and only~Jordan. A delightful treat that the whole family benefits from! In April, watermelon tastes yummy!

 

Watermelon dribbles on the chins and table and my freshly washed kitchen floor.

 

 

 

Beautiful Sunday evenings for walks and bike rides.

Healthy minds

Healthy bodies

Healthy relationships

Bicycles in the ditch.

Strength to get them out .

 

 

 

Beautiful springtime flowers. These smelled awesome!

 

 

 

The list goes on. Like the freshly weeded garden, even though it’s not completed it’s getting there. The rolls and rolls of giggles of delight as Daddy blows under little lad’s arm. A working happy family, sure we have our quarrels and disagreements but it doesn’t stop there, we seek to work through them. Of course, God’s faithfulness and leading in our lives! He’s been SO very good to us!

Now for this week.

Health

What words will you choose? Here is some suggestions to get you thinking -hygiene, hope, happiness, healing choices, helping,  hearing

What is our game plan for the week? Making healthy choices specifically physical health but also emotional and spiritual health. Let’s start with physical health. This means getting to bed at a decent hour as it is not unusual for my little ones to be going strong at 10:00 p.m. Physical health means taking our vitamins, brushing teeth, and drinking enough water. And simple things like washing our hands properly. We will likely take a trip the library and pick up a book or two on health for the kids. Emotional health will be processing our emotions in a good way. This means talking through obstacles that arise. We will build healthy relationships by not getting so busy we don’t have quality time together. Spiritual health will mean enjoying time around God’s Word like acting out verses in the Proverbs such as the straight and the crooked paths. Spiritual health may also include listening to uplifting Christian music.

I hope you will join me on this fascinating journey! What word/words will you choose for “H”? What is your game plan? I’d be thrilled to hear from you! May God bless you!

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Character Building Wednesday

Hi folks! How did the letter “F” go for you this past week? This one was easier for us as we chose fun and family. Let these photos speak for our week.

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Now for this week:

Glad and Grateful

These are the words we chose for our week. What are some other words that you could choose? Here are some suggestions to get your mind thinking: gentleness, goodness, gift-giving, gracious, God-focus. What will you choose?

When I think of the word glad, I think of the dear classic story of Pollyanna who played the glad game. Pollyanna was an optimist who learned to be grateful in every circumstance. One time for Christmas she badly wanted a doll but in the missionary barrel that came for her family all there was, was a pair of crutches. For which they were glad they didn’t need them! Pollyanna taught those around her to play “The Glad Game” through her influence. Reading this story for yourself or to your children would be an excellent way of learning “Gladness”. Gladness is to exhibit joy, pleasure, and cheer. Gladness is to appreciate. I haven’t thought of an action plan for the word glad other than to stop myself when I’m being negative and replacing it with truth. One thing I’ve found challenging is to write down what I’m grateful for. Some days I can come up with a long list of things. Other days I struggle to put even two things down on paper and mean it.

To be grateful is to show pleasure and thankfulness for gifts, favors, etc. Every day we are surrounded by a world of things to be grateful for! Especially those of us who live in this free country of the United States. We’ve been blessed beyond what we deserve! Do we live gratitude? An outlook of gratitude makes a world of difference. I’d much rather be around a person who when life gives them lemons, they not only make lemonade, they make flavored lemonade (like the yummy strawberry lemonade my sis-in-law makes). What kind of person are you? I’m afraid I tend to be the type of person when life gives me lemons, I let them rot. Gratitude is not just about the big things like the blessings that our family recently received through an envelope. It’s about dirty piggies, sand on the kitchen floor, poky “puppies”, and stacks of laundry or dirty dishes.

What does the Bible say?

Psalm 50:23 “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;”

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

Which words will you choose to practice building character in yourself or those around you? I’d love to hear from you, my readers!

Character Building Wednesday

So friends, how does this find you? How did letter “E” go for you this past week? Our family’s choice for letter “E” was encouragement and exercise. I must confess we were so busy last week we had little time to especially focus on these character traits. We did manage to get exercise in about five days despite the fact that Conrad had bursitis in his hip.  Now for this week, letter:

Fun and Family. These are the words we chose for our week. What words will you choose? Here is some ideas: friendship, faith, forgiveness, feelings.

This week is a week for fun character building for our family. Sometimes life gets so busy doing this and doing that, that it is easy to forget to simply just be together enjoying each other.

Do you know the meaning of fun? I decided to look up the definition. Fun is to be playful. Fun is something that gives amusement, enjoyment, and pleasure. How are we going to remember to have fun this week? With the spring weather here life is BUSY! (Hmm…did I use that word before? You got it, we are busy!) Monday was an extremely hot day here in Pennsylvania. The heat was draining. For fun we decided to walk down the creek bed across the road from our house. The shrub beds needed to be weeded but instead we went for a jaunt down the river. The children and I wore our Crocs and my husband  wore his flip flops which he ripped during our watery excursion. Here is some pictures.

  Treasures: a sand pail hanging in the tree, shells, fresh water clams, crayfish, and sand bars.

 

 

This was one evening we had a bunch of fun cooling off in the stream and connecting with the children. They were absolutely thrilled. It was amazing to see the uniqueness of each of God’s creation.

One evening of fun will most likely have to be cleaning out our garage in preparation for my daughter’s birthday party in case of rain. I wonder how we can make that fun? Maybe we could have Italian ice when we are finished.

For my daughter’s birthday, my husband is taking off of work and we are having a family day at a child friendly museum in the city. Then we have a store near us who gives tokens to the children when they visit their store and on their birthday the tokens are worth twice as much so we will be doing that too. Then we are having a birthday party with all the little people from her Sunday School class the next day.

This is a little of what our week is/will be. What words and action plans will you choose? I’m curious. I’d love to hear from you! Blessings on the journey!

 

Character Building Wednesday

Howdy friends! I’m finally getting around to typing this since I had a very busy day! How did letter “D” go for you? Our words we chose were discipline and delight. It’s amazing how when you focus on character qualities like this it brings to the forefront the area of need. discipline is one we still need to work at especially with punctual bedtime and getting up on time. We love our evenings and nights because this is when we kick back from the day and connect as a family. But even the good things need boundaries. Delight was very good too. Delighting in the good, the bad, and everything in between. Delighting in messing dishes and sand on the newly wash kitchen floor. Delight in playing hospital with Nurse April and Doctor Jordan complete with toilet paper casts, Smartie candy pills, and hand lotion salve. Now for this week, letter

Encourage and Exercise

These are the two words we chose for this week. In looking for two words to focus on, my husband jokingly said that we should choose Enteman’s; the fine connoisseur of baked goods, and exercise. Entemann’s hardly qualifies as a character builder. Here some other words to trigger your thinking-eager, empathy, endurance, and entertain.

Encourage is to give someone hope, inspiration, courage and confidence. Encourage is to support, foster, and cheer. How often do the things we say in any given day fall into this category? I know this one area I really need help. It’s easier to see the negative than to bring out the positive. There is a quote that says it well: “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” -William Arthur Ward Look for opportunities in this next week to speak life into others! This is especially true if you have children! Use the frustrating moments for teaching moments.

The second word we chose was exercise. Our goal is to be healthy and keep a healthy weight as a family. Conrad delightedly believes he can now escape participating in this one since he discovered he has bursitis in his hip. He’s quite sure that it could make it worse. Exercise certainly isn’t my idea of fun but whenever I am active I know I’m getting healthy. Do you know the benefits of exercise? Here is just a few of the many reasons for it. Exercise increases immunity, fights numerous diseases such as heart disease, lifts one’s mood and fights depression, and increases one’s energy. So kudos to our family as we strive to be faithful this week in this area!

Won’t you join me on this journey of building character? What words will you choose for letter “E”? I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings!

Character Building Wednesday

 

 

Here we are again. Calm and connected was our letter “c” words. I’m finding that often the words we choose are areas of need for our family. My husband chooses one word and I choose the  other and then we work at it together with our little family. Today we are ready for the letter:

Delight and Discipline

Delight and discipline are the words we chose for us to focus on this week. What words are you going to choose? What is our action plan for these?

Delight is to find pleasure and enjoyment in something. Delight is a source of happiness and satisfaction. Often in the daily grind of living we somehow miss the joy of the little moments. Here is an example from our house. Last night my daughter was convinced that bedtime could be postponed for  as long as she was able. She comes trotting over to our bedroom telling us that she wanted to pray for us. She put her fat little arm around my neck and began to pray with me. “Now I lay me down to sleep”. After Conrad got home from banjo lessons, she came trotting over once again informing him that she wanted to pray with him. They knelt down beside the bed and she prayed another bedtime prayer. “Jesus tender Shepherd, hear me…” In that moment, we could have gotten very frustrated as it was going on ten o’clock and we did want to go to bed. Choosing delight in that moment, helped us to go to bed on a good night rather than what scolding would have produced. Noticing the God moments in our days takes a choice on our part. Here is an experiment for you. Take the next couple days or weeks and just write down  the things that you were blessed by that day. The things that you are thankful for. The simple act of writing it down, makes one realize how richly blessed we are!

Discipline is self-control, a state of order, and training by instruction and practice. Wow! When we chose this one we didn’t realize how desperately we needed this one. Yes, we knew it was needful to teach our children that but then we discovered how much we were the real ones that needed a consistent, disciplined lifestyle. For example, getting up in the morning on time and going to bed before eleven. In relationships, when there is too much on our plate to kindly say “no, we can’t do it this week”. And another huge area, consistency in training our young ones. “No” should not me “no, today” and “maybe” tomorrow. This creates unnecessary tension and insecurity.

My friends, won’t you join me on this fascinating journey to building character in yourself and/or your family? I’d love to hear from you, my readers!

Character Building Wednesday

Week #4 Here we are! How has letter “C” gone for you? The words we chose were calm and connected. It felt as though my week turned out anything but very calm. On Monday, we had a beautiful relaxing start to our day and then I ended up taking me daughter to the doctor. That was just the beginning! When I shared with my counsellor what words we had chosen for our week, she grinned. She knows me well enough that when she thinks of me, “calm” isn’t the first word that pops into her mind. When our week was up for calm and connection, my husband suggested we do week two of the same because this is an area we need to work at. So here goes week two.

Calm and Connection.

What is our action plan for this week? Here are some tips I’ve discovered since last week. Calmness is the art of serenity of being tranquil and at rest. One of the ways I can do this is taking responsibility for what is my responsibility. If it isn’t mine, I need to let go. Here is an exercise that is very helpful. On a piece of paper place three columns. Above each column, write one of the following phrases: “my responsibility”/”God’s responsibility”/ “others responsibility”. Then take each issue that you are currently facing in your life and put it under one of each of these columns. If it is not under the column “my responsibility” you need to release it. So very often, I find myself all in knots about something that isn’t for me. I find mentally placing it under one of these three columns, helps me to know where I should be and praying about the stuff that isn’t for me.

Another tip for being calm is to remember that our outward man, the temporal is driven. Driven to perform. Driven to demand. The outward temporal man is a mix of ungodly beliefs and habit structures that I’ve formed because of my life’s experiences. Satan has effectively deceived us into thinking that this outward man is truly who we are. Well, there is another man. The inner man is eternal, gentle, voice of my spirit. When we become Christians, Christ’s Spirit dwells within me and nothing is more natural than for me to express love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness. Every day we have the choice to live out of the temporal, outer man or the eternal, gentle God-spirit. If I am feeling driven and life is very hard, I know that I am know longer living out of the eternal, I am living out of the outer shell. So this means I need to 1. Stop and agree with God’s Word and what it says about me 2. I need to refuse to listen to my outer man, telling my emotions to line up with God’s Word. 3. Choose to live daily in the embrace of Father God.

Game plan for connection. For me this means, looking into someone’s eyes when I’m being spoken to. It involves shutting off my computer when its interaction time. This connection piece is one we really want to focus on in our marriage. With little ones especially as well as busy schedules it is so easy to miss your spouse! Here is a great formula from Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner who spoke on Focus on the Family radio.

Formula for Intimacy

by Dr. Cliff & Joyce Penner

15 minutes a day:

Connect emotionally: Look into each other’s eyes (oxytocin: trust

hormone); share a positive thought , feeling and/or affirmation of the other.

Connect spiritually: Share an inspirational reading and prayer.

Connect physically: Hug for 20 seconds (oxytocin); kiss passionately for 5-30 seconds without leading to sex (dopamine: passion hormone).

One evening a week: Walk, date, shower, caress with no demands.

One day a quarter: Have fun, play; lead and teach enjoyable touch.

One weekend a year: Together away or at home; no distractions.

Blessings to you, my readers, as you seek to develop character in your lives! For more information:

on calm:

“Experiencing the Father’s Embrace” by Jack Frost (especially chapter 11)

on marital connection:

Learn more at www.passionatecommitment.com

Character Building Wednesday

Another exciting week of character building. How did letter “A” do for you? I sure hope you will join me in this alphabetical challenge of building character in yourself and/or your children! Here’s to week number two!

Benevolence and Blessing

These are the two we’ve chosen for our family this week. What will you choose? Here is some more ideas to jog your memory. Beauty. Belief. Benefit.

Benevolence is to love others and have good will to them. Benevolence is an act of kindness on behalf of the happiness of another. How do we plan to put this in action? Our church has a kids outreach to city children so we plan to provide snack for sixty people. We are going to bake brownies in mini cupcakes and put a dollop of icing on top and some chocolate candy. My children love baking and knowing we are benefiting others is a plus. Another way, we plan to send a care package to a good friend who is a missionary who is going through some tough things. Sending a package is expensive but we love gathering thoughtful things from the States to send to her. Last but certainly not least, is to show benevolence to each other here in our house. This means doing thoughtful things such as packing my husband’s lunchbox, keeping things orderly, helping each other in average chores.

Blessing is asking for Divine protection or aid. Blessing  is approval and good wishes. What is our action plan for this one? One of the first ways is to pray a blessing upon each one in our home. Another way is to speak a blessing around our dinner table by each person saying one thing that they appreciate about each family member. When we first did this one, my daughter wanted to keep going.

What words will you choose for “B”? What is going to be your action plan? I sure hope you will join me on this adventuresome journey! I want to hear from you, my readers! What have you chosen? How things are going for you? Hope to hear from you!