Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rainy Days to the Glory of God #2

I shared in my first post that I desire to do more than just entertain my kids on long indoor days. I want to engage their hearts and pour Christ into them. I know many of you are facing the same long days we do with the same desire for your time to be spent pouring into them. So here is another handful of ideas for yucky weather indoor days spent for the glory of God:

1) Pray for family members. Then make construction paper cards to encourage them with things you love about them. Decorate the cards with stamps, stickers, markers or whatever you have around. This is also a fun time to call people you love and tell them you love them.

2) Teach your kids about the important role a person that loves them has and make a short video to thank them. Example- Teach how God calls the husband to love his wife, provide for his family, etc. Share how God loves what a hard worker Daddy is and we are so thankful for him. Pray for Daddy and then plan and make a short video (usually on my phone) to send to daddy at work to tell him you love him lots and are thankful for how hard he works. This can be repeated and sent by phone or email with grandma, aunts, pastors, teachers, etc.
Fun rainy day treat- Staying in pjs all day!
3) Get out a map and pick a country to “turn the house into” and pretend to be there-  Teach about the climate, the hardships, the neat customs, and what is happening spiritually in that area. Look them up on the internet to learn more about them. Talk about the culture, pray for missionaries and local churches there, make a craft that fits that region,  etc… If it clears up enough, go eat at a themed restaurant for that culture later!
Talking about winter (we don't experience that in FL)
4) Mix water colors or paint to teach how colors blended together make new colors. We do this on a paper plate divided into 6 sections. We put on glob of yellow, red, and blue paint in every other space and then blend the in between spaces with the colors on either side. So, blue and yellow together in the empty space between them make green, etc.  You can do more colors or even use black or white to show shades, etc. Use this time to both teach colors and to talk about how incredibly beautiful God made things with such vibrant colors. Read Psalm 19 and share how all of creation cries His name! Or share colors of the rainbow and what the promise God made through a rainbow to Noah meant. This can even go deeper to show God's promises are always true and that all His promises find their "Yes!" in Jesus.

If you missed the first batch of ideas, you can read them at my first post. Stay tuned for one last post with ideas that don't just entertain, but spur little hearts towards Jesus...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rainy Days to the Glory of God

In Florida, I tend to spend summer inside (since it's so hot) and winter outside, since it's beautiful here then.  I love to read ideas for indoor play. We don't mind tv/movies, but really like to use that minimally and instead I want to engage my kids. If I'm honest, most of the lists I read online are fun ideas that engage body and mind, but totally neglect the heart. I want to enjoy time with my kids in fun ways, but always intentionally pointing them to Jesus. And long summers (or long winters for my friends up north) provide an opportunity to do that within our home. Day after day after day.
How do I entertain them for months? Eek!
I'll post a few posts with some things I've done that both entertain AND engage the heart. Here's today's list:

1) Genesis 1 creation art. Go as creative as you want doing layers with different art/craft supplies. Paint sky and land and water, then draw/color plants, then make play dough animals, and last make pipe cleaner people, etc.) Use your child’s art to retell the creation account or help them tell about God through it.

2) Use old cardboard boxes (You can pick them up at grocery stores) to retell Bible stories or illustrate principle for growth in Christ
Examples: retell stories of Jesus calling the 1st disciples (boxes make great boats)... Or make the Ephesians armor of God- markers, stickers, paint, etc. and then explain each piece to them as they wear them… Or make and decorate hearts to teach about guarding our hearts.

3) Sit by a window, on the porch, or at the door and watch the storm and talk about awe of God. Share with them things about God that blow you away and ask them what some of their favorite things about God are. Talk about His power in thunder, that He is THE light of the World as you see lightening, and let the clouds help remind them of His protection and nearness to us. 

4) Let the dark sky and clouds teach on a cloudy or snowy day- Have the kids watch the clouds hanging overhead outside. Is it hard to see because of the clouds with no sunlight to help guide us? Then Read Exodus 14 or the kids bible version of the exodus and teach how God guided the Israelites to freedom through His presence in pillar of smoke by day and fire at night then act it out. You can make blankets be the Red Sea on the floor. Part them and walk through and then throw them on stuffed animals behind you to represent Pharoah and his army being swept up under… and then tell them how Moses and the exodus pointed to the coming Savior: Jesus and our "crossing over" from sin to eternal life in Him...

Other ideas for cloudy days: try to remember from memory or look together for clouds in Bible stories (Elijah going up in the clouds, the Holy Spirit descending from the clouds on Jesus at baptism, Jesus rising up to into the clouds in the ascension, and how Jesus will come back from the clouds in Revelation!)
Riding in a "boat" to retell Jesus calming the storm
Playing together is so fun! And rainy, yucky days that go on day after day are hard, but they are opportunities to share Christ in our daily fun times. So I pray our hearts will stay on Him, our kids will burn some energy in fun activities, and we'll engage their hearts in our time spent with them. Look for more ideas in my next few posts.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Success in Parenting

Recently, I identified a struggle God is lovingly freeing me from: a desire for my kids to love God and walk with Him all their days. It may not sound like a struggle, but it is. I struggle, because there are many dry seasons with no fruit. In it, I'm painfully aware that I cannot do that work in them! I can (and should) point them to Christ, love them tangibly, and pray with them. But I can't change their hearts. Only God can and He does. He is freeing my heart to find great comfort in that truth.

This overwhelming desire can turn to fear and lack of trust in the Lord. It also reveals in me my own selfish desire to succeed. If I fail as a parent, my kids are no better or worse than if I "succeed" in my desire to raise them in a way that points them to our hope and joy: Jesus. He brings fruit in them, not me. And He is well pleased as I step out in faith in this huge task that is clearly waaay beyond me.

God reminded me sweetly that He delights in my love for our children, but He delights so much more in me resting in Him. I am to work hard in this ministry I've been entrusted with and then rest fully in Him alone for all fruit in them and in me. May Christ alone be the joy of my heart and the song of my life all my days.

I read a post by John Piper, where he shared God's encouragement to him in a hard season of ministry to fight his depression with the truth of God's Word. He learned to rest in Him all His days. Read his post and be blessed!

Here's a few gems from that post:
"I knew success was not in my power. By grace I could do my work. But the fruit—that was all God’s doing (“God gives the growth” 1 Corinthians 3:6). God did not expect of me what he kept only for himself. He did expect me to work...
Isaiah 6:9, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity, yet surely my right is with the Lord and my recompense with my God.
I exulted then in a dream: “To be faithful for 30 years and conquer every attack of discouragement with God’s word. Now 31 years later, I thank God for the lesson. The recompense will come whether I “succeed” or “fail”. A burden was lifted. A burden I could not possibly bear." 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eating Out #4- Intentionally

I've been writing about ways we can seek God's glory intentionally as we eat out. Feel free to go back and read the rest of the series. I mentioned thinking about daily life intentionally in Post 1, pouring into family while eating out in Post 2, and eating within a budget in Post 3.

This last post is the part of our eating out that we love the most: pouring into others. We love good food. But the food is only one part of our experience eating out. Our favorite part is building relationships where we can encourage others in Christ. Eating together is a great opportunity to build relationships with people and eating out has given us relationships with restaurant owners/ employees that we met because we love their restaurant.

We have grown in so many relationships with people by eating together regularly. Eating together after church became a regular habit in a group of friends we had when we were first married and it was such wonderful weekly fellowship. Once our group slowed down meeting regularly, we saw a great friendship developed with a couple from our church whose children and grandchildren lived far away. Our family lived far as well, and we began going out to eat on Sundays after church. It felt like time with family and we grew so close to them. It was a sweet blessing to experience God building that friendship.

Visiting our sweet friends at OC Surf Cafe on a trip home
But building relationships hasn't just been through going together with friends. We have seen new friendships grow with owners and employees at our favorite restaurants. Eating at the same places means getting to know and do life with the people who work there/own the restaurant and others who come regularly to eat there. We ate lunch weekly at a an inexpensive pizza place we loved near our old home and once a month at our favorite diner and favorite italian restaurant. Because we spent so much time in these restaurants, we began to know the owners and employees deeper and they knew us. Over time, we shared births, deaths, holiday traditions, and our faith and hope in Jesus on a regular basis in a natural way with these new friends.

One of the most powerful memories I have is when our favorite waitress shared openly about her trials and struggles with her mom who had recently died. It was such a dark and hard time for her and we grieved, cried, and prayed with her often. She became so dear to us as she let us walk through her grief with her. It is an honor and a bond that came when God planted us at that pizza place. 

We've enjoyed other relationships, like encouraging a friend as she became full time owner of one of our favorite lunch stops and bonding with others who ate at the same places and also sought to pour Christ into the very same people who had become so dear to us. We have learned about other countries as we've asked some of our friends at the international restaurants we now frequent about their cultures and history.

Even our kids pour into others often through their lives and openness towards others. Once, in our pizza place, Jimmy got to share about hope in Jesus with a waitress we loved through a bracelet he wore. Many encouraged us as we struggled to conceive a second child and rejoiced with us when God gifted us with our second child years later. We shared how his name reminded us of God's faithfulness to His children and it provided such a neat opportunity to praise God naturally in conversation as they went through life together with us. 

My prayer throughout this series has been that my heart for Christ would shine through. It is not meant to debate the merits and pitfalls of eating out, but to show that every part of our daily lives is an opportunity to seek God's glory. Eating out is part of our family's daily life and we take that honor seriously. Truly, we get an opportunity to do life with our restaurant friends as God provides them through our regular eating out habits. God has provided amazing relationships and opportunities to pour His love into others through dining out. It's a privilege and a joy to step out in faith and eat out with intentionality.

I'm praying this series might prompt you to think about some of the daily life activities God placed you in. and not just the obvious job and school but also the restaurants you eat in, sports teams, story hour at the library, your kid's favorite playground, your neighborhood, etc. Examine them, and ask God to guide you as you step out intentionally towards others in love to His glory.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quiet Down Cobwebs!!!

I am having so much fun with my kids and it's a blast to be their Mommy. But somedays I wonder how my house is dirty again, the laundry from last week isn't put away (and it's laundry day), and how can we possibly be behind in school year academics already even though we started two weeks ahead??? But today God sweetly reminded me that these days of playing with my boys and spending all my hours with them will fly by quickly. Babies don't stay babies for long. Here's a sweet poem a friend shared that reminds me why the house can wait- because I'm rocking my babies and babies don't keep.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,Hang out the washing, make up the bed,Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past duePat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stewAnd out in the yard there’s a hullabalooBut I’m playing Kanga and this is my RooLook! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrowBut children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eating Out #3- It's Expensive

I've been writing about eating out and how to keep in mind doing everything to the glory of God as we go (or don't) out. You can catch up with Post 1 and Post 2 by clicking on them. Today I want to talk about the financial side of eating out. If there is one reason I can see to completely eliminate eating out, this is it. But I don't want these posts to be a defense of eating out. Whether or not you should is something you need to carefully weigh with God. We have had seasons where we knew God was calling us to eat at home only and give generously. We had seasons where we could not afford to eat out, so we did not.I guess what I'm trying to say is: I will not try to pretend that eating out is cheap. It's not. But it can be done within budget.

That is where I'll hang for this post: with a budget. We have a line in our budget for food and know that is all we have for the month. We may choose to go out once or twice a month at nice restaurants or several times at cheaper places, but we cannot afford to go beyond our budget. We believe keeping to our budget glorifies God.

Though our income has varied in different seasons of life, God has always provided for all our needs and given sweetly beyond that for us to be able to give generously as well. Those are the priorities to us: give and have our needs met. Anything else is only as God provides within our budget.

I think talking generically about our budget could be confusing, so I'll share an actual glimpse into our spending. Are you ready for our numbers? We are now a family of four, soon to be five. We recently increased from a $2,000 to a $3,000 monthly budget. Maybe that seems low (or high)- but it meets our needs perfectly for the area of the country we live in. Keep in mind that we have no debt to pay off and we rent a home, so this amount is to cover our daily provisions.

We split out our spending first by our giving, then rent/bills (sometimes savings), and finally everything else. We cash out the rest and divide into envelopes to fit our spending. Of that (everything else), we typically allot $400 a month total on food (grocery and out) and usually split it in half. So we spend an average of $200/month of our food budget to eat out- or $50 a week. We are not always faithful and have gone overboard and spent waaay too much on eating out some seasons and had to cut other spending to provide for it. In other seasons, we reduced our spending to $300 and gave the extra $100. Sometimes we have no paycheck and we stay at home eating our of our cupboards! So please know these numbers are accurate, but our consistency varies in seasons.

God has always provided ways for us to stay within our budget and still enjoy eating a variety of foods at home and out. One provision is a GREAT generic food grocery store called Aldi right near our house. We are able to buy meats, produce, and the rest of groceries for $150 a month (usually two trips at $75 ish) there. I can spend the extra $50 on extras we love at Publix or Walmart. If I use coupons and price matching, the savings are even greater. Many of my friends use the CVS extra care card and save incredible amounts. I definitely see the benefits of using that card.

Some ways to keep down costs of eating out:
1) Make expensive places a sometimes treat and limit it, since they blow most of the budget in one meal.

2) Learn when restaurants have special weekly deals you like (special priced adult meals, earlybird pricing, kids eat free nights, etc.)

3) Save money with coupons whenever possible. Many restaurants send coupons in the mail, advertise in flyers/newspaper, or post coupons on their website. I sign up for emails from places we love and typically get coupons from them. Many even give a free meal on your birthday.

4) A friend of mine gets gift cards for her favorite chain restaurants through her monthly  points earned on her credit card. They use the card to pay their monthly bills and get gas- all on budget and paid off in full each month. I LOVE that idea, but only if you're faithful to pay off the credit card each month.

5) Skip over kids menus unless it's a great deal for good food. If we see a great kids deal, we get it to split it between our boys. It's usually cheaper for us to order adult meals and each split ours with our kids.

6) Order appetizers, soup, or just go for dessert after eating at home. It's far cheaper and often still big portions.

7) Eat at lunchtime and get lunch specials. At our favorite Chinese restaurant, we actually buy 2 meals (with drink, rice, eggroll, and soup included) and split them with the kids. This costs about $15 with tip.

8) Eat nearby. This saves gas money as well as time. We like to walk to restaurants or ride our bikes. One of our current favorites is the Wycliffe Bible translators cafeteria in front of our neighborhood.

9) For fast food chains, use the dollar menu. At Taco Bell, We typically buy 1 of the $2 dollar meals and then a few extra tacos, cheese rollups, a burrito, and cinnamon twists. We get water for the kids and share a drink. Our meal averages $7-$9 for the whole family.

10) Account for tipping in your budget- We always tip at least 20%, so this can eat up our funds a bit, but we like to tip well as a thank you. We tip more than 20% in places we eat often as we get to know our servers.

Eating out is an area that can snare us financially if we don't tightly reign it. We also want to be openhanded with this gift and sometimes enjoy seasons of eating in and giving that budget completely to help meet others needs. We pray that God is glorified by eating out within our budget, during seasons that we can afford it!

In my next post I'll share our favorite part of eating out: pouring Christ's love into others intentionally.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pee and Poop should not make me angry

I seem to be sharing my experience with potty training a lot through email, facebook, and in conversations, so here's a post for you all to read and me to look back on as my younger kids come up to this big step. Pee and poop should not make me angry, but I feared they would. Which is why I waited until Jimmy was almost 3, and then we committed to potty training him. Life is far easier without diapers, so you may want to start sooner. I waited because an easy training experience mattered more to me than months without dirty diapers. 

My biggest issue in potty training was me. I prayed that I'd be calm and just enjoy seeing him take this big step in his life (since really we can guide, but it's his/her step to take). And as I sought God, I saw that it was important for me not to take it too seriously, but to enjoy even the trials of it all without pressure on him. This was hard for me and took a LOT of prayer. I hate how much I want him to perform. Ouch!

I think you know your child enough to know what to try and not to even bother with, so take what I say as things to think about, but maybe not right for you. What I did:

1) We started talking about the potty and how big boys go pee pee and poopy on it (and pointing out how his friends at church go on the big potty) We played the elmo potty game on sesame and watched an elmo potty dvd weeks before we ever tried using the potty in any way.

2) We set a date and shared with him a week before that next week would be the week. Then 3 days b/f we started our countdown on the calendar and 2 days before we went and sat on the toilet (with pants on) to get used to the feel of the potty.

3) I made a chart of daytimes that hung on the wall and told him that every time he went pee pee on the potty we'd give a check mark- and poopy we would draw a smiley face.

4) On "potty day" we stayed home and I pumped him full of water/juice. Every half an hour we'd go sit on the potty (we used the big potty with an insert seat and a step stool to climb up into it) and read from a pile of books that were in there.

5) Every pee got praise and a small sticker (like the stars/smiley face stickers that teachers give in school) and any poop got a big sticker-we chose Cars themed and Mickey because he loves them so much. He did not poop until day three in the potty. He would wait until night at first, but over time he began pooping in the potty as well.

6) We pulled back the times in between potty visits each day from every half an hour to an hour to every 2 hours and gradually he learned when he had to go (but we still watched for signs and encouraged every few hours to try).

Underwear Preference: we used pull ups the first week- some of my friends swear not to. Again, you know your kid. I wanted jimmy to have wins and me to not get angry. Pull ups made sense for that.
We eased him into underwear once he already understood the potty routine-which was only 5 days after we started- we still did pull ups at church for the first month or so and on long car trips, but other than that he adjusted pretty well

-We still used pull ups at night for a season after that and trained him over time to go during the night by limiting drinks in the evening (none after dinner) and going right before bed to help with quick wins.

Potty training was like any other big thing you teach your kids, you commit time and energy to it (make potty training the priority for a bit) and try to make it a fun experience where he gets your time and attention (Jimmy loved reading on the potty so much that we did our morning family devotions while he was on the potty until he was 4 1/2- ha ha!) I had to expect him to fail at times, but still remember he'll do fine in the long run.

Bottom line- don't miss the joy of this HUGE step of independence with the stress that can come!!!! Enjoy it (as much as possible) and look for things that can become fun traditions or teaching moments.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eating Out #2- But We Have Kids

I shared in my last post that we like to eat out. We have 2 kids and they enjoy it, too. We know that when we do it, eating out should be to God's glory. So here is one big way we look to point to Christ as we eat out: family. We want our eating out to lift each other towards Christ. Here are a few benefits:

1) It's a way to serve my husband. 
Andy LOVES eating out. When we first met in college, Andy ate out daily.When we married, most of our friends ate out on the weekends and we often went together. It was fun, social, and totally normal. Once kids came, Andy didn't stop enjoying it, but our friends stopped going. When we went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, we saw that most of our monthly spending was eating out. It was way too much money (I think it was $800 one month. Yikes!), but that massive amount we invested showed that it was something we enjoyed doing together. Andy didn't want to cut it out completely. I agreed to keep it in our budget (but reign it in) to serve him and continue to do something together that we love. There have been times that we go out where Andy has turned to me and thanked me for continuing a tradition he loves. I believe God is glorified.

2) It is an opportunity for new cultural experiences for the kids.
Our kids like sushi, crab bisque, lamb saag (an Indian dish with spinach, lamb, and curry sauce), etc. They try new things and learn about other cultures. We talk about places we love and people we love. For example, when we eat at our favorite barbeque place, we spend much of the time talking about our Texas family and how much we love and miss them. Sometimes we even call them on the ride home to catch up.

he LOVES sushi!
Eating out is a fun way to teach our children about other cultures. We've learned about different foods popular in different states or regions of our country and about other worldwide cultures. We've taught them about Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan, Ethiopia, Thailand, and India, etc. At home, I point them out on a map with Jimmy, pray for believers there (using Operation World book), and talk about differences between their culture and ours. But more than that, going out to eat regularly at those restaurants means my kids have relationships with people from there and learn firsthand from them. They are seeing what family life looks like for them, work, and even what it's like for them to live away from their own country and instead live here, in the US. This past month, some friends of ours were in Panama and one friend was leaving for Argentina. I see that as an opportunity to take the boys for South American food (yum!), talk about what our friends are doing during their time there, and pray for them. While eating in Epcot, we excitedly shared about a friend of ours who cares deeply for one of the countries in the world showcase and prayed for her as she prepared to leave her home and country serve and love those people in the name of Jesus full time.

3) It's time together to seek God outside the home as a family.
Eating at home is sweet fellowship together where we share our day with eachother. But I've noticed that our conversations out sometimes take on a different tone as the kids are exposed to things outside of our direct influence. Once, Jimmy was reading the Burger King crown while we ate our food. It lead to a conversation about what God says about treasure and where we should store it. Then we talked about idols we struggle with and who our true treasure is: Jesus. Just this week, we ate Chinese and Jimmy noticed artwork that reminded Him of the "ark of God" and He asked about it. So we got to share about God's presence with Israel and Israel's sin... and lead to how God made a way for us while we were still sinful to have relationship with Him again through Jesus. All from looking at artwork that was different from his everyday norm.

When Andy and I go out without the kids, we like to go eat or go get Starbucks. Going to movies is fine, but eating together means lots of conversation time. We love talking about life together and eating out is a fun way to do it. We tell silly stories about our day, share news about others we learned, and usually wind up landing on conversation about major things we're struggling with or feel encouraged by as God  has spoken to us through His Word. We often come home so refreshed in our vision and renewed in God's love from that time spent together. Though I cannot know how long we'll live, I love to picture us as an old couple still going out to restaurants or coffee shops together praying for our children and grandchildren, and hopefully praying for missionaries and local believers worldwide we've known over the years.
Our kids start at an early age (notice the car seat next to me)
4) It's fun!
We tend to each have our own favorite place. I love Indian and Brazilian, so I tend to get my "pick" way less often, since they are pricey! Andy loves barbeque, Mexican, small, family-owned places, and trying anything new! Jimmy loves Friendly's and any place that sells sushi. Caleb squeals with delight when we enter Chick-Fil-A and loves to flirt with our favorite cashier at Taco Bell. We enjoy it and each of us love getting to be the one to pick the restaurant or choose the meals. We like to bring friends and family to our favorite places and let them experience it as well.

So, as I evaluate eating out, I am thankful for the opportunity and pray we will always look at it as a way to pour into our family and spend time together to God's glory. In the next post, I'll talk about the financial side of eating out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eating Out... To the Glory of God?

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."-1 Cor. 10:31
Ahhhh... eating out. My friend Beth posted on her blog confessing she eats out often. She shared that it works for her life stage of no kids and enough paycheck. Then I noticed that most of her friends who thought it was great also clarified that it makes sense since she doesn't have children. I searched to see if any of her friends with kids admitted that they also eat out a lot. None did.

That was awkward for me because I'm a (pregnant) mom with 2 kids. And we eat out out. Often. Sometimes more than once a week. Our friends and family all know this. Suddenly, I wondered if people who know me judge me for eating out. Then I panicked that maybe it's wrong to eat out and I've just been blind to it. So I called Andy (who laughed at me) and then prayed. God did a sweet work in my heart to reassure me that He is well pleased with me. I'm reminded that my heart and intentionality in life is so important. Eating out may be a good or bad choice for us in different seasons and for different reasons and it's good to evaluate and do what please God. But when we feel the freedom to eat out, like anything else we do, it should be to the glory of God. So the question that leaves me with is: How can I glorify God as we eat out?

I wrote a list of a few ways I believe God is glorified as our family eats out. This blog series is not meant to defend our choice to eat out or to encourage others to eat out. I'm sharing because I believe it is good for us to evaluate all aspects of our daily life, asking Him what best sets our hearts on Him. It is good to look hard at how we spend our days to identify ways that don't honor God and seek instead for what will direct our hearts in Him. For our family, in some situations it means giving up things we enjoy because they are a snare/idol. But in many, evaluating our daily life has lead to having a firmer intentionality towards God in daily life as we seek Him through the things He gives us that we enjoy.

Here's are the main areas I listed that I'll post on:
1) Family Meals Out- Is it a benefit or hindrance?
2) Finances- Can we really afford it?
3) Being planted- Sharing Christ Intentionally as we eat out