Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave. I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
We look forward to Thursday nights in our home. It is DATE NIGHT with the boys! Since we are a family of 4 the math works out simply. Danny takes a boy out and I take the other boy out. We try to go out on a date with each son once a month. Just about anything goes for Date Night. Dinner and movie out, dinner and movie in, mini golf, art projects, science experiments, high school plays, hikes... Whatever we end up doing there are a few expectations for our date:
The boys have to have at least 1 question for us about life and 1 question about God.
Distractions are put away - texts, phone calls, emails, to do lists.
The point of the Date is spending time with each other, getting to know each other and building memories.
Danny and I also try to use the one on one time with the boys to teach them about life, teach them life skills, and teach them how to become a man with integrity and character. Last month I focused on teaching the boys some cooking skills. I let each of the boys pick a meal they wanted to learn how to make. We created a plan, wrote down the ingredients we needed at the store, went shopping, then went to work in the kitchen. Cody loves Mediterranean flavors, and I had found thisGreek Pizza recipe on Pinterest. We didn't make our own dough (but used our favorite Trader Joes Pizza dough). Cody made the Homemade Tzatziki sauce, chopped the veggies, and helped assemble the pizza. For me to watch my son get excited about feta and avocados and trying cucumbers and tomatoes on his pizza is a big deal for me. This boy used to be the pickiest eater I knew. He has come a LONG way in trying new foods and enjoying them. End result... Cody loved the pizza and wants to learn how to cook more meals.
For dessert we tried a Nutella Mug cake. We love Nutella. The cake was good, a little dry but was more than enough for Cody and me to share.
Colton chose one of his favorite meals to learn how to make, Chicken Enchiladas with rice. This is a recipe that I just threw together. Thanks to this pinterest post, shredding chicken for this meal is incredibly simple. After I shred the chicken I add red enchilada sauce from Trader Joes, nonfat greek yogurt and shredded cheese. We enjoy fresh baked tortillas (one day I will venture out and make them from scratch). After the tortillas are baked we added a little sauce then the meat mixture and of course a little more cheese, fold it up and place it in a glass bowl. Once we made all our enchiladas we baked them till the cheese on top was melted, and enjoyed every bite.
A special tradition we have created is having dinner picnic style enjoying a movie. I don't remember what we watched but I remember having a great time with Cole. He was so proud to make his favorite meal with me.
I am sure we will have more Date Nights making meals together, and I look forward to learning new recipes with my boys, and one day learning from them.
I was not your overachiever in school, especially when it came to my english classes. Books didn't interest me, and writing didn't interest me and combine the two for research papers -- yep really no interest there. Now it wasn't that I did bad I just did not find English to be interesting or that important to me.
I remember that I had to learn sentence structure in high school and I learned just what I needed to get a good grade on my test and then forgot it because it was of no interest to me. I get to college and in my tiny English class we have to do it again -- I did not find that funny. But learned enough to do well on my test to then forget it.
I may not have been an overachiever in school but that didn't mean that I wasn't interested in learning. As a family we value learning all the time. Danny inspires me to continue to learn all the time. And now there are books that interest me, and writing interests me, and I love to research and write now.
A big part of being interested in all of those things now is what I am reading and writing and researching.
A few summers ago some of my high school girls wanted to do a summer Bible study and they wanted to study women in the Bible. I was excited about this time with the girls. I don't remember if I did some research to see if there was something out there already done. But I decided to I was going to write this study for the girls. I didn't know how to do it but I just started and had a lot of fun doing researching and digging deeper into the Bible. I started to write down notes and thoughts and was amazed at how easy things seemed to flow.
Now 3 years later those studies are being shared with others to learn about the women in the Bible and all that we can learn from them here on this website (Download Youth Ministry).
I am so humbled that I get the opportunity to share these with others. And I share with you the story about me to say that I truly believe that my ability to write and research is by the grace of God. I love to see God use me in a way that I am not skilled or strong in but do something great when I obey and let Him lead me.