What’s on your Christmas List?

theparentcue.org is one of my favorite blogs/websites that I visit daily.

Wanted to share this one with you today written by Mike Tiemann.

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You probably have lots of vivid memories that come to mind when you remember celebrating Christmas as a kid.

● Bundling up in the car to look at the neighbors’ lights.
● Decorating the tree while listening to Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole.
● Making Christmas sugar cookies with Grandma . . . and leaving enough icing so you can lick the bowl.
● Drinking hot cocoa (with marshmallows!) as you watch the snow fall.
● Singing “Silent Night” at church . . . while your candle dripped hot wax onto your fingers.
● Examining each wrapped gift to try to figure out who it was for . . . and what might be inside!

As kids, we waited for the big day to arrive . . . but our concerns were very practical. We couldn’t WAIT to see what gifts we would receive! We spent the month of December dreaming of toys, candy, and video games—and, yes, making lists of the things we wanted most. As parents, we now have the privilege of experiencing Christmas with our own kids. We also have the opportunity to help them connect the joy and excitement of the season with the great love God has shown to us.

After all, Christmas has always been about anticipation. Long ago, God’s people were waiting for the promised Savior. They rejoiced at the news of His birth. We give gifts today as a way to remember the greatest gift: Jesus. God’s only Son. Emmanuel. God with us. Of course your kids will be excited about what they can get for Christmas. But at the same time, don’t miss the chance to show them what it means to give.

In December, we’re discovering what it means to show compassion: Caring enough to do something about someone else’s need. We can respond to the love God showed us by loving the people He’s put around us.

So talk with your kids. As you listen to their wish lists, also help them think about ways to show compassion—to make others your mission. You could give your time, serving somewhere in your local community. You could donate food or winter jackets to those in need. You could choose an item from the Compassion Gift Catalog to make an impact for children in poverty.

Whatever you decide to do, get the whole family involved. Help your kids make some sweet memories about serving and loving others. Make it your Undercover Christmas mission to show compassion—together.

Download this year’s Advent Calendar for more ideas on how to take your kids on a journey of compassion this season. Click Here

 

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Surrounded-This is how I fight my battles.

A few months ago I’m on the treadmill getting my cardio in and I can see a person coming up next to me. To be honest I was telling myself not to turn and look because I had just hit my stride and really didn’t want to mess it up. But, sure enough she tap’s me on the shoulder. So I slow it down to a brisk walk, take my earbuds out and she says…

“Hey, You are JC Right? This might be a little strange but I’ve been praying for you for the last few weeks. I don’t know why. I’ve never met you, but I know you are a pastor and I’ve heard you preach… Anyhow, at my church a couple weeks ago we sang this song and  I was worshiping your face came to mind so I begin to pray for you. Well, yesterday it happened again and then you walked into the gym tonight and I really felt like I was suppose to just come tell you there is a song you really need to listen to. Also, Pastor, don’t give up. God is using you.” She told me the name of the song and then walked away…..

I pulled up youtube and typed the song title in and then it happened …. There I ran (more like a slow trot) with tears coming down my face having some church right there in Planet Fitness as I listened to this song on repeat. (Its the no judgment zone so no one said anything. Either that or they were really worried that I should stop running)
WOW WOW WOW! It’s a simple song, but it’s powerful. So many times when I’ve been surrounded by turmoil, heartbreak, setbacks, defeat and relentless attacks. I love that in just the right time God surrounds us with people who will pray for, encourage and help us to stay in the battle! 

Psalm 31:21 says, “Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!” 

‘The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ Isaiah 61:3 

Here’s what we need to understand about praise and worship.. It doesn’t just happen at church during the music. It can happen anywhere at anytime!

Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be ‘magnified.’ David said it like this, ‘Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears’          Psalm 34:3-4

Praise is one of the best ways to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver and not on the problem at hand.

I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon: “My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ…In that worship I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me it is the nearest approach to what it will be in Heaven.’ 

Friends, God has promised us ‘the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ It works like this. When you begin to praise him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face; that he’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting and waiting to.

Hey friend. Let me encourage you. There are more with you than there are against you. You are not alone in your fight! You are surrounded by the Lord Of Hosts and the armies of Heaven! Don’t quit. Don’t give up! Keep fighting the good fight! HE is with you!

I tried to find the lady after I finished but wasn’t able to locate her. If you are one of my friends on social media or you happen to read this blog, Thank you! Thank you for being used by God to encourage this pastor! 

Go ahead and recall his goodness to you; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise!

 

Life with 6 kids.

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To be honest we can’t believe we have 6 kids either! There are many times when we say “can you believe we have 6 kids”! This was never a goal or dream for that matter… When we got married 9 years ago we talked about having kids and both agreed we wanted a “big” family. “Big” being 3 or 4 kids…. Never thought 6 would be what we ended up with! But we wouldn’t have it any other way!

When people hear that I have six kids, the reaction is usually entertaining. But we just celebrate how awesome it is to have six kids. Here are a few reasons why we love having 6 kids (I’m sure this list will change as they grow, but for now this is where we are at)

1. It’s not as expensive 

Talk about a good hand-me-down situation in the clothing department! The benefit of having Three boys and Three girls is the last couple of babies don’t know what new clothes feel like. Honestly, Kids are as expensive as you make them. I feel we are really getting more bang outta our bucks. stained stroller, filthy crib and tired changing table, I feel like we got a good value for our dollar!

We know they are going to get more expensive as they continue yo grow…. Trust me we’ve already looked into owning our own farm. 2 dozen eggs a week, two gallons of milk a week. two bags of apples, three bunches of bananas… etc. High school sports, heading off to college etc…. Summer jobs and student loans exist for a reason, and I have no problem seeing mine work to earn their educations!

Being able to “afford” children is relative. If you wait until you can afford children you will never have any. It’s a choice. A mindset and a sacrifice at that. We can’t afford a bunch of flashy stuff but we can afford six kids. It’s what your priorities are! If you want the nicest & newest don’t have kids or only have one or two.

2. It will be crazy in your house… But you will raise nice kids!

People often comment that kids from big families seem “nice.” Sure, it’s a generalization… But, one of the reasons they’re nice is because it is difficult to spoil them. Certainly there are children from small families who are not spoiled, but spoiling children in large families is nearly impossible. I simply can’t (and won’t) buy identical high-end expensive toys and gadgets for my kids. Most things they have, they share. I also can’t wait on them hand and foot. If I fetched each kid a snack every time he or she was hungry, I’d be fetching snacks all day long.

Our Older kids help out the younger ones with a bowl of cereal or glass of juice. The fact is, they are fairly independent and helpful – and they have to be if they want to have snacks!

So it would appear that kids who are independent, not materialistic and know how to share seem to be perceived as “nice” by the general population. Just a thought.

3. Here is a straight up fact…We’re Not Sleeping Anyway

The fact is when you have small kids, you’re already lacking sleep, a social life or even time to sit down to eat. You’ve been mistaken for a zombie at work, and you never go anywhere without a diaper bag. An overnight trip requires a suburban packed with the equivalent of your house.. You’re already thick into the parenting lifestyle and a couple of extra kids are not going to make that exponentially harder.

If you’ve gone from one kid to two, you’ve done the hard part. Two to three it’s gone from man to man to zone defense. what’s three more! ha ha

4. We Have A Built-In Entertainment System

The reality is, my kids have built-in playmates. Sure they fight like cat’s and dogs. they scream, run into each other/doors/walls/people but often they disappear into their room or outside for hours. And our HUGE 1,100 square foot home feels every second of them running into everything! Honestly they just happily pass their days being constantly entertained by the fun and antics that surround them with their siblings.

5. Social Life rocks! 

They can’t escape socialization – eating together, bathing, and sharing a room etc… My kids live in a close pack  and I’m excited they will have each other as they continue into Middle school/High school/College etc.

Also glad the boys are the oldest so they can put the fear into any punk that tries to mess with their sisters… I pity the fool! ha ha

6. Guess Who is Not Going Into a Retirement Home!

That’s right. Those six people can take turns passing Kym and I around.  We might even fake a bit of incontinence as payback for the twelve years of diaper changing.  And they should consider themselves lucky – they won’t have three human beings in diapers at once, like some of us have.

7. Lastly let me say MY WIFE IS MY HERO!

  • Full time stay at home mom. A way harder job than most any job out there!
  • Teacher. Homeschooling our three boys and starting Kenzie next year.
  • Cook. AMAZING COOK!
  • Wife! Beyond more than I could ever ask or hope for in a spouse!
  • Check out the next blog for more on this topic!

We love having a large family! We know it’s not the cultural norm these days to have this many kids. But beyond the stares of judgment from those who just don’t get it, the comments from people who mean well but say dumb stuff (family included). We wouldn’t change one thing about our big, real life Brady bunch family!

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Sweet Karoline Jane

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Kaden Jay

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Colton “Butters” Ray

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Corbin “Bubba” Turner

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Kenzie “Sissy” Rose

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Katie “Tink” Mae

The Saga Day 1.

Click here  to see “The Coffee Break Collective” website where this was posted by Chris Morrow.

Introductions are tough and “breaking the ice” seems like a fitting analogy for this situation, since any ice we stand on would for sure break.

We are fat. Not phat, not big-boned, we don’t have a thyroid issue, and heck, we aren’t even a little chubby. Sugar-coating the word “fat” does the same thing as literally sugar-coating everything, it just worsens your health (mentally and physically).

In a time where fat-acceptance is a real topic, we don’t want to be accepted. Being accepted is one of the things keeping us and 35% of other men in the county fat, and frankly, we are over it. It is easy to accept “fat” when you aren’t noticing the lack of sleep, constant anxiety, chest pains, and frequent sickness that comes with it. Ignorance has become bliss and we are ready to shut that down.

So what exactly are we doing?

Well, for one, we aren’t’ going on a “weight-loss journey.”  Google the word “journey” and see how awful of a word that is when used in this situation. A journey is defined as “an act of traveling from one place to another.”  Doesn’t that sound exciting? Doesn’t the equivalent of a story a trip to the grocery store seem a little lifeless when describing a life transformation.

No wonder it’s hard for people to get pumped for this.

We also are not going to call this a blog, which literally means to write an update. We don’t want to update, we want to achieve goals. Each time you read what we put down, we will not be the same person from the previous week. With all of these crap words being used to describe what could be the single most important decision you make throughout your entire life, no wonder it’s hard for people to get excited for weight loss.

What we need is a word symbolizing accomplishment, fulfillment, VICTORY. This won’t be a journey, this will be…

(drum roll please)

a Saga, which is defined as “a long story of heroic achievement.” Though the word has been thrown into the ground, stomped on, and completely ruined by Stephanie Meyer, Saga is the perfect description. We now have to overcome the obstacle of being googled along the ranks of weird interspecies “love” stories, but come on, weight loss IS a HEROIC ACHIEVEMENT.

If you go through this with that mentality, how can you fail?

Well, since we are human, I assume it will be easy to fail. It’s one of the many things we are excel in. However, it is overcoming that obstacle and reaching new milestones weekly, daily, heck, even hourly, that molds our mind into the focused beast God designed for us. This saga will chronicle every achievement, failure, and everything in between for three men who are tired of being accepted.

Today is January 2, 2018, and welcome to THE SAGA.

Okay, now that you know WHAT we are doing, I am sure you want to know WHO we are.

  • JC Groves

  • Chris Morrow

  • Dakota Dallas

We are three men whose weight break the four-digit mark when combined. Elevators fear us, chairs loath us, and buffets love us. To change this, we will be completely changing our eating habits and perform DDP Yoga at 9:00 pm, 3-5 nights per week. We are tracking our progress with Apple Watches and using three IOS apps: Apple Health (for heart rate and overall progress), Body Tracker (for weight and body measurements), and MyFitnessPal (for food and drink intake tracking). 

Each of us will have our own experience and goals that will be documented here periodically. I hate to use the word “periodically” due to its vague definition but give me a break, we are just now starting this and I am not sure how it will go. It may be sporadic at first but I promise once we get a groove going, it’ll reflect in the timing of our posts as well.

If you have stayed with us this long, then you seem committed to following us and we thank you. By reading this, you are allowing yourself to be our accountability partners and please, call us out when you find fitting.

Don’t sugar-coat anything and don’t accept our failures. 

– Chris Morrow

 

 

 

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