10 Reasons Why I Love Taking My Kids To The Library

Looking for a fun, free, family friendly activity? Your local Public Library may be the answer!

If you have been following me around recently on Facebook or Instagram, you know that my kids and I spend a lot of time at ours. It’s become one of our favorite places to visit.

love of books

Here are 10 reasons why I love taking my kids to the Library:

1. It’s fun

I wish you could see the look on my kids faces when I tell them it’s a Library day…actually, maybe I can. Please ignore my messy kitchen.

2. It’s free

Not only is it fun – its FREE fun! There are not many places these days (especially indoors) that do not charge some kind of an admission fee or require you to purchase an annual pass. Not at the Library! As long as you get your books back on time so you don’t accrue late fees, it’s completely free.

3. It cultivates a love for books

I love to watching my kids walk up and down the aisle trying to decide which books they want to take home with them. There are so many choices; so many stories; so many characters; so many lessons to learn; so many pages of creativity and adventure waiting to be explored. Then the excitement bubbles over when we get them home to break open the pages.

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4. An opportunity to get out of the house

Especially now that it’s winter, we have been spending a lot more time indoors. This is a great place to go to just get us out of the house.

5. A great environment for learning

Along with books, the children’s section is set up to encourage the mingling of play and learning.

6. Gives young children an opportunity for social interaction

Our Library has a Pre-School Story Time four times a month. This has been a great opportunity for my youngest to learn to sit still in a group setting while the Librarian reads to them. They also do songs, dancing, and crafts together.

play at the Library

7. Gives parents an opportunity to connect with each other

I’ve gotten to meet lots of other moms, many of which I’ve been able to see on multiple occasions. One even invited me to come to a Bible study that she attends.

8. Enjoy the fun events

If you go to your Library’s website, you will more than likely find their calendar with all their weekly and monthly events. I was shocked when I first saw all the activities they host. My kids and I recently spent an entire afternoon at their Christmas celebration. They also had a viewing of the original three Star Wars movies, complete with costume contests and games, to prepare for the opening of the new movie.

9. Opens a door for ministry

On two separate occasions, I was talking with another mom while our kids were playing. Our conversation reached a point to where her heart broke open and poured out. I was able to offer encouragement to each of them, and one even let me pray with her.

10. Saves money on books that I don’t have to buy

I’m starting home-school with my daughter this next year. The curriculum I am choosing has an extensive list of books to go along with it. I’ve done a little research and almost every book on the list I can check out at the Library. Yay!

To The Childless Woman Who Cried At My Pregnancy Announcement

Hi there sweet friend,

I debated as to whether or not I should write this. Since I have not personally battled with infertility, it feels strange and somewhat inappropriate that I would speak to you about it.

All I know is that you have been on my heart and I hope the words I share convey it’s proper sentiment.

Along with others, you may have seen my recent pregnancy announcement.

However, your reaction may have differed from the congratulatory and joyful remarks I received from many.

I have experienced a certain measure of heartache. Yet, I have not walked your journey – I will not pretend to know or understand the emotions that assault your soul.

I just want you to know that my heart breaks for you when I attempt to imagine the effects of these feelings.

I imagine that you try desperately to hold back tears of anger.

I imagine that you cry out to the Lord and wonder why His blessing is blossoming in the lives of those around you while you are left standing in the shadows of sorrow.

How I wish there were words I could share to offer you comfort.

There are probably many things I could say – but I won’t. You have probably already heard everything there is to say and I know there are no words I could offer to ease the pain and sadness you feel.

There are many scriptures I could quote about trusting in God’s plan and timing and that He works all things out for good – but I won’t. You probably know them all and have their soundtrack playing continually in your mind.

If I could wish to do anything for you, it would be to jump through this screen and give you a big hug. To just sit silently with you and let you cry on my shoulder. To take your hand in mine and hold it in an embrace that says “I’m so sorry you’re hurting”.

Sometimes life is just hard. It’s unfair. We drive ourselves crazy trying to make sense of all the things we don’t understand.

Please know that I am whispering a prayer to God asking Him to comfort you – that He would gently remind you that He loves you and has not forgotten you.

I am praying that He grants the desire of your heart, and until the moment He does, that He would grant you His peace.

Please know, precious one, that you are loved… deeply.

❤ Megan

 

A Special Announcement And A Request For Prayer

I shared in a recent post that 2016 holds some exciting adventures for my family and I.

Here is an announcement my kids shared with our friends and family a few days prior to Christmas.

announcement1

 

Baby number 3 will be arriving the beginning of July!

I would also like to ask you to pray for a healthy pregnancy. My first ultrasound revealed that part of the placenta had torn away from the uterus.

However, God is so good. Many people have been praying for me and the tear is healing. He is indeed our Jehovah Rapha – the God who heals.

If I come to mind, please lift up a request for a safe environment in which this child may grow strong and healthy.

baby 3

My New Years Refuse-ions: 5 Things I’m Not Taking Into 2016

 

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been a great new years resolutions keeper. No matter how uncomplicated a goal I set, I always find a way to fail within the first week.

One year, I even kept my resolution as simple as – take better care of my nails.

HA! ..fail.

Well, I’m going to try doing this backwards this time. Instead of making resolutions, I’m going to make some refuse-ions. Here are a few things that I’m leaving behind.

My New Years Refuse-ions: 5 Things I’m Not Taking Into 2016

Obligatory “yes”-es

Trust me, I’ve come a long way in this category, but there is still definitely room for improvement.

Spreading my time, commitments, and energy too thin is a practice I need to stop. Stop saying ‘yes’ to people only because I feel obligated.

I’m not saying that I should say ‘no’ to something just because I don’t feel like doing it – many times the Lord wants us to say ‘yes’ to things that our feelings would not comply with.

The key, I believe, is to discern grace. Is the Lord giving me grace to back up this ‘yes’? If the grace is there, I can be confident that His strength and ability will be there as well.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… ~Romans 12:6

Bitterness

This one is hard to confess. Who likes to admit that they have been harboring bitterness? But, if I’m completely honest, I must say that the secret thoughts of my heart have not been especially great towards a few circumstances and people.

Bitterness has indeed been lurking; hidden in the dark corners of my soul. So, I’m choosing to confess and let His love cast it out.

Sayonara bitterness!

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. ~Hebrews 12:5

Allowing bad starts to become bad endings

Why is it that I allow a bad start to my morning – sleeping in past my alarm; missing my quiet time; the frustration that comes with grumpy, whiny children – to dictate the rest of the day’s rhythm?

It’s time I start taking the reigns of my own attitude and intentionally place it back on the path of peace, gentleness, joy, and love.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL.. ~Galatians 5:22-23

Late-night Netflix bingeing

Kids in bed and chores are done. Time to relax and plop myself down on the couch with the hubby for the next episode of whatever Netflix series we may be watching. One episode turns into 2… 3. Before I know it, it’s 10:30 and my intention to get to bed early to do some reading is officially wrecked.

I’m not planning on cutting out Netflix completely, but its at a point of needing some balance and moderation – especially since the 6th season of Parenthood FINALLY made it to the list!

I believe that even my leisure time should be spent intentionally. All my choices matter, including how I choose to spend my free time. I can choose to spend it in ways that cultivate distraction or cultivate dignity and godliness. Reading is a much better use of my leisure time.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. ~Ephesians 5:15

Jealousy

I can’t stand the feeling of jealousy. Kinda like bitterness, it just feels gross. I especially notice it sneaking it’s way into my mind when I see the Lord using others in the ways I long for Him to use me…which is just silly.

Whether it’s jealousy of another persons gifts or talents, jealousy towards others’ success, or jealousy of their possessions – it’s never good.

Jealousy hinders our ability to love. It induces selfishness which leaves no room for gratefulness.

In my own words, I would define jealousy as wanting or feeling entitled to something that belongs to someone else. And ya know, I can think of another word that shares a similar definition – coveting. To be jealous is to covet.

Therefore, jealousy also needs to go! (help me, Lord!)

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. ~James 3:16

 

The Theme I Have Gleaned For 2015

theme for 2015

As I ponder all that has happened this past year, I find my mind searching to discover a theme of what the Lord has been working in my life.

What circumstances has He brought about to develop my character?

What testings has He brought about to increase my faith?

What provisions has He provided to prove His faithfulness?

What acts has He performed displaying His loving-kindness?

And what is the central theme these would all point their fingers towards?

Here are my gleanings:

2014 ended with a split in the church that my family and I had been serving at very actively for 10+ years. Although the Lord was a very present comfort to me during this time, this event left part of me (and many others), broken.

The dawning of 2015 brought much healing in our church family – and in my own heart, but many of the relationships that I had held so very close were forever altered.

In many ways I had to learn to let go of what was.

In April I had a miscarriage.

This forced me to cry out to the Lord and trust in His plan in a way I had yet to experience. The night it happened was one of the greatest emotional and spiritual struggles I’ve ever known. One minute I was asking the Lord for His good and perfect will to be done; the next I was begging Him to not take the child away from me.

Again, it was an opportunity for me to learn to let go of my own desires and trust His plan. I now take great comfort in knowing this child is safe in His arms.

Then, in mid June my husband accepted a job in Idaho – somewhere we’ve been talking about moving to for years. Which meant packing up our lives in our hometown in California and saying goodbye.

Goodbye to friends and family.

Goodbye to our church and ministries.

Goodbye to people we’ve spent a lifetime building relationships with.

Goodbye to a place we know and in which we are known.

I believe much of what had happened earlier this year was meant as a tutor for this moment.

Learning to let go is the theme I have gleaned for 2015.

However, it seems as though the Lord would not have me let go of these details of my life if He was not wanting me to embrace something new.

Although the new year has yet to make it’s appearance, the Lord has shined a shimmer of light on what He has prepared for my family and I.

I believe 2016 will usher in a time of embracing the new. I’m excited to share with you some exciting things happening in the near future for my family… but that is for another post. 🙂

But no matter what the next year holds, I know His goodness and love will follow me through – just as it always has.

How about you?
Can you glean a theme from your 2015?

Our Not So Simple, Intentional December

If you’ve been following my little blog here for any length of time, you may have seen my posts at the end of each month where I share some of the simple, intentional opprotunities my family and I had to serve the Lord and each other.

Let me tell ya – I had some grand and glorious ideas for December that I was planning on sharing with you!

Daily crafts.

Weekly baking projects.

Bedtime advent readings.

DIY gift making.

…busy, busy, busy.

My original intention for this post was to be at the end of the month and to be much longer than what it is going to be.

But…

I haven’t done one single thing on my grand and glorious Christmas list.

I don’t have much simple, intentional ideas to share with you this month.

About the second day into my scheduled projects I was already feeling overwhelmed. So I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to throw out all my normal expectations of what a successful Christmas should look like.

Instead of crafts and baking, I’m going to spend more time playing in the snow making snow angels and ice castles.

playing in snow

Playing in snow
Instead of DIY gifting and elaborate decorating, I’m going to spend more time snuggled up on the couch with my babies eating popcorn and watching movies.

Also, this will be my last post until after Christmas – maybe even til after the new year. I’m going to use the time I would normally spend blogging to further engage into our not so simple, intentional December!

Wishing you and yours a blessed and merry Christmas! See ya on the flip-side.

 

May I Not Forget

Let Us Adore Him

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” ~Luke 1:31-33

The birth of Christ is one of the greatest events history has ever tasted,
The time had come for the Light of the world to be illuminated.

The time for God’s awaited promise to be manifested,
The time for the truth to be attested.

The time for love to be demonstrated,
The time for the Father’s heart to be validated.

The time for Christ to come in the likeness of sinful man,
The time for the birth of a King whose kingdom will never end.

And yet..

How quickly I can fall in stride with the world’s value,
How quickly I can forget the what, the why, and the who.

As I search for the joy and love of the season,
May I not forget that Jesus is the source and the reason.

As I scurry to do my shopping and holiday partying,
May I not forget to make room for worship and adoring.

As I drink cups of eggnog and holiday cheer,
May I not forget that He drank the cup of the Father’s will.

As I carefully hang ornaments on our Christmas tree,
May I not forget that He came to hang on Calvary’s tree.

As I lay gifts under the tree wrapped in bags and paper,
May I not forget the gift, wrapped in cloth and laid in a manger.

On Christmas morning as we untie and open our presents,
May I not forget to give thanks for Emmanuel’s presence.

Thank you, Lord for sending your one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

 

When The Name Of The Pain Is Shame

A couple weeks ago, a certain detail of my former life (before Christ) made an attempt to sneak its way into the new. I won’t go into details. It’s an ugly part of my past, which unfortunately was self-induced through a series of lies and bad choices. It is something that I confessed and surrendered at the feet of Jesus years ago. Something I didn’t expect to rear its ugly head ever again.

But it did. With its appearing also came a familiar pain. It’s a pain that has, many times, caused me to question and doubt my identity and value in Him.

The name of the pain is shame.

Shame is ruthless and unrelenting.

It causes us to re-examine the promises that breathe the truth of who we are and what He has done for us. It tells us that our stains could never possibly be removed. That forgiveness is not within our reach. That we are destined to live forever soiled with guilt and humiliation. That the purpose and meaning of our lives has become rotten and spoiled.

Shame causes us to doubt. It causes faith to hesitate. It causes confidence to stumble. Trust to swerve and hope to falter.

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I’m hanging out over at the blog “Me Too Moments for Moms” today. Come check out the rest of “When The Name of the Pain is Shame” over there.

5 Ways I Want His Heart to Safely Trust In Me

The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so he will have no lack of gain.
~ Proverb 31:11

I read this chapter the other day and had to stop when I came to this verse. I asked myself..“what are the ways I want his heart to safely trust in me?”

As his wife, I’ve learned that I have been given a portion of power that can be used to either build up his confidence in our relationship or to tear it down.

The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
~Proverb 14:1

I want to be the wise woman – the woman who builds and tends to her husbands confidence. A woman who walks in the power of the Spirit. A woman whose decisions are guided by the truth in His Word.

I don’t want to be the foolish woman – the woman who tears down her husband with the stress of doubt and apprehension. A woman who adds to his weight with drips of nagging and selfishness. A woman whose decisions are driven by her emotions.

I want him to rest in his surety. To be settled in his assurance. To trust in his reliance.

So, after some consideration here is what I came up with:

5 Ways I Want His Heart to Safely Trust In Me

Does he trust in my faithfulness?
I want him to be fully confident of my faithfulness to him. When I say faithfulness, I mean much more than what may initially come to mind. Adultery is absolutely included with this, but I also want him to trust that my heart and emotions belong to him. That I’m doing my part to protect and guard my heart and mind against temptation.

I also want him to be confident that I’m nurturing my relationship with the Lord. My faithfulness to him starts with my faithfulness to God.

Does he trust in my conduct?
I want him to trust that I’m conducting myself with godliness, propriety, and modesty. That I speak highly of him to others and not bad-mouth him behind his back. That I show him respect at all times – when he is present and when he is not.

Does he trust in my time management?
I want him to trust that I am not spending my time in laziness or idleness, but that I’m wisely and prudently ordering my day. That I’m busy in my home in helping him serve, love, train, and teach our children.That I’m getting done what needs to be done.

Does he trust in my financial management?
I want him to trust that I’m wisely helping him to be a faithful steward of our finances. That I’m paying bills on time. That I will not frivolously and carelessly waste his hard work.

Does he trust in my commitment to our family?
I want him to know that I place my ministry to him and to our children before any others. That I won’t agree to serve in other areas that will cause me to neglect my commitment to them.

Lord, I know that nothing good or trustworthy dwells within me apart from You. Holy Spirit, would you please help me to be the kind of wife that builds her husband up and does not tear him down? Would you help me to place his needs in the proper priority? Help me to serve and love my family in the way you desire.

husband heart trust wife

 

Our Simple, Intentional November

My heart behind As For My House is to share and inspire simple and intentional ways to serve the Lord and each other. At the end of each month I will share some of the ways the Lord provided my family and I opportunity to do this.

If you haven’t yet, make sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook where I share more of these moments as they happen…along with lots of other great encouragement. 🙂

Simple, Intentional November


playing at parkEarlier in the month (before the temp dropped to below 30 degrees) we got on bikes and headed to the park. One of the neighbor boys was playing in his front yard while his parents were talking outside. We decided to invite him to come. This was a very simple way for us to reach out to our neighbors. We’ve had them over for dinner now a couple times and are developing a great relationship with them.

 

 


Operation Christmas child shoe boxNovember is shoe box month. The kids and I spent an evening shopping and packing a couple shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We had a couple meltdowns when my youngest realized he couldn’t keep the toys we had bought – but it was a good opportunity to teach him about how giving is a blessing. We looked at pictures online of children who have received shoe boxes in the past. He was able to see how happy the gifts made these other children.

 


Thankfulness WreathThe week of Thanksgiving, the kids and I got out the scissors, glue and construction paper to make our Thankfulness Wreath. I found this idea on Pinterest. We cut out a circle in green construction paper about 1.5″ thick. Then, cut out the leaves in a variety of colors and sizes. I asked them to tell me all the things that they were thankful for as I wrote each down on a leaf (as you can see, some of them are kinda hilarious). After assembling it, we hung it up on the wall in our kitchen as a reminder of all the little things to be thankful for.

 


wpid-20151114_160435.jpgI love donating my hair. This month, my daughter and I went together to get our hair cut to donate. This was a great opportunity for her and I to serve together..and to teach to her about helping another child who is sick. We found a testimonial from one donation recipient on Youtube and watched it together. I saw a spark of compassion light in her eye as she saw the child with no hair. She is excited to do it again.

 


Thanksgiving DinnerWe spent Thanksgiving day with our neighbors (different ones than mentioned above). They are actually from the same town we are in California and are related to some of our friends there. We have also been attending the same church together. God definitely knew what He was doing when He had us move next door to these peeps! They have become our family. In this instance, they were the ones who were blessing us! They opened their home, created a wonderful atmosphere and made an amazing meal. So thankful for them!

 

Many of the greatest ways we serve Him are not the extravagant,
but the simple and intentional.