Exodus 14:13: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" ..

Archive for February, 2010

Why God Closes Doors

I have always wondered, why God would decide to close doors on his people all over sudden. Well, I have always heard this, ‘God will open the door’ but nobody ever explains why he just closed the door that seemed wide open.  Growing up when I made a mistake or did something stupid, I remember everyone around me said this – sounded like a cliché back then “God protects the Innocent and the stupid’. So now I will keep asking  God to protect me in my moments of foolishness or innocence, and I Thank Him for His faithful watchful eye. I Pray also for the wisdom make less and less dumb & foolish mistakes. (smiles)

So to cut my story short I came across this article from Dr. Stanley (www.inotuch.org)and thought I would repost it here.

JEREMIAH 10:23-24

A blockaded opportunity is a useful teaching tool. God’s ultimate objective is to mold us into the image of His Son, and toward that end, He at times prevents us from doing or having something we desire.

– Closed doors prevent mistakes. Just because a path is clear does not mean it is the one God intends for us to follow. Sometimes we won’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, so He bars the way either spiritually or physically. The Holy Spirit can see the whole road map for our lives, which is why we are to follow His guidance.

– Closed doors redirect our walk. Rest assured, God never leaves a willing servant with nothing to do. The alternate opportunity He has in mind will yield bigger fruit, more satisfaction, and greater glory for Him.

– Closed doors test faith and build perseverance. Waiting for the Lord to speak or act is hard, particularly when our desire has been denied. But we’ll learn wisdom, patience, and trust by pausing prayerfully until He reveals His will.

– Closed doors buy us time. We are not always as prepared as we’d like to think. God may temporarily hold shut an opportunity for service until a believer is properly equipped for kingdom work.

In spite of the repeated use of “closed door” in this devotion, the real message is that God opens doors. He has created a perfect pathway for us to follow. Keep your feet on it, and you will walk over thresholds leading to service, satisfaction, and glory for your Lord.

Have you ever had an opportunity or situation that you feel God closed the door and you are now glad he did?

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Preschool: Advantages and disadvantages

 So I am still in search for a preschool of my liking (well and my son’s too) and this week I happen to think; what are the advantages of taking my son to preschool? So here are some of the advantages and disadvantages I found on baby center.com

Advantages

Preschools are inspected for licensing purposes, teachers are supervised (many groups and classrooms have more than one teacher), and a director oversees the entire operation. This regulation and order can be very reassuring. And your child benefits from this formality, too. Many preschools offer children a structured environment. Other benefits include clear-cut rules for parents to follow (specific pickup and drop-off times, for example), low-fuss installment payments, and the opportunity to meet other parents, who may be able to lend support and babysitting time. Good programs feature a wide variety of fun activities — including singing, dancing, arts and crafts, storytelling, free play, and both indoor and outdoor games and projects — designed to teach children different skills. Children may also learn some academic basics such as counting and the alphabet. Plus, most preschool teachers have training in early childhood education, so they know what to expect from your child developmentally and are able to help her along accordingly. Children in preschool also have the opportunity to socialize with other kids their age, an appealing advantage for parents who used a nanny or relative care when their children were younger. A final advantage — especially when compared to nanny care, home daycare, and relative care — is that a sick provider doesn’t mean a last-minute scramble for emergency childcare. Your child may miss her favorite teacher, but when Miss Jones gets the flu someone is always available to step in.

Disadvantages

 Children benefit from interacting with their peers, but in some preschools, emphasis on groups can overshadow the individual attention kids need and crave. This is a particular risk if the preschool doesn’t follow the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s recommended teacher-child ratio of no more than ten preschoolers per staff member. Even that number is high; a ratio of 1:8 or 1:9 is better for four-, five-, and six-year-olds, and three-year-olds do best with one teacher for every seven children.

 Though many parents appreciate the clear rules and guidelines imposed by preschools, understand that, as with any kind of group care, those guidelines may sometimes be inconvenient for you. If your preschool is closed for holidays or for any other reason (such as staff training), you’ll have to find backup care; if they require children to be toilet trained and your daughter isn’t ready for the potty, they may not let her attend. You may also have to pay high fees for late pickups and end up having to stay home with your child if the preschool says she’s too sick to be there. Finally, some schools’ programs may not leave room for your child to explore and learn at her own pace. If the schedule seems inflexible when you visit, keep looking.

 Source: www.babycenter.com

Still looking, give me your thoughts on some of the advantages and disadvantages you have.

Valentine’s Day – what’s love got to do with it?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Oh and the persistent gazilliondollar marketing commercials blaring at me “celebrate!” So should I be crazily calling babysitters now, trying to find someone to watch the kids so that we can celebrate? Mmm… perhaps I should be making dinner reservations and looking for the just right ‘little’ dress but I’m not. Because when it comes to Valentine’s Day, I am all cynical and partly rebellious to fall for holiday created by the marketing experts to sell cards and candy. Well I also question why I should have to adjust everything I’m always doing just on this particular day of the year by spending money on cards and flowers and chocolates to tell the people I love so much that I love them. I already show to them that I love them every single minute, each day of the year. Besides, having to fight with every couple in town for the few teens willing to baby-sit on Valentine’s Day isn’t a tempting plan. Oh and then try to make a reservation at an overbooked and overpriced restaurant? Really … what’s love got to do with it?

Our Valentine’s Day is a low-key affair, just doing the ‘normal’ things, helping the kids with their dinner, bath and reading bedtime stories. After they are tucked in bed, my husband and I will clean up, pick up the toys and kick back, watching TV.  Then we say the words “I love you” before we close our eyes like we always do every day. But a few days later, when the florist’s prices have gone back to normal, my husband will bring me home my favorite flowers and we’ll ask our favorite babysitter to watch the kids so we can have our standard date night out in town. That’s my ideal V’s Day plan … and it can happen at any day of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the V’day. I am just sorta not that organized and it’s a nice excuse to prove my relaxing, stress free time at home, my motto ~ the simpler, the better! We will still have our little family traditions and some that we are trying to work on; baking and decorating cookies, having red  food coloring in our milk, making heart-shaped pancakes with red smiley faces. The kids also make cards for grandpa, grandma and their little friends. We also attempt to look forward, on how can we bless somebody, someone having a rough time on February 14th by getting them the message of love. Just teaching random acts of kindness to the kids, and encouraging them to find ways that they can love and care on February 14. Happy Valentines my friends…How about you?

How do you celebrate Valentine? What are some Valentine’s traditions with your family?

It’s the Super Bowl XLIV

I will admit that I thought I could have cared less who won the Super Bowl this year, my favorite teams all went fishing. Well when the game was in progress, I fell on the ‘Geux Saints’ bandwagon. The underdog story. Who Dat! –Well, they won for the first time in the team’s history – sweet!

So my favorite part of Super bowl Sunday is getting together with friends and snacking for four hours – This year we had a sick kid and watched it from underneath our blankets. Also, the super bowl ads (minus those crazy Go daddy), and finally i love the 3rd downs and goals… the adrenaline rush!

“According to the latest reports, 40% of the 100 million viewers tuned in just to watch the ads.” The Ads this year were nothing out of the ordinary for me – It seemed like so many people were half-dressed or something. Furthermore car industries showing off their cars, all I could think of is the Toyota ongoing saga of failing brakes and floor mats getting trapped in the accelerator scary. Also random thought, just wondering who paid the bill for the U.S census commercial ($2.5M); mmm, tax payer’s money?

Well, the most talked about Focus Ad-Tebow and his mom? Crazy how everyone was up and arms about this, what I understand from it is Tebow’s mom had a choice and she made it, deciding not to get an abortion. I am thinking the real test of whether you support the United States Constitution “freedom of speech” is whether you let those people whose opinions differ from your own present their opinions – right?.Well on the bright side at least the Ads were a few steps forward from last years, cash for gold commercials and more go daddy.

I’ll admit, in the afternoon when I sank my hand into a bowl of chips, I was thankful for the excuse to eat junk while watching TV. My son is coming down with a nasty cough so it was a good day to kick back and relax. I’m glad we let ourselves to have it. So I realized in the craziness of life, we need a good excuse to sit down with family and friends and relax – I thank God for the opportunities he provides for me to put my feet up. Spending an afternoon on the ‘couch’ isn’t always a throw away of valuable time. Sometimes it’s a chance to regroup. Even if it involves eating & drinking the ‘wrong’ things like I did, but isn’t that part of the fun or life or both?

So what was your favorite or worst super bowl commercial or what super bowl tradition do you enjoy?

Preschool what is right for your kid?

The moment has arrived. My little baby has sprouted wings and is ready to leave the nest at least for a few hours a day. I am looking to find a preschool this fall that’s right for my baby (well not baby anymore), one that will make his days pleasurable, enjoyable with a nurturing and stimulating environment that I can get a peace of mind when I drop him and leave him.  I know there are all these labels (Jean Piagét, Rudolf Steiner, or Maria Montessori) on preschools but I wonder what they really mean.  So this is what I am looking for in short;

Where my child will be allowed to make choices about what he learns; Where a large part of the activities are directed by my child; My child’s social and emotional growth and developing values will be taken seriously; A  pleasing environment, fun activities, and great attitude from the teachers (joyful & warm); Where I can be involved and is opened to parents and their ideas..I sound like a NEEDY Parent!.

So after reading this  “According to the U.S. Department of Education, preschool plays a large role in later academic success. Children in high quality preschools display better language, cognitive, and social skills than children who attended low quality programs.” I decided to pull up my socks in the search and really get ontop of it.

Danielle wood (www.education.com) gives the following tips on what to consider when choosing a preschool;

  1. Credentials. Make sure the schools you are considering employ teachers that have earned early childhood education degrees. Ask if the school itself is accredited. For more information, go to www.naeyc.org, the website for the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  2. Hours. There’s a difference between day care and preschool. Day care often offers more hours for kids of working parents, in a less scheduled environment. Preschool programs tend to be shorter, and more structured. Decide your needs and look for a program that correlates.
  3. Discipline. Ask how the school deals with behavior such as hitting or biting. Ask how they deal with conflict – do they believe children should work things out themselves? Do they believe in “time outs”? It’s important that you agree with a school’s disciplinary approach and trust their judgment – small children have a hard time with mixed messages.
  4. Nutrition. One of the great things about preschool is that children are positively influenced by their peers – they may not touch fruit at home, but if everyone else is eating apples, they might be coerced to try them. Of course, they may also be negatively influenced. Does the school provide lunch and/or snacks or will you pack them from home? If they supply the goods, ask what they serve. Pretzels and cheese cubes, or cookies and milk? Don’t choose a school with a teacher who loves to bake if you don’t want your kids eating sweets. If your child has food allergies, make sure they can ensure their safety.
  5. Look at the Art. A picture is worth a thousand words, so look at what’s hanging on the walls. Does everything look the same? Is all the crayon within the lines? Some schools emphasize facts: “Trees are green.” Others encourage imagination:  “Interesting. I’ve never seen a baby growing on a tree before!”
  6. Visiting. Does the school have an open door policy? Can parents visit at any time, or are there set days for observation?
  7. Safety. How does the school ensure student safety? How do they keep track of pickups at the end of the day?
  8. Philosophy. More brain development occurs in the first five years of life than at any point thereafter. Educators have different views and approaches, even as early as the preschool years. Some schools are completely “play based,” others have kids as young as three or four tracing numbers and letters to prepare them for kindergarten. It all comes down to learning style.

So I will keep looking with all these good information in hand.

Have you found a preschool? Any more tips? What did you like most in your childs preschool?

Letting Go that Baggage!

I am not one of those people who use a different bag everyday to match their outfit or shoes! I am just not that organized anymore. I have two little kids and a business to run (In layman terms a home) and very many wild days in my week. I am fortunate if I can get out of the door without forgetting a blankie or wipes or a snack bag or something of that sought. So for that reason I love to use the same bag, so I can just restock and stuff it up with all ‘our ’essentials (junk). Searching for my car keys or lip gloss from this bag is a big project, stuff just keeps coming out. Oh and at the store, you don’t want to wait in line behind me… Yes, I am one of those people who hold up the line to rummage through my enormous handbag (I bring enough stuff for myself and my kiddos to live on for a week).

So last week I saw another one of those studies that women’s purses are now weighing as much as thirteen pounds! It claims women are now lugging more than a healthy weight for their backs and shoulders around. Experts say the ideal bag should weigh two pounds total (are they dreaming!). They want women to let go those heavy purses. Mine is around seven pounds.

How much does your purse/bag/baggage weigh?

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