Welcome to June!
Amanda has prepared a great Matthew 5:16 Project for us this month. The idea behind this year-long project is to challenge us to live intentionally and in such a way that our actions point others to God… resulting in His PRAISE.
Called us to replace those old lies with the TRUTH of who God says we are.
Taught us what God says about love, and to show it as a noun and a verb.
Encouraged us to own our sin and receive the forgiveness we are freely given.
Reminded us to use our words for good… to bless others.
Let’s see what June’s challenge is…
By my good friend, Amanda Barnes…
Well God’s been talking lots to me lately about C H O I C E S.
And so it goes that I have also been talking lots to my kiddos about the same. In fact, my eighth grader just gave his valedictorian speech on learning from mistakes – and how you can take the field trip or read the manual – it’s your… choice.
As the idea and topic grows between me and God, it becomes simpler yet it’s long and deep and broad.
Our entire life… one day, one hour, one minute at a time… is made up of choices. It’s a choice to learn, to quit, to fight, to obey, to love, to forgive, to try, to fear, to trust, and on it goes.
- what we eat – what we don’t
- what we say – what we won’t
- when we sleep – when we don’t
- where we go – where we don’t
- who we hang with – who we won’t
It’s not always easy to make good choices – and sometimes we struggle to know what the right or best choice even is.
As a grown up I have so much to learn, and I’m try to teach that to my kids, too. I’m trying to offer them the manual, but sometimes – like me – they prefer the field trip. And sometimes it hurts more. Sometimes it’s the only way, but always a choice and always with opportunity for growth and maturity.
A character motto at their school is: Failure leads to success.
So if that is ever going to work, then failure is clearly part of the equation. And if failure is part of the equation then I need to allow room for mistakes and also ownership, trial and error, humanness.
With almost two full weeks of summer break under our belts, one area that I am choosing to release into the hands of my kids is their nutrition.
I’m taking the risk that they might make some mistakes… they already have… and trusting that as we venture into summer, the kids will grow in ownership as they handle and probably mishandle their food choices.
In addition to their daily chores, my kids are now also responsible for monitoring what they put into their bodies. They have all been trained in their classes at school what is an appropriate serving size.
They know they need more veggies and fruits – always.
So I created a chart that has the major food groups and sugar categories going across the top and meal and snack times down the side.
We placed the sheet inside a protective sleeve so that the kids can use a whiteboard erasable pen and use and reuse the chart.
Each time they want to eat something, they look at their chart and see what they’ve already consumed for the day and make a choice about what foods would be best for them.
The deal at the start was that they would eat only a few sugars a day and focus in on the healthier foods. Of course I am overseeing this and providing the healthy options so they are set up for success.
And, I am still providing the evening meal, so all they do is mark that one on their charts.
But as their lives get busier, I need to let some choices go so that I can focus in on different ones.
For the most part, they are making smart choices.
They are asking me before they indulge in sweets.
They are noticing daily what they are really eating and what they should be.
I’ve seen them eat more carrots, more nuts, and cook eggs almost every day.
They’re not only learning dietary choices, but also food preparation.
It feels like freedom to me… less to think about in some ways. And it’s stretching their boundaries and responsibility.
This is something they’ve got to own. In the end, they are the only ones truly in control of their bodies.
I want them to feel the satisfaction that comes from making good choices.
What if your kids are younger? How about letting them help plan the meals and snacks one day or one week at a time? Get the kids a chart with pictures so they can still take steps towards owning food choices.
Each time we put food to our mouth, let’s make sure we choose to also focus in on our Spiritual food… because the WORD of God is the only thing that truly satisfies.
Let’s be sure that as we gather to share meals, we aren’t only satisfied physically – but more importantly spiritually.
Let’s make sure that we are not eating crumbs or too many leftovers.
Let’s be sure to get us some fresh Words, some fresh fruit, some meat and potatoes of Truth.
Let’s ponder deep and Life eternal as we feast on His Word – the only way we will be filled up and contented.
Let’s offer thanks for the Bread of Life – Jesus – a remembrance of His body broken for our brokenness.
Let’s gather fresh manna daily, it’s waiting for us and is always enough.
All of these might be great dinner time conversations. As we make choices to fill our physical needs, let’s discuss what our souls long for, too.
Let’s ask God:
- to shape our appetites
- to strengthen our resolve
- to increase our faithfulness
- to give us fresh perspective
- to change our habits
- to LOVE Him more…
This summer it’s all about C H O I C E S – and beginning with our food, as often as we eat, in Spirit and in Truth, we will serve the Lord.
©2012 careyscotttalks.com, Amanda Barnes
In the trenches of motherhood and looking for inspiration?
Find my Raising Godly Kids devotional book here.