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When it comes to Saltwater Aquarium and Freshwater Fish Tank

Aquarium and fish tank have the same meaning when someone wants to decorate something beautiful in their houses by keeping a fish tank or an aquarium. The terms are often used conversely.

In general, an aquarium alludes to a glass rectangular container to hold and show fishes. And fish tanks seem to be bigger in shapes and sizes. However, people often use these as an exchangeable term.

How to choose a saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium

If this is the first time you have a fish tank, you will need to choose a freshwater aquarium as it is easier to keep a saltwater tank. When you keep an aquarium for a prolonged period, you should own the saltwater aquarium without making a mess.

Price tag

If your budget for having a tank is restricted, then you could own a freshwater fish tank. Do not worry about the size on it because there is not any minimum size requirement for these types.

You enable to begin with a small one initially when you are not confident or less experienced in this part.

Well, you may start with some accessories and fishes first. Please note that you should purchase a 50-gallon fish aquarium to make sure that you can make a healthy environment for plants and fishes as well.

The price tag does not mean the first amount of money you have to pay for an aquarium. It also means you need to maintain your tank for a while with other necessary accessories such as an aquarium filter, pumps, salt mixes, water test tools, live ornaments, and so on to control everything on your aquarium.

Dedication

Basically, it is not complicated to own a fish tank. However, it requires a commitment of the owners as they should take care of the aquarium on a regular basis.

Feeding the right foods for aquarium foods are common examples in this part. Furthermore, you should check the quality of aquarium water and how bad or good of an aquarium filter.

Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning a freshwater aquarium is not difficult. You just need to remove algae and other dirt debris in the tank on a regular basis. When you do not have time to do these, turn on the aquarium filter instantly.

However, you should check this tool regularly to ensure that it is still good. The condition of fish foods also makes the water dirty, so be sure the number of foods you put in the aquarium. Sometimes, fishes cannot eat all foods that you feed for them is another reason cause bad water condition.

How about cleaning a saltwater aquarium? It is similar to do with a freshwater tank. Nevertheless, it is more difficult to maintain it. This is because you need to pay attention to the nitrate cycle on the tank, the water temperature, the filtration process, and salinity level of the water as well.

General environment

One of the most important things to keep a fish tank is creating the condition like the natural environment for fishes. For instance, you have freshwater fishes you will not get a headache of the condition of the water (even you have live organisms in the tank).

If you have a saltwater tank, you should draw attention to make a balanced environment for the marine organisms in your tank. In other words, you should create the true combination of rocks, saltwater vegetation, and fish species to get the natural condition for fishes.

 

Difference between glass tanks and acrylic aquariums

This table will help you get a rapid note between them.

Quality Glass Aquarium Acrylic Tank
Cost Affordable Expensive
Scratching Resistant Can scratch without a hint
Weight Heavy Light
Shapes Limited Varied
Impact resistance Poor Excellent
Clarity Frequent Yellow (in color)

 

Weight capacity

Generally, glass is heavier and thicker than acrylic. A glass aquarium will weigh more than 5 times than an acrylic tank in the similar volume.

Acrylic tanks, on the other hand, are lighter. When you want to move an acrylic tank, it could be easier than a glass tank.

An acrylic tank will also be more solid on the structure which is supporting than a glass aquarium could do.

Nonetheless, the weight of a tank is also the water and other things inside like decorations. So, the truth is that the weight of an aquarium is also emotional.

Shape

Most of the glass tanks are rectangular in shape because glass is sturdy and brittle while acrylic is easier to mold at any shape.

Price

Basically, glass does not require any specialized tools, so a glass tank is less expensive than an acrylic tank. However, you should own some equipment for acrylic aquariums and the first bought cost is higher.

Strength

Glass tanks will be denser than acrylic aquariums. However, tempered glass types are stronger than the acrylic.

In most cases, thick level does not prove the quality of a fish tank at all. This is not a foundation point to compare between them. Instead, you should pay attention to the ability to contain water and some accessories of the aquarium.

Final Words

Both freshwater tanks and saltwater aquariums are incredible pieces of design, but each has different points with benefits and disadvantages as well. It also depends on lots of factors such as how you can set up, how good or bad the material, size, and shape, etc. So, there is not any wrong or right point. It is just ideal option for each person or family.

Womanhood

Ultimate guide to Travel with My Pets?

Look, this question is not necessary or it becomes weird for those who do not raise pets. However, pet owners often wonder this when they want to travel. They often take their pets with them when traveling. But how could you travel with your pets safely?

Know your destination

Whether you own a dog or a cat, please remember that some weather conditions are not comfortable for them. For instance, the Siberian Husky does not like go around the summer season in Dubai.

Or some sorts of cats do not bear the cold climate and they totally are sick when you bring them along with you. Thus, when making your travel plan, do not forget to find out the weather and consider you pets can or cannot.

Prepare gears for your pets

It sounds a bit weird but it is true for every pet when you travel with them. It means that you need to bring their foods and clothes. You enable to put some necessary equipment for them in case you cannot find the replacement such as jackets, boots, nail clippers, warm coats, shoes, pads, a collar, ID, etc.

Decide the type of transportation mode and know the play regulations

There are 4 basic transportation modes for pets – by train, by car, by airplane, and by boat. They will have the similar modes like humans.

No matter what kinds of transportation you will choose. You should ask the ticket agent about your pets. Do they allow pets in their cabins? How many regulations they have in the pet traveling? You should take time to read all laws before booking tickets. Do not rush at this point because you likely have to leave your pets at home without getting the plan B!

Use a case

It is important to put your pets in a case when traveling. This will help pets are safe and take a rest easier. Apart from this point, you will have time to bring your suitcases and do other checking tasks.

It is also useful not to make others scared. For example, you take a travel dog case and bring it with you. It is great for both of us when other passengers are comfortable and you easily can carry.

Nonetheless, please draw attention to the size because some airlines or travel service companies have the limited space to put your carry-on and suitcases. This is the reason why I told you that you should inform the crew.

Draw attention to the medicines

You can bring medicines along with you on the trip, but do not take too much. This is also vital for your pets. The best ways to deal with this problem is consulting a vet (for your pet) and practitioner (for you) to have some medical test and prescriptions as well. They may recommend some injections.

Do not forget to buy a ticket for your pets

It sounds too basic to us when hearing this point. However, some airlines or other transportation companies do not allow you use your ticket and bring pets freely only. In other words, they will ask the pet ticket. This is because they see your pet as a person, not an object or goods. Sometimes, you should get the passport or pet papers for them if the airline or a country requires.

Make pet tags

Why should you do that? This is another safe task for your pet; especially when they get lost in a large area or in a chaotic environment. You have to keep your eyes on your pet all the time, but you cannot estimate every situation. When they get lost, someone will see the pet tag and know who they should contact to return pets.

Bring the health certificates from veterinarian office

If you travel to another nation, it will be vital to check their health and have the health certificates along with you. This is because the local custom will ask it and they probably requiring you leave your pets if you do not have.

Do not miss out some pet aid kit

I am pretty sure that pet owners will know other things to add on the suitcase for their pets. I just make a short list for you to check again. They could be…

  • Dry foods (choose the favorite tastes)
  • A small bowl
  • Some medications and first-aid terms (these should be recommended by veterinarians)
  • Some soft toys, blankets, and pillows for them
  • Dental chews and treats
  • The contact information from the veterinarian office

Consider your pet’s diet

In every journey, your pets could have stomach upsets because they do not give healthy foods. Also, you may not have enough time to prepare their diets. However, you can change it by choosing some foods like these

Fresh foods or canned foods

With fresh foods, it is quite hard to bring because of the local regulations. To ensure it is available, you should check the laws and policies carefully in advance.

If it is still too difficult, then you could change canned foods. This choice is easier than taking fresh foods. However, do not forget to check the expiration in the hypermarket before making a hole in your wallet.

Dry foods

This option is better than fresh foods and likely canned foods. Nevertheless, it is also important to follow the regulations from the transportation company when you can bring foods or not.

Or you ought to buy dry foods for dogs in the local destination. Some hotels also give pet’s foods, so you can view from these first.

Seeds

Seeds are more ideal for bird sorts than dogs and cats. Be sure to check the laws in advance.

Take into account the traveling time

The time to travel is also crucial because you need to know the local weather apart from your schedule and your business.

It means that you should think of this point carefully when making a plan. Never traveling with them when they are pregnant or they are during the breastfeeding period.

In a nutshell, you completely can travel with your pets when you have scrupulous preparation at all!

Womanhood

How to Create a Raw Dog Food Recipe

A raw dog food recipe is considered highly as a great choice to keep your dog healthy, happy, and in peak condition. If you intend to feed your dog a raw diet, you need to choose the right ingredients, know how to prepare them, as well as determine the amount to use. Most importantly, you have to know the basics of your dog’s nutrient needs. Also, consider if the food is safe for him or not. Keep reading this post to get all the tips you need for the raw dog food.

Raw Food Diets For Dogs

You need a recipe for a raw food diet for your dog. It’s important to ensure to give your dog all the nutrients he needs. In fact, the raw food isn’t related to cooking. But, this food still research and preparation. Also, you need to have creativity, effort, as well as patience. The food you feed your dog has to provide him with the proper balance of nutrients for his age, size, and activity level. Like with humans, it’s best to feed your dog a diet made with high-quality ingredients. It’s important to alternate raw dog food recipes so that he can receive a wide variety of vegetables, meat, as well as fruits weekly.

Ingredients For Raw Dog Food Recipes

Despite a lot of variations, don’t forget to use the same basic ingredients in the right balance every time. Of course, you will have to tailor the recipes in order to suit your dog’s taste. Now, let’s take a look at the following basic structure for a raw meal designed:

  • 1/2 cup vegetables or fruits
  • 1/2 cups of raw chopped meat
  • Vitamin supplement as directed on product
  • 2tsp of fish oil
  • Plenty of fresh water for him to drink

Here are some specific figures:

  • If your dog is an adult dog, you need to provide him with over 2% of his body weight in food per day. So, it’s essential to feed a 10lb dog with under 1/4lb of food. That’s why you need to determine the amount of food your dog needs.
  • Ratio can be 75% – 95% organs/ bones/ meat as well as 5% -25% vegetables.
  • It’s important to give your dog an equal amount of meat as well as bones in any raw dog food recipe.
  • You can feed him approx 1:3 of bone to meat ratio.

Type of meat to use in a raw dog food recipe

For any dog food diet, you need a good source of protein. It’s best to come from quality meat. In addition, it’s also important to add meaty bones to your dog’s raw food recipes. Also, you can choose organ meat, chopped meat, the bones, or organ meat or fish. Remember always to use human-grade meat whenever possible. There are a variety of selections you can try. They include:

  • Chicken- chicken thighs, wings, necks, and feet
  • Duck
  • Turkey- turkey wings, thighs, feet, and necks are good choices
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Wild game birds
  • Beef
  • Rabbit
  • Whole fish
  • Offal as kidneys, liver.

Raw Chicken for Dogs

Dogs and Chicken Bones

In fact, cooked chicken bones may be able to splinter as well as cause injuries to your dog. On the contrary, it’s safe to feed him raw chicken bones because they are soft. It’s important to consider your dog’s ability to hunt, eat, and kill an entire bird. Your dog may eat things such as cleaning agents and chemicals.

Starting a Raw Diet

If you change your dog’s diet too quickly, your dog may suffer from pancreatic problems. So, you need to adjust period to diet changes. Sure, you should start this period slowly. It’s best to incorporate a couple of small raw chicken wings in his diet. Do this until you can switch completely to raw foods gradually.

Bacteria on Chicken

Many people are afraid of the bacteria found in raw chicken. But, your dog has an incredible immune system, so he can be able to eat raw food. You should still rinse the chicken before feeding your dog. This way purposes to remove undesirable chemicals sprayed on the chicken.

Grains, Veggies, and Fruit

Some people choose to feed their dogs a specific amount of grains as well as vegetables. But, your dog doesn’t need them because he is a carnivore. These grains, vegetables, and fruits may even harm to your dog. Instead, feed your dog raw chicken, pork, lamb, fish, or small cuts of beef. Also, you should give your dog some nice raw organs and innards. A good dog diet normally includes protein and pure meat.

Vets Opinions on Raw Diets

Many vets think that kibble is better for many reasons. In fact, your vet actually sells a specific brand of dog food because of a kickback from that company. So, it’s important to choose a close diet to the food your dog eats in the wild.

It’s hard to determine the amount of food to feed when switching him to raw foods. In fact, this depends on your dog’s size and exercise level. A sedentary dog needn’t eat as much as a high energy dog. If you get a toy poodle, just feed him a few chicken wings per day. More importantly, you should maintain your dog a healthy weight by feeding him the right amount of dog foods.

Bible Study, Womanhood

Preparing For Travel: Mommy Goes and Family Stays- Tips and Tricks

It doesn’t happen very often. Those few times that Mommy goes away, and the whole family stays behind. However, sometimes, it is needed -and first off – Mommy, that is okay! I am of the belief that we are better wives and mommies if we take some time for ourselves occasionally. Now, usually, for me, that just means a grocery store run by myself, Target and a Starbucks, or maybe a haircut while the kids are at school. However, there are times, especially if you are a working Mommy or if there are ladies events at church – where Mommy might go off for a day or so, and leave the family at home.

When those times come, I don’t think it is our job to let go of our responsibilities. Quiet the opposite – I feel like it is my job to try to see the needs of my family in advance, and help plan and prepare for them. So, I try to follow a few basic steps for when I am gone and they are here.

1) I plan a menu- I think through things that are going to work for my husband or my thirteen year old (who loves to be in the kitchen – and it is good for her!) can do. I pick some of the meals that are my least favorite, but are quick, easy and fun for the kids. Sometimes, I do the prep work – sometimes I don’t. However, I leave the ideas on the counter. I go to the store and stock up on everything they will need. I know how hard it is to go shopping with all of us- and so I try not to give that to my husband. Also – it works better for our budget (can I get an Amen!).

2) I do laundry in advance. I normally am a one load a day (to completion) kinda gal, but in the days leading up to a trip, I try to do two or so. This way, they are not spending time doing my laundry while they are gone.

3) I plan outfits- for the children who are not yet matching clothes by themselves. I lay it out and make sure it is all together. Nothing worse then a Sunday morning “I spy” game to find a dress shoe.

4) I try to find a few, easy and fun things for the family to do. My husband does a great job of this on his own, but I like to find some things to help keep everyone busy so that they make good memories while I am gone.

5) I write each one a note – reminding them how much I love them, and giving any special instructions. Mostly though, to tell them I love them.

6) Make some special time for each one- I try to take some good snuggle time with each person in my house hold before I go  – including hubby. Especially hubby. Be intimate. There… now let’s move on

I don’t leave a honey do list of things I expect to be done when I get home. If the house is standing, the kids are alive, and everyone is happy- then so am I.

I don’t have an expectation about what I will find at home when I get there (happy kids, well rested, and clean house) – I have found when I let my expectations wander- well, I am more often upset because SOMETHING doesn’t fit. Also, I would rather be pleasantly surprised then severely disappointed.

Lastly, I pray. Be sure to cover your home in prayer – even when you are not there. Then, go get refreshed- if only for two hours- and come home and jump back in! Thank God for the time He gives you to rest, and then do what God has given you to do with the right attitude!

Worshiping With My Life,

Womanhood

The Gossip Game (Inside the Church)

Recently, my heart, and stomach, were sick for the church. Gut wrenching, throw up kind of sick. I fear that there is a disease going on – and it’s root is strong and poisonous. We are busy playing

Recently, I had traveled with my oldest daughter to a christian convention for teenagers. While she was off participating in her different activities, I had the opportunity to sit in a coffee shop like area. I thought it would be a great time to work on some writing – I have a couple books I am hoping to release as well as blog post that are always needing to be written! So, I grabbed a cup of coffee, my laptop, found a seat with a view and settled in. A writers dream right? Wrong. Sadly, I was so wrong.

Within minutes, a couple joined me. They were not a married couple, but two chaperones, from another church. At first, their chatter didn’t bother me much, but then, the topic of conversation changed. It was obvious from their conversation that they were in leadership in their church – and that was the direction that their conversation quickly steered.

I got up, in hopes of finding a new spot to write. To read. To get away from overhearing a conversation that wasn’t meant for my ears. However, I quickly found I was out of options. There were no other seats available – except the one I had just vacated. Oh why had I left me headphones at home!

I returned to my seat, and tried to quickly engage myself in something  – anything to keep my mind busy. However, no matter what I did, I could not turn off the chatter beside me. It kept getting louder. The lady announced that she knew she was a busy body. Well, great. Thanks for sharing! She then went on to share all of their churches inner drama. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know there are no perfect churches. They are filled with imperfect people- and I am chief! However, I soon was able to learn about this congregations every fault. It went from family drama, to the way the church was run, to the Pastoral Staff.

I wanted to speak up. I wanted to ask them to change their conversation. However, right about the time I went to do so, I felt the Lord leading me to keep my mouth shut- for the time. You see, I knew I was only going to start a scene.  I could share scripture with them, I could ask them to stop. Yet, it wasn’t going to stop the destruction happening beside me. It would only change the tone of the conversation to hushed secrets, or the location – where someone else might have to hear it. Yes, the Lord told me to be silent.

I have sat in silence over this matter for almost 6 months. Yet, the venom of that conversation has come up time and time again. I have kept the scene to myself – because I did not want to be the source of more gossip. Yet, last week, after a time of sharing with my teenager about the effects of gossip, I felt like it was time to share the story, in hopes that someone will openly read and be receptive to the words I have to share.

That day, my heart was broken for the congregation that those people had come from. Again, I know that there is no perfect church. However, there is danger in conversations like the one I heard.

1) It is Gossip – That is the flat out truth. When you are sharing something that isn’t yours to share, or that puts someone else in a negative light- that is called gossip, or slander. There are tons of verses in the Bible that talk about not being a slander or a back bitter. Yet ,we still feel the need to use our words in that way. If you struggle with saying things that are not edifying- I encourage you to read the book of Proverbs, with a red pencil. Circle every verse that talks about gossip or the tongue. Memorize 7 – one for each day of the week. We have all struggled in this area if we are honest (especially as women) – yet it is an area that we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, control.

2) It shows a lack of Trust – When we speak negative about our church or the leadership in a church, we are showing that we don’t trust God. Either we don’t trust Him to move us to a church where we can be in agreement with the leadership – or we don’t trust Him to use the leadership at our current church the right way. We need to trust God in the midst of where He has us planted. This is especially true if we are part of that leadership. Others are watching our words and our attitudes.

3) We are the Bride of Christ- We are all part of the the Church- the Bride of Christ. When we speak negatively against one another, it is like speaking ugly about one of our own body parts. We need to strive to be beautiful for Christ – and that means, loving our whole body!

4) God doesn’t get Glory- When we speak against GOD’S CHURCH (because here is a reality check – it is HIS church) we are ROBBING HIM OF THE GLORY HE DESERVES! That makes me sick. Instead of bringing God glory, we are taking away from it.

5) It isn’t welcoming- We are to be a friendly place to invite the lost. If our church is negative and full of gossip – it isn’t the place we need to bring the lost. They can find that kind of care in the world. Sadly, they might even be treated better.

Church, we need to rise up. We need to guard our mouths, our ears, our minds and our hearts. When we hear gossip, we are allowing it to plant seeds of doubt, dissatisfaction, and ugliness in our lives and in our minds and hearts. We need to protect and guard our church -and our Pastor (and their wives)! I know they are sinners- and they will fail. I have been there, and seen some hard falls. Yet, it is not our place to judge. If you feel like there is something wrong in your body – take it to the right people, in the right way. This way, you can keep yourself blameless in the situation, and you will bring glory to God for the way you handled it!

Worshiping With My Life,

Bible Study

Remembering – Passover to the Lord Supper

Remembering. We take photos and videos of life so that we can remember. Remember how little our kids were. How much fun we have had on  a vacation. There are tons of reasons and things we want to remember. For me, I will never forget the sounds of the waves crashing on my favorite spot in south Florida, or the way the sand felt between my toes. I don’t forget the millions of shark teeth I found with my grandmother, or the way we made mac and cheese. I will never forget the first day Lizzie called me Mommy – or the days that followed when Jared and then Bekah followed suit. I will never forget the way my husbands eyes looked the first time he told me he loved me. My Daddy and I standing, holding hands watching the rain come down on my wedding day. The first time I held my beautiful niece. Memories that are beautiful in my mind.

Not all memories come with beauty. Some come at the hand of hard times. I will never forget the morning I got the call that my Grandmother was sick in the hospital. Or the call that she had passed. Or driving down the road, saying that I would not curse God. The night we found out my Mother in Love would stop cancer treatments. These are memories I will never forget either.

This week,through studying with Good Morning Girls,  we walked through some of the last days of Jesus life, the ones that lead up to and surround the Last Supper, we see some of Jesus memories. We started in Exodus 12:1-14- before Christ birth on Earth, and we talked about the Passover. Oh, how the lamb had to be just so. God wanted that picture to be perfect -so that when they saw Jesus, they would know what they were looking at – and still – so many missed it. What a beautiful passage that gives us a reminder about the Passover! For the Israelite to be spared from the plague of death, there had to be blood of the lamb applied to the door post of their home. In order for me to be free from the death and it to not have a hold on me- I need to have THE BLOOD of THE LAMB applied to the post of my heart. There was so much significance and specifics about the lamb – and they all point to our spotless Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ! This reminded the Isrelaities that to be spared from death, innocent life had to be given. What a picture. For me to be saved from eternal death, Jesus perfect life had to be given for me. For me personally, I am remembering the time when the Blood of THE Lamb was applied to my life. The blood on my life changes who I belong to – and now I belong to Christ. I am sure there was frantics as the people went to each other, making sure they knew what they needed to do in order to be saved. AM I sharing this truth with others, so that, when the day comes, they too will have the blood of Jesus on the doorpost to their heart.

Next, we moved on to John 13:3-5, 14-15 –  I know this passage was something that the Disciples would remember for a long time. We find ourselves several hundred years later from yesterdays passage. Jesus sits down to partake of the Passover- which we celebrate today as Communion or The Lord’s Supper. They were going to remember what the Lord had done for them – little did they know that they were setting up a new ordinance for remembering.  The perfect Passover Lamb was in the house. The night before His death, we see Him serving the disciples- by washing their feet. If even He, God in the flesh, is willing to take the humblest position to serve – we as His followers should be willing servants too.AM I following Christ example of being a servant? Jesus served those closest to him- how am I serving those around me? The one thing the disciples would remember about Jesus is the way he served- right down to the end.

When we move on to Matthew 26-21-25, we see the first thing that stood out is that all the disciples had to ask “is it me Lord?”This reminds me how quickly I can go from walking with God, to betraying him with my actions. I love how this is pointed out, because it puts the focus back on me,and takes it off of Judas. It could have been me. I need to acknowledge my Judas moments, and be sure that I am living a life that points to Christ and doesn’t betray him. It says that it would be be better to not be born then to betray Jesus. I know I haven’t betrayed him like Judas has- but I know there have been times when I haven’t spoken about him like I should, or where my actions were anything but Christ like. Lord, help me today to consistently show love and grace in my life – and to live a life that reflects you and gives you glory.

“Take this cup, and as often as you drink of  it – do this in remembrance of me.” “Take this bread, and as often as you eat it – do this in remembrance of me”. Jesus was giving the disciples something tangible, a memory, so that when they would move forward in life, they would have something tangible that would remind them of this moment with Jesus. He wanted them to remember .  This would be an ordinance that the disciples, and Paul, would pass down, and even generations later, we take time to remember what Jesus did and sacrificed for us, through remembering the Lord’s Supper. When we drink of that cup, or eat of that bread, we are to do it out of a pure heart, remembering what Christ did for us on the cross. 1 Corinthians 10:14, 21-22 are clear – we need to flee from idolatry, from the things that bind us in this world, and worship the Lord.

God is the only one who is worthy of our worship, and the only one worthy of our praise. We need to take time during this Easter season, and take off the things-  flee from the things- that take our heart and affection away from the Lord, and remember what good and wonderful things HE has done.

Worshiping With My Life,

Parenting

Teaching Them Diligently pt 2: Family Devotions

Last week, we started a series on Teaching Them Diligently.  We started with the most important topic- loving God.  Over the next weeks (Tuesday and Thursdays) we are going to look at some specific areas where we can be diligent in teaching our children. We are going to move on this week with talking about family devotions.

The first thing to know is that it is important to have family devotions. Like we talked in the first post about loving God, we have been given stewardship over our children. God has given them to us as a blessing- but they are His. I always feel like my kids are on loan from God. They are His creations, and hopefully, one day they will choose to worship their Creator, and surrender their lives to Him. In the mean time, they are in mine and my husbands care, and I want to be a good steward over the time I have with them. I know that we will give an account for the way that we raised them – not for the choices they make – but for our time, investment and teaching of them. This is why it is important that we be diligent.

In today’s world, it is a fight for family time. Screens have taken over the time family used to spend reading books, playing games, doing crafts, and playing outside. Screens have become our children’s closest friend and where they turn when they need something to do. With this in mind, children have lost their already small attention spans. If it isn’t full of lights, sounds and action, sadly, it doesn’t hold their attention. How then, do we as families make time for family devotions? What do we use? How do we facilitate them?

1.When and Where: Set a place and a time – Make a family appointment each day to spend time with God and each other. This needs to be a screen free environment. We have chosen to use our dining room. TV’s, computers, I-pods and cellphones are not welcome there. We enjoy meal times where we talk and interact. We get this privilege almost twice a daily, 5-6 times a week.  Our family does devotions in the morning after breakfast before we head to work and school. I find this to be important because it gives them positive things to think on as they start their day, and my hubby and I have a time to pray over them before they go to school each day. We also keep this same “rule” in place for dinner time- and we talk about our “high and low” for the day – and discuss any prayer request or praises we might have had from the day.

2. What to use? Our family has used some great resources over the years. One we love, that is free, is the Children’s Resources from Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls does several sessions a year, and usually all but the Summer Book Club has resources.These actually go along with the adult reading plans and so you and your child are reading and sharing about the same things! Another one I love during Christmas and Easter is found at OHAmanda.com – she has Truth in the Tinsel and A Sense of the Resurrection.These are great, hands on resources that you can buy for a small fee, but allow you some great, engaging resources to use. Another one our family has liked, especially for mornings where we might be shorter on time is Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids: Time-Tested Answers to Your Toughest Questions. This one has short devotions, with a few scriptures, that allow you to read it as though Jesus was speaking to you. I also love The Dig Luke Vol. 1 and The Dig for Kids: Luke Vol. 2. These are written by Patrick Schwenk, who is the husband to my friend Ruth over at The Better Mom and For the Family. I got the opportunity to walk my kids through the book of Luke by using these- they are so much fun, interactive, and right on kids level- while still being interesting and deep for parents! The last one I want to share is the one we have used most recent, and that is Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide. This one is dear to my heart because it teaches our kids a lot about character, and gives them a great spiritual foundation. It is written by Sally Clarkson, who I highly respect.  Maybe you will have another one you would like to share with me in the comments! Also – it is important to remember  – and something we do often – you don’t need ANY book outside of your Bible. Maybe your child is struggling with Anger… well, this is a great time to do a word study on Anger. Or the tongue. Or kindness. Or any other struggle that your child might face. Just find scripture and read about it, write about it, and talk about it!

3. How? Well, each devotional has had different ideas, however, our family has a simple pattern we typically follow. We always have our Bibles. Real Bibles – not screens. I find this to be important for several reasons – but mainly, it keeps integrity, and doesn’t cause them to be tempted to change their focus. Daddy leads in our home- but Mama, if Daddy isn’t a Christian or not home- don’t feel bad about training your children! We open in prayer and ask God to teach us. We dive into God’s Word. We take turns reading- and allowing the kids to read – so they read God’s Word for themselves. Scott and I then share about what we have read. We ask questions. We discuss things that are brought up. Then we pray again. This doesn’t usually last for more then about 20-30 minutes – and we change topics often to keep everyone engaged.

No matter HOW, or WHAT you use, the important thing is that you get into God’s Word with your kids. That they see you interact with the Bible- both in personal and family devotions.We are setting up the habits now for our children- and we are building that foundation of their spiritual lives! Walking them to the cross daily is an act of Worship to our King.

Worshiping With My Life,

Bible Study, Womanhood

For Such a Time (with Link Up)

This week, I have been doing some reading in Esther. I was reading along and came to my all time favorite verse, both in the book and probably a top 10 in scripture.

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another palace, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Esther 4:14

I know my Friday post are usually deep – and really, I feel like this verse speaks for itself. I feel like it could be one of my life verses. There have been so many times that I have felt God use these words to tug at my heart strings, confirming in me things He has planned for me, that I am scared to do. Like…

– Going to a foreign mission field, and letting my heart get so tied in there that even today, I yearn to go back. It is a distant home to me, and I have been there 5 times. My heart and my soul yearns to be with the people I have invested in, and been invested by, there.

– When I started 4 years of “in house” seminary training at my church. Not sure what God was going to do with  – only knowing that I was to be obedient.

-As I mentored and discipled teenage girls to walk in truth.

-When God called me to be the wife, and mama, to a husband and children who had lost theirs. Oh, the times are not always easy as we deal with grief, loss, and hard things. However, oh how we have grown, and oh the testimony of love that God has given us.

-When God moved me from Florida to South Carolina, away from all my family and friends.

-As I walked through the doors of becoming a mother of a child with Special Needs.

-As I began to help with the leadership of Good Morning Girls…. and then God called me to start blogging… and then to Marriage,Motherhood and Missions, and A Look At the Book.

-As I began to fight the battle of infertility.

-As God has placed on our family the desire to adopt – and as we watch Him bring in every…single…dollar. As He connects us with families that are adopting, and gives us ministry because of it.

-As God moved us churches  – stretching us beyond what we could image.

– As God continues to do great things in my ministry (and for that you will have to wait – but know – BIG things are coming soon!)

God has moved me and stretched me so many times. In each season, in each change, and in each growing experiance, He has reminded me that He has prepared me for the things He is asking me to do.

Oh friend, is God asking you to do something for HIS kingdom? Does it seem bigger then you? Well, your right, it probably is. I have watched God give me “God-Size” dreams – and prepare me, and then use me, in each and every one. Trust Him today to do things only HE can do, so that HE can get the glory. He has prepared you, for such a time as this.

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Bible Study

I am God’s Beloved

I am God’s beloved. Those words were not ones that I felt like I could say all of my life. I surrendered my life to Christ when I was fifteen years old. I hadn’t had a hard life, and I hadn’t done what the world would classify as “big sin” (there are not big sins- in God’s economy, it is all the same). I knew God loved me. I believed God loved me. I had seen evidence of it my whole life. Yet, I wouldn’t have said that I was God’s beloved.

Life continued to move forward, and time marched on. It wasn’t always beautiful – actually, it was downright ugly at times. I remember being a senior in high school and wondering why bad things happened. Sadly, it was only the tip of a the ice berg. Teachers who passed away, friends who were not true, a verbally and emotionally abusive boyfriend – and not feeling like I could get out, life just got hard. I knew God was walking with me. I could feel His presence in each step.

Zephaniah 3:17 says that God is there in my midst. In the midst of all those hard times, and many more to follow, God was there. He comforted me with His love more times than I can count.

He was also there in some of my great times. Times of sharing His truth with others – even to the uttermost parts of the World. Watching teenage girls surrender their hearts and all of them to the Lord. When I fell in love- and even the same day became a mom. Even in those moments, God was in my midst. He rejoiced over me with singing.

As I read the passages this week through my Good Morning Girls  study, You Are Loved, I saw God’s intimate love for me in a new way. I knew it was there- but I felt it. I saw the evidence that had always been there, like the penned words of the song that He has sung over me.

I know the truth of the words I had heard – I am God’s Beloved.

Oh Lord, you are so good to me. You woo and pursue our hearts, and are right there in our midst- no matter what that midst might look like right now. Thank you for loving me  – and comforting me with that love, and rejoicing over me with singing. Thank you for loving me so much – and being willing to show me till I see it. Till I understand it. And I know this is only the beginning.

Worshiping With My Life

Bible Study, Marriage, Parenting, Womanhood

Mercy To The Least of These

Who is our neighbor? When this answer was asked of Jesus, the response was – anyone who  is around us. The story of the Great Samaritian showed that to be true. It wasn’t the person who should have helped- who should have shown himself to be a neighbor to the hurt man. No, it was the last person you would expect.

I have found the same to be true lately. The people who are closest to me are not always to people in closest proximity. Yet, we are called- called to minister. Not just to those who are near us. Not just to those who it is easy to love. We are called to show

The people that automatically come to mind as neighbors are those I live with. My family. These are the people I live with. How generous with my time and resources am I with those who are closest to me? It would seem that we are the most generous to them- but they are often the first we take from. We need to remember that our family is our first ministry. Behind God, they are our first priority. Yet, they are often the ones we are quickest to give our least to – the end of our resources. We need to give them the best of us.

The next people are those who are truly our neighbors. The ones who live in front, behind, and beside you. We live in a culture that doesn’t know their neighbors anymore. You give the casual wave as you drive out the driveway – but yet, we give no care to their deepest need – the way they might be poor – in their relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to take back hospitality and get to know our neighbors.

What about the homeless? The less fortunate. You may even know their faces in your community. Are you blessing these people – or just scared of them. I do think we need to use caution – but I believe God places them in our lives for a reason.

Lastly, I want to take a step out even further. To the widows and orphans. The book of James tells us that true religion is in how we care for these important people. If you have spent any time here at all, you know my heart for adoption. It goes beyond the baby I am going to one day hold- to all the orphans- the 101,666 orphans world wide – that don’t have a home. That are poor. They live in less then great conditions – or are born to parents that can’t take care of them, but don’t feel like they have an option either. The wonderful women who choose life for their babies  – even at the cost of their own. Then, the widows. The ones we have left behind. They feel uncared for by the world. They need encouragement. A meal. Cards at the holidays. A visit. Simple moments of our time, that show that they are still cared about – after the one human in the world who loved them with all their being is gone. These two groups of people will pull at your heart strings, stretch you – and push you beyond yourself. We need to extend the mercy of God to these.