Friday, December 14, 2012

When the World is Falling Apart

Sometimes, when we hear of something terrible happening in the world, we want to know more.  We want information. We want to know why. We want to empathize with the people who are suffering.

So we turn on the television, the news, the radio - anything where we can get the latest updates, to stay informed, to be aware.

Our hearts ache, we long to help, we wish we were closer to offer a loving embrace and some assistance, even in a small way.

 ABC News
But it can also be distracting.  The very things we turn to in order to help us feel connected can turn against us. The pictures can get lodged in our minds, the cries for help can haunt us at night.  And we begin to fear....and to fear....and to fear.

How we respond is crucial, for little eyes are watching us. Little eyes that trust, that believe in good, that want to live life with freedom.

So is the answer to shut everything off and just shelter our children, and never let them know of the evil going on outside?  Would that be helpful?

As tempted as I am to turn on the news (because I am an information addict), the house is eerily quiet today.  My children do not know what has happened yet.  They are still at school, hearing stories and reading books, their minds in far-away lands of fairy tales and make believe.

What I do with this situation will also stick in their minds forever. How do I tell them?  How much should I say?  Should I show them the truth?

Yet I know that as a mother, it is my job to guard their hearts, to protect them, to shield them from evil as long as I possibly can.

So today, while they are 5 and 7, I will prayerfully consider these things. I do not want to instill fear in my children, but faith that the world can still be good, that people can still be trusted, that God will protect them in their comings and goings.  There will still be many occasions for them to learn about evil in the world. But for today, I may just shield them one more time.

And maybe, with the silence of the television and news being off, I can use that time to pray, because often I spend more time getting informed than I actually do praying for the situation.

If your children already know of this situation or you plan on sharing it with them, head over to Beth's blog at Home Stories A to Z to read her advice on How to Talk to Your Kids About School Shootings. As a former school counselor, she knows.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Activities!!!

Every year I try to think of 25 fun activities for the boys to do before Christmas, and this year I went on the hunt for some new ideas. On Pinterest you can find a ton of cute ways for the kids to discover what the fun activity will be for the day, but we use our tried-and-true Christmas tree advent calendar that I got at Starbucks years and years ago.


Here is our list for this year:

Decorate for Christmas and put up the lights!!!

Eat a red and green dinner

Read a Christmas book by flashlight

Make a treat to take to the neighbors

Read the story of Jesus’ birth

Have dinner in front of the Christmas tree and watch a movie

Have hot chocolate

Go see the Christmas lights

Have Christmas breakfast for dinner!

Make a Christmas craft

Make Christmas cookies

Camp out under the tree!!

Buy Christmas gifts for each other!  $10 limit

Movie night

Open presents with family!

Newport Beach Boat Parade!!

Go get frozen yogurt!

Visit with Santa on the Santa float and get a candy cane!!!

Make a gingerbread house

Go to Grandma & Grandpa's house

Christmas Day - Celebrate Jesus!

Stay up late 

Go to the mall and ride the Christmas train

Go out to eat

Have a Christmas play-date with friends

In each little box I place one of the items on a slip of paper, along with 2 Hershey's kisses (one for each boy) and a Scripture reading to read before bed (still working on those though).

What ideas would you put on your list?