{"Keeping it Personal" Radio Interview!}

Good afternoon We are His daughters, friends!

About a week ago now Keeping it Personal Radio personality, Teri Johnson, approached our president, Mandy Hill about being a guest on her Thursday afternoon radio show!

With excitement, Mandy agreed to share a bit about her faith journey and touch on some of the unexpected circumstances that she has faced in her life so far.

image

We would be so honoured if you would join Mandy and Teri at KIPRadio!

www.kipradio.com

Have a wonderful day, friends!

image

{Marriage} Balance.

By: Mandy Hill

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Earlier today my husband asked if I would give him a hand cleaning our garage. After a weekend of birthday party celebrations, silly string wars, a grocery shopping trip, and of course the Christmas decorating……it is needing some real attention.

We made a plan that after dinner, baths, and a game with the kids, we would head out and get the job done. However, the sum total of the work I put into my day, and all those things I mentioned above left me feeling too weary to complete the task.

“I’m sorry, I just can’t do it tonight” I said, pleading with my husband to understand.

image

As I rattled off exactly what I did today in an attempt to justify my weariness, I actually surprised myself. While I accomplished many things, my list of accomplishments did not include: a shower, a change of clothes, or even brushed teeth (ick)……and here it was already 7:45pm.

My job as a Mommy is exactly where I want to be; exactly where I am called. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in being a Mommy that I forget what it means to be a woman, wife and friend.

Can you relate, friend?

I take my role as Ben, Sophia, Spencer & Grayson’s Mommy very seriously. I also take my role as Nathan’s wife seriously, but sadly it oftentimes takes a back burner to my role as Mommy. I believe it’s so important to keep both roles properly balanced.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

By allowing ourselves to step out of our Mommy-roles for a few hours a week, we are blessing both ourselves and our children with some breathing space and time to be refreshed. Everyone operates better when they are refreshed. Whether you take a walk after dinner and your hubby can play with the kids, or you have a relative/friend watch the kids for a few hours so you and your hubby can have a little date- allow yourself that important time.

Your role as Mommy will be waiting at the door when you return; I guarantee it.

image

Jesus, Thank You for reminding me to keep balance in my roles. I pray for wisdom in making wise choices with my time; always following the pathway of your will. In Jesus name, amen.

{BACK TO SCHOOL SERIES} Starting a new…again.

Written by: Emma Skeete

If anyone ever wanted to find out how to start a music studio, I can tell them! I started in my parent’s living room, building my student base from connections in my mom’s piano studio. Then I got married, moved across the bridge to a different town, and started a studio and received a number of student’s referred to me by an area teacher who had too many students to cover the requests. Then I moved again and had to establish a new studio in a new neighborhood. I carried over some of my students, but in the process of moving I have lost some students who couldn’t make the drive etc…This time I actually took more than a year off having had a mat leave, where 2 other teachers filled in for me.

So when I was asked “How do you prepare for a new year?” oddly enough, I was really quite stumped as to how to answer.

I am busier than I have ever been, coming back to 8 classes this coming week, and I’m a stay-at-home-mom with 2 children between the ages of 1 & 3. However, I realize I am not alone. There are many moms & dads out there facing very similar situations as me, and I dare say all our parents felt the same way when they had little ones.

How do I prepare for a new year? Well, I assisted with and participated in a conference last weekend. Over the summer I undertook changing my entire studio which is still not complete. This past week, I somehow managed to loose my iPhone, the busiest week teaching-wise without actually teaching because I’m organizing the students who have already registered along with registering new ones.

I have had dreams of meal plans, participating in mom-tot groups, library programs this fall and so on it goes…Thoughts swirling in all directions….

How have I prepared for a new year? This week, I reached out to my Heavenly Father and asked Him for peace. I have been reading Ephesians this week and the following phrases stood out to me in Ephesians 3: “12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

So I am depending on the Holy Spirit to give me all the strength I need and the peace I need to be rested enough to face the week ahead. This my first week teaching a full load in well over a year.

What else have I done to prepare? Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days we had this summer. Rather than try to placate my children and keep them busy so I could “get everything done” we hopped on the ferry and went across the harbor to enjoy the playground. In the process of yesterday unfolding and running an errand – my car broke. So I called my husband and his friend to rescue me, while I took the kids walked down the street and took my 3 year old potty. All the while choosing to enjoy the day. I know these days of my boys being young will flash before my face and despite the insanity I feel I am facing right now (by the way I had a demo even with a friend today doing a sound play for kids, so I could promote my classes) I WILL enjoy my children. Yes its been busy, but God is still good, He is sovereign and I’m going to not only get through this coming week, but by His grace I am going to do it victoriously!

This morning my mom called and I admitted to her how defeated I already felt. She told me I could do it. Thereby getting just the encouragement I needed to keep going.

I almost did not write this blog, however, I didn’t want to leave a friend stuck. So, I’m trying to honor my commitments, and allow God to be my ‘more than enough’.

I have a worship time to lead tomorrow, so now I will go prepare for that. Yes its busy, but I do not mind that as long as the busyness only comes in seasons.

So, my encouragement to you? Come boldly and confidently into God’s presence, and I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.

Eternal Blessings,
Emma

image

Emma Skeete is married to the love of her life Isaac. They have received two heavenly blessings – Malachi 3 and Nehemiah 1. The Skeete’s live in Dartmouth NS where they host a house church called B.A.S.I.C. Their daily prayer is that as they walk this temporal life they will have an eternal impact on everyone they meet and glorify God in ALL they say and do.

{Parenting} A Proverbs 31 Mommy.

By: Sarah Oates-Walker

“Mommy, play with me!” I was all ready to get some cleaning done, but how could I say “no” to that adorable request? Then, at the end of the day, my daughter turned to me with a look of disgust and said, “It is REALLY dirty in here – you NEED to clean it!” You can’t win!

I have read several blogs lately that talk about how having a messy house means that you are a good mom:

“Sometimes it comes down between cleaning the house, and taking Tristan and Norah to the park. Or spending time having fun with them, or teaching them to read or write. Sometimes I can either do the dishes, or teach our son how to ride a bike, or our daughter how to walk. I’d rather do those things, frankly. I’d rather not be that mom who ignores our kids, and myself, because I’m so busy worrying about what the neighbors might think of our messy house.”- Mel Edwards “No Idea What I’m doing: A Daddy Blog”

As I read these blogs, I feel relief! My house is usually not as clean and tidy as I would like it to be, but when it is “messy,” it is usually because I am spending most of the day playing with my children. As I read these words from fellow parents, saying that a messy house is OK if it is because you are spending your day enjoying your children, I take a deep sigh and say, “Good, my excuses are valid!”

In my devotional and prayer time, I have been reading Proverbs 31 – “The Characteristics of a Noble Wife” – and asking God to make me into a Proverbs 31 woman:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” ~ Proverbs 31: 25-30

This woman is smart, wise, strong, confident and admired by her family. However, as I read through verses 13-24, God started to convict my heart. This woman, that I admire so much, is hardworking and provides for her family in EVERY way!

“…(she) works with eager hands.”
“She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.”
“…her lamp does not go out at night”.

image

I am a stay-at-home mom, awake by 6am, and not in bed until after 10pm. There are many days that I justify not taking the time to keep my house clean and tidy. And to be fair, it is extremely hard to keep a tidy house when you have toddlers running around! I could spend all day cleaning, just to have them walk through a room, and five minutes later you would swear that I had done nothing at all!

It is easy to throw my hands up in surrender and say, “Why bother?!” But, if I am diligent with my 16 waking hours, I can do my work and spend quality time with my family each day. I don’t have to choose one or the other. It is so easy to spend all of our time neglecting our responsibilities, and it can be just as easy to work too much and miss out on quality time with the kids. The important thing is that we find a balance between the two!

As I arose to the challenge that God placed in my heart to keep a cleaner house, I noticed a few things. I felt more relaxed and happier in my home; my husband noticed my hard work and was appreciative; there was a new sense of peace that came with not having to pick up and tip-toe around our daily messes. I am now doing my best to set the example for my children that although there is a time to play and have fun, it is also important to work hard to take care of the things God has blessed us with, and to serve others. I don’t want to do laundry, clean or do a million others things; but I do it out of love, to serve my family.

“And it is not fair to you, because you really can’t have fun or relax in a room that’s such a terrible mess.” Papa Bear, “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room”