The Lord’s Reputation-Joshua 2-GMG

In Joshua 2 we see that Joshua was trying to see what was out in the land God had told him to take by sending two spies out to survey the area.

After taking refuge at the harlot Rahab’s house, the men are protected there, but Rahab tells them a very interesting thing in verse 8-13

8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the
men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has
fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of
you.10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you
when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites
who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly
destroyed.11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did
there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God,
He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you,
swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will
show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my
father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our
lives from death.”

Even after wandering in the desert for YEARS people were still very aware of what God had done for the Israelites. These people were shaking in their proverbial boots because they saw the power of God go before Israel and they knew they weren’t in line with God. They lost ALL Courage! There was no one who even thought they could beat Israel due to the miraculous wonders God had done through them.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have people say, “Hey! I know you are a child of the King because of all the amazing stuff that’s happened to you” And really it’s through you to bring God glory. These wonders made it clear to Rahab that the Israelite God was the only God over everything.

It reminds me of what two different pastors at two different churches said last weekend. They both posed the question, “Do we let God shape our lives, or our we trying to just squeeze Him in where we want?”

“Do we let God shape our lives, or our we trying to just squeeze Him in where we want?” Click To Tweet

“Okay God, You stay in the Sunday spot and the Wednesday night spot, oh, and the Friday night spot for Bible study, but the rest of the time is mine and I will pray when I need something! Talk soon!”

But isn’t that the reality of it? We separate our work, friends, and family away from God because integrating Him in to every aspect of our life is complicated and messy and then EVERYTHING is exposed. We pretend He can’t see this part of my life, or this sin I’m hiding over here, but HE CAN. We aren’t fooling anyone, but ourselves. God already knows all those areas, but until you give it over to Him you will be miserable holding on to them and trying to juggle them yourself.

Let God have all those broken pieces because He is better than Doc McStuffins at fixing broken things. Click To Tweet

Let God have all those broken pieces because He is better than Doc McStuffins at fixing broken things. Let Him have your life and let Him go before you because it is ultimately about Him getting the glory anyways.

The Love Notes Lesson

Marriage can be a difficult thing to keep up with. We tend to put everything in front of our spouse because this world has us so busy our heads our spinning. So days, weeks, even months may go by before we realize that we have talked about more than just the kids and how work went that day.

 

I know my husband and I found ourselves in this exact place not too long ago and we had to fix it. We didn’t want to wake up one morning and wonder who we were lying next to once the kids were gone because we had drifted away from each other. We decided that instead of letting everything around us determine how life went, we were going to be intentional about making time for each other and connecting, even if just by a note.

 

We came across a box that looked like a book, and if you have been reading my posts for long you KNOW I love those, and decided to get one to put love notes to each other in. This made it easy to find notes and keep them in one place, as well as look super cute in our kitchen. J

 

When we dated we wrote love notes all the time and I kept everyone. They sit in a file that I go back to now and then to remember all those gushy feelings you have when you are dating and engaged.

 

I want you to think about all the wonderful things that made you fall in love with your spouse in the first place. Stop for a moment to remember your first kiss, your engagement, and your wedding. Remember the silly times and the hard times you made it through together. Even if you feel like your marriage is not in a good place right now you can help change that for the better!

 

So here is your challenge: Write a love letter to your spouse every day for 30 days, even if they don’t write one back. Tell them why you fell in love with them, what makes you smile, your favorite memory of them and just see how your marriage grows! You can download the Love Notes Lesson Printable below to give you some ideas!

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[lab_subscriber_download_form download_id=1]

 

 

Tell me what you found after a day, a week, and the month! How did your spouse react?

Music and Movement Sensory Play- 2 & 3 Year Olds

Music is a wonderful thing that can be soothing at any age. When it comes to sensory play, music can be used in a variety of ways to help your child further understand the world around them.

For example, singing to your baby and doing finger plays helps your child develop rhythm and vocabulary. Today we will focus on 2 and 3 year olds and their need for music and movement simultaneously.

This activity will use a variety of senses including touch, sound, speech, and sight, which will make the play fun as well as educational.

For this activity you will need:
~A device to play music on, such as a phone, CD player, etc.
~Children’s Music
I suggest Raffi, The Laurie Berkner Band, or if you are looking for more music video songs Praise Party by Yancy is fantastic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Instruments-you can always use pots, pans, and spoons as well or here is a set I like from Melissa and Doug

 

~An open space

Directions:
You will want to have all your materials together before you tell your toddler what you are doing so they don’t get distracted. Have them stand in the middle of the room and turn on 2 or 3 of your/their favorite songs. (Or more if they like it!) Have the instruments out so they can play with them as you

Some of the ones I like to do:
We Are The Dinosaurs– The Laurie Berkner Band

For this one you can march around like dinosaurs and pretend to be a big dinosaur or a little dinosaur! Littles have a great time making big dinosaur roars as well!
Fast And Slow (The Rabbit And The Turtle)– The Laurie Berkner Band

This song goes back and forth between fast and slow, which helps your toddler understand opposites. When you are talking about the turtle walk, dance, and skip very slow, and when you are talking about the rabbit run, dance, and skip really fast!

Junior Ragtime– Raffi

I love this as a way to introduce fun styles of music that kids do not usually hear and it is so fun to dance to! Maybe you can teach your little how to do the Charleston!

Shake My Sillies Out– Raffi

I use this in almost every class I teach to toddlers because it is a great way to get them moving and then settled down right before you start talking about something else.

This is a great activity to do to get your child moving, get that little extra energy out, or a fun thing to do inside on a rainy or snowy day!

What songs did you use? What part of this activity did your child like best?

 

*This post contains affiliate links, which I receive compensation from if you purchase the item(s). You will be redirected to the affiliate page after clicking on the link, which may be highlighted words, pictures, or other format link. Thank you for your support of this site!

Playing Together: The Importance of Sensory Play (Guest Post Featured on Rookie Parenting)

As a parent helping your child learn is one of the most important things to you, and sensory play is a fun and engaging way for your child to excel in many different areas. Sensory play encourages scientific processes because problems are solved using the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. By stimulating your child’s senses, you are helping them develop creatively, socially and emotionally, cognitively, linguistically and physically through simply playing with them.

You have probably seen your child play with the most inexpensive “toys” like a paper towel roll, a pot and a spoon, or straws. Your child is using anything and everything to explore the world around them and encouraging this behavior will benefit you and your child by letting your child explore and create and giving you the opportunity to discuss what is happening in any given project.

boy-958457_1280By stimulating your child’s senses you are helping their brain develop because when a sense is engaged neural pathways are being created to assist with further learning in later years.

Sensory play is not only important for babies and toddlers, who often have the time to play and explore at home, but also for preschoolers and elementary children. When your child is allowed to use multiple senses to accomplish a task, they will learn more from the experience and retain more information. This ideal does not change as you get older, even adults retain more information when multiple senses are engaged! Even you are creating new neural pathways in your brain when engaging in sensory play, which can help negate Alzheimer’s(1), assist in creative thinking, problem solving, and time needed to respond to a catastrophic situation (2). Creating time for your child, of any age, to engage in sensory play is imperative for their long-time learning and health.

Creating time for your child, of any age, to engage in sensory play is imperative for their long-time learning and health. Click To Tweet

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So how do you start integrating sensory play into your everyday life? The good news is it is simple! By taking objects that you already have in the house you can create many fun experiences for you and your child. For example, take a colander and spaghetti noodles (or pipe cleaner) and challenge your child to put the noodles in the holes. They will be drawn to this experience and will start to develop basic motor skills as well as problem solving skills when they break IMG_20160824_210528the spaghetti noodles.

 

For older children play-doh and fondant are great ways to teach sensory play, as well as skills that your child can

use in the future such as baking a cake. Fondant can be used to make beautiful designs, but it takes time and patience to get the results wanted, both are needed skills in everyday decision-making and life.

 

 

Don’t be afraid to try something new and make a mess! This is a great time to bond with your child and create fun memories that will last a lifetime!

For tips on handling the mess, more sensory ideas, and using American Sign Language with your child (also great for sensory play!) visit imaginationsigning.comis designReferences:

(1) How to Help the Ones We Love Symptoms and Strategies for:. (2016). Retrieved August 25,
2016, from http://www.alzheimershope.com/stop_delay.php

(2) Center for Brain Health. (2013, September 9). Retrieved August 25, 2016, from
http://www.brainhealth.utdallas.edu/blog_page/study-finds-brain-training-enhances-brain-health-of-adults-over-50

Other Resources:

Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die. Published on May 31, 2012 by Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D. in Your Neurochemical Self

Getting Messy: Childs Play, the Mess It Creates, and How to Handle It

What is Sensory Play?

Ready to Start a Bible Study?

In the next few weeks we will be starting a Bible Study that will also be featured here in Coffee Corner on the Imagination Signing website! I am SO EXCITED to get this started! We will be working through different books of the Bible using the Good Morning Girls curriculum, which was originally meant for online use! This will be a great place to ask questions as well as share what you are learning! Sign-up for our Coffee Corner newsletter to get updates and encouragement during this study as well as some great resources from Good Morning Girls! Also, check out my post and tutorial on Bible crafting here!

AND…

We need your help deciding what study to do as well! Below are the links to look at the studies we are considering doing first. Vote below to let me know which study you would like to see us do!

Joshua Journal     Proverbs Journal     James Journal

 

What Bible Study Would You Prefer?

Easy DIY Ribbon Bookmarks

 

I know not every person is great at crafting and we tend to laugh at the Pinterest fails floating around the internet, so here is a cute and easy to make bookmark for your Bible, planner, book, or whatever you need it for!

What You Will Need:
~Ribbon
~Paperclips
~Scissors
~Clear Nail Polish

I chose 3 different ribbons that matched nicely together because I am not good at making not matching look cool and I really liked the hearts and fluff this ribbon had to offer!

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I then cut each ribbon into 5“ strips and put a tiny bit of clear nail polish at the ends to make sure it did not fray.

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After the nail polish was dry, I tied each strip to a paperclip to create my little bookmarks.

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They look so cool in my planner and I can hardly wait for my Beautiful Word Bible to get here so I can put them in there as well!

What ribbon did you end up choosing? Show me a picture in the book, planner, or anything else you are using these in!IMG_20160821_215320

When I Grow Up: Being Mom

“What did you want to be when you grow up?” I curiously asked my Mother-in-Law on our way to lunch with my two little ones. We had been talking about my business and how my Brother-in-Law was finishing up school to be a lawyer, and I was dying to know what she had imagined herself doing when she was little. I was expecting something like be a teacher, or a ballerina because she is a very ambitious woman.

She looked at me on that windy mountain road and said, “I wanted to be a mom”. I was a little shocked. My Mother-in-Law, a successful business woman, wanted to be a mom. She proceeded to explain that she, “lived in a generation where they didn’t ask girls what they wanted to be. Everyone assumed you would be a mother, and that the man would take care of working.” And that was that.

Obviously, in this day and age, we live in a world where girls are, asked what they want to be, and are encouraged to pursue those dreams. You can see women picking themselves up by the bootstraps to make a better life for themselves everywhere you go. From the single mother who works and finds time to get to every school function to the first generation college student working several jobs to put themselves through school, there is no lack of talented up and coming women. I was one of these rising stars in the eyes of my peers, and then I got married and found out soon after that I was pregnant.

As a mother and a business woman, sometimes the lines get blurred by sleepy eyes, sick kids, a working husband, dirty house, and the other 500 items I still have to check off my list and I lose sight of my ambitions and dreams. Before I became a mom, I was convinced I could conquer the world, and at the time, I was. Then we found out we were pregnant with our precious little girl 4 years and 5 months before I planned on even trying to get pregnant. Thus, my five-year plan didn’t work out as well as I had hoped and the people that had been giving me accolades for my accomplishments before were not impressed with me creating human life. I fell into depression and walked around blankly for many months with no clue what I was supposed to do with my life and feeling completely useless to my husband, society, and to myself. My success had been what gave me value and being a mom with dirty hair, dark circles, and puke on every shirt did not make me feel valuable at all.

One day I woke up though, and had to ask myself what I wanted to be when I grow up. I had forgotten my passion and drive because I became focused on what society told me after I had a baby, that I was not as valuable, that I was “wasting my life”. I had to change my thought process and “stick it to the man” so to speak. I decided that I would rise above the assumptions of my circle of family and friends and show them that I could be a mom and follow my dreams, even when those dreams have temporarily changed or are put on hold.

I can tell you not everything I thought would be happening in my life right now is happening, and that is okay. I am a mom first and foremost, but I will not let society shame me for thinking about my future as well and neither should you. We have to stick together as moms and not degrade every parenting style and life choice everyone makes. Take the time to take care of you today because if you are empty, you cannot give anything you don’t have to your kids. They will thank you later for taking care of you, your husband will thank you, and you will thank you. Don’t throw your dreams away. They may be on hold or temporarily change, but hold onto them and like Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward” because you got this momma!

 

What is Sensory Play?

 

Sensory play is a very simple concept that has been all but forgotten as parent, early childhood educators, and preschools have started to focus more on academic work than sensory exploration. In September 2015, the Washington Post wrote a great story talking about the decline in play in young children saying

 

 

Research continues to point out that young children learn best through meaningful play experiences, yet many preschools are transitioning from play-based learning to becoming more academic in nature…In fact, it is before the age of 7 years — ages traditionally known as “pre-academic” — when children desperately need to have a multitude of whole-body sensory experiences on a daily basis in order to develop strong bodies and minds. This is best done outside where the senses are fully ignited and young bodies are challenged by the uneven and unpredictable, ever-changing terrain. (Strauss, 2015)

So, what exactly is Sensory Play and how can you make sure your child is getting what they need? Sensory Play is any activity that stimulates the senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, or hearing and engages your child. This play can be very simple, such as playing with a rain stick, or more complex, such as sensory bins and “messy play” involving sand, water, or paint. PBS explains Sensory Play as something that facilitates, “…exploration and naturally encourage(s) children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.” (PBS, 2016) Let’s go ahead and pull the ways your child will benefit from Sensory Play as well.

Cognitively

Cognitive development consists of developing problem solving skills, being able to process information, reasoning, language development, memory, and decision making. When your child is playing there are many times that problem solving, decision making, or memory will come into play. For example let’s say your child is playing with Play-Doh and has the choice to use several different colors as well as objects to create a picture that is on the table (such as a butterfly). They have to decide what material they need to do that as well as figure out how each piece goes together using a considerable amount of their cerebrum, the largest part of the brain.

Linguistically

In this same scenario, your child can ask for help either verbally, in Sign Language, or through pointing and gesturing. The great part about language development is everyone is different and, “Recent studies have shown that in around 97% of people, language is represented in the left hemisphere. However, in about 19% of left-handed people, the areas responsible for language are in the right hemisphere and as many as 68% of them have some language abilities in both the left and the right hemispheres.” (Mandal, 2013) That means working on sensory language skills such as American Sign Language, reading to your child, and continually talking with your child is helping their brain develop in many different areas at one time.

Socially and Emotionally

Social and Emotional Intelligence is a fairly new field within the last 20 years. Many studies have found that IQ is important, however, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is more important in everyday success such as communication and leadership skills. In a study entitled Trait Emotional Intelligence as a Predictor of Socioemotional Outcomes in Early Adolescence, researcher Norah Frederickson f, found that Emotional Intelligence is a better indicator of socioemotional competence (ability to act effectively and appropriately in social situations) than IQ. (2012)

Physically

Children can use many different physical activities to learn such as running in a relay with mom and dad, climbing on blocks or rocks, and determining how to get on and off the bed or couch at home.

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This is my favorite part of Sensory Play because you never know what your child will be inclined towards. Doing many different types of creative play will be able to help you figure out if your child likes drawing and painting or playing music. I have had countless parents tell colleagues and myself how they never would have guessed their 7, 12, or 18 month old would like a certain activity until they stepped out of their comfort zone and introduced it and the learning flourished! These are all important areas that should be taken into account when starting your child on the path to learning. I will be the first to tell you that reading to your child and teaching them numbers and letters is fantastic, however, just like many things in life, everything has to be done in proportion. We want our children to succeed in every area, but we do not want to burn them out and have them in so many activities that they are worn thin and run ragged either. 

Take some time to Make a Mess, Play in Water, or Find Fishes to get those creative juices going! You may find you enjoy it just as much as they do!

 If you have any questions please get in contact with me and comment below with things that have worked for your children in Sensory Play as well as academically.

      

Sources for this Article

Frederickson, N. (2012, February). Trait emotional intelligence as a predictor of socioemotional outcomes in early adolescence. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886911004892

Mandal, D. (2013, November 4). Language and the Human Brain. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.news-medical.net/health/Language-and-the-Human-Brain.aspx Sensory Play and Early Child Development. (2016). Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/sensory-play/ Strauss, V. (2015, September 1).

The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/09/01/the-decline- of-play-in-preschoolers-and-the-rise-in-sensory-issues/

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