Bushel of apples


One of the first acts of politeness we teach our children is to say please and thank you.  I can’t imagine how many times I had to say to our children when someone gave them something or did something for them “What do you say?”

At times it seems as though it is more important to us than it is to the person who was kind to our child and for sure more than it is for our child.  But over time they finally get it and it becomes a natural part of their actions.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches a legitimate question for us to ask is, “How well do we remember what our parents taught us about saying please and thank you?”

Sometimes it is easy for us to think that we are capable and have earned all the things we have on our own.  When we arrive at that conclusion, then a ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem to be required.

But we know that just as God provided for the children of Israel in the Old Testament (Ps. 68:10 – O God, you provided for the poor.), he also provides for us. In the Lord’s prayer we pray “Give us this day our daily bread” and He has provided for all our physical needs and for that we should thank Him daily.

But God has given us more than all that we need for our body and life. Thankfulness can be easy when we see the physical results of God supplying all that we need in this life. But He has provided for us, by His grace, what we need for our life hereafter for all eternity as well.

Let’s not let our thanksgiving be limited to one day of the year, but make us thankful each day of our life for the blessing He has given us through the perfect life and innocent death of our Savior, declaring us righteous in His eyes.

Let this be our prayer:

Dear Savior, thank you for your suffering and dying for us on Calvary’s cross. We thank you for taking the guilt, the curse, and the punishment for our sins. We thank you for your victory over the grave and all it brings to us. We thank you, Lord, for your perfect substitution. Now help us appreciate the blessings we have because of your death and resurrection. Help us demonstrate our thankfulness by our actions and service—not just our words. Help our actions direct others to you, their Savior. Amen.

Yes, thank you is still polite, but for God, it is the right thing to do.

Girl reading

A Good Start

Well we’re nearly six weeks into the school year.  Both teachers and students have pretty well settled into their routines.  So how is it going so far?  Have you seen improvement since last year since the beginning of the year?

It is often difficult to assess progress early in the school year, but this is the time to catch any problems that might be starting to reveal themselves.  If good habits are not generated now while the material and workload is light it will be difficult to establish them once the real work sets in.

Energy is can also be an issue. At this point you should notice if you child is really tired when they come home from school.  If that is the case you may want to monitor his/her bedtime and make sure they are getting to sleep shortly after going to bed with a full, restful night’s sleep.

Another factor that can affect your student’s alertness is diet.  Try to prepare balanced meals with plenty of items from the fruit and vegetable groups.

In order to establish good habits you will want to check with your child each day when he or she arrives home to see if they have any school work that needs to be completed for the next day.  The best time to complete this work is as soon as possible after the get home.

Finally, be sure to help your student monitor any long-range assignments they may have.  Those are easy to put off and forget about until being pressed to get them done.  Rushing at the end of these is usually a recipe for disaster, not to mention the anxiety that goes along with pressure to get them completed.  A little work on these items daily will alleviate the pressure and put your child at ease for finishing these larger projects on time.

I hope you have had a good start to the year.  Keep it up and you will feel good about all you accomplish.


How much sleep does my child need?

There is seemingly no end to the number of articles that are written on the subject of sleep and how much is enough for school-aged children.  There also seems to be no lack of opinions on the subject either.  So, as a parent how can I decide on what is right?

Even though there may be no specifics that can be given for each individual child, there are still guidelines that we as parents can follow.  The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in an article published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine:

  • Children 6-12 need 9-12 hours
  • Children 13-18 need 8-10 hours.

You will notice that these are pretty wide ranges and sometimes it is difficult to know what your child really needs. Some of the clues you may look for are whether your child is sluggish when they get home from school. Do they just want to sit around after supper? You can also check with their teachers who will know if they are attentive and on task through-out the day.

What are the benefits of the proper amount of sleep? Researchers have determined that among the benefits are included: better behavior, longer attention span, better learning habits, increased memory, better regulated emotions, and an overall better quality of life.

Children who lack the amount of sleep necessary are more prone to injury, tend to be more tense, are subject to physical problems such as diabetes and obesity, and can be future candidates for depression. With all these problems potentially looming, how can you insure that your child is getting the proper amount of sleep?

Although difficult at times the answer lies in habits. The more you are able to establish routines the easier it will become. First of all, establish a regular bedtime that will allow for the proper amount of sleep.  Secondly, don’t make going to bed something that is rushed.  There should be a relaxing time prior to going to bed.  This would be a great time to have a family devotion.  What better way to prepare for a good nights sleep than gathering around God’s Word?  During that final 30 minutes or so before going to sleep remove screens of all kinds (TV, phone, computer, tablet, etc.).  Finally, remove all these screens from the sleep area so your child is not tempted to use them and reduce their sleep time.

Although it may be difficult at first, if everyone works together you can make it work.  The result is you will see a much happier child who will learn and play at a higher level.

Family reading

Family Time

“It’s just been crazy around here the last couple of weeks. It seems like I never have even just a few minutes to relax.”

Does that sound like it could be you speaking about the happenings at your house?  As we get closer to the end of summer and the school year beginning things seem to get hectic.  There are school supplies to purchase, transportation schedules to get straight, drop off and pick-up at various practices and just when you think you have it together the car needs service or worse yet it breaks down altogether and throws everything into turmoil.

This was the summer we were going to do all those things with the family and now here it is time for school to start and even our best laid plans have evaporated, and all that time we were going to have together is gone.  Where did it go?  When we step back and look, outside of the time we needed to put in at work maybe we committed too much time to our social media, Facebook and other digital connections we didn’t think we could live without.  Maybe we scheduled too many outings with friends, i.e. nights out with the girls or guys; movie night by our self just because we needed to get away.

We schedule our self so tight that we never seem to have time for family.  So how do we rectify that situation and have the time with our family that we know we need but never seem to have time for in our busy schedule?  There’s the answer, we schedule.  Just like all those other “important” things in our lives if we truly feel that family time is important, and who doesn’t, then it must be part of our regular schedule.

Not only does scheduling family time insure that we will have that time together, it also affords us the opportunity to listen to the joys and heartaches of those closest to us.  During this scheduled time, what better to participate in a daily family devotion, growing together in your faith and the love of your Savior.

Be intentional in your family and experience the benefits of life with those whom God has placed closest to you.