Father’s Day Gift Dilemma

In my house of 3 little diva’s I have to say that my husband is pretty much the king. He has three little daddy’s girls and I am pretty fond of him myself. This week of father’s day and with the chaos of end of school, baby’s first birthday party planning, garden harvesting and of course the everyday task of maintaining my household. I am at a Father’s day gift dilemma. I usually plan a little something and I have gotten his Father’s Day card while I was out and about; but I like to give meaningful memorable gifts to my husband.

He is an amazing father and for not having any guidance from his own he is simply a natural. Raising a tween, 7 year old and baby girl is a hard task and his infinite patience and attention to detail. Is just another reason why I feel he deserves honor on father’s day. So, after googling, pinsearching (aka pinterest research) I have come up with many ideas but 2 final “Best Father’s Day EVER!” contenders.

My husband is a second grade special needs teacher in Camden, NJ which is low income urban area. Also, a basketball coach and trainer. He watches every sport girls and boys so my first go-to is something dealing with sports.  I notice this year he has been watching in alma mater on social media. For years I have been meaning to frame his college jersey but never got my act together in time. Since this summer we will be working on his man escape cave (much needed with 4 females in the home). I am thinking this may be a viable contender but that would take some time that I really don’t have this week.

My husband if a faithful man as well and doing my google/pinsearch I came across this really cool company called Faithbox. The website says that they inspires daily Christian living by helping people grow in their faith, impact their community, and discover meaningful products. You can get a variety of subscriptions. I am thinking of trying out the 3 month subscription and they pack each box devotional notebook, favorite scriptures, inspirational quotes, and seasonal prayers each month has a unique theme. They aren’t things that you could do yourself (which I don’t have time for) they are hand-picked products from companies and organizations who respect God’s people and His creation. Also, every box that you purchase will feed a child in need through their Rice Bowl partnership AND other products are from companies who match our purchases with an equivalent donation to a worthy cause.This makes me feel almost obligated to give him this gift because of the positive impact on so many people other than my husband. I think that he would appreciate this gift because of helping others and help strengthen his faith. For me its a click of a button and ta-da “Best, most memorable Father’s Day gift ever!!”

So, those are my two top choices after much contemplation. I feel the answer may be obvious but which one do you think would be an awesome father’s day gift?

Picture source from Veronica Black Pinterest Page

Picture source Faithbox.com blog

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

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Strawberry Lemonade Cake

1 cup Palm Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup White Whole Wheat (Unbleached) Flour
1 3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 c. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Lemon Zest
3/4 cup Strawberry Preserves

Icing
1/4 cup unrefined (virgin) coconut oil
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp almond milk (vanilla unsweetened)
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease and flour a two 9 inch round pan or line with paper liners.
3. Juice 3 lemons and zest lemon peels.
4. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
5. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
6.Finally stir in the lemon juice and add lemon zest until batter is smooth. Pour batter into the two greased pan.
7.Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back.
8. When cool frost one cake with strawberry preserves and the entire cake with Vanilla Lemon Icing
9. Refrigerate for 20 mins and serve

Icing Directions
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Directions:
1. “Cream” the coconut oil until it breaks up and gets nice and smooth with hand blender
2.Add in 1/4 of the powdered sugar, the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of almond milk
3.Mix together until nice and smooth keep adding powdered sugar along with tablespoons of lemon juice (alternate almond milk &lemon juice until everything is combined – you don’t want any clumps of powdered sugar or coconut oil.)
4.Frost everything in the vicinityThis frosting melts pretty easily, so make sure whatever you put it on is nice and cool. It should be enough to cover
two layer round cake.
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Cake

Nutrition Facts
  16 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 212.3
  Total Fat 14.7 g
  Saturated Fat 12.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g
  Cholesterol 23.3 mg
  Sodium 66.1 mg
  Potassium 19.2 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
  Sugars 16.5 g
  Protein 1.3 g

Icing

Nutrition Facts
User Entered Recipe
  16 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 89.8
  Total Fat 3.5 g
  Saturated Fat 3.0 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 1.6 mg
  Potassium 4.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 15.2 g
  Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
  Sugars 14.8 g
  Protein 0.0 g
  Vitamin A 0.1 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 0.1 %
  Vitamin C 1.5 %
  Vitamin D 0.2 %
  Vitamin E 0.4 %
  Calcium 0.4 %
  Copper 0.1 %
  Folate 0.1 %
  Iron 0.1 %
  Magnesium 0.1 %
  Manganese 0.1 %
  Niacin 0.0 %
  Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %
  Phosphorus 0.0 %
  Riboflavin 0.2 %
  Selenium 0.1 %
  Thiamin 0.0 %
  Zinc 0.0 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  Vitamin A 0.8 %
  Vitamin B-12 1.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 0.7 %
  Vitamin C 5.8 %
  Vitamin D 1.3 %
  Vitamin E 0.0 %
  Calcium 3.5 %
  Copper 0.1 %
  Folate 1.0 %
  Iron 1.8 %
  Magnesium 0.2 %
  Manganese 0.1 %
  Niacin 0.0 %
  Pantothenic Acid 0.1 %
  Phosphorus 2.4 %
  Riboflavin 1.3 %
  Selenium 0.0 %
  Thiamin 0.2 %
  Zinc 0.5 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

“Fear Based” vs. Grace Based” Parenting

Now that I look back I feel that my parents did the best that they could.  A lot of their parenting were to create fear so that I would not have to endure some of the hardships they experienced due to their own mistakes. As parents we want our children to better than us and try to lead them in the right direction.

We love our children so much and we don’t want them to succumb to the world so we do the best we can to keep them away. We teach our children John 3:16 NLT “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Sometimes being interpreted as we have follow Jesus not the world and those who do are bad or evil. We often forget about John 3:17 NLT God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Fear and judgement is pervasive and condemning and does not create an attitude of love. My understanding is that we are to be disciples and follow God’s way which is loving, graceful and inclusive not exclusivity and discriminant.

We are surrounded by the lost and as Christians we are here to be a light for God. You can’t be a light for someone else if you are to busy putting out there light to let your own shine; by condemning or judging their behavior, conduct or appearance. Even if there actions are offensive we should be graceful. Rather than looking at what we don’t like or want for our family maybe we should see how we can teach or grow from these situations or circumstances. Maybe we can to teach our children how to be disciples of Christ to that “bad influence” instead of the “steer clear” attitude.The only way that we can do that for our children is to be that example.

Our job is to teach our children to love God and love others. We have to remember Mark 12:30-31 NLT 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Showing our incredible love for God that overflows to our incredible love for other people. We can teach our children how to be good disciples.

“Grace Based Parenting” it is defined as treating your kids as God’s treat His-with grace. There is a fine balance between teaching them to Fear the world and using legalistic standards of parenting; and total abandonment of the foundation of God by becoming so accepting that you do not create a environment for your children that sets a standard of how to live. Every situation needs checks and balances.

Think of what John 1:14 (NLT) 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  You must have grace but still stick to God’s truth. They go hand in hand. By being a walking reflection of God’s love will condition your children to act within those limits.  Without feeling that by falling short of His grace that the love is conditional on living beyond a level that is attainable.

Try to remember to be graceful with your love because if it wasn’t for God’s grace we would be in trouble. With all the dumb things as adults that we do and the fact that He still loves us. We can cut our children a little slack and strive to be just as graceful. Yes, teach your children about the Bible; set a acceptable living standard but reinforce it with grace.

I would define the difference of a “Grace Based” Christian Family as a family that shows God’s heart,a kind family, generous family, shows kindness and love in all that they do, they serve others, most importantly they are humble. The “grace based” Christian family is a loving family that loves and cares for others no matter what or how they live, they care about others and wants the best for others, they improve others quality of living by focusing upwards and outwards versus inward.

I would define  “fear based” Christian family of fearing or being “sin managers”; by making sure that sin stays away from your family. Versus living and growing from situations where we innately fall into sin. If we strive to have Jesus loves for others, be merciful, gentle, and not fault others when they struggle through temptations, nonjudgmental.

Remembering Christ loves ALL no matter their disappointments, short givings.There is victory in Jesus who is the only way that we will overcome sin and grow and learn. When correcting your children do it through love.

 

Where are we creating faith in our families?

Where are we creating faith in our families? I ask this question because I heard a sad but not startling statistic which I feel that I was apart of it one point in my life.  69-94% of Christian children raised in the faith leave the faith within 2 years after high school. The number one reason those young adults leave is due to “hypocrisy”. I was one of those young adults. I was raised in a very Christian religious home but when I went off to my Christian college about the middle of my freshmen year I left my faith and sought out my spiritual guidance in the world (and got very lost for 13 years).

 

I was apart of the ”drug problem” that most families subject on their children. I was “drug” to church every week to dress up and show up but never having that same experience at home through study or prayer. My family was Monday-Friday sinners and weekend Christians. When it came to having my own freedom to choose I chose the world and not to my faith. Now that I am an adult and very faithful I don’t want the same for my children. I want my three daughters to live a life for Christ for the rest of their life so I was again researching how do I break the cycle.

Where do I create faith? I found an answer through a parenting bible study by Tim Kimmel Raising Kids with Faith that Lasts. This lead me to the word Deuteronomy 6:1-2 (NLT) These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. There is one true God and we are called to live in a loving relationship with God.

Now when you are in love, everyone knows it. Not only is it written all over your face, your acts but it’s all that you can talk about.  As we live our lives as Christian parents are we showing our love for God? Children are very observant and they pick up quick the easiest way to see if you’re expressing your love is to ask your children?  They will tell you right away. So, ask them Who is Mommy in love with? If they are to little you’re in luck you can now start everyday showing your child the love affair that you have with our Lord. They will never know anything different and just like the little sponges that they are they too will be in love.

We as Christian parents must encompass being a Christian as an identity something that cannot be separated with us.  This is where our children’s faith begin. Deuteronomy 6:6-8 (NLT)  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

I think sometimes we rely on the Church to teach our children because we feel ill equipped but we have more than enough tools to set the foundation of faith for your children.  Be in love with God every single day. Talk about him at home. Show it when you go about your day. Pray with your children, study with them, and show them the love. Do all these things and then also go to church.  This will foster the relationship add fellowship and reinforce the things that you learn and study at home.  Faith cannot be taught to our children it must be caught, similar to a cold. Infect your family with faith and love.

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