Thursday, July 24, 2014

Katrina's Musings (Boredom)

This is an article on boredom by Todd Friel sent out in the Wretched Radio newsletter. I found what he said to be very helpful, so I thought I would share it here. 

Dealing with Boredom

“I’m bored,” is the child’s summer battle cry.  You did it, I did it, our kids still do it.
Undoubtedly your children have registered their boredom complaints with you many times.  How do you respond?
- When I was your age, we didn’t have half as many things to do as you do.
- Get used to it.  Life is really boring when you are an adult.
- Then go outside and play.

Most likely, regardless of your response, you had a sense that your child should not be complaining about boredom.  Why is that? Why do we get annoyed when our kids lament their lack of amusement?
Until we figure out what boredom is, we will never know how to handle it rightly.  For our children, or for ourselves.

Understanding boredom
Boredom is the feeling that we would like to be doing something other than what we are doing.   As is always the case, when we have a feeling, we should ask the question, “Where is that feeling coming from?”  Let’s ask that question about boredom.
Why do we want to be doing something other than what we are doing? There are four reasons, and the first two reasons are not good.

1.    We lack gratitude for what we are presently doing.  When we lack gratitude, we tell God that He is not providing for us in the way we think He should.  Uh oh.

2.    We desire something that we do not presently have.  When we lust for something we do not have (even an activity), then the Bible says we are coveting.  According to the tenth commandment, coveting is a big no-no.
In other words, when we are bored for those two reasons, we are sinning. 

That is great news! That means there is a solution to our problem.  God always provides a solution for our sin problem.  When it comes to boredom, the problem tends to be understanding what our problem actually is.
If we think our boredom problem is boredom itself, then we are going to try to fix our problem by getting busy, complaining, changing careers unnecessarily, booking unnecessary trips, running, buying, chasing or getting depressed.
None of those solutions ever work.  They might temporarily relieve some boredom, but activities never get to the root of our sin problem.  Until we recognize that boredom is likely a sin problem, we will not apply the right cure.

Getting to the root
What should we do when we are sinfully bored?
1.    Repent.  

2.    Believe you are forgiven.

3.    Consider God’s goodness in whatever you are doing.

The third reason
There is another reason we can get bored, and thankfully, this reason is not necessarily sinful.  Sometimes we get bored because we just don’t have enough to do.
God works.  We are made in His image.  We should work.  Maybe you are bored because your days just aren’t as active as they should be.

What should you do?
1.    Evaluate your days and spend some time thinking about how you can best serve the Lord.

2.    If you have ever complained about not having enough time for prayer or Bible reading, use your “boring time” to feed yourself.

3.    Perhaps God wants you to use slow times to be introspective.

The fourth reason
There is a fourth reason you might get bored, and this reason has more to do with the fall than it does with us.  Tedium.
Life is downright monotonous.  Get up, clean up, dress, commute, work, commute, watch TV, go to bed.  Rinse and repeat ad nauseum.  Life on this side of heaven is tedious and boring.
There are few jobs that are not monotonous.  Stay at home moms can tell you how interesting it is to do the same thing each and every day.  Whether it is by God’s design or because of the fall, even interesting activities become routine if done repetitiously.

What to do when life is tedious?
1.    It could be that you need to take a break and do something else.

2.    God created rest for a reason; sometimes we need it.

3.    God gives us fun things to do: recreation might just be the ticket.

4.    Let it remind you of Jesus and His rest.

5.    Let it make you long for heaven where we will not be bored, even if we are not busy

Before this article gets boring, let me suggest four take-aways (that sounded kinda Southern Baptisty):
1.    When you are bored, guard against sinning.  Boredom can be sinfully boring or not; make sure you don’t sin by complaining and coveting.  Complaining is an ugly way of saying, “God, I don’t think you are doing a very good job amusing me.”

2.    Rather than always replacing boredom with entertainment, perhaps you could use that time for: prayer, study, evangelism, service or watching Wretched TV.

3.    Learn the lessons of boredom for yourself and then teach your kids how not to be sinfully bored.

4.    Consider how our desire to never be bored affects many areas of our lives: worship services, quiet time, consumption of entertainment, vacations, electronic purchases, incessant texting, etc. etc.
Boredom is a subtle sin that is very easy to commit, especially in our go-go western culture.  Perhaps it has become an overlooked sin in your life.

The next time you are inclined to lament your lack of excitement, remember how you feel when you hear your child complain, “Mom, Dad! I’m bored.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cookie Baking Night 07/21/14

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, Carissa, and Alli. We made one of our favorite summertime cookies tonight: The Hamburger Cookie.

  • Here's what you'll need for the Hamburger Cookie: 
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Small chocolate mint patties
  • White frosting + yellow and red food coloring
  • Coconut + green food coloring
  • A few kids to help you out

First, divide the frosting into two bowls, color one red and one yellow to resemble ketchup and mustard. 
Next, color the coconut green to resemble lettuce (or as Alli would say, "salad"--please pass the salad)

Frost the inside of one cookie with mustard (yellow frosting) and the inside of another cookie with red frosting (ketchup). Place a mint patty on top of one of the cookies, sprinkle with coconut (lettuce) and top with the second cookie. 

Ahh, the finished product

Can't beat this no-bake recipe on a hot July evening

Tonight we continued on in our book Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade. 
Tonight's question (#3) was: "What Does the Bible Primarily Teach?"
Answer: "The Bible Primarily Teaches What Man Must Believe About God and What God Requires of Man"

As you can imagine, this question (and answer) spurred on some lively conversation. I'm enjoying this book because the questions (and answers) allow me to probe deeper into conversation about God. Once we move past the "Sunday School" answers, the children really start to think about what they believe about God and about if they believe what I'm saying is true (especially the older children). I love material that causes us to think. Now that they're thinkging, may God move and change hearts (the complete set is needed). 

Another Cookie Baking Night has come and gone and, as usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Graduation Musings (07/13/14 Meghan)

My niece, Meghan, graduated from high school in June, and today she celebrated that accomplishment with a graduation open house party. 

I love you, Meghan. My prayer for you is that your course will be marked not by worldly accomplishments but by a life that honors God and makes much of Him. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Babysitting Musings 07/12/14

Today I did a little babysitting for the youngest niece and nephews: Alli (3-1/2), Rylar (2-1/2), and Enzo (11 months). 

There was coloring

and sitting 

and standing

and wagon pulling 

and wagon eating

All the elements needed for a fun afternoon, and that it was. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cookie Baking Night 07/07/14

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Alli. Carissa turned 9 years old on the 1st of the month, and as is our tradition here at Cookie Baking Nights, today was her birthday choice. For supper, she chose macaroni & cheese, berries with half & half, and fruit smoothies. For her "cookie" choice she went with "Dirt Cups". 

There is much to do when you make dirt cups. First, there is the scraping of the cookie, taking the filling out. 

then the crushing of the cookies to make the "dirt"

then the filling of the cups ... for our layers in the cup we use chocolate pudding, a cream cheese/whipped cream mixture, cookie crumbs, and .... don't forget the gummy worms. My new favorite cup for this project is this one. It comes with a lid and a straw, which is great for attaching a flower. 

We traced and cut out paper flowers to complete our dirt cup/flower pots. 

The finished product

Tonight we also continued in our current book Training Hearts and Teaching Minds by Starr Meade. This evening we worked on question 2. "What authority from God directs us how to glorify and enjoy Him?" Answer: "The only authority for glorifying and enjoying Him is the Bible, which is the Word of God and is made up of the Old and New Testaments." This launched us into a lively discussion on who wrote the Bible and what gives it authority. 

Not a minute left over in this Cookie Baking Night. We used everyone of them in activity of one sort or another. And, as usual, a fun time was had by all!

Cookie Baking Night 06/25/18

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Enzo (Allison and Rylar were attending a birthday party els...