Math Worksheets

Math work sheets.  How do those three words make you feel?  Does it give you excitement of your school days?  Or does it instantly give you anxiety over a very frustrating experience you remember from your most dreaded subject?  I love math, but I am sure, not everyone sees it the way I see it.

Every day when it is Math time, I get a mix of emotions rolling off the tongues of my students.  Some love the subject.  Others dread it.  It is one of those things that you either love or hate.  Which makes me think of how most people feel about Christianity and Spirituality.  You either are head over heels in love with God, or you think no such think could ever exist.

Many people can’t wrap their head around math concepts, much the same as many people can’t wrap their minds around the fact that there is a Divine Creator that made our minuscule world along with the entire universe.

As I sit every day and teach my students Math, I had one child raise his hand and instantly tell me he didn’t understand what to do with his work that he was supposed to do on page 45 of his text book.  When I looked down at his text book, he wasn’t even looking at the proper page.  No wonder he couldn’t understand, he wasn’t even looking in the right place.

Another child is sitting all grumpy behind his desk with the biggest scowl on his face, growling that math is stupid and useless and he doesn’t understand why he needs to learn the stuff I am teaching.  I just smile, and let him take his temper tantrum, because I know he will eventually come around.  Or, at the least, I am hoping he does.

Then I have the students that it just clicks and they love doing the math work, and can’t wait until the time of our day that is routinely schedule for this amazing subject.

This is like humanity.  You have the ones that are looking for things in all the wrong places, when all they have to do is look for the scripture for all their answers, but they choose to try other ways to reach for life answers.

Then you also have those that very loudly protest and look for people to argue with over any type of spirituality, and think that it is all a bunch of crock.  They think it is all stupid and want to fight with you about why they are right and you are coo-coo crazy.  They will push their beliefs on you, but if you say, “God Bless You” when they sneeze, they think you are pushing religion down their throats.  I just laugh and let these people live in their temper tantrums, just like my ten year old math detester.  Someday, hopefully they will learn.

And, of course, you have the ones that just get it.  They don’t even question any of it.  They know how to get to the real answers of life, and can’t wait to dive into the scriptures every day.

In the scripture 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it explains, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Which Spiritual Student are you?  Are you the one not even looking at the right page?  Are you the student with the bad attitude on the subject, and don’t even want to have an open mind?  Probably, you are the one that already has all the answers if you are reading this blog.  Try finding a student today with a bad attitude and shower them with kindness and let them see your spiritual side, even if they throw a temper tantrum.  You never know, you may be the person they need in their lives to help them understand the subject.  Give it a try!

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Bedtime Routine

Oh how I love my bedtime routine!  I love my days, but I much look forward to the end when I can have my alone time and read.  I also get to spend quality time with my family, and I cherish that part of my evening.

I used to find that when I laid down at night, all my next day’s to-do list would tumble through my head.  Not to mention events that went on in my day that might have brought on some anxiety for me, or things that I am worried about.  Is it just me?  Or do you find that bedtime is much looked forward to, but is the time that makes your head whirl with worry and despair.

That doesn’t sound like something I should love right?  But since I was studying the book of Job a few months ago, I came across a verse that really spoke to me.  Job 33:14-16 says, “For God speaks again and again, in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on men as they lie on their beds.  He opens their ears in times like that and gives them wisdom and instruction.”

We are supposed to use the time before bed to reflect and think of wonderful thoughts that you want to fill your subconscious.  Once I started changing my method of thinking before I floated off to Dreamland, my night’s sleeps were completely changed.  Filling my mind with the delightful things in my life instead of the horrible or the worried ones made my sleeps much more peaceful and calm.

It was a hard transition, but when you think of the science of how our subconscious works, it does make sense.  Our subconscious is the most comfortable when we are asleep.  We want to be thinking of the positive in our lives, not the negative.  Not the things in your life you can’t change.  How someone treated you, you can’t change, but you can change how you treat the people in your life.

When we are in our sleep state our subconscious is what is working, and if we fill our thoughts right before our sleep state with negativity, which will fill our subconscious with negativity, which in turn will fill our days with the exactly that.  Negativity.  We have to learn to release the negativity and focus on what we want in our lives, not what we don’t want, and this is the most important to do right before we go to bed, so that our subconscious can work for us, while we are fast asleep.

Sounds easy enough.  Right?  In all honesty, I still catch myself thinking thoughts that are unnecessary right before bed.  I really have to stay disciplined to reminding myself to put negative thoughts out of my mind, especially right before I doze off.  Whatever it is that needs to be worried about, I can worry about it another time.  Bedtime is a time for me to be thankful for everything that made my day great.  It’s a time to let me focus on the things I want in my life.  Love.  Joy.  Peace.  Patience.  Kindness.  Goodness.  Faithfulness.  Self-Control.  That is what I want to fill my life with, and that is what I try to fill my bedtime thoughts.

Give it a try and see if your bedtime routine is any different with this change of mind and perspective.  I’m sure your goals in life are much the same as mine, and this is a way of helping achieve these great gifts of life.

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IOS 10

IOS 10 is officially my nemesis!  Why do the phones have to have constant upgrades?  I just get comfortable with the changes from one upgrade, and BAM, another upgrade to wrap my head around.  I know I am getting old, but I don’t think I am that old that I can’t figure out the new technological advancements, but maybe I am?

At first I was very frustrated with the new update.  I didn’t even want my phone updated, but my daughter took it upon herself to help me, and did it without me knowing.  She thinks this new update is wonderful, but not me!

Every time I pick up my phone, I still try to swipe my home screen to open the phone, but now, I just have to push the home button, which in all honesty truly makes better sense.  It’s just a habit that I have to break, but it is definitely embedded in my brain to swipe instead of push.

There are many other changes too.  My timer, which I use nonstop is different.  When I first opened this App up, it totally threw me for a loop.  The screen was black!  What is this?  I liked the other way better!

There is also a new “Bedtime” option that will wake you up at the same time every morning and remind you to go to bed every night.  The phone is trying to be our parents?  It explains its reasoning stating on the introduction screen that they feel that this is very important part of a healthy sleep.  Imagine.  Who is really going to listen to their phone when it comes to bedtime?

Now when I text people, that is also an adjustment.  I don’t just have an option to take a picture or a video, I now can send very fancy script notes using a black screen and my fingertip.  I can send funny images that are already downloaded to the App.  There really are many fun things to send above and beyond just words now.

Proverbs 18:15 gives us this advice, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”  I was not being an intelligent hear, nor was I the ear of the wise who was seeking knowledge.

For days I’ve been grumbling under my breath about all these changes, instead of trying to grow in the knowledge of the changes.  I was closing my heart to these differences.  How many times do we carry this attitude with us in other changes in our lives?  We get comfortable with our routine.  Our normal.  We don’t want changes.

Finally one day I sat down and actually took the time to figure out how to work all these new options, and at the end of the day I couldn’t believe how cool the IOS 10 actually is.  I opened my heart and my mind to the changes that were made, and in the end, I love it more than I loved my old program.

Whatever changes you are facing in your life, open your heart and mind to the knowledge of the change and realize change is good, natural and has to happen for us to move forward in this world.  Take your move today!

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Meditative Medicine

Meditation.  Why does this word scare so many people?  Isn’t it silly how something that really needs no connection to any belief system, or any tradition can send people scurrying for the hills.

This ancient art form has been scientifically proven to help you spend time in a state of conscious rest that is more restful than sleep, because unless in a deep sleep you don’t enter the state of conscious rest.  So, why would this aspect of mediation terrify people?

Mediation also helps you get to know yourself better, helps you appreciate yourself and other more and can help you sleep more soundly.  Again!  Downright scary stuff!

Entering this state of conscious rest also helps you to be more efficient and creative, hold onto less stress, and lowers your blood pressure.  Most importantly, every time you sit and meditate, your stored up stress will dissolve bit by bit which helps your body release the states of tension and disease, both at the surface and deep within your cells.  Once again!  Horrifying!

With so much research on the effect of stress on our bodies, with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc., why wouldn’t people want to spend twenty to forty minutes of their days in meditation to help lift their stresses and sooth their souls, or inner self, or the deeper you…whatever you want to label it, that doesn’t make your body tremble in fear.

Meditating is just a good health practice.  Medicine for your entire body.  Totally natural.  You don’t have to attach any spiritual context to it what-so-ever.  Just do it for your own peace of mind.  To connect with yourself on a deeper level.  Just to reach that state of restful consciousness.

For the spiritual folks, this is a great way to sit in silence and contemplate on your bigger issues of your life and hear the quiet whispers of our Divine.  Even Jesus himself would go off on his own to pray or meditate.

I’ve always been drawn to the verse in Matthew 6:22 where Jesus says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”  I feel through meditation, you can make your eye healthy and in turn make your whole body healthy and full of God’s goodness.

I know the word might seem terrifying, but is the furthest thing from scary.  Since I started a form of meditation that I found recently, I don’t have that afternoon lull where I want to have a nap.  I find I wake up in the mornings on my own feeling rested and ready for my day, instead of being forced awake by the alarm clock.  I’m not totally wiped at the end of my day and yet I get a much deeper sleep.

If you’ve been following my blogs at all, the most important thing I’d want you to take out of them all is this one thing.  Mediate.  To me, it is the fastest way to find your inner happiness.  Remember, nobody or nothing can make you happy, beside you.  Go find the inner you and you will find this happiness and self-healing.  Medicine for your soul.  Research it and find the method that works best for you.  You won’t regret it!

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Unlabel Your Labels

Aren’t we all a bit materialistic?  I know I’m guilty of it myself, as I am sure we all are to some degree.  We all think we need this label, or that label, when in all reality, we don’t need any of it.  We might want it, but we don’t need it.

I feel that I work hard for my money, and if I want something, I am going to buy it.  Again, I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way!  We all feel like the world owes us something.

Sometimes, labeled or brand named items are no different than none brand names.  We just think they are better.  My husband is a fan of Lacoste, and I have to admit, it is a very nice quality line of clothing.  One time I bought him a very sharp Lacoste shirt for Christmas, and then come to find out the exact same shirt, without the little crocodile on it, was at a local men’s department store.  The mate to it.  Only a different label, and of course a different price tag.

We have to stop looking at the label.  That goes for people too.  Who cares if someone is Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, rich, poor, black, white, etc.  We are all the same, just like this shirt.  You can put a crocodile on the chest of the shirt and call it “Lacoste” but it is still just a shirt.

Not only do we look at the label of clothing, vehicles, shoes, purses, even food labels, we look at the labels on people.  We judge people for the labels that we choose to put on them.  I learned through my parenting book marathon obsession, that we should never label a child.  You have no idea how hard it is not to label people.  My daughter loves to take her time.  Many times people label her pokey or slow, but I was very conscious to say, “She loves to take her time.”

It’s difficult to see people for people and not label them.  I know how hard I have to think when it comes to my parenting strategies.  It’s important that we avoid labels, because once we label people, we then judge them on that label.  We are all created equally and we all deserve to have unconditional love and respect and removing labels from people will help you see people with this kind of love and adoration.  Just like our Divine Creator sees us.

Matthew 7:1-2 explains, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”  If you stop judging or labeling people, God will stop judging you, because God will label you the same way you label others, and he will apply to you the same rules that you apply to others.

Just like it was recommended not to label our children in the parenting books I read, the same holds true about anyone.  Look past the labels, and see the person for who they are, not their faults.  Just like my husband’s Christmas shirt, try seeing that the shirts are really just a shirt.  A person is really just a person.  Famous, or a Redneck.  We are all made of the same flesh, and we are all really returning to the ground we came from.

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Caffeine Crutch

Do you enjoy a morning tea or coffee?  MMMMMM!  I love mine!  I make my tea when I am brushing my teeth, so it is ready to kick my morning off with a bang.  I honestly feel like I absolutely need this tea, or I will be exhausted all day long.  Do you feel that way too?

I never drank tea or coffee until I had my first born child.  This child did not need a tap of sleep!  If I wanted to keep up with this minuscule human being, I resorted to drinking coffee to get me through my days.  Eventually, I didn’t like the feeling of being addicted to coffee.  If I didn’t have a coffee, I would get the worst headache, and I hated that something had a control over me.  This is when I decided I’d switch to tea.

I had no idea tea was so soothing and this became a welcomed part of my day.  By the time I made the switch, my children weren’t as exhausting and I felt that tea was eliminating my daily caffeine intake.

Now, I have such an enjoyable morning routine that includes my tea.  I love the warm and cozy feeling of having my tea with my blanket, lazy boy and my bible every morning.  Lately, I’ve been having this weird feeling that I should exclude tea from my day.  Eliminate unnecessary chemicals from my body.  Why am I getting this feeling?  I have no idea, but I’m all of a sudden hypersensitive to what I am putting into my body, and in my brain, tea is one of the chemicals that I feel shouldn’t be trudging through my body.

The last few weekends I have been travelling and missing my tea routine at the hotel room.  I do find that I am exhausted, but I push through my days, and then realize that I didn’t have my morning tea time.  The last morning in the hotel room, I was debating to myself if I should have a tea and of course, since it is my comfort place I decided I definitely wanted a tea.

I poured my tea, and proceeded up to my hotel room with my tea to read with my daughter.  We were reading on my iPad which was plugged into the wall above my bed side table where I had placed my cup of tea.  When it was her turn to read her devotion, she pulled on the iPad and the cord caught my tea and over it tumbled.  My entire cup of tea.  Right away, I knew in my heart that that was the sign I needed to make me give up the caffeine that I’ve been putting in my body.

I picked up a caffeine-free tea to try, and my first morning home, I made it in hopes that it would make me feel all warm and cozy during my morning routine like my normal tea did.  To my surprise, it did just that and I actually had lots of energy for my day.  As the days went by I started drinking less and less of the herbal tea and finally this morning I didn’t touch the mug of tea through my entire morning routine.

I didn’t need this caffeine to make it through my day.  I didn’t need this caffeine during my morning routine.  It was simply just a habit, and I reluctantly was giving it up.  Surprisingly, however, I don’t miss it.

We all have things that we think we need.  We all struggle to give things up that we love.  I loved my morning tea.  I know some people have harder things to get rid of than caffeine in their days that they want to have but know deep down it is not good for them.  Maybe it is an addiction to drugs or alcohol that you want to get rid of.  Or maybe you are going through a break up and you don’t think you can survive without your significant other.  Even worse, maybe you lost a loved one.  Whatever your struggle is that you are trying to eliminate from your life, you can’t do it alone.  We weren’t meant to do things alone.

You have to look to your Heavenly Father for strength and encouragement to help guide you in the direction that you should go.  Deuteronomy 31:6 reassures us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

If you are trying to break any kind of addiction, you can’t do it alone.  You need the strength of the Lord your God who is with you every step of the way.  Turn to him, and he will help you change your life for the better.  Just trust in his word and he will transform you.  He promises!

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Tomato Supports

Did you ever see a tomato plant, or watch it grow into a mature plant?  I couldn’t believe how large this sucker grows!  When I first planted it, my father brought me a silver ringed frame that he placed over top of the small little plant.  He explained that eventually the tomato plant would use the wired cone for support.

By the end of the summer, this plant needed a lot of support to be able to stand upright.  This wire frame wasn’t even cutting it.  It was almost too heavy for the frame to support, especially once it started to blossom all the little tomatoes all over it.

Each day, I had to go out and readjust the frame and the branches of the plant so that the wire support was giving the plant as much stability as possible for the day.  If I didn’t take the time to do this every day, by the end of the day the plant would fall over from the heaviness of its new growing fruit and the size that it had grown to.

As I was readjusting the frame this one particular morning, I thought that the same goes for my own life.  I have to take time every morning to sit and meditate for my own inner strength, then read God’s word to help remind me to leave my evil habits and start living in a more positive and blessed manner.  Without this readjusting of my own mental frame, my life just isn’t as strong.  I need the support of having God in my life and knowing that he will provide the strength I need to get through my worst of days.

Let’s face it.  We all need support in our days.  We all need a frame around us giving us support like the tomato plant.  We can deny it and think that we can get through our lives without this, but eventually most of us come to realize how much easier it is with this frame surrounding our lives.  And it is available to each and every one of us!  He’s surrounding us whether we want to use him or not.

Just like the tomato plant who, during the day, would experience the wind, sometimes rain, maybe some animals trying to perch on it.  It experiences the life of a tomato plant trying to grow in the wild.  We also are trying to grow in the wild.  Life is one wild ride now-a-days, and we need support.

In 1 Chronicles 16:11 it directs us to, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”  We need the support and strength of the Lord daily to help us grow to our potential, just like the tomato plant needs the wire support adjusted every day.  It might grow, but not to its full potential.  It won’t bear all the fruit that it possibly could if it was well fostered by this wired cone.

The same is true for us.  We might be getting by in this wild world that we live in, but imagine if you spent time daily looking for the Lord’s support and strength.  Think about how much more abundantly you might be living.  We all want to grow as many tomatoes as we possibly can, so try using your wired support called God today!

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