Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. 
    Lover of life, coffee and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Blessings upon Blessings…

Children – are you seeing them truly as a blessing or a curse, an annoyance, a punishment, to your life?

A recent conversation with some friends was, sadly, very eye-opening  …  each conversation was “me- focused”,  excluding their children, speaking of how they avoided doing things together as a family by serving their own needs first, and complaining in general about the raising of children, even other people’s children. I don’t think this lady even realized what she was saying or how her words sounded …  In the Christian circle, we may say children are a blessing – but do our actions speak the same words? What are our children seeing? Are they seeing themselves as a bother, as a nuisance, as a hindrance in fulfilling our own goals and desires in life? Yes, children come attached with noise, dirt, laundry, chores and your needs are definitely not first in line if you are mother.   But didn’t Christ say to lay down our lives, to be the servant of all? Motherhood is about serving with joy in our heart. {Matthew 23:11}

It is common to hear mothers say: “I used to  be able to to do {insert activity of choice … go for coffee dates, have a career, help out at church,  go on random shopping trips} and then I had kids.”

It is even more common for mothers to find ways so they may resume said activities and often times, miss out on the amazing blessings of laying your life down to serve your family.

I find that so heart breaking … I wish I could tell all mothers everywhere “You have one chance to raise your children! Don’t miss this beautiful calling!”

The Bible says to have a child is to be blessed. {Psalm 127:3-5}

It doesn’t say it will be one big picnic with chocolate frosted cupcakes and sunshine every day … but it does say God considers children a reward. Children are gifts given by the King of Kings – if God gave you a gift, would you shuffle it off so carelessly? Or would you treasure it, protect it, nurture it with excitement?  If God was giving money as a gift, we would surely say “More, more!” but when it comes to blessing families with children, we often put the brakes on and find ways to permanently stop receiving children – and often times, hurry along the ‘growing up’ of children so as to have our ‘free time’ back again. It is sometimes done even without realizing it’s happening – but slowly and with great craftiness, the world can seep into our homes, into our family life and day by day, pull our children away from parents and parents from their children.

Please understand, I am not saying you need to make a child centered world – by no means am I encouraging the spoiling of children by making them the centre of your universe. However, it does tell us in the Bible that we are to be training, raising, guarding our children, loving them and keeping our focus on God and family. In a me-centered world, it is easy to flip our priorities around without even noticing.

Children *are* a blessing. {Matthew 19:4} We may say this but do we act the same way, especially around our children? Or do we hush them to return that phone call or text a friend, grumble about them around friends {I know I have to guard my tongue with this one as the toddler years can be daunting!}, and push them away when want to help in the kitchen and everybody knows, baking with children will take twice as long and be three times as messy!

But children grow. And quickly!

The time that God has given us together is short – guarding our time spent together should be important. While it may seem natural, don’t be tempted to separate so quickly as a family. {Proverbs 22:6} Practical ways of staying together are easily implanted – going to volunteer at a booth for your church or for a ministry-related program? Take your daughter or son with you! Let them learn and serve with you! If a dad is going to Bible Study at church, he could take his son – imagine the godly examples he will see instead of staying home and using his time watching t.v. or surfing the internet. Going on a missions trip? Take your children! Going to the store for a quick errand? Take an older child with you to be a helper! And you never know, you may have a chance to witness to the lady behind the counter that smiles so tiredly at you and your few children in line. {Proverbs 22:6}

 

As a homeschooling mom, raising and teaching my children is a never ending task. Priorities need to be: God first, then husband and children. This family of mine is precious – and I must guard my eyes from taunting, sparkling ways of the world that will pull me from my job as a mother.  {Again, I am not suggesting a mother cannot take a coffee break with a friend, but perhaps we need to ensure our priorities are lined up Biblically – have your children truly seen you this week? Have you spent one on one time with them? Truly listening to their heart? Is your husband needing you? Are there chores at home that need tending but have been shirked because of idleness?}

 

I pray my actions speak louder than my words … because it is all too easy to complain about the work and tasks and never ending chores that are automatically assumed in the role of motherhood and in raising a family … but if God calls children a BLESSING and not a curse, I will gladly embrace such words of life!

 

 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127: 1-5

Growing (and CTB giveaway update)

Hello.:)How is your morning so far?

I am a bit behind on my blogging (according to what needs to be written in my head) …  it’s amazing how fast the day flies by and I must guard my time carefully lately. Hopefully I can catch up soon, as we have had birthdays and babies growing and such that need documenting…

 

Speaking of growing – so is Winnifred, our Great Pyr. We have come to (sheepishly) realize she does need some training in the guarding of the chickens, but we are hoping to accomplish this throughout winter and into the spring. Meanwhile, she is a great furry friend for the girls – they love her! Winnie is growing fast!

 

Also, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for the Child Training Bible!

 

The winner, picked by random.org., is #10 – Courtney!

Courtney, please email me and I will set you up with your copy of your Child Training Bible. I know it will be helpful and a blessing to your precious family!

For those of you who entered, I would encourage you to still think about purchasing this valuable resource- you will find it a wonderful, Biblical tool in parenting, raising children and life in general.

January 27, 2015 - 1:23 am

Mama H - Congrats Courtney!!And I would still love to get them!…..Your dog is sooooo cute!

Nourishment {Giveaway}

 

**giveaway below**

 

 

When I became a mother, I didn’t realize I would need to be a meal planner. Thinking about the next meal, what nourishment is needed for the children, snacks that are healthy, dinners that were filling and tasty but would not cost a fortune … it would mean a switch in eating habits.

Long gone were the days of fending just for myself, eating what I wished and without thought … suddenly, and rather slowly as we had more children enter our family, preparing nourishing meals to set on the table three times a day quickly became a priority …

 

 

{Lavender’s first feeding of {homemade} baby oatmeal}

 

 

 

But not only was the physical nourishment vital for our healthy family, I also need to turn my sights on spiritual nourishment …

 

..teaching the Word of God

…memorizing Scriptures with the girls

…reading the Bible aloud together

…the constant struggle and delight of daily devotions …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter the Child Training Bible!

When I discovered the Child Training Bible, I knew it would be well used in our family … this is a tool I believe all parents  – and Christians! – should have on their dinner table, at the school desk, sitting in the living room ….it is definitely my go-to parenting tool! The children are drawn to the bright, pretty colored coded verses and we find it easy to use.

 

 

This is how it works – each side of the Bible has tabs and coordinating highlighted verses … all the categories apply to daily life – and each category definitely applies to any age – not just children!

The website easily details how to set up your Bible!

If your little ones are having a hard time with getting along together … look up the pink tabs along the top for the section of ‘fighting’ – and you will find beautiful Scriptures that will reinforce the need to love each other. If they are struggling with being diligent with their school work or chores around the house, flip open to the verses on ‘laziness’…

 

It can definitely apply for adults, as well, as, yes, we will struggle with nasty jealousy, ill-fated laziness, stubborn pride and even wrong friendships, at times.

 

The children had a great time highlighting the verses to match the color code keychart … it was a great practical way of immersing ourselves in the Word.

Good news!

The makers of the Child Training Bible are giving one one copy to a blog reader – all you have to do is simply leave a comment below. Your prize will be mailed to you after the draw is closed. Please spread the word – the Child Training Bible is a fantastic way to teach and bring up your family using God’s word as your compass! You will *LOVE* using this special way of reading the Bible together!

 

January 25, 2015 - 10:17 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb - You are doing a great job Gillian..I will continue to pray for you to have wisdom, strength and great courage in your efforts to raise your children to be strong Christian people..be blessed.

January 25, 2015 - 9:39 pm

Amy - looks like a great tool to add to our household

January 24, 2015 - 11:11 am

Amy - I’d like to be included in the draw, if I’m not too late. This bible looks very useful for our family

January 20, 2015 - 2:36 am

Teresa - What a great idea!!! I doubt i’ll win this as I don’t ever win things haha but I am definitely going to buy one! Thanks for the tip Gillian!

January 20, 2015 - 12:48 am

Charmain - Keep on writing, great job!

January 19, 2015 - 1:59 pm

Kathy - I would like to have a copy of this!

January 18, 2015 - 6:39 pm

Monica - Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this bible. I know that as a homeschooling mom of four this bible would be a blessing on a daily basis! I love how it’s so user friendly! Thanks again.

January 17, 2015 - 9:52 pm

JES - What a wonderful tool! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

January 17, 2015 - 8:05 pm

Teresa - Oh my ~ Lavender is such a sweetie, that dark hair, she is adorable, and my goodness Lacey has grown up quick !

January 17, 2015 - 11:07 am

Christina - Wow, this Bible looks amazing. I would love the opportunity to own one. Thanks so much.

January 17, 2015 - 9:47 am

Kari - Would love one of these. It’s perfect!

January 16, 2015 - 10:40 pm

Jessemyn Pekari - I would love to have a tool like this! I end up “stuck” in the same verses over and over with my kids….it’s good but fresh nuggets of truth are good, too!

January 16, 2015 - 7:13 pm

Emily - What an amazing giveaway! I love your heart and how you are always doing amazing things for those sweet little people of yours. You inspire me.

January 16, 2015 - 11:33 am

mamatotwo - Thank you for sharing this great resource. And thank you again for sharing wholesome family life with your readers. Blessings to you.

January 16, 2015 - 1:34 am

Katrina - Looks like a very handy tool! I would love this, or something like this, for my home.

January 15, 2015 - 7:36 pm

jkendall - love it, you need to share where you got this from! :)

January 15, 2015 - 5:30 pm

Erin Lynn - Love this! Would be so excited to utilize this Bible in our devotions and daily life!

January 15, 2015 - 2:55 pm

Kristie Walraven - What a great idea! As a mother of four boys I am always looking for innovate ways to dig into the Word! I love the hands on activity of highlighting the corresponding verses.

January 15, 2015 - 10:01 am

Courtney - How cool! We would love to try this in our home :)

January 15, 2015 - 7:58 am

Terri-Ann - What a great resource. I would love to give it a try.

January 15, 2015 - 12:57 am

Liz Bronsveld - This would be well loved in our home! :)
Gillian, you always have such great ideas on teaching your girls! So awesome:)

January 15, 2015 - 12:18 am

Mama H - Oh my gosh!I have been looking for something like this!!Thank you for the giveaway!!!

January 14, 2015 - 10:42 pm

Melanie - Oh I would love this for my toddler and new addition on the way!

January 14, 2015 - 9:41 pm

Sarah - Yes please, This looks like something we could certainly use!

January 14, 2015 - 9:40 pm

MammaOf4 - Yah! Love this … Looks amazing!

January 14, 2015 - 9:39 pm

Sarah - This looks great! Thanks for telling us about it. Would love to win!

January 14, 2015 - 7:00 pm

Jen Heemskerk - Oh….I would love to get a copy of this bible to add to our daily devotions with our children. What a great way to learn scripture and apply it to everyday real world issues that may be happening in our home.

January 14, 2015 - 6:21 pm

Lacy S. - I absolutely love this! I have never heard of it before and it looks like something incredibly helpful. Thanks for the chance!

Dedicating Lavender

 

She said, ‘Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD.
“For this {child} I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.
So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD’
And he worshiped the LORD there.”

1 Samuel 1:26-28

This past Sunday, in the cold of the winter, our house was filled with twinkling lights, pretty lavender colored bunting, purple and violet colored cake, loved family and one darling baby … we dedicated Lavender Kate Delight to the Lord, promising to raise her to know Jesus … A huge calling and a gigantic responsibility … but one we accept with joy and humility.

We love you, Lavender! xx

{hoping to post most pictures soon}

January 13, 2015 - 11:42 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - And she will be blessed all the days of her life…Praise the Lord for believing parents.

January 13, 2015 - 11:06 am

Erin Lynn - Can’t wait for more pictures! So beautiful.

CPR {training}

Christmas is over {was it lovely?} and a new year is beginning – fresh starts and new chapters are a favorite of mine …

Why not start the new year with medical training for the family? Just a few months ago, we had a minor injury in this house – and although it was minor, we did have to call the ambulance. It took at least 20 minutes for the paramedics to arrive.

With that in mind and with all these precious little ones in the house, it was certainly time to have a refresher course.  My last training was approximately 10 years ago. Today, a wonderful friend of the family and certified CPR instructor spent the morning at the house, along with his wife, who  is a heart nurse, training the girls & I {and their godmother, Kate}.

{This is something I love about educating at home – the opportunity to learn at any age *with adults and young alike* and any time of the year … }

 

 

{working the defibrillator}

All the girls sat through the training – it’s amazing how little ones can pick up a variety of information just by listening and gathering with adults. The two oldest girls, ages 10 and 8, will received their CPR certificate in the mail. I was quite proud of them!

You can find more information on courses at www.hearttoheartcpr.com

Thank you, Keith & Kim, for an amazing morning learning such a valuable, life saving skill! We are very grateful!

January 7, 2015 - 11:21 am

Sherri Smith - Excellent idea. I’m sure the girls learned a lot. You never know when it will come in handy.
Miss you all.

December 30, 2014 - 10:34 pm

Grandma Cardinal - Wonderful! So happy you have the traing! Proud of you all! Xxxxx

December 30, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Katrina - You are so right! Such training is very handy to have. I hope everyone is okay :)

December 30, 2014 - 5:29 pm

Brenda - Proud of you all