I’ve Moved… Visit My New Online Home!

My new online home

After blogging in this temporary space for two and a half years, it’s time for me to pack up my bags and move into my own (hopefully) permanent online home.

For continued updates, please visit my new website at SheenaGershom.com. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #41

Top 3 Thursday

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. Easter…the Ultimate Love Story @ Good Morning Girls {Such a powerful post… Must read!}

2. Plate Spinning, Juggling, And Letting Go of Perfection @ Crystal Stine {“I’m capable. But I’m not perfect. And those two things are not the same.” <– Loved this!}

3. For When You’ve Never Walked a Mile In Their Shoes @ Andrea Dekker {I’ve been guilty of saying most of these statements… Point taken!}

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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My Summer Bucket List

My Summer Bucket List

It’s been a blazing summer here in South India, with our boys being holed up at home during the day. I don’t let them go out when it’s too hot outside, and I work during the day, so they’re getting quite adept at keeping themselves occupied.

However, I know these 2 months of having my boys at home are precious, and I don’t want to waste the days away. Over the past two weeks, my husband and I have managed to help the kids implement 2 good habits.

  • Morning Routine – My husband trained the boys to follow a sequence of tasks as soon as they wake up. This includes a time of reading their Bibles and praying, after which they are free to do whatever they please.
  • Minimal Screen Time – The kids do get to watch TV and play on the iPad, but that time is restricted and will be revoked if they don’t behave well that day.

Well, that brings me back to how I want to be intentional with my boys this summer. I created a summer bucket list for myself – things I want to do with my family this summer. Some of them are fun, and some educational, but all of them are focused on me having quality time with the kids.

My Summer Bucket List:

1. Help the boys stick to their morning routine.

2. Teach them to tie their shoe laces.

3. Spend one-on-one time with each of them every day.

4. Watch a movie together as a family.

5. Attend a worship concert at church. The last one I attended with the sons (my husband was on stage) was a disaster. {The concert itself was awesome, but the boys took turns throwing tantrums and I was exhausted by the end of the night!}

6. Work on improving the kids’ handwriting.

7. Get the kids to read something everyday.

8. Get on the floor and play with them a couple of times a week.

9. Ensure the kids don’t forget their basic Hindi & Mathematics.

10. Send the boys to Vacation Bible School at church (not sure if the logistics will work in our favor, but we’re determined to try).

I’m aiming to strike off as much as I possibly can from this list. When June rolls around, I don’t want to regret not spending enough time with the boys during the summer. That is my motivation!

Are your kids home on holidays? Why don’t you create your own bucket list? I’m sure it will help you be more intentional about spending time with your children.

Counting My Blessings: 1491 to 1500

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for.  If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started.  Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1491. A new opportunity to serve in church.

1492. Working on this.

1493. A proper English brunch with friends.

1494. Hearing the boys say, “Mama, nice dress!

1495. The morning routine my sons seem to have gotten used to.

1496. Yet another set of Lightning McQueen T-shirts for the boys.

1497. Choosing to love, rather than harbor bitterness – so difficult, yet such a blessing.

1498. A new drum beat the boys learnt from a friend in church.

1499. And the constant {noisy} practice at home on their plastic drum kit.

1500. Listening to Jon’s argument on why we shouldn’t eat animals created by God.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #40

Top 3 Thursday

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. When Guilt Pulls You Down @ (in)courage {This was just powerful… I could SO relate to it.}

2. “Don’t look your problems in the eye, punch them in the face.” @ Money Saving Mom {I finally had the courage to punch a big project in the face this week… It felt good!}

3. When you’re just plain tired of the sacrifice… @ Good Morning Girls {Beautiful encouragement for the everyday sacrifices we make…}

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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He Loves Them More

He Loves Them More

It was one of those days. Unreasonable temper tantrums and rough boy fights had left this mother of triplets physically and emotionally drained.  Stepping on a stray Lego just about did it for me and I collapsed into a blubbery mess of tears. With harsh words and a little-more-than-necessary force, I pretty much dumped them in bed and heaved a huge sigh of relief when the boys were finally down for a nap. And then I felt it – the crushing weight of guilt as it threatened to engulf me.

If only I hadn’t yelled at them…
If only I had hugged them, instead of lecturing them…
If only I had been more patient with them…
If only I had remembered to speak their love language

As I watched my boys sleeping, they looked more like little angels than the stubborn, mischievous trio I had struggled with, just that morning. The feeling of unworthiness washed over me. God had given me the responsibility to raise my boys right, and I had failed.

Tears streamed down my face as I recounted all the mistakes I had made from the moment they woke up that morning. When my mind finally quietened down, I felt a little nudge. A soft whisper reminded me that God hadn’t given me my sons because I was worthy. He already knew I would struggle, that in my weakness I would make mistakes. I could never be a perfect mother to my sons.

But…

He is perfect; He is more than enough for them.

Through my imperfections, He wants me to show them Jesus.

He lets them rock my world, so I continually turn to Christ – my solid rock.

He shows me that without His grace, all my efforts are in vain.

As I try to mold their character, God reveals to me my own weaknesses. As I try my best to correct their behavior, He reminds me that it’s their hearts that truly matter. And when I run to Him in tears, afraid that I’ve messed up yet again; He offers me forgiveness, grace and wisdom to do better tomorrow.

I hear their light breathing, and I’m once again grateful they’re alive. I snuggle up in their midst, glad to have their arms and legs sprawled around me. I wipe away a stray tear and thank God for these three boys. These rambunctious miracles, these bundles of limitless energy have drawn me closer to God.  From the moment God gave them life, they have been a constant reminder of Someone who cares for them much more than I ever could.

And when I feel I’ve messed up, He reminds me that He’s still watching over them. He will not let them down, in spite of my weakness – because He loves them more.

* Originally written in September 2012 as a guest post for The MOB Society.

My 2014 Goals: Quarterly Update 1

My Annual Goals: 2014

You know how these big companies have quarterly audits to gauge how they are doing? I’ve found that to be a very healthy practice, not just in the corporate world, but even for ourselves. Back in January, I set a bunch of goals I wanted to achieve in 2014 – actually 10 goals, to be exact.

Well, here’s my first quarterly audit on those goals. I share them here for accountability, and hopefully to motivate you too to set goals and achieve them.

Spiritual:

1. Complete 4 Bible studies with Good Morning Girls{Completed the Intentionally Focused study, and I’ve started with the Easter study.}

2. Read through the books of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges & Ruth. {I’m done with Leviticus and Numbers; just started with Deuteronomy.}

Intellectual:

3. Read at least 12 full-length, non-fiction books – ideally one each month. {I read The Wall Around Your Heart and Help for Women Under Stress. I also read The Pursuit of God (free download) which is a smaller book, and a couple of historical Bible-based fiction books.}

4. Complete the Titus 2 University eCourse. {I’ve completed just 5 weeks of this course… need to pick up the pace on this one.}

Physical:

5. Walk a 3 Km stretch by the end of the year. {I’ve been fairly regular with walking, but the maximum distance I’ve walked is only 2.2 Km.}

Marriage:

6. Go out on 4 dates with my husband. {Umm… I’m guessing the late night movie we watched together doesn’t count. What can I say? We haven’t been out on a date yet this year.}

Parenting:

7. Teach the kids 12 verses – one each month. {They’ve memorized 3 verses so far.}

8. Teach the kids 12 family ways – one each month. {Only 2 done till now.}

Home Management:

9. Follow the Confident Mom home management planner. {This went well for the first 2 months and then it slipped away.}

Writing:

10. Write 120 blog posts this year. {I’ve written 29 blog posts so far, not including this one.}

I realize I need to pick up the pace in a few areas, and maintain the pace in others. Hopefully the next quarter’s update will be more promising!

Have you set any goals for this year?
How has your progress been?

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Counting My Blessings: 1481 to 1490

Counting My Blessings

Every week (more or less), I share on the blog all the good things (and bad) I am grateful to God for.  If you’d like to know more, check out these blog posts on why I do it and how to get started.  Care to join me on this journey of intentional thanksgiving?

1481. The end of the school year.

1482. A backup internet connection.

1483. Overheard at home: “Mama, can you tell me what I was thinking? I forgot!” :D

1484. Judah – our official family balloon blower!

1485. A husband who worked from home most of the week…

1486. …and took the kids with him whenever he went out!

1487. I show one of the sons a recent photo of the trio and ask him to identify who’s who. He responds, “I don’t know… they all look like me!” LOL!

1488. Cooking ghee rice for a potluck at church.

1489. A friend who took care of my family during my absence… so grateful!

1490. The call to get up, give up & grow up, in order to be excellent.

Are you in the habit of counting your blessings? I mean, literally counting them 1, 2, 3… Would you consider joining me on this journey? Would you dare to live fully, right where you are?

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Top 3 Thursday – Edition #39

Top 3 Thursday

Here are 3 blog posts that encouraged me this week… Click through and read them, won’t you?

1. Screwtape Letter to an Exhausted Mom @ To Love, Honor and Vaccuum {I haven’t read the original Screwtape Letters, but this was certainly eye-opening.}

2. Dear Jesus, Hold My Hand, Please @ MomLife Today {I’m going to teach my kids to pray this prayer. And it’s something I need to pray too, on those difficult days.}

3. That One Thing He Really Needs From Me @ The Time-Warp Wife {Yikes! I am SO guilty of this…}

If you have read or written an encouraging blog post during the week, would you share the link in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!

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10 Years From Today

10 Years From Today

The kids are done with their school year. It’s the end of Kindergarten and come June, we’ll be entering a new phase in their schooling. With the boys at home for their summer vacation, I won’t deny that it’s been a struggle. I’m used to having a couple of hours of quiet around the home… but with them at home, asking for peace and quiet is akin to asking for the moon! :)

However, I truly am grateful they’ll be at home for the next two months. And God has been impressing on my heart to make the most of this time – to love them, spend more time with them, connect with them, and teach them some good habits. I don’t know if I will have this time with them as they grow older.

Well anyway, I did a simple exercise that has really helped me be more intentional with my life. And I thought I’d share it with you today. I asked myself 3 simple questions…

What will my life be like 10 years from today?

  • My husband and I will be in our forties.
  • We would’ve been married almost 17 years!
  • The boys will be 16!

What do I WANT my life to look like then?

  • I’d like to have grown in faith, and reached more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • I’d like my marriage to have blossomed over the years – in love and understanding.
  • I’d like my boys to have a personal relationship with God and serve Him passionately.
  • I’d like to be healthy and able to care for my family.
  • I’d like to be writing on a blog I own.

What can I do NOW to accomplish that?

  • I can spend more time learning from the Bible, praying and serving in our local church.
  • I can love and respect my husband, and serve him wholeheartedly.
  • I can lead my sons to Christ, sharing with them all that He’s done for us.
  • I can make good food choices and exercise regularly.
  • I can create and design my own blog from scratch.

Going through these questions has helped me clarify the path I’d like to travel over the next 10 years. Most people talk about a 5 year plan, but I’ve found a 10 year plan to be more effective. Of course, I haven’t taken into consideration how God might mess up my plans for my good and His glory. That could always happen, and I’m game for that! ;)

So, have you thought about how you’d like your life to look like 10 years from today? I encourage you to answer the three questions above, and write down what you can do now to accomplish that.

Wishing you God’s best,
Sheena

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