The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Celebrate Character

Friends, parenting is hard.

It doesn’t matter if you have one child or 10 children…it.is.hard.

Chaos, noise, stepping on Legos, nonstop dishes and laundry, dirty diapers, attitude problems (ours AND theirs, ha), bickering…Need I continue?

There are so many worthwhile and rewarding things about parenting, too, and those things give us warm fuzzies and inspiration to keep on walking this crazy path.

I’m increasingly thankful for the village of people God has placed around us to help us raise our kids to love Jesus. We’re blessed to not only have families that are God-fearers, but an astounding church family, too. The more God-fearers helping to point my kids to Him, the better!

Here in the Rumley house, our main goal of parenting is to train our kiddos to love God and use the gifts and abilities He gave them to be productive members of His kingdom. I love having a good grasp on our parenting mission, and I love, love, love having fun ways to help us on the journey.

One way we’ve celebrated our kids in the past is with the red plate. This is a long-time Rumley tradition, and I remember being so thrilled to receive our red plate from my mom-in-law at one of our bridal showers.

We have used the plate mostly for birthdays, salvation anniversaries, job promotions (for Luke), school achievements, etc.

But now a new special plate has joined the cupboard. It’s called the Family Honor Plate. Instead of celebrating occasions, this plate focuses on celebrating good character in our children.

Galations 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit that should be evident in our lives if Jesus is in charge: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I can’t think of any better traits to celebrate seeing in my kids’ lives!

Take a look at the kit that I received:

As you can see, the plate comes plain white, with “Family Honor Plate” printed in the center and the fruit of the Spirit listed inside the rim. It comes with all the supplies you need to paint it any way you’d like.

I intended to make this a whole-family project, allowing each person in my family to paint 1/8 of the rim…but life is busy. So I ended up painting it myself, when the kids were all in bed and Luke was away at life group, with some nice instrumental Christmas music playing softly. *sigh*

I used some paper bags (thanks, Aldi!) to protect my dining room table, mixed some of the paints to make colors I enjoy…and away I went.

As the instructions said, I let it dry for an hour and then popped it in my cold oven and set the temp for 350. After it heated up, I baked it for 30 minutes, turned off the oven, and left it in there to cool.

Isn’t she pretty?

What I most look forward to is learning to seek out good character traits in my children. These days, I feel like I do more correcting than praising, and I hope that I can tip the scales the other direction. I want to build up my children with words of affirmation. I think this plate will be a beautiful tool to help do that.

You can purchase your own Family Honor Plate (or learn more about it) on their website or on Amazon. It costs $39.95, which is comparable to the ol’ red plate. 😉

Also included in my review pack was a product called “Table Thyme Discussion Cards.” These are available on the same sites, and sell for $19.95.

The cards are intended to spark good discussion around the dinner table, and we have already enjoyed some great conversation with our kiddos. Here are some sample questions:
What is your favorite thing to do before bedtime? Why?
What do you do that makes your parents very happy? Why?
What is your favorite room in the house? Why?

That’s just a quick sampling of some great discussion-starters…another tool to help families grow closer together. I’m a fan.

I’d love to hear from you if you have other ways to encourage our children to strive for good, Godly character! Please share!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. All opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Winner of the ESV Illuminated Bible Giveaway

Thanks, friends, for entering to win your own copy of this beautiful Bible! I was so encouraged to read about the many ways you like to spend time in God’s Word. Keep up the good work!

I used a random number generator at random.org to draw a winner…

Congrats, Darby! I hope this Bible will inspire you to spend more time with the God who loves you!

The ESV Illuminated Bible

We are so blessed to have a Christian bookstore not too far from our house. In fact, it’s right on my way home from Bible Study Fellowship, so I am tempted every single week to stop and browse.

I never feel pulled in by Barnes & Noble…but then, most of their books are ones I wouldn’t waste my time on (if I’m quite honest). But put me inside a Christian bookstore, full of books about the God I love and how to be more like Him…and I’m enchanted.

Sometimes I visit the Bible aisle, not because I *need* another Bible…but because I *like* Bibles. There are so many beautiful covers, beautiful illustrations, beautiful type…And I think I love that because God’s Word is beautiful. So isn’t it fitting that it looks beautiful to match its content?

So when I was asked to try out a new Bible, I just couldn’t help myself. The ESV Illuminated Bible is beautiful.

Here’s what the manufacturer has to say about this Bible:
The ESV Illuminated Bible places the full ESV text alongside over 500 elegantly hand-lettered gold ink illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi. Printed on thick cream-colored paper, the Bible’s single-column text setting and wide margins provide generous space for additional notes, prayers, and designs – inviting readers to creatively engage with and reflect on the beauty of God’s Word.

I’ve been enjoying this Bible for a few weeks now, and here are the things I’ve noticed about it…(We’ll start with the negatives.)

Cons
Although this Bible has the entirety of the ESV text (a translation that I love), it does not have a concordance in the back. I do love having that handy index that helps me when I’m sitting in Sunday School thinking about a particular text…and I cannot for the life of me remember the reference. Sure, my Bible app can search for me…but I’m still a paper Bible kind of girl (obviously).

Along the same lines, this Bible also doesn’t have cross-references or footnotes. I do so love to know where Scripture texts are cross-referenced, and if I’m using this Bible, I have to access another resource to find out this information.

Pros
Beauty. There are many beautiful gold illustrations throughout, including full-page illustrations. Dana Tanamachi designed a full-page illustration for the beginning of each book of the Bible, and she has provided an explanation for the way she designed each of these particular pages at the back of the book.

Also, though I wouldn’t call these *thick* pages, they are thicker pages than the tissue-paper-thin pages of most Bibles. The text is single-column and the margins are wide. These things are super helpful for those of you who are artsy-fartsy Bible journalers. 😉 I wish I was talented in this arena, but even I have loved the extra room for notetaking.

This particular Bible comes with a hard, cloth-covered cover in a permanent slipcover box.

My conclusion?
This is a spectacular journaling/art Bible. It’s a beautiful, creative way to read and meditate on God’s Word.

It’s not a study Bible. As I mentioned above, there aren’t concordances, cross-references, footnotes…There are no study notes or maps. But of course, all of these things are accessible elsewhere.

This would be a great gift for a loved one this Christmas. It can be found at Amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or at your local Christian book retailer.

Check out this video for more information on how it was made.

NOW…
I actually really hate doing giveaways…BUT I know a few of my friends would love to try this new Bible. So, you have a week to comment on this post in order to be entered into the drawing for a free copy. What I’d like to know is this: What’s your favorite way to study God’s Word?

I’ll draw a winner Saturday, November 25 at noon.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Teenager

It’s a bit surreal realizing that Daddy and I are parents of a teenager.

Thirteen.

How?

You know, our culture often disparages teenagers and makes the parents of younger children fear the teen years. People talk about how horrible teenagers are and how difficult those years are…And sure, we might face some hard things together.

But hear this, my little teenager: I really like you.

I don’t just love you, like I have to because I’m your mom. I like you. You’re fun. And funny. And beautiful and witty. And you quote movies at just the right times to make everyone laugh, which is obviously a trait you got from your father. 😉 You are diligent with your schoolwork and super responsible with your siblings, especially the babies. I can’t imagine trying to run our crazy household without all your help.

God made you to be amazing, and you are. I know He has big plans for you – to do good things for His kingdom, like it says in Ephesians 2:10. I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Just keep your eyes on Him.

I love you, darling Grace. Happy 13th birthday.

Words matter.

I’ve been increasingly convinced that every word we speak matters.

In early 2016, our family started focusing on Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

It’s nearly two years later, and we’re still working on it EVERY DAY. This is hard! It’s hard to speak words of kindness and grace, building others up instead of tearing them down. Especially for those we live with every day, who see our grumpiest, meanest, angriest moods. It’s hard to stop our tongues from spewing venom when we feel attacked or unfairly treated. (Have you ever read James chapter 3?)

And these are just words we’re speaking to and about human beings.

Even more important, we must speak true words about God.

I sat under someone’s teaching recently who was overly committed to her analogy. Friends, analogies have limits. Please, PLEASE, if you ever speak about God – remain more committed to His Word than to your analogy. In the beginning, her word picture made sense, but as the talk went on, she started saying things about God that, at best, didn’t make sense, and, at worst, lied about Him.

“God never leaves an equation unbalanced.”

WHAT?!

Please don’t speak about God unless you’re going to say things about Him that His word verifies are true.

In our culture, we are often tempted to overstate things…And honestly, we cannot overstate God’s unchanging character: His love, His patience with us, His sacrifice, etc, etc. Those things are more vast than we could ever describe.

But choose your words carefully, lest you mislead others and cause them to believe lies about God. What a huge responsibility we all bear.

The easiest way to speak truth about God is through His own Words about Himself:

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

And one of my personal favorites:
“Everything in the heavens and earth is Yours, Oh Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and You are the ruler of all mankind; Your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.” I Chronicles 29:11-12

May God keep our mouths shut when we’re about to utter wrong words, and open when He gives us words of grace and truth to speak.

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