Make Summer 2020 Count !

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We are so excited to announce that this summer we are teaming up with a dear friend over at Raphah Mama to take hold of our summer plans and make them COUNT! This year 2020 we have been hit with a very unusual event: COVID-19! My friend Mary and I decided we are not going to let this summer pass by living in this COVID-19 fear based world but instead grab the bull by the horns and make this summer a summer of new habits like: spending time outdoors, finding ways to serve others and reading some great books!

This summer we are excited to set some obtainable goals, and check them off as our families accomplish them. However, it is never fun to do alone which is why we teamed up and why we are asking YOU to join us!!

Mary over at Raphah Mama started us off with a GREAT article that really allows us to process through how to grasp hold of this summer with both hands and get our feet ready for action. (Below is the beginning of her article shared with permission by Raphah Mama).

We are also excited to provide you with a FREE DOWNLOADABLE PDF to print off and keep track of your outside hours. (SEE BELOW)

Planning for A Happy Summer

(Even with COVID-19 Still Around)

By: Mary Rabe

 

At the start of COVID-19 and the resulting lock-down, I thought that surely things would be back to normal by the summer. Now that school is wrapping up, though, my home state has still only barely begun to enter early phases of opening, and many of our family’s favorite summer events have been cancelled. This has been a hard pill to swallow, for sure, and it’s been tempting to kind of just give up on the idea of still having a fun summer. I’ve come to realize, though, that just giving up and postponing any kind of “real life” until things settle down is just going to lead to discouragement and depression for my family. Rather than giving in to that, my good friend over at Raising Rices and I have decided to team up and try to see how we can plan for a fun, purposeful summer even with COVID-19 still going on. Over the next few weeks, we hope to share ideas, resources, and a bit of a layout to help us all in seeking the goal of still enjoying the special season of summer! For today, I want to share some ideas and inspiration for you to start planning out a purposeful summer.

1. Process
Before we get to the practical ideas, I think we all have some processing to do. This is a very unique summer, with both incredible potential and also very real loss/grief, and before we can really put any kind of purposeful plan in place, we need to acknowledge a few things.
  • This summer could hold some disappointment and grief. There are things that we were looking forward to that are no longer going to happen. Festivals, concerts, graduations, sporting events, vacations, summer camps… Just like at the beginning of quarantine when many things were cancelled and we all felt tremendous loss and grief, I believe that’s probably going to happen again for this summer. I, for one, don’t like feeling grief and sadness, but I’m recognizing that trying to ignore loss doesn’t do me any good. I think the best thing to do is to recognize that there is loss here, things that we wanted to do and are sad to not have, and go ahead and grieve them. Let your kids grieve, too; I’m sure they had things they were hoping for from summers past and may need to talk through not having them this year.
  • At the same time that we grieve what we don’t get to have this summer, we want to make sure that we keep the following in mind: God is in control, His plans are better, and He has unique blessings and opportunities for this specific summer. Don’t let the grief of what you don’t get to have blind you to the gifts and opportunities that God has for you and your family!
I really believe that both of these steps are important in order to be able to have a purposeful summer this year. We have to get through the phases of grief and come to a place of acceptance in order to have the motivation, energy, and clarity needed to move ahead. Something to consider might be to write down the things you and your kids/family are grieving and then pray over them, sharing with God the sadness you feel and then giving them over to Him and submitting to His plans and purpose for your summer. I promise you, this is a prayer He will be happy to answer.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.”
~Psalm 62:8
You are going to want to finish Raphah Mama’s article it is amazing for processing through how this summer can look!

 

As you have read (or will read) on Raphah Mama’s page we are setting an accountability goals of:

1. 100 Hours Outside Each Month 
  • We want to share the benefits of being outdoors (for kids and parents), the specific ways kids learn outdoors, and practical ideas and tips for adding more outdoor time to your day

2. 20 Books in Summer 2020 

  • A fun way to track reading this summer, ideas for getting a variety of genres for your kids to read, and ways to motivate reluctant readers

3. 12 Summer Service Activities

  • We want to teach our kids the importance of serving others and sharing God’s love with the world, so we want to come up with different ideas or how our kids/families can find ways to do that this summer.

 

WOAH seems like a lot?! That is what I thought at first until we broke it down. On this post we are excited to share one way to make the 100 hours a month obtainable: with out trackable PDF, our accountability hashtag and our Daily Check in 🙂

Copy of #100outsidehours

FREE DOWNLOADABLE FREE PDF HERE:  June #100outsidehours

If you follow @raisingrices on Instagram we have a daily check in for you to share and color in and post as a accountability piece as well as a way to bring others along with us in this journey! Use this image and make sure to tag us @raisingrices we can not wait starting in June to do this TOGETHER!!! Have fun coloring in the daily 3 hour check in. Raphah Mama and I have figured out if you do slightly more then 3 hours a day you will get you 100 hours in a month! So make it a goal to get a minimum of 3 hours a day which is a wonderful start! If you need encouragement as to why check out on blog here!

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Sample to Color in:

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WE BOTH are so excited make this summer a summer to REMEMBER and not due to COVID-19 but due to the fact that we established new rhythms and created lifelong memories! JOIN US!

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Get Outside – #100hoursoutsideamonth

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DID YOU KNOW????

  • Spending time outdoors may lower blood pressure
  • Soaking up the sun elevates Vitamin D levels
  • Outdoor time can reduce inflammation
  • Being outside is good for eyesight
  • Outdoor time improves sleep
  • Being outdoors burns more calories (compared to indoor)
  • Spending time outside relieves stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Outdoor time relieves pain naturally
  • Spending time in green spaces boosts immunity
  • Being outdoors generates creativity

DID YOU ALSO KNOW SPECIFICALLY FOR KIDS ….

  • Being outside builds physically healthier children
  • Outdoor time contributes to cognitive and social/emotional development
  • Spending time outdoors improves sensory skills
  • Outdoors increases attention spans
  • Being outside builds better immunity and happiness

I could go on and on but we will save that for a future blog. 😉

To say there is a benefit from being outside is an understatement YET why can it be so hard sometimes to make time in our days to get our families outside?? As you may have discovered here on the RaisingRices Blog I love finding measurable, or track keeping ways to have my household run smoothly. Therefore I have created not only a goal for our household but a FUN tracking sheet that will guide out family to obtaining out goal!

GOAL: SPEND 100 HOURS A MONTH OUTSIDE! #100hoursoutsideamonth

As a household we have started in MAY. We have created a printed PDF sheet (below) that we are marking off a box every hour we spend outside. There are 50 boxes (one box for ever two hours) and if you divide up the 100 hours needed for the month it is about 3 hours a day (3.3 to be exact). THIS IS TOTALLY DOABLE WITH A PLAN! When I see it broken up in that way I feel more confident it making it happen!

One last thing which I feel is important to note: we aren’t just playing all three hours, some of the time we are working on our garden, cleaning up the yard, or maybe we decide to go take a book outside and a blanket for quiet time. Perhaps we are going on a family walk, or taking a quick 10 minute play break in our school. We might head outside for art time and find a flower to color or a bug to investigate and make observation about. The options are endless: go to the park, ride a bike, have a picnic, BBQ outside, exercise, water the yard, swim in a pool, build a fort, swing on a swing, walk to dog, mow the yard, and MORE!

So my friends here is the MAY SHEET 🙂 and I am already working on JUNE! Can’t wait to have this accountability from you all! SO when you are on social media tag us at @raisingrices on Instagram or Facebook so we can see your outdoor play, and use the hashtag #100hoursoutsideamonth we are so looking forward to inspiring one-another.

PDF DOWNLOAD HERE: #100outsidehoursMAY

 

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Sources: HERE, HERE and HERE

COVID-19 Processing Resources for the FAMILY!

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How many of you lived through the experience of 9/11? I can distinctly remember when I heard the news, and the fear that followed. 9/11 was a historical moment that altered how we operate in our daily living. Anyone else watch older movies where they are meeting someone at the airport and can walk straight to the plane? Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore due to the events of 9/11.

During this COVID-19 there can be fear and uncertainty. One of the memories I have during 9/11 was unanswered questions which caused fear and uncertainty. Therefore I wanted to provide my family and other families a way to process these emotions. And this is where the COVID-19 resource packet comes into play.

This much needed resource is helpful in allowing kids of all ages to process through these changing times. I personally recall when 9/11 happened and how the world changed before my very eyes, things that once were became something new and forever changed.

Within the PDF printable packet you will find:

  • Personal refection worksheets on how life is currently
  • The Blessings to be found in this time and how to bless others
  • Prayer journal with writing or drawing options
  • Fun moments and bringing the best in the moment out
  • Hard moments to promote conversations with family
  • Promises that God gives us in his scripture, journal pages to reflect and color sheets with scripture on it.

HEAD OVER HERE TO SNAG A RESOURCE PACKET!

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This resource is one of the ways we are working to supporting families. We also are using it as a fundraiser to help earn money to pay for Darren Rice to attend seminary. So we thank you for helping us walk this journey together, following God’s call 🙂

 

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EASTER RESOURCE

Hello Friends! Darren and I have put together an EASTER RESOURCE for you all! We are super excited to offer this resource especially during this time of being quarantined during to the COVID-19 virus.

Our prayer is that this resource will help you focus in on JESUS CHRIST our LORD, during this time. These resources can be used as a collection or independently of each other. We hope that they will bless you and help you as we all are building households that serve the LORD! – Joshua 24:15

Included in the resource packet are the following:

– 9 Day Devotional preparing our hearts for Easter. Each day there is a theme, scripture reading, some diving deeper into theological history and context (at a level where all family members can participate), where to find the theme in all 4 of the Gospels, and a few questions that can lead your family into conversation about the reading of the day.

– 16 coloring pages to help all age learnings have things to do during the devotional time. Or feel free to use them however and whenver you see fit

– 9 different color art puzzles that has the order of events displayed on them. The idea behind this is to print them out, cut the out the events into strips (or however you would like to break apart the puzzle), roll them up and put them inside easter eggs. After the kids find and open the eggs they can put the puzzle together. (Suggestion would be to tape them on another piece of paper when completed the puzzle, since the papers might be bent in the process.)

– Lastly, there is included 3 posters that can be used to print and talk about the generous gifts we receieve through Christ’s sacrifice

This resource PDF’s we are using as a fundraiser to help Darren save for seminary. If you have been following along our journey you have heard it is our heart to be good stewards of the blessings God has given us. In that we have learned about what the Bible says about debt and are working this year to pay off our remaining debt and not go into more debt to have him attend seminary on loans. Therefore, we are diligently fundraising and saving money, knowing that God will provide. Thank you for walking along this journey with us!

HOW TO ORDER:

Direct message me at: marissa@raisingrices.com and we are taking payment via PayPal or Venom 🙂 and sending the resource PDF’s directly to your email 🙂

 

Thanks again everyone!!!!

Seminary on the Horizon

The Rice family has some exciting news to share!!! Normally I (Marissa) am the author of our blog post but today we have some excited news to share from my hubby (Darren)

From Darren:

Throughout life there is opportunity for choices, some choices change little regarding your direction in life, others drastically alter the course of your life, your family and those around you. My life has repeatedly been altered by the decision to pursue relationship with Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Bible to be the only source of truth in my life that all other things are tested against. Now to be honest its an up and down road, sometimes relying on myself and my own plans and sometimes really relying and resting in what the Bible says and my relationship with God. But through everything I can strongly say this, God is faithful! He is faithful through all things and will always provide what we need if we are pursuing him.

Here is the crazy thing I have found through the process of surrendering my life to God. He has some crazy plans, as I have studied the word, applied it to my life and allowed God’s word to convict me I have found myself in places I would not have pictured before. As I am pursuing God there are several things that are on my heart as key to being a disciple of Christ and living a life that is following the word of God. These things include, being the spiritual leader of my family, admonishing and encouraging others who are also pursuing Christ, and surrendering every decision to the Lord by not allowing my convenience to dictate what I choose but rather allowing the Word of God and the prompting of the Holy Spirit to guide my direction.

These things have lead me to a place where I am really recognizing the ownership I have in leading my family, and discipling those around me, my kids, those I am in community with and seeking out others to lead to Christ. As part of this pursuit I have realized that the more I dive into Scripture the more I have to learn. There are so many great books and study guides out there, podcasts, sermons and other inputs to learn more and more about the Bible from, however, I have really been feeling challenged to engage in something more formal. Formal training in biblical exposition that will equip me to better encourage and admonish those around me, my wife, my children, and those in community around me. This might seem like a crazy idea at first, but as I mentioned earlier it seems that by surrendering decisions and plans to the Lord he often takes us places we don’t expect to go. I would have never ever picked going to seminary as a thing that I would have done, but with God at the center of my life, and my decisions being based around him I have to open the door to His plan.

When I think about going to seminary I really think about how doing God’s work is something that is going to be central to the rest of my life. I don’t see it ever going away, and if I am going to be doing God’s work I don’t really know when, how, or where he is going to call me to do His work. So in addition to feeling like He is leading me in this direction I feel that as a follower of him I have to be preparing myself to be ready to follow His calling.

Right now I am spending time investigating options, reading doctrinal statements, and looking at finances. I want to pursue what God is calling me to, but also want to be a wise steward of what He has given me. Marissa and I have been in the midst of ensuring our lives and our finances are focused on God. We are dedicated to pursuing this formal education in Biblical teaching but also dedicated to getting out of and staying out of debt. So for right now, until we have the funds and income freed up to get started, we are looking at schools, paying off debt and working on raising money to cover the cost of tuition which ranges from $14,000-$35,000.

We know and believe that God provides for all of our needs, and that he is faithful to us when we are faithful to him. Thank you for your prayers and support through this journey of faithfulness.

Darren Rice

Wow, I can say I am one proud wife! As a commitment to being faithful stewards and working to be the encourager and supporter in this journey ahead, I have decided to start to fundraise in many different ways to show that we are working hard to pursue this calling, and believe that God will be our provider and we are walking in that faith. Would you consider walking with us, in prayer support, and if you feel called help us by participating in our fundraising efforts. I plan to share and communicate openly about how we are walking on this journey, and am excited to have you walk with us! Thank you!

 

Marissa Rice

 

RaisingRices Artisan Bread “Jesus Bread”

If you guys have been following RaisingRices on Facebook or Instagram @RaisingRices, you would have seen our “Jesus Bread.” This artisan bread has been a staple in our home. In fact we make this bread at least twice a week (and sometimes more!)

This is our favorite bread to use as communion bread. When Darren leads our family through communion (as well as others that have come into our household), the fresh artisan round loaf been torn in two leaves such a visual reminder to our household of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross.

We use this bread at our sabbath communion we do every Saturday (stay tune in the summer we are going to bake the bread out camping in a dutch oven, can’t wait!) We also do communion together at our in home worship nights, and when we have other biblical community families over throughout the week. Our church family once a month gather during our regular schedule service time to share a meal together; and this last month the theme was soup and our family baked and brought 6 loafs to share. (Not only were they all eaten but it was SUPER simple and such a blessing.)

Lastly, one other of our staples in the Rice family during the week is on Thursday we do homemade soup and fresh made artisan bread. This staple is a life-saver, because on Thursday our three older kids do a Karate Class down the street (it is called KICKS karate school, ran by this amazing Christian couple, we feel so blessed by the class). But, we are all out of the house until past dinner time, so when we get home the family is hungry, and dinner is on the table in 2 seconds flat.

I can’t wait to share with you all these SUPER EASY recipe! Darren and I have mortified this recipe into our own and are so excited to share with you all! We pray that as you make-bake-eat-share this bread that you would also be reminded of the John 6:35

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Here is the RaisingRices Artisan Bread Recipe:

One of the reasons this recipe is SO SUPER EASY is because it is a NO-KNEAD bread!

Ingredients:

3 Cups all-purpose flour (you will also need an additional about 1/4 cups when you transfer into your baking dish)

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups of WARM water (we usually pour 1 1/2 cups of water in and then mix and if we need more of a cement like texture then we add the rest, see picture below)

Directions:

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and say. Then add water and stir until blended. The texture will be super sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 18 hours, at room tempter for best results. (We have done it in less time by resting in our oven on bread proof setting, rested about 10-12 hours there, but waiting the 18hr makes a great texture, so plan ahead the day before).

Dough is read when it is surface has bubble dots on the surface.

Lightly flour your counter (with the addition 1/4 cup of flour), take the dough out of the bowl and on counter, fold dough over 3 to 4 times tucking in the round ball to smooth on top. Then gentle pick up the dough ball and put in cooking container. (You want to find something that has a lid, like a dutch oven for example.) Once you put the dough in let it sit for another 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven for 450 degrees

Bake for 30 minutes covered. Then uncover and bake for 4-6 more minutes (this will allow the top to brown).

Let rest for at least 10 minutes to allow for easier cutting. And ENJOY!

For you visual learners out there, here is a play-by-play below 🙂

(at the very end we have options for variations on the original artisan flavor.)

I priced out how much it would be to buy an organic artisan bread for a local grocery store (New Seasons) and it would cost anywhere from $6.00 to $8:00 dollars! Darren and I even with buying organic flour (we buy it in bulk at costco, along with the yeast and salt) that we can make each loaf for around $1.00 dollar!!!

We like to combine all the dry ingredients in a large glass bowl, this helps to have room to mix when the water gets poured in.

This is the sticky part when we combine the water, make sure to use WARM water! It does make a difference! (remember that too hot of water will kill the yeast though, so just warm.)

We bought this tool just recently, it is a bread mixer, and it is nice! We were using wooden spoons before (which still work great) but the dough doesn’t stick as bad to this tool.

Mix, Mix, Mix 🙂

This is the texture you are looking for, but this recipe is pretty forgiving, however we would lean towards more wet then dry, because you will be adding more flour when you fold it into a ball.

Cover with plastic wrap, OR a towel. Let it rest! I know I am a bit A type personality but we have a bread making schedule that helps me remember to make the artisan bread to rest the day before. 🙂

After resting for 18 hours (we like to do ours overnight) you can see it all rises and has bubbles.

This is when you scoop it out with your hand and place it on the extra flour, give it a few turns to put it into a ball, making the top look smooth; this will give you a smoother surface on top 🙂

Then place into your bake pan with (looking for a baking pan that has a lid).  We have used dutch ovens before but our go to is Bon Cook (used to be called Demarle) glass silicon large round mold withe lid.

Here is after we have place the ball into our baking dish and waited another 2 hours, you can see it rises again to make it fluffy and ready to bake.

Remember to take off the lid after 30 mins and bake for another 4-6 to get nice and brown on top 🙂

Eat and Enjoy! Share with Others! Invite them into your home! Share Communion with others, “do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24)

Variations 🙂

(these are to your personal taste, so try and have fun)

  • Cinnamon and Raisin (Darren loves to make this one for the kids for breakfast, with peanut butter on it 🙂 about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup of raisins)
  • Rosemary and Garlic (Great for dinner bread, about 1/2 teaspoon of Rosemary and 1/4 Garlic.)
  • Cheese and Herb (herb blend about 1/2 teaspoon, about 1/4 garlic, and add about 1 cup shredded cheese on top of bread. Just before baking brush on beaten egg to glaze and then add cheese.
  • Other ideas: Kalamata Olives, Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes or Nuts and Dried Fruit)
  • Also experiment with flavored butters YUM!!
  • This is our favorite bread for crunch grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, double YUM!
  • Darren and I love this bread with a yummy bruschetta on top!!! I am getting hungry just talking about it!

POST ANY PICTURES IN THE COMMENTS WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR CREATIONS!!!

Remember to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and on Instagram @RaisingRices

How to Help Your Spouse Spiritually Lead

Hey RaisingRices community Darren and I are super excited to tackle this topic of Spiritual Leadership together, we pray you will be blessed and encouraged.

Darren and I had an amazing weekend away in Bend, just the two of us! High Five to our amazing family for blessing us by watching the kiddos (all 5 of them)! During our time away we had a great chance to engage in deep conversation, vision casting, fun, and rest.

One amazing opportunity we had was to meet up with  Isaac and Angie  Tolpin who are dedicated to full time ministry through Courageous Parenting and their local church body, and you guys this was so LIFE GIVING! One of the conversation we got to talk about together is how to support your spouse as a Spiritual Leader and How to RISE to the calling of being a Spiritual Leader.

In true gentlemen like nature we are going to do “Ladies First”

Ladies First

Here are a few helpful ways we as wives and work toward the encouragement of our husbands leading.

  1. First things first, as wives who desire for our husbands to lead, we NEED to be in PRAYER for our husbands. We need to find ourselves on our knees because the enemy of our soul knows that when men start spiritually leading CHANGE is coming! My challenge to myself and I hope you would join me is as we pray for our husbands to lead spiritually and pray for their protection against the spiritual warfare that will be coming.
  2. As a leader our husbands, can be heading into a unknown battle, the more information they have the better equipped they can be as a leader. What information can we help them with?
      • The heart status of the kids, this is helpful to know how to instruct, redirect, encourage, and guide to righteousness.
      • Any key events of the day, a quick play-by-play with room for  quick questions
      • And your (wife) emotional/spiritual state, this is important for your husband to know too
      • Lastly, we must remember that we need to give our husbands the information and then TIME FOR PRAYER AND PROCESSING. If we don’t allow them to prepare their hearts then they could be walking into the home with a “get-it-fixed” mentally instead of an “I am here to lead” mentality.
  3. As a mom and wife I will be the first to admit that I can forget that my husband has also been working all day. Ok, I know that sounds silly but when I am at home working hard as a stay-at-home momma (you know cleaning, cooking, hugging, changing poopies, schooling, laundry, kissing scraps and bruises) I can sort of forget that my husband is working hard at his job too. And when he gets home I can feel the urge to do the “handoff,” you know the please take the baby I need a break. And while this is completely fine, we are a team, I need to also realize WE ARE A TEAM BOTH WAYS! My husband needs the time to prepare himself to lead spiritually.
  4. In addition, these mentality adjustments are crucial.
    • If you want him to lead, then we as wives need to make room for him to lead. This isn’t permission to nag, or “convince”. This means to be the one who stand beside your husband, not in front.
    • Slow to speak, quick to listen. This has been my kryptonite, and I would go out on a limb to say I am not the only one out there who is quick to talk and slow to listen. One element I would encourage the wives out there to do with me is to work hard to provide wait time before speaking so that it gives our husbands a chance to share what is on their heart, and time to process. This has been a revolution to me, that in general terms, a woman will use 10 sentences to explain something where as a man uses just one, because he has processed and condescend his thoughts down to one.
    • Provide time for spiritually leading. If there are other moms and wives out there like me who “take-charge” of the calendar scheduling I would like to give another encouragement (anyone else notice these suggestions come out of life lessons). My encouragement would to be PROVIDE REST TIME, this will encourage family time, togetherness, and the ability to give a chance for spiritual leadership. When we have so much planned we neglect our most important mission: Building HouseHolds That Serve The LORD!
    • Another reminder to us all as biblical wives, that as we desire our husbands to lead our families spiritually we must also remember we must be in the WORD of GOD! Daily pursing Christ! Please know though this personal relationship is essential to our growth however it also can be intimidating to our husbands when we “appear” to have all the answers. It is hard to lead someone who, “knows it all.” Now the is a touchy issue, because I am NEVER suggesting, lying or acting dumb, (because that would just be dumb). What I am suggestion is that as a couple you ask deep thoughtful questions to purse Christ together. Questions for example like these:
      •    How do you think _______ (this bible character) feel during this _______ (bible event.)
      • Since everything in the Bible points to God and his redemptive plan through Jesus. In this passage how does this relate to Christ?
      • Would you pray for me I am struggling with this _________?

We are all on a journey in pursuit of holiness. And as our church always says, “Come as you are but leave more like Christ.” As we walk through this crazy thing call life lets remember to have grace, pray tons and work to spur each other towards righteousness.

GUYS TURN 

Men, it is our role to rise to the Biblical call to be spiritual leaders of our households. Here are some areas that I know I am growing in and I want to challenge you to assess your own habits consider your spiritual growth in these areas as well.

  1. The first step in spiritual leadership is ensuring that we are on a path of personal growth in our walk with Christ through reading the word prayer and allowing time to listen to God. It is impossible to lead on a journey that we are not willing to take.
  2. We must take seriously the Word of God as truth. Not just in knowledge but in action, in heart change, in repentance, in transformation of the way we think and act. It does us no good if we read Deuteronomy 6, where the scriptures talk about making the commands of God prevalent and constant in our households, and yet continue to go day after day allowing the business of life to overshadow the glory of God. These things, whatever they are that take time away from the discipleship of our children and leading of our wives can become Idols, taking the rightful place of God in our lives.
  3. We must love our wife as Christ loved the church. Ephesians 6 is very explicit about this. This means men that as we lead our wives spiritually we must lead them in love, and as a servant as Christ loved the church. So as we lead, we must not disregard our wife’s wisdom, concern, or emotions, but rather listen to her wisdom, or lead her gently back to scripture as needed as we shepherd her heart towards Christ.
  4. As the leader, in coordination with our Wife (who I know many, including mine, manage a lot of the calendar) WE are responsible for building and prioritizing rhythms in our household. Rhythms of studying the Word, prayer, discipleship and rest.
  5. Be open with our wives, we must be explicit in the ways we could use their support in our leadership. God made our wives to help us, but they can not help us well unless they know what we are struggling with. As the leader with an awesome helper we must communicate what we are feeling, what emotional or cultural forces are pulling us away from leading well, and how the enemy of our souls is trying to prevent us from leading.

Men it is a battle out there against the enemy of our souls, we must recognize that without spiritual leadership in our households they are vulnerable to the enemy. We must take seriously the the design of our Creator in our families and the significance of choosing what is at the head of our life.

Multigenerational Impact

Multigenerational Impact

What does the Bible have to say about it?

In the Bible it says in Psalm 107:2, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,” does this seems like a “of course we will” verse? I hope so, however there are many historical accounts in the Bible of the lack of “say so” (sharing of who God is, what he had done, and his gift of redemption He has for us.)

Lets take a look at Judges 2:10-12 together. Before we read lets do some back story. We start the verse talking about a generation who gathered unto their fathers, this generation they are speaking of some of the people there literally SAW with their VERY OWN EYES the miracles of God from, the Works of God in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna falling from heaven, and the walls of Jericho fall with the blowing of a trumpet to name a few. Then it says another generation arose after them, which knew not the Lord, commentaries suggest this doesn’t mean that they didn’t know God existed but instead in the midst of peace, prosperity intoxicated their hearts, they were focused on building their houses, land, flocks etc. Ok, with this in mind lets see the outcome:

Judges 2:10-12 King James Version (KJV)

10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:

12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.

What stands out to me, is the devastating effects of the lack of intentionally. Verse 10 says, “and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” When I read this I think about the importance of not assuming that my faith will be my children’s faith. I can not pass the knowledge of GOD to my children without INTENTIONAL teaching, training, and making my relationship with God visual and REAL to my children. In the course of just ONE GENERATION the chosen people turned from their faith and focused more on their comfort, their possessions, their agenda. 

A Generation rose up who knew NOTHING and were led astray by the culture around them!

To say that  multi-generational impact is not of value is an  UNDERSTATEMENT!!!

Psalm 78:5 King James Version (KJV)

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

What does Science have to say about it?

One of the elements we must not forget is that Science points toward God. God made Science! One of the reasons the younger generation is leaving the church is because they don’t see the connection of science to God. SOOOOO lets make sure we talk about it!

Here are a few ways we can see how significant Multi-Generational Impact is for ALL in the HOUSEHOLD!

  • Healthy people living in two-generation households have longer survival than healthy people living on their own.
  • Grandparents serve as role models for their grandchildren through daily interactions, while grandchildren learn to respect and connect with their elders.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau says 10% of children under 18 are growing up with a grandparent in the house. This may be a good thing. A 2008 University of Oxford study among 1,500 teens in England and Wales found that those with a high level of involvement with their grandparents had fewer emotional and behavioral problems. (Source)
  • Being with grandchildren lower the risk for Alzheimers (source) Also helps with working memory (source)
  • Financial benefits and a increased in numbers of families living in multigenerational households. (source)

How can this personally affect my Legacy?

I once heard some friends talk about the Multi-Generational Impact they desire to have, I was taken off guard from there vision until they explained. I know you are dying to know the story but I am going to make you wait one second so I can introduce you to this amazing couple. Isaac and Angie Tolpin have an incredible ministry called Courageous Parenting, where they provide parenting mentorship programs, podcast, bogs, all with the goal of how to equip confident Christian kids in an uncertain world. (AMAZING RIGHT!)

On the Courageous Parenting Podcast Isaac, said his vision is to see and influence 100 Tolpins in his lifetime! I was totally taken back I couldn’t imagine 100 Rices running around! But the point he went on to explain is he wasn’t planning on have 100 kids personally he was planning on leaving a Legacy through his kids of God’s salvation plan for each of their lives. AMEN TO THAT!!! I want that kind of Legacy! So those that know me know I needed to visual see that that would look like, and if it was possible, I mean 100 is a lot of people!

(Yes I am that person that had to make a chart to see! Haha!)

Of course, this is not a requirement to have these many children or to have this  100 number as a indicator of fulfillment of Legacy. And hear me when I say that children are a blessing, and I pray my children learn this truth too, and that they hear from me there is not expectation to number of children in their future. BUT what I think it provides is is a BEAUTIFUL picture of potential IMPACT! This is a mindset of great commission work ahead, a mindset of discipleship and a mindset of intentionality in relationships.

The Battle is Multi-Generational we are meant to do this thing called discipleship together. Maybe you don’t have biblical generational influence in your family, I want to encourage you today that intentional mentors can be like “family.” The Bible calls us in Titus 2 to be mentoring those younger then us, this is to be an encouragement to seek out wise generational influences to mentor us, while we also receive the encouragement to mentor those who are younger than us.

 

Additional Bible verses on Generational Impact (there are TONS more too!)

  1. Genesis 17.7: And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
  2. Exodus 3.15: God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
  3. Exodus 12.14: This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
  4. Leviticus 23.43: …that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
  5. Psalm 78.5-6: He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
  6. Luke 1.48: [Mary] …for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
  7. Ephesians 3.20-21: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.

 

 

 

 

Discernment and Brownies

Discernment and Brownies

The word discernment has been on my mind, heart, and lips a lot recently as I have been encouraging those around me and are teaching my kids about this KEY element to our daily lives. I used to believe that discernment meant just being wise and not letting others persuade me with things that are obviously not of God. The Dictionary simply states, “the ability to judge well.” HOWEVER, there is nothing simple about discernment.

One thing I think we forget (and is imperative to teach our kids about), is that when is comes to the need for discernment usually it is because something seems like it could be right.

Let’s think back to the Garden Eden way back in Genesis. What did satan say to tempt Eve? Lets look:

Genesis 3:1-6

The Fall of Man

      Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Did satan just come straight out and say to Eve, “Go on, eat it!”? NO! Why? Because that would be obvious, and Eve would have sniffed that temptation right out with ease. The first step in her deception was the DISTORTING of God’s word. See instead of saying, “Go on, just eat it,” his first step was to have her question the truthfulness of God’s word, to question HIS authority! God is the SOLE AUTHORITY for our lives, but how often is the are we encouraged to disregard Him as the one TRUE God all in the name of moral relativism (what is true for you, is not true for me). Instead of Satan saying, “Go on, eat it,” he says, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” A question to Eve, a question to make her discredit the Authority of GOD! Questioning truth! 

How did Eve respond? She said, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” You know what comes next right? Satan says, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Is this statement true? Well contains a degree of truth, but is NOT all true.

This is half truth because it is a COMPLETE MISREPRESENTATION of what God had said. The truth part was that by eating the apple in temptation their eyes would be “opened,” in Genesis 3:22

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

But there eyes were not opened to what they had thought, and they didn’t “die” in the human sense but in the spiritual sense, to say the died is an understatement, for the were separated from the presence of God. What they decided in the temptation of satan is that they want to be their own God, they want to make their own rules, basically we can see the first of beginning of idolatry.

Jumping back to where satan says, “You will not surely die” we can see a direct rejection of consequences. This reminds me of a common statement that is so frequently used in our current age that seems like truth but is a misrepresentation (aka a FALSE statement), “My god wouldn’t send people to hell.” We don’t live in a merit system: if we do good then we will we go to Heaven , if we are a bad person we will go to hell. And praise God because we are all sinful people, born that way, in need of a Savior! Jesus Christ! Furthermore, if we didn’t have a God who gives a consequence of judgement due to absolute truth found in the Bible, then whose standard do we “pick” for what is right and wrong? Do you see how without law, judgement, consequences it could get REALLY messy REALLY fast! In addition without our acknowledgment of our sin, and need for sacrifice Jesus would have never needed to die for our salvation, and if he never came and died for us out of the God’s love then we would never get to enjoy the relationship. AND without that relationship we would be left to deal with satan’s temptations without: the Holy Spirit, the WORD of GOD and prayer!

So what does this have to do with discernment? Everything! WE NEED DISCERNMENT so we do not fall temptation to satan’s schemes.

I would like to tell you a story that has been a GREAT way to teach kids (and myself) about the need for discernment and how satan operates.

Discernment Brownies!

One day my neighbor said she had some brownies she wanted to share with me. When she stopped by I saw the brownies, and MAN OH MAN they looks so good!!!! Plus, I have heard of my neighbors FAMOUS BROWNIES, everyone was making them and sharing them with others and now it was MY TURN! They looked to die for! She brought them over all displayed beautifully on a colorful plate, cut in perfect square bite size pieces, I began to just imagine their taste, texture and sweetness! We sat down at the table to enjoy the brownies. But before I took I bite I thought to myself I should ask what is in the brownies. I asked my friend, “I must know, what is in your famous brownies?” She replied, “Oh just the normal ingredients like: sugar, coco powder, butter, chocolate chips, eggs, pure vanilla extract, and poop.” I said, “WAIT WHAT!? Poop!?” She calmly responded, “it is only a spoonful, not a big deal, everyone is eating them, they love them!”

  • This is where I stop my story and turn to my kids and ask, would you eat the brownies? Thankfully every time they have said, “NOOOOOOOO!!!!” (sorry ahead of time if your kids say yes, I don’t know what I would say in response hahah, maybe something to do with GROSS!!!!!)
  • I love the follow up questions, WHY? Why do you choose not to eat the brownies? “Because mom that is gross, they have poop in it!” I gently remind them it is only a spoonful, a small amount. At this point I am able to go into a deeper conversation where we get to go over how temptation is most the time wrapped in “good” things. And discernment is needed because a lie usually has the truth wrapped in it too.
  • Lastly, I we talk about how if someone was trying to get you to do something wrong, do you think they would come out and just hand you poop to eat or do you think it would be baked into something good like brownies?

ACTUALLY “SINLESS” BROWNIES

One of my favorite things about this life lesson that I get to teach my kids to then ACTUALLY make brownies and enjoy the poop-free “sinless” ones! Recipe below:

Ingredients:

1 cup of Butter

1 cup of Unsweetened Chocolate

1/4 cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 cups of Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Vanialla

4 Eggs

1-1/4 Flour

3/4 cups Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • In saucepan, Melt butter with unsweetened choclate over low heat, until smooth and melted. whisk in cocoa powder. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
    • Stir in sugar and vanilla until combined
    • Stir in one egg at a time
    • Stir in flour until halfway incorporated. Add milk chocolate chips and stir just until combined. IT WILL BE THICK!
    • Pour Batter into greased 9 x 13 pan
    • Bake for 40 minutes
    • Allow to cool completely, this is when the brownie sets up best
    • Optional: Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream

This receipe is “sinless” but not sugar-less, calorie-less, or fat-less, Enjoy!

Are You Prepared for Flu Season???

Flu Season is Coming! Everyone RUN AND HIDE!!! But really in all seriousness there are a few things that we can do to prepare for this time.

So here are a few ways we at the Rice family tries to combat and prepare for flu season.

Elderberry!

Elderberry contains several healthful immune boosting properties, including antioxidants, tannins, vitamins A, B, and C, and flavonoids, just to name a few. There has been a study to show that elderberry also had treated/cured the flu faster then Tamiflu. (study here.) In addition, in a article on Science Daily it says, “”What our study has shown is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” said Dr Golnoosh Torabian.”

We have found Elderberry to be very popular in our local area, but one resource we have been getting our Elderberry GUMMIES from is: WILD ROOTS PANTRY. They have some amazing products and use Local ingredients (here in Oregon.)

At Wild Roots Pantry they use no added sugars (thats a PLUS!) which creates the purest form of elderberry syrup available on the market (extra PLUS!). Elderberry is effective on allergies, colds, and flu; also has been proven in its effectiveness in reducing severity of symptoms, as well as reducing length of illness by 2-4 days! (Super PLUS with kids and big families!)

Elderberry is for sure on the item list for helping my family stay healthy this flu season.

For additional resources on Elderberry studies check out: HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Wash your Hands

What seems like a “Duh” idea, actually is a huge way to help prevent all sicknesses. But, if you have littles like me, part of you might cringe when you think of all the places that your littles touch! I know I do! So washing your hands is great but to take it another step farther, I like to do two things, I am going to call these sub-categories of “washing-your-hands.”

  1. Teach your older kids to find ways to avoid touching high traffic spots. This is for sure out of the home but also in the home. Wiping down the handles of sink faucets, toilet handles and more can help to not only get germs at bay, but it can alsomake your bathroom nice and ready for the next user.
  2. Clean the door handles. At our house, we do what is called Daily Responsibilities (aka chores, I just like the name change haha, has a better ring and meaning to me). In the fall, one of the jobs is wiping down all the door handles in the house. We have this done at least once a day, each kid getting a turn. Our home is a high traffic home, with the number of living members and having an open door policy, as we LOVE to bring people into our home. Therefore wiping the door handles helps to keep germs away from our family and others.

Start Healthy

It is important in preventing sickness to start the season healthy and make have healthy choices. Elements like getting enough rest (Huge! Especially for busy families!), eating healthy foods, and getting enough fluids to help your body be healthy when it runs into germs. And here is the hard one for us exercise. The reason I say it is hard, is because fall is upon us so less time outside playing, running around, and getting that “easy” exercise in. So creativity is the name of the game when it comes to family exercise during the fall and winter season. Exercise helps by sending white blood cells around the body to find those germ intruders and stop them in their tracks! I read, “Rita Beckford, MD, a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, which also cites studies that show that those who exercise four to five times a week are less likely to get colds or other viruses.” (source)

VITAMINS

As my years of motherhood have increased so have my vitamins! We have been working hard to make this habit truly a preventable and healthy lifestyle choice. From doing a small amount of research, I found some fascinating information. 

Here is a short break down of the illness/disease and deficiency: 

Book source used in graphic: SOURCE, and taken from Dr. Sheri Tennpenny and Suzanne Humphries. In addition please note this is not defending or defusing vaccines, only to show the important of preventative care. Also I know I am from Oregon and so the whole Measles thing can be sensitive but look HERE even the vaccine makers say to treat with Vitamin A!

While below I provide a recommended vitamin list, some vitamins as you can see in the graphic above are SUPER helpful in preventing and fighting flu-like illnesses. 

Vitamin D — I cannot say enough about. Here are some ways to get Vitamin D into your diet: salmon, canned tuna, shrimp, egg yolks, mushroom, and cheese. Also SUNSHINE is great!!! (Living in Oregon can be hard to get throughout the year). Supplements help with making sure we don’t get deficient in Vitamin D. The Mayo Clinic recommends “that adults get at least the RDA of 600 IU. However, 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D, from a supplement is generally safe, should help people achieve an adequate blood level of vitamin D, and may have additional health benefits.” In addition, Kids Health states, 

  • Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. …
  • Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day.

Vitamin A is another one that is a common deficiency when it comes to flu-like illnesses. However, have you ever tried to go buy Vitamin A for kids at the store? It is super hard to find. ParentingScience.com helps explain saying, “Vitamin A supplements are helpful for children who have a vitamin A deficiency. But most healthy, well-nourished kids don’t need supplements. And some kids may be getting too much vitamin A — consuming excessive levels of preformed vitamin A in liver, dairy products, fish oil, multivitamins, and certain vitamin-fortified foods.” Two main sources of vitamin A are animal and plant. (source

If you are focusing on a healthy balanced diet vitamin A will be more than covered. Healthline.com says, “kids eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein to obtain adequate nutrition. These foods contain all of the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development in children. Overall, kids who eat a balanced diet that includes all food groups don’t usually need vitamin or mineral supplements.”

Lets take a quick look at what kinds of vitamins we should make sure are getting into our kiddos diet: 

 

Here are a few graphics to help make sure you are having well balanced meals that are including all the vitamins covered:

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GREAT VITAMIN AND MINERAL RESOURCE: SOURCE!

 

Essentials Oils

After we had our first kid, something changed in our view of what we put in our house. From what we used to clean with, what smells we had in our house, ways we chose to keep healthy, EVERYTHING CHANGED! (Isn’t funny how having kids can make you think so differently.)

There is so many ways we use oils in our house but lets stick to the topic at hand: FLU SEASON! Here are some practical ways we use our oils for preventing and healing from illness. 

Diffuse!!! We diffuse constantly to help clean the air! It super helps with a family of 7 (plus two dogs!)  …. Need a diffuser???? Head on over HERE**

**** I would like to remind if you haven’t heard before, for ALL essentials oils: avoid using a cold diffuser that runs continuously. Young Living diffusers have a set amount of time before turning off. Long-term, on-going exposure (e.g 45-60 minutes) to any essential oil stresses the liver’s detoxification pathways, particularly for young children. 

Another way we use our oils for both parents and kiddos is STEAMY BATHWATER (or SHOWER). 

Need some oils, head over HERE**

 ANOTHER one of my husband’s favorite essential oil flu prevention is: Massaging in oils to the head, neck, and feet. I mean who wouldn’t like that (I say that sarcastically because anyone who knows me, knows I don’t like massages lol silly me).

Same oils as above and I would add Thieves! Are GREAT for rubbing on your feet before bed, and your spine! Darren says don’t for get the back too!

This next one is a MAKE or BREAK for us in during the flu season and that is we get a large bowl of hot water, for steam inhalation along with a few of essential oils. Our favorites are Lemon, Peppermint, and Thieves. Don’t forget to close your eyes 😉 For more effectiveness we put a a towel over our heads, making a tented area with the steam and our faces. And be prepared to CLEAR our your sinus! (Great for allergies too). We don’t use the towel technique with the kiddos. 

Again IF you are interested we love our essential oils and HERE is a place you can snag some!

 

Here is a small break down of some essential oils and their helpfulness in preventing the flu:

Oils and their Benefits

lemon clears your nasal passages and allows for steady breathing
lavender relieves stress, fatigue, depression, and headaches
peppermint reduces coughs, sinusitis, and throat infections
thyme has antibacterial activity to help fight respiratory infections
eucalyptus reduces fevers and fights viruses
tea tree oil inhibits bacteria and fights infections
chamomile relieves cold and flu symptoms
clove (eugenol) has antiviral and antifungal properties to clean surfaces or air
cinnamon can clean surfaces or air
rosemary is a nontoxic way to clean surfaces or air

We are in the battle field right along with you, SO if you have any tips and tricks you have implemented into your household, we would LOVE to hear from you!!!!

 

*FDA disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.”

**I am not a medical professional, just a momma who through the Grace of God tries my very best to help my kiddos through prayer, vitamins and essential oils. Please consult your doctor before using essential oils!

***The links to Young Living Essential Oils is our direct link to purchase, there is NO extra cost to you, but helps our family continue to spread the message of Raising households that serve the LORD, so thank you!

 

Additional Sources: