Archives For family

If you’re like me, there are never enough hours in a day, days in a week or weeks in a year to accomplish all that you want to accomplish. Time is scarce and valuable. Who doesn’t wish they had more time. No, this isn’t another post on how to spend your time more wisely. I’m writing this to remind us to celebrate, because this year your wish has come true. In 2012, we all get an extra 24 hours added to our lives:)

That right, an extra day to take your kids out of the house and do something…anything. An extra night to spend an evening on the town with your spouse. A few more hours to finish that project or accomplish that task you have been putting off. February 29th may seem like just another day, but don’t be fooled, it is a gift. So, spend it wisely.

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One of the joys of the Christmas season is giving. I love to watch as my loved ones open a gift that I picked especially for them. It can warm the heart. I think I am a giver by nature. I love to offer what I can to people, whether it’s time, advice, encouragement, an extra hand to carry the load or a simple gift. It’s just in my DNA…but…sometimes I give, give, give and my tank runs low and I have to stop and just receive.

Let’s be honest. We like to give, but sometimes it’s better, if not necessary, to receive. If we are not careful, we can run our emotional, physical or relational tanks so low that we don’t have anything left to give. So, my Christmas challenge to you is this…

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Downsizing Christmas

Eric Baumann  —  December 20, 2011 — 16 Comments

One of the holiday traditions that my boys look forward to is the Toys-R-Us catalog that comes in the mail or newspaper. This is the opportunity that they have to dream big and circle all the things they want for Christmas. They go crazy as they search for the coolest toys and make their picks for Santa. I have to admit that I think I have just as much fun surfing through the pages as they do trying to find a gift that would benefit “the whole family”…or that I could play with too.

This year though, we put a twist on it. This year, we decided that we were going to downsize our gift giving…well actually our receiving. We explained that each member of the family was only going to get three gifts when they woke up for Christmas morning. We want our focus on Christmas not to be about all the toys we can rack up, but rather about three important things that should make Christmas special.

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The holidays are a perfect time to begin new traditions. It gives us parents the opportunity to be a little more intentional with our kids with the extra time we get to spend with them. Whether you have vacation time that needs to be taken, or your kids are on…what do they call it now…Winter Break [if you’re wondering whatever happened to Christmas Break, that’s a topic for another time]. This time of year brings with it extra hours that can be capitalized on to strengthen relationships if we choose to be wise in how we spend it. If we choose to just slow down and stop trying to catch the next best thing [or uh gingerbread man…I had to tie in the title somehow].

Three years ago I started a tradition that with my oldest son. Every Christmas we buy one of those Gingerbread House Kits from the store, and we try our best to make the coolest and slickest house on the market. We lay out all the candy, trying hard not to eat it so there is some left for house, and we piece together the walls and roof with icing that makes it all stick. It is one of the highlights of the year…for both of us.

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As a huge OSU fan, I rejoiced yesterday as the news was “made official” that Urban Meyer was hired as the next head football coach for the Buckeyes. As a former high school football coach, I know the importance of having a man at the helm that can motivate and inspire young men to greatness…and as a current stay at home dad, I learned a valuable life lesson from Coach Urban Meyer’s press interviews and chats yesterday in regards to his new commitments to both OSU and his family. If you are listening closely, and brush aside the football noise, and hear what this “refreshed” dad and coach is saying…there is great wisdom for any parent on what to say “yes” and “no” to in this life.

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One of the best things I can do for myself, my family and those I influence is to “Just Say No!” I know, I know…it sounds cliche…BUT when it comes to prioritizing your life and maximizing on the time and influence you have with others around you…learning to say, “No,” is crucial.

Some may argue that following this advice seems negative. It’s actually a matter of perspective. Every time you say “No” to something, you are in reality saying “Yes” to something else. Think about it…if I say “No” to a guy’s night out, I am saying “Yes” to dinner with my family. If I look at my son and say, “No” almost every time he asks me to buy him a candy bar or video game when we are at the store…I am saying “Yes” to investing that money in something he actually needs. When we say “No” to that temptation that stares us down daily or weekly, we are saying “Yes” to building character, discipline and integrity in our lives. In a world that is constantly screaming at us to say “Yes” to doing this or consuming that…I say no…and I am trying to teach my sons to do the same…BUT…they know it’s okay to say “Yes” as long as doing so is saying “No” to the right stuff. Are you confused yet?

 

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So tomorrow we will feast on turkey, eat pumpkin pie, watch football and take a long nap…BUT what do you do the day after Thanksgiving? That is the important question. What do you do when the bird is stripped down to the bone and the leftovers are placed in the fridge?

Do you wait in line for hours for that great deal on that one thing that you or someone in your family has to have this year? Do you hide your wallet from your spouse? Do you take the kids to a movie, or finish off the pie, or are you like me and just…

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Too Chicken To Say Thanks

Eric Baumann  —  November 21, 2011 — 5 Comments

Okay, I admit it. Yesterday during church, the speaker gave a great message to start off the Thanksgiving holiday right, and I “chickened out” during the response time. Maybe it’s because we are new and I am still getting my feet wet, but I decided I would share my response to this message with you guys instead. We read a great passage out of Psalm, which I am sad to say I forgot what exact passage it was…BUT the message stuck, and I memorized half of the whole chapter…it is simply, “His [God’s] love endures forever” no matter what.

At the end, we were asked to fill in the blank to these 3 statements…

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