Friday, September 26, 2014

What I'm Praying as School Starts


For the first time, I now have a child who is in full day school. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I was ready to do cheers or pull out the Kleenexes - sniff, sniff. It's the start of a new chapter, and one in which I will have less control over his day...But that's okay, because when Mommy stops, prayer begins.  This prayer is for all of you fellow mamas who are entrusting your children into the arms of others this fall.  I wrote it for my son, but you can easily adapt it for your daughters too.

Dear God,

You are such a merciful Parent.  Thank you for the way you gently guide us through our day.  You are a font of infallible instruction and unending love.

Bless my baby as he is apart from me.  Form a hedge of protection around him.  If he is ever unsure or afraid, draw ever closer to him.  Whisper your promises to his heart.

Help him to walk confidently in this new chapter of self-definition with you by his side. Guide him, gentle Shepherd, into your fold and place your call upon his heart.  Assist him in its exciting discovery.

You are amazing and will always provide more than I can ever give, for you are a constant and perfect presence.  As our family transitions in this new school year, continue to shape me and us so that we can best support him and together shine your light exactly where you've placed us.

We praise you for your faithfulness.  We look forward to celebrating life's ensuing milestones with you.  Continue to strengthen our family as we seek to be faithful and bask in your love.

In Christ's name I pray,

AMEN.

If you appreciated this post, you might also enjoy The Power of a Praying Mom and The Power of a Child's Praise.

*****

I am excited to report that I will be preaching on why "Family Matters" on October 12th at the Presbyterian Church at New Providence in New Providence, NJ.  For all of you who are local, check the church website for times, save the date, and I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Music Class Changed My Faith


Experienced parents will tell you, if they are wise, that you learn as much as your children when you parent. My older son taught me something when he was three that has changed the way I practice my faith.
My story begins in a parent-child music class. As a three-year-old, he had taken a new and definitive interest in the cymbals. Baby versions of the cymbals make a muffled sound, but these were real ones with a diameter about the size of a kickball – complete with wooden handles for a firm, loud crash! He would wait patiently until the end of music class for free music play. The vat of instruments would come out, and he could sift through it to find his prize.
It was the start of a new semester and I was with a new group of moms. I noticed other children getting quiet instruments and lightly strumming or plucking them on their mothers’ laps. Meanwhile, my son was proudly marching around with his cymbals crashing. The sound was rather annoying and I felt like everyone was watching. I made a couple of comments to the moms around me, “They are his favorite. You can see why I don’t have them at home!” I tried to fight the fact that I was embarrassed.
That night at dinner, I asked him if he had enjoyed music class. He said, “Mommy, the cymbals are loud,” and he hung his head down. Although his social awareness wasn’t fully developed, I couldn’t help but wonder if he had come to that realization because of my actions that day. I decided right then that I did not want my embarrassment to cost him something he looked forward to.
After all, the cymbals were included in the vat to be played...
Please click here to find out the two important faith lessons I learned from this experience.  Are YOU living your faith to fullest?  Many thanks to Kaitlyn Bouchillon and the (in)courage team for inviting me to guest post again!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Important Reader Update


Dear Moms,

Something new is happening on my blog's Facebook page, and I don't want you to miss it! Starting tonight, Mondays will mean something special there.

Mondays = Mindful Mondays
Start the week intentionally by reading a brief food for thought designed especially with moms in mind.

We all need wisdom as we parent and attempt to lead faithful lives for Christ.  This simple step has one purpose:  That we slow the rush, drink in insight, and live less frazzled and more focused faith-filled lives.

Be sure to "LIKE" my page if you haven't already, and look for that inspiration on Monday evenings!

Your friend and fellow mom in Christ,

Noelle

P.S.  Stay tuned on Thursday for my guest post at (in)courage!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

6 Reasons Aladdin on Broadway is Unmissable


We tried two times and failed.  The third time, we actually got tickets!  My husband and I took our two young boys to see a matinee show of Disney's Aladdin.  It's a hot ticket, and now we understand why.  To say we enjoyed ourselves is an understatement.  (My littlest keeps taking about how much he liked "that blue guy," a.k.a. the Genie.)  So I decided to write about the 6 reasons I'd recommend seeing the show:

1.  The show is kid-friendly.  Despite the fact that it is on the longer side at two and a half hours (and I went with a three-year-old, so I know), it is engaging - even mesmerizing at times - and clean family fun.

2.  You will see the REAL Jafar (Jonathan Freeman).  You've already heard his voice if you've seen the movie, and now you get to see him in person playing the role.  Remember when he responds dryly about the princess' choice in suitors?  His line of being "ecstatic" is even better on stage.

3.  The Genie on Broadway (James Monroe Iglehart) will go down in history as one of the greats.  Sure it's tough to imagine besting Robin Williams, but it's a pleasure to see some of Williams' famous lines performed while allowing someone else to lend their own genius and unique spin to the role.  Trust me, that's done.  There was even a spoof on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, but that's all I'm gonna say...

4.  There's a magic carpet ride on stage.  Let me say that again:  There's a magic carpet ride on stage! The carpet floats, swerves, climbs, and falls to intervals of melody while two characters fall in love.  It's just plain incredible to see this special effect.  I'm not sure how it's done, but you HAVE TO see it.

5.   Aladdin (Adam Jacobs) delivers his role to perfection.  He's everything you'd expect from a leading man.  You root for him.  He makes you laugh.  He might even make you cry - like when he sings his heart-felt appeals about turning his life around and pleasing his mother in heaven.  His voice is not only memorable, but it's laced with charismatic transparency.

6.  The show is a visual feast for the eyes.  My favorite extravaganza is Aladdin's parade to the castle after the Genie makes him a prince.  There are costumes with long yellow feathers that are especially breathtaking.  But rest assured there are enough sequins, sparkles, colors and lighting effects to satisfy anyone's need to be wowed.  And Princess Jasmine (Courtney Reed) is the most beautiful leading lady I've seen on stage.

I've been blessed to live in the New York metro area for over ten years and have seen well over a dozen Broadway shows.  This one is near the top!  It's nice to find kid-friendly entertainment that packs such appeal.


Let me know what you think by leaving a comment if you've seen it too!  And just in case you're wondering, please note that this review is unsolicited and is not tied with any monetary endorsement.  But you can tell the powers that be that I'd always accept free tickets for a blog giveaway LOL!