Archive for July, 2012

A weekend full of laundry for my kids was like a jail sentence to them and to my wife and I if we waited too long while the clothes piled up.  As I was helping my three kids do their laundry this weekend I was thinking of all the mistakes and lessons we have learned and wanted to share them with my friends (who some are just now having kids). Granted we have several friends with six or more kids, who are much wiser, so hopefully they will respond and share more tips as well but here is what we have learned so far!

Socks -All my kids pretty much wear the same size socks and at one time a dozen different colors, because when my kids were little we thought it was cute to buy all different colored socks to match whatever outfit and when it came time to do laundry, it was hard enough to separate them for each kid, let alone we would have ten to twelve unmatching socks at the end of each laundry day. Dana had the great idea to throw away every sock given to our kids and start over (painfully expensive but so is a psychiatrist). For our oldest son we buy white ankle socks, no color, I repeat no color! The middle child, our daughter, has white with pink, ankle only. Our youngest son has mid high white socks, again no color. Also another tip to speed laundry is to take the socks and roll them together whether they are inside out or not.

Underwear- We are in a really good season right now with this but we know this can change quickly when they are teenagers. My oldest wears only long sports underwear and my youngest only cartoons. We keep it simple. If you have all girls maybe stick to a color or write their names or initials on the tag. Again hopefully some of my veteran friends respond with their wisdom!

Shirts/Jeans/Shorts- Our kids put up their own laundry, every clothes hanger to the left when facing you (pick a side). My oldest is able to use laundry detergent and wash his own on special occasions but normally we will have laundry day every two weeks and each child brings their basket (that stays in their room closet) and sets the basket near the laundry room. So Dana and I are responsible for their towels and socks but they are responsible for their laundry plus other daily chores. My sister owns two clothing stores so our children are truly blessed so much that I have to remind my kids that they cannot wear 2 or 3 outfits a day. When they do their own laundry they understand why not to throw clean clothes in their basket. Dress up clothes or costumes stay in the child’s closet and do not get washed but thrown back in the bucket (you can wash them if they were like my youngest a few years ago and live in their spiderman costume for a week straight). Winter shirts hang away from summer shirts and we should never see winter shirts in summer laundry (just had this talk with my six-year-old) Jeans and shorts go in their dresser  folded in half, normally in their dresser stuffed in, as long as it is in the proper place I am happy. Giving kids a proper place for everything they do is important because when they were real little I would get upset at how messy they are but realized children cannot put anything where it belongs if they don’t know where it belongs.

This is our system, not perfect and can change but with some of  my friends being new fathers and mothers, I wanted to share that it gets better than diaper season just don’t let kids socks ruin your weekend like it did ours for so many years!  I would love to hear your success tips out there or dilemmas!

My favorite memories as a child was seeing the miracles that took place while my family was overseas partaking in missionary work in Papua New Guinea. I have three kids now very close to the age I was when my parents decided to leave everything behind in America. So recently I have been pondering how to involve my children in the ministry my wife and I are a part of today.  I enjoy my kids right by my side when I minister because I know that faith can be an inheritance passed down from generation to generation, except I believe children have to be apart of the ministry the parents are doing, instead of tucked away and forgotten. A good example of an incredible ministry not including their children (or wife) was Moses. His children never got to see the incredible miracles in Egypt and when it was time to believe God to go in the promise land it should have been Moses’ sons and daughters leading the way instead of Joshua. After years of being in church, I have a deep respect for those who minister as a family around the world and in churches. Including my family is not always the easiest thing to do but I know it is God’s heart so lately I have been praying that God would provide more opportunities for us a family.

Not too long ago my son and I were pulling into a gas station when the Lord gave me a word for a pretty rough-looking guy I saw in the store. There were three fairly large bikers grabbing drinks and talking to each other when the Lord pointed out that one of them had the calling of God on his life. I finally gathered enough courage in the parking lot to walk up to the guy , with my then eight year old son beside me holding my hand. I looked up at the biker with his two friends right next to him and told him everything God had put on my heart. I told him he had a praying mom and that God was hearing her prayers and that he was called to preach the gospel. It turned out that I was confirming everything this biker had already known but was running from God. I finished with all 3 bikers bowing their head, standing from their motorcycles, while I prayed the gospel of Jesus out loud. In that little gas station parking lot there was an incredible sense of God’s presence and I love that God touched that man’s life, but I was even more grateful that my son could see the power of God in everyday life, just filling up with gas and having ministry time.

I admit that not every day are we able to minister to complete strangers, but it is often we pray as a family for a miracle and I make it a point to give God praise when He delivers. Often times it’s healing, several times financial and sometimes it is salvation for others. My wife and I are not in the full-time ministry but understand that as Christians we are “all the time” ministers of the gospel and can include our children in everyday life!