Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Berg Family Fun Night REVEALED

With three little kids life can seem, and often is, pretty crazy.  Whether you are running in between gymnastics and karate or just trying to balance dinner with no "new" messes, there are times where everything feels out of control.  For the Berg's most nights are pretty insane scheduling-wise (and maybe mentally as well :)) but Friday late afternoon and evening has become our sacred space to put everything aside and just 'Be'!! 

We've had some requests to walk through a typical "Berg Family Fun Night" (our Faith Talks)... Word of caution: This is NOT THE WAY this is just our way and we are still looking for new ideas and rhythms to make it better!!  We hope it sparks some great ideas for you!!

Berg Family Fun Night starts around 5p and begins with an activity chosen by the "key kid" (which rotates each week with a different person, including Court & I), you are allowed up to $20 but are encouraged to be creative (i.e. Free :)).  So far we have:

After the activity, we then have dinner... This is where it gets interesting for us, we have said if the activity cost money then we need to eat leftovers at home, if the activity was free then we can go somewhere to eat (typically wherever we have a giftcard... yeah, we're cheap).

After dinner we sometimes have dessert and sometimes just jump into our devotional time.  Whomever is the key kid leads our discussion and though I was quite the skeptic about the kids teaching us, I have been so blessed by their thoughtfulness and how they have paid extra close attention at church the week they know they are leading the devotional (something that just happened, we never brought up).  So far we have covered:

Our devotionals run anywhere from 4 minutes to 10 minutes (but we never want to go over 10).
Around now it's time to start getting ready for bed, so we meet together in the entryway, of our home, to talk about "the one thing" we really liked or learned from our Berg Family Fun Night together.

In our entryway is a small table with 3 matching vases and a big jar, each of the matching vases has a solid color in them.  Each color is one of the specific kids in our home and each piece is exactly how many "Fridays" we have left together before he or she turns eighteen.

So at this time (sharing our "one thing") the kids take out one of their individual pieces and we pray over them.  After our short prayer of thankfulness for our time together they each put their piece into the big jar.  To some this may seem silly or even very sad to think about but for us it's a very intentional focus.  We do not have a lot of time together (as you can see with Jackson's, blue, already a third empty) so we want to make the most of each of our opportunities together.

Berg Family Fun Nights in just over a month have become a staple and the very DNA of who we are... We hope you will start your own family traditions and take some time to prayerfully consider some ways to be super intentional with the time you are blessed with your family!!

**Coming Soon: a full year of age appropriate "Faith Talk" sheets walking from Genesis - Revelation...  Keep your ears open this summer for this NBFamilies release!!

What are some of your family traditions (in day-to-day life or around the holidays)? 

What are some of your ideas for "Faith Talks" (or even better, tell us about one you've already done)?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do you celebrate your son!?

Last week I posted a couple brief stories and one of them relates to this week very much (check out last week's post here):

Me: "Jackson, did you know that there is no one in the entire world I would have rather gone with me this morning to speak with the football team than you"
Jackson: "Really dad!?" ((With a massive grin))

I tell you that story to tell you what happen yesterday... Jackson came into the kitchen after finishing up one of his responsibilities (collecting the trash) when he stated: "Do you know something that hurts my feelings?" (said matter of fact-ly) "When I bring home some of my art projects and we throw them away" ((then the tears flowed))

Sometimes I get it right... and other times I blow it big time!!  I read an article a few weeks ago where the author challenged Dads (and also applies to Moms) to encourage their sons in big ways.  The author went on to quote Proverbs 15:20 which states that "a wise son brings joy to his father" and in so doing maybe we parents should do our best to spare no emotion to show them how blessed we are by their lives!!  (click here for the whole article)

He went on to point out this video posted by a boy who decided to tape his dad's reaction to his grade report.  I don't want to spoil it (it's totally worth the 2 minutes)... Check it out below:

- When was the last time you stopped, looked your son in the eye and said: "I am proud of you"?
- When was the last time you took your son (or daughter) for a short one-on-one 'slushie date'?
- When was the last time you just laid next to your son (or daughter) in bed and just listened?

May we find reasons to celebrate and affirm our sons (and daughters) for the things they accomplish!!  May we spend time finding out what makes our children really "tick"... May we be so brave to show them the kind of love we are shown from the Father... May we give our kids the unconditional acceptance they so desperately seek!!

Father give us incredible insight and opportunities this week to celebrate all things with the ones you have entrusted to us to raise in your sight!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Who doesn't like treats?

My morning started like a lot of mornings recently… A mixture of early alarm clocks, cranky kiddos and a couple moments to catch up on correspondence.  Because of the "hustle and bustle" of morning prep and deadlines it's hard to take the time for a good morning meal but instead a quick breakfast bar running out the door.  Can you relate?  If you don't relate, give us a break, we're a bunch of night owls trying to accommodate the rest of you morning folks!!

But literally this morning (like minutes ago) I walked into the kitchen to see this:

Me: "Charleigh why are you giving Carly a treat?"
Charleigh: "Because she likes them"
Me: "Baby, we can't give her a treat just because she likes them"
Charleigh: "Why not?"
Me: "Because she can't always have treats, she needs something more nutritious"
Charleigh: "What's 'new-trish-ish'?"
Me: "Something more than just a treat" (Yes, I should have done a better job here)
Charleigh: "So two treats?"
Me: "We're late for school…"

As we left for school I realized how often I have been blowing it.  Not just with breakfast, that's the obvious, but spending time with God.  Lately I have been lucky to just get up and get everyone out the door without dying, if we're on-time God provided another miracle.  Typically I wake-up and take a moment and expect a "treat" from God.  I open my e-mails and read my devotional verse from Operation World or YouVersion all the while thinking this is enough to get me through my day.  And to be honest, it has!  Or at least I'm still alive this wednesday morning.  But what would it look like if I had taken the time to actually get a 'new-trish-ish' meal from His Word and not just a treat?  How much better would I have been to approach my cranky kiddos, the "bad drivers" while taking the kids to school, even in my responses via e-mails & texts (not even mentioning that they could ultimately wait until the kids are off)?

My hope this morning wasn't to judge or call you out… Hopefully encourage you with a little life lesson (Faith Moment) Jesus blessed me with this morning through my little girl (and dog)!!

This is what I read shortly there after (take some time and read the whole chapter for a more nutritious meal Proverbs 2 (verses 1-6) says: "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding."

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Snow Day!!!

"Snow Day"... I'm not sure if there is another set of words that when used together bring more excitement and joy to kids yet often anger and fear to parents.  Though I'm joking a little, you know what I'm talking about.  The first snow day is like: "sledding is the best", the second day is: "alright, that's fine, we could do another day" but the third day is: "Our school's name better not come up... Nooooooo!!!  What are they thinking, the streets are fine!?"

Recently I had a realization that I don't have much more time with my kids.  Couple that with the fact that our kids go to public schools and time together is limited, I have made it a goal to take vacation time anytime my kids are out of school.  I know that most are not blessed with a cool enough job to be able to take a day-off when the kids are out of school for holidays, especially not for a "snow day".  My heart this morning isn't about having days-off to be a better parent but making sure we take the time however we can get it.  Last week, Courtney sent me a story of a family in New Jersey that took advantage of an opportunity to create memories together through building an igloo (Click here to read the whole story).  The thing that I loved the most in the whole story was dad's response at the end: "There is never a good time to stop your life and take on some a silly family project...But if you don't stop every once in a while, you never will."  

Trust me when I tell you we do not stop life enough to do silly family projects and I often blow it on seeing great Faith Walk moments.  But I'm trying...  That statement is the spirit that has inspired us to do more.  To look for ways to find joy in the now and not just hopeful for "when we have enough money saved up."  To take time-off even when it doesn't seem like a "good time" knowing we are not promised tomorrow.  Many folks know that my step-father ("Pop") passed away two years ago.  Most of you probably don't know that it happened while we were working on a floor for my daughters' playhouse.  Though it has been hard thinking about what else he could have done all those times he came to help me or the retirement I know my mom and he were looking forward to, I also know he would have had it no other way.  He loved making memories with his grandkids and is smiling watching us play every chance we take.  May we never waste a moment!!  

Over the last month we have seen several "snow days" and my prayer is that the Berg kids remember each of them with joy and excitement!!  Below are a few pics from this year's snow days: