Monday, December 8, 2014

Journey to Bethlehem

I am excited for a special upcoming night at church.  Families from our church and community will have the opportunity to step back in time.  Each participant will begin in our sanctuary with our Co-Pastors leading in "setting the stage" for what they are about to experience.  Then they will begin their journey for their family to take part in the census.  They will then enter in the marketplace area and experience the different shops to barter and buy for all your family needs.

Then they will step outside to try and find a room in the inn.  However, because there is no room they will be offered space among the animals.  Participants can interact with the animals before they come to the manger where baby Jesus was born.

Families will then have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas cookies and drinks together as they come back inside the church.   It is our pray this night will provide many opportunities for teachable moments about the greatest gift ever given - Jesus!

Join us on December 17th!  Please sign up online for a time for you and your family to take part in this incredible experience - Sign Up Here!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Trusting God

Today started X-Play at our church.  It is a fun week where children get to pick different tracks (like animal lovers, creative cooking, rainbow loom, etc.) and experience some of their favorite things or for some try brand new things.

We are using the new Zip for kids! curriculum for part of X-Play  Which by the way kudos to Lifeway for this incredible help in planning.  I've been doing a day camp type thing for over 15 years and finally something that can help us with this fun week.  If you haven't tried it you should.  And no I don't get anything for saying that- no free stuff, no kickback- nada, nothing.  But what you will get is some great tools to assist you!  By the way it is not just for day camps but you can use it in a variety of settings.  Click here to go learn more!

So one of my main reasons for blogging today - is I decided to show the kids how I would trust in God.  I showed the video that comes with Zip today- it is an intro video and they followed up in Bible Study.  The video shows a kid named Matthew who is afraid to jump off the diving board at his community pool.  He decided that he could face his fear and trust God to help with overcoming this fear.  So I told the kids of my silly but real fear.  I am almost a little embarrassed to even write what I am afraid of ...........but here goes.... I am afraid of frogs.  I have never touched one or held one but I told them if someone would bring one tomorrow I would face my fear and hold it.  Now I am sitting in my office while they are having fun in tracks- thinking what in the world was I thinking.  Now tomorrow if Austin really does bring a frog- I have to hold it.  Yikes!  I don't know why I am fearful of something so small that can't harm me but I am .
What is something you fear?  Are you trusting God today with it?  
Although my fear of frogs is a silly fear there are other things I seriously fear.  I am thankful for a God who is trustworthy.  I am thankful for the fear of things like being accepted, fitting in, walking through a sickness, etc. that God is right there with each of us.  He wants us to trust Him with the silly and small things to the big and serious things in our lives.  
So back to this fear of frog thing.....
I hope he is a nice frog.  Tune in tomorrow for pictures and possibly a video of me and a new friend! 

Much Love! 
Mrs. Tara 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

I am sure you all have heard about making a bucket list.  When you Google bucket list the definition you will find is - a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.   Adults may have even seen the 2007 movie, The Bucket List, where two terminally ill men (played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) go on a road trip to do the things they wanted to do before they died (kicked the bucket).  I personally haven't seen the movie but according to the online "urban dictionary" this movie made the term popular.  Well not just the term but people actually making a bucket list increased.  I haven't personally made a bucket list but would like to do so.  

I have the privilege to facilitate a group of moms who meet monthly.  The speakers, topics, crafts, etc. are varied.  As I began to prepare for our May meeting, I looked for activities I might tell our moms about as they began to plan for their kiddos summer.  I was able to tell them about lots of things - reading clubs, cheap movies, parks, where to pick berries, etc.  It was a great time of sharing ideas.  However, in my preparation I came across the blog The Happy Family Movement .  It was full of different families summer bucket lists.  I began to print out and copy some of them to share with our moms.  Well, I got a little copy crazy and realized I had better stop or I would be responsible for the elimination of a small tree with all the paper I was using!  At that time their 2014 Summer Bucket info was not posted- but good news- it is now.  I sat and read for a while (a long while) all the lists posted.  It is fun to get ideas from other families and also see some of the fun things they have available in their corner of the world.  I also enjoyed seeing all the ways some of them posted them for the summer- on chalkboards, pennants they hung, creative bulletin boards, charts, lists, etc.  

On that May day I challenged our moms to begin to make their Summer Family Bucket List.  I did however ask them not to complete their list.  I asked them to allow their family to join together and all add something.  I understand that sometimes it can be scary to ask your kids what is something they want to do during the summer.  However, they may surprise you.  Often times you may be afraid they are going to ask for that trip to Disney or the beach that you know is not in the budget this summer.  When you begin sharing as a family your kids just may surprise you.  They may want something really simple.  Something you know your family can easily achieve - a campfire, a family bike ride, flying a kite, going to a local park, etc.  They may still ask for that destination you know you can not check off this summer but you can turn that into a positive as well.  This can be a teachable moment when you share that your family can begin to save for that special destination.  If so, make a special bank or decorate a jar to begin saving.  

Along the Summer Family Bucket List journey, remember to document the memories being made.  Display pictures and souvenirs in a prominent place in your home.   I realize some of those souvenirs may not go with your decor.  Especially if your son or daughter has collected rocks all summer because that is what they wanted on the Bucket List.  But when you do give their souvenir (or collection) a prominent place in your home, you are speaking volumes to your child.  You have just told them what they care about is important to you.  

So a few weeks ago, our moms started bucket lists for the summer.  I did too.  I don't have children in my home so I collaborated with my husband to finalize our Summer Bucket List.    Listed below is our list.  I encourage you to make one too- it is not too late.  Many consider Memorial Day what kicks off summer, so it has just started!   I also created a Facebook page to post things your family plans to do (with information about where, when, how much, etc.) so others can learn about as well.  In the beginning I planned on it being a page for our area- but quickly realized others were joining outside our area as well.  I am excited about that because we can learn things to do not only in Cleveland, Tennessee  but many, many other places as well.  Take a moment and "like" the FBC Summer Bucket List Adventures page please!  Also please post pictures and information about your family's adventures!  

I also encourage you to check out The Happy Family Movement's resource page- this year there are facebook groups, pinterest boards, guides, sponsors, etc.  

Waldrop's Summer Bucket List 2014

Go to an outdoor movie 
Build a fire and make Smores 
Picnic at White Water Center 
Make Homemade Ice Cream 
Fly a Kite 
Watch the Stars 
Go to a Lavender farm 
Pass out treats to neighbors 
Plant a container garden 
Visit Point Park 
Mike take Tara Fishing 
Go to the Farmer's Market for produce 
Swim at least every 2 weeks at parents / in-laws 

Looking forward to seeing and hearing about the things you do together - things that will create memories.  And memories last a lifetime! 
Much Love, 
Mrs. Tara

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lessons from the Lunch Room

During the second semester of each school year I have the incredible privilege to visit my young friends from church at lunch.  I love seeing them in their environment and with their peers.  I have decided to blog each week with what I learn from these visits.  I have had the privilege to have 3 of these lunches so far (two in public schools and one lunch at the church for homeschool kiddos).  The snow has my schedule a little off.  I always take my lunch.  From my best recollection I almost always took my lunch as a kid too.  I know at one point I had a strawberry shortcake lunch box.  It probably looked something like this:
Lunch boxes are very different now.  I will have to try and take some pictures of lunch boxes.  I sure wish I still had my metal lunchboxes because I hear they are worth a lot of money now.  However, I am so sentimental I would most likely never be able to part with them. 

Here are some lessons I have learned so far this year:
  1. Google can not be trusted for directions- instead of taking me to South Polk Elementary the directions took me to Benton Elementary. 
  2. When you are lost the school secretary is your best friend!
  3. Some children you think are quiet and shy will really open up when you spend one on one time with them at the guest table. 
  4. As I met one child for lunch (after she had been through the lunch line) she had purchased her an ice cream but also purchased one for me! I loved having a push pop - it had been a long time since I had eaten one.  More than anything I loved the kindness she displayed. 
  5. Homeschoolers loves being able to get together for special outings.  (and so do their parents!)
  6. Some of our schools have unbelievable diversity.  As I sat with 4 young men at lunch- 3 of them knew 2 languages and one knew 3 languages.  The languages they knew were English, Spanish, Arabic and Filipino.  
Lesson number 6 was perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned so far.  Why?  It was a great lesson perhaps a reminder, of the many nationalities that live in Bradley County.  You may wonder about what the importance of this fact.   The opportunity to share Christ among our neighbors in our city and county is far reaching.  Among those who may never leave Bradley County are people who will leave.  Some will move to different places within the United States.  There are also many who will leave this great nation and return to their homeland. 

This lesson reminded me I need to be about telling others about Christ and facilitating ministries that can reach children for Christ.  It will have a great impact on our country as well as many others.  My Co-Pastor Jim often says - we can reach the world for Christ from Bradley County.  So very true.   

It also reminded me it starts with my physical neighbors.  Do you know your neighbors?  This is something I need to be more intentional about because I do not know all my neighbors. 

Lessons often bring challenges.  I am challenged and am asking God to help me in these areas.  How is HE challenging you today?

Much Love!
Mrs. Tara