About a month ago, my daughter found some coins and eagerly shared she was going to save them to buy a movie she has been wanting.  At the time, I thought this was a great idea!  It provided a perfect opportunity to teach and reinforce saving towards a goal.  Now, one month later, she has only about $1.50 saved and she is still focused on saving for this movie.  

The issue is there isn't anything in place that allows her to earn money.  We don't pay her to clean up her toys and do other small jobs to help out around the house.  Since she is only 3 1/2, there really aren't many tasks she can do above and beyond what's expected.  The bottom line though is I want her to help out around the house because it's her contribution as a member of the family or because she is showing generosity to others.  I also want her to learn that you can't automatically have everything you want, but sometimes you can save over time to get the item you desire.  I'm struggling with how to accomplish both. Right now I'm leaning towards discussing with her the option of taking over one of mommy's jobs to earn money until she has enough to buy her movie.  This idea means I would most likely have to go behind her when she isn't around to ensure the job was fully completed because most of the things I have come up with really aren't jobs she is able to do well independently.

Do you give your kids an allowance?  If so, do they have to earn it or is it a flat sum of money you give them each week?  Can you share some creative ways to help younger children earn money?  I'd love to hear all suggestions!

Restless anticipation, winds of change, daring expectancy.  Phrases that come close to explaining the feeling I'm experiencing that has been growing for weeks now.  Something is being stirred within.  I feel like there is something more; something spectacular on the horizon.  God has great things for us; for me.  Perhaps it is just a growing awareness of people God cares about and wants me to see as He sees them.  Perhaps it is me fully settling into this non-career oriented role I've chosen and seeing that God has a new purpose for me.  Maybe God has changes in store for us that I cannot even fathom yet.  Whatever it is, I am eager to press in and see what is in store.

Our church is about to embark on a 4 week focus on prayer using a book called The Circle Maker.  Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of the "fads" I see move through churches.  Those fads where churches and Christians across the nation read, study and listen to sermons on So-and-So's book.  Then, 6 months later the emphasis is past, there remains little evidence it ever came through, and if it comes up in conversation with other Christians, the response is, "Oh yeah, we did that at our church."  I am not saying it is wrong to have a church-wide emphasis based off a book written with a spiritual focus, but churches need to be careful that they don't jump on something just because it is the trend, and it is important to study the Bible and weigh everything others say against the word of God.  The Bible is our primary source.

That being said, I have started reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and have already sensed confirmation within that this is something I need to read.  I know God is capable of anything, but I don't always pray with this faith.  In my first night of reading, this sentence jumped out at me, "God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God.  I definitely need to step up my prayer life.  This is going to be a key element in realizing what God has in store.

In addition to bringing bold prayers before God, I need to endure.  Too often I bring a need/request before God and grow weary of asking when the answer is not quick to come.  Mark opens his book by sharing the story of Honi, a first century sage who believed God was still there and listened to His people.  The land was suffering from a severe drought and the people were suffering greatly.  They went to Honi as their last hope  and asked him to pray for rain.  Honi went into the city(Jerusalem) and in front of everyone drew a circle around himself with his staff.  Then, he stood inside the circle he had drawn and prayed, " Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have shown mercy upon your children." His prayer was bold and backed with resolve to continue to pray until God had heard his prayer and answered.  Wow!  As Honi prayed before everyone, God did send rain and rain abundantly.  

I want to pray with boldness and expectancy, but also a resolve to continue praying until I feel a release or as long as the need exists!  

Stay tuned to see where God takes me...