Thursday, July 30, 2009

Influence and Ideas

1 Corinthians 15:33- Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals".

We are influenced by so many things around us whether we have chosen the influence or not. We are influenced by decisions that we make or decisions made by others for us. However, there are certain influences that we can actually choose to have in our lives- friends, family, books, music, and television. It is important to evaluate the things that are influencing us and take a step back to see, objectively, if our influences are helping us in our walk with God and our development as a woman, wife, mother, professional, etc. Sometimes it is hard to do, because we may enjoy the influences that we have and breaking off some of our ties may not be what we want but so desperately need. I decided to look at what some of my personal influences are:

For my spirit

The Bible during my own quiet time with God. I haven't used a book, devotional, or outline for quite a while. Just the Bible, and that is enough. I have found that God speaks to my heart more when it is just the two of us than when I let a third party in. I am also more free to jump around to different passages or read something that strikes my fancy when it is just me and God than when I use a devotional (Mom always taught us to finish what we start, so I don't feel like I can move on without finishing the book I'm doing. Plus, I hate having unfinished things around.) I have a composition book that I keep with my Bible where I write down things that God is teaching me, and where I also glean from when posting here on the blog.

For my position as a wife

The Bible and books by Christian authors on marriage. The Bible should always be our number one source of influence and our measuring stick for all other influences. As I mentioned before, I am reading a book called Romancing Your Husband: Enjoying a Passionate Life Together. As a Christian, I believe that it is important to read books written by fellow believers who are on the same page as I am and who have godly wisdom and advice to share. I'm sure that there are many talented authors out there who may not be believers, however, for me personally, I do not believe that reading their books will help me grow my marriage according to God's blueprint.
For motherhood

The Bible and other books written by Christian experts in the field of child raising. God has given so many men and women wisdom and insight into the world of child-raising. As long as their teaching follows what the Word of God says, then I am open to hearing the principles that they are teaching. Right now my favorites are the authors of the BabyWise series. All of their principles are Biblically based, and one of the authors is also a pediatrician. By following the principles taught in these books, Addie slept through the night for the first time when she was 2 1/2 months old. When it comes to fun ideas on things to do with children, my Aunt Ruth (aka. GrandTiti) sent me a subscription to Family Fun magazine. It has many ideas on crafts, projects, snacks, meals, and a whole host of other things to do with your child. I'm sure there are many other magazines out there as well, but right now, this is the only one I'm familiar with.
For my home

I absolutely love Better Homes and Gardens magazine. My mother had a two year subscription, and, after she passed away, my father began bringing the magazines to me. I always look forward to my new addition, and after Addie is in bed and Brian and I are just hanging out in the living room watching TV (Rays game), I begin reading it from cover to cover. There are so many ideas and tips on anything home related. I just got August's magazine on Sunday, and I am almost finished with it.

For my family's tummy

I also love the Taste of Home magazine (another Mom related benefit). There are so many recipes by regular home cooks like me that use items in the fridge that I have or that I can pick up at a local grocery store. Each recipe that I have tried is delicious and fairly simple to make (depending on which recipe you choose).

For entertainment- I have mentioned before that my husband is a huge Rays fan (and I am, too), so it is safe to say that on many evenings, that is what you will find us watching. We also enjoy the new show The Great American Road Trip where about 7 families began in Chicago and take a family vacation across the country. When reaching certain destinations, the families have to complete a couple of challenges which determines which family's vacation has come to an end. My sister and I also love watching HGTV's Design Star and The Next Food Network Star. I can't do what they do, but I enjoy watching, getting ideas, and (maybe) trying out a few thing here at home. For example, on TNFNS, one contestant said that if you take green onions and put the bulbs in a glass of water on your counter, the onions will continue growing even after you have cut and used them. I tried it, and it worked! I had green onions for the price of one purchase. We also love watching reruns of Touched By and Angel. They are wholesome, touching, and each episode expresses God's love (usually by quoting Scripture) for His children.

I would encourage you to take an inventory of the influences you have and see what is good and what may need to be changed. We used to watch Jon and Kate a couple of seasons ago, but we decided to stop last season. Not only were the kids beginning to get on our nerves (you can only listen to whines and cries for so long), but we did not care for the way Jon and Kate treated each other. At the beginning of the season, I did watch the first two episodes to see what was going to happen to the family (yes, my curiosity got the best of me), and afterward we decided that we were not going to help this family destroy themselves or influence us by watching their program. Influences are stronger than you think.

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