winter mittens and glovesWell the weather continues to be very cold in this region of the country. I recently heard that in New Jersey there is a group nailing hats and mittens on poles with notes that say if you need them take them. Such a neat act of kindness!

Not too long ago I saw a Hallmark Movie and the main character was always losing her gloves. A friend made her a wreath of gloves for the Holidays that had removable gloves to meet her needs. Those are the gifts we all love the most. The gift tailor made to meet our need and or wants. Those gifts are the product of the giver taking the time to really know the recipient.

Would you agree God really knows us? Psalms 127:3 tells us “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD.” So we must believe as Jeremy learns in “The Birthday Quilt each child given to a family is a gift from God for them to love. A gift tailor made for us to be their parent. He further instructs us in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The important key in parenting is to let the Lord reveal His divine plan for your child. I believe each child has a destiny designed by God and God put everything in that child’s DNA to become what is necessary to fulfill that destiny. Our job is to be faithful to observe the gifting’s God has imparted in our gift from Him; to nurture and protect the God life of that child and not to stifle the God dreams He has given them. It takes time to see what those God given talents are; time to see how your child’s gifting emerge; and time in the Father’s presence to gain the direction we need to train up each child in the way God choses for him to go.

Perhaps in the cold weather when life slows down a bit we can take more time to get to know our special gift; more time to snuggle up with good books and hot cocoa. To read to your child with a book you both can hold is wonderful in cold weather especially under a warm blanket. Pointing to pictures and asking questions both you and your child can explore much more than just the story. The simple art of listening can be cultivated as you take the opportunity to hear their thoughts and they hear yours.

Exploring for books to recommend I came across “The Mitten” by Jan Brett a Ukrainian Folk Tale written and illustrated by Jan. It’s a delightful story of a young boy, his grandmother, snow, and forest animals.

Also available to you and your child on you tube is Jan Brett reading her story.

If you want to encourage your child to pursue the creative arts of drawing and writing you can also watch a YouTube of Jan Brett telling young readers how to get started.

Looking for a simple craft to make as a keepsake to put up for winter when the holiday decorations come down? How about making a mitten wreath with your child. Cut a wreath out of cardboard or foam board. Make a mitten pattern for your child and then let them trace as many as they need to cover the wreath out of poster board or colored foam board. Decorating the mittens is up to you. You can find lots of colorful scrap-booking paper that you can use to cut out and paste on the mitten. Your child can color, marker or paint the mitten. There are a variety of self-stick foam pieces available to use to decorate your mittens. Pieces of ribbon or buttons are also fun to use. Don’t make this a one day craft do a few mittens each day so your child enjoys the process and has time to be really creative.

For those more ambitious crafters who want a special keepsake you can use real mittens. They can be stuffed or not; pined or glued on a styrofoam base. They can be collected through the years as the children out grow their mittens or bought at sales or garage sales if that is your pleasure.

For those of you in the cold winter regions stay warm in body and heart. Close quarters can cause cabin fever and irritable moms with antsy kids stay creative and calm and take every moment to make a memory. Our children grow so fast. Enjoy the journey!



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