What It’s Like To Dine At Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen!

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What It's Like To Dine At Hell's Kitchen

Last week, my husband Guy and I got the rare opportunity to experience eating at Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen! My husband and I have been fans of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen for years, so actually dining at Gordon Ramsey’s infamous restaurant with would-be chefs in the making was a dream come true!

Here’s the inside scoop on our dining experience with details about what it’s like to dine under the cameras and amidst the chaos of Hell’s Kitchen!

 GETTING ON THE SHOW

 People always want to know how to get tickets to Hell’s Kitchen and for good reason.

It’s NOT easy.

My husband and I both work in the entertainment industry and we have several friends who work on the show. That’s the short and sweet version of how we made it there, but even then, we missed the initial calls trying to confirm our reservation and at the very last-minute, they squeezed us in!

It was incredibly kind of the good people in casting to do so for us because we don’t get a fun date night out very often and we had our babysitter all lined up in anticipation. There are waivers to sign too-that’s the norm when you appear on camera for any show! It’s also super important that none of the guests dining in the restaurant have any food allergies.

You have to eat what they serve you! If you get any food at all…….

 THE ARRIVAL and WHAT TO WEAR

 Hell’s Kitchen is a fine dining restaurant, so the dress code is upscale casual. I chose black slacks, a color-block blouse with black and white on the bottom and turquoise at the neck, a yellow clutch, and gold stilettos! My husband Guy wore a nice suit minus the tie!

What We Wore To Hell's Kitchen!

What We Wore To Hell’s Kitchen!

Our taping was set for a Monday night. Hell’s Kitchen films in Van Nuys, CA these days so it wasn’t a long drive for us at all which is good because you need to arrive well before the typical dinner hours. They suggest you have a snack before the show in case one of the two teams gets kicked out of the kitchen and you go home hungry!

We were greeted by friendly security and then drove to the entrance of the restaurant where a gorgeous red carpet awaited and valet staff took our car for us. Casting staff met us on the red carpet and took us to a beautiful spacious room draped in black curtains where about 30 people were already ahead of us. The tables were set with appetizers like cheese plates and fruit, as well as choices of wine, beer, or soft drinks. White comfy couches, lounge tables, and a coat check made the ambience complete! The staff came across as genuine, kind, attentive, and happy. They took our picture and made us feel like valued guests! Casting went out of their way to tell us that they knew we were on date night and wanted to be sure and squeeze us in. So kind!!  A great start to a fantastic evening!

A waiter eventually greeted us and offered a leather-bound menu so that we could pre-select both our appetizer and our entrees of which there were two choices. We both chose the same appetizer but different entrees. More on that soon!

One of our friends came down from her office to say hello so we passed the time chatting with her and catching up. WE LOVE HER, and not just because she helped us get in to the show. J

 GLAMOUR WAGON

There are no bathrooms in the actual restaurant so if you have to take care of business, there are wagons set up with porta-potties but it’s not what you think. These babies are glamorous!

It’s almost like stepping into a “real” bathroom-nice dark wood paneling, beautiful sinks with large mirrors, several doors to choose from, and places to set your belongings down while you do your thing. Think the Taj Mahal of outhouses!

 THE RESTAURANT

Eventually, we were taken in small groups to the red carpet, lined up, and told our table number. I love booths so I was hoping we would get one of the few available. Sure enough, they gave us a booth! I took Guy’s arm and then much like waiting to walk down the aisle for a wedding ceremony, we made our way a few seconds behind the couple in front of us and walked down the hallway leading into Hell’s Kitchen.  Portraits of past Hell’s Kitchen winners graced the walls.

Entrance To Hell's Kitchen (Side View)

Entrance To Hell’s Kitchen (Side View)

We walked up a couple of steps past a chic bar area, strolled past TV cameras that zoomed in for close-ups, and were taken straight to our booth to one side of the restaurant.

Hell’s Kitchen did not seem like a set-it was stunning!

The decor was absolutely beautiful. Modern chandeliers hung from the ceiling, the tables were draped in fine linens, and the soft gray suede of our high-backed booth allowed us to dine in comfort. Our waitress was friendly and quick to smile. We spent time chatting with her and trying to understand exactly what the process would be for the evening. She brought us our beverages-wine, soda, sparkling water, and beer as well as a bread basket filled with no less than 5 varieties of breads and butter. We dug in!

The ambience was perfection. Elegant. Shades of white, silver, gold, and turquoise graced the walls, tables, chairs, and overall decor. The restaurant itself was quieter than I anticipated, and MUCH HOTTER. They don’t call it Hell’s Kitchen for nothing, people. We were sweating-but that was the only discomfort. The restaurant was truly beautiful!

Across the dining room, Gordon Ramsey stood sweating with a pencil behind his ear and a serious look on his face. The kitchen was HUMMING and there was DRAMA, although I can’t tell you of what nature since the show has not yet aired. Chef Ramsey clearly takes his role as a mentor and master chef seriously and I was thankful that he was there to inspect the food we would soon (hopefully!) be eating. He wasn’t at all distracted by the cameras or dozens of diners in the room.  It was exciting to watch and definitely surreal to see the master at work!

Not everyone in the restaurant had the same experience we did, but you will have to watch the episodes to find out!

 THE FOOD

We prayed that our food would actually arrive at our tables. There have been plenty of diners who didn’t get further than a beverage on this show. It’s rare to make it all the way through the service and Guy and I were prepared to hit an In-N-Out Burger afterwards if necessary.

The maitre de passed our table and Guy asked him where he was from in Italy. They compared birth origins and bonded over their Italian heritage. With a final, “Prego” he resumed his duties.

And then course 1 arrived-our appetizers. We both chose a butternut squash soup instead of a red beet salad.

YUM. It was absolutely delicious. The presentation was delectable too-the warm orange shade of the soup was offset by a light green oil swirled throughout the soup and a nest of toasted nuts in the center. We ate every last bite.

Our amazing waitress never let our glasses get half empty. The service was excellent but they also need to keep glasses full for aesthetics for the cameras!

Time passed.

Camera men stealthily moved about from table to table as food came out to the guests so they could capture reactions.

And then our entrees arrived!

I had a filet with mashed potatoes and asparagus and Guy had sea bass with a bacon and navy bean broth with asparagus.  Filet Mignon is my absolute favorite meal so this was truly a blessing! Mine was cooked to perfection with savory gravy in an artful display on the plate. Guy’s sea bass was underwhelming-a bit overcooked and lacking in flavor. He comforted himself with bites of my filet. Ha!

We were pretty full at this point, but hoping dessert would come.

It did.

And wouldn’t you know it? Another of my favorites.

Molten chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, macadamia nuts, and blueberries.

We died.

It. Was. So. Good.

With the first bite, the liquid chocolate spilled out like lava and the rest was history. I simply couldn’t finish the one last morsel lingering on my plate and I watched sadly as the waitress removed it from our table.

Then, a special surprise.

A nicely dressed man came to our table and told us that he heard we were on date night and that they wanted to offer us champagne! He assured us that they would be happy to take care of our car and call a taxi cab on them if we needed it. We wouldn’t need it-everything in moderation-but it was generous of them to offer!

Guy and I wanted coffee but we were stuffed to the gills at this point. Shortly after we finished our dessert and champagne, our wonderful waitress thanked us and let us know it was time to go.

We shimmied out of the elegant booth and made our way past the cameras and down the luxurious red carpet once again. We gave our ticket to the valet and shortly thereafter we drove away from Hell’s Kitchen, deeply satisfied and pampered. If you ever get the chance to be a part of the show, take it! It was a highlight for us and one of the best date nights we have ever had.  It may be called Hell’s Kitchen, but for us, it was heavenly.

Here I am outside the studio/restaurant. I was SO full!!!

Here I am outside the studio/restaurant. I was SO full!!!

Be sure to watch Hell’s Kitchen on Fox each week!!

YOUR TURN! Do you watch Hell’s Kitchen? Have you always wanted to dine under Gordon Ramsey’s protégés too? What surprised you about our experience? Have you ever been to a TV taping before?

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

The Doctors Gave Up On My Son, But God Didn’t

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 The Doctors Gave Up On My Son, But God Didn't

That first time he grabbed his head in agony, my heart filled with dread. As some of you may remember from this post about our son Quinn, we have been on a three year journey of medical issues since he was two years old.

After numerous doctors’ appointments, homeopathic remedies and oils, specialists, a pediatric neurologist, CAT scans, surgery to have tubes in his ears, and many a day and night writhing in agony from severe migraines, I was at my wit’s end this past Spring.

And then we decided to get a second opinion from one more ENT at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.

I sat in the ENT’s office as he told me that though my 4 year old’s sinus issues may indeed trigger his migraines, he didn’t want to pursue any kind of surgery…..…yet. He really couldn’t help me. Didn’t have any sure answers.

“Spray his nose with saline” the doctor suggested.

With that, I gathered our belongings and my precious boy and walked out of the hospital.

It was a fairly silent ride home as I pondered how in the world I was going to proceed to “fix” my son.

And as I groaned in my spirit to God, I asked Him, “Lord, what do I do now?”

His answer came almost immediately.

“Nothing, Amber.”

It was simple, but profound. I felt a deep sense of peace in my heart as I settled into the idea of being still. I felt that the Lord was asking me to stop pursuing the medical route at this time and to offer Quinn up to Him in totality, and to trust. As my Heavenly Father, He was asking me to relinquish my own child, to Him.

That week, the approval for Quinn’s next CAT scan arrived. I threw it in the trash.

The next month, his first ENT called to confirm his appointment. I cancelled it.

And we went about our lives.

Wouldn’t you know it? It’s now been almost a year since Quinn has had a severe migraine. He has had 3 or 4 small headaches that he is able to sleep off after a nap when in the past he would writhe in agony for hours, vomiting profusely, and be in pain for at least 24 hours.

I know that this is not always the way God works. But the lesson here for me personally is not that God will always heal us, but that in our human efforts we will often come to the end of the line, the bottom of the barrel, and at our wit’s end. Our limitations are nothing for God, however. He is all powerful-the One who holds the world in His hands! He knows the answer to every medical conundrum, and for all of life’s complexities.

I knew that what God wanted from me regarding Quinn was to admit that I did not know what to do, but that my eyes were on Him.

This is exactly what God desired from Jehoshaphat in the Old Testament when his enemies united against him to destroy the Israelites.

Annihilation was imminent. They had no way to protect themselves and defeat was a surety. Except, Jehoshaphat remembered God’s promises to Israel. In the moment of deepest need, he prayed:

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:10-12

That’s just how I felt. Powerless.

Do you feel powerless today? Confused? Bewildered? Trapped? Uncertain?

Follow Jehoshaphat’s strategy. When you don’t know what to do, keep your eyes on your loving Father who knows all things and is all powerful.

Our Eyes Are On You

Victory came in an unorthodox way for the Israelites that day, despite their physical disadvantages. Take a look at the whole passage and see what I mean.

But in this day and age, we become self-reliant, don’t we?

With so many modern day conveniences at our fingertips we often rely on technology, experts, medicine, or the internet.

And yet God is the author of it all.

When we feel most at a loss to know what next steps to take, and when there seems to be no hope to be found in our circumstances, we are never truly at a loss. God knows what is best for us and He knows the path we should take.

You don’t need to worry about which house to buy. None of us needs to fear that difficult co-worker. We shouldn’t become discouraged by our spouse who doesn’t seem to change. And I don’t need to dissolve into hopelessness when the medical community can’t give me answers for my son.

Whatever worry has you up at night, lay it aside. Adjust your gaze from your problems to your Protector and keep your eyes on Him.

I don’t know what God has in store for my Quinn. But I don’t really need to know the outcome. I know that today, he is well. Today, I’m choosing to abide in Christ and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, even when it doesn’t make earthly sense.

The prognosis for Quinn’s future is clear, despite what the doctors may say. It’s the same prognosis for all of us who are Christ-followers. When we rest in the goodness of God, we can’t go wrong and He will always give us both the wisdom and the direction we are seeking for any situation.

It’s a prescription you can always count on and never runs out.

YOUR TURN! We can admit that we don’t know what to do in a situation and ask God for help. I would love to pray for YOU today. Is there something on your heart and you just don’t know what to do about it? Share it here so we can pray for you!

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

Stop Playing Negative Tapes In Your Head! Here’s How!

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Stop Playing Negative Tapes In Your Head

The thoughts sneak in without fanfare. Just a whisper of an idea that seeks to destroy:

“He constantly puts work before you. You are not that important to him.”

“If you don’t homeschool her, she will not get a good education.”

“She has the perfect life. If you had made better decisions, your life would be easier too.”

“Just go buy the next size up already. It’s just another example of how unhealthy you are and your lack of self-control. The days of size 8 are long gone, sister.”

“Why are you even trying to build friendships with these people? No one will accept your invitation for dinner.”

“You have been speaking harshly to your kids for the last 5 years. It’s not going to change.”

“If you don’t control your kids’ every move, something terrible will happen to them and you will be all alone.”

“What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just stick to a cleaning routine and put the laundry away in a timely manner? You are a failure in small things, so you must be a failure, period.”

“Your parents were right. You aren’t good for much.”

“He’s not a spiritual leader so your boys will never learn to lead their own wives Biblically.”

“She’s so good at her job. You, on the other hand, aren’t making much of an impact with your life. Maybe you need to put the kids in daycare and go back to work. Besides, the kids might be better off too since you aren’t that great of a mom.”

“Your to-do list is a mile long this week. There is no way you will accomplish everything you need to.”

“Your sons are so wild. Everyone thinks you are a bad mom.”

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? Are these tapes playing in rotation in your head?

Take a moment and let the weight of just one of these thoughts sink in. How does it make you feel? What are the physical changes you experience when you believe these thoughts? Is your blood pumping? Is your heart dropping? Your head hanging? Or your spirit sagging?

Mine is.

But we really don’t have to turn up the volume on these lies. That’s what they are: lies.

And the best way to banish the bull is to call Satan’s bluff.

Here is a simple practice I gleaned from a recent message from author, Alan Fadling and two key questions to ask yourself that will change your thought life for good:

YOUR TURN! What do you think? Are your thoughts more like friends? Or enemies? Are you up for the challenge to try this for the next week? If this post blessed you, PLEASE, share it with others!

(For more on this topic and other Biblical thoughts on Sabbath, rhythms of rest, and ways to reprogram your heart and mind for peace, check out Alan Fadling’s new book, An Unhurried Life!)

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

Things I LOVE and a GIVEAWAY!!!

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Things I LOVE And A Giveaway

 

Many bloggers like to share their favorite gift items this time of year, and I do too! These are some of the items that make my life just that much more enjoyable. AND, I’m giving two of them away to YOU! Read to the end to enter! This post contains affiliate links where you can also read reviews about these items!

BEAUTY

Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami (And Ballet Slippers!)

Midnight Cami is the perfect color for Fall! It’s super rich and pretty! I tend to go for dark or bold colors for my pedicures!

Essie Midnight Cami

I also love a French manicure on my fingernails. I don’t love the price I pay for one at the salon, nor do I often have the time for that. Enter, the color Ballet Slippers! It’s my go-to polish 9 times out of 10 for manicures and it’s one of the brand’s top sellers! 

 

Maria Milanes, Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

Few people know me better than my friend Maria. She’s not just as sister in Christ-she makes me look my best too!! Maria was one of my bridesmaids and on my wedding day, she did my hair and makeup and then stood beside me as I said my vows to my husband. If I’m going to share some of my favorite things, the list is simply not complete without mentioning this talented woman!

AND if you live in Southern California or happen to be visiting, she is giving a major discount to new clients who make appointments at her Santa Clarita Valley location-20% off! Maria is available at her location in Porter Ranch as well!

Amber And Maria

I have never left Maria’s chair disappointed. She has been styling, and coloring my hair and doing my makeup for the last 10 plus years and her integrity, professionalism, commitment to ongoing growth as a stylist, passion for creating makeovers, and friendly approach makes her a must in my book! I just LOVE her!! Take a look at her websites here and here!

To make an appointment, call 818 363-5226 now so you can take advantage of her discount for the holidays!

Elnett Hairspray by L’oreal

Elnett Hairspray

The beauty of this hairspray is that it truly feels and looks natural for everyday hairdos. I have never found a spray that held my hair better while still feeling weightless. I use it every day! Well, every day I actually comb my hair!

FASHION

 Indu Earrings, Trades of Hope

THESE are everyday earrings for me! I LOVE them. Love. Them. But the products from Trades of Hope are not just eye candy!

Indu Earrings

When you buy these earrings or many other fashion and household items, you can change the world just by shopping – your purchases from Trades of Hope will help these artisans feed their families, put a roof over their heads, send their children to school, and step out of poverty. What better purchase than one that does GOOD towards others too!

Go ahead and shop here to support this wonderful cause: www.mytradesofhope.com/parties/6561

Michael Kors Satchel

If you are going to invest in one great bag, let it be from Michael Kors. It will last long after the cows come home. Superior quality and endless style, these are my all time favorite purses worth saving for! Seriously gorgeous.

Michael Kors Purse

 

Leopard Print Scarf

I wear mine with almost everything. In my humble opinion, a leopard print scarf is chic and effortless. Throw one on over a black dress or with a t-shirt and jeans. It comes in a beautiful brown color too!

Leopard Print Scarf

 

FOOD

Iveta Gourmet Cherry Scones

It was Christmas. My cousin handed me the gift box and what was inside would change my life. Okay, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But it does convey how much I LOVE THESE SCONES! They are absolutely heavenly! If you don’t believe me, believe Oprah. They are on her list of favorite things too! You can try the gluten free version of other flavors as well!

Iveta Gourmet Cherry Scones

 

Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortillas

I bought these reluctantly. I was certain the first bite would taste like dirty cardboard. I have never been so wrong in my life! We devour these in our house-no GMO’s, no preservatives, certified organic grains, and 100% goodness! Do yourself a favor and buy a stack to keep in your freezer and then pull them out as needed!

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Tortillas

BOOKS

For The Love of God, A Woman’s Guide to Finding Faith and Getting Grace by Jenny Lee Sulpizio

For The Love Of God

This book is a new release and I absolutely LOVE the heart behind it’s message:

Being new is never easy–especially when it comes to finding your faith. But you don’t need a big neon sign to point the way to God. Instead, you need a friend to tell it to you straight, equip you with information, and provide some much-needed encouragement along the way. Indeed, you need guidance from a woman who has already walked a mile in your shoes. 

Jenny Lee Sulpizio invites you to silence those doubts, experience God’s grace, and breathe in the unconditional love you were always meant to know. It’s a guide for women unsure of their Creator, in search of answers, and interested in pursuing a genuine relationship with the Lord. Because this walk with God–this journey with Jesus? It’s about to change everything.”

 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

A Year Of Holidays

Ree Drummond’s A Year of Holidays cookbook highlights meals for every occasion. I usually don’t need a good reason to make fun food, but this cookbook pushes me over the edge. The step-by-step pictures make cooking and baking fool-proof. Love it!

 

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

 The Purpose Driven Life

If I had to choose only one non-fiction book to read besides the Bible, for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Easy to read, Biblically sound, and full of encouragement. It answers the question, “What on earth am I here for?” I can’t recommend it highly enough!

 

HOUSEWARES

Wilton 8 X 3 inch Cake Pans

Wilton Cake Pans

I use these 8 inch round cake pans to make my famous triple layer triple chocolate fudge cake-so I have 3 of them! This size can be hard to find in stores. These guys get used on frequent rotation since chocolate cake is my boys favorite treat and of course, their first request for birthday parties! Here’s a picture of a cake I baked and decorated for my son’s “Camp Out” birthday party this week-isn’t it sooooo cute?!

 

Camp Out Cake

 

“Leaves” Bath N Body Works Candle

Leaves Candle

My closest friends will tell you that I am obsessed with the “Leaves” candle from Bath N Body Works. NO OTHER SCENT compares. It’s absolutely the most perfect candle EVER.  I love how these 3 wick candles burn evenly and last forever!

GIVEAWAY!!!

I’m giving away author, Jenny Lee Sulpizio’s book AND a bottle of Essie nail polish to one blessed reader!

TO ENTER TO WIN, simply leave a comment here telling me about one of your all time favorite things! To receive a second entry, share this post and let me know in the comments section! The contest will end at midnight on November 30th and I will notify the winner via email!

YOUR TURN! What is one of your favorite things? :) 

 

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

Got Whiny Kids? This Activity Will Turn Griping Into Gratitude!

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MOB-StopWhinyBoys

The boys were unusually tired and whiny as the afternoon seemed as chaotic and tumultuous as the morning.

Naturally, this made me unusually tired and whiny; not a good combination.

Do you ever have days like that?

Tired and whiny turned into outright complaining.

My kids started saying things like, “I was sitting there-that’s MY SPOT!” and “I don’t want a sandwich!” and “I was playing with the dump truck first!”

Ugh. What’s a mom to do? How do I turn the tide of ungrateful hearts around when my own heart is being sucked dry by all the bickering and fussing?

One of my favorite ways to get out of a funk and refocus our hearts back on track is through music and singing. I recently read this verse from Psalm 95:2:

Let us come to him with thanksgiving. 

Let us sing psalms of praise to him.

I knew that going before God for help was the answer, but not just in prayer this time. I wanted my sons to get their joy back! In our home, singing and dancing together always does the trick.

I asked the boys to choose a favorite song they like to sing and then tell me two things they are thankful to God for. Oliver, my 7-year-old, chose “toys” and “the sky.”……………..

To read the rest of this post and to see how this fun activity will stop whiny kids in their tracks, click on this link for The MOB Society! You will get to see a short video of my son Ollie putting this fun tip into practice too!! (He’s such a sweetie!)

 

YOUR TURN! What’s another way you change the tone in your home from complaining to thanksgiving?

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

5 Screen-Free Activities To Keep Your Child Occupied At Appointments

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5 Screen-Free Activities To Keep Your Child Occupied At Appointments

This week, I’ll be taking one of my sons to see a specialist and I know from past experience that the wait in the lobby will be a long one. If you are like me, I dread taking my kids to appointments that I know will end in grumpy moods and boredom. Although this modern day of technology provides plenty of games on cell phones or tablets, I like to distract my kids by offering them something other than a screen while we wait.

Here are 5 screen-free activities to stimulate your child’s mind so you don’t lose yours!

DOLLAR HUNT

 Give your child a dollar bill and ask them to find images like these:13 arrows, 13 stars, Roman numerals, a key, a picture of George Washington, bay laurel leaves, a pyramid, a Bald Eagle, an eye, and the number 1!

COIN SPIN

Take a quarter and spin it on it’s edge on a flat surface. See how long the quarter stays spinning and time your child to see if they can beat their original time or see who can keep a quarter spinning the longest!

IMAGINATION ART

 Using a piece of paper and a pen or crayons, draw a few lines, circles, squiggles, or a combination of all three on a piece of paper. Then, have your child try to make an actual picture of an object out of your unfinished design to create an original picture! Next, have your child create an unfinished drawing for you to complete!

CREATE AN ANIMAL

Give your child a requirement that the animal must have, like the ability to fly and also leap 10 feet off the ground. Then, using a pencil and a piece of paper, have them draw an original animal that looks like it can meet the requirements. Come up with an original name too!

PAPER CHAINS

 This activity will require a little planning in advance, but it will be worth it! Bring a pair of safety scissors, some construction paper, and some tape in your bag. Have your child (or do this step yourself) cut strips of paper about 6 inches long and 1 inch wide. Then, loop them into circles creating a chain and taping the ends together. Use the chain at home to decorate for fun-or leave it with the office staff to decorate their desks!

 

YOUR TURN! What are some other easy but fun activities that you provide for your kids to pass the time at appointments?

 

Follow me on Facebook for more inspiration and discussion! Find me on Twitter: Amber Lia and Instagram: MotherOfKnights. Start pinning on Pinterest as well!

The One Person You Must Unfriend On Facebook

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The One Person You Must Unfriend On Facebook

He kept writing to me every couple of years. Each time, I hit the delete button.

When Facebook came along, he sent me friend requests until I blocked him. After all, he was married. I was married. And we had history. Truthfully, there was no temptation on my part to connect with him-the relationship we had years ago was one that I was exceedingly thankful that God spared me from pursuing further.

But then others came back into my life via Facebook too. Former boyfriends with whom I thought I would one day marry and share my life with. It seemed harmless.

Except, the Holy Spirit kept nudging my heart that this was not a good idea.

My husband and I would both say that perhaps our greatest area of strength is trust. I have no concern whatsoever that he would be unfaithful to me, and vice versa. That said, we have been through some excruciatingly painful times in our marriage where I wondered how we would hold on. God has been faithful to us through our trials and even when certain years seemed like our undoing, He carried us through and made us stronger.

What concerned me is that during those times of uncertainty when we were struggling, I started to wonder about those past relationships and although I knew that I was committed to my husband, the very thought of peering into their current lives seemed dangerous. So I listened.

And unfriended.

I’m wondering about you. Do you think that just because you live far away from an ex or someone online that you have been chatting with, that you are secure?

My pastor recently said that “It is the sharing of souls that creates soul-mates.” Affairs are not only physical. They are also emotional. ANYTHING that comes between the oneness of body or heart between you and your spouse is counter to Scripture because you are no longer two, but one:

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24

How can we tell if we are starting down a slippery slope or heading towards the cliff?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself with deep honesty:

1.) Is my marriage currently having difficulties?

2.) Do I sometimes think about what my exes or past flames are doing or if they ever still think about me?

3.) Have I reached out to them with the intention of receiving some form of flattery or affirmation?

4.) Do I check their Facebook pages on a regular basis?

5.) Am I doing this secretly and keeping it from my spouse?

6.) Would my spouse be upset if they knew I was connected to them or talking to them?

7.) Have I day-dreamed about what life with them would be like now instead of the one I am living with my spouse?

8.) Does the thought of unfriending my ex cause me emotional pain?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions or you feel a check in your spirit when you think about these questions, I would strongly caution you and urge you to let these people go-emotionally, relationally, physically, and mentally.

This may seem extreme for some of you, but the truth is that when you play with fire, you can expect to get burned. And your marriage won’t be the only relationship to suffer. Your children will be devastated. You will most likely lose friendships. In-law relationships will be damaged. In some cases, it will force you into or out of the workplace. One thing is certain. The illusion you have that this extramarital relationship is what you have been missing out on is simply that. An illusion.

It’s not worth it, ladies and gentlemen.

God warns us that our enemy is cunning and active. He says:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Jesus makes a comparison in Mark, telling us to take our sin seriously-to the extent that it’s better to cut off our hands, feet, and pluck out our eyes if they cause us to sin:

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. Mark 9:43

Those are strong words. Surely, we could also then say if your Facebook friendship with a former romantic interest causes you to stumble, you should cut it off too. Some of you need to hear it plainly: If you keep telling yourself that the communications are innocent, they probably are not.

God doesn’t mince words about adultery. Mark 5:28 says:

But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

What’s more important to you? Honoring your vows and putting a hedge of protection around your marriage and heart and your testimony as a Christian, or this online relationship?

Discipline yourself to use social media for good-it’s not about doing what is right because it’s easy. It’s about doing what is right because it honors God. As a Christ-follower, your happiness is not the ultimate goal. Following Jesus is the ultimate goal.

I’m thankful that my own marriage is stronger than it has ever been before, but it’s not by accident. Guy and I have spent the last 8 years building that trust with one another and no other relationship is worth jeopardizing our unity. It wasn’t worth it when things were tough, and it’s not worth it now.

Fanning an old flame will only create a wildfire that you can’t control. Go ahead. Unfreind that past boyfriend or girlfriend and focus on the one you vowed before God to love on your wedding day like I did. And in so doing, you will extinguish the possibility for disaster in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Unfriended equals protected, and that’s an action worth taking every time.

YOUR TURN! Have you unfriended old flames like I have?

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