At-Home Family Worship: Keeping it ‘Feel’

Our Easter, hope-filled focus gives us strength in the promise that there is something better up ahead…but God is also fully present in all the other big feelings that live in our minds and bodies each day.

This week’s worship is a family check-in and opportunity to build up our emotional self-care toolbox while connecting more deeply with our always-with-us-no-matter-what God. Life is messy, God is in the mess!

Hope Machine, by The Okee Dokee Brothers
If You Want a Song, by The Okee Dokee Brothers

The Okee Dokee Brothers- New Sing-along Songs!

If your family hasn’t already fallen in love with The Okee Dokee Brothers, let me personally introduce you! The Okee Dokee Brothers are my family’s favorite- the kind of ‘kids music’ that is actually satisfying for grown-ups!

They released a few new singles this month that strum on our current-state-of-events heart strings.

How are you?

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Hey there,
How are you?
How is your family?
Do you have what you need?

Lots of checking in these days, and if I’m telling the truth, I have no idea how to answer these questions some days!

One day feels like, oh yeah, I got this! And other days feel big, and heavy, and hard.

One day the kids are playing great, I get to work several hours in a row, uninterrupted, and other days, well… you know!

Milestones for many have come and gone, things we had hoped for are on hold, or past. School years have been moved to online, sports seasons cancelled, graduations postponed, there is a lot for which to grieve, and also, there is a lot for which to celebrate.

There’s no right way to feel, just like there’s no right way to parent while working from home, there’s no right way to figure out how to care for yourself while caring for others, there’s no “right” way for any of this, because, no one has done this before.

It’s ok to not know,
its ok to not be “right”,
its ok to not be the “best”,
its ok not to be the “most balanced”
or the even “put together” at all!

There’s GRACE for that!

Trust that God’s Grace is sufficient for you, even when we have no way of knowing what’s next. There’s no right way to feel right now except, loved beyond measure!

Family Event: Nature Scavenger Hunt

In celebration of earth day, we’ve been hosting an “earth day” challenge at Westwood. It has been so fun and uplifting to see pictures of how you are celebrating God’s good creation!

One of my personal favorite things people do to help out mother earth is go on litter walks and pick up trash. In this new era, it is a bit tricky to safely make that happen, with the shortage of gloves and the need for them in medical settings. So instead, I’ve made up a nature scavenger hunt for you to take a walk, enjoy this beautiful weekend, and look out for the beauty in creation! You can add your own items to it before you set out, or follow along on the hunt, either way! There are pictures next to the words so non-readers can play along, too! Enjoy God’s good creation!

At-Home Family Worship: Community Service Connect-the-Dots

Being community may look different right now, but’s even more important than before to stay connected.

This week as you worship as a family, take some time to connect-the-dots on ways you can re-connect with people in your neighborhood and greater community.

Beatitudes for a Global Pandemic

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If you need a way to pray today, this might be of help. Id invite you to take a look at this with your tweens and teens and discuss:

  • Who is missing from this list?
  • Which person/people listed were surprising to you or may not have been a person/group you had thought of before?
  • If you were rewriting the beatitudes, who would you include?
  • How can you support, pray for and/or lift up the people on this list, or on your list? Then, make a commitment to do so this week!

We’d love to see your lists, post in the comments here or on Facebook and let us know who’ve you added!

At Home Family Worship- Earth Day Challenge!

Happy Earth Day (Week)!

As the weather warms up and snow is (hopefully) gone til winter- take some time as a family to talk about God’s beautiful creation and how we can care for it!

Join us for Westwood’s Earth Day Challenge! Try a few animal yoga poses! Explore the San Diego Zoo Earth Day activity site!

Life is Messy, God is in the Mess! Welcome to Worship!

All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir- Bill Staines
Westwood’s Earth Day Challenge

Family Event at Home: Olympics!

The 2020 Olympics are postpone to 2021 but the spirit of competitiveness, perseverance, and coming together does not have to be! This weekend, with wonderful weather on the horizon and wiggles to get rid of, why not host your own at home Olympics! I bet many of our Westwood kids are not old enough to truly remember an Olympics, especially a summer one since it has been 4 years. If you want to warm up with some highlights, I recommend any of Usane Bolt’s triumphs, the US Women’s national soccer team (any other Mia Hamm fans out there?), and of course gymnastics (hello Simone Biles!) I didn’t even mention swimming or volleyball. And that is just the summer events. There are so many inspiration moments that come out of the Olympics and hosting your own might be a great way to spend the weekend! Just make sure the competition is friendly, because you still need to live together after the closing ceremonies!

Here are a few components to consider:

  1. Before you start, have your kids work together to make medals. They can just be paper and whatever string or ribbon you have lying around, but have them ready for each of your “competitions”.
  2. Make a torch to light during the opening ceremonies out of tissue paper and those precious toilet paper tubes.
  3. Decide on the games you will participate in. Will you do indoor or outdoor events? Will they be traditional (like a race) or less traditional (like paper airplane flying)? Here is a list of possibilities to get you started:
    • Basketball
    • Bean Bag Toss or Corn Hole
    • Obstacle Course
    • High Jump, Long Jump, or even the limbo
    • Gymnastics (like somersaults, cartwheels, or hand stands)
    • “discus” using a Frisbee or paper plate,
    • Hula hoop
    • Jump rope
    • Egg and spoon races or a relay race
    • Have your kids come up with games of their own!
  4. Opening Ceremonies and Parade of Nations: Choose a family uniform to wear and start your ceremonies with a parade. You could use paper to make a family flag to carry, too! Just make sure you are playing the Olympics Fanfare (chills!) when you present the torch!
  5. Medal Presentation: Make sure to have a celebration after each event as you award medals. Maybe let them choose their own “anthem” (who says Frozen can’t be played on the medal platform!)
  6. Closing Ceremonies: Time to parade those medals around the living room or yard! Often times the best part of the Olympics is the fanfare and cultural celebration on display during the opening and closing ceremonies. Maybe this is time for a talent show!

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you enjoy the gift of weather and family, and know your Westwood family is thinking of you and sending you love! (and hoping for some Olympics photo recaps!)