Thursday, July 14, 2011

Train a Child

Flipping through my study bible, I came across a wonderful devotion from Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

"No parent, regardless of dedication or skill, can control a child's every move.  All individuals are given freedom by God to make choices about how they use their will.  Even if a parent could control a child's behavior, they could not determine the hidden thoughts.  Still parents are given a mandate to exert strong positive influence over their children.  The word train includes a Hebrew connotation of "dedicate."  Parents are to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the task of raising their children.  Parents can't fix or control everything and every situation involving their children.  But the general principle holds true:  parents are responsible to shape their children's wills and to direct their children in God's ways so they will know the truth and be equipped to make wise choices throughout life." 

~Women of Faith Study Bible

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Sweet Spot

I use to think there was something wrong with me because I like things organized, neat and in its proper place.  I heard all the names that were associated with this and assumed it was bad.  After attending a ladies retreat focused on our sweet spots, I learned that being organized and neat was a gift. It was part of God's work in me! 

Starting school this fall is going to be a challenge since I will also be working full time while taking care of my beautiful, sweet treasures.  I'm honestly looking forward to these new challenges because I get to organize something!  Sounds weird I know, but I just can't help myself. 

The very first thing on my list was to create new adventures within bible lessons.  I never want anything to interfere with my deep desire to teach and train my children.  As seasons change, I look forward to curious questions and answers we discover in our quiet time together.

This will be the first year I spend more one on one time. Since my daughter is discovering boys and my son is discovering girls, it's much better to use my time wisely and separately. This subject will require some major detail along with so many other subjects I can't wait to touch on!

I came up with the idea to organize all my teaching tools in separate bins because it helps me stay focused.  And my brain can't function without some type of foreseen organization! If I know what I got, I can use it.

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to begin parenting, work, and education all full time at the same time.  It brings joy to my heart knowing that God has planned a new adventure for the three of us.  And what excites me even more, is the prize that's waiting in the end.

 "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians3:14

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Servant's Heart

I'm always looking for another creative way to teach something to my children. That's just me, the way I'm made.  I love parenting and I love creativity, so why not put them together!

It brings me to a boiling point when I see my children begin to aggravate one another, especially when they find joy in the matter.  I decided to correct the issue by turning their provoking hearts into serving hearts.

For a start, I gathered craft sticks and wrote several different ways they could serve one another around the house while giving myself the opportunity to add more at anytime....

*clear his/her dinner plate
*vacuum his/her room
*make his/her bed
*offer front seat in car
*offer brother/sister to choose TV show
*help brother/sister clean a mess
*make his/her bed

When I catch them in the act of stirring up strife, that is when the stick is pulled.  I don't want them to abuse the correction on each other.  If it can't be put to use, they pull one until it can!! That is why I tried my best to choose areas that could be served daily.

I truly believe my children should serve one another without it becoming a correction, but giving a little reminder to find joy in serving rather than aggravating is just an added bonus!

God gives joy to those that promote peace. ~ Proverbs 12:20

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Lizzie

I look at myself everyday in the mirror and find something "wrong" with me.  Then I hear Lizzie's story.  I don't think I can ever look at myself the same again.  I am beyond amazed....

Lizzie (click)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sealed With A Kiss

As Hanna spends time writing love letters to her husband to give on their wedding day, she also came up with her recent list to start praying over her husband.  I can't wait to see how much it changes over the years as she grows more and more into a Godly young lady.  I need to find a really nice box to place all the prayer lists and letters that her spouse will some day receive.

I think it is a wonderful idea to spend years before her wedding day to pray, write and wait for the man she is trusting God to send to her.  She will definitely have him covered before he even knows! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Season Of Salt

My Wednesday night bible study will resume in August. I thought I would share a few highlights from my notes this past year that have spoken to me on more than one occasion!

*Put God at the throne of your life.
*When we give grace in forgiveness we receive freedom and restoration.
*If you remain faithful, God will raise you up in due time.
*Our value is who we our in Christ and not based on what others think of us.
*God always provides a way out.
*Sanctified weakness is allowing God to turn our weakness into a ministry.
*Fruit is not produced when it is blocked off.
*Rules without relationship breeds rebellion (one of my favorites).
* Satan is a real enemy.
*Our sin affects God.
*God is pursuing us.
*When we think it's a problem, it's not a problem for God.
*You are not defined by your past (another one of my favorites).
*When we come to Christ he has special jewels for us.
*God's plans never stop.
*God's time frame is not our time frame.
*The Lord will never leave you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A False Copy

I was thinking today about a Secret Keeper Girl conference my daughter and I attended several months ago.  We are such big fans and I love their message to young women in today's world.  Teaching Hanna to pursue purity, embrace her unique qualities, and enjoy the gifts of a modest heart plays a huge role in my day to day parenting. 

I have such a passion for Hanna to love herself in the unique way God created her to be.  Something I focused little on as I grew into a young lady myself.  My favorite part of the conference was learning to ignore "labels"....things that lead us to feel horrible about our own character, our outward appearance or anything about ourselves for that matter. 

At the conference, they demonstrated the best example of a label...with labels attached to her garment, she slowly tore the world's view to reveal God's view.  It was one of the most beautiful portrayals of God's love for me because it hit the inner, most haunted part of my life.

I've heard the word ugly spoke more times than I've heard I love you by a spouse.  My image in a mirror reflected unaccepted features and caused years of secret depression.  Name calling and daily criticism added to little confidence and misdirected beauty.  It seemed that physical beauty was the key to happiness in my life, but I received a false copy.

As private as I can get, I went from insecurities as a teenager to insecurities as a wife.  The one reflection I thought would lift me up, tore me down.  Stepping away from labels today is a tremendous breakthrough.  I refuse to let a label tear me apart for one more second of my life! 

I pray that my daughter will never feel anything less than God, her loving Father thinks of her.  I could spend a lifetime of wishes and regrets of my past, but I look to them as a tool to prepare my daughter for what's ahead.  Leading by example, speaking truth of my past, and sharing the word's of her Heavenly Father are some of the best parenting tools I can provide.

There is nothing ugly, disgusting or too damaged for God.  There is nothing or no one on this earth that can take away the very best God has to offer.  There is nothing or no one that can label me anything less than the most of what God thinks of me!  The days that I am able to cultivate the very best of God to my daughter, is the fire that blazes inside my heart before she sets out to extinguish a cruel and hateful world.

There is nothing in a label than what we choose to make of it.  The world sees the label, but underneath is the truth, so choose nothing less that what God thinks of you! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Operation Word Camp

Scripture is the one place I turn when I'm in need of help, rather it's with my children or myself.  For years, I have collected scripture to help guide me through parenting.  I usually pull it out as a teaching tool right before I meet with my children.  I never throw God at my children, but instead, do my best to remind them of His promises, commands, direction, and love. 

Each Sunday, I am going to give the three of us a new scripture to meditate on throughout our week.  I thought the best place to start are the areas we are struggling with.  We've decided to repeat our scriptures each morning and evening.  Holding each other accountable will be an added bonus!

This week at our Operation Word Camp, I will be focusing on my stress level through my divorce not effecting my attitude at home, Hanna will be learning to accept instruction/correction and poor Richie will be learning to stop whining/complaining! 

Maybe this idea can also help you fight off a little growing steam and get to the heart of the issue!

Our Memory Verses:

"A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps his under control."
~Proverbs 29:11

"Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise."
~Proverbs 19:20

"Do everything without complaining or arguing."
~Philippians 2:14

Friday, February 4, 2011

An Attribute A Day

If you list the attributes of God throughout the bible, you will discover the most amazing qualities.  I began my unfinished project in 2003 in the book of Psalms.  I only made it through the first 25 chapters and looking over the attributes today, is an encouragement way beyond the words written within my notebook.

I want to pick up from the very beginning, but this time, share the venture with my children.  I purchased 2 extra notebooks and look forward to the time we will spend jotting down an attribute or two each day. This will be the beginning of a well written list to recall in the years to come.  I look forward watching my children grow as they discover many new qualities of their loving and faithful father.

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither."
~Psalm 1:3