Wednesday, August 31, 2011

He restores my soul...

My husband saw me reading "A Place of Quiet Rest" and said "What's that?  A place of quiet rest?"  My immediate response was from the old hymn, "There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God."  I hadn't read that in this book but immediately it clicked...that's what this idea of quiet time is all about.  Getting near to the heart of God.
For years I have felt guilt over not having enough quiet time with God, not having ANY quiet time with God, or not even thinking it was THAT important.  In college my excuses were way too busy with classes (I didn't even know what busy was but I sure thought I did!), or I did it when I prepared for Bible Study this week!  In early marriage my excuses were working a new job or being tired.  I was better about it then than in college, but mainly my quiet times were held out of guilt.  After having kids...well that's the perfect excuse for EVERYTHING, right!  :)  But I found myself being more anxious for my quiet times.  Actually looking forward to the quiet :), being able to take my worries to God, and to be restored by Him. 
The past few months my thinking has been really challenged on this subject through many sources, but a big one is this book "A Place of Quiet Rest".
"Wherever God finds you, if you are His child, I believe there is within you something that will never be satisfied with anything less than intimate fellowship with your Creator, Redeemer, and Heavenly Father.  Until you see Him face to face, you will never cease to hunger and thirst to know Him more.  I know that longing deep within my own soul."
These are Demoss' words...but man, they ring true here too.  No matter how much I know ABOUT God, I long to KNOW God.  I long to have fellowship with Him, and I long to communicate with Him day after day.  And at the times in my life when I have had this, when I go to Him honestly and openly, He never fails to restore my soul.  No, he doesn't always fix my problems.  :)  Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes God calms His child.  He restores my soul. 
So our quiet times can come to a place where they aren't done so much out of duty...but out of desire for that time with God.  I'm not there yet.  Oh man, I am SO not there yet.  :)  There are mornings when I do not make it to my Bible and think, I'm just going to have to get there during nap time.  But I feel like I'm on a journey to get there. 
I want my children to see their Mom in the word and think...that's how I've got to start my day.  I want them to see me enjoying my time alone with God.  And I want God to restore me so that I am the best wife, mom, friend, etc that I can be throughout the day. 
Selfish, yes.  Those are all things I want to gain.  I only hope that in the process my communion with God will bless Him too.  But you know what?  I think it will.  :)
"One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple."
Psalm 27: 4

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Prayer Promise

I started reading The Reading Promise a few months ago.  I liked the idea of the book...the premise is this dad and daughter read aloud together every night for years...I think they ended up with EIGHTEEN years or something like that.  While I fully agree that reading to our children is crucial and read to my children pretty much every night, I decided to use that idea to make a "promise" for something that is more important in my eyes.
I've also been reading A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh Demoss.  I highly recommend this book.  It has challenged my thinking on my quiet times like never before.  I want to blog more about this soon but for the sake of this blog post, I want to focus on this "promise" I made to my daughter.  Demoss really emphasizes the need to have your quiet time be first thing in the morning.  I had always thought that it didn't really matter when you did it during your day (and still feel that SOMETIME is better than no time!), but truly now think that beginning my day alone with God is the best time to do it. 
When my five year old started school, I decided to implement this idea very simply with her in something I called The Prayer Promise.  The idea is that we will pray for her day every morning before school.  Very simple, many people do this I realize...but just trying to hold myself accountable to doing that AND establish a pattern for her of beginning her day with prayer.  Now I use promise very loosely because I know that there will be days I will forget (I have already forgotten once).

These are some things I hope she will gain from this:
A daily pattern of beginning her day with prayer
A habit of praying for her teachers and friends
Allowing God to be in control of her day
A greater love of the Lord and communication with Him

These are some things I hope I will gain from this:
A daily pattern of praying for her day and my son's day
Remembering to pray for her teachers and friends
Encourage an open relationship with my daughter where she can express her worries and concerns far, so good.  :)  She seems ready and eager to pray each morning. I hope we can keep it up. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wow, it's been awhile!

It's been quite a while since I wrote on this blog...

Today my oldest started school.  The past couple of days as we have prepared for Kindergarten, I have had many thoughts going through my head.  There are two that I struggle with.  The first is wondering if she will be treasured.  Will they see the precious little girl that I see?  Will they love her like I love her?  Will they value her insights and opinions?  And let's be honest...doesn't every parent wonder and worry over this?  Some more than others, of course.  I don't want to be one of those extreme cases...the hovering mom, the one that the teachers roll their eyes at.  But I also can sympathize with all of those "annoying" parents.  That's how I feel too!  I believe a good teacher treasures each child...loves them for who they are.  However I know (because I've been there!) that it's awfully hard to do that when class sizes are big, time is scarce, and pressures abound.

The second is I don't want her to lose her innocence.  I realize that as kids grow up, it is a blessing when they are exposed to different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. But when that happens too fast, it can have devastating results.  I want to be the one to *explain* some things to her and there are definitely things that I will be fine with her learning about in third grade, but not Kindergarten.  I don't want her to have to learn hard lessons...but I know that's part of growing up.  There are also little things I don't want her to lose.  The way she says some words that is just so HER but not necessarily the right way to say them, the way she makes up her own words sometimes, the way she lives in pretend world 90 percent of the time.  I know those things will probably change this year too.  But I hope they don't go away completely. 

Letting go is hard.  But I don't know how I'd do it if I didn't have the security of knowing that God is with her.  Because while I do "let her go" and she stays in Kindergarten without me, I know she's not staying there alone.  I've told her at any time during the day if she is scared or lonely, she knows God is with her and she can say a prayer.  And I know that I can give her the best thing I can give her by praying for her. 

So...if you are reading as one of those moms (or dads) that is "letting go" some this aren't alone!  There are lots of us having to let go.  And there is One that never lets go...

Sunday, April 17, 2011


My five year old has been using these Resurrection eggs to learn about/tell the story of the events leading up to the cross and then the cross itself. 

Now that she's five and really into the story, we find ourselves giving her more information than previous years.
For example, our daughter wanted to know really what it meant that Jesus was whipped and beaten.  She wanted to know if there was blood from the crown of thorns.  She wondered how Jesus could carry the cross after He had been hurt so badly.
There are some stories/topics in the Bible that I feel like I have to wait to introduce her to.  But this year, we are going deeper in the story of the crucifixion.  It's important for all of us to know some of these details (even though we will never fully know Jesus' suffering) so that we can grasp as much as we can what He did for us.
That being said, there is a certain amount of age appropriate shielding I still do and feel is important, even from things that are in the Bible.
You could definitely make these eggs or a similiar project (a resurrection tree is a project we've started...I hope we finish!) that would serve the same purpose...I love to hear different ideas people do with their kids to communicate Bible truths.  We got a really cool Resurrection cookie recipe at Bible Study last week.  Anyone have other ideas they use this time of year that you'd like to share? 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's been awhile!

Okay after thinking about this post, I'm gonna rephrase some stuff because I think it sounded a little harsher than I intended...Now it probably just sounds like rambling but at least I put my thoughts down! 

Probably everyone has given up on reading this blog now!  I was a faithful updater for a few weeks at least.  :)  Actually we had some life stuff happened and I needed to wrap my head around a lot of it before I felt like blogging again. That's actually closely related to my topic for today. 

Technology today with Facebook, blogs, Twitter, instant messaging (do people still do that?) reveals much about a person, perhaps too much.  I am all for Facebooking...I love it.  It helps me stay connected to my far away family and friends.  It helps me make plans to meet up with friends!  It helps me take a stand for my God.  But there are some downfalls to Facebook and other social sites. 

Of course there are some safety scares that I'm not going to deal with in this post.  But those are definitely something to be aware of.

But there is also something about revealing personal things that cheapens real relationships and true feelings.  And you can't ever see a person's face or hear their voice on Facebook when they are *talking* about these personal feelings to know how serious they are or how heavy this weighing on them. 

I am not trying to step on any toes, but I know I personally need to really consider the kind of stuff I am allowing people to be part of by posting on Facebook.  If I wouldn't tell people I casually have a sort of friendship with or knew in high school or our kids met and played together on an airplane ride once the info that I am posting, then in my opinion, I shouldn't be posting it.  Because let's face it...that's what many of our "friends" are on Facebook.  Casual acquaintences, people we "sort of" know or met.  At least mine are.

I face a true dilemma in wanting to be honest and revealing too much as I know many of you do too.  I do know a few things...
*I cannot stand the bullying that goes on with high school kids/middle school kids on social networking sites.
*I never want my daughter to be asked out on a date on Facebook.  :)  I say that makes it WAYYY too easy on the boy!
*I don't like my kids being in pictures of people I don't know because then their pics go to other people I don't know, etc.
*I cringe when I read about real things people are going through on Facebook.  My honest thought is that these people are crying out for attention.  But it's hard to tell again, cause you can't hear tone, etc.  And sometimes I get really really worried when I see a status update that is very vague but scary like an obvious cry for help.
*I don't want to find out big news about people I'm close to on Facebook.  I feel like that makes the relationship seem less significant.  Again, this is just my preference. 
*I don't want computer time to ever take away from family time or my time with God.
*I think Facebook CAN be used to request prayers and certainly I pray for things that I wouldn't have known to pray for through Facebook. 
*I think people should be very careful about revealing things about other people on Facebook.  When someone has news to tell and you tell it on Facebook, that is the same as telling all their friends and family before they get to.  I have seen that happen and it's sad!  People should be able to announce their own exciting news (engagements, births, pregnancies, names of children, etc.) and decide for themselves what they want to reveal for all to see.
*There are some things that I flat out feel are too personal for my Facebook/blogs.  Others may choose to put personal info on their blogs.  But there are some things that in protection for my family I choose not to talk about.

What about you?  How do you feel about social networking sites and revealing too much about your family?  Do you think it matters?  Again, these are just my off the top of my head thoughts, and I changed some of the wordings because they did sound a little harsh and in a couple places conveyed something different from what my actual thought was. 
What about protections for your kids?  How do protect them from the *stuff* you don't like on Facebook?
In the end OF COURSE, it's a personal decision you make for yourself and for your own family.  And not one we should judge others for...of course I just admitted I do make judgements when I shouldn't as I think others do too.  It's hard not to when status updates are intended for other people to read but yet not read TOO much into. :)  I think that's my real point, that we are raising a generation that is more "exposed" than ever before and how/should we protect them from that?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I love this song by Laura Story. 

"What if my greatest disappointments or the achings of this life
Are the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?"

I know there are readers out there (some of my dear friends) that have some great disappointments and some real achings of this life.  I hope this song brings you comfort today!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Let it be me instead...

  Last night was the sickest I have ever seen my almost 5 year old daughter.  At the time, I just thought she had a really bad case of strep.  She was diagnosed yesterday afternoon, but during the night was just miserable.  She threw up a total of twenty one times.  She developed a rash on her body that itched her like crazy.  In fact she spent over an hour of last night in a baking soda bath, because that was the only way she could keep from scratching.  She scratched so hard she has bleeding sores now.  About 3 a.m. we knew something more was going on; we just didn't know what.  We almost went to the emergency room, but ended up calling the after hours hotline and holding out until this morning.  We didn't sleep at all. 
  Now we know that she had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin which she was given yesterday afternoon for strep.  She is a much different girl tonight, and my husband and I are thanking God for that.
During the wee hours of the night, I found myself praying and thinking, "I just wish it could be me instead."  I'm sure every parent has this thought.  It is torture to watch your child in pain or sick. 
  Thinking about this today, I feel comforted and so loved to know that this is how our Lord feels when He watches us in pain.  I think my God was feeling that watching my daughter suffer last night.  I also think He feels that way whenever He watches us as adults go through hardships in life.  The Bible tells us that God is near to the brokenhearted.  What a blessing it is to know that even though our pain is sometimes caused by choices we make (and sometimes it isn't), God doesn't like for us to experience pain.  And God is so present during those painful times.
  I also went on to think...this is also how God felt when He watched Jesus tortured.  I cannot imagine the pain of the Father watching His Son endure all that Jesus had to endure.   He knew it was for the good of all of us, He knew this was the plan for salvation...but I wonder if He wanted to say, "STOP!  Let me do it instead..."  There is this Nichole Nordeman song that I love that describes what God may have been thinking during Jesus' torture before and during the cross. 
"My Precious Son, I hear them screaming
I'm watching the face of the enemy beaming...
But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own
Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know.
But this dark hour I must do nothing
Though I've heard Your unbearable cry
The power in Your blood destroys all of the lies
Soon You'll see past their unmerciful eyes
Look there below, see the child
Trembling by her father's side
Now I can tell You why...
She is why You must die"
 The child in that song...that's you.  That's me.  The hurt we feel for our kids...that's the hurt the Father feels for you.  The hurt He felt for His own Son as He watched Jesus endure the cross.   Unlike you and me, He COULD have stopped the whole thing.  Another old song I love reminds us..."He could have called ten thousand angels..."  And He could have.  But He CHOSE to have Jesus endure that pain.  The pain that you and I feel just a shadow of when we watch our own kids go through it.  He chose it for us. 
  If that's isn't love, I don't know what is. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011


When your child makes a mistake, is he/she sad because of the choice made or the consequence given? 
My four year old most of the time seems saddest by the consequence, and this really bothers me.  I was a very sensitive natured child.  I had lots of empathy and compassion for others.  My child has a personality quite different than mine was...she has strong opinions, is a leader, and is big plotter of her grand ideas.  :)  While she has a big heart, I feel like her regret after making a wrong choice is more for the consequence than the behavior, and I'm at a loss for how to stop this!
I think there has to be consequences for bad behavior, however when it becomes all about the consequences (or rewards), we have problems.
Tonight my darling girl said something quite rude to me.  I told her it hurt my feelings.  She said she was sorry but didn't seem bothered by it.  Now since we have been working on this, I decided to take it a little further...I asked how she would feel if I said that to her.  She explained I would NEVER say that to her and it was against the rules cause I am the mommy.  I went on and told her it was against our family rules too.  I went the route of "Do you think God would be pleased with the words you said to me? Was that honoring your mom?"  She said no.  None of this really got to her, so finally I said, "Honey, I know that you are sorry, but sometimes we can't take back hurtful words.  That really hurt me and I don't really like to be around someone who hurts my feelings.  So I think tonight you need to read to yourself instead of me reading, and I want you to think about your words carefully."  Then the world was over and her heart was breaking.  "MOMMY I am SO sorry!"
Perhaps this route was a little harsh, but I feel that we are at a real breaking point here of needing more compassion and empathy.  I didn't read to her and she was a sad little girl.  She wrote in her journal that she did not mean what she said and that she was sorry she said that to her mommy because she loves me.  I feel like that was true remorse, but not sure if it happened because of the consequence or true regret.  In any case, I think it was a step in the right direction.  And don't worry, I reassured her that I forgive her and that I love her, but also told her again that our words can really hurt people.  And that though we can be sorry and be forgiven, we can't take back those words.
What about you?  How do you encourage true remorse in your child?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blessed Assurance...

Jesus is mine!  Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
I grew up going to churches where we sang out of a hymnbook, and many times we sang every verse.  From an early age, I had favorite hymns that I could sing every word of.  Today, many times a passage of Scripture is read (esp from Psalms) and I will sing the rest of it in my head!  :)  I am very thankful for my background in traditional church music.
I also love the more modern worship style...many times using lots of instruments.  In fact, our family goes part of the time to the more traditional service at church and sometimes we go to the more contemporary service.  I love both.  I love how some of the more contemporary songs tend to focus on our feelings to God, how we can express our love to Him.  And it's language like how I talk to God!
But I also love how the more traditional hymns focus on TRUTHS of God, many times using Scripture as the lyrics.  And I want my children to have that background RICH in hymns too.
I remember growing up we'd play Name that Tune a lot in the car where my Dad would whistle a hymn and we would chime in with him when we knew what it was.  We sang a lot as a family in the car. 
Our family does this too, but I've noticed that I tend to play more modern praise music for my kiddos.  My daughter LOVES songs like Mighty To Save, Firm Foundation, and Believe.  But how often do I play traditional hymns for her?  This week I've tried singing some to her...she has loved this and has picked up on them quickly.
So...I'm not a chooser of sides here, and honestly, I don't think it really matters what style you prefer, as long as you are worshipping God the best way you can to bring honor to Him.  BUT...I am going to try to introduce my children to some more hymns because I think they are such a strong foundation to have.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tyranny of the Urgent

I read this article yesterday that really made me think...I actually was referred to it by another blog I read.  Feel free to read it too!  You have to come up with a sign in, but all they ask for is email and password and first name I believe.  It's the Navigators organization website.  Here's the link:
Whether you read it or not, here are some thoughts I had after reading it...
How much do I let the urgent crowd out the important?  "We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important. The problem is that the important task seldom must be done today or even this week. Extra hours of prayer and Bible study, a visit with that nonChristian friend, careful study of an important book: these projects can wait. But the urgent tasks call for instant action—endless demands pressure every hour and day."
I see this happening a lot with me, and my schedule is not nearly as packed as it once was!  The article talks about different ways to fix this problem, focusing on Jesus' example.  Jesus died at a young age, yet was still able to say "I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do."  Why was this?  Because Jesus didn't let the urgent crowd out the important.  He went to God to ask what His work was.  How often do I "forget" or "don't have time to" start my day by asking God to direct my path for the day?  That He would show me what His work was for the day? 
Another thing that I have GOT to decide is that daily time in my Bible must move from important to urgent.  I have been better about this, but there are days when I decide I'm too busy for Bible Study.  If I'm too busy for Bible Study, then I am too busy. And there are days when I have probably overcommited myself.  But most of the time, the real problem isn't that I'm too busy.  It's that my priorities are mixed up.
Daily time in the Word has got to become my priority and I'm determined to make it that way !  Not three days a week, not enough to prepare for Sunday School or Bible Study, but daily Bible Study for the purpose of personal growth. 
How do you keep yourself accountable? 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Teaching and Parenting

One of the wonderful things about being a private lessons teacher is that you get to know your students really well.  Most of my students study with me for quite a few years.  This particular student has been studying with me for six years.  She is very dear to me, not just because she is fun to teach (she's an EXCELLENT flutist) but more because of her sweet heart. 
Those that teach know that sometimes your students' accomplishments are even sweeter than your own.  I have experienced that several times with this student, and always she is so humble.  She has worked hard from the beginning.  I don't have to worry about her not practicing...with lots of students, I have to get pretty tough with practicing "lectures".  :)  Not her.  For Christmas she gave me a card that said "I pray every day for you and your family.  I thank God for you."  What a blessing she is to me!  What a breath of fresh air when sometimes students do not show thankfulness and do not want to work. 
Today her father came from Korea so that tomorrow he can hear her play her Division One solo at contest.  He also came last year when she performed...her mom lives here with the children because of better opportunities, while her father continues to work in Korea.  It is such an honor for me to watch him watch her perform.  I will be there proudly as her teacher, but I don't think my pride can keep compare to his. 
Teaching is many times like parenting... no matter what you teach you are always hoping to shape character and teach "other" lessons while you are teaching your subject matter.  All my students have taught ME something, but this particular, I think she has taught me much more than I could ever hope to teach her.  (But don't tell her that, because I'd like to keep her as a student!  :) )

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Go Baby Go!

My little guy took his first unassisted step today!  His seemed oblivious to my cheering and squealing...content to just sit back down as if to say, "What's all the fuss about?  Crawling is WAY better."  I had forgotten all the new worries that come with know when you walk, inevitably you fall down. 
My little girl is determined to take her training wheels off this Spring when she rides her bike.  I know she will learn and be just fine, but I also know it will probably take some falls to get there.  I took some spills on my bike as a kid and I remember the pain of a busted toe or a skinned knee.  But it's ten times worse to watch your kids go through that pain.
And I know it's just beginning...we'll have many falls.  The falls of friendships, the falls of not making the team...the list goes on and on. 
It's hard to turn your kids loose sometimes and let them have these falls!  Even though that's life, I don't know how my parents did it and I don't know how I will do it.  (And trust me, we are blessed with both sets of parents that still are there for us to lean on and have caught us MANY times when we fall...even as adults.)  I think the only way to do it, is to turn them over to the Lord.
Don't get me wrong...I plan to hold tightly while I can and while it's appropriate.  But when it's time to take these steps to more independence, I'm so thankful I have a Heavenly Father who holds my kiddos in the palm of His hand.  As much as I love them, as much as they are my whole world, I am grateful that He loves them more. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Praying this for myself and my children today!  My four year old learned this verse yesterday and has been practicing saying it, although I haven't put all the words into it yet.  (Left out compassion and humility at first.)  Today we'll put all those words in and see how we do!
More important than her memorizing it, we've been talking about what this means and what it looks like.  I've tried to put it in daily scenarios for her, especially because lately some things she has told me she has said to friends at school don't show that she is clothed in kindness and patience!  I guess progress is that when she came out yesterday she told me that she wore her clothes of kindness except for 2 times.  :)  Any thoughts/ideas on this?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What a beautiful choice

Do you remember that bumper sticker/commercial?
Life:  What a beautiful choice.
I like it.  I think I'd life it better if we could change it to...
Life:  What a beautiful GIFT.
You see, I don't believe that life should be a mother's choice.  But the fact is, in our country it is, at least while that baby is in the womb.  BUT that is another post.  I want to focus tonight on life outside the womb.
Because the fact IS a gift.  A gift from God.  And a gift a mother (and a father) can give to their child.  A gift a mother and father SHOULD give a child.
My small group read Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss this year.  It helped me examine WHY I believe what I believe about many issues.  And it reminded me of this truth....
Women have this amazing gift from God to be life bearers...and what a gift it is!  We also have a gift to be life nurturers.  Choosing life doesn't stop when you choose to give birth to your baby.  We choose and nurture life every day!  We give the gift of life to our children every day when we:
*Cook dinner for our family
*Do another load of laundry. 
*Change another diaper.  :)
*Comfort a sick or sad child.
*Go to the grocery store...again!
*Play legos, dollhouse, cars, read books, and listen to our kids tell about their days.
*Pray for our family.
I would say anytime we make the choice to put our kids' and husbands' needs above our own, we are giving that gift of life.  It's not easy!  But it is good for me to be reminded of this, especially when I get bogged down, because of this matters.  What we are doing makes a difference, even when it feels like it's just everyday, mundane stuff.  It may go unnoticed, there may not be any thank yous...but I believe that God's plan for me is to be that life nurturer.  What a beautiful gift.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not So Royal

My daughter has one of those Wall expressions on her wall that says, 'Princess" in big letters.  Those who know me might be very surprised to hear that if they don't know what the rest of her wall says.  I have this thing with the word Princess.  I cringe when I hear it.  You know what I mean?  I feel like all the kids at school that I ever saw wear a shirt that said Princess or that I ever heard called a Princess tended to act the part.  And I don't mean in a good way.  You know the attitude I'm talking about?  The look at me, I'm the best, and I need all the attention attitude?  The kind of attitude that I want to steer my child as far away from as possible. 
Anyway...I actually love the wall expression (or whatever those things are called!) on my 4 year old's wall because the whole thing reads:  Princess, Daughter of a Heavenly King. 
You see, that's the only way that I want my dear daughter to think of herself as a princess.  Because while she is highly adored by her daddy and I (and many other loving family members!), the truth is:  She is NOT a princess.  She is a little girl who struggles with the same things other 4 year old girls struggle with.  Including and maybe I'd even say ESPECIALLY that princess attitude.  Why is it that some girls have this struggle and others don't?  You moms that have a little girl who tends to be this way know what I mean.  And I have to admit...before I was a mom, I saw it in other kids and thought...What IS that parent doing wrong?  Haha.  And I'd venture to say several people have probably wondered the same thing about me from time to time (or maybe more than that!).  I'm not sure if it's because she innately leans toward craving attention and needing to be in charge (she is strong willed at it's finest) or if it's that she was first born/first grandchild/first niece...first baby in the family for awhile.  Whatever it is, it is a struggle.  And the truth is, it really doesn't matter WHY it's a struggle, it just matters how we are going to help her overcome this struggle. 
There are some choices that parents that have a child with "The Princess Complex" face:  Should they just ignore it, trusting it will work itself out over time?  I think that is very dangerous.  If I did this with mine, she would escalate and escalate UNTIL she had my attention, whatever it took.  I don't think this is the answer.  Should we punish it out of them?  Again, I think this is dangerous AND doesn't work.  If I punished her every single time she showed any trace of this attitude, truthfully she'd be in time out a major portion of the day. Now don't get me wrong...there are many consequences she receives as a result of this attitude.  But I don't think punishing alone gets the message across.  Because the real issue is...a heart issue. 
So what do we do with this?  My husband and I basically have this approach:
-Pray about this issue...take it to God and ask Him to work in her heart on this.
-Pray WITH her...asking God to fill her up with His love and that she would remember her job is to show His love to others.
-Praise her when we see grace shown to others and her knowledge of what is right trumping what she would LIKE to do. 
-Give consequences for inappropriate choices and behavior.  After the consequence, talk about why that behavior happened...what her heart was telling her at that time.
-Talk about til we are blue in the face ways we can show God's love to others, how God has shown us mercy and grace and that we need to do the same for others, and model it! 
A verse I try to use with her is:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
This is hard for her to understand some times but we talk about...if your heart is telling you something that isn't true or isn't right or isn't lovely, then we need to replace it with something that IS true and right and lovely.
These are a few of the approaches we have used.  Some days they work and other days, not so much!  Anybody else raising a princess or prince that might need to be reminded they aren't really royal at times?  :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Using Scripture with my 4 year old

I've tried to be pretty intentional about turning to Scripture throughout the day with my 4 year old.  So at this parenting seminar (that's a more accurate word, it was only 3.5 hrs long) we went to this weekend, one question asked was how much Scripture do you use on a daily basis with your child (Focusing on times outside of a family Bible study and more just throughout the day).  Well for a moment, I felt pretty good.  I felt like hey, I've been really working on this and I'm doing well!  Then all of the sudden, I really started thinking about when I've been opening up the Bible with my child and what verses I've been using. And when it came down to it, most of the times I'm using them are when she's in trouble!  I've been known to open up to Ephesians 6 and quote "Honor your father and mother" and "Children, obey your parents" more than once!  I've talked to her about loving her neighbor as herself and forgiving as our Heavenly Father forgives us.  And while these I felt were appropriate times to remind her of those words, I really could only think of a handful of times I've out of the blue turned to Scripture just to remind her of how much God loves her. 
A few weeks ago, I did do this and it sparked one of the best conversations I have ever had with her.  I talked to her about how God knows how many hairs are on her head, and she said, "Well that's easy.  1!"  After I showed her what ONE hair really looked like, she was much more impressed!  It brought up such good conversation about how God knows us more than anyone and loves us even though He even knows when we have selfish and mean thoughts. 
I want to do this more, to have more conversations that remind her of God's goodness and love to balance out the times I need to tell her about obeying God's Word (especially when she has already disobeyed). 
So what about you?  I'm excited to see that I have some readers, so I'd love to hear what you do?  How do you use Scripture on a daily basis in your home?

First Post

The idea for this blog came with a Facebook post from my Dad.  Well, actually I've thought about this for awhile now, but needed a good title.  I think this title accurately describes what I hope to document.   How I am trying to daily, INTENTIONALLY to raise my children to be not OF this world.  To raise them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength.  How do we live out Deuteronomy 6:  5-9?
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
My husband and I went to a parenting conference this weekend that also sparked some of my thinking on this.  So much encouragement was given.  So many good ideas were shared.  We loved it.  But in the end every family has to find what works for them.  How will we talk about the love of the Lord when we sit at home, walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up? 
I do not write this with answers.  I do not write this even with what works for us.  I write this as this is me trying...and I just want to document what trying looks like.  Some days I fail miserably.  But the desire of my heart, the one thing I want more than anything else, is for my children to know and love the Lord.