Parenting


He Uses Everything for His Good

He Uses Everything for His Good


Posted By on May 21, 2012 | 0 comments

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Monday's Mom!

I am so thrilled that Kristin Moore is our Monday’s Mom  today. I had the pleasure of teaching with Kristin for a few years, and I know first-hand what a beautiful Godly spirit she exudes! She now has her own photography business called Kristin Moore Photo, and with just one click, you will be captured by her amazing pictures. First, though, read below as she shares honestly how God is working in her life.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.  Romans 8:28

The most important lesson that I learn and re-learn is that God is in control and has a good and perfect plan for our family.  He loves our kids more than we do and the best way for us to love them is to love Him.

I have recently been given the painful privilege of getting to see my desperate need for God.  When things are going well, it is easy for me lose my sense of need for him and to offer up half-hearted thanks for the things that I take for granted, like a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our backs.

We are currently preparing to move from Virginia to North Carolina.  As a part of this process, we have been looking to buy a house and recently found a home that we thought was a perfect fit!  It was in a beautiful location, had a great backyard, the whole thing — and it was in our price range.  We entered into negotiations with the seller, but right as we were about to go under contract another offer came in and we lost the house.  It might sound silly, but this was incredibly difficult for me.  I began to question God, wondering why he allowed this to happen given that we are moving in two months, and there is nothing else on the market and basically no other prospects.

The Lord has graciously used this time of uncertainty to speak to me, drawing out my fears and giving me the opportunity to walk in faith, to trust that He is working all things together for my good.  Underneath the fears and anxieties stemming from the question on the surface–Where are we going to live next year?–lies the deeper soul question–Will God be faithful?

The answer, of course, is overwhelmingly YES!  He has gently and kindly reminded me of all the times He has provided, of all the ways He has been faithful, even when it was hard and I didn’t understand what He was doing.  This time has been less about finding a house and more about learning to really believe in His faithfulness.  To remember that He has always been faithful and will be faithful again.  And that doesn’t mean that He is going to give us a house that is my version of ‘perfect’, but rather that He is going to provide a home that is the best for us, because He knows best.  I have felt so close to the Lord during this season of unknowing; even though the future is uncertain, I am continually learning to be sure of what I hope for and certain of that which I do not see, because God has always been faithful to me.

 

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Dads Have Super Powers

Dads Have Super Powers


Posted By on May 20, 2012 | 0 comments

I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run you will not stumble.  Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.  Proverbs 4:11-13

I know it’s still a few weeks until Father’s Day, but recently I have noticed very real super powers my husband has when it comes to our children.  Just the other day we were planning on working out in the yard for a few hours.  When I told my youngest the whole family would be helping, my son responded with a giddy, “YES!”  Needless to say, I was surprised by his reaction.  Asking him if he was really that excited to do the yard work, he exclaimed, “Yeah!  Because Daddy will be doing it with us!”  Able to excite children with just his presence!

There was a long list of things to do–trimming hedges, gathering branches, mowing the lawn, weed-eating, picking up yard toys, etc….I had commenced working before all the others.  Shortly after, the boys came out to help while Scott finished an important phone call for work.  Our boys love using all the different tools, (and who can blame them!), but they’re not so keen on doing the more mundane work of gathering and moving branches.  So when I asked them to do just that, they basically picked up one branch at a time and slowly dragged it to its destination.  A turtle could have PUSHED those branches faster than my boys were moving!

After his phone call, Scott came out ready to work.  Immediately he called a “family huddle.”  Within minutes, each child was pumped and ready to do exactly what they needed to do.  Oldest was to mow the lawn; middle was to clean out the car; and youngest was to pick up yard toys and then help gather branches.  I watched in awe with my eyes and mouth wide open as all three boys eagerly scattered to complete their tasks.  Able to invigorate a vision with a single “huddle!”

As the day’s time began to pass, and the boys’ excitement started to wane (naturally), grumbling could be heard, “How much longer!  When will this be over!”  It was then that Scott walked directly to each one of them, spent a few minutes working right along side of them, and placed a hand on their shoulder or gave them a big high-five, and expressed what a great job they were doing.  Again, the boys regained their focus and kept working hard.  Able to recharge a mission with encouraging praises!

All this time while the boys had their jobs, Scott and I were wrestling–literally–some overgrown bushes in the front entrance.  Even with a chainsaw, hedge clippers, and sheer human strength, it was a HUGE undertaking.  Without Scott’s strength, it would never have been taken down for the count!  Able to “put the smack down” on a massive web of vines with the power of his strength!

Later that evening, as I was preparing to go grocery shopping, I thanked my husband for all he did to help.  He reiterated my thoughts on how massive the bushes were that we tackled together, but I stopped him mid-sentence.  You see, it wasn’t just his sheer strength of muscle I was thanking him for, but rather his strength in character, and for leading our family that afternoon.  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No!  It’s DAD!  That’s right!

Dads everywhere:  You have super powers!  You have an amazing, God-given gift to be able to lead your families!  Please fight to keep your powers strong. Sometimes you may feel crushed by society’s kryptonite, but know that you have important people who love you, look up to you, and look TO you for your amazing powers.

Dear Lord,
We pray for Dad’s everywhere.  They are fearfully and wonderfully made for your purposes.  Give them your armor in the battle for our families.
Amen. 

 

 

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Actions or Words

Actions or Words


Posted By on May 18, 2012 | 0 comments

I have been reflecting lately on how my actions do or do not reflect Christ to my children.  Based on the responses to my recent article called Humbling the Grumbling, I am thankful to find that I am not alone in this quest.  That’s why I feel compelled to share this amazing poem by Edgar A. Guest called “Sermons We See.”  It really hits home the idea of our actions speaking louder than our words.

Sermons We See

by Edgar A. Guest

I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day,
I’d rather one would walk with me
than merely tell the way;

The eye’s a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but examples always clear;

I soon can learn to do it,
if you’ll let me see it done,
I can watch your hands in action,
your tongue too fast may run;

The lectures you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;

I may not understand
the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.

Lord,
Thank you so much for these reminders along the way.  We want to seek your example for what our actions should look like. 
Amen. 

 

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A Gift I Can’t Repay

A Gift I Can’t Repay


Posted By on May 15, 2012 | 0 comments

This past Sunday was a very special first for me – the first Mother’s Day where I, too, was celebrated as a mom.  With both my husband and my family living close by, we make a point to see both our families for most holidays.  Knowing it would be a busy weekend, our little family of three celebrated my Mother’s Day on Saturday (with a 5K walk for my school, strawberry picking, a yummy dinner at home and strawberry shortcake).  My son and husband also made me a picture gift (Eli is holding the letters to spell MOM – so precious).  It was a sweet, sweet day I know I’ll always cherish.

Then, on Sunday, we visited both our moms.  We took dinner and gifts for each one, hoping to make their day special and show them our appreciation for years of caring for us and loving us well.  This year, because I am a mom, I was a bit more reflective about the holiday than normal.

I’m a gift-giver – it’s one of my love languages.  Regardless of the holiday, I think long and hard about the gift I will give, and try to imagine the receiver’s response when they open it.  I keep a little section in the back of my planner with ideas.  Whenever I hear someone mention something they need, or would like to have, or something they really like that belongs to someone else, I make a note to refer back to when an occasion comes around (or, even better, for no occasion at all).  It’s how I give and receive love.

Last year I got my mom pearl earrings.  The freshwater pearls were beautifully nested in gold rings, and they were perfect for my mom.  I remember thinking that I’d done it.  I’d gotten her a wonderful gift, one that would adequately show my appreciation and “repay her” for all she had done as my mom.

Oh, how naïve I was!  Though my son is only five months old, he has taught me a great deal about motherhood already.  More than anything else, I’ve learned that being a mom requires a great deal of sacrifice.  My needs and desires are secondary to his.  My time is not my own.  This dear, sweet little boy is completely and utterly dependent on me, and my job is to care for him well.  This means getting up for feedings in the middle of the night, when I’m exhausted.  It means missing a nap because he won’t go down, and reading countless children’s books instead of my own.  It means buying onesies and rompers instead of jeans and dresses, diaper bags instead of purses.  It means he eats before I do (and often heating and reheating food).

When I think of these few sacrifices I’ve made for Eli thus far, I am overwhelmed by all my mother did for me.  She has loved me well, sacrificed tremendously, and met my needs and wants with delight.  Oh, how silly to think that pearl earrings (or any other attempt at gift giving) could repay her.  Also, what a joy to realize that her love for me, shown in these sacrifices, never asked to be repaid.  She didn’t love me well for Mother’s Day – for the gifts she might one day receive.  That’s not how a mother’s heart works.

I am reminded that it is the same with God.  Because I am a gift-giver, and tend to be very performance-based, I often think that I need to earn God’s love and good gifts.  And, certainly, I should at least try to “repay” him with my own “gifts”.  I tend to think that if I share the gospel, pray and read my Bible enough, act better and give away more money, that I will somehow compensate God for what he’s done for me.  Again, this is silly.

My gifts to God (or my mom), no matter how good they are, or how well thought out, will never be good enough.   Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect and ultimate – my sacrifices for Eli, even when he is most needy, don’t come close.   God didn’t send his Son to die for us so that we would try to repay him.  He didn’t do it so that we might futilely attempt to compensate with prayer, Bible reading or evangelism.  He did out of his loving heart – he considered it his JOY to give of himself for his children.

This Mother’s Day I was reminded of two things:  to try to imitate God’s sacrificial love to my son, and to be thankful for all He’s done, grateful that I am not required to pay Him back.

By Mary M.

 

 

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Field of Flowers or Cow Patties

Field of Flowers or Cow Patties


Posted By on May 15, 2012 | 1 comment

Okay–I fully admit it!  I am not a domestic diva in any way, shape, or form!

Hmmmm…no lightning struck when I wrote that!

A beautifully clean, tidy house filled with those sweet little touches of family always remind me of a beautiful field of tulips or daffodils.  Everywhere you look there is beauty that takes your breath away.

My house, on the other hand, is more like a rolling hill with cows grazing on it.  Sometimes you see patches of beauty, but then you run into a few cow patties that makes your nose turn up!

I have been reading some really great blogs lately, though, and I’m definitely learning something about my attitude towards housecleaning.  I have always looked at it as that annoying, nonstop distraction that keeps me from doing other things!  However, I would like to thank The Time-Warp Wife for helping me see for the first time that cleaning the house is an important responsibility that comes with being a SAHM, just like making lesson plans and grading papers is an important responsibility that comes with teaching.  My students felt safe and comfortable because they knew I was handling the responsibilities of my job.  I have to ask, though, do my own children feel safe and comfortable, knowing I will handle my responsibilities at home?  It sure makes me think.

For most of my life, I have been an “all or nothing” kind of gal.  Either my house is incredibly spotless–all of it–or it’s a complete wreck–again, all of it.  I don’t want those extremes any more.  I’m learning that rhythm just feeds that Mommy martyr in me of which I am trying to tame.

So, with the help of my Heavenly Father and the great insights, printable schedules, and encouragement at The Time-Warp Wife, I am off to go clean the bedrooms!

Lord,
Thank you for visuals!  Thank you for your loving guidance.  Thank you, that you can bring balance to our lives.
Amen.

 

 

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For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10

As I watch my oldest son transforming into a young man ready to shave, ready to branch out, try new things, and test his boundaries, I can’t help but be flooded with so many questions and worries about what his future will hold.  Lately, I find myself gazing at him, remembering when he was just a tiny baby.

In a heartbeat, I can flashback to when we would read to him on our bed when he was just five months old.  He would lie between his dad and me, and as the pages of Goodnight Moon slowly turned, his brilliant blue eyes would light up the room!  Then like clockwork his legs would start to kick in unison.  With each new page, his excitement grew and then his arms began to quickly wave back and forth.  He looked as if he were trying to jump into the book with the little rabbit.  I can still hear him breathing heavily with eager anticipation for the next picture.  On a few occasions, excitement would overwhelm him and he  eventually broke into fits of crying, because he was too young to know how to rein in his emotions.  We always called this “sensory overload.”  It was then that his dad or I picked him up, held him close, and soothed him, or we gently rubbed his eyebrows until he finally fell asleep.  Either way, one of us was always there to help him.

I’m discovering quickly that his tween/teenage years are quite analogous to the story above.  Instead of each new page, though, it’s each new experience, like skateboarding or surfing, or playing basketball on a new team.  His eyes still light up the room, and my heart can do nothing but smile because it’s so exhilarating to watch him grow.  Instead of kicking his legs as if he’s trying to jump into the book, he’s now running, jumping, swimming, and skating towards each new challenge. Instead of panting with eager anticipation for a new page, he now bellows with excitement, and in his (sometimes) excessive exuberance, he forgets that he needs to remember his manners, abide by the rules, or show love and respect.  I still like to call this “sensory overload,” but with ATTITUDE!  Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as endearing as it was when he was a baby.  However, no matter what, it’s more imperative than ever that his dad and I are there to help him.  Only now instead of trying to sooth him, we must help him learn how to rein in his emotions on his own and how to handle himself with honor and integrity.

People always joke about how children don’t come with owners’ manuals.  I think that’s because we don’t own them.  They are on loan to us from our Heavenly Father, and He wants us looking to HIM for our guidance in His manual–His Word.  Right when I find myself all worked up, just like my son, and in my exuberance forget the most basic truths, I too, am thankful that I have my Father here to help sooth me and show me the way.

Seeking His Will,

Christy

 

 

 

 

 

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