Christian


It’s been so sad to not post like I hoped to.  I am still working on the Love Dare with my kids, and I wish I would have done regular updates however it’s been so crazy around here.  I am also doing a study at church on parenting teens (oldest is a pre-teen).  But this study is really for all parents.  Terrific!!!!

One of the thoughts that has struck me while doing both of these things is that, as Christian Parents, we are not to be ‘A’shamed or ‘D’issapointed with our childrens behavior. 

Now here me out if this sounds wrong to you.  God is not disappointed with us.  He disciplines us to get us where he wants us to be but He is never shocked, dissapointed, ashamed, etc!  So if we take on His traits as a Christian, shouldn’t we be the same way?

I always thought that a certain amount of shame, like a Moms look, you know “The Look”, was ok.; we joke about it don’t we?  Really it’s not part of building a child up with unconditional love (agape love).  That doesn’t mean that we won’t discipline a child or let them experience natural consequences, but that there is no shame in screwing up.  And if we all think about it, haven’t we screwed up a time or two ourselves?  So why would we be surprised they do?  Disappointed and shame is just a way of saying I am shocked that you did that cause I never have or would.

Have a “Shockless” Day!

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Yesterday I couldn’t decide if I should go back and try to get missing assignments done or keep going.  I read the days assignment and felt God telling me to do today’s and catch up when I can.  How do I know it was from God?  Because it was hard for me to do it.

The assignment was to have a warm greeting in the morning.  How hard is that?  Well considering my oldest went to bed without even saying goodnight and my little one refuses to use the toilet (this is not a standard bed wetting issue).  I knew that I could get up and greet but do it warmly???

I really tried and it is amazing how much that effort really pays off.  At least for a little while.  My oldest is really struggling in his pre-teen years and is easily set off lately.  I helped him with his math and we were doing great and then he hit a roadblock and that was it for much of the day.  For awhile I was really struggling with my frustration level but God’s peace came over and we just went about our day no matter what he was doing.

My little one seemed to respond with a better gretting.  He is so closed off with his thoughts that you never know.  He is a serious people watcher and doesn’t share much.  I do try to encourage him as he has so many burdens (you can see from his actions) but he isn’t ready. 

Today I am to do a random act for both of them.  I usually make them fold their own laundry because of how they treat it after I fold it, but I did theirs today.  I don’t think they much notice but it changes my heart to do something unexpected with agape love.

Have a “Unconditional Loved” Day!

Yesterday I needed to ask 3 things that I do to irritate the other person.  In this case, my children.  We had company all day so I tried to figure a time for this and really wasn’t able to without it being awkward.  I am going to wait until there is a better time for this one.  And since I am doing both my children I have reduced the request to two each since I don’t wanna be depressed with 6 items about me this is annoying to them.

Today I move on to reacting to challenges in a loving manner.  So far, my oldest had a melt down, in school work, and I didn’t handle it the best.  I get worn out from his quick dissapointment and lack of resilance that I feel annoyed.  I need to work harder on this I see!!!!

I have been assigned to write down a list of areas in which I can add margin in my life (get the book to understand more).  Then I need to list any wrong motivations.  I might need extra paper 🙂

Have a “Work in Progress” Day!

Have you seen the movie Fireproof?  If you haven’t or you haven’t read the Love Dare, let me share a little. 

The movie is based on a couple who is struggling in their marriage.  They are about to divorce when one is encouraged to do things to show love even though they don’t feel like it, for 40 days.

I really enjoyed the movie but the entire time I really wasn’t thinking of my marriage, I must confess.  I am not struggling in this area, right now, although I can always use to work harder.  My thoughts really went to the strainned relationship I have with my adopted son.

I went to purchase the book and have felt the Lord wanting me to use this Lent time to reach out and use this with both my children (my oldest is going through a pre-teen time and thought it can’t hurt). 

Today is Day 1

I am to have patience.  No critical jabs and no nit-picking who knew could be this hard and it’s only 11 am!  I just need to be QUIET!  I didn’t realize, already, how critical I can be.  I see way too much and correct way too much.

I really relate to how he felt that first day he started, in the movie.  I am still mad at some past issues so right now I am just mustering God’s strength to Shut Up!

I feel really good about this God assignment.  I will keep you posted.

Have an “Unconditional Love” Day!

I recently joined a Bible Study at a church that has a homeschooling group.  I figured a little time for them to be around other kids and me to be in a study.  Sounds good!!  Little did I know just how good.

The study I am in is about parenting teens.  My oldest is a pre-teen and I figure I need all the help I can get.  The teacher is Susan Cottrell and her book is ‘The Heart Connected Life.For Parents’.  I can’t even tell you how much I am enjoying this book, but I’ll try.  But first, here is a little bit about her:

I love to write, speak, sing, connect intimately with friends, and I love being with my husband and children. 


Nothing on this little round planet compares with living life on the edge by trusting Him every minute.


My favorite thing is to show people who God is, how much He loves them, and that He can do what He says he can do.

 

I haven’t finished the book but it’s amazing so far.  I know it was self-published, so I am really not sure how easy it is to get but I will put up her info as this book is a wonderful resource!  (I just checked the website, given below, and it’s available on there to order.)

Although it is written for parents with teens in mind, it is good for anyone that wants to connect with God on a heart level instead of a rule level.  You “must” read the tree of knowledge of good/evil.  Then you will see why the “must” is in quotes.   But if you aren’t a parent you will have to understand that this really is about anyone we are in close relationship with.  You can’t change them you have to work on yourself and that starts with a heart for God.

Basically, the book is discussing ways that we need to search our own heart for God’s will for our lives and not the “Christian” List.  And then applied that freedom living to parenting.  It seems so simple but the book really hits home on so many levels.

The sections in the book covers The Heart of Parenting, Whose Journey Is It?, What’s a Parent To Do, and Staying Heart Connected.  In those sections it deals with control, respecting child’s own journey (or others), respect, shame, dating, power of God over law, etc!

A quote, from the book, that echoed in my head today was:

“I have seen my reflection in my children so many times, that now if something is going on in the family, some dynamic, the first thing I look in is the mirror.”

I hope you will find this book.  It is really a great read, but make sure God is wanting it for you first 🙂

www.heartconnectedlife.com

Have a “Heart Connected” Day

For those of you  familiar with this blog you may know that I value volunteering.  So I wanted to share some ideas for this Valentine’s Day:

Singles and Married with no Children – Babysit for those that have young children

Married with Young Children – Help the Single Parents

Married with Older Children – Why not go to a Retirement Home or Widow/Widower

Whatever stage of life you are in see if there is a way to reach out to those around you.  Send a card or flowers to someone, take them out to eat, offer to babysit, send a single mom for a facial, bake a cake for a neighbor, throw a party for kids in a homeless shelter.  Ask around.  There are lots of people in need right now.  I bet it won’t be hard to find out who to help.  And you know what, you will have a heart full of flowers instead of a vase 🙂

Have a “Helping” Day!

Every Christmas we watch Jingle all the Way.  The movie starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.  In case you don’t have the tradition of watching this every year I will let you know that he is on a hunt for a toy that is all sold out.  While he is out trying to fight his way through the sea of others who are hunting for the same toy, his neighbor is making the moves on his wife.  in the movie, Arnold’s Character, Howard, (Yes, I know the name!!!) calls his wife and the neighbor answers.  Howard is upset that his neighbor is answering the phone and then, to all horrors, he is eating the cookies that Arnold’s wife had made.  He yells “Put My Cookies Down!!!” to  his neighbor on the phone.

When I went to write this post all I could think of was that movie line.  We love that movie.  It didn’t win any awards, but neither do most of the movies we watch, but that’s another post all together.

But I didn’t want to share our interesting traditions.  What I did want to share with you is that it’s Girl Scout Cookie Time.  No, I don’t have a child selling.  But I recently read that you can “Put Those Cookies Down” and still support the Girl Scouts.  If you want to support two good causes in one, buy the cookies and tell the scout or scout leader to donate them.  It is my understanding that they will donate to a women’s organization or shelter.  How’s that for a double duty?

If you are a Girl Scout Leader and have some info on this, please feel free to leave more info.  Otherwise, contact your little scout that is going to ring your doorbell any minute.

Have a “Non-Fattening” Day!

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