Best Thing You Can Do for Your Kids in 2017

It matters not if your kids are 3, 9, 15, or 26. It matters not if you are the mother, father, grandparent, or foster parent. It isn’t starting a college fund, or reading more, or even spending more time with them – all of these things are good, but not the best.  The number one thing you can do for your kids in 2017 is draw near to God.

holding-hands

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

imitation-6When you draw near to God, and He draws near to you – God enables you to make better decisions.

Parenting is a serious of questions. Should I give birth in a hospital, birthing center, or at home? What do I do when my toddler throws a fit in the store? What do I do when my child is bullied? Should we allow our child to date – ever? How will we ever fund college? How do I relate to my adult child? Those are the important questions – then there are the day to day ones you don’t want to admit you ask – Will eating boogers harm my child? How many days in a row can my child wear his superhero shirt before a well meaning philanthropist gives me a bag of hand-me-down clothes? Why do I feel more like a stalker than a parent while chaperoning a date?

Got questions? God has answers. He will lead you every step of the way as you parent your kiddos.

Isaiah 40:11 says, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” and James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Couple that with Proverbs 2:6 “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Draw near to God and He will guide you and give you wisdom.

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When you draw near to God, and He draws near to you – you will be a better parent. Another verse that says much the same thing as “draw near to God” is John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” When we draw near to God, abide in Him – we bear fruit. Galatians 5:22 -23 tells us what the fruit we bear looks like, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  Notice: 1) The fruit is singular – they are not individual character traits. 2) The fruit is a result and not a goal. We should not try to be more loving, have more joy, learn patience – etc. Instead, we should abide in the vine and the result will be the Holy Spirit living in us – which appears as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to the outside world. 3) The fruit is not for us. Fruit which hangs on the tree too long rots. Fruit is meant so others can be nourished by it and enjoy its sweet taste. Draw near to God and the Holy Spirit will produce fruit in your life that your children will taste and see that God is good. (Psalm 34:8)


father-son-2When you draw near to God and He draws near to you – you will be worthy of imitation.
87% of youth raised in church walk away from the church and from their faith in college and most do not come back. The 13% who stayed strong in their faith all reported having at least one adult – usually a parent – who demonstrated a close relationship with the Lord and discipled them to do likewise.

In The Education of a Child, Rudolf Steiner states, “Most people would ask how a child should behave, but …adults should learn how to behave in front of children, even in words, attitudes, and thoughts. . We must have and live the thoughts that we feel could and should live in the child.”

The apostle Paul  believed in the importance of Imitation as well. He wrote in I Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

If we want our kids to draw near to God, we must do so first.

The best thing you can do this year for your kids is to put God first yourself. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you – in 2017.

 

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Thanks, Evil Queen

The book, Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour by Susan Perrow asks the question, “Could truths contained in the rich realm of story reach children more directly, and in a way more in tune with their innate imaginative capacities?” I can firmly say, “Yes!” – and sometimes itś from the least likely story and character!

kymee-6I do not fully understand how such a beautiful sweet little girl can struggle with such strong feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Rose has been adored and uplifted her entire life – by countless friends and family members who love her – she often complains that “no one loves her.” These feeling of being unlovable are exaggerated when those closest to her pay attention to anyone but her.

I told a little girl she had beautiful curly hair. Rose cried, “You don’t love me. You don’t think I’m beautiful.”

“You hate me – you are holding the baby and not me.”

“It is a horrible day – you love the dog more than me – he is always on your lap.”

I was singing praise and worship songs as I drove through traffic. Rose began screaming and crying uncontrollably. I finally got her to calm down enough to tell me what was wrong – “You love Jesus more than me!” she stated through her tears.

I am at a loss. I have no idea how to deal with this issue. I cannot reassure Rose of my love enough. I cannot stop loving others, complimenting others, or singing praises to God because of her insecurities.  I’ve been praying about how to deal with this egocentric need for love and affirmation.

Enter -stage left – Snow White’s stepmother – the Evil Queen.

stepmother-2

After a year had passed the King took to himself another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that anyone else should surpass her in beauty. She had a wonderful looking-glass, and when she stood in front of it and looked at herself in it, and said—

“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall,

Who in this land is the fairest of all?”

the looking-glass answered—

“Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all!”

Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the looking-glass spoke the truth.

But Snow-white was growing up, and grew more and more beautiful; and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day, and more beautiful than the Queen herself. And once when the Queen asked her looking-glass —

“Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall,

Who in this land is the fairest of all?”

it answered—

“Thou art fairer than all who are here, Lady Queen.”

But more beautiful still is Snow-white, as I ween.”

Then the Queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at Snow-white, her heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much.

Little SnowWhite from Grimm’s Household Tales by Margaret Hunt

Rose’s eyes opened wide – “That’s not nice. She’s not nice.” Then she began to cry – not her uncontrollable meltdown sobs – but a watering trickle that brightening her already blue eyes. “I don’t want to be like her.”

I had expected Rose to relate to Snow White – beautiful, kindhearted, helpful – because that is how I see her. Instead, she was confronted with the self she struggles with.  Since the first step in changing is realizing and admitting you have a problem – I see her self-reflection as a huge breakthrough.

stepmother-1

Tomorrow, I’ll pray where to go from here, but today – I am thanking God for the Evil Queen.

Grace: Mommy Superpower

Mother 10

I just finished reading I Timothy and started II Timothy in my daily Bible reading, when something hit me: Paul, the author, greets his reader the same way in both books.

“Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (I Tim 1: 4)

“May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.” (II Tim 1:2)

So, you know me – I had to research it. Paul literally uses a similar salutation at the beginning of all of his letters, and he ends them almost the same way. I Timothy and II Timothy end by saying, “Grace be with you all.” In the New Testament Paul blesses his readers with grace 26 times, peace 12 times, and mercy merely twice.

I could make light of it and say it was just a common greeting (which it was) – but I think it is more. I don’t think either Paul, or God the Ultimate Author, meant it as nothing but a flippant salutation. In fact, I would venture to say that because it is mentioned so many times – it is an important truth God wants us to grasp. God wants us to live in and live out His grace and peace.

I’d like to look at what it means to be given grace – as a parent.  (In my next blog post, I’ll do the same for peace.)

What is grace?

Simply put – grace is the unmerited favor of God.

Grace is often linked with salvation – salvation being a free gift from God.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Romans 2: 8 – 9)

So often, I stop grace there. God saved me because of His unmerited favor towards me. And that is awesome, and so hard for me to grasp – but it is not the only thing grace does – if it were, Paul would not have needed to tell Christians to have grace – it would have been redundant.

So what does grace mean to me on a day by day basis as a mom?

Mother 51) I am a Mom by the grace of God.

Jacob realized this. (Not that he was a mom – but that his children were given to him through grace)

“And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, ‘Who are these with you?’ Jacob said, ‘The children whom God has graciously given your servant.’” (Gen 33: 5)

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 137: 3)

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

My children are a gift from God to me, given to me not because I did anything to “deserve” them – but because he favored me and wanted to bless me.

Mother 62) Grace replaces my pride

My six year old memorized more Bible verses than anyone else in Sunday School; my four year old could sing the Books of the Bible – both Old and New Testiment; and my teenager went on more mission trips than anyone else in youth group – and of course, that is because I am such an awesome mom! Or maybe, I’m not so awesome –My sixteen year old son wore a speedo to the community pool; my five year old ate a stranger’s sock at the McDonald’s playground; and my four year old screamed so loudly at a local restaurant that we were kicked out for the sanity of the other patrons. Being a mom is my greatest pride – and what keeps me humble.

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Cir 12: 7 – 10)

My very loose translation of these verses: To keep me from having a big head – God gave me children who act childish – to keep my pride in check. I pleaded with the Lord to give me kids who always behaved and were better than their peers at everything, but He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast in my parenting – not because what I have done, but because Christ has given me the power I need to parent. I am content with not being the perfect parent, because when I am unable to deal with messy situations (and parenting is messy) – I allow Christ to “deal” through me – and others can see Christ more clearly.

mother 93) There is grace for my failures

I don’t know about you – but I am hardest on myself in the realm of parenting.

I realize the gravity of the task. I realize I am not supposed to feed my child a donut and chocolate milk for breakfast; I realize I am not supposed to yell at my kid when he puts gum in his hair; I realize that I’m not supposed to promise my child I’ll take her to the park – then get so busy I forget. I realize all the things I am supposed to do and don’t; and the things I’m not supposed to do but do. I realize these things – but sometimes/often I fail.

Sometime, somehow, someone told me it is not ok to fail as a parent – ever. So I beat myself up when I do. I image that my kids will grow up and be in some recovery group saying, “Hi, my name is …”

I cannot forgive myself. Literally – I don’t have the power to forgive myself, God is the only one who bestows forgiveness of sins – through grace, His free, undeserved grace.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

Christ takes my sins as a parent – forgives me, and exchanges my failures with his lavish favor. How incredible is that.


mother 83) Grace is my Mommy Superpower

My main ministry is to my family. God has called me to raise my kids for His glory. With a job – I may work 20, 40 or even more hours per week – but mothering is a 24/7 job. When I have “one of those days” – when the baby wants to do nothing but nurse, the two year old throws his spaghetti noodles on the wall, and the 5 year old just released the hamster from captivity – I dream of someone pointing at me and saying, “You’re fired!”

When Donald Trump is not around, when I can’t hand off the job to Dad, Grandma, or the sitter – God’s grace will give me everything I need to accomplish the task.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (I Cor 15:10)

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

God’s grace gives me the energy I need to hold and sing lullabies to my colicky baby when I’ve had little to no sleep; to clean the vomit after my child snuck into the pantry and ate the whole bag of Oreos; and to hug my screaming 5 year old when she believes she saw an ant at the grocery store.

Grace is my Mommy Superpower.

Imitation: The Sincerest Form of Flattery – Unless it Reveals Your Flaws

 

Cheerleaders

My dad only wished my skirt was this long!

I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen my dad cry. The night I made the high school cheerleading squad was one. He knew how much I’d dreamed of it, how obsessed my practice had been and how I’d babbled for years about being a cheerleader. My sophomore year, my cheerleading coach told me I had to quit debate so I could devote more time to cheer. I cried. Then I quit cheer. It was one of those decisions in life that defines you as a person. Somehow my fifteen year old self knew that my soul would be more satisfied in research and rhetoric than physical excellence and social notoriety.

Thirty (and change) years later, I would still rather feed my mind than my body. I much prefer researching educational philosophies to planting rose bushes. I’d rather read a book than bake bread. Words are my favorite art medium.

Thus the challenge. Rose would rather play on the phone or the computer than do handwork or play outside. It dawned on me that she wants to be like me. She has at least ten good years left before she decides if she wants to be a nerd like me.

All dressed up

Like mother like daughter

Her life and learning revolves around imitation. Joop van Dam in his article Understanding Imitation through a Deeper Look at Human Development wrote, “Imitation lives and moves in the child with these two legs or wings: that which opens to the world inwardly from the body and that which opens to the world in trust…Whenever children have the chance, they will eagerly watch a craftsman at work. They see the blacksmith, for instance, and drink in his gestures, and, later, they will play them out. These work gestures build the body. When a child has the opportunity to do many kinds of work in the first seven years, then she is able to build up her body in differentiated ways. Her body becomes an instrument with all kinds of tones and colors. This is a body the individuality can enter and live in for a lifetime.”

Imitation, according to Waldorf education, is the second law of childhood. It is also Biblical. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”

So, I need to be and do what I want Rose to be and do. I need to remake myself.

climbing tree 2

Maybe we’ll wear more appropriate clothes

I need to get in touch with the me I was before the Debate vs. Cheerleading decision. The me that built Barbie Dream houses on the branches of trees I had climbed. The me that was excited to eat Swanson Chicken Pot Pies because I had a new tin for creating mud pies. The me that ran races with the boys – and won. The me that created swimming holes from beaver dams. The me that spent hours searching river banks for the most beautiful rocks for my collection. I need to play more.

I also need to be a me I’ve never been. I really don’t like “meaningful work.” In fact, I don’t like anything that has the word “work” attached to it. I need to work more.

To work more, I need to:

Repent. God commands us to work, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. “(2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

Change my mindset. Work is not a bad word – in fact God told Adam to work before sin entered the world – which means God saw work as good. We were created to work. Work glories God. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

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Mind-blowing: Rose wants to be like me!

I must be ever mindful that what I do is being seen and imitated by a growing young mind and body. “’Imitation’ is the magic word in the child’s education until the age of nine or ten, when it is gradually replaced by other forms of learning. The child’s habit of imitating us—filled with great trust and equally great expectations—exhorts us to be worthy of that imitation. Not lectures, but meaningful actions meld a ‘brain’ which is capable of thinking meaningful thoughts. Inconsistency has the opposite effect.” (Dr. Helmut von Kügelgen, The Laws of Childhood)

Now that I have been convicted, repented, and am changing my mindset on who I need to be and what I need to do, I must do it. Here’s my game plan for this year:

  1. Have a house cleaning routine. I set this up last fall, but haven’t really worked it. I’m going to be more consistent.
  2. I’ve already began loving to cook. I love the smell of chopping fresh herbs, and garlic and onions sautéing in a skillet. I truly feel happy and fulfilled when I serve a wholesome delicious meal.
  3. This spring, I’m learning to garden. This is a huge leap of faith, as I kill even indoor plants, and gardening is a lot of work (Ugh)
  4. Do more handwork. I am currently hand-making two quilts for my new grandbabies. I actually like this job. There is something so relaxing about feeling the texture of cashmere in your lap, and the melodic rhythm of hand stitching.
  5. This summer, I am going to teach myself to knit – so I can teach Rose next school year.

I’m a little scared – scared of falling back into comfortable patterns, and scared of failure, and mostly scared of not being worthy of Rose’s imitation. But I’m also excited about this new adventure and the changes God is making in me. Don’t think I’ll give up the old, book-loving, research-obsessed, want-to-be-writer, me – I will just save the nerdy me for after Rose goes to bed.

Feel free to ask me how it is going – I need the accountability.

Sing, Sing, Sing and Make Music in Your Home

Sing MomCall it middle age, or menopause – I can’t remember the lyrics to the songs I listened to yesterday on the radio – or the choruses I sang in church last week, or last month or last year. I find myself singing the songs of my childhood. Hymns I sang in Church, Songs from Musicals I was in as a teenager, Folk Songs I sang in elementary school, and songs from my mother’s childhood that we sang together at home.

That got me thinking … the songs I sing with my child today will be the songs she sings in fifty years.

Waldorf promotes singing all day – about everything. Which is just fine by me, because that’s how I’m wired anyway. My older son once wrote a speech making fun of his family – for me he wrote, “My mom lives in a Musical. At any moment in time, she’s likely to break out in song.”

There are countless articles telling why and how to sing in Waldorf schools – how singing engages the soul, gives children a rich vocabulary, enhances reading by opening up the vowels, aids in memorization, and creates a peaceful and joyous environment for learning. I’m not going to repeat all that – I’m going to delve into why it is Biblical to sing.

Sing 7There are over 1150 verses in the Bible which refer to music. Since God wrote the Bible – that means He believes music to be an important element of life.  As Christians our entire life’s purpose is to bring God glory.  Psalm 149:3 – 4 says “Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes pleasure in his people. ” God takes pleasure in our making melodies to Him! Therefore, since we were created to delight God and bring Him glory – and singing makes God happy – we were created to sing and make music.

Music outlasts our time on earth. Music is eternal. Revelation 5: 8 – 10 paints a picture of heaven: “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ’Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’”

God created music as an eternal means of worshiping Him. Therefore, we should sing. So what should we sing about? Everything – Waldorf has this one right.

In the Bible, music was used:

Singing 1

  1. To Wake Up (Psalm 57:8)

One of my earliest memories was my mom opening up my curtains and singing to me to wake me up in the mornings. I’ve modified the tradition, in that I allow my children to sleep as long as their bodies tell them they should – but I cuddle and sing with Rose when she first opens her eyes.

  1. For Teaching (Colossians 3:16)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” In this verse – singing is linked with teaching, disciplining, being thankful and having wisdom.  Singing in such a way overflows from Christ and His Word within you.

  1. To Encourage Others (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Music is uplifting. When we sing we raise the spirits of those around us and bring our children joy.

Singing Mom

  1. To Create Unity (II Chronicles 5:13, 14)

There is a magic that happens when voices blend together and become one. Multiple voices merge into one beautiful harmonious sound. There is a connectedness between each individual singer. Our family is bonded together when we sing and make music together.

  1. To Transition (Matthew 26:30)

Many kids – including mine – don’t do transitions well. Singing helps move from one activity to another. In this verse Jesus moved from Passover Dinner to walking to the Mount of Olives to pray – and the transitional point was Jesus and the disciples singing together.

  1. To Gather Together (Numbers 10: 2 – 3).

We can sing or play an instrument to call our children together for circle or story time – or whenever we want everyone to gather in one place.

singing happy birthday

  1. In Celebration (I Chronicles 13:7-8)

We can sing special songs to prepare and celebrate holidays and birthdays

  1. For Thanksgiving (Psalm 69:30)

Raising kids with a sense of entitlement creates selfish people, who have a hard time getting and keeping a job, are less likely to stay married, and who are personally unsatisfied with life. Singing Praise to God for EVERYTING – who He is and what He’s done – helps children realize that life revolves around God and not themselves. Realizing God is in control and deserves thanks will create more secure, loving children – who realize their true purpose in life. So sing thanks for every new day, and everything within the day.

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  1. For Comfort in times of sadness (Psalm 59:16)

Rose has had a multitude of surgeries – and there is nothing I can do but hold her in my arms and sing songs of comfort to her as she heals. The psalmist knew this as well, as many of his psalms – which are songs – are written about his trials in life.

  1. For Memorization (Psalm 119:172)

“My tongue will sing of your word.” Although singing can and should be used to teach all memory work to kids – it is especially important to memorize scripture. Read Psalm 119 and mark all the benefits of doing so –for example -being blessed, making wise choices, and staying pure. Add scripture verses to your singing repertoire not just songs about the Bible.

Singing Mother 3

  1. MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: As an Expression of Love (Zeph. 3:17)

Our Father God rejoices over us with singing. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” I love to sing over my kids – place their names in silly songs and sweet songs – as well as singing love songs like “You are my Sonshine.” God is our ultimate example of parenthood – and if He sings over us, then by singing over our children we are following His example. Singing over our children demonstrates the character of God to them!

This certainly doesn’t cover all 1150 verses – but it does give us an idea of the importance God places on singing and how we can incorporate it into our home schools. Our kids don’t care if we have perfect pitch – although we can work and improve our voices just as we can work any other muscle in our bodies. God also doesn’t expect perfection (he created you – with or without perfect pitch) – He says in Psalms 100 “Make a joyful noise,” He doesn’t say “Only sing to Me if you were a music major in college.” He created you to sing – so don’t be shy – start singing!

I lay my Idols, my Children, at Your Feet

“I’m a Homeschool Mom.” That’s my normal response when ask to tell about myself.

“My kids mean more to me than anything.” I’ve found myself saying this time and time again.

“Look at me. I’m a great Mom.” This is the one I’d never say out loud – but it’s always in the back of my mind.
Idol 9

About a year ago, God convicted me that my children had become my idols.  John Piper defines an idol as “the thing loved or the person loved more than God, wanted more than God, desired more than God, treasured more than God, enjoyed more than God.” I’m a Christian, so I would never outwardly admit that my kids came before God. In fact, I didn’t even realize it on an intellectual level. But the Holy Spirit convicted me that I had done just that.

My Identity

I’m Mom. That’s who I am.

NO! A hundred times NO!

Being a mom is what I do, my position in life – not my identity. God revealed to me that my identity lies in Christ, and in who God says I am – not in the fact that I am a mom.

I am God’s creation – His masterpiece:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Ps 139:14

I am the adopted daughter of the King of Kings:

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

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption as daughters (to sonship). And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Rom. 8:1 

I am a disciple of Christ:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Idols 4My identity lies in God and He graciously has given me children to minister to. But, how do I carry that out?

1) Repeat of the stinkin’ thinkin’.

2) Keeping the thought in the front of my mind. Whenever the thought pops into my head, “I am Mom”– I replace that thought with a Bible verse about who I really am. “I am a disciple of Christ.”  Hopefully soon, I will start thinking the truth instead of having to replace the lie.

2) I serve my kids for the purpose of fulfilling God’s desire for my life.

Let’s look at some of the same verses again – but highlight a different part:

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

God created me to be a mom. I know this because He gave me kids. This is the job He has for me to do.  And being a mom is a good job – it is good works. But it is still my work and not my identity.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

I must read and obey (abide) in God’s Word. God promises He will hold me in His arms and He will lead me as I lead my children. I believe He does that mainly through the words of scripture. So as I read the Bible, I am learning how to be the parents He created and planned for me to be.

3) I must choose my words more carefully when asked to tell about myself. Instead of saying, “I am a homeschool mom.” I could say. “I homeschool my kids.” I don’t know – what are your thoughts on this one?

My Self-Worth

I am now going to admit to you what I believe most mom’s feel, but no one wants to say out loud: my self-worth is wrapped up in how my children behave. If my kids are polite, intelligent, talented, and charming, then I am a good mom – I am a good person – I have done something right. On the other hand, when my toddler throws a fit in the grocery store, or my teen starts smoking– I am a bad mom – I am a bad person – I am a failure. And let’s be honest, as homeschoolers we have even more pressure because we can’t blame our kid’s bad behavior on their peers or the school system. I think we feel this shame even more because we are our children’s greatest influence.

Can we all admit, when we take a minute to think about it – my self-worth is an awfully big burden for a 3, 10 or 17 year old to carry? God has bigger shoulders – my worth is better resting on them. He says:

I am precious and worthy of being loved:

You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, Is. 43:4a

I am God’s holy possession – His treasure, His crown:

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession. Deut. 14:2

You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem (crown) in the hand of your God. Is 62:3 NASB

God takes delight in me (that means He likes me – even when my kids are acting up!):

For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.  Psalm 149:4

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147:11

My worth does not depend on my children’s behavior. FREEDOM!

Idols 3So how then should I act?

1) Repent.

2) Replace the stinkin’ thinkin’ in my mind. Memorize at least one of these verses and tell myself it whenever the old dude in the cowboy hat says something like, “If that was my kid I’d take him out back and beat the tar out of ‘em.” Grow a tougher skin and ask God to allow me to display the fruit of the Spirit both to my child and to those who judge me because of my child.

3) Don’t act, react, or punish because of what others around me think I should do – or what I think they think I should do. Ask God for a double dose of wisdom whenever dealing with behavior challenges in public. Parent as God parents me.

I need to love my kids – even when they are acting unlovable:

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. I Corinthians 13: 4 – 5

  • I will be patient with my child
  • I will be kind to my child
  • I will not shame, humiliate, belittle or dishonor my child
  • I will not act because of how I want others to view me as a parent, but will do what is best for my child
  • I will not become easily angered – I will realize my child has childish behavior because she is a child
  • I won’t bring up the last time she acted up – it has already been dealt with and is in the past

idols 6I have a five year old who has melt-downs in public. Sometimes these meltdowns last for a long time. We have even been kicked out of a restaurant. People often excuse this behavior in 2 or 3 year old – but now she’s five, and tall at that. I feel the stares. I hear the ugly comments people make under their breath. I am embarrassed. People don’t realize she has special needs and sensory issues – they only see the surface behavior.

I am learning to – ignore those around me and focus on my daughter. I take a deep breath and stay calm, even when my stomach is in knots and I feel like throwing up.  I force myself to speak calmly and quietly – which is against my nature at such a time.  But it sometimes helps her to control her emotions. I’ve found that if I get upset, yell, or spank she becomes more uncontrollable. If the situation demands it, I remove her from the public’s eye and give her a safe place to melt down. I have left $300 worth of groceries in a cart to take her to the car – only to have to come back and re-shop at a later time. I believe this has helped Rose. It has also helped me by removing me from staring eyes.

4) I remind myself that God gave me this daughter, and He will give me everything I need to take care of her. He has also shown me His love in the midst of trauma, and I am no longer dependent on others to confirm my worth as a mother or as a person.

My Pride

This is the hardest for me to talk about, because this is my Achilles heel of parenting – and sin. I have an innate desire for recognition. I want others to see what a good parent I am.

My older kids are amazing. They love God. They love others. They do amazing things. I want others to recognize that they are that way because I was an awesome parent. I homeschooled them. I taught them about Jesus.

I adopted two hard to place children – one teenager and one medical/special needs infant. I love it when people tell me I’m a saint. I crave the attention I get when I tell people about all their trauma and people gush at me for being a good mom.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that I have the same sin as Satan! Yes, you heard me right.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!” You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  Isaiah 14:12-14

I wanted people to see me. I wanted to receive the glory that is due only to God and God alone. God gave me children – both by birth and adoption. He made them how they are. They are His, not mine. He simply entrusted me with the task of loving, nurturing, teaching, and training them up. He made them. He gave them their talents and abilities. By grace He called them. He died for them. He saved them. He is using them as they follow Him. To God be the glory – not me. I know many wonderful Christian parents – homeschool parents – whose grown kids are not following after God. It is only by God’s grace that mine are – not because of me.

So how am I living differently now?

1) I repented. I literally fell to the ground and wept over the depravity of my sin. The worst sin there is: the sin of wanting to make myself known and praised – rather than parenting to make God known and praised. God forgave me and gave me a new direction.

idols 1

2) I stopped playing the one-upmanship game. I’ve gotten caught up in the “my kid is smarter” “my kid is more talented” or my personal favorite “my kid loves God more because they’ve memorized more scripture and has been on more mission trips.” Sometimes the game even looks like this, “My kid is a worse nightmare than yours,” (which somehow translates into me thinking I’m a better parent because I have to deal with more crap.) This game swells my head and feeds my pride. When the game starts, I shut my mouth. I’ve failed and opened it – but it’s getting better with practice. I think about encouraging the other moms rather than competing with them.

3) I take my thoughts captive. When I start thinking,”I hope __________ sees what a great parent I am.” I repent again. I ask myself, “How can I use this situation to point ______________to God?”

4) I am more open to learning from others. Everyone has a story and something to teach me. I do not always have to be the teacher. I do not always have to have the last say. I am not the ultimate authority on how to raise godly kids.

5) I pray and thank God constantly for allowing me to parent my particular children. Giving thanks helps me stay focused on the fact that God is in control and deserves the praise and I do not.

6) I pray for humility. The sanguine side of me may always struggle with pride. But the Holy Spirit living in me can overcome my earthly nature.

I want desperately to be used of God – both as a godly parent, and as an example to others of a godly parent. I want to be able to say as Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”  I want to point others to God through my parenting.

God is doing a mighty work in me. I have turned my idols – my children – over to God, and He graciously allows me to serve them. May He always be glorified in my doing so.


idols 22

Illustrations from Books by Gelett Burgess:

Goops and How to Be Them

More Goops and How Not to Be Them: A Manual of Manners for Impolite Infants

The Goop Directory of Juvenile Offenders Famous for their Misdeeds and serving as a Salutary Example for all Virtuous Children

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=goops&go=Go

Biblical Justification for Homeschooling

What is your Biblical justification for homeschooling?

For 24 years I’ve been ask why I homeshool. I can give you a running list of all the reason. The answer I give will depend on the year, which child or children I am currently teaching, and where I am in my own personal growth. But, this is the first time I have ever been asked to back it up Biblically.
Justification love godParenting

Before talking about reasons to homeschool, what is the goal of parenting?

“Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Matthew 5:28-31

If this is the greatest commandment to live by, then it logically follows that the greatest goal of a parent is to teach their children to follow it.

Education

If the goal is to teach my children to love God, and to love others, then our educations choice becomes a question of: What educational method will best enable me to teach my children to love God and love others?

Here’s why I believe homeschooling is the best method of Biblically teaching my kids:

Justification 51) God chose parents to be the primary teachers of their children

Gen 18:19 (Lord speaking of Abraham) For I have chosen[f] him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

Deut 4:1 & 9 And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules[a] that I am teaching you . . . Make them known to your children and your children’s children

Isaiah 38;19the father makes known to the children your faithfulness.

Prov 1:8, Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,

Prov. 4:1Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,and be attentive, that you may gain insight

One of the most common statements I hear from Christians –both homeschoolers, and non-homeschooler alike – is, “You must be called to homeschool.”

I actually believe the opposite to be true. I believe we are all called to teach our children, and we must be “called” to send them into the world.

For example: Moses’ mother “sent” him out – to protect him from death.

Hannah promised Samuel to the Lord’s service before He was even born, then keep her promise to the Lord when she took him to the temple. Bible scholars believe Samuel was approximately 5, or school age, when he arrived to help the priest.

I believe God has mandated the parents are to be the primary teachers, unless God “calls” us to do otherwise.

justification hands2) Homeschooling allows for more time to teach

It takes time to teach a child to love the Lord and others.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The verse says to teach them diligently. Marrian-Webster says diligently means in a manner involving great or constant activity. Constant activity and great involvement takes time.

Teaching them when you talk, sit, walk, lie down, and rise takes time.Justification Love Others

The second greatest commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Homeschooling allows me time to love others in front of my children, to love others with my children and to watch my children love others.

We often stop “academics” to minister to others.

3) Christian homeschooling allows me to teach a singular verses a dualistic Christian worldview.

When I homeschool EVERYTHING I do and every subject I teach has God at its core.

1 Corinthians 15:27  For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.

justification 3Reading

Matthew 4:4 – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

We read because we want to know God and His Word.

Writing

1 John 2:14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

We write so others may know God.

MathJustification

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible

God created the principles that prevail throughout creation, including math. Math is a way of expressing what God has created.  Every time you use math, you are experiencing God sustaining the universe.

Justification ScienceScience

Psalm 111:2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.

Romans 1:20  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Science is defined as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Therefore science is the study of God’s creation.

Historymap

Psalm 78:3-4

Things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Daniel 4:17 to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.

History is taught so our children will see the amazing things God has done, and understand His sovereignty.

I teach my children at home because I want them to know God is the Subject of every subject. I do not want them to become dualistic in their thinking.

Dr. Christian Overman points out, “the outcome of a steady dose of secularism from Kindergarten through 12th grade may not be what you think. My biggest concern about young Christians being indoctrinated into secularism via education is not that they will become atheists. My biggest concern is that they will become dualists. … after a thirteen year dose of secularism (even via the best Christian teachers who would never speak badly of the Bible), a young Christian is most likely to come out the other end as a dyed-in-the-wool dualist, thinking the Bible is relevant to Church life and personal life, but not relevant to business, law, politics, medicine, or driving a bus, because it wasn’t relevant to language arts, history, social studies or sports.” http://darrowmillerandfriends.com/2013/03/11/dualism-hidden-effect-secular-education-christian-children/

jusitification 2

4) Homeschooling allows me to teach my child to think and confront the world where it is at.

When I was a young homeschooler, I heard a veteran homeschool mom speak. She said that her kids would bring their college books home to her so she could go through them and point out what was Biblically inaccurate in them. My first thought was, “You have failed at homeschooling.” I determined then, that when my kids left home they would be able to discern for themselves what was Biblical and what wasn’t.

I want to my children to have a superior grasp of Biblical Theology (after first having a growing passionate relationship with the Lord). I also want them to have an understanding of cultural norms and prevalent philosophy. I then want them to be able to articulate the Biblical truths to the people who live in our current culture.

Ephesians 6:19 Pray also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, (Prayer for my kids)

Two Biblical examples of this are:

Daniel – was a young teen when taken from his Biblical family and land and placed in a secular culture, yet he was able to stand for the truth of God’s word and had a huge impact on the culture in which he was placed.

Paul – In his Mars Hill Sermon, he uses references to the prevalent religions, cultural reference, and logic to prove the existence and need for God.

5) Homeschooling allows me to impact the next generation for Christ.

Judges 2:10 “And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done . . .”

I may offend some here … My generation of Christian parents are failing.

A personal example: Our son just went to a major university in the Bible belt. At college orientation the students broke into small groups of twenty. They talked about diversity. They were ask to identify with a specific religion or belief system to show diversity. THREE students out of twenty said they were Christians. And this is the Bible belt!

Statistical evidence:

  1. 97% students graduating high school are Biblically illiterate
  2. 88% of Christian teenagers are leaving the church by their second year in college
  3. 80% of teens who claim to be “born-again” do not believe in the existence of absolute truth
  4. 63% don’t believe Jesus is the Son of the one true God
  5. 58% believe all faiths teach equally valid truths.
  6. 51% don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead.
  7. 65% don’t believe Satan is a real entity.
  8. 68% don’t believe the Holy Spirit is a real entity
  9. The number one goal of Christian parents for their children is that their children would get a good education. Only half as many parents considered their children’s having a relationship with Jesus Christ as important as their child’s education.

http://electexiles.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/whats-wrong-with-youth-ministry-some-stats-and-a-proposal/)

I homeschool because I want my child to be in the minority. I want my children to be Biblically literate, to go to church, to believe God’s Word is absolute truth, to believe in Jesus as the only Savior and only way to God and heaven.

I homeschool because my number one goal for my kids is that they love God and when that conflicts with academics – God comes first. I remember being incredibly nervous when I dropped my oldest son off at his SAT test. I thought of all the ways I had failed and all the things I should have taught him. I worried he wouldn’t get into college and it would be my fault. Then God spoke to me – one of the few times I have heard Him audibly. God said, “It doesn’t matter if he is CEO of a company or a cashier at McDonalds – He loves me and others.”

schoolThere’s my Biblical justification for homeschooling, but in reality there is NO biblical mandate to homeschool. ALL of these points can be accomplished by purposeful Christian parenting in any educational setting. It’s just easier to accomplish when I have more time with my child, and my child is not exposed to as many unbiblical teaching at an early age. ALL parents are called to disciple their kids to God, and we should encourage one another to do so – no matter what school choice we make.

Now, If only I was ask to back up EVERY major decision and life choice I make Biblically, maybe I would always make wise choices.

Hello Kitty or God … Should Have Been a No-Brainer

Bible JournalingToday I had an “Aha” moment. I was journaling in my Bible and Rose was sitting next to me coloring in a Hello Kitty coloring book.

Rose: What are you drawing, Mommy?

I show her my drawing and read the verse

 Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears.” Ezekiel 3:10

She points to the picture. I read

Me: All God’s Words

Rose: All God’s Words

Me: Receive in your heart

Rose: Receive in your heart

Me: and hear with your ears

Rose: and hear with your ears

She’s so attentive! She loves it when I journal, she wants to know everything I am drawing. She’s so open. She is hearing, and I pray she is receiving God’s words.

Wait for it …. Here’s the “Aha” moment – Why is she coloring Hello Kitty?Bible Journaling 2

So tomorrow, she’s Bible journaling too! I’m going to print off coloring pages that go along with the verses I am journaling. Next paycheck, I’ll order a loose leaf Bible from amazon and I can place all her coloring sheets in her very own Bible journal.

Bible Journaling 3

I’ve wanted to go through Psalms myself again, and God convicted me that it would benefit Rose to go through Psalms with me.

Why would I start in Psalms with a five year old? Don’t people normally start with Bible stories?

My desire is to teach Rose to love God with her heart, mind, soul and strength. To love someone you have to know them.

I believe Psalms teaches who God is – at least it is easier to discern who He is. It also teaches how to respond to the knowledge of who God is – through praise and worship. It provides an example of what a relationship to God looks like – pouring out our heart to God within the confines of understanding His character.

Bible stories are great. We’ll get to them eventually (probably next year). But sometimes when telling a Bible story I tend to focus too much on man and not enough on God.  For example, if I’m telling the story of Noah, I concentrate on what Noah did for God and how he was “righteous in the eyes of God,” instead of focusing on God’s righteousness, His justice, His saving grace, and His sovereignty which are all clearly seen in the story as well. So, it’s easier for me to stay focused on God while studying Psalms.

So if all goes according to schedule (God is likely to redirect me, so this is not set in stone) – This year (Kinder 5) we will focus on Psalms – knowing and loving God. Next year (Kinder 6) we will focus on the gospel. Using “The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name” as a guide.  We’ll read Bible stories showing how they all point to Jesus and from the beginning of time God had a plan to lead us into a relationship with Him.

Those of you who would like to join me on my journey – I will be opening a new tab on my blog titled “Inner Work.” I’ll be writing an adult Bible studies and a child Bible study, and posting pictures we’ve journaled.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

rogers-neighbordayAs the pastor started a sermon series called, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” I leaned over to my husband and whispered, “He’s probably using ‘”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” – My husband looked at me like I just gave away who won The Voice before we watched the finals on Hulu.

Great sermon, Pastor Troy. I got this. I’ve built my whole life on this verse. This is MY verse. I quote it, I sing it to my kids, and I live it – at least I think I do. I love people in far off lands (by supporting missionaries), I love people who are unlovable (like troubled teens), I love my student (all 20 years of them), I love my church family, I love people in recovery ministry, I love my friends, I love my family. I’ve got a pretty good check list going – if anyone wants to give me a gold star for loving others.

Then he had the audacity to tell us we needed to love our neighbors …. meaning our actual neighbors – the people who live in the houses next to us. I don’t even like my neighbor!

So, we were good “church-ittites” – we did what the pastor said and hung a paper on our front door with the names of our neighbors – with the goal of praying for them and reaching out to them in friendship and love.

I started praying for my neighbor – you know the one I don’t like. How am I supposed to love him? He doesn’t like us any better than we like him. We have built a really tall fence between us – a literal one because he hates our dog – and an emotional one from the hurt and anger we feel towards each other. How am I supposed to just walk over to his house and all the sudden show him love? I even started justifying that I don’t NEED to show him love, because my parents who live with us do. They’re friends. My parents can love him to Jesus.

Yesterday, Rose and I are getting into the car to go see Grandpa at the nursing home. The neighbors come out of the house at the same time. I say, ”Hi.” I’m asked how my parents are. So I tell them my dad just had open heart surgery, and I’m told in return that my neighbor has been very sick as well.

Today is cooking day (hold on – I’ll get to how this relates in a jiffy). Rose and I decide to make something special to take to grandpa. Grandpa loves pie. Grandpa is on a super strict diet, so we research sugar-free pies. We go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients.

Rose asks, “Can we make two?”

“Grandpa only needs one pie, Sweetie.”

“Yes, but we can take one to the neighbor – he’s sick too.”

Pie 2

Today we’re taking our pie to the neighbor. I’m praying God can use a little girl and a pie to tear down walls – I know He’s using them to tear down the one in my heart.

Pie

Take it from Herb: Have Patience

My older kids HATE the Herbert the Snail song which I would sing to them when they were impatient – “Have Patience. Have Patience. Don’t be in such a hurry …” Now I’m singing it to myself.

After reading and watching Helle Heckmann’s work, “Chidhood’s Garden” I was convicted to slow down my life, I just didn’t realize how frustrating it would be.

We go through our morning routine – personal devotions (thank God I didn’t forget this one today!) , breakfast, dishes, chores …

“Time to play outside Rose. Would you like to go to the park today?”

“Yeah!”

“What do you need to do before we can leave?”

“Put my puzzle away. Get dressed.”

Patience 1I’m thinking ten, fifteen minutes max – think again.

Three out of five of my children would throw the block puzzle pieces into the toy box – never to be found again. If I was lucky, one of my five would have put the blocks back in the original case haphazardly and put the case away. Then there’s Rose …

She has to put the puzzle together inside the case.

5 minutes later, she’s done. Or not …

She has done the puzzle – cow picture up – on the window of the case, so when she shuts the case and looks through the window the tractor picture and not the cow picture is showing through the window.

Therefore, she must redo the puzzle.

She dumps it out.

She thinks it through and realizes she must put together the puzzle on the opposite side of the case – away from the window.

10 minutes later (between the thinking and redoing the puzzle) .. she’s done.

Or not … When she closes the case, holds it by it’s handle, and looks through the window.

Sure enough, the cow picture is showing … but it is upside-down!

Patience 5

She opens the case and dumps it.

She sits and stares at it.

10 minutes later, she asks how to do it – No kidding she stared at it for almost 10 minutes without saying a word!

I take a deep breath and tell her – when really I wanted to throw the puzzle pieces into the toy box abyss.

She proudly completes the puzzle so that the cow picture is correctly seen through the case window.

Patience 3

Patience 6

Now time to get dressed.

She picks her clothes and lays them out to look at them (is this normal?).

She decides she wants two pig-tails, so grabs the pack of rubber bands.

Patience 2

Unfortunately there are five colors left on the scrunci pack.

She methodically takes two rubber yellow rubber bands off the pack and lays it on top of her shirt and stands back and looks a while.

She places the yellow bands back on the cardboard holder, and takes two orange off, lays them on her shirt, stands back, contemplates.

Returns the orange and slides the pink off – does the same.

Exchanges pink for red – same old, same old. Puts red back and tries out purple. She finally decides on one yellow and one purple.

This whole process took 20 minutes of my life! I have to admit I sat and watched and was somehow mesmerized by the entire process.

If you’ve been figuring … that’s 45 minutes to put one puzzle away and get dressed before we can head to the park.

I’ve been learning:

  • to sit on my hands – instead of jumping in and doing it myself
  • to bite my tongue – instead of scolding, rushing, or nagging
  • to observe – not instruct
  • to appreciate how God made her – much more meticulous than myself
  • to have patience – we really didn’t need to get to the park at a given time

I also realize that the process she took to get ready taught her valuable lessons …

  • critical thinking and problem solving as she figured out how to put the puzzle in the way she wanted it to go
  • Creativity and self expression in choosing clothes – and Scruncis
  • Self -confidence in being able to do it herself at her own speed

Maybe it was 45 minutes well spent. Maybe I will someday learn to enjoy this slower pace , for now I have Herb in my head singing,  “Have Patience. Have Patience. Don’t be in such a hurry …”