Tag Archives: teachable

Sad heart

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So, I’ve posted before on the mixed feelings I have about facebook. Suffice it to say we have a love/hate relationship. While I enjoy and appreciate perusing through pictures of friends of mine with their families, celebrations such as graduation, weddings, birthdays and the like, I do not enjoy all the bragocious, mean-spirited, derogatory postings. Long before internet was around, I vividly remember a conversation between my Mom and me in our kitchen. This was back in the days of hand-written communication. My Mom was cautioning me about being careful what I put in writing because once it’s out there, it’s there forever. I was a big letter writer and while I cannot recall the issue for the conversation, her point was well taken. All the more her wisdom is applicable in the age of email, facebook, and all the rest.

Imagine my angst this morning as I’m quickly scrolling through the posts on our town’s facebook page when I came across someone claiming to be agnostic. His post was asking if there were any others like him in our town. Upon reading the initial post, my heart was sad for someone who seemingly is lost and doesn’t know my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I don’t know the gentleman who stated his claim, but my heart was heavy nonetheless. What really stirred me up were the comments made in reply to his post. So many rude, ugly opinions mocking the Lord. I had a knee-jerk reaction to post my thoughts and why I am a believer in Jesus Christ, but thought better of it. While I want to defend my beliefs, I am reminded that the majority of the naysayers are non-believers, acting out of their disbelief. Whatever I may say in defense of my faith isn’t going to convert them, at least not in that (facebook) setting. In fact, any comment I make will most likely only turn them off even more. I concluded that I will list their names and add them to my prayer list asking God to open their eyes to His truth, no longer blinded by disbelief. He may choose to use me in some way at some point in these folks’ lives, or not.

It was then that I was reminded of my kitchen conversation with my Mom all those years ago, cautioning me to be mindful of what I write, say, and how I respond. In whatever form it is communicated, it is out there forever. God’s Word teaches that we should guard our tongues, measure our words, and be aware of the condition of our heart. There is life and death in our words therefore, we should be take seriously what comes out of our mouths.

Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.(Proverbs 18:21, HCSB)

A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. (Luke 6:45, HCSB)

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14, HSCB)

Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.    (Proverbs 16:24, HCSB)

The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27, HCSB)

Obviously, watching what we say (write, text, post), can be a teachable moment with our children. I’m astounded when I see posts, even pictures, that people make (children, young people, and adults too!) which will stay around forever. I often think how mortified I’d be if I saw my mother wear, speak, post, even blog such things; some details are meant to remain private. It is as if these folks are oblivious to the repercussions these postings will have on them, not to mention their own children one day. Our modern day social media doesn’t allow for enough editing, in my opinion. We tend to press “post” before we really realize what we’ve done. With children, even young people, they lack discernment.  Utilize opportunities to teach younger folks how careful we must be to prevent compromising character, even making regrettable mistakes that could very possibly haunt them forever. Philippians 4:8 is an excellent reminder of how to handle ourselves and possibly protect our reputation:

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

a great read!

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Sure, we all have books on a myriad of subjects that we enjoy reading in our spare time. Spare time….Wait, does a Mom have spare time?!

Call me crazy, but within the past year I’d say, I’ve become a reader more than ever before. Well, except for maybe high school and college; even then, I was always on the hunt for the CliffsNotes version. While I’ve always been interested in self-help type books, I often feel overwhelmed or even a certain heaviness after finishing said book. My husband has encouraged me over the years to pick up a good fiction book now and then to help balance my reading. Now, I never really had much time for fiction reading. I suppose I had considered it a waste of time. In my mind, self-improvement reading was reading for a purpose. Since digging for some fiction that might capture my attention, I have changed my opinion and enjoy a few here and there weaved into my reading diet.

As a Mom, I have a library of sorts within the confines of my home on every subject under the sun as it pertains to raising children. Quite honestly, I believe I burned myself out on the subject. Everyone has his or her own opinion on the subject, Christian or non-Christian and frankly, I had my fill of it. Quickly I discovered that there is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting. What works for one parent, may or may not work for the next parent. It was then that I came to the conclusion that I needed to permit myself a hiatus and pick back up on my newfound, yet limited love of fiction.

Recently, however, I discovered a book that has quite challenged me in my role as a Mother. Now, I had a wonderful godly Mother who raised her girls well by training and example. If only she were here to help me through some of the pitfalls of the hardest job on the planet we call parenting, I would be so happy! I have searched for godly women in my life through the years to grant me the wisdom I was searching for as my own Mom is years deceased. I believe one such wise woman was brought across my path via a MOPS meeting. This woman shared principles with us that day which she had learned from a mentor mom herself and consequently employed with her own 3 children. When she shared that she had written a book full of these treasured principles, I was among the first to attain one.

Once I began reading the book, I very quickly read the first 4 or so chapters. Raising  A Temple: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Godly Kids written by Lori Jane Hensley, is chocked full of rich biblical truths to aid in training your child(ren) to become a temple. Much of her writing points back to scripture. She teaches young Moms, or older ones like me, how vital it is to have your own heart right before you can teach your child(ren). One nugget I read pertaining to the Proverbs 31 woman:

We all want to be the Superwoman of Proverbs 31, juggling everything, doing it well, and having everyone singing our praises at the end of the day. As a young woman, I would read that chapter, and if I wasn’t performing at Superwoman status, I would begin to feel like I was not measuring up. A very wise woman told me years ago that the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t accomplish it all at one time. There are many seasons of life, and her accomplishments were over time.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with comparison, as I believe most women do. The Proverbs 31 woman is like THE ultimate woman. I mean really, who can measure up to this woman? Reading Lori’s book helped me to see this seemingly perfect woman in a different light. Sure, she is someone to be admired and esteemed, but as Lori so beautifully stated, she didn’t just become this person all at once, it was over time. Freedom! Perspective is a great thing, isn’t it?

Being a great Mom requires yielding to the calling of motherhood and that taking our children to church every Sunday or having them in Christian school is not nearly enough. We must be intentional. We must saturate our minds with God’s truth daily to renew the mind and strengthen God’s spirit within us. We must call upon Him for wisdom and invest time in prayer with Him both privately and corporately. We must ask God for wisdom and knowledge to understand our role as Mother, to look for opportunities for teachable moments to build character in our children. Ultimately, we are raising temples, not just “good kids”.

Whether you choose to read this particular book, or another on parenting, be sure to seek out God’s wisdom in choosing the right book. Speak to God often to fully realize and understand your purpose as the Mother to the children you were blessed with. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Be the best you can be by consulting daily with the One who created you. Most importantly, have a teachable spirit. He will not disappoint.

 

 

 

 

for the love….no more “WHY?”!

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for the love….no more “WHY?”!

WHY? But whyyyyyyyyyy?”

Has your Little started asking the ever popular, sometimes irritating question that seems to never stop? Mine too! It started on the cusp of him turning three. All the way home from a long 15 hour car trip….

We decided we would try to not be so irritated by this “WHY?” thing. How, you ask? Well, we realized that his little brain was whirling with questions which helped him to learn and absorb all kinds of information. Somehow, the WHY question wasn’t quite so aggravating to us anymore.

Try to imagine yourself as a curious toddler where the world is a new, exciting and sometimes scary place. We’ve all been there, if you’re reading this. Yes, it takes incredible patience to deal BUT, if dealt with correctly, it can spawn all kinds of learning, teachable moments and education for a young mind. So, I try not to shun the WHY any longer and embrace it instead.

Rather than being tempted to pull out your very last strand of hair in anxiety over the big WHY, try to reverse the question to your inquisitive one. This helps them to ponder their own question and encourages their thought process. As I’m writing this, I’m reminding myself of my need to allow my Little to ask questions. It’s healthy.

And, of course, sometimes you just need to reply with “because I said so!” or “ask your Daddy!” or “because God created it that way“. After all, there are times when your own brain is about to cave in if you hear that three letter word one.more.time!

Lastly, sometimes, after a lonnnnnng never-ending day of WHY questions, we just have to reach down, wayyyyyyy down within ourselves and make the deliberate choice to laugh it off. Truly. I need to take my own advice and do this more often, if I’m being honest.

As my husband recently said to me “one day you’re going to look back and wish to hear “WHY?” from him.” I’m willing to bet not, BUT, if I’m being authentic, I’m sure one day down the road, farrrrrrr down the path of life, I just might long to hear his sweet little inquisitive voice in my ear ask “WHY, Mommy” “WHY?” “But WHYYYYYYYYY, Mommy?!”