Friday, August 28, 2015

The Navigation of Prepositions

      Although I love the written language, I have so much to learn.  Parts of speech, definitions, root words, and paragraph formation are a few of the fascinations I have about the art of communication.
         This week my children reminded me of the precarious position of prepositions in our exchange of communication.

As a quick reminder a
Preposition is:
that indicates the relationship, 
often spatial, of one word to another. 
For example, “She paused at the gate”; “This tomato is ripe for picking”; and “They talked the matter over head to head.” Some common prepositions
are atbyforfrominintoonto, and with.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

         As our man-child and his precious bride and baby bump (affectionately called, Tad – for Tadpole) said their final good-byes early last Thursday morning, my son murmured in my ear he feared he had disappointed people in his decision to move almost 900 miles away.  My heart broke that he would carry this burden.
         Our youngest would come in from her first week of school saying she was placed in the lower “class” of her fellow ballet class members.  With much sadness she told me she was disappointed with herself.
         The preposition?  In and With!
         Two of our children feeling they had disappointed others, themselves and our family. I wanted to swipe away these feelings from their backs and attack anyone who had made them feel disappointed.
         Moms, I feel disappointed with myself.  I sometimes feel I haven’t done enough, I don’t have it all together, I don’t get it, and sometimes I don’t care.  All are feelings of disappointment with myself for not measuring up.
         Our children are struggling with these same feelings.  Disappointment is an emotion we shouldn’t try to snuff out, ignore or deny.  We have to face the disappointment with them. And sometimes…it hurts…a lot.
         Rather than denounce the emotion we can deal with the preposition.  Is the disappointment WITH the circumstances or dreams and desires they had OR is the disappointment IN themselves?
         Helping our children navigate the prepositions will help them as similar life circumstances approach.  Being honest about the emotion surrounding the disappointment and then determining if they are “disappointed WITH their circumstances” or “IN” them will help them not to be discouraged and not to give up.
         Understanding parts of speech and layers of emotions will help us all as we mature.  Our gift as Mommies is to love them IN their disappointments and WITH their disappointments.

I’ve personalized Galatians 6:9 for my man-child and ballerina: 

“You’re right, “its tough!” but there is a dance before the King and a beautiful place to serve in your future,

you are so close, don’t give up now…”

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In a School Zone? – PRAY

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality." Romans 12:10-13 (NKJV)

There are two school zones in my neighborhood and soon to be a fire station too.   When I read Romans 12:10 I thought about what a special speaker at our church exhorted us to do concerning school zones.  He encouraged us to pray as we go through them.  Look at it as a blessing of time God has ordained for you to talk to Him!  Pray that the influence of Christ would be evident in the school and the kids who are followers of Christ would have boldness to share their faith.  Whether we bring our kids to school at Public, Private, Charter… or Homeschool we all have a wonderful commission or obligation to pray and be effective for the generations around us!

Turn that school-zone into a Prayer-zone!  YEAH!!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Unexpected Surprise From An Unlikely Source

It had been a LOOOOOONG week and my oldest had given me a run for my money...MANY times. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I was worn out and beat down. Sunday, I put on the "I am ok" face as I walked into church. Not wanting to give any details of my week with those I encountered,  so I kept quiet of the challenges my disciple, my son, had given me. I went through the motions of set-up and break-down of my department I serve in, and happened. God whispered to me through a children's ministry worker girl. HE reminded me how HE delights in the details of my life (Psalm 37:23 NLT). 

It was a holy hug given to me by the words spoken over me. Words of affirmation and encouragement. Those words we hear rarely but need desperately. 

She pulled me aside and shared how my son's closing prayer lifted her up. It looked, as though none of the kiddos were paying attention. Wondering if any of them "got it" as my son volunteered to pray and managed to weave in the lesson's verse into it. It brought tears to her eyes and mine as well. I was reminded that our kids see our hearts towards prayer. They watch and learn how we handle scripture. And the seed we plant in their hearts will grow a harvest if we don't give up. After the week I had, the Lord knew I needed that sweet nudge of edification and allowed it to come from a source I wouldn't have guessed. 

Be a mom who encourages other moms. It's a tough job and we need each other. Take a moment to text or email a friend and remind them they will reap a harvest if they don't give up. 

Don't miss those moments the Lord gives you to encourage your parenting. Pause and praise God, with your child listening, for the milestones your child accomplishes. Remember academics and sports are huge but so are spiritual accomplishments!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Being a Mom isn't for Sissys!

It started last week with a subject line…”Car for Sale.”

It concluded with a picture from my friend of her graduated son holding a title to a car in front of what had been my son’s car.

And the following email response from me…

So why does this picture make me want to cry?

Your son gets his first car.  My son moves away.

I¹m VERY happy for you.  I¹m happy for our children to obey.

I¹m praying for you.  Being a mom isn’t for sissys!

It’s been a long week for this momma.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Encouraged in My Home Schooling Journey" by Courtney Hrinik

Nehemiah encouraged me today in my home schooling journey:

"I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land...." 

There are days when I want to quit because it's hard!!! Kids whine and complain and refuse. Some days are more discipline than actual school. I think about "the land" I could be acquiring; all I could be doing if my kids were in"real school".

My prayer today was that I would be devoted to building the wall God has called me too and refuse to "acquire any land". 

I was also encouraged by Nehemiah's response to his enemies who tried to discourage and stop the work. Nehemiah didn't budge. He was just as persistent and consistent. He saw the lies, and he let it stir an even greater determination in him to do the work. 
(Nehemiah 5-6)

Do you feel discouraged in your journey of home schooling with your child? 

Consider spending some quiet time reading through the book of Nehemiah. 

Ask God to allow His voice to be heard and you heart to be softened. 

The Lord promises us....

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Library Books Educate Our Kids & Us Too!

Last week we were at the library, as a family, when I came across a book that intrigued me. I picked up "How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad?" by Jane Yolen, without realizing how powerful it would be. The premise of the story is about a dinosaur  and how he deals with his anger. It gently goes through his inappropriate actions and turns it around to share the correct way to deal with anger. Counting to ten, not throwing things, breathing calmly, says sorry, gives hugs, and soon enough his anger is gone.

This book wound up being my son's favorite library book of the week. Because he could relate to it greatly, but more-so because he could laugh about the naughty behavior and recognize dinosaurs struggle with anger too. It helped us bridge a conversation in a new way. A fun and cute way. A way my child could relate to and enjoy through the process.

Have you ever thought about checking out a book or video from the library dealing with an issue your child is struggling with? With cute and inviting characters depicting it?

Ask the Lord to give you direction on how to approach the struggles your kiddos have. It may just come from a place you never would have guessed :)


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gotta Love the Duggars

Tonight as my kids were tucked in bed, after plopping my feet up, I began to check Facebook. God knew the encouragement I needed and had me stumble upon a blog by Michelle Duggar from the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting." I pray, as you click the link below, you find yourself also uplifted and edified by her wisdom shared. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Playground Lesson #101

The other day my kids were playing on a playground when I had a revelation. My very two-year old daughter, Quinn, is struggling with sharing. Everything is hers. Always saying the word, "NO!" It all comes with the territory of terrible two's that I have been through with the boys in years past. But it is always embarrassing when it comes out in full force out in public!

It had been a long week of crazy in our home, so I figured a playground was a safe, energy-releasing place for my three kiddos to enjoy. Little did I know, but my Quinn, decided the big slide was hers. Giving mean eyes, and little threats to any other child who wanted to play on it too! As soon as another child would come close to it she would chant, "My slide" and scare away the others. Each time I corrected her and made sure to remind my daughter of the importance of sharing. Upon one of her struggles with this, an older gentleman came up and scolded my daughter because his grand-daughter was wanting to slide down. At first I was embarrassed and then bothered that he got so upset  with my two-year old, that I was correcting continuously while he observed it all. 

It made me think. Isn't it so easy to judge other parents as their kids are struggling? Especially on a playground. A public place, where kids regularly test the limits to see if you will really follow through with consequences that are a norm at home. It's easy to wag our finger at another making us feel better about our own. But when we wave our finger in judgement at another, there are three more pointing back in our own direction. It's so much easier to judge others on their parenting than to have to look at our own reflection, right?

3 Lessons learned from this park experience:
1. Don't judge parents, but pray for them when their child struggling. 
    Instead of giving judgmental looks, give a smile letting them know you have been
    there and understand. 

2. Give instruction to your children before you enter the playground. I typically do this when 
    we are still buckled into our seats and all attention can be given. Allow the consequences to be 
    known before they head out to play. In some circles, this is called Pre-Activity.

3. Pray for ministry opportunities to be weaved throughout your day. Ask God to open your eyes 
    to those lessons HE wants to teach you through others you will interact with each day. Allow your 
    heart to be prepared to be HIS hands and feet on the playground, in the school drop off line, or with
    the cashier at the grocery store. 

I realized that if I had prayed that day for my "mission field" my heart might not have felt so offended at the comments made about my daughter in these growing years. My heart would have been softened and open to conversation with those I came into contact with on the playground. 

Is it easy for you to judge others? 

Do you find yourself looking for faults in other mommy's to feel better about your own parenting?

Have you ever thought about your "mission field?" 

Allow Him to use you today for His glory. Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord and He will weave opportunities for grace and love into the lives you interact with each day.