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Encouraging Gratitude & Not Worrying

My article published by For Every Mom, “How to Encourage Gratitude in Our Children”:

img_1392.jpgIsn’t it easy to feel entitled and frustrated when we don’t get our way? How can we combat that attitude with our children and ourselves?

Through Scripture, stories, and praying.

The other day when I walked into my eight-year-old daughter’s bedroom, she was fuming in frustration because “nothing” was going her way.

Her closest friend in school sat just two desks away, yet she spoke about the kid next to her being rude, another kid being mean, and now, for the life of her, she couldn’t get the rubber band around her ponytail just the way she wanted to. A true emergency. I could see smoke coming from her ears. Almost.

I had noticed a trend.

While I want to hear about the bad and good happening in her life, lately, I noticed one complaint after another, blooming grumpiness and ungratefulness.

I sat on my daughter’s bed, tears swelling her eyes. I told her how frustration and anger don’t help, but just make us miserable – to try to focus on giving thanks instead.

But she desperately said, “I can’t help it! I just get so frustrated and mad. I’m so bad at this.”

In that moment, I saw her hurt. I needed to quit preaching and just connect with her.

My mind wandered to Tedd Tripp’s advice at a parenting conference.

He said that when correcting our kids, to get on their level, and let them know that we’re working on the same things – that we are in this together.

So, I looked into her tear-swollen eyes and told her I struggle with the same thing. My daughter looked up at me. She was listening.

I told her that it’s easy for me to complain and pout when I don’t get my way too, but there’s a verse that helps me with that: “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

We had already memorized this verse, so she was familiar with it.

I shared that when my mind jumps to self-pity, I try to thank the Lord for something instead and it changes my mind and heart.

He changes my mind and heart.

I know there is power in telling stories as Jesus did, so I shared a story with my daughter of a woman who also dealt with the issue of giving thanks. Corrie ten Boom.

This is what I told her…

Corrie ten Boom was a woman who loved Jesus. She bravely hid Jews because Hitler was trying to hurt them. And, Corrie was put in a prison camp because of it.

The soldiers took away each person’s belongings, including their Bibles. Miraculously, they never found Corrie’s Bible. Corrie slept on a flea-infested mattress, crammed with several other women, including her sister, Betsie.

Feeling hunger pains and fleas biting them, you would think they complained. But, instead, Betsie told Corrie about a verse that came to her mind.

All those years ago, the same verse we read, they also read: “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

Corrie asked her sister what on earth they could give thanks for. Betsie said she was thankful that the Lord allowed her to be with her sister in the prison camp when they could have been separated. Then, she thanked God for the fleas. Can you believe that?

Corrie told her sister that she could never give thanks for the fleas. But Betsie told Corrie they had to because it’s God’s will to give thanks in all circumstances.

So, they gave thanks for the fleas.

You know what happened because of those fleas? The soldiers wouldn’t come into the barracks where they stayed. Because of that, Corrie and Betsie were able to have Bible studies and share their hope of Jesus during a tough time.

None of that would have happened if the fleas hadn’t been there.

It’s a choice, I told my daughter. It’s a choice to give thanks always. We talked about replacing frustration and anger with this phrase: Thank you, Lord, for _______. 

And, we talked about how we are in this together.

I drew her close and we prayed together. We gave thanks to the Lord and asked him to help us have grateful hearts.

I wiped my daughter’s wet cheeks, hugged her, and gave her some time to herself. After five minutes, she walked out of her room with a smile and joyful heart.

It’s a process for all of us – to walk the higher road of giving thanks always.

To walk the higher road of raising children who choose gratefulness over entitlement.

To walk the higher road of following Jesus.

But when we choose the higher road, we experience the full life that Jesus came to give us.

Originally published by For Every Mom: How to Encourage Gratitude in our Children 


 

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Article Published with Focus on the Family, a Craft, & a Quick Tip. ❤️

Article published with Focus on the Family:

My guest post article on Focus on the Family’s, DalyFocus: Pressing on Through Rejection


A Craft & Teaching Our Kids About Jesus

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It’s so important to talk about Jesus with our kids when they’re little, but it’s also never too late to start. When we share the truth of Jesus with them as they grow up, their foundation will grow stronger. (See activity below to set this truth in their hearts) 

At 6-years-old, our kiddos starting hearing about different religions in their public school. We don’t need to be afraid of them learning and gaining understanding as long as we are also sharing the truth of Jesus with them in our homes (of course every child is different and can handle different things so you need to figure that out for your own kids). 

If we shelter our kids and never talk about the realities of the world, they might be shocked by the world around them when they get older. 

But our children’s foundation will be stronger if we talk about it and share that, “Other kids might believe differently than us, but our family believes in Jesus and he calls us to be a light for him and to love all people.” We tell our kids over and over, if anything makes you feel uncomfortable or if you don’t understand it, tell us and we can talk about it.

This Bible story in Matthew is a great one that echoes the truth about building your foundation on Jesus:

Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the Rock. 

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.’

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:24-29)

*Bring this story to life: Create a tiny house with your kids made of whatever you have around your house: shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, etc. Pour water on a foundation/hill of sand without the house on it. See what happens (we made a hill of dirt bc that’s what we had). Talk about what would’ve happened to the house if it were sitting there when the “rain came.”

Then put the house on a big rock and pour water just on the rock foundation. Talk about what happened to it. The house is fine because it was on a strong rock. It didn’t move. 

When we build our life on Jesus and have faith in him, he is our Rock, he doesn’t move, and we can stand strong in him.

*Daniel 3 is another powerful and exciting story that talks about choosing God and following him no matter what. My kids loved it and it really inspired them.*

{For more on faith & parenting, join me at LinseyDriskill.com}


 A Quick Tip:

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It can be easy to want our kids to meet all our expectations without communicating them to our kids.

But, if we take 10 seconds before arriving somewhere to share our expectations, even if it’s the 10th time, it can make a world of difference.

Let’s be FOR our kids, on their team, and give them the best chance at succeeding.

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…” 2 Peter 5:2

Lord, thank you for the gift of getting to raise our children. Please give us wisdom as we parent. When we are exhausted and at our wits’ end, give us strength and joy in the simple gift of getting to lead our kids, getting to love them, and getting to be with them. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.


 

 

 

A Call to All Mamas & Encouraging Our Children to go Above & Beyond.

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Let’s keep a running list of how our children go ABOVE AND BEYOND this week. Then, at the end of the week, let’s read it to them and celebrate ways they loved others well to encourage it more.

While it’s disheartening when our children choose selfishness and arguing, isn’t it so refreshing when they choose to go above and beyond with love and kindness?

IMG_5962Yesterday, my son filled up my water bottle for me. It was a small thing, but it was beautiful because I didn’t ask him to. And, this morning, he offered to help his sister make her bed without being asked.

Difficult moments are just natural in parenthood, so when I saw this sweet one, I captured it. My daughter also jumped in to help after seeing him help. His kindness was contagious.

Let’s start with asking our kiddos what they think it means to go above and beyond with loving others and talk about some examples. We can let them know we’ll be on the lookout for those “above and beyond” moments, but that even if we miss some, the Lord doesn’t. He sees it all.

The poor widow is a great story to share on going above and beyond. She gave two small coins – all she had to live on – to the Lord. As Jesus sat across the way watching her, he was so pleased by the love she put into her giving that he actually called his disciples over to him to share the moment with them. (Mark 12:41-44)

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ❤️

Not Trying to Tweak & Change Our Kids

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One of the things I’m working on as my kiddos get older is opening my hands. Not trying to tweak and change them.

It’s so easy to want to control all they do and say, but in the long run, that only creates a wall between us.

But taking time to get to know our kids and be with them – that creates a healthier and closer connection.

Yes, we are to parent and teach our children. To teach them about the Lord, wisdom, and love. That is one of our key responsibilities, but we are not called to control all they do and say.

Lord, please help us with this. Help us to give our kids freedom to be themselves and to not try and control them as they learn about life and following you. Give us wisdom to direct and teach them, but then to know when to take a step back. I pray our children would always choose you. Be with them today and fill their hearts and minds with your love and presence. Thank you for your love for our children and us. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

{The podcast I listened to about this is called the Prodigal Mom by Nancy on “Story Tellers” Live.}


 

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Earrings Giveaway & Faithfully Pursuing the Lord ❤️

fullsizeoutput_8371Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Amanda for winning!


Happy Labor Day! Let’s celebrate with a Giveaway!

If you’d like to enter the giveaway, just comment on this post and you’ll be added. {I’m opening the Giveaway Wednesday to everyone else. It closes Friday, September 6th at 1pm.}

I so appreciate each of you so you’ll have 5 entries just for following my blog. (: And, let me know in the comments if you share this post with friends or on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll add five extra entries for you.

Follow my friend, Lindsay, @CreatedbyLindsay on Instagram, to see her awesome handmade earrings and beautiful barn wood signs. I love the one I have from her hanging in our kitchen.

*Because of shipping, the giveaway is limited to people living in the continental U.S. The earrings are a light grey leather teardrop, about 2.5″.


A piece of encouragement that the Lord keeps reminding me of…

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When things don’t appear to be going well from the world’s eye, remember that the Lord sees differently than people see.

Paul and Silas were locked in chains, and because of that, the jailer, his family and others came to believe in Jesus.

The poor widow gave two small coins – all she had to live on – and the Lord said she gave more than all the others. She was “rich”, but not by a worldly view.

Jesus dying on the cross looked terrible from a worldly perspective, but God used it to redeem those who would believe in Him.

His kingdom is upside-down and not worldly.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18.)

A GREAT tip by Tedd Tripp & a Prayer for Our Kids with School

One of the best tips on disciplining I’ve heard:

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As a new school year begins, let’s lift our kids up in prayer:

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Helping Our Kids With School Jitters & Anxiety / Leading Our Kids by Example

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Those first day school jitters can be tough. And for so many of our kids, those “jitters” come throughout the school year.

In first grade, my daughter went through a time where she didn’t want to go to school for days. Every night at bedtime, she cried and complained of stomach aches. We brought her to the doctor for an x-ray since it had happened so many times and she seemed to be in a lot of pain, but everything checked out perfectly.

We finally realized our daughter was experiencing anxiety. We prayed together and I affirmed her. And, then someone mentioned a practical way to me to help her get through it.

I took my daughter to the store and let her pick out a special stuffed animal. I told her that it would help her get through the anxiety. She walked straight to the grey bunny on the shelf and said, “That’s the one.”

She named her “Peace”.

That night was the first night in a long time my daughter slept in peace. We continued praying for our daughter and reading Scripture with her. And, each night, she held Peace tight.

Anxiety disappeared for about eight months. Then, the stomach aches and tears returned. She didn’t want to go to school again. I held her close and comforted her.

That morning, we packed Peace in her backpack. At school drop-off, she clung to me with tears covering her cheeks. I wanted to take her with me to protect her from those painful feelings.

But I knew my daughter needed to see for herself that she could indeed get through the day and that she would be just fine. Seeing this would help her overcome the anxiety. I told her that the Lord would keep her strong and that Peace would be with her.

My daughter ended up having a great day and was stronger because she learned that she could do it. She later said, “Mommy, my tummy aches are gone!”

Some anxiety does indeed require more serious interventions. But, in my daughter’s situation, encouragement, prayer, and a simple stuffed animal named Peace was just what she needed.

Lord, we pray that you would be with our children as they walk into their schools. Fill them with your peace, your confidence, your presence. Protect them by the power of your name. I pray for their teachers – that you would guide them and give them strength. I pray our kids would be drawn to great friends and that they would be lights for you. I pray that you would replace any anxiety with your peace and that they would get their confidence from you. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus (John 14:27)


 

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Just as Jesus took the time and heart to SHOW us how to love and serve, we get to do the same with our kids.

When John 13 takes place, Jesus knows he is about to endure the cross. In the midst of all the emotions he must have felt, “having LOVED his own who were in the world,” he bent low and washed his disciples’ feet. His disciples didn’t understand why Jesus would take that place of humility and do that.

Jesus told them, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:15, 34