School Decisions, Listening to our Kids, Chasing After the Wind, & a Prayer

In the midst of all these school decisions, Lord, fill our souls with your wisdom.-3


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Listening well to my kids is something I’m continually working on.

Not out of guilt, but because I know this time is fleeting, and I want to be present.

I want to look into their eyes and really listen to them.

Because I love them.

In the midst of a million distractions,

I know it is vital that my kids know I’m listening.

I’m working on decluttering things and activities around me

so I can be more focused. More intentional. More connected. With my kids.

I want my daughters and son to know that just as I listen now, I will listen when they’re older.

When I half-listen or brush off their thoughts and questions,

it’s easy to miss the moment.

To miss the connection.

To miss showing my kids that what they’re saying matters to me.

If I’m in the middle of something and can’t listen well, I try to tell them to wait a certain amount of time until I can give them my full attention.

So I can connect with them, and hear and know their hearts.

I obviously fall short sometimes since I’m human, but it is worth it to me to keep pursuing the better way of listening well and loving well.

Let’s listen better to the little things now – to those things that might seem unimportant to us, but are huge to them – not only so they’ll know we care, but also so they’ll know we’ll be listening when they’re older.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life.” Proverbs 21:21


Let’s enjoy the “good”, the simple moments, along the way.

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We cling to the idea of more.

God wants us to be.

We strive for more.

God wants us to be.

We compare.

God wants us to be.

We worry.

God wants us to be.

It’s a chasing after the wind.

Unsatisfying.

The worry, the more, the envy, leave us empty, bitter, dry, wanting more.

If you’re feeling restless and unsettled, Stop. Just be.

Keep your thoughts steadfast on the Lord.

Soak in Jesus’ words:
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13, 14

May we not chase after the wind,
a never-ending feat,
but chase after Jesus,
the Satisfier of our souls,

to have a heart like His,
so we can love like Him,
and transform the world,
starting with our families.


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Giveaway!, Enjoying Our Kids, & When We Don’t Understand Everything

To enter giveaway, comment below and like this post. Extra entries if you share this post. (: Sissy Goff is a Christian counselor and shares so much wisdom about raising girls in her book.

(Giveaway ends Friday, February 7th at 9am. Winner is picked at random. You must live in the continental United States to enter giveaway.)

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Let’s take time to enjoy our kids today – just for who they are. To take joy in them. ❤️

If they’re driving us crazy, to take a break and breathe. To ask the Lord to help us delight in them as He delights in us.

We can all find faults in our kids when we focus on that, just as anyone can find faults in us when they focus on them.

Today, let’s try to focus on what we enjoy about our kids.

A day at a time.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t instill boundaries and consequences. I’m a big believer in having those set up and doing our best to be consistent and following through, but

I also believe that our kids will respond far better when they know we enjoy them.

Lord, help us simply enjoy our kids. Thank you so much for each of them. Help us remember we’re not promised tomorrow so we can relish in the gifts you’ve given us today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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Christmas Idea, En-Joying the Season, & When Our Kids Don’t Act Perfectly

unnamed-3-e1575642564179Create your own Sparkle Box from a shoebox, decorate a box from a craft store, or find the original fold-out Sparkle Box and book at the link below.

Leading up to Christmas, everybody in your family writes ways that each person has loved God and others on notecards and puts them in the gift box.
On Christmas morning, open Jesus’ gift box and read the cards aloud. The Sparkle Box reminds us that loving the Lord and others is the best gift we can give to Jesus.
For the original “Sparkle Box”, go to this link: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/sparkle-box-P005544567
To receive faith & parenting content once a week to your email, subscribe in the right sidebar (If you’re viewing this on a phone, scroll to the bottom to subscribe.)


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Idea to Motivate Helping Out, Fun, & Beautiful Hearted Parenting ❤️

I was so tired of constantly reminding my kids after meals to fill their water bottles up, clear their dishes, and do their jobs, so I came up with this incentive chart.

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It’s worked wonders.

We’ve been doing it several weeks and just about every single meal, all three of them jump up to put their dishes in the dishwasher, fill their water bottles up, and vacuum, wash or clear the table, and help out with whatever other needs there are without being asked.

This is how it works:

  • After a meal, if they fill their water up and put their dishes in the dish washer, they get to “clip up”- move their clip up once. If they forget to, they have to “clip down”- move their clip down once.
  • If they find a need around mealtime and help out without being asked, whether they set the table, wipe the table afterward, sweep or vacuum, they get to “clip up.”
  • I counted by 2’s on the chart and it goes up to 60. Your numbers can signify anything – whatever would be motivating to your child.
  • For us, the numbers on the chart represent minutes for computer time on the weekend. We don’t usually do electronics during the week, so this is a treat for them. The most they can earn on a weekend is an hour. You can do more or less minutes- whatever works for you.

You need to adjust it based on what works for your family, but after doing this two weeks, my son who used to constantly forgot to clear his plate, has been remembering every meal and going above and beyond to help out.

I used to assign a job for each kid such as setting the table, clearing the table, etc., but I like the idea of teaching them to see a need and jumping into help, so this is what we have been doing. We’ll probably go back to assigning jobs at some point, but this is working great right now.

We won’t do this chart forever, but it’s offered wonderful and positive reinforcement to begin good habits that will hopefully carry on.

As humans, I think we all respond well to a little positive reinforcement, and I’d much rather do something like this than nagging reminders or constant consequences.

Give it a try and share it with another mama.

We’re all in this together: raising these little miracles. Thank you, Lord.


 

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Change up the monotony & normal routine for your kiddos.

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Yesterday before school at 6:45am, I threw some towels on the ground and we had a “campfire breakfast by lantern.” 😂

So simple, but the kids loved it. And, simple clean up – I loved that.

It can change the whole mood of the morning by throwing a twist in it. Share some of your fun ideas below.

Let’s bring some fun, silliness, & spontaneity to parenthood. 😊


 

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