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

The Lord Does. Not. Change. & “Godliness With Contentment”

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There are so many changes as we raise our kids. And so many changes in life in general. We’ve spent almost a month in hotels because of moving. This morning, I felt overwhelmed (no dishes and or making beds has been great, but 8-year-old triplets in this tiny space- you can imagine. 😂)

Everything in our lives seems to be changing… a new city, a new house, new friends – everything is just new. It can be exciting, but it can also be a lot.

After living in Atlanta, Guatemala, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and South Carolina over the past 20 years, I sure have seen a lot of change. But, as I prayed this morning, I was comforted by the words the Lord settled into my heart: The Lord. Does. Not. Change.

Wherever you are today, if you feel the floor beneath you slipping or if you are rejoicing, remember that the Lord doesn’t change. He is strong. He is capable. He is.

The Lord is near. The Lord is here. He goes ahead of you. Before you. Beside you. With you. The Lord. Does. Not. Change.

Now, bring on the adventure!


A prayer for you and your family today:

Lord, help us reach “Godliness with contentment” in the small and big things so we can honor you, and so our kids will be more likely to do the same. ❤️ In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Mimicking Our Kids’ Pace This Summer

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My daughter can be sooooo slow getting ready. I found myself getting really frustrated trying to get out the door, and rushing her. Then, I read this verse: “Calmness can lay great errors to rest.” (Eccl. 10:4)

That morning, instead of hollering up to my daughter to hurry up and come downstairs, I went up to see if she needed any help. After trying the former many times, I prefer the latter. We walked downstairs to breakfast in peace.

Before we left for school, we started the process five minutes earlier, so even though she was taking a long time to simply put her shoes on, I didn’t need to rush her.

The words, “Hurry up”, wanted to seep out of my mouth, but I sealed my lips.

And one minute later, she was ready. Our morning was much more peaceful for her, her siblings, and me, because I didn’t rush her.

One minute. It was worth it to bite my tongue.

Believe me, I’m not always that patient, but I sure hope to get better at it. Instead of creating moments of worry and anxiety, I can help create moments of joy and peace.

Instead of depleting those moments, we can add to them by LEADING with peace.

I love this quote from Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” about one pastor’s greatest regret in life:

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.”

Let’s embrace the thousand gifts, tens of thousands, right in front of us, by slowing down, mimicking our kids’ pace, and welcoming His peace.

Let Summer Begin!!!

A Fun Way to Help our Kids Fall Asleep & Giving Consequences

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After giving my daughter a consequence the other day, along with a few minutes to settle down, I made sure to continue speaking to her in a loving way.

I had to rise above my frustration and show my daughter that her actions and response DIDN’T MOVE ME – they didn’t change how I felt about her.

Even though my daughter knew the consequence stood, her defenses lowered when she saw my consistent loving attitude toward her. She went from saying this was “the worst day” to feeling secure enough to move forward pretty quickly. We ended up having an awesome hike twenty minutes after the episode and she said, “Mommy, this did turn out to be the best day.”

My daughter saw that how the day went was her choice.

It definitely doesn’t always turn out like this. And, I don’t always respond this way. But, seeing the fruit from me being the ANCHOR and continuing to SPEAK LOVE into my daughter alongside the consequence, sure made me want to try and do this the next time.


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When my kids can’t sleep, they love for me to tell a story to “start” their dreams. As I leave the room, I tell them to finish their dreams and that I want to hear what happens in the morning.

I just turn whatever pops into my mind that they’d like into a story (it doesn’t take much to entertain kids!). For example: “Once upon a time there were two unicorns who couldn’t fly. They walked down the road together feeling so sad. Suddenly, a tiny mouse popped out from behind a rock. He squeaked, “If you follow me, I’ll take you to the magical land that will give you wings so you can fly high into the sky.”

Then I tell them to finish the story and that I can’t wait to hear about it in the morning. I do this from time to time when they can’t sleep, are frustrated or scared, or if they simply ask me to. Sharing an imaginative story is a fun, sweet way to calm their hearts and bring them into dreamland.

 

Not Saying, “I’m Sorry”, Again and Again

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Many times after falling short with my kids, I’ve wanted to say, “I’m sorry”, over and over again, but I’ve been trying not to. I don’t want my kids to think they need to ask for forgiveness again and again to be forgiven.

Just before Jesus died and rose again, he said, “It is finished.” Not “It is halfway done”, but “It. Is. Finished.” The Lord COMPLETELY forgives us when we ask him to. It’s over. Done. Erased.

By not apologizing over and over to our kids about the same thing, we can SHOW them that once they ask for forgiveness for something, they are also fully forgiven. Period. It’s over. Done. Erased. No need to bring it up again.

The Beauty of Grace & Forgiveness.


An awesome quote to share with our kids:

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