Thoughts from lately:
1. People who do not live according to the truths of God’s word do not get to enjoy the promises of God’s word as much as they could.
Reading Proverbs last month reminds me that then, and now, people are bull-headed by nature and would rather pursue self than God. Lord, make us real seekers of your heart!
2. Negativity, criticism, and judgement: downers. To try to raise a standard is fine. Nit-picking is not okay and is damaging. There is a fine line between the two. What is it?
Raising a standard tries to lift people up and wants the to know truth. Nit-picking just doesn’t like something someone is doing and it is a reactionary impulse that is often hurtful and demeaning. It isn’t intended that way. We just get short with each other. I’ve done both.
Sometimes, we all just reach our limit. Other times we have our own issues that are keeping us from being where we need to be with others. Lord, help us to be gentle with one another, well-balanced, and in step with Your Spirit. Give us grace for one another, perseverance, and steadfastness so that we can deal with each other’s ups and downs.
Reading Galations is reminding me to not return to being a slave of the law, but also to not go back to being a slave to the expectations of others, but to follow You and You alone in obedience. That is where I will walk in peace and know the full fruit of what you have in store.
3. Overwork hurts everyone in the family and it cannot sometimes be helped.
Lord, help us to bear with one another in our weakness, and to pray for one another that we may be healed.
4. Staying ahead of the game helps diffuse stress, makes new problems less large, and keeps a better emotional climate for the home. I’m experiencing this with a cleaning schedule lately and am appreciating these benefits. Today is a much needed day of reflection, rest, and writing. Lord, help us to handle our own loads well so that we are serving one another in love, not in rush, hurry, or frustration. This is a skill I’ve needed. Thank you for beginning to teach me.
5. Thank you for books and online communities when I need to be challenged in what I am doing and get discouraged. It is difficult to be a stay-at-home homemaker. People seem to have the wrong impression of what I do and it is often discouraging in today’s world. Help me to stay faithful to what you are calling me to do today and not to worry about naysayer’s so much. Your favor and blessing are the desire of my heart.
6. Hearing the impulses of God. It seems lately I feel impulses to do things, but I am missing out on the pivotal moment that would have held the most encouragement for the intended party. Lord, remind me of the importance of time with you, worship, and sweetness of your heart so that I more often hit those pivotal moments.
Last day of summer. Time to make new goals. We did reasonably well with some goals, but still struggling with the application of others. Did better at getting help with household chores, which is something that was making me feel grumpy about. Having a balanced mom creates a better home-life for everyone. I wouldn’t say that “If Mom’s not happy, ain’t no one happy”, but I would say that when she is trying to maintain everything in the home for five people for twelve or so hours a day…she needs company, companionship, assistance, and no qualms about it. I used a Melissa and Doug dry erase board and spend my planning period each morning praying, having my devotion, and writing down the things that needed to be done, my chores, and just various house chores. The kids began to learn that to get my blessing to go out or plan other things in the week, that list needed to be accomplished by the group. They’d look at it early to take the jobs they preferred. If they chose to sleep late, they got what was left over. No one seemed to complain about this system. They sort of worked it out for themselves without my ever officially assigning anything. There were times the youngest needed a job assigned they could do, but that’s about it.
I sometimes added a “word of the day” or a “verse of the day”. Sometimes they were just responsible for having a devotion and reporting to me what it was about. I still feel like daily devotions are something I’d like to build a better passion for on their own, but it will just take time, modeling, and reinforcement from other people in their lives.
So, tomorrow starts school for us! How will these systems need to evolve? I’m not sure. I wanted to see today that I wasn’t left cleaning up the summer party on my own when one of mine wants a party here Friday night. Again, a bitter and overworked mom is not a good mom. They’ve helped me unpack luggage, clean shoes, do laundry, cook breakfast, and allowed me time to deal with some billing issues I needed to make calls about. I hope we can find something special to do tonight to celebration the end of Summer Break, even if it’s just family game night. Dad has a late meeting, unfortunately. Late meetings throw us off a bit. He generally brings home evening work at 7:30 as it is. Forcing another hour after not getting home until 8:30 or 9, church the next night, dinner at Grandma’s the next night, and we’ve had like three days of no couple time. I may need to get up early or try to meet him for breakfast to make those days flow better.
I don’t know how to do this stuff. I just know we need to plan ahead to keep from getting stressed, not having supplies, and having things left undone. I learn from another mother that her key was to “just do as much ahead of time as possible”. It’s true! That one phrase is the key. Otherwise, it all snowballs, and our stress level does, too.
It’s been a difficult year in a lot of ways, yet, trying to just keep the main things the main things and trust God with the rest. There is still joy. Some pain in loss, but a lot of joy.
No kids in elementary this year! The clock is ticking to teach the values and disciplines I’d always hoped to teach my kids. I can say that I enjoy my kids. I love their company, their interests, and the time we get to enjoy as a family, even with all the demands to time and schedules and responsibilities.
This time every year I pick up all the books I’ve accumulated on how to pray for my kids, and I begin. I pray for their teachers, I pray for their character. I pray for wisdom. I pray for us as parents. I pray for those who work with them in youth. I pray for political issues that affect them. I pray for their safety. Nothing kicks me into gear like sending my kids to school.
Right now, I have at my feet “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.
Also, “How to Pray for Your Kids” is at my bedside.
My prayer journals for each of them I pull out, read, and sometimes add to.
I’ll write them notes of prayer and hopefully find a scripture for the year for each of them until they are old enough to find one on their own…sometimes it’s the same for all three of them.
I’ll try to create fun times when they return home: favorite treats, favorite suppers, fun time.
And we’ll talk about situations that can come up. Hopefully, they’ll be prepared, feel safe, and equipped. We have no control over their teachers. It’s like putting kids in a daycare and never getting to hire those who care for them. It seems insane sometimes. I trust these people. I trust them with my kid’s time, with their character development, with their education.
So, I pray some more.
Besides that, I get ready for meds that need to be taken to the nurse in case they need a Pepto or Tylenol or allergy tablet (our school supplies NO meds).
I still need to prepare the van with Kleenex for morning commute sneezes (this is very important!!!), extra pencils, Alleve for sore athletes, an extra pen for writing school lunch room checks, some liquids and snacks for “I AM STARVING” moments in the van.
This year, I’ll email teachers more often. Relying on Infinite Campus didn’t work for me last year. Too much is not entered until too late, and by then, there is nothing I can do to hold them accountable to what needs to be the priority each day. I hoped to not have to do this, but nagging, asking, and insisting hasn’t worked so far. I just need information. Then, I know the priorities and whether or not my kids are addressing them. I don’t know any other way to do this without embarrassing the kids. I also need to find out what kids are in class with them so that I know when things are coming up better. How can I use technology to my advantage in this area? Is there a group assignment system so that if one kid doesn’t like keeping an agenda, I could learn with those who do share classes? Would Google Calendar work for this? Maybe. I’ll explore.
Lots to think about, pray about, and just release into God’s hands ultimately. Tomorrow, year ten of schooling my children begins!
A lot of goals this summer:
Trying to work on things with the kids I don’t have time for on the school year.
Not yet meeting physical goals, but trying to get the house gone through.
Playing a lot of tennis with the kids. Taking some lessons myself!
Reading some books on parenting to try to stay motivated.
Tired at the end of every day. Dog tired. 9:30, falling asleep.
How to “together” people stay together, anyway…cause it takes most my time and energy to not be together! Lol.
Grace alone. Pick your priorities and keep walking in the same direction. Pray continually! More grace, Lord!
Just found some great printables for Father’s Day at “iSharePrintables“! Be sure to let them know you appreciate it!
Check out some of their other categories. Looks like a lot of things available for a round punch!
This is the coolest idea for Father’s Day, and I was just looking for something for my Sunday School Class to do to make cards!
Thanks, Clever Someday! Check her blog for a lot of great free .pdf files for punching out words with punches you may have on hand! I downloaded several today!
On Parental Controls and the internet, there is a wide spectrum of views and both of them seem to come out in any online discussion of the topic. The two polars are:
- control what your child sees
- do not entice children with “forbidden fruit”, instead, educate and discuss
There has got to be some room between these two polar situations. I believe in discussing things with my kids, but I am not going to make it freely accessible with no accountability in my home. This is not a Biblical way to parent. God did not just educate people in the Old Testament days about idols, He asked them to smash them, to get rid of them completely. Likewise, God says not just to be wise and responsible with sensuality, but to “flee” from any hint of sexual immorality. We are to keep homes that are safe places for kids, and the internet makes that almost impossible. I merit my parents in trying to help keep me innocent where I needed to be.
One author said wisely, “We, as parents, need to evaluate our children’s environments, both physical and virtual, and provide our children with the tools they need to stay safe while allowing them experience an appropriate amount of life.”
I am searching for ways to help monitor what is going on in my home with the home laptops and kids computers AND ipods that run on our router. There are several ways to do that, and it’s my responsibility to guide in those areas. Proverbs 31 says “She diligently looks over the affairs of her household.” It doesn’t say that she casually sort of gives some overview and them goes on her merry way, having done her job educating.
One youth said on the same article above that if you limit access to certain websites, you are making them the “forbidden fruit”. I do not believe this rings of wisdom, though I hear it often in this discussion.
As parents, we are meant to help provide safe environments for children and youth. Early exposure to pornography that is linked to higher degrees of problems with it later in life, just as those who drink at earlier ages statistically have more problems later in life, the same goes with drug use.
If a child is bound and determined to get around healthy parameters, parents have deeper problems than internet use. If children and youth respect your parenting, they are responding with a heart set toward pleasing God and respecting authority. I would not recommend giving a child or youth unlimited access to the internet with no supervision in the home. It’s just not worth the risk.