Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mistakes Parents Make!!!

Every morning I start out my day by reading a devotional. I have a great Bible app that has hundreds of them and that is where I got the info for this post. It is a devotional called 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid by Tim Elmore. I thought it had a lot of good information. Some of
it was a reminder and some of it was very convicting. I decided to share what I learned. 

I learned that it is ok for my kids to fail sometimes. It doesn't mean they are not going to be successful adults but failure actually helps them learn to be strong adults. The problem is I don't want my kids to hurt and I want them to be happy all the time. I want them to look back on this part of life with wonderful memories. That is what every parent wants, isn't it? It is, but I learned that my kids need the bad with the good. They need consequences for their actions and if I just keep telling them next time there will be a consequence but don't follow through, I am hurting them not giving them happy wonderful memories. They learn so much through consistency and discipline. 

This next point I see way too often in our society now days. We give our kids what they should be earning. With technology the way it is, kids a getting and getting and getting without doing anything to earn all this visual stimulation. Again, we want our kids to be happy and if Joey next door has the latest and greatest we don't want our kids to be left out or teased for living in the stone age. When they earn a new Ipod, they appreciate it so much more. They value it and take much better care of it. 
There has been a great debate over whether or not to give kids an allowance. I don't think there is any right answer to this debate it just depends on your own family. We give an allowance and it has proven to be a great tool in teaching our kids the value of money. We now have 2 older kids who have more money than we do sometimes in their savings accounts. There are things we buy them but there are things we draw the line and say they need to buy for themselves. It really has taught them so much! We also have our kids do chores around the house. In our family we feel that it is important for everyone to pitch in to help this home run smoothly. We all have a part to play.

Along the same lines as what I have already mentioned, we have a tendency to do things for our kids. Ok, my hand is raised. I do this! I admit it! I have been known to go back over a chore so it is done the way I like. Or when showing them how to do something, before I know it I have done the whole thing and then said "See? That's how it is done." What did they learn? If they step back long enough, mom will do the whole job. Lol! Ugh! Again, I want my kids to be happy, but what am I teaching them by helping them more than they need. So, I have stepped back and let them figure it out on their own. I find now that I look forward to those moment when I can teach them to do something by having them do it on their own. I am growing up too! Lol

Lastly, this really hit me. Do you know how a mother eagle parents her young? It is very interesting and we could learn a lot from her. When her young are first hatched, she lines her 6 foot wide nest with her own feathers to make it super soft. She is nurturing her young. As they grow, she begins to remove her feathers to make her nest become a little less comfy but instead more prickly. It's as if she is saying "Don't get too comfortable here." As they get bigger still, she begins to flap her wings to prepare them for when she starts pushing them to the edge of the nest.                                                                                                                                                                (photo by 

And finally, when she feels they are old enough to go out on their own she pushes them out of the nest and then swoops to catch them over and over again until they learn to fly! I love this picture of parenting! She didn't read any books or blogs on parenting. She just does what God put in her to do by instinct. We should parent in this way! 

No matter how you parent remember one thing. Your child spends about 3000 hours a year with you. Yes, 3000! That is a lot of hours they are learning what we are and what we are not teaching them. Use those precious hours wisely. I know I am going to! 

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, September 11, 2016

In the Pursuit of Happiness!

I am so guilty of trying to live a life in pursuit of happiness. What is discouraging is that I heard that happiness is elusive and if you live your life trying to find it you will often be disappointed. Sigh! What does the world say happiness is? Money, success, material possessions, sex, relationships or the need to be in one.....the list goes on and on. These things can provide happiness for a short time but it is not long term happiness. 

Image result for happinessThen I learned that there is a difference between happiness and joy. I always thought they were one in the same, but I was wrong. The definitions are even similar, but in life they are very different. Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes depending on the situation. Joy is more than a feeling. It is a knowing that even when times are tough, life is still good and we are going to get through. Joy can still be there even if we don't feel happy at that moment. 

My devotional the other day told me that one way to experience joy is to love others as myself. Well, that is not easy. I spent a good part of my life not even liking myself. That wouldn't be nice to treat others the way I treated and talked to myself in my own mind. Ugh! But that changed as I got older. The things I didn't like about myself didn't seem as important and I began to see myself in a new way. This is all because of  God's grace and love. Now I can love others as I do myself, but it still isn't easy. People can be rude, self seeking and down right mean. How do I love them?  I pray and ask for help. I can't do that myself. But I can do it with the help of the one who strengthens me and loves me like no one else could.

God will also protect your joy from being stolen. The Bible says there is an enemy of our souls that seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). One of the first things he tries to steal is our joy. He wants us to be happy in this world but true joy comes from above and he doesn't want us to have that. He wants us to choose this world over God. The world provides moments of happiness and maybe even joy, but only God can provide a joy that never leaves despite the situation. 

I do continue on my pursuit of happiness, but I seek it out much differently than I used to. I look in my Bible and devotions and prayer times for joy and happiness. God has not let me down yet because He is the one who invented joy. Ask Him to show you His true joy and then watch for it. You won't be disappointed!!!  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Throwback Thursday!!!!

I love this photo! Such a sweet face! I did this photo session 3 years ago. This is one of my favorites from that session. She was smiling for mommy. Precious!