GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids – Chapter 4


How To Have a HEART for Your Kids

This chapter was all about releasing our children to God – and that’s quite a chapter.  When we think of releasing our children to God, we think of them all grown, out of the house and beginning their own families.  Mine are still young, all 10 (almost) and under so I don’t need to release them fully just yet but releasing them in light of this chapter means knowing that God has plans for them – they may not be what I have planned – and I need to let them follow God’s plans not mine.

Some quotes that stood out to me in this chapter was:

“These kids we refer to as ours are not ours.  They are His.” page 122  This one is pretty self explanatory as well as pretty profound.  If they aren’t mine then I’ve got a big job ahead of me – I don’t get to drop my children off and let someone else raise them, they are the Lord’s and I’ve been given a brief moment in time to raise them to know Him and follow Him – I am the one who has to not only provide wordly knowledge (talking about math, science, etc) but I have to impart godly knowledge too.  That’s a big order.

“Is happiness really the standard we want to set for our kids?” page 123  I hear so many parents today saying, “I just want my kids to be happy.”  What?  Don’t you want more?  Happiness is the end all and be all of life, I want my children to love, honor and obey God – that will bring true joy – yes there are going to be times that that children can’t have something, there will be heartache – family shunning them because of beliefs, death, sickness – but ultimately they can still keep that joy, not because I strove to make my children happy (if we strive to keep our children happy all the time then beware of the entitlement syndrome that will indeed happen one day to them) but because I showed them that the true joy in life is when your life is given to the Lord, not from the things you receive, it’s from what you give and knowing that the Lord is the comforter that we all need.

There are others that spoke to me – but can I just say that I have to just recognize how blessed by God home schoolers are.  We are blessed that we are able to cultivate our relationships with our children – they aren’t in a school building being told how parents are clueless and bombarded with anti-God sentiment for 8+ hours a day.  I’ve been able to see one of my children so far baptized because of a belief in Jesus that I helped plant and she nourished and He grew that and she chose for herself that she would live for Him.  We can also cultivate relationships with friends and have good, close friends that can flourish.  We can even have the time to cultivate relationships with extended family, if we chose.

As I think of how I’ve slowly been releasing my children to God I think of this past summer when I allowed our oldest to attend College for Kids at the local community college.  She was the only one who is homeschooled, she was poked at for wearing skirts, she also quickly became the teacher’s go-to for help because she listened, respected the teachers and she knew how to defend herself calmly in the light of negativity.  She was able to expand her knowledge in art using different mediums as well as drama to develop more of her artistic side.  Was it hard for me to let her go?  You betcha’ but I also knew that God was watching her (if you think this gives me an excuse to abdicate my role as teacher in her life, it’s not) and giving her what she needed and of course she knew she could tell me what she wanted to.

I release my children every time they go to spend the night with Grandparents who believe differently than we do.

I release them to God every time we get in a vehicle.

Eventually I will release them permanently when they enter the world to go out and go about the Lord’s business, but until then the Lord has given me the blessing of training them up for Him.

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How To Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids – Chapter 3


How To Have a HEART for Your Kids
I’m so behind.  Life gets in the way sometimes and well if you’re a mom you’ll know what I mean – sometimes your children just need all of you and when you have more than one – that’s a lot of directions to go in.  So I’m posting Chapter 3 now and I will post Chapter 4 hopefully tomorrow or at least by the end of the week.  Chapter 3 is all about embracing your children so in light of that I want to share a couple thoughts I got from reading this chapter:

“We may think we’ve accepted our children and all their uniqueness, but they know better.” page 92  Wow!  Okay, this one took a lot of digesting, because while I think I’ve accepted my children such as my logical and adult thinking almost 10 year old but yet there are times I almost visibly shoot her down instead of listening to her – oh how I know this must break her tender heart.  When my middle daughter needs to spin, yes spin, in order to calm herself or just get her brain back on track – and I yell at her to stop, how demeaning that I take away something she needs.  My son needs to be loud, he needs to be a boy but yet as a mom who doesn’t know how a boy’s mind works I want quiet, I want to read a book with them without being interrupted by him needing to make some noise or be moving.  This is something I’m trying to work on and even encourage to some extent.

“It means seeing our children as gifts from the hand of the living God.” page 100  Yes, gifts.  All too often today’s culture and society want to wonder why anyone could possibly bring a child into this world, let alone two, three or more!  There are times when I do treat my children as burdens, oh how their hearts and God’s must be breaking, another mess to pick up, I just emptied the hamper, be quiet – just as I must teach them they are teaching me much more.  My children are gifts and if I wouldn’t trample on my Kindle Fire why then would I want to trample one of these little hearts given to me from God?

“Is the character flow you see in your child an imitation of our own sinfulness?” page 109  UH-OH!!!!!  Yikes.  Can I run and stick my head in the sand?  Can I hide from Jehovah like Adam and Eve did?  No, there is no hiding from the Lord.  Yes, I see my children’s attitudes stemming from me – let’s face it, they are around me literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – them yelling at their siblings?  Well they learned from a professional.  Them disrespecting each other or even me?  They learned it from me.  Every time I roll my eyes at them, every time I get visibly annoyed at my husband and every time I vent about a parental figure in my life they learn it’s okay to disrespect each other and others around them.

“Accepting our children does not mean approving of their foolishness.” page 112  So then I can yell at them?  No, this simply means that they still need discipline, godly discipline from a godly mother who when she makes a mistake she can seek their forgiveness but who will still impart God’s wisdom into them – spinning is okay, being loud is okay at certain times, however accepting these things doesn’t mean that I can’t correct them and discipline for their foolish and sinful nature – blatant disrespect, being too loud inside, etc.

Have you ever been rejected?

That is one of the questions in the Heart Check-up.

If you haven’t, then Congratulations!

Most of us have been rejected by someone, a parent, a significant other, a friend

How did that feel?

How would it feel to your child if they are reject in their own homes by the person who is supposed to care for them?

Oh how their little hearts would ache.

Do I want my children (who usually feel more than an adult) to feel the rejection I felt?

Do I want them to feel rejected by me?

No – because ultimately if they feel rejected by me, then the chances are good that they may just see God as some other Parental figure who will reject them as well.

I know I felt that way.

I felt too fat.  Too ugly.  I made one too many sins for God to ever want me.

I want them to know that I love them, they are precious to me and through that love they can see God’s love, Agape.

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How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids – Chapter 2


How To Have a HEART for Your Kids
This chapter was perhaps and will be the hardest for me.
I’ve been married for 11 years and when I entered the marriage I didn’t care nor did I want to hear the things of God.  My intended was fine with that.  So we got married, we met in July of 2000, engaged in December 2000 and married on 1-1-01 at 12:01 a.m.
I wanted to be married and I do love my husband, but things aren’t always easy.
In our early years, we fought and fought bad.  Name calling.  Threats.  Thankfully never any physical violence.  We no longer fight like that – I now fight like I was shown, I ignore it.  I give him the silent treatment.
Do we now have the perfect marriage.  HA!  Far from it.  I’m learning what it means to have a meek and quiet spirit, some days I do good, others I fail – that is why I lean on the Lord for His help.  A couple of things really stood out to me in reading chapter 2 and the first is:
“How many of us are living our a marriage that is worth defending?” page 64
This isn’t meaning, defending your marriage to a friend.  How many of us who believe in marriage between one man and one woman are actually living a marriage that is worth defending?  Is our marriage showing those of the world who feel that homosexuals can marry, that marriage is only for those who are heterosexual?  Would the world be able to look in your windows and see a marriage worth defending the stance or would they see that it doesn’t really matter who gets married?
OUCH!
The next thing that stood out to me was; “We need to point our kids toward the values of sacrifice and selflessness as seen on the cross of Calvary.” page 68  Am I demonstrating to my children what marriage means in regards to the cross and to what Christ wants marriage to be?
When I roll my eyes at my husband?
When I knock one of his ideas because I don’t think it will work?
Nope.  My children are learning they can disrespect their future spouse.  This is not what I want.  Another ouch!
The last thing that stood out was that “Men need women to respect them as leaders, fathers, as heads of their homes.” page 86
This is the hard part for me.  My husband is a good provider, he loves me, he loves his children.
That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he does in regards to discipline or teaching Biblical truths.  I’ve been striving to not usurp his authority as the head of our house but both of us coming from different religious backgrounds makes it hard at times.  I believe that we have assurance of Salvation, he doesn’t.  I teach the assurance to our children, he doesn’t.
This is of course something that I pray about and need to leave in God’s hands and let Him deal with – He needs to deal with my heart and his heart.
Like I said this was a hard chapter to write about.  Partly because there were a lot of a-ha! moments but also because my daughter subscribes to my blog (yes, really) however, I pray that she’ll read this and see my transparency.  My need for a Saviour.  That I am human with fleshly desires and I can mess up.
None of us can expect perfection this side of Heaven, only put it in God’s hands and let Him mold us.
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How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids – Chapter 1


How To Have a HEART for Your Kids
Chapter one this week dealt with the H: Have a Heart for the Things of God and it was not a light chapter.  It was convicting.  It was heartbreaking.  It was joyful.
I’m not going to list everything that stood out to me but just a couple since I’m behind in my posting.
“As intentional parents we do not react, but we respond.  We do not panic, we pray….” page 32
When I think of intentional parenting I think I’ve missed the mark.  I put so many things in front of my being a mom, I try hard not to but I do it.  The laundry needs done, the dishes need washed (no dishwasher here), blogging, reading……..then a screams pierces the room.  I begin yelling.  They’ve interrupted me AGAIN!  My responses aren’t always with a purpose unless it’s a wrong purpose, and they definitely aren’t thoughtful, unless they are thoughtful of me.  This is selfish, this is sin. 
“…..at a time like this, God wants me to seek Him, ask Him for insight, and wait for Him to touch my child’s heart.” page 54
What a concept, when my child is calling a sibling a name, telling me how terrible I am because I won’t allow a candy treat right then, a temper tantrum, I should stop, drop and pray.  Okay I added the drop part :)  I need to let God do what I can’t – if I could I would reach in and remove the bad parts, the parts rotten by sin, but I can’t only God can.  He can only do this to my children, He can only do this too me.  I can ask Him how He wants me to handle the situation.  Does the child need a spanking?  Does he just need a little extra hug from me?  Does she need me to just listen?  I think learning this is what will help me in my anger that arises, let God touch my children’s hearts, let Him touch mine.
I really liked it when Rachael Carman spoke of how we can memorize Scripture but if we don’t let Him change our heart it’s all for naught.  Sure we can wear the clothes, we can leave our hair uncut, we can seem like a Christian on the outside but without the Lord coming in and being allowed, He won’t force himself on us, to control us, to do a heart transplant (yes, it’s painful) then it won’t matter what we are wearing, what our hair looks like, what Bible we read – it won’t matter to us, to Him or to our children.
I know my prayer life is lacking.  This is one thing that has to change if I want to have a heart transplant is to work on my prayer life.  I need to praise God and give Him thanks for the life He has given me.  I need to quit being jealous over what I don’t have and what others do.  Instead of longing for a new baby, I need to enjoy my beautiful ones that are here and quit taking them for granted.  Instead of thinking that they have altered my plans, I need to see it that for some reason God sent them to me at that moment,
put the book aside,
shut down the computer,
stop washing the dishes,
close the washer,
just stop. 
Stop and be in the moment. 
The God moment.  Listen to Him through my children and in turn I’ll learn to have a heart for the things of God instead of a heart for the things of the flesh.
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How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids – Introduction


How To Have a HEART for Your Kids
You may have read that I was joining in the book club for this awesome book on this post.  I’m so glad that I’ve joined in – I yell – and I hate yelling at my children not only because I know how it feels to be yelled at by mom and dad (it doesn’t feel good) but because it’s sin and that sin tears my children’s hearts.  Some would think “oh, she’s got to have a lot of patience because she homeschools”, or “only supermom would homeschool and WANT to be around her children 24 hours a day 7 days a week”.
Well dispel those myths now!  I do not have patience, I was never taught patience, when your son spills milk on the couch twice in 5 minutes, when your daughter says mom for the umpteenth time while you’re trying to finish one sentence in a book, it’s hard to have patience.  Yes, I ask myself what would Jesus do?  How should I respond?  I know a loving mom would quietly put aside her lunch and cheerfully clean up the mess, she would put aside her book and answer “yes dear?”.  That’s what I should do.  Some days I win the battle, other times I lose.
Am I still a loving mom?  Yes, I love my children with all my heart, body and soul.  I’d lay down my life for one of them.
Do I always show them love?  Most definitely and unfortunately no.
I dread what this will do in the future – will they come to me with their issues, questions, hurts?  Yes, but only if I change now.
The first time I read the book was to review it and while I found it great, now that I’m having time to reflect on things that are written by a very real mom it’s hitting home more.
We were asked on the Blog:   How did you start homeschooling?  What kinds of sacrifices have you had to make as a mom or for your children?  Other reflections on the introduction?
We’ve been homeschooling since well since we brought Hannah home from the hospital beginning with right and wrong, God’s Word and moving on to reading, writing and arithmetic (LOL).  My husband and I discussed it as he didn’t want the children in parochial schools since he knew first hand how bad they are, I didn’t want them going to public school since I knew first hand how bad they are, and with private schools not being much better and of course with one income tuition would be too expensive.  We’ve lost friends and even some family in ways – our beliefs, our convictions, our lifestyle is not favored and so while some pretend others are outspoken in their hostility to our Christian beliefs and how terrible homeschooling is.  Our sacrifice hasn’t been monetary as we always knew we wouldn’t be spending thousands of dollars on our children our sacrifice has been more in the way of friends and family – and sometimes that can be the highest cost of all.
For this week I was supposed to read the Introduction and while I read I jotted some notes and here are some things that jumped out at me:
“What I lacked was a real, growing, intimate relationship with God.” (page 9)  I know growing up I went through the motions, yes I loved God but once I hit middle school it didn’t matter as much.  Some days I still wonder if my faith one of Saving Grace but I’m growing and that’s an improvement.
“I think it should be noted here that we were planning only one child, maybe two.” (page 11)  Oh my!  Yes!  That was me, actually MY plan was to never have children, I wanted a career as a high profile attorney – maybe marriage, but no children.  I got married and got pregnant right away, then we lost that baby.  Within months I was pregnant again, had graduated with my associates degree and it was decided that I would stay home.  WHAT??? Yes, I wanted to stay home with my baby, I quit working a month or so before our first was born.  I went on birth control as all responsible women do after the birth of a child and then we decided it was time for another, but that was it!  While pregnant with #2 I began to feel strongly that birth control was wrong and as I read more and learned more my heart became convicted and husband was in agreement – no more birth control after baby #2.  I became pregnant with #3 about 2 years after #2, which seemed to be my pattern even with the birth control.  We let go and let God.  Now I’m dealing with what my OB calls secondary infertility (regardless of how many children it’s referred to as secondary).  God knows my heart.  He knows.  We still use no birth control but when you let go and let God, that could mean you end up with 7 children or loving the 3 you already have.
“….but I had not considered what God’s plan might be for their lives.” (page 24)  Some days I forget that it’s not what I want for my children but what God has in store that is important.  I need to show my girls that I enjoy being at home, being a homemaker, being a mom and how to be a mom and pray that the Lord’s will is that they be home for their husband, their children, their home.  I need to show my son what a good wife is, what a godly wife is – so that when he marries (if that is God’s will) he will know what qualities should be present in a godly wife for himself and a mother for his children.

“You can recover your heart.  It may be lost, but it can be found.  Your heart might be wounded, but it can be healed.  ……” (page 28)  I think this says it all.  You may have closed off your heart because of the way you were raised.  Because of the way some guy treated you.  Because of a friend who back stabbed you.  I’m learning to let my heart be softened – as I read about the Patriarchs of the Old Testament and the love for their sons when they failed, how much God love us when we fail, my heart becomes softer toward my children, my heart heals, my heart is found, my heart is renewed by the reading of God’s Word and fellowship toward my God, my children, my husband, my self.

I’m looking forward to the next several weeks of this study and if you’d like to join in please visit The Pelsers to find out how you can still join in to learn how to have H.E.A.R.T. for your children.
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How To Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids book club – Kick Off


How To Have a HEART for Your Kids
This is the kick off to the How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids book club.  I can’t wait to get started!  I had the chance to review the book through the TOS Review Crew I’ve wanted a way to dig more into this book – and since one of my goals this year is to show more patience and Christ like behavior to my children this may just be the thing I need to kick start my change.
There is still time to get your book and join in on this book club – sign up for the newsletter to get your free journal for the club and then if you blog you can link up every Monday following the guidelines here.  You can also tweet using the hashtag #HEART4YourKids and the private facebook group – you do not have to be a blogger to participate though.
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