Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Helping a child through emotional burdens

It's on my mind... how can I help my children learn to deal with their emotional burdens?

What do your children see when difficulties come into your life?

Worrying?
Action?
Defeat?
Determination?
Surrender and prayer?

I've heard a few different theories about what emotional burdens to expose to children. Here are a few:
1. Don't expose your children to adult worries. Stay strong for them and don't give them emotional burdens they can't handle.
2. Allow your children to see the realities of life, so that they can learn from them early on.
3. Tell your children about challenges but don't let them see you challenged.

Here are my thoughts....

I agree that children do not need to carry adult burdens, especially emotional ones. This I believe, is very important. However, if you shelter your children from all of life's difficulties, they will be very shocked and overwhelmed when real life eventually hits them.

My children WILL see difficulties come my way. That is unavoidable. If they spend any time whatsoever in the household, my kids will see me challenged, and sometimes downright overwhelmed.

But what will they see me do in response???

I think that is the most important thing. I don't want them to see me immediately spring into action, fixing everything myself and trying to be superwoman. I also don't want them to see me consistently losing my cool, getting angry or dissolving in tears when difficulties come.

What I WANT them to see, is me consistently surrendering to God, and letting difficulties DRIVE ME to my KNEES. I want them to see this. They are my little apprentices, and they will learn a LOT from what I do. I want them to learn that God is the first stop for all the circumstances of life. They need to see me in prayer. They need to see me in surrender. They need to see me giving God the reigns.

And then they need to see me respond to God's leading. This is when the action comes in, not before, and in the Spirit of the Lord... not my own strength.

So guess what they will start to do when emotional burdens come their way? And I will help them and guide them into doing it. God wants to carry those little ones and their worries.

So that's it. That was on my mind this morning. Prayers for you and yours.
Rachel

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Passing it on...

Today a friend gave me a bible study book that she used to use, saying that she prays will be a help to me. It's very special to me for a few reasons:

1. She loves me, and she is contantly modelling to me the love of Christ.
2. She wants to point me to the Lord, the best Friend anyone could ever have.
3. She passed it on with prayer.

I've already started to use it. It's really cool - a three year course to study the entire bible. And because it was given to me this way, I am especially receptive to doing all I can to grasp the gift given... which ultimately is the Lord right?

It gets me thinking that there are things that I would like to pass on to my children too... the main one obviously being the FAITH. As I teach my children, I want them to know:

1. God loves them, and I want to model this love to them always.
2. that they are being pointed to the Lord, the best friend anyone could ever have.
3. that the things they are receiving are being passed on in prayer.

Some ideas to do this:

LOVE them and show them what mercy is like, and how to exercise it (there are umpteen opportunities to do this daily...).

Pray with them, and let them CATCH ME praying for them, together with my husband.

Keep bringing up God's way in every situation, and at every turn. That's what the bible says to do.

Thanks my friend, for the bible study book. Thanks for always leading me to Jesus, and showing me by example how to follow Him. I am blessed!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Teaching a Child to be a Godly Servant

I was reading through my old journals and I came across this sentence:

If Jesus washed feet, I should never exalt myself above the position of servant.

WOW. Where did I lose sight of that one? As a mom, this is a difficult lesson, because I can get SO lost in serving that I forget to take care of myself, allowing sickness, stress or depression to hinder my ability to serve. The flip side of the coin though... is far more dangerous - getting lost in taking care of ME.

This is the basic teaching of our society isn't it? Look out for number one, and all that. Everywhere we go, we are overwhelmed with advertisements wooing us with their products, telling us that we deserve to buy it. Go on! Be selfish! You earned that money, so why not?

And what about relationships? Marriage is quickly going from "I do." to "I'll try it." because there is the expectation that "love is all about my happiness." But not Jesus' kind of love... oh no! It was about sacrifice, humility, forgiveness, trust and yes, being a servant. Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

So how do I teach this to my kids?? I have a few ideas, but as with anything worthwhile, it takes some work:

1. Serve with my kids. Let them be little apprentices! A good way to start is to pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, or let them pick out which of their toys they would like to donate to a shelter. We do this often, and they come with me to make the deliveries.

2. Turn off the tv, and limit other worldly influences. It's my job to protect them from the constant push of sin. Some people argue with me and say, "How can they learn to be strong if you keep them in a bubble?" I say, no. I will teach them about the world as they are mature enough to handle it. For example, my husband will explain to my sons what pornography is, teaching them and warning them of it's deadly nature. We won't just let them watch a porn. They don't learn how NOT to sin, by learning to sin.

3. Read the relevant parts of the bible with them and talk talk talk!

4. When caring for my children at home, always point them in the direction of looking out for the good of their siblings before themselves. Ask them lots of questions ABOUT their brother or sister.... How is Bobby feeling right now? What do you think Bobby is trying to tell you? How can you help Bobby? How can you show Bobby what Jesus is like? I'm trying to get their focus onto others. They will think about themselves naturally enough (as I do :0).

I'm sure there are other great ideas as well. Please share them with me!!

Have a great night... I have to run. My baby is trying to play in the recycling again. Sigh. :) ttyl

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hi friends...

I've been looking forward to blogging tonight ALL DAY, but now all I can do is ask for prayer. My best friend's daughter, who is 3 is in the hospital with bacterial meningitis. THANKFULLY they caught it in time and she has no brain damage, but she was in isolation and will be staying there for at least 10 days. Many kids were exposed, including mine, at an indoor playground on Monday where we met for the morning. I would really appreciate your prayer for the entire situation.

Talk to you soon!
Rachel

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What should I do? Hmmmm...

I'm thinking that I may combine this blog with my other one, the Homemakers' Library. I absolutely LOVE blogging, but with 4 little ones underfoot, I may have to whittle it down a bit. OR I was thinking that I may blog on here just less often, and stick to once a day with the Library one. I'm also trying to write a book.. could you pray for me? Excited but nervous..

What do you guys think?? :-)
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