Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do not hinder them. Let the little children come...

As a parent of 4 young boys, I get tired. Often. And overwhelmed by how much of me is expected to go around. Sometimes I find it easier to take care of myself... and look for more "me time" to be able to cope with the demands. Sometimes I find myself saying 'no' to requests, not for the kids' sakes, but for mine.

But I am thinking today about the time when Jesus told the disciples to let the little children come to Him and do not hinder them. He said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. I believe that "me time" for moms IS important. Moms need time to refresh and stay healthy and it is a very very demanding job. So where does the line get drawn?

Just thinking out loud... we can't always meet needs in the moment, but we can come back to them and address them at a better time. Here are some situations in which I think a parent should never turn down their children:

A child asks you to:

- pray with them
- talk to them
- be with them
- hug them
- comfort them
- answer a question
- teach them something
- tuck them into bed

Denying a child these opportunities to connect with you, and with the Lord, is a hinderance in their path to Jesus. But let me say, I understand that there are many times you can't meet these needs in the moment requested. There are ways to still be there for them:

1) make a "date" for later that day to spend the time
2) refer the child to the other parent who is willing and immediately available (then go for a hug later)
3) tell them you love them and pray with them a short prayer immediately, following up with a longer prayer time later

Its more a question of consistently I think. As I said, I've been tired... and I need to continually pray for more grace and more strength to meet the needs of my many little ones.

Prayers and blessings for you

Rachel

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Christian Counseling Call for Weary Parents

Parenting is hard work. Every parent knows it. More than that for Christian moms and dads though, is the desire to see their children serving the Lord. For many of us, myself included, this can seem overwhelming. Life has a way of stretching you to your limit sometimes... financial difficulties, marriage problems, and more... and without the support of a faithful community, it can be easy to fall.

What do you do when you need someone to talk to? I hope you have a church body surrounding you and a family that steps up to the plate when needed. But sometimes that isn't the case. And maybe sometimes you need someone a little less "close".

I came across this number today and I thought I would pass it on. Focus on the Family is a well known and respected Christian institution committed to helping families to flourish in today's world. In the parenting section of their website I found this blurb:

"Raising children can be a challenge — especially in today's world. When you feel
overwhelmed, call us. Our team of licensed counselors is here to help you with a
variety of questions and concerns. It's quick, confidential and
complimentary.
Call 800-232-6459, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday MT."


For more information... go HERE.

Hope this might be of help to some. We all need it sometimes and it's sooooo good to call on the Lord's loved ones in our times of need.

Rachel

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Teaching Kids the News


As a Christian parent, I often find it hard to balance teaching my kids about the real world, and sheltering them from those things they are not ready for. I have found a resource that I think is a great tool for teaching our kids about the world on a level that they can handle. It's called God's World News..... and it's cool!

God's World News is a newspaper/mag prepared in different formats for different age groups. I have young children and I especially like the pre-K to 1st edition. Samples are available on-line to view, and a home subscription is reasonably priced! Editions include activities, etc to allow the kids to not only have fun, but really absorb the lessons learned. Great christian resource!

I highly recommend checking it out here at:


And when you do, let me know what you think!
Do you teach your kids about the real world? Please comment - I'd love to know...
Blessings,
Rachel

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Questioning God...

It just occurred to me that what we don't know about God, can help our kids. Think about it. Do you have questions about God? Doubts? Things you don't understand? Of course, don't we all? The question is... do you go about finding the answers?

I bet that the same things that we are confused about are things that our kids think about too. Many times I've had my son ask me something about the faith that leaves me stuttering and dropping food out of my mouth while I say "uh... uh, well.." While it can be embarrassing to admit to not knowing everything, it is a great opportunity to do some research together. Why not look in the bible together to find those answers?

What about questions that you have that you have just overlooked? How about researching what the bible and others have to say on the subject, and then asking your child what they think? What a great way to start conversations and address potential stumbling blocks in our babies' journey.

What we don't know can't hurt us... if we use it as a stepping block in seeking the Lord! Seek him together with your little ones. Their faith and curiosity is wonderful and inspiring. Let it be a mutual encouragement.

Prayers for you,

Rachel

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Teaching kids about God - Follow Through is important!

How many kid's devotional books do you own? Number of bibles? Bible story books? I think we have about a thousand... I love Christian book stores, and I love new things, but in terms of teaching children about God, there is one thing to keep in mind - NEWER is not always BETTER.

My 6 year old son is standing next to me as I write, and I asked him, What do you know about God? He responded, "Oh! I know a lot about God. I know He created everything!" I have to smile.

He knows lots about the bible and the prophets, Jesus and the apostles, and of course, the armor of God (he is a boy after all), but it struck me that what he really knows (and I mean really really, really knows) is that God made everything.

Me: "What did God make on day 4?"
J: "The stars!"

He knows the ins and outs of the creation story like the back of his hand. That got me thinking that follow-through in terms of teaching kids about faith is very very improtant. You buy a devotional book, where does it begin? Creation. You buy a new bible. Where does it start? Creation.

If we want our kids to get the whole picture.. we have to follow through and read the whole book. I love new things, but I can easily get side-tracked when the new becomes old, and I look for something else. Wonderfully though, kids are not like that. They love routine and tradition as much as they like new stuff. I am reminded that there are some pretty great devotionals around here that I should be making use of. :)

Also, we need to remember that THE OLDEST THING IS THE BEST THING. Of course I am talking about God's Word, and better yet, God Himself. But maybe "old" is not a good word to describe Him... how about timeless... forever... unchanging... all-powerful... complete... and forever-new. Yes, that's my God!

Rachel

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What a child Hears, He learns

I just blogged on the Homemakers' Library about my morning from you know where... and how I got reprimanded by my doctor for my insensitivity in being late for my appointment (four kids, two barf buckets, and a baby in diapers make it hard for anyone to get anywhere, let alone on time). I had a hard week and my gp stepped in with words that really hurt me at a time when I needed compassion. And I had to choose how to respond.

I know how I wanted to respond... but somehow I don't think it would have glorified the Lord, and I looked around at my four babies and wondered what my response would teach them. Have you ever noticed that kids are always listening? I can be having a very quiet conversation with my husband in the front of the van when suddenly my 8 year old will pipe up with a drilling question about it. Ugh....

The selective hearing my children seem to exhibit is just an elaborate front to throw me off the scent... they are watching, listening and learning from all of my habits... good and bad. So I had a very distatsteful pill to swallow when I (finally) kindly apologized to my doctor and told him I would try not to be late again. I hope the kids were listening.

But I know it takes more than one righteous action to teach my children how to live for God. Its the habits, of loving the unlovable, forgiving and praying and being grateful for His mercy, that help them to form their views of right and wrong. More than what I say, they learn by what I do... over and over.

Lord help me! I sure do need Your grace to change....

Rachel
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