About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parenting with Wisdom, Chapter 3 Part 1

Here is my first post in Parenting with Wisdom discussing chapter 3. I will need two posts to do justice to this chapter. You can get your copy of this book on Ironwood Camp’s website.

Chapter 3 is about loving your children. Perhaps I have been putting off this summary because it was so convicting to me personally. It can be summed up in this quote:



Children tend to learn the reality of God’s love as they experience the
realities of a parent’s love in concrete ways. To a child, parents are the
tender voice of God calling them by name.

Ouch! How often is my voice calling in a harsh, reprimanding way? Not that reprimands are not warranted, but harshness does not point to God!



So how can we love our children biblically? We are to love them as God loves us,
so the first requirement is knowing God. We must be able to determine how God’s
love looks in practical life circumstances. That requires study of His
character.

After laying this foundation, Mrs. Pryde breaks down God’s love into different categories.

Love Gives

God loved us so much He gave the ultimate sacrifice. Giving unselfishly to our children is not always natural. For some mothers it might be, but I sometimes struggle here.



Mothers who abuse their authority over their children, who expect their children
to cater to their desires and conform to what pleases them, do not love their
children in the biblical sense of the word. Such mothers make decisions for
their children based solely on what is most convenient to them, what will cost
them the least, or what will bring most pleasure to them

I fall into this trap often. In this home it often looks like this: Mommy has tucked in the children for nap or bedtime, and is ready to sit down to work in the few quiet hours I have. One child either has a legitimate need or begins to disobey to get Mommy’s attention. Instead of lovingly attending to the need or dealing with the misbehavior, I lose my temper and show them exactly how much I resent their intrusion on my work hours.

Yikes! I need to beg God to help me love them selflessly!



To withhold what is good and needful is to neglect a child, and this neglect
represents a form of child abuse of the most subtle and destructive kind.

Love is a Choice

This section did not speak to me as much as the other section, perhaps because I already have somewhat of an understanding of this concept. We do not love our children because they are lovely, do things for us, or behave well. We love them in spite of themselves, like God loves us, simply because they are ours.

Love Motivates

This chapter intrigued me because I am struggling to motivate my younger child. Mrs. Pryde sets forth a contrast:



The kindness of a mother, demonstrated by loving acts of mercy and tenderness,
draws children to respond to her and follow her. . . . . Harsh words, tough
gestures of contempt, strict rules, and condemning lectures harden the hearts of
children.

Ouch again!

Love Disciplines

Lest you think this book is all about loving your children with tender words and gestures, she has plenty to say about discipline, but the foundation, love and kindness, must follow through even with discipline. Yet, even while we are loving, we still must train.



Parents who indulge their children’s every whim, or who do not enforce
restraints or discipline in their children’s lives, produce children who are
insecure, self-centered, and rebellious.

Remember the words of Proverbs 13:24: “He that spareth the rod, hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Harsh words? Perhaps, but they are God’s words! Discipline is biblical, and it can be carried out in a loving way. I thought this was particularly insightful:



Learning to administer firm and consistent discipline, together with gentleness
and patience, is not something that comes naturally to our human nature. Rather,
it requires us to seek God’s strength, power, and wisdom as we learn how to
master disciplining our children in love.

A great reminder! Of myself, I cannot hope to administer discipline in a spirit of love. I must rely on Christ!

I am going to stop there for this summary. This is about half of Chapter 3. I will return to Chapter 3 hopefully next week if I can stay on track and get these summaries done on time. I know that I, for one, need to meditate on these truths again for a few days.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Family Pictures

We had family pictures done. You can see a sneak peek here. More to come later in the week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today

I realized the other night that the purpose of this blog - to share "Family News," had gotten lost. So, without further ado, here is how we spent our Saturday. It was a good one!

My favorite local park, a children's farm complete with animals and the best price tag (free) hosted Animal Mania yesterday. I had been planning to go to this for a long time, but waited to tell the girls because, well, weather around here is unpredictable. It was a rainy morning, but not too bad to go, so off we went.

I was a little disappointed when we arrived that although entrance to the event was "free," most of the activities were not. But, tickets weren't too overpriced, so I purchased some. First stop was pony rides. Miss N begged to be able to ride the spotted pony, and Miss M wanted to ride Huckleberry, the tiny white one. Miss N got her wish, and Miss M didn't seem to mind not getting hers. She rode all by herself on Blaze!


After that we checked out the painted horses and Miss N begged me to take pictures. She's very horse crazy. I was impressed by the friesian horses. So pretty.

After that Miss M started begging me to let her see the "Happy Face." She was referring to the clown that was doing face painting. I was surprised she wanted to see it, but off we went. This was as close as she would get: She talked about the "Happy Face" all evening and was afriad she would come to our house. :)

Miss N let her paint her face:

I was surprised by that too.

At that point some friends of ours came and the girls were very happily surprised to see them. We played a few games, then headed up to the animal barn to say hi to all of the animals.


Along the way we did a few projects and crafts

Then finished our morning with another pony ride.

After naps, it was time to get to work helping Daddy with his latest project (a patio expansion).

I swear, these two could spend their entire day outside without fighting once. Bring them inside and it's much, much different.

So, it was a lovely Saturday filled with family time and love. I love Saturdays like that!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Better


We stayed home today. Started the day in the Word. We played ponies, dress up, and went to the park (yes, in the chilly rain) to play with colored bubbles (more on those later). Kids are napping, I am working, and I am better. We talked about sinful attitudes and mommies who struggle too. We talked about stress and what Mommy should do when she's stressed. Mommy is feeling better. This mommy needed some quality time with her girls.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tired. . . Does It Ever Get Better?

I am tired.

Bills are due, work is waiting, but I am tired.

Tired of working all of the time. Tired of trying to find the magical balance between work and mommyhood, oh yeah, and there’s a hubby in there too.

I want to exercise, but there’s rarely time. Yes, rarely time for even 15 minutes of T-Tapp. I want to make healthful meals, but there are rarely sufficient funds. I want to be out of debt, but that requires more work. And work requires time.

I want to be a good mom. I want my kids to feel like I spend quality time with them, really listen to them, love them, want to be around them, but lately I’m not feeling as though I’m doing a good job of that. Their attitudes are showing me that my attitude has been stinky.

Rest assured, I have no visions of being super mom. I just want to be adequate. I just want to be there for my kids.

Take Friday for instance. I have two days per week that I reserve to be full work days, Mondays and Fridays. I NEED those days to stay on top of my workload and bills. Yet, Friday is the class field trip for Miss N. I told myself ages ago that I would make every effort to go to each and every class field trip since I work from home. That is why I work from home. So I am going. So somehow I need to get ahead before Friday.

You see, when you work from home, there is that funny thing: you still have to work. And, on top of that, you have to cook, clean, mother, laundry, feed, etc. every person and animal in your home. Oh, and the bills? Those are usually your responsibility too. After all, you are home and have the time, right?

I don’t know why I am writing this. It’s not going to change anything, and it’s not really even making me feel better. Maybe I want sympathy? I don’t know. I just want to not feel so tired all of the time. It would be lovely to be able to exercise without guilt, have the laundry folded BEFORE someone needs underwear, stay on top of the dishes, have the floors vacuumed at least 2 times per week, you know, that kind of thing. . .

Friday, May 13, 2011

Parenting With Wisdom Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of Parenting with Wisdom talks about the “secret ingredient” to successful Christian parenting. According to Mrs. Pryde, “Wisdom is the most important element in successful parenting, the secret ingredient rarely mentioned in the many ‘recipes’ for well adjusted, happy children.”

So, again, this chapter helps set the foundation for the book, which is about finding wisdom as a parent.

One of the first points she makes is about relying on human reasoning rather than biblical wisdom when parenting our children. I struggle with this. I often rely on what “experts” say about children rather than looking to the Word. Here’s a good quote:

Christians who would otherwise immediately reject human reasoning as a basis for
making life decisions tend to lose their wariness if someone they hold in high
esteem is doing the reasoning. Because an author holds academic credentials . .
. (etc.) does not eliminate his propensity to error or eradicate sin’s effect on
the human heart.

She draws from Proverbs 24:3 “Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches” to drive home her point. While parenting books can be helpful, unless they are built upon the foundation of seeking wisdom, they are likely to fall short.

So how does one seek wisdom, in particular as it relates towards parenting? By making our primary focus knowing, learning, and applying God’s Word. Doing so gives us the filter through which to view all other parenting advice, as well as the foundation of wisdom that we vitally need to parent our children.

According to the book, parents make decisions on one of three factors:

* Advice of others
* Impulse
* Applying godly principles through wisdom

I, for one, know what camp I want to be in, yet I often struggle with finding the principle that fits the situation.

For instance, we have been dealing with naptime fits with our two-year-old. I have gotten a lot of advice from many parents, yet nothing has worked. Yet, finding a Biblical principle, other than the principle of obedience, which we are trying to enforce, has eluded me for quite some time. So, I have continued to pray, read, and seek. We have found a solution that appears to be working.

Through this situation, I have pondered that, perhaps, God wants to show me that no friend, book, online article, etc. has the answer and I am completely and totally dependent on Him to provide it through the Holy Spirit. Mrs. Pryde puts it like this: “We are wholly dependent on God to give the necessary wisdom and ability to discern His Word and apply it to life’s circumstances in practical ways.”

She also warns in this chapter about pride. In James 4 it clearly says that God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. God will resist or appose the proud parent in her desires and attempts to parent her children. That fact is humbling, as I think many times it is easy to fall into the trap of pride when parenting an easy child, like my eldest, and thinking that you have it all figured out. Perhaps that is why God sent me my more challenging cherub second.

The final part of the chapter was a blessing and reprimand to me. It lists several characteristics of a wise mother, and then verses to back them up:


* A wise mother is a happy, pleasant mother to be around.
* A wise mother is blessed of God
* A wise mother is able to understand the Word of God
* A wise mother knows how to influence her family and others for good.
* A wise mother is able to discern good from evil.
* A wise mother understands the love of God and can communicate it to her children.
* A wise mother reaps the future blessings of wisdom.

How do you measure up? I encourage you to go to this book and read the scripture passages attached to these statements. I know for me, it clearly shows areas I am lacking. Rather than try to change those areas on my own, perhaps I need to seek wisdom by spending more time in the Word, and let wisdom and God’s Word do the changing.

So what are your thoughts? How does seeking wisdom look in your home? How do you filter the advice of “experts” and well-meaning friends that you so often hear?

Once again,I cannot more highly recommend this book so you can get the full benefit. You can get your copy on Ironwood Camp’s website.

If you want to read the summary of the first chapter, feel free to click here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Blogging Platform

So, in case you aren't already aware, I have been blogging over at GoodBlogs. Now, I realize I have not explained how you can actually help me earn.

The way GoodBlogs works is you can earn $20 for any post voted to the front page. So far I have three out of five that have done this, so not too shabby. Voting is easy and free, but you do have to sign up. Hitting "like" on fb doesn't help me. To sign up, make an account on GoodBlogs. Make sure you "unclick" the places where it says something about follow up emails unless you want a bunch of emails when people comment after you. Then, to see my work, visit my page there.

Anything you do helps. Votes, comments, Facebook shares, Tweets on Twitter, (all using the button on GoodBlogs) they all help improve my ranking. Now, I have two posts that could really use some more votes. They are:

How a Stranger at the Pool Inspired Me

and

Does Sunscreen Protect Against Media Exposure

Now, I am not going to try to make a "real" living off of Goodblogs. It's simply not feasible, especially when I have other gigs that are certain pay. Yet, if I am going to blog on something on here, I might as well do it on Goodblogs, provided it's not just a family journal type idea, and have the chance of earning income. And, if you are willing to take 5 minutes to help and vote, that would be fabulous!