Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parenting tips?

I am most certainly not the best one to ask when it comes to parenting tips. I am learning as I go along. I often feel that I have more blunders than successes. Thank You, LORD, for your grace that covers all those blunders!

Thankfully, there is a wealth of wisdom out there that one can glean from. I get new ideas and inspirations from friends, books, blogs, Internet, sometimes even from myself! I thought I would share a few I have picked up. Some I have used, some I have been meaning to use but haven't got around to yet.


Potty training in 3 days--(I have it if you want to use it.) Prepare yourself for lots of accidents and arm yourself with lots of low sugar treats. If you are diligent your kid will be potty trained in 3 days--even at night. (I used this method, except for the night thing. I wimped out and used pull ups at night.)

Blanket Quiet Time--this is from the Duggars. I learned of it too late to use it. They give their toddlers a toy on a blanket for quiet play. They can't leave the blanket. Great tool for teaching self discipline.

Family Rules---stole this from the Newtons. We started this when the kids were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. We have 6 basic family rules (each with a scripture). They are typed out and hang in our school room. We review the rules almost daily, some times several times a day if they are being broken. If a rule is broken, there is a consequence. (We used to have the consequences printed out with scriptures, too.) Our family rules: 1. Love Jesus, 2. Love each other, 3. Obey Mommy and Daddy, 4. Tell the truth: No Lying, 5. Be kind: No biting, hitting, scratching, screaming or name calling, 6. Have a Joyful Spirit: No whining, complaining or arguing.

Snack Tickets---I made this one up, because my son is ALWAYS asking for snacks. Make tickets and either color code or sticker code them. Then match that color with the snack. I made 4 tickets which matched 4 different types of snacks. (Cheese/Yogurt, Veggie, Fruit, Treat/Crackers) Each time they ask for a snack, they get a ticket. When the tickets are gone, no more snacks for the day!

Snack Basket---Another original. Now that my kids are older and can keep track of snacks on their own, we have two snack baskets. One in the fridge and one in the cupboard. They still can only have 4 a day. Each must still be different (in other words, you can't have 4 fruit snacks and no carrots).

Daily Proverb, Family Communion and Prayer---self explanatory, but this is what we do for our family devotion time.

Jesus and Journal Time---about 15 minutes (we started with 5) with some music, their Bibles, and their journals. This works even if your kids can't read and write yet. Make sure they have a picture bible and crayons to draw a picture with.

Room Chart---Each day that they get their room clean, according to the guidelines, they get a sticker. 30 stickers and we go to Chuck E Cheese. If your kids share a room, this is a good team builder activity.

Money system---We have a magnet sticker chart for chores and responsibilities. For each sticker they get a dime. At the end of the week, we divide our dimes into 4 jars. Tithe: 10% Offering: whatever they choose. Savings: 10%, more if they choose. Fun: all the rest.

Peace Retreat--just started this one. You can get it here. It really works.

Self Control Chair---I just learned about this one and am excited to use it! Instead of a time out chair or a naughty chair, my friend has the self control chair. Your child must sit there until they can show self control.

Verse Chart---we memorize verses at church and in school. To keep track, we write them on a note card and hang it on our chart (poster board). Then they are all right there for us to review.

Worship Music---just play it. Often. As much as you can. It will calm your kids and bring peace to your home. Plus, is there any sweeter sound than the sound of your kids singing along?

Music and The Word at Bedtime---Our kids have had their own CD player since they were born. Listening to soft worship music or Scripture reading helps them go to sleep. My favorite is PTB Children's Prayers from IHOP. Kids, praying Gods Word. Great CD.


Babywise---great for new mommies

Complete Guide to Baby and Child Care by Focus on the Family----great book for a-z advice on growth and health and baby/child care.

If Jesus Were a Parent by Hal Perkins----hands down the BEST parenting book EVER. If you only read one parenting book ever, make it this one.

Dare to Discipline and Strong Willed Child by Dr Dobson----He has many others. They are all great!

God's Design for Sex Series by Stan and Brenna Jones---There are 5 books in this series. One for parents and 4 for kids. They will take you from introducing this topic all the way through adolescence. Their books are geared for specific age ranges beginning at 3-5 up through 14.

Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis----Jody's favorite Dad book for boys.

Spiritual Growth of Children by Focus on the Family----a guide to what your kids should know about Jesus at what ages. Packed with great ideas and tips for good Jesus family time.

Hide It in Your Heart by Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson---wonderful book full of ideas for teaching your kids God's word.

Read n See DVD Bible by Stephen Elkins---this book and dvd set is simple but fun. Read the story, watch the short move, learn the song. My kids love this.

I Can Read God's Word by Phil Smouse---This book looks like a reader! It has simple reading lessons and then incorporates those lessons into Bible verses. Perfect for level 1 & 2 reader. My daughter LOVES that she can read the Bible all by her self.

Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian---great for praying for your kids

A Mom after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George---another great book for moms.



http://www.truelifechurch.tv/ Go to current series. Print 31 days of prayer for children and praying Gods Word over your children. Then go to Listen, launch the player, and select contending for marriage and families.







I am always looking for new ideas, books, or websites. Please, leave a comment with some of your favorites.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thankfulness pt 2

I have been young, and now am old;Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. Psalm 37:25

Today is Multitude Monday. See my mom's blog for details on how to become a formal member or follower of this.

I am so very thankful for all God has given me. By American man's standards some may consider us "underprivileged". We don't have a 401K and our savings account is quite small (but growing!). Our cars are old and one isn't working at the moment. We rent our home, and most of the furnishings in it are either hand-me-downs, second-hand purchases, or from Ikea, Target, or Walmart. We don't have fancy electronics, and our 27" TV is 8 years old---basically from the stone age.

I would like to be able to boast that "at least we are debt free," but even this isn't true. We are still working on paying off a few small debts. From the outside looking in, some may say we have nothing at all. From the inside looking out, we are rich and blessed beyond measure!

Yes, we have had times of struggle and worry, but not once have we gone without. Not even close. Not once have we had no food. Not once have we gone without power, heat, or running water. Not once have we been without a place to live. Even in our "lack" we have surplus to give to others who are truly in need. God is good, and He is faithful. If I have Jesus, I have everything.

I am thankful for....
33. Rain that makes things grow
34. A small but growing savings account
35. A warm home--thank you NWNatural!
36. Kids who help with chores
37. Enough money to pay all the bills and extra for fun and savings.
38. New music from Dad.
39. College professors who continue to pour into our lives.
40. Friends across the world who I may never meet on earth, but who have become dear to my heart.
41. Being able to share a prayer request with hundreds by a click of the mouse.
42. Awesome time of worship, prayer, and healing at church.
43. biblegateway.com
44. pcbible
45. My son's courage to stand up for what he believes.
46. My daughter's heart to pray and believe for other.
47. A mom who still makes me breakfast.
48. A dad who is willing to make a special trip so I can eat said breakfast.
49. A solid, fulfilling and peaceful marriage.
50. The Holidays
51. God's grace revealing areas needing work in my heart.
52. God's voice giving wisdom and direction when making important decisions.
53. Godly council.
54. Two kids who are eager for me to hurry up so we can finish school and play.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

No Candle in his Pumpkin

Today my son took a stand for something he believed in, even though it made him the odd man out, and I could not be more proud!

As every family does, we have certain rules and standards in our home. Our kids know that when you go to an other's house you abide by their rules, and if they do something that is not allowed in our home, you need to ask mom and dad's permission before you participate.

This was the case tonight. We went to our friends home for dinner and afterwards we carved pumpkins. All was good and fine until the candles came out. I hadn't even thought about this occurring, or I would have prepared my kids ahead of time!

See, in our home we carve the pumpkins, but we don't put the candles in for the jack-o-lantern effect. We don't do this because of what the jack-o-lantern represents.

My son relates all things bad or having to do with evil to "devil worship". So, in his little head, a candle in a pumpkin meant you were worshipping the devil.

When those candles came out, my daughter and son looked at me with big eyes. I had to quickly pull them aside and explain that some people put a candle in their pumpkin just for fun and don't mean anything bad by it. They are not 'worshipping the devil.' I said this several times, and made sure they understood. Then I said at our house we don't put the candles in, but if you want to tonight it would be ok. You will not be doing something bad.

My daughter, having been given permission, went ahead and put her candle in. My son said NO WAY! He said, "I do not want be doing something to worship the devil!" I explained it again, wanting to make sure he understood. He said, "I understand, but I don't want to do it!" So, there he stood, with all his friends, no candle in his pumpkin.

I stood back and watched with a very, very, proud heart! It takes alot of courage to stand by your convictions when you are standing alone, but he did it! Way to go, son. May you always be strong and courageous and stick to what you believe even when it means you are the odd one out! I love you!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I love reading. Especially novels. I picked up a novel this weekend about five women of the Bible. I really enjoy stories like this because, although it is fiction, I get a better grasp and understanding of these infamous characters and what they went through.

The first story is about a lady we don't hear much about. Her name is Tamar. Her story can be found in Gen 38.

I am not done with the story, but last night I was hung up on a simple truth stated in this book.

Tamar is talking to Judah, her father in law, asking about his God. (Tamar is a Canaanite, and they worship and make sacrifices to idol gods.) She asks him a simple question, "Every god demands a sacrifice. What does your god require?"

Judah's answers, "Obedience."

WOW. Obedience. That is it. You can imagine what a shock this was for a Canaanite girl who has been taught all her life about animal and human sacrifices required to appease the many gods. Could it really be that simple?

This God that is so great, so powerful, so almighty, requires nothing more than for me to obey Him wholly. In asking me for this sacrifice, He is not self serving. He desires me to obey Him for my own good! Out of His perfect love for me, He asks me to trust Him and obey, because He knows what is best for me.

I ask this of my own children. I ask them to do what I say not because it is self serving (well, most of the time anyway!! :-) but because it is what's best for them. I see and know more and can predict the outcome and consequences of their disobedience. I don't want them to go through that. Even if obeying to them seems unfair or difficult, I know that it is better and easier in the long run.

It is not fun for them or me when they decide that they know better. When they decide they are going to do things their way. Someone gets hurt, a mess is made, a discipline must be given. It is never worth it.

The other thing that stirred me was the statement "Every god demands a sacrifice" Tamar was referring to the gods of their time. Idols made of clay, stone, wood.

Are there other gods in my life that I sacrifice to? Of course there are no idols, but are there things that are above God in my life? What am I sacrificing my time, money, efforts, emotions to? Am I giving my sacrifice of obedience wholly to God or am I spreading it among many gods?

Lord, I thank you for Your Love. You ask me to obey you because You love me and desire good things for me. Help me to trust You and obey. Help me to give my sacrifice of obedience wholly to You. Help me to see where and when I am not. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son. Thank You for forgiving me when I fail to obey. I love you, Lord.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Four years ago...

Today we went to the pumpkin patch. We had a great time together, despite my son having a serious case of the crankies.

I realized that the last time we went to the pumpkin patch all together was four years ago.
Four years ago. It was four years ago that our little girl came to live with us. The pumpkin patch was our first family outting.

I remember clearly the feeling of victory when we received that first signature. I knew in my heart it had been settled in the Heavens, but I knew we still had a battle to fight to settle it here on earth.
It was quite a journey. A lesson in trust. Proof of his faithfulness.
The toddler who came to us that fall day is now a toothless, beautiful, smart, first grader who I love with all my heart. She was worth the fight, worth the journey through the unknown.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Important Prayer Request!!

I met a lady today during Friday school who has a 15 month old foster son. They have had him for 10 months (he's been in the system for 12). They are praying to be able to adopt him. The mother had agreed, but is now back with the father (a registered sex offender), and is not as solid on her decision.

Since he is in the 'system' the choice isn't really up to her, but to the state. Obviously, her willingness would make it easier. Now the state descides if they want to continue their "reunifacation plan" or if they want to move to an adoption plan. If they choose reunifacation, the family will continue to live in limbo, as a reuniting with the parents could happen as soon as immediatly or as late several years down the road.

Having been in a limbo regarding my own baby once, my heart goes out to this mom. I praise her for being willing to love and fight for this little one. This is not an easy thing to do. There is no more vulnerable position to be in. As a mother, in your heart this is your baby, but in reality, this child doesn't belong to you and could be taken from you at any moment and put in a situation that you know will destroy them.

Thank goodness for the grace of God. Thank goodness His is really in control, and not the state or unfit parents. Thank goodness that this little boy has been rescued.

They have a very important hearing on the 22nd. Please, please be praying!! I cannot share this family or the boy's name, but you can pray for the "S" family. Pray for the state to move to an adoption plan. Pray for a change in the heart of the birth parents, especailly the mother. Pray for the protection of this family and this little one. Pray that he can stay in with his family so that he can grow up healthy and to know Jesus.

Monday, October 5, 2009

He is so faithful, why do I question?

Lately, I have felt His nudgings. Calling me to return to the battle. Calling me to put on my armor and fight again in the Spirit through prayer and intercession. A calling I have neglected for several years. I have never stopped praying, making my requests know to God, but I have let go the discipline of focused intercession. I have let go the discipline of putting aside my own agenda, wants, and needs to connect with the heart of God and pray His agenda.

I hear Him nudging me to move forward, to surrender to the call, but I hesitate. I know what he is asking, and my flesh fights against it. I do not dread the task, but the consequenses of obedience. The enemy doesn't bother stagnat believers. If we are not doing anything to impact the kingdom, he leaves us alone. I like being left alone.

He is calling me. I must trust Him.

Trust is not a trait that I come by naturally. There are few people that I trust. A handful at best. All others it comes as a challenge to let them in. I have not had a scarring, traumatic past that would cause me to distrust. Yet, I have witnessed the fraigility, disloyalty, and betrayl of people on many, many, occasions.

Sometimes, even trusting my Heavenly Father is a challenge. I prefer to do things on my own---that never works out. Why is it easier for me to trust myself, a broken, frail human, than the Creator of the universe?

Thursday, I spent time with Him, aknowledging His call, confessing my fears and hesitations. He assures me through His still small voice and His Word that He is in control. It is safe to trust in Him.

He challenges with the question, Have I ever let you down? I know the answer. No. There have been times I have not understood His answers, or what He allows to happen, but He remains. He is I AM. He is faithful.

But, Lord, it is not the outcome I fear, I know you will come through. It is the trial itself that brings discomfort. It is the desert and darkness I dread. The feelings of vulnerability, the insecurities of the unknown. These, I could do without.

How would you grow? How would you see that I AM?

A little more time in the Word, a trip to the memory box, and I come back humbled. Lord, you are so faithful. Every trial You were there. Every hardship You were there. Every need you met. Every unknown you brought Your peace. Each occurence requiring only that I put my faith and trust in You. Each time I do, You prove Yourself to me.

I am reminded of the many times I chose to put trust in myself and my own abilities rather than the I AM. What great disaters I have made! Yet, He remains. I turn to Abba, putting my trust back where it belongs. He meets me there, in the mess, pulls me out, cleans me up. His grace deals with my sin. His mercy will deal with the consequences. His mercies are new every morning.

I answer the call. Lord, I put my trust in you. I will be active in your army again. I will not fear. You are the great I AM.