31 days of training my kids: Hope, quite literally

imageWhen we were expecting our first daughter, it didn’t take us long to settle on the name “Hope.” Her name has several layers of meaning for us. One in particular has just happened this past year.

There will be days where I feel like I’m constantly working with the younger girls to¬†just obey.

How hard can this be? Your life (and mine) would be so much easier! I really am doing what’s best for you!

Sometimes in the middle of these days I’ll mindlessly ask Hope to go do something. “Take your shoes to the room, bring me a diaper, go brush your teeth, whatever.”

And she does it. And then I think, “Maybe, when they’re five, they’ll just do it, too.”

Though she’s certainly not perfect, Hope for the most part obeys with a good attitude. Sophia even does most of the time. I have to stop and realize that they are two to three years further along in this process than Gracie and Mckayla.

There really is hope!

This wouldn’t have occurred to me at all until my third or fourth child. (This is one of the blessings of having so many close together!) I can see in living color the different stages of learning obedience. I can remember when I thought we would never get Sophia straightened out with certain issues; and now that we’re re-living many of those with Mckayla, it doesn’t feel quite as hopeless.

I guess my point is, tonight, if you only have one or two small children and feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel… it’s there! It might take a few more years to see it, but faithfulness to God’s Word will bring fruit!

If you feel like you got a late start and are just now beginning to work with older children, persevere!

The goal is not to make your life more comfortable. Four and five year olds have their own unique challenges- that we’re just beginning to learn. But the goal is for your child to bend that oh-so-destructive will to their parent’ authority, and eventually to God’s.

My sweet little Hopey brings me joy and peace in so many ways.

Here’s to “Hope”-ing the others follow along.

31 days of training my kids: favorite books

Today, I picked four of my favorite parenting books to share with you. Nothing fancy, just a few thoughts and an amazon link.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart. I read this before Hope was born, but I really need to read it again as I am now in that stage of life. It is one of the best books on this topic. (not just my opinion)

imageLoving the Little Years. Short, humorous, encouraging and convicting… it’s by a mom of little’s for moms with little’s. Highly recommend!

imageDon’t Make Me Count To Three. A friend recently lent this to me; I had never heard of it. It’s excellent! At first, I wasn’t too crazy about the writing style, but was definitely won over by the Biblical truths and practical helps. I just finished this last week, and it’s a must add to my collection.

imageFeminine Appeal. This is one of my favorite books for women. It does have chapters specific to motherhood, but also describes how the godly characteristics outlined in Titus 2 will adorn the gospel when practiced in a Christian woman’s life. We all want to be good moms, but underneath we first have to be in a right relationship with our Creator. I found this book to be helpful to all of my life, not just in parenting. Though I certainly remember many of the things it said about that!

imageHope you enjoy! What are your favorite Mommy books?

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I keep forgetting to tell you that my sister is doing the 31 days challenge! Check out her super fun series, On-the-go Pianist!