31 days of training my kids: let’s get specific

imageAll right, enough hullabaloo. We’ve had two crazy busy weeks in a row, a trip to Pennsylvania and back, and another full week staring us in the face.

I can’t just float on and expect productive teaching and training to happen around here.

Life probably won’t slow down any time soon.

Here is what we will be working on this week.

*Putting stuff away. We’ve worked on it before, but it’s definitely time for a refresher -probably for mom and kids.

*Looking at someone in the eye when they talk to you.

and two more constants…

*Obeying with a good attitude

*Being happy and thankful in all circumstances (this is especially with the older ones -and me!)

We already had a great opportunity to work on that last one at breakfast this morning. Who knew being given a smaller piece of banana than someone else could be so heartbreaking?

What are you working on this week?

31 days of training my kids: don’t despair

imageIt’s taken two days to write this silly thing. And it’s not even that profound or deep or anything. Here’s how it started out, two days ago: 

Today did not start out super great. I woke up late -happens more than I’d like to admit. We finished breakfast at…

I don’t even want to say.

Then to clean up at least a little, get all the girls settled playing, make sure the homeschool space is ready… start school, take care of Mckayla who just easily hopped over the baby gate…

All the while my mind is eating at me, “If you had… you can’t even… even when you… it’s still…”

Mornings like that are no fun.

I’ve learned from experience that the worst thing to do is despair. Sometimes it feels like you can’t walk away from that voice in your head.

*Digression: it is my personal opinion that at this point the worse thing you can do is follow the popular advice of the day, “Remind yourself that you’re a great mom! Think of ten things right now that you’re awesome at! It’s so shallow. We know deep inside how messed up we are.*

Even when I know that I’m behind and in less-than-desirable circumstances, I can’t go back and change anything. In the moment, I have to do what’s right. Keep fixing breakfast. And be joyful and thankful.

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Seriously, the last few days have felt like 600,000 inner battles one right after another. Then go to bed, then do it again.

Not giving in to despair or discouragement or feeling defeated is a victory. Just because the temptation is there to wallow in all those emotions doesn’t mean we don’t have a choice.

The moment, minute, and hour at hand have not been messed up yet.

Ever felt like this?

Task. Frustration. Discouragement. Repentance. Hope. Task. Thanks. Rejoicing. Repeat. 

Every ninety seconds.

Not fun, but good.

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I have to say that yesterday was even harder than the day before with crazy things coming out of all sorts of places. If you’re having a day like that, don’t give in. Don’t despair. 

…hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him,…

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!

31 days of training my kids: even when you’re not

imageAfter a lovely and profitable weekend away, and after a long, good Monday… this is about all I have to say.

I’ve really been thinking for the past two days how you’re always training your kids… even when you’re not. They pick up your attitudes and actions; they learn in what situations we will and won’t discipline them… they’re always learning.

Especially impressive to me has been the thought that they are impacted even by the things I do when they’re not around. How I choose to spend my free time, how I think about people who come and go in my life, how I devote myself to Christ… these are all things that directly impact who I am when I’m around my girls. I can’t even perceive the influence, but I know it’s there.

Perhaps this is not very clear since it’s late and I’m writing off-the-cuff.

If my girls learn more from my example, than from what I actually teach them, I want to make sure there is equal effort going into training them and into being a consistent person, even when they’re not there.

May my desires become less and may passion for Christ become more.

31 days of training my kids: lyrics i love

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What can some lyrics to a song you love possibly have to do with training your kids?

You might be surprised.

I find that so often my day is won or lost within the first hour of being awake. (Though there are definitely days when this doesn’t happen and you have to find a way to redeem them. Maybe more ideas on that later.)

Back to directing your day attitude early on. Though most of us mothers of little ones would love to spend a long amount of time in the morning reading or praying, it is often not possible. I have found that one of the best ways to direct your thoughts towards eternal things in the morning is to rehearse Scripture that has been put to memory or lyrics to songs you love.

Sometimes when I’ve been searching through my memory for a good song, I find ones that are robust with theological truth are hard to find. I don’t need a song with just one good line here or there, I want truth after truth to prepare my heart for the day.

Here is one I’m learning right now. I don’t have it all the way memorized yet, but hopefully soon!

I love the “big picture” perspective.

Your glorious cause, O God, engages our hearts 
May Jesus Christ be known wherever we are 
We ask not for ourselves, but for Your renown 
The cross has saved us so we pray 
Your kingdom come 

Let Your kingdom come 
Let Your will be done 
So that everyone might know Your Name 
Let Your song be heard everywhere on earth 
Till Your sovereign work on earth is done 
Let Your kingdom come 

Give us Your strength, O God, and courage to speak 
Perform Your wondrous deeds through those who are weak 
Lord use us as You want, whatever the test 
By grace we’ll preach Your gospel 
Till our dying breath

Let Your Kingdom Come , Bob Kauflin

31 days of training my kids: favorite blogs

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like mom blogs.

Reason 1: At the end of the day, I want to think, read and look at something that has almost no connection to what I’ve been doing all day.

Reason 2: I find that even most Christian mom blogs have tendencies toward secular thinking, man-centered theology, or an imbalanced view of grace.

With that said, today I want to share with you the two blogs that are an immense help to me as a mom – and wife, and believer.

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Girl talk

This blog is by Carolyn Mahaney and her three daughters. I call this my “get up off the couch and do something blog.” It is encouraging and convicting. Their content goes way past the surface we’re so often content to stay at and digs to the deeper theological basis of womanhood. Many times at the end of the day after perusing other non-mom blogs, I come to this one and am so helped. So much that I usually find myself getting up off the couch to do dishes. Now that’s a blog I can use! (by the way, I don’t think they’ve ever mentioned getting up to do dishes, but rehearsing biblical truth has a way of spurring you on to that next step of obedience – which in my case is normally doing the dishes.)

They have a great sense of history, using examples, quotes and excerpts from godly men and women from the past.

The site also has the fun 52 home collection which features pictures of everyday home events in a way that make a mom smile.

Also on the site is a great list of resources, books and audio, many of which I’ve listened to.

I really hope you know about this blog already, but if you don’t please check it out! Even if you’re unfamiliar with the family, it will be a huge blessing and help.

On to,

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Femina

This blog is quite often hilarious. Again, a mother and daughters team, they are all gifted and humorous writers.

But they don’t cut a mom slack, and that’s what I love about them. They will probably describe exactly what’s happening in your day and point you to the biblical truth that will help you tomorrow.

I find that they are excellent at addressing the day-to-day issues of being a mom as well as the cultural issues that are specific to our society and even our generation of Christians.

Always there is the firm foundation of bringing glory to God, whether by thought, word or action.

If you have not read at this site before, please go! You’ll love it! I highly recommend it.

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Well, those are my favorites! What are yours?