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From Worrier to Warrior Workbook

11 Jun

FWTW WORKBOOK

Raising Kids in the Digital Age

29 Oct

KITDA notes

Love and Leadership

9 Jun

John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.

My husbanAnne and Jayd is an engineer.  If you know an engineer, that statement explains it all.  If you don’t, let me explain.

Jay doesn’t talk much.  At least not verbally.  I can tell he is having a wonderful conversation in his head as I watch him choose which brand of anything to buy.  He over analyzes everything, to make the perfect decision.  His life is lived in stats and facts over emotions, and he once told a friend that he has almost no feelings, and the ones he has he doesn’t understand.

For many years I have wanted him to tell me how he is feeling.  After he lost his mother, I didn’t see much, if any grief, which really concerned me.  I wanted to know that I wasn’t married to a robot.  Then one day, as he was folding laundry, he picked up one of our daughter’s blankets and held it up to his face and sighed.  There!  I finally got a glimpse of his feelings.  I thanked him for sharing that sweet moment with me.

For Jay, love has never been a feeling, it has always been an action; clasping my hand to his heart on our wedding day, making the decision to keep our marriage pure by refusing to bring sexually provocative materials into our home (he even called Victoria’s Secret and asked them not to send their catalogs to us), by turning off a TV program that is not glorifying to God.  And although my girls might say that it is Mom who rules the roost, it is actually Dad who sets the tone and supports Mom in living a life that is glorifying to God.

Respect

9 Sep

The story of Esther is a wonderful story.  Most people know the story of this young Jewish girl who was thrust into the position of saving the Jewish people from destruction which was ordered by a vengeful advisor of King Xerxes named Haman.  But what caught my attention when I recently re-read the Book of Esther was the story of the other queen, Queen Vashti. When Queen Vashti refused to attend to the king when he called for her, King Xerxes was very upset and called his trusted advisors to him and asked them what he should do.  The advisors all agreed if other women heard about the queen’s conduct they would feel they too could refuse the attention of their husbands and there would be no end to disrespect and discord in the land.  This is what they came up with.

Esther 1:19-20 NIV  “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

Knowing the tendency of people to talk, I just wonder if the saying, “You can’t demand respect, you have to earn it” was being whispered among the women in Persia and Media.  In the not so distant past, I myself would have echoed this sentiment, but recently God has been reminding me through various circumstances that respect, like love, must be learned.

As a mom, I have spent the last 16 years teaching my girls many things.  I taught them how to walk and to talk.  I taught them how to brush their hair and to brush their teeth.  I taught them how to say the magic words, please and thank you. These early milestones are easy to teach.  Our children are little and we know they need to be taught.

When they were in elementary school I taught them how to sort laundry and then how to do laundry.  I also taught them how to make their beds and then how to change the sheets.  Somehow as they entered the teenage years, I simply expected them to know things without me having to show them.

Take the dishwasher for instance.  At 14 and 16 the girls have been unloading the dishwasher for years.  They know where things go for the most part and will occasionally ask if they don’t.  I don’t often have to go on a safari to find misplaced items.  This year we have started requiring the girls to also load the dishwasher.  Now you would think after unloading the dishwasher so many times they would know where things should go.  Boy, was I wrong.  I spent the first month or two reloading the dishwasher so I could fit more dishes in, all the while getting frustrated and asking myself why they couldn’t do it right in the first place.  Then it hit me.  Although they had been unloading the dishwasher for a long time, I had never shown them how I loaded the dishwasher to get all the dishes in.  Once I showed them how to load the dishwasher in an efficient manner explaining why it was best to do things a certain way, they picked it up immediately.

So what does loading the dishwasher correctly have to do with respect?  Well, it’s simple.  Respect has to be taught to be learned.  All my children know about love and about respect they have learned from observing me and others.  How I treat my friends and strangers is how they will treat their friends and strangers.  If I am unforgiving of a friend, they will be unforgiving.  Worse yet, they might come to believe that my love is conditional and that if they disappoint me, I won’t forgive them.  And if I don’t treat other people, especially them, with respect or common courtesy, they won’t either.

I have spent a lot of time with my girls over the last two years as we entered the adventure of homeschooling.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to share every aspect of their learning with them, especially being able to relate the lessons they are learning to what the Bible says.  My relationship with my girls has deepened because of our common goal to live lives pleasing to God.  While there are many lessons I have yet to learn, I am thankful for the opportunity to share the lessons God is teaching me with my girls so they can hopefully avoid some of the same painful mistakes I have made.

Thank you Father for opening my eyes to the fact that I need to be intentional about every aspect of my children’s learning, from day-to-day chores to character building.  I thank you for your Word and the lessons that lie within.  Help me be the parent you designed me to be and thank you for your grace when I fall short.  In your son’s precious and holy name, I pray.  AMEN

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