Tag Archive | children

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

bobby & family 2016

   For the past year my son, daughter in law, and two small grandsons have been on stateside assignment. For 9 of those months they lived in Scotland while my son worked on his masters. Not living in a 3rd world country, we have enjoyed the luxury of easy access to them via internet.

   At present they are living with us as they prepare to return to Africa. And once again I’m faced with the painful thought that they will be leaving soon. But something unexpected happened while they were home that complicated the  emotional strain of sending them off.

Rach & family

   My husband and I have four children and two of them live near us. We take a great deal of comfort in knowing two of our daughters are close by. That was until recently! In April we were hit with the news that one of those daughters would likely be moving an 11 hours’ drive away to San Antonio, Texas. (And they did just that on August 18th)

   Therefore, this summer has been one of extreme high’s and extreme lows. There was a constant flow of children and grandchildren in our house all summer. Three of those weeks were especially momentous: Nammy Camp for the 6 granddaughters, a family vacation in East Tennessee for all 20 of us, and Nammy Camp for the 4 grandsons. The month of August our son and his family has been spent here with my husband and I.  My life was filled to overflowing with memory after wonderful memory of times spent together.

   The quote from A Tale of Two Cities (post title), describes my emotional state over this past summer quite succinctly. And predictably with every low moment I was hit with a barrage of fiery darts.

   It would have been my undoing had it not been for God’s instruction which had prepared me to not only identify fiery dart thinking but how to extinguish such thoughts as well.  While the pain persists, I’m learning by His tender mercies, how to manage it. My life moves forward as God tenderly and lovingly leads me. 

One of the most helpful Truth Thoughts I have found is Psalm 34:17:

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How does God deliver me from my present troubles and rescue my crushed spirit?

If I cooperate with God, He will give me the desire that pleases Him (Philip. 2:13) He will remind me that He will fill the void when my children move away. (Philip. 4:19).

His presence will restore my crushed spirit. Every time I began to focus on my loss, He reminds me to direct my focus towards His presence and the love He has for me. (Psalm 16:11)

He reminds me that He will work all this out for my good (Rom 8:28). 

Okay, so I have a choice!

I can pick up my shield of faith and face down the enemy with these Truth Thoughts! 

Or I can continue to focus on my losses and grow more miserable with every day!

My choice is obvious!

 

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Motherhood? His Calling?

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   I love being a mother! I love being a grandmother! I have always felt these roles to be more of a calling for me than anything else. My perspective on Motherhood finds its basis within that calling. Motherhood fulfills me like nothing else.

   Yet, I raised my four children in a time when Motherhood had begun to loose its splendor! The feminist movement had a lot to do with that, I think. Fortunately, my mother and my maternal grandmother were splendid role models. Their positive influence offset the negative influence of society’s changing perspective on Motherhood for me.

   But the most powerful force that shaped my mindset regarding Motherhood was the awareness that God had called me to this role. 

   His calling on my life, carried me when I felt like a failure as a mom. His calling gave me strength to mother when I felt I had none of my own. His calling motivated me to respect the individuality of my children. His calling influenced  me to take a positive approach with my children. His calling impressed upon me the importance of being a godly example to my children. His calling kept me grounded in what was truly important concerning my children. His calling defined the values I wanted to instill in my children. His calling helped me to teach my children how to stand against the world.

   I could go on and on. But suffice it to say, having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, made ALL the difference in how I mothered my children. It was  His calling  that helped me recognize the fiery darts that were set to undermine my role as a mom. His calling empowered me to reject the lies the World declared about Motherhood. His calling implanted His Truth in my mind and replaced those lies.

   Too many women have allowed the world’s concept of truth to alter their thinking about Motherhood. Rejecting the role given to them by God, they have given themselves over to lies and manipulation. Removing God’s Truths from their lives and replacing them with the lies prevalent in our society has deadly consequences. For the unbeliever, obviously, but for the believer as well.

Christians, weakened in spirit, will not have the strength to stand against the world. It stands to reason, then, that the weaker Christians are spiritually, the more likely they will succumb to fiery dart attacks, designed to alter their attitude and actions toward what’s going on in the world. p. 48 FD, 3rd Edition

Beware of the easter bunny!

Hold on, this isn’t a blog condemning the secular celebration of our most cherished Christian holiday! 

(Please read on!)

If it was, some of you would be rolling your eyes  about now and you would be preparing to hit that little ‘x’ to close this tab.  But not to worry!  I am a grandmother of nine incredibly wonderful and fascinating grandchildren.  The oldest being 9 and the youngest being 17 months.  So I’m pretty confident that eggs will be dyed, hidden, and hunted for around this country home come Sunday.

But there will be something a little different!

What will stand out about my family’s celebration of Easter will be the difference in our focus.  Yes, we have small children who are of the prime age to gather colorful and decorated eggs for their baskets! And, of course, there will be chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and Cadbury eggs, etc.  They will all look stunningly adorable in their new Easter outfits. But while those things are fun, they are not my family’s focus when it comes to celebrating Easter.

So, what’s the difference?

The children are young in this family, but no one is too young to understand why Easter is such a special celebration.  And the emphasis in our family is that Jesus Christ died for our sins; came back to life; and after spending a little more time on this earth, He went to heaven.  That’s why we have the hope of heaven after our time here on this earth is ended.

Here’s some ideas from my first born daughter about sharing the Easter story with your children, and a really cute and fun game to help them grasp the resurrection.  Enjoy:

Tell them the Truth:

 Make sure your children (whatever their ages!) know these things about Jesus this week. Make sure they hear YOU tell them about God creating them, sin stealing them, Satan threatening them, & Jesus rescuing them! Don’t freak ’em out, just tell them the Truth. Let Easter come to life for them (& for you!). Let it become more than just a candy holiday they celebrate in Spring. Let them see, it’s their story…

A Fun Game to Play!

Look for empty things!! & Every time you find an empty thing, cheer “Hallelujah! The tomb is empty!”

Make a game of it by…
* Putting a sticker/mark on a card every time someone finds something empty & cheers. Count the stickers later & see who found the most. Maybe give a prize
* Putting a jelly bean in a jar every time someone finds something empty & cheers. On Easter Sunday eat all the jelly beans

…Have fun finding (& celebrating) Jesus in plain ole ordinary life

The fiery dart of Easter is that young children cannot grasp Jesus’s death and resurrection and how that relates to them and their future.  Therefore, we tell them the story of the Easter Bunny which is a simple cute story easier for them to grasp.

Sure they are young and there is much about Easter that is beyond them (remember how there is a common sense ‘truth’ in fiery darts! ! ! FD p 20) But if we bring it down to their level, they will understand far more than the fiery dart will allow us to believe.   If all our children know about Easter is bunnies, jelly beans, colored eggs, or new outfits, then they have missed totally the most significant event if Christendom. And if they miss that then they have missed everything!