Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our children are not our own...

We are not the owners of our children....quoted by Mom

This statement came about during one of our afternoon conversations of raising children.  She raised nine of them and I am still working with mine. 

As a mother we are not given an instruction manual on how to care for children.  If you were fortunate enough to have several siblings as I did (eight to be exact), you were given the responsibility of caring for those younger than yourself.

We are not owners of our children, but stewards.  We are responsible to nurture, protect, help grow, and to help develop the gifts in them.  All while working, living, being, and raising a family.  Life with all its highs and lows we do the best we know.  Enjoy these moments for they are short (though, sometimes it seems never ending).

I have friends whose children are all grown-up, gone and raising their own children, some are a distance away so the opportunity to help raise their grandchildren is as close as face-time—a digital image away. 

For some of those parents like my mom, there is that longing to gather her chicks (children) once again.  I love spending time talking with my mother, but time is short, responsibilities are long and I can’t spend as much time since I too am raising a family.  My nest is not yet empty.  Like you I dream about an empty nest, but until then, be grateful for the journey.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year, from our family to yours!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The way to a man's heart...

A slice of advice:

The way to a man’s heart is through your words.   

The best way to build a loving lasting relationship is by encouraging your husband. 

Remember that shame never brings change and nagging never encouraged anyone.  

My husband spent this weekend painting one of the rooms in our home.  He is a meticulous painter; one of the best I know.  I was so excited to get started on this project; in fact I made all the preparations to get going.  I picked up the paint and supplies, I cleared out the clutter from the room, all that was left to do was to paint.  

I did not paint.  In fact my job was to encourage my husband through the process.  I prepared lunches and dinner and snacks and poured coffee.  All the while telling him what a great job he was doing and how beautiful it looked.  On day two, I told him that the wonderful job entitled him to a special treat, ice-cream. He’s crazy for ice-cream!   I picked up a gallon of the best ice-cream and he was delighted.

Why do I say all this? To help you understand that men are motivated by our encouraging words.  My husband knows I love him, but when I show and tell him it speaks greater volumes.

Take time to encourage your man, tell him how much you love and appreciate him. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

10 Minute Tidy

There are days when I want to post a sign “at the beach— back in a week”.  Those are the days when the laundry is piled high, the dishes are in the sink and everybody is waiting for mom to ring the dinner bell!

I have finally decided to solicit help.  I no longer want to carry the load (literally).  I plan to be around a long time, so in order for me to endure I decided that I will rally the troops here at home for help.

This summer I decided to train my youngest child the way I would train an employee to do a job: methodical, with skill, and patience. I must: communicate, delegate, write it down, set goals, give incentives and reward often.

We start first with daily routines (chores) that will carry her through life, college, whether married or single.

Secondly, I want to teach her to be diligent by helping her understand the importance of doing a good job and being consistent.  

Thirdly, explaining the importance of doing chores with skill and the right attitude.  Why the right attitude? Because the right attitude will take you further than your skill.

Fourthly, being a person of your word.  (I no longer want to hear, “I’ll do it tomorrow ma”).  Doing what you say you will do and following through is the beginning of having integrity.  Integrity is a moral principle that must first be taught at home, which again will help them on the job and carry them through life. 

When my youngest was a toddler we used to watch a show about a girl and her doll.  The girl pretended that the doll was real and always at the end of the show she would tell her doll that it was time for a 10 minute tidy.  She was in fact teaching her viewers the importance of cleaning up after themselves.   I used the same method with her and made a game of it.  Of course now that she is much older it’s time to get serious about mastering the art of tidiness.

As a parent I constantly have to remind myself that even though we may have worked on a project once we may need to tweak it and sometimes go over it again and again.  This of course takes time and patience of which I am acquiring more of as I continue to teach and train. 

There are some things that are taught and some things that are caught!
How does one catch?  First by being present physically, you’ve got to make time to do the necessary things in order for your children to understand, see and know how things are done. 

For example, when I was a child I used watch how my mom took the time preparing the home whenever we had company coming.  I came to understand that there were some things that were done of importance in preparation for entertaining her guests.  

Although my mother taught me the art of cleaning and cooking, there were other things that I caught by watching.  The way things were placed around the house just so; the lace on the tables, the bread on the plate, the changing of curtains, the waxed floors so shiny you could see your face.  Little did I realize much later that I would pretty much work the same way my mother did all those years ago. 

Point your kids in the right direction-when they are old they won't be lost..Proverbs 22:6

I like this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson,
"Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Let’s pull together

As my youngest child was promoted from eighth grade to a freshman in high school, I was reminded once again that life is a perpetual motion. We live, we move, we strive every day, each person moving in one direction or another.  Take for example this week we had a wedding and a graduation with each event signifying another step into their future.  

I thought about my role as a parent and the responsibility that I have to train my child in the way that she should go.  It starts early when you nurture your newborn child.  Then come the school years, a period of learning and the training and supervision that come with that; then continuing the course of their independence as young adults. 

Each generation is striving to achieve a life that they can call their own.  I thought about how we start by pulling like a parent pulling the young child in a wagon because that child hasn’t yet learned to walk. And then we push them forward as they begin to take their first steps, encouraging them along the way, though they fall we encourage them to stand and move ahead.  Then we have a season when we play tug-of-war, when the child is striving to be independent but has not yet mastered the skill. We each pulling our way to see who wins though it is not a game that we are playing for fun, but rather the game of life; we struggle to let go and  hold on.  Surrendering bit by bit as they force their way into maturity, we let go some more, they grow-up and move on.  

Life is a perpetual motion.  Though we may strive to pull or push; lets pull together to encourage each generation to move ahead and achieve greatness that resides in each and every one to come.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Can a mother resign?

Today I wanted to resign as a mother.  I felt like that last week too.   There are times when everything comes crashing all at once.   As a mother we are required to carry a delicate balance between what we perceive to be no big deal and the reality of what a child is feeling in their own little world among their peers.  

When your child is feeling the pressures of life at their level you need to pay attention and address the issues at hand.  I on the other hand started comparing child number one with child number two and said to myself; well child number one never went through that.   I had to remind myself that what I am hearing is real in this child’s world.  Although, I know that this situation is temporary and it will pass.  As a parent I have to walk the line between their world of maturing, groaning and growing and pay attention to what is happening in the moment.  Parenting can seem overwhelming at times, so I encourage you to do what I do when that happens.  I regroup and call on my troops.   

These troopers are my comrades of close friends, my fellow soldiers and supporters, other moms who have gone through the growing pains of raising children and who have experienced their share of resigning moments.  I am ever grateful that I can pick up the phone and get help.  It is important as mothers that we build relationships with other moms whom can rally with us when trouble comes and when the sense of despair wants to overtake you and your child.  These are the times that a mother needs wise counsel. It is then that you rally your friends to pray with you and to encourage you to get through that crisis moment.  I know that no matter how great or small the crisis, my troopers are there and for that I am grateful.   

I believe it takes a troop and sometimes a village to help raise children who can conquer their world.  Every parent who has raised a teenager knows that these are the most critical years of their life.  The teenage years are years of transition and growth from childhood through young adulthood.  

So I urge you mom, before you resign, call your troops and rally together to get the wisdom needed to get through the day, the week, the moment.   Encourage yourself; remember this season will pass before you know it.  Try to enjoy the journey no matter how difficult some days may seem.  Pray and ask for help.  We need each other so that together we can build strong families.