Building Loving Relationships in Your Family – Part 2

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Did you miss part 1? Read it here

Appreciate each other’s differences

One thing that promotes close relationships within families is to teach your children to appreciate each other’s differences.

In a family, there should be a spirit of cooperation fostered rather than a spirit of competition. God has uniquely shaped each individual within your family as a special part of his creation. We’re not all supposed to be alike or do things at the same time or the same way.

Point out each other’s strengths and tell your children how God created each one of them to fulfill purposes that only they can accomplish. God took precise care in all the specific details of personality, talents, desires, that uniquely make up who each of your children is, and God makes no mistakes. Even in homeschooling, you will find one child learns certain subjects more easily and struggles with something else. This is normal.

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships in Your Family – Part 2

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 1

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Laying a Strong Foundation

Everyone desires a home that is filled with healthy, loving relationships. Indeed, one of the biggest advantages I’ve seen from homeschooling my family has been the lasting relationships that have been built over the years. My kids are each other’s best friends. But getting to this point is easier said than done, right?

What can we, as parents, do to nurture good and loving relationships in our homes? Well, that’s what this series is about. So, let’s start at the beginning.

You may wonder what some of these first points have to do with building loving relationships within your family, but notice I titled this section “Laying a Strong Foundation”  That’s because there is some groundwork to be laid- foundational principles and concepts that will help grow godly relationships. A good verse to remember is Psalm 127: 1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:”

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 1

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Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 2

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Miss Part 1 of this series? Read it here

Mark 12:30-31: ” And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

We want to raise our kids to be kids of character. That means more than just mentally knowing what character is.  Sure, that’s the first step in training your kids. They can’t take steps to implement it if they’re unaware of it. After they’ve learned that though, it’s important to take action. How do we do it? When do we do it? How do we find needs?

First of all, look around you. Look at your neighbors. Look at your church members. Look at your acquaintances. Those are the people God has put in your sphere of influence. Begin listening to them. It can almost be like a treasure hunt to see who can be attentive/alert and find needs that others have.

Continue reading Teaching Your Kids to Care: Part 2

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How to be a Contented Mom

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Fresh lavender flowers

“Boy, I wish…”

How many times do you find yourself thinking or saying this? It’s so natural to think life would be easier, better if only……”

The truth is, God has given us everything right now that we need to be content. Contentedness doesn’t depend on outward circumstances. Contentedness is a matter of the heart and is dependent on our trust in the Lord.

Philippians 4 tells us, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Truth is, we can’t do it on our own, but we can choose to let Christ do it through us. Or we can complain, wish, covet, make excuses and reap the result of making ourselves and those around us miserable.

Continue reading How to be a Contented Mom

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How to be a Productive Mom- Part 2

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(Be sure to see Part 1 for ways  # 1-5 )

6. LEARNING TO SAY NO

Life’s interruptions happen to all of us. It definitely helps to have our plan in place. When you know what you’re supposed to be doing at a given time, you know what you can’t do.

Learning to say “no” was really hard for me at first. I’d feel bad telling people I couldn’t do whatever it was they wanted me to do; but remember, your time to train your kids is so short. I know, there are days it feels VERY long, but in the whole scheme of life, it is short and will be over before you’re ready for it to be.

I’m not saying you should always say no, but do stop to evaluate. In raising my kids, we ministered to many elderly people and if they had a need, I would usually break from our schedule and take my kids with me to meet that need. That is education at it’s best!

However, there are so many opportunities to involve your kids- good opportunities, that if you choose to involve them in too many, you’ll not be at home much and it’s incredibly difficult to effectively home school your kids if you’re hardly ever home.

Your homeschooling experience is a season of life and during that season, you MUST learn when to say no or you will be constantly distracted as will your kids, and you may miss out on some really sweet times together as family. Continue reading How to be a Productive Mom- Part 2

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How to be a Productive Mom- Part 1

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productive mom 1

Mom’s are busy people. We wear many hats. Much that goes on in the home rises or falls based on us. So, it is important that we strive to be productive women. (and productive about the right things!)

I had 14 children- so life was very busy and it was so important for me to find ways to be productive in order to make the home run as smoothly as possible, so that there was time and energy to focus on the important things, like relationships and training.

Here are some very simple, practical tips that have helped me to do this:

1. SPEAK TRUTH TO YOURSELF

Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

This has been one of my favorite verses as a mom. Why is it that it’s so easy to get distracted about the laundry, the housework, the meal prep, the yard work, washing the windows, etc, etc. and take our eyes off the big picture? Maybe because we are responsible to see to all those everyday details!  But, we need to speak God’s truth to ourselves daily to keep us on the right track.

Continue reading How to be a Productive Mom- Part 1

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How To Be an Encouraging Mom- Part 2

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encouraging mom part 2

When my kids were little, I would lie down with them at night when I was putting them down to bed. I’d pray with each one individually. I’d try to think of even one thing they did that day that was good and I’d mention it to God in prayer as I prayed with them. Sometimes, I’d peak and see a big smile spread over their face as I mentioned their name to God in prayer, thanking Him that “_________” did a diligent job today as she wiped the crumbs from the counter (for instance). The next day, I’d notice she was extra diligent at her job of wiping the counters. She realized that I had noticed she’d been trying and even mentioned it to God which reminded her that God does see all that we do. When we do a good job at even menial tasks we are doing our best for our Lord.

Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Learn to become alert to opportunities to encourage your kids. Learn to watch them as they attempt to do things. Watch their eyes, listen to the excitement in their voices over some project they attempted or want to attempt. Don’t be the person who “throws cold water” on every idea they come up with. Let them attempt to try things that you maybe know won’t even work. Failure is one of our best teachers!

Continue reading How To Be an Encouraging Mom- Part 2

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How To Be an Encouraging Mom – Part 1

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encouraging mom part 1

Don’t you hate it when you’ve worked hard on a project, and full of excitement, you show it to a friend who immediately points out several things they think are wrong with it? Your excitement just deflated like a balloon. That’s exactly what I DON’T want to do with my kids. You weren’t asking for a critique of your project. Now, after the excitement dies down, sure, you want to get some suggestions to help you improve it; but initially, you want some encouragement for all the effort you made getting it to this point.

That analogy helps me to view life from my child’s point of view. The best parent continually learns how to do this. Step into their shoes and try to imagine how they are feeling before you speak. We as parents are responsible to guide our children, to steer them in the right path, to admonish when they are doing wrong, and to lovingly allow them the freedom to fail and learn from their failures. Continue reading How To Be an Encouraging Mom – Part 1

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What To Do With Boys~Part 5

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BoysI started out my homeschooling adventure with 4 boys before we had any girls. We ended up with 6 boys in all and 8 girls. As each child is different, so it goes with boys. My first born son was very self-motivated, loved to set his own goals and beat them, and devoured books. My second son, however was very different. Continue reading What To Do With Boys~Part 5

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What To Do With Boys~Part 4

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baseballLet’s be honest about it: Sports have become a religion in our society. Professional athletes are among the highest paid people in the country. I’m not objecting to their incomes; they are drawing millions of fans to the stadiums and so their commercial value is undeniable. My problem is with the widespread philosophy that propels so many people to spend their money and time watching it all happen. That attaches so much worth to the playing of games. Continue reading What To Do With Boys~Part 4

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