Category Archives: Christian parenting

Outside School

Last night was crazy! I didn’t get home from church until late, I barely made it home without falling asleep. I went straight to bed and woke up at almost 8 this morning! School starts at 9 ya’ll! So I make breakfast (eggs, potatoes, and tomatoes) and sent my husband to the store. We were out of many things but the most important thing we were missing was coffee. I managed to start school on time but without my daily devotion time AND coffee I’m all out of sorts.

After our daily review the kids wanted to play outside because starting late this morning also meant they lost out on their morning playtime. So we took school outside. The kids used chalk to write their letters. I was pleasantly surprised that KJ could write so well.

We then gathered leaves, glued them to a paper then talked about what was the same and what was different about the leaves. Even Princess AJ joined us!

We ventured back in the house worked on some sight words, read a few books and the kids worked in their math books. Before I knew it, it was noon. I instituted quiet time for an hour and the rest of the day the kids get to play.

I did not follow the lesson plan for today but after writing it I guess we got more done than I realized. I’m getting used to going with the flow when it comes to my children’s education. I want them to learn the way they learn so that means being unconventional with their learning.

Good Intentions

As  I am visiting with a friend I hear the water running outside
I yell out the screen door. “KJ turn off that water!” “Okay mom!” He replies and I hear the faucet is being shut off. A few minutes later I hear the water running again.
“KJ!”
“Yes mommy?”
“Is that water back on?”
“Yes.” He sighs knowing he is in big trouble.
“Come inside and go get in the bed until I come talk to you.”
“I was just trying to water the grass,” he mumbles as he comes in and goes to his room.

I turn to my friend an explain to her KJ’s position.

“I was just trying to water the grass, after all in the heat of summer the grass is now in patches in the backyard. The grass needed water. What was the big deal? I was being helpful. I was doing what needed to be done. I took initiative and now I am being punished for it. I don’t understand.”

As I went on and on she stopped me and said, “Okay, okay I get it.”

See this is how we are when it comes to things that God tells us not to do. We hear it all the time, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In fact that is one of my favorite quotes. The problem wasn’t that he was watering the grass. He was being disobedient. He thought he could see and understand things I couldn’t. He was mistaken. Isn’t this how we are with God. We see an opportunity and though God tells us to stop, wait, or move we decide on our own. We know He is older than us, wiser than us, stronger than us but we still want to do what we feel is right based on the information we have on hand. Isaiah 55:8-9

My sweet boy had forgotten that just a few days earlier as soon as the sprinklers were turned off a very large snake crossed the yard. He does not realize that our state is in a drought and he has absolutely no idea that the water he is frivolously using is a utility that needs to be paid for. In his mind he was doing the right thing.

It blesses me so much when God allows me to see myself in my children, because once I see myself in them I am better able to respond to them as close as I can to the way God responds to me.

Potatoes and Eggs

My SJ is a STEM girl through and through and I unfortunately am not.  I see I am going to have to keep up with programs and classes in our area as she gets older. Today she was asking to do an experiment. I really like to give them some room to participate in what we learn. Since there is no (or very minimal) common core directives for science in kindergarten this is a great place to let the kids flex their freedom.

First we defined experiment. SJ said it was trying something for the first time. KJ said its going faster and slower. Um….okay. I explained that an experiment is a test to see if something is true.

We decided to see what would happen if you boiled an egg. We also wanted to know what happens when you boil a potato. 

I let the kids handle both them state their hypothesis.  As you can see KJ though they would both be soft and SJ thought they would both end up hard. 

I let the kids prepare the experiment. The more hands on they are the more they retain. 

They waited a whole 20 minutes which is really long when you are 3 and 5. As soon as the potato was soft I removed it from the heat and put in on a plate to cool. 
The kids got to squeeze the potato and peel the egg. 

The kids were excited to see that the proteins in the egg bind together when heated and the starches in the potato break down. I then let them act it out. When I yelled protein they stuck together. When I yelled starch they ran away from each other. Both my kids have a hard time staying still and since science is at the end of our day I try to limit frustrations from all parties by keeping them up and moving as much as I can.  

We had cooked potato and cooked egg the natural progression was to let the kids make their own lunch. Potato salad! They loved being able to cook for themselves. 

All in all it was a great day!

Punishment or Consequence

Today my little KJ got in trouble about 30 minutes before nap time. His consequence was that he was no longer allowed to play and had to go to bed. He cried and screamed, calming down only to hear my decision and apologize. Then he asked me for cuddles.

 Cuddles?! Little boy don’t you know you are in trouble? Don’t you know what you did was wrong and you made me mad? Though it was just a moment, it was at this moment I had a choice to discipline or to punish my son.

See he already was informed about the consequence of his actions and he was experiencing that hurt but would me withholding my physical affection be to further add to the lesson or would it be in retaliation. A response based out of my anger rather than my love. So I caved…..

As I held him in my arms I began to think of how familiar this situation is in my life. I’ve made decisions and suffered consequences but God has never withdrawn his affection for me. Two scriptures whispered in my heart as I held this sweet, growing boy in my arms.

 “I will never, leave you or forsake you…” Heb. 13:5
Even when I mess up, even as I am experiencing the results of my decisions?
“I will never, leave you or forsake you…”
Even when I scream and yell with my life, or when I throw a tantrum with my actions?
 “I will never, leave you or forsake you…”

 The other scripture I was reminded of was Romans 8:1 “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”

To condemn someone means to sentence them to punishment. My boy who has not yet decided to live his life in Christ sees first my example of God’s love. Through his 2 year old eyes, he cannot discern discipline from punishment. So, I must teach him. Though his actions may cause some unpleasant reactions God’s love wont fail, and this must be demonstrated through both my action and reactions.

New Shoes

These shoes, these very cute shoes belong to Summer and they are two small. At the ripe young age of two years old SJ loves shoes especially this pair, which she’s outgrown. 
I’m sitting here watching her try to squeeze into these too small shoes. I’ve tried explaining they’re too small, they will be uncomfortable if she gets them on and though they’re cute they are no longer good for her growing feet. This is when God tapped me on the shoulder. 
Have you ever been in a comfortable place to long? Have you felt God prompting you to move? To go into a new season? To grow into something means you grow out of something. I, like all of you, have a comfort zone. This place is cozy and comfortable but every now and then things get too tight and then things change.
The Israelites had a comfort zone and they were pushed way out of it. Cool thing is where they were going was greater than where they’d left. They were in slavery but had gotten comfortable operating in bondage. In the same way we get comfortable operating in sin. When they’d reached a point of discomfort God created a way of escape and gave them the opportunity to obtain something better. Some of us are operating in relationships, jobs, or seasons we’ve outgrown but we try to remain there because it’s comfortable. 
God doesn’t want you comfortable, he wants you thriving. He doesn’t want you in bondage He wants you to operate in freedom. He doesn’t want you to be a borrower, He wants you to be a lender. God doesn’t want you where you are, He wants you to thrive in His promise for your life. 
Unfortunately, the Israelites that were freed from captivity didn’t enter the promised land, they could not let go of their comfort zone enough to go in; but you can. You can decide now, today to leave where you are spiritually, physically, relationally, emotionally and decide to walk into Gods promise for you. 
You can decide to accept God into your heart and make a decision today to leave the comfort of sin and walk instead in the freedom of love. What God has for you is so much better than what you can get for yourself. Take off those uncomfortable shoes, Gods got you a new pair. 

I hurt!

“I hurt! I hurt! I hurt!” My two year olds screams echo through the house as she begs for a bandaid to cover…a scar. She is doing this to put off nap time but it made me take a look at myself. See this is an old scar, from a self inflated wound, it’s a small scar, but to her its huge especially when a challenge arrives. 

How many times have we screamed to God that we’re hurting over a situation He has already healed? How many times do we use the excuse of past pain as a reason to disobey what God is telling us to do. We yell, “I hurt! I hurt!” While God is prompting us to walk in our healing and obey. Scars serve a evidence of a past offense but they also serve as a reminder of God’s grace and our overcoming a hurt. That place where the scar is, is stronger and it’s mark serves as a badge of triumph. So stop screaming it hurts, suck it up, and obey. 
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 
Romans 5:3-5 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 

Shine Through

This week my husband spoke at his first leaders conference. Despite being nervous he did an excellent job. Later we talked about steps he could take to be more comfortable on stage when he expressed this very humble concern. He wants to be comfortable enough to effective but he doesn’t want to be so comfortable that he presents himself more than he shares what God is using him to say.

As I prayed and thought about this conversation I realized, not presenting yourself in any situation is very hard to do. Especially with parenting. Our children know more about us than anyone else, save our spouses. They know what makes us happy or sad. They know if we have a temper or if we use harsh language. Our kids see us at our most comfortable, in our most vulnerable state. They should see through us, the love of Christ.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 
Our love for God should invade our lives so much that it seeps into our conversations with our children, that it’s evident in our dealings with them and around them. They should know our love for God and more importantly Gods love for them. 
Father, 
We love you. Thank you for being the wonderful parent you are and for showing us how to be parents through your word. Shine through us and touch the hearts of our children, use us to show them your unfailing love. We love you, we thank you, and we can’t do this without you. Amen.