When you Walk Along the Way

Just a place to share my thoughts as I seek to serve my husband, raise my children and Glorify my God!

Having a Happy heart in an Unhappy Day January 17, 2009

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 9:13 am

happy_heart1

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 (New International Version)

19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

Psalm 68:3 (New International Version)

3 But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.

Proverbs 15:13 (New International Version)

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
So today, I wanted to share an insight I had.  On today’s episode of Little House on the Prairie, Laura had to write an essay and present it to the class and all the parents.  She chose to write her essay on her mother.  In reading it, she had written that her mother was the “Last smile I see each day and the only smile I want to wake up to in the morning.”
Wow, do my kids think of me that way?
So today I was in thought over that very question?  Some days seem so frantic and so overwhelming that I wonder if my own Happy Heart is shining through.  I must say “You are not having a happy heart” to Logan at least 50 times a day.  I must also say, “Obedience with a Right Heart attitude” at least 10 times a day to Aaron.  So here I am wondering if in the midst of all my chores and lists, do they see me smile?  Do they see me do my own work with the Right Heart Attitude?  When I am flustered and tired and they are requiring something else of me do I answer with a Happy heart?
I confess that my attitudes are often times very yucky.  I get testy and impatient and snappy.  We can fill our children with all the words and truths we want but the only way to understand them is to see them lived.  I can tell a person how to drive all I want.  I can have them memorize the book but unless they physically are inside of the car experiencing it, will they ever really learn?
I need to shine the LOVE of Christ to my children through my smile!  I need to have a Happy Heart even on Unhappy days!  They have got to see in me that my circumstances do not control my reactions.  I must, as much as possible, portray to them, that which I expect them to learn!  Oh Lord, give me a happy heart!  Let my smile in the morning and the last smile at night beam to them your light and love and give the security of hope in only YOU!
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Thoughts on the fragility of life.. October 14, 2008

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 7:23 am

The fragility of life.  In the past couple of weeks I have been in circles of two deaths.  One was a suicide of a very mentally sick person and the other a tragic OD on drugs from an addict.  Both of these has put me in the mode of really contemplating the fragility of life.  We were given each breath we take and how quickly we take them for granted.  But more than that, I am convicted about my children.  Both of these deaths were men.  Having two boys, I am left to wonder, as a mother, how I can play a small role in shaping my boys for their future choices.

We are given very specific instructions on raising our children in multiple places in the bible.  One of my favorites is Deut 6:4-9

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

In verse 7 it says we are to “impress” them on our children.  One of the definitions of impress is “Characteristic; mark of distinction; stamp.”  I like best the idea of “stamp.”  We are to be stamping our children with the commandments of God.  When I think of that, I think of a group of people in a line and my children being identified by these stamps of crosses on their foreheads.  This reading continues in telling us when to do this.  Talk about them, when you sit at home, walk along the road, lie down, and get up.  So when, every single moment of our lives.  Pretty much every conversation we have should be focussed around pointing our children to Christ.

Are we stamping our children?  When they are in a group of other children, do they resemble the other kids or do they resemble Christ.  There are many harmless things in the world today but they are still competing to remove our childrens hearts from Christ.  We must be ever vigilant in protecting their hearts and keeping them only for Christ.

I can not control the choices my children will make as they get older.  But I can influence their environment.  I can at birth fill them up with nothing but Christ in that they are stamped with him forever.  As adults many of us can think of the pain and heartache we would have been spared if we had chosen God’s way instead of our own.  If we want to protect our children from those things we will not do it with psychology and parental lectures.  We will do it by filling them with the Word of God from infancy.

Today our churches have a plethora of “fun” and “entertainment” for our kids.  But having fun inside a church building is not the purpose of church.  We need more churches willing to brainwash our children for Christ.  Willing to pour scripture into their souls from a very young age.  It is a common misconception that very young toddlers need only babysitting in a nursery.  But I can tell you from seeing it first hand that even these children can memorize scripture.  If a child can memorize “Jesus loves me,” they can memorize “Children obey your parents in the Lord.”

We need to be bathing our kids in scripture and molding them into service for him.  We can not save our children or change their hearts for Christ but we can lead them in his direction.  We need to reconsider our correction and discipline and really use every opportunity to show Christ to our kids.

This passage in Deut. is a command to us as parents to bring EVERY part of our lives under the submission of Christ.  What are your doorframes painted with?  Are your children stamped with Christ or with Hanna Montana or High School Musical.  What are you allowing to be idols in your childrens lives.  What idols do I allow in my home?

Am I taking every opportunity to point my kids to Christ?  Life is very fragile.  We are not promised a single day and sadly neither are our children.  We can not choose who they will become but we can help mold them.  Let’s pray that we can adequately  use EVERY moment to fill them with Christ and the Cross.

On a side note, I do recommend a book on this subject.  “Teach them Diligently” by Lou Priolo.  But no book should ever replace the Word of God.  Also, many people are not aware of something called the “Westminster Shorter Catechism.”  It is a small book of basic doctrines put in a question and answer format for children.  It is a great way to begin very early pouring doctrine into our children and giving them the opportunity to defend their faith.  My 30 month old can even memorize the first 3 questions.  It is a great resource for parents.

 

Biblical lessons in parenting September 18, 2008

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 10:58 pm

Have you been to a Christian bookstore lately? Is seems the Topical Study section is growing by leaps and bounds. It appears that every person has some new biblical perspective on Marriage, Raising Children, Women relationships, and so on. I fear that the rise of Christian “self help” books has also lended itself to a decline in the reading of the most important book of all.

Reading books from these great authors is not in and of itself a bad thing. The problem, I think, arises when we replace our time in God’s word with the words of man. The Bible has already given us everything we need to approach those topics in our lives. Some of them are direct and to the point while others God reveals through more obscure passages. Let me share an example.

Have you ever noticed how the Apostle Paul begins every letter with thanksgiving and encouragement? Here are a few examples..

4I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 1 Cor 1:4-9

2We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess 1:2-3

5For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:15-23

I could go on and on… I wanted to point out through these passages, the example that Paul is setting in the way we communicate with one another. Whether that be with our spouse, our children, or our brothers and sisters in Christ. Often times, he began with this and then rebuked or corrected these churches. I think that is the perfect example of how we are to rebuke and correct.

We as humans are so quick to “REACT.” But if we are a child of God, it is our duty to act as he would. When we are tempted to rebuke and correct in anger or in our flesh, we must always remember to first exalt and encourage. It is kind of like the old worldy adage, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” It is easier to handle correction when someone first points out our good qualities.

I am also reminded the of the countless times that Nehemiah prayed. In the midst of his conversation with the King, he prayed before he opened his mouth. OOHHH.. How many times should I consult the great Communicator before I utter a word! If we are to exalt and encourage rather than tear down our spouses and children, it is best to begin our speech only after prayer and to begin with thanksgiving and adoration for that person.

I confess that I fall way short of this calling. But being an avid reader, I know the temptation to fill my mind with the opinions of men more than with the Word of God. So today, I wanted to remind everyone that if you are drinking the wine of Man made studies, do not forget to first fill your soul with the Bread of Life! If you are sacrificing time in the Word for time with ANYTHING else it is an idol and must be removed. Remember.. even the God honoring things can become Idols in our lives when we worship them and not our Saviour!

 

Cute Homeschool Video September 14, 2008

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 7:53 am
 

I miss daddy August 26, 2008

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 2:53 pm

Ok, you sappy people get some Kleenex for this one..LOL.

People often ask how is it that we can go through all these deployments.  I usually have some token answer for them and put my best Military Spouse smile on and give them a peek at my Super Woman costume.  I will not lie, it is very difficult to juggle everything and to be both mom and dad.  This is not new to us.. We are seasoned pros at this whole deployment thing and each time we experience something new and different.

God has been so faithful and blessed us with phenomenal Christian people who truly take care of us when my husband leaves.  I also do not know how those without Christ would be able to survive these multiple deployments. Christ is ONLY way I keep strong!

I can repair things I never wanted to learn how to repair.  I can move heavy items as well as professional movers.  I can fix a sink and toilet.  I can cut the yard, weed eat, and mow.  I can wash the car, vacuum it out, take it to the DMV, check all the fluids.  I can take care of all things military and all things home.  I can take care of all the finances (or lack thereof.LOL) all while still doing my normal “keeper of the home” duties.  But my chaos and juggling all come to a screeching halt when one of my children are sitting quietly and then say.. “Mommy, I miss daddy.”

There is no obstacle so great during a deployment than the emotional wounds of our children.  Having 2 boys, in my opinion, makes it more difficult.  They miss the “male bonding.”  I can see it when they are around other men in our lives and they crave that male stuff.  I can go over and beyond what I normally do for them but I am still not-daddy.  I can throw a ball with them, play soccer and rough house on the living room floor but… I am still not daddy.  Aaron, to some degree, understands what John does and why he does it.  Logan just knows that daddy is “Gone” as it puts it.

Military wives learn quickly how to fix and repair.  We learn how to manage a house as a single mother.  We have no other choice.. But I can not fix or repair the heart of my children.

I say all this to say, if you see a military person, they do not want your thanks.. But their children need them.  Make sure the kids know how special their Daddy is and how important he is to our country.

Of course everything in our home is a “teachable” moment.  I pray that I do an adequate job at being the example of relying on Christ for my strength.  I pray that they understand that although their Earthly father my not always be here.. Their heavenly father will never leave or forsake them!

2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2Cor 1:2-4)

 

Echoes of Sin August 22, 2008

Filed under: Raising Children — A Relevant Old Soul @ 3:54 pm

Have you ever had one of those days where the sound of quarreling children echoes even into your sleep? These precious, beautiful children who used to cuddle and snuggle, giggle and laugh, climb on our laps and all those other cute childhood things have now turned into….. football players working on a defense strategy!!!

“Mine! Mine! Mine!” I advocate that anyone who has sat through a college philosophy class and endured the lectures on “Everyone Is Morally Good,” has spent absolutely no time with children. There is absolutely no question that the “Theory of Original Sin” exists… Augustine must have met my children. From the time this adorable beings are taken from the womb it is all about them. We are selfish from the start.

I love seeing the tired eyes of a new mother who has been up all night with a crying child. I love hearing people try to console her with words of encouragement like, “it will get better soon.” Sorry.. that is simply NOT true. As they get older, the sins get, if nothing else, LOUDER!

My children will wrestle to the death with bellows of anger for the one red crayon when there is a box full with other red crayons sitting right next to them. From the beginning, we are created to want what we want, when we want it, how we want it.

I am thankful for a Cross where the echoes of my sin were nailed as Jesus chose to take the Wrath for my sins. My number one goal above all else in raising my children is that they may be drawn to that very same cross. You may not be able to stop the burping and other noises that come from having boys but you can take to your knees and pray to the one who writes their game plan. Our Sovereign God has a plan for each of these children and although all we hear is the echoes of their sin, he sees past it all and sees their future fulfillment of his Glory!