Child training · children · Grandparents · Parenting

That Special Child

This week I heard a message by Chuck Swindoll that just stopped me in my tracks. Part of the reason is because of the Truths of the Word of God that must be applied to my own life as I continue in sanctification. He spoke from Matthew 15 when Jesus was answering the question the disciples asked about who would be the greatest among them. Do you remember what Jesus did?

He brought a little child and set them in the middle of the group of disciples. He told them, If you want to enter the Kingdom of heaven, you must become like that little child ~

  • Unpretentious,
  • Full of trust
  • No agenda
  • No hidden desires
  • No secret sin
  • No guile
  • Authentic humility

Matthew 18 goes on to say ~

Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones.

It’s easy to look down on a child, isn’t it?
They can seem insignificant.
They can be difficult to deal with.
They are needy.

But Jesus values children. He says we must be like them to be saved. We admit our sinfulness like a child. We trust like a child. We love like a child.

Are you valuing the children in your life? Perhaps they are the children in your home. Maybe they’re your grandchildren. Are there children in your neighborhood? Do you bump into youngsters at church or the park or the grocery store?

Each one is important. Each one has special gifts. Each one has a need for Jesus. Do you see them? Do you take time to speak to them, to make them feel important and noticed? Or do you overlook them?

Then there are other children. Here’s what Chuck Swindoll says about them…

There are those who are weak and fragile and they can’t keep up.
Then you slow down. Take time for them. See the value in them. I love the scene where Jesus talks about future rewards and says,

Matthew 25:40 I was sick and you brought me something to eat. I was in prison and you visited me. I was thirsty and you brought me something cool to drink,

The one hearing it said,

When did we bring you something to eat, or see you in prison and visit you, and when did we bring you something cool to drink?
Jesus’ answer is,

Inasmuch as you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me.

Inasmuch as you’ve done it to these who couldn’t keep up,
these with special needs,
these with congenital brain damage,
these with physical conditions that hinder them from being able to run like the other children,
or to have coordinated bodies like other fast-moving and well-coordinated kiddos.
Guard against devaluing a child or discounting them.

Every child is precious to God. Every child is valuable just the way they were born. Don’t lessen their importance in your home – or in this very world. He or she may be just the one to turn this world upside down for Jesus Christ simply because of their “special-ness”.

Children have a way of reaching the hearts of people like none other. See them for the treasure they are and thank God that He brought them into your life so you could watch the things God will do through them and their unique gifts.

Let’s esteem children, every single one of them, as much as Jesus does.

Child training · Parenting

How To Build Confidence In Your Child

There are lots of things that I forget – like why I’ve gone downstairs, the name of a visitor at church, or sometimes my own age, but there are particular memories that stick in my mind like concreted stepping stones in a garden.


One such memory is when I got my first job at the age of 16. I was to be the person up front at Hardee’s restaurant. Understand that this was back in the days before computerized cash registers. I was to write down the order correctly, bag it up, take the money owed and return the correct amount of change.

I was a bit fearful about the last in that list of tasks, and my wise mom knew just how to help me. She gathered up some currency and a fist full of change, and we practiced. She was the customer, and I the restaurant employee. She didn’t make it easy, either. She would give me $15.02 when her bill was $12.57. She taught me to count backwards, first deducting the two cents from the fifty-seven. Now their total as $12.55 – it was from that total that I would make change. She would make me count it out loud, starting with the .55. “Fifty-five, sixty, seventy, seventy five, thirteen dollars, (and handing over two ones) fourteen, fifteen.” Total change was 2 dollars and forty-five cents. That kind of practice with her made me confident to go to work. On my first day at my job, my cash register was ten cents off at the end of a busy day. I was proud of that, but sought to perfect that during my time there.

I took that practicing idea with me into my own parenting days, understanding that practice at home gives a child confidence when they go into the world to accomplish a task that seems daunting. Here are some of the things we practiced:

  • I would have my girls use our play phones and practice making calls to 911, reporting that their mommy had fallen and needed help!
  • We practiced speaking to people at church or visitors that were coming to our home. “How will you greet Mrs. So-and-So? Look her in the eye, and speak up so she can hear you say your name. “Let’s try that again.”
  • We practiced walking in a lady-like manner
  • We practiced asking questions to an employer from whom they would seek a job.
  • We practiced sharing a testimony at church.
  • We practiced how to care for a child they were babysitting.

Practice does indeed bring progress, but it also gives confidence and the know-how to do the right thing when called upon.

What is your child/teen facing in the near future? Are you teaching them adequately so that they will feel prepared? Of course, we need to remind them to depend on the Lord’s help, but it is our job to give them the tools they need so they will be qualified and able to do all things heartily as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23).

How do you practice situations with your children ahead of time?

Child training · Family life · Thanksgiving

Helping Children Give Thanks

I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons, but I want to focus on three of them.

1. To spend quality time recounting my blessings from God is such a joy.

2. Time with family is wonderful.

3. The traditions we share make memories that last a lifetime.

What happens when we take those three joys and bundle them into one? We make Thanksgiving a day that honors and gives thanks to the One to Whom it is due. It’s so easy to get caught up in the food and gobbling turkeys and neglect directing our thoughts to the Lord. I think it’s so important that we include the children in each of these areas on Thanksgiving Day. It’s easy to put the children at their designated table, let Grandpa say the blessing, enjoy our adult family and idle conversation and forget to really focus on the purpose of the day. Here are a few ideas of ways you and your children can make your gratitude, family time and traditions all coincide and point to Christ.

Make a gratitude wall, chalkboard or dry erase board where family members can write down what they are thankful for during the whole week before the big day. Little ones could draw pictures of their gratitude or find magazine pictures to cut out.

Write secret notes to a family member who lives in your house and leave it for them to find. You could also tuck those notes under the plates on the day of your Thanksgiving meal.

Read Psalm 100 as a family and work on memorizing it together. Say it as a family on Thanksgiving Day.

Everyone say a sentence prayer of thanks to God before dinner. Rather than just one person praying, having each person participate makes it a special time of family worship.

Everyone share a their blessings. This a tradition my family does each year. We affectionately call it our “Puff moments.” After the meal is over, we gather in a circle in the living room and take turns sharing blessings from the past year. It always ends up on a time of happy tears. It’s a precious time together )and of course we pass the box of Puffs to dry our tears. Some people use corn kernels at each plate and drop them into a bowl as they share their blessings. I like sharing after the meal because quite frankly, the meal is hot and ready to eat! Well, the food is a huge part of the traditions! Let’s make it as memorable as we can!

These are all things that you can do with your children. Point the praise to God, spend time together doing it, and make some special memories! I pray that your upcoming Thanksgiving is a special day, and one to which you give God the glory for all He’s done for you, yes even in 2020. He has been so gracious to each of us. Give Him praise!

What one blessing could you share from 2020?

Child training · Work

Creating a Healthy Work Ethic in Children

Cleaning

I love to clean!  I mean it.  To see windows shine, carpets fluff under the vacuum’s bristles, bathroom sinks and tubs sparkle after some elbow grease is so rewarding!

I had the blessing this week of going to do some Spring cleaning for my parents.  It’s not that their house was a mess – it wasn’t.  I laughingly told them that as I was cleaning and came across a rare dust bunny, I rejoiced!  They were few!  When my dad retired, he wanted my mom to retire, too, so he took over most of the household chores!  He does a fantastic job keeping everything super clean – even as an 85 year-old heart patient!

My sister and I just came to give the whole house a deeper cleaning, doing the things my dad shouldn’t do anymore.  For instance, I got up on the kitchen counters and dusted the baskets above the cabinets. But while I was standing up on my perch, I looked down to see my dad standing below me.  He asked, “Can I do anything to help?”  He was a blessing as he rinsed off some of the silk greenery I handed him, wiped down some cups and saucers on display and things along the backsplash.

Then I turned and saw him with coming in from the garage with a vacuum and a long hose in his hands.  He showed me his technique for cleaning out the air vents in the ceiling.  We did manage to keep him from doing that job, but it wasn’t easy!  It’s not that he didn’t think we could do it, it’s just that he has an incredible work ethic.  He can’t stand to be sitting while others are working.  That same blood flows through my veins.  Why?  Because I am his daughter.  He taught me.  He taught my sisters.

Work and work hard.

Give it your best.

Don’t just do a job lazily – do it well.

Don’t stop until you’re done.

There are lots of people who love to watch work, but hate to engage in it.  But you know what?  Work was created by God before sin entered the world.  It’s not a punishment; it is a gift.

To have things that need to be cleaned – a house, a car, a bedroom, dishes, toys – is a blessing.

To have the energy and strength to clean is a gift from God.

As moms, it is our responsibility to teach our children to have a healthy work ethic.  Why?

  • It honors God – Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  I Cor. 10:31
  • It also will serve them well as they seek employment.
  • You’re preparing them to leave home.
  • It is a blessing.

 

How do we teach a strong work ethic?

  1. Give your children age-appropriate chores to do. Google it – you’ll find lists for even pre-schoolers.  
  2. Don’t do for your child what they can do for themselves.  
  3. Reward a job well done. Rewards for hard work can create a desire to finish a task.  God rewards us – why should we think rewards are evil?  Sticker charts, allowance, or a family activity can help a child’s incentive in a task to be done.
  4. Model a good work ethic before your children.  If you bemoan having to wash the dishes or do laundry, they’re going to pick up on your attitude. Why do I love to clean?  I learned it from my parents!
  5. Work together as a family on some projects.  Make it a fun family time.  Cleaning up the yard this spring, straightening up the garage or basement, picking up trash around the yard can be done together and found that many hands make light work!
  6. Inspect what you expect.  Many times my parents would check my work as a child and require me to go back and redo it until it was done to their specification.

As a parent you might even reap what you sow…your adult children may come home to spring clean for you!!  That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?!

Who taught you to work hard?

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