Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Loving feeling..

You can hear on the streets of Hawaii, the screams from our backyard, as you come around the corner you can see Micah laying with a broken arm, because he disobeyed his parents instructions. We've told him over and over again not to lay on the small rope on the jungle gym in the back yard. We want to guard our children, direct our children and instsruct our children toward a peaceful life. But so many times it doesn't go into that direction.

God has made each of our children with their own special personality. strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes our children may challenge or stress us. Sometimes we may find it even hard to be compassionate to their mishaps when its situations where we've warned them and instructed them away from harm. So how do we encourage each child, even when we have these emotions?
The answer lies in......... PRAYER. When we turn to the Lord to help us, it is amazing to see what He will do. So many times when I just didn't feel that LOVING FEELING toward my children, the Lord has given me Grace and love toward them. While micahs arm was broken, I wanted to scolled him and tell him I've told you over and over again don't lay on the rope!. But instead I found myself mustering up compassion and the healing touch from mom.
We need to remember our children have feelings just like us, they take critizism and orders from adults all day. If we had to take all the stress, verbal, emotional and physical issues our children deal with on a daily basis we would be crushed. SO its our job as the loving parents to be that place of peace, contentment and not crush their spirits in our homes.
Lets perserve the specialness of each child, even in a situation where he/ she did disobey and has to deal with the consequenses of their actions. Let us choose our words carefully so that we enable them to maintain dignity and develop christlike behavior.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Raising A Daniel In Todays World...

By: Colleen

Dan 1:8 "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself" NKJ

I do not proclaim to be an expert in child rearing and I am not done yet either but I am the mother of older children and I am beginning to see some of the fruits of our parenting labors here. We have a son nearly 19 now (OK yes I was way to young and NO I do NOT look old enough to have a kid that age LOL) and the thing is, he is an amazing young man. Not the "I'm his mom I think he is great" type of amazing. I mean a mature, responsible, polite, agreeable, smart, funny, capable and able to think things out, but most of all GODLY young man. He is even nice to his little sisters!

It all started back in Hinesville, GA in 1995, early in the year, when Pastor Phillip Byler at Bethesda Church preached about purposing in your heart. At that point I had read about Daniel in my read through the Bible in a year process but had never really paid attention to that phrase......purposed in his heart.

What was purposing in your heart??? The short sweet to the point answer is making the decision on how you will do something before you are faced with the situation. Daniel chose, before faced with any trying circumstance, that he would always honor the Lord in all he did. With his body and his mind. In what he ate and how he acted. He would choose before being tempted to not give in to his human nature but to do things the Lords way.

Now, this was an amazing concept to me, revolutionary! My husband and I discussed it in our next phone call because, as luck would have it, he was in Korea for a year! He asked me to send the tape of the service and I did. Our letters went back and forth.....what if we could raise our kids to be this way? What if WE could raise Daniels?

We started with us. We began making decisions ahead of time for us. We chose at this time (we were newer believers, baby christians) to get out of debt and stay out; to steer clear of questionable movies and music; we made sure we did not swear anymore; we worked hard to steer away from gossip. Basically we cleaned up our own lives and decided that when faced with situations that were questionable we would already have a "plan."

When people would ask us to participate in parties (as often is a part of military life) we would say no if we knew it was going to be an enviroment that would compromise or tempt us. When people wanted us to go out with them to eat and we didn't have enough in the budget for dinner out, we would say no....well you get the picture.

NOW, we began with our children. This was not rocket science, it was a concept we could definitly explain and teach to young children. We look at our children andsee innocence but the Word tells us they are sinful and selfish. So we stopped saying they were naughty or bad and called the bad behavior what it was...SIN. We followed the charge in Deuteronomy to discuss the law of the Lord while we were walking and while we were eating and when we sat and when we worked.

See, early on children can learn to choose ahead of time the Lords way. They can decide before they get angry not to throw a fit. They can choose before they are facing it to not lie. These are the building blocks. As they grow older we begin discussing the other things ahead of time, cheating in class, bullying, talking back, sex, smoking, drugs, drinking. We discussed it before they were faced with it so they were prepared, they had a "plan." They already knew what to do. We discussed scenarios, how other kids would act, what they might say and why.

See in order for Daniel to purpose in his heart he had to know what Gods law was and thus what would be a violation of it and why it was wrong. I think as Christian parents we are pretty good at telling our kids what the "rules" of being a christian are but we don't tell them what the violations would be and why. We are afraid we will ruin their innocence or over expose or frighten them but when done in a Godly ,age appropriate way we are helping them by giving them tools to make a decision beforehand.

Now I am not advocating showing them drug paraphenalia or something crazy, I am saying that not discussing it or presenting the information to them in the right way does not mean they won't get it. So, either you as the parent have to prepare them, disciple them, or the world will do it for you.

Daniel knew the law, it was not a set of rules for him but obviously something living enough that he desired, even without parents or priest around for him to want to keep. He could have chosen to do whatever he pleased and no one would have been wiser or blamed him in his decision. He was carted off to Babylon for heavens sake!

So, who made the Lord law that alive and good to him do you think? My guess....his parents. So don't just teach it LIVE it. We never did revert to "mom and dad" movies, to this day we don't watch things the kids can't; we still don't swear and work very hard to avoid gossip. No credit cards, just a house payment and monthly expenses. It is our job to discipline our thought life and our mouth and our witness. See, in deciding to raise our Daniels we ended up changing ourselves as well.

My son is a Daniel, he stands out among the young men around him. He chose without our urging of any type to go before his youth group and make a purity vow; he chooses to never be alone with his girlfriend they are always with others or in public. He chooses to not defile his body with illegal substances and such. He chooses to lead in his youth group. He goes to church when we don't. He keeps himself set apart for the Lord. Is he perfect? Absolutely not but he is a young man pursuing God.

I can never thank God or Pastor Phil enough for revealing that word to us and letting us see that even in this day and age, with all the trials of a military family, it is still possible to raise Godly children.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wrath Vs Peace

A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

How many times have our children found that stress button and continued to push it through out the day. We give them notice, " Moms had it up to HERE!" " Mom's Lossing it" " Time out for mommie" all those warnings and they continue to push.
I thought today as it seemed it was to be one of those push mommies buttons days, how am I to react, and how does my reactions really show them Christ.
So today as I sat in the Dr's office at Tripler. I began to really seek how to show Micah that love without really lashing out in wrath. As Micah sat there, really showing his 12 year old preteen puberty stage attitude. I calmly ( ok it was a little sharply) looked at him and said "How would christ respond Micah to your disobedience and disrespect?" A quick response of "he wouldn't make me be here," didn't give me the response I was really looking for. So I tried the other direction of ... Mom's wrath, telling him that the longer he gives issues, the longer it takes so sit down, be quite and obey me and the dr..
As I drove home frustrated and to be honest very upset. It was very quiet in the car, when micah got in the car the only thing out of my mouth was NOT A WORD.. So I perceeded to pray for a calm spirit and understanding heart. And then something happened that I wasn't expecting. Proverbs 15:1 came to mind, So I stewed over my reasonings of my justifying anger, I mean come on he disobeyed I have a right... OHHHH But do I? Do any of us have a RIGHT for anything? We have the privilage of where we live, what we have, where we go, how we get there and ACTIONS WE CHOOSE.
So I began to allow God to really change my heart on the way home, Micah thinking I lost my mind as I blasted my christian music, tears flowing and not saying a word. UNTIL We pulled up into the drive way. I turned the car off, turned toward Micah and said words that seem so hard some times... I"M SORRY. I began to tell micah he's actions were wrong, actions he and God need to deal with. AND actions that will cause consequences, but mom lashing out with wrath and harsh words was not what Christ would do, and I was sorry for not showing him christ in the situation.
Micah was wrong, Micah knows he was wrong, My front yard looks wonderful mowed from him being wrong =). But just because Micah chooses the path of disobedience doesn't give me a RIGHT to choose the path of wrath and anger. I had a chose just like Micah the road of correcting with Love, or correcting with anger. I chose the easier of the two which was anger.
To show our kids Christ, we must try to show them the love, patience and forgivness. We will fail, and when we do we must also be willing to allow our children to hear sorry from us. We must be willing to admit to them, we were wrong. Our kids are watching us to see the love of christ, what we show them about love is what they will understand about the love of christ.
SO as I work toward slow to wrath and anger, I pray my children can see how gentle words turns a heart toward you and harsh words turns others away.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Not so Different

By: Chinookwife

This was written by me last year, about my 9 year old son elijah who is the most loving boy around. Has been given a truck load of issues and still sees the beauty in every day. Dealing with seizures, cystic fibrosis, autism and diabeties has not slowed him down. Just remember he is not so different.

The sounds of humming fill the air
And it lets me know my angel is here.
He humms and jumps, laughs and giggles
To get him to stop would just be plain fruggle

He doesn't learn like other kids
And he has a hard time understanding
But his love for everyone
Is always so pure and so outstanding

You ask so bluntly and so plainly
Why can't he speak clearly
In his eyes you are the one that speaks funny
And is different from his world that's always sunny.

You may look at him and see a difference
But when you look remember God sees perfection
He was made like all of us with special touches by our father
With my angel his touches just stands out more then others.

When you see him not responding don't just pass him off as a bother
Don't just stare at him or walk by him viewing him as a monster.
He didn't ask for what was given he doesn't even care
All he wants to know is that someone will always be there.

He deals with so much in his young life things that would make you shiver
Seizures and needles, feedings and treatments something you couldn't even imagine
He hugs you so tightly after his shots reminding you he is ok
But how brave would you be if you went through what he goes through every day

Help him when he needs it there is no disease for you to catch
Guide him when he's wrong even though he won't remember it.
Play with him a little and watch him become your friend
If you take the time to learn from him you may just begin to understand.

To you he may act different and just seem a little off
But to him the only differences
are you are the ones not taking shots.
So when you look at him and make your remarks
Remember he is just like you just needing a little more love.
And a little understanding too

Written by Katy Bean

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Starting the New Year With Deployment

By: Stephanie

So here I sit without my husband, the one who helps me keep my sanity. I'm trying to learn how to be Mommy and Daddy to my three children...all of which LOVE their daddy. They seem mad at me as if it were my fault that he got deployed.

This evening, I encouraged the kids to sit down and draw pictures for their dad. That seemed to help, because no one is fighting or yelling or doing anything remotely mean to one another or to me for that matter. I showed my four year old a map of where his daddy is going, and it seemed after that he was okay with dad being gone.

Tomorrow is their first day back to school after the holidays. They all seem excited about going back which is a plus. I think getting them back on their regular schedules will be very helpful. My kids are the type that need structure and consistency.

I think the key to helping kids through deployments is keeping things as "normal" as possible. My kids need to know that their dad and I love them and I'll be here for them no matter what..that is something that will NOT change.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Date Night With Your Child

By: Patti

Do you ever try to do extra activities with your children? Children love the one on one attention. Since our children were little, my husband and I have always taken turns having "dates" with our kids.

A date could consist of going out to eat, to the movies, on a hike, to the library.... something special that you can do one on one with your child.

This evening, my husband is taking time out to paint with our youngest daughter. They are having such a good time, and you know what? I've found out that my husband is a pretty good painter!

Ringing in 2008

By: Chinookwife

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6)

Raising children these days is one of the hardest jobs there is, but raising children while livng a military life style adds an extra zest to the job. Ringing in 2008 meant a whole lot more to me this year, then just ringing in a new year. My oldest is 17, a Senior in High School, and about to leave for college in less then a year. As I said Happy New year to all my guest at my house last night. I came around to my daughter who was standing with her boyfriend. Tears filled my eyes and all I could do was hold her. 2008 means letting go, it means having faith in the scripture I've always stood on for my children, it means watching my daughter spread her wings and fly on her own.
I'm finding out raising our children is hard,but I'm finding letting go is even harder.Being there to watch them fall and being there to pick them up. Letting them go to make their own mistakes, to deal with a world that isn't always caring, to grow into their own individual.
I've raised Grace in a stable, loving, God- fearing home. Standing on scripture, while teaching her, and during deployments; using my faith to show her God's love is perfect.
So 2008 brings the time, I stand in faith on Proverbs 22:6. Knowing she may turn from her teachings, Knowing she will make her mistakes, knowing she will fall and grow while she is learning. In the end I stand knowing she will not depart from her teachings, what she knows and what is right and wrong.
We as parents want to protect our children at all ages of their lives, but there comes a time when we have to let go and rely on how we've raised them. Our children, are a product of us, what we teach them, show them and how we love them should ultimatly show them christ love. One day all of you will be at a turning point of a new year, watching your babies leave your home and relying on God and scripture to hold on to. When it comes to that new year, will you be able to have that peace, that what you've taught your child will be something you don't want them to depart from?