Two Tiaras and a Sword

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday 9

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

*For a safe trip for the prince on a rainy night

*For a blessing in disguise

*For time with just the youngest princess

*For more safety for the prince

*For time to finish another book with the youngest princess

*For a safe trip for our whole family

*For the opportunity to see the oldest princess in a cheer competition

*For special honors given to the oldest princess and her friend

*For safety for family members who were dangerously close to an accident

*For a great service at church, and even some comic relief

*For coloring contests

*For paper football games

*For laughing children

*For the word me scribbled out, and Jesus written in

*For a pleasant discovery that the young prince made a good, mature decision

*For warm, comfortable beds

*For electricity

*For running water

*For friends who went out of their way to celebrate with me

*For a friend  who got  up early and make a birthday cake

*For answers to MAJOR prayers for four different families

*For grace - as I have been reading through Liviticus and numbers, I am EXTREMELY thankful for grace

*For conversations with my nephew and my niece

*For the assurance that my children are listening and taking important lessons to heart

*For a fabulous Youth Pastor, and Youth Pastor's wife

*For laughter with the family

For all these things, and of course, many many more, I am thankful to the Lord.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Give me a child who...

Give me a child who does not talk back to adults.

In any form or fashion.

Give me a child who knows that the adult means what they say.  When I say something to my children, they know that I mean it, and no amount of "back talk" by way of whining, crying, begging, pleading, or sassing will change things.

Kids are smart.  They are very quick to learn how to manipulate adults.  If for example, I tell one of my children to go clean their room, and they whine and cry, and I give in and tell them never mind, that they don't have to do it, something clicks within them.  They realize that whining and crying gets them out of cleaning their room...and if it works for getting out of cleaning their room, then why not try it when they are told to wash the dishes, or fold the clothes.  And if it works for those things, then why not try it the next time they don't get their way.  There are endless possibilities!  Mom and Dad go from being in control, to being controlled.

But, if I tell one of my children to go clean their room, and they whine and cry, and I add extra consequences for their whining and crying, my children are quick to learn that whining and crying does not get them out of anything.  It actually only adds to the work they have been assigned to do.  It may take a few times of extra consequences, but they learn that Mom and Dad mean what they say, and obedience with a happy heart (good attitude) is better for the whole family.

Please understand that I am not talking about abusive behavior.  Our children know that they are never to obey an adult who tells them to do something that goes against God's laws.  I am talking about everyday, regular, getting life done kind of obedience.  Take out the trash.  Feed the dog.  Clean your room.  Wash the dishes.  Read your book report book.  Do your homework.  Pick up your toys.  Turn off that video game.  Call me when you get there so I know you are safe.

This is an area where we strive to be fairly strict on our children.  I want my children to respectfully obey adults without talking back or giving an attitude.  We are not perfect in this area, by any means, but we do work at it diligently.  Our children go through stages where this is easy, and stages where this is hard, but we do not give up, because we understand the value of a child who obeys .  We know that a child who willingly obeys authority will have a much more tender heart when it comes to obeying God.

Give me a child who does not talk back to adults, but understands that the adult means what they say, and obeys willingly.  This is a child who will stand out in today's world of children who think they should be in charge.  This is a child who will actually accomplish something in life, and not just expect everyone else to "hand them the world on a silver platter."  Give me a child who obeys with a good attitude, and I'll show you a child who will go far, and make a difference in this life.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday 8

*For people who have huge servant's hearts and worked hard all day to honor a great group of pastors,deacons, and their wives

*For a family we met that serves as an example and uses their talents to bring glory to the Lord

*For a day of rest

*For my children snuggling, and getting along

*For fun times and beautiful weather

*For a great day in the house of the Lord

*For two more members in our church

*For the sound of my children singing

*For a friend's concern that led to a chance to minister

*For a great meeting with a friend

*For the young prince who solved a problem, and fixed something

*For children who are comfortable enough to talk when something is bothering them

*For children who see when they have done wrong, and apologize without being prompted

*For laughter with the youngest princess

*For a small surprise from a sweet friend that made my day

*For my family

*For our health

*For missionaries who give their lives so that others may hear the Gospel

*For sunshine

*For robins in my yard - my mother always said they were an early sign of spring

*For my home

*For my front porch that I love

*For honesty

*For peace

*For true friends

*For a godly husband

For all these things, and countless more, I give God thanks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who are you listening to?

Just the other day, I opened the ears of my heart, and listened. But, I didn't listen to the right sounds and voices. No, I didn't “hear” the happy sounds of the steady breathing of my healthy family. No, I didn't hear the twittering birds and the chirping crickets singing praises to their Maker. I was totally deaf to the breaking of a new day, where His mercies are new, and His grace flows in a waterfall of an endless supply of never ending love. I didn't hear the rustle of the blankets that kept me warm all night. I didn't listen to the sound of the shoes that sheltered my feet from the cold slapping the sidewalk. I definitely didn't hear the song of gratitude that I normally tune in to when I wake each morning. I missed it all. My heart's ears were full of sounds, but they were definitely not tuned in to the right station.
No, instead of all those wonderful praiseworthy things above, here is what my heart heard as I went about my day… “You are incapable of doing anything, aren't you?” "Why can't you just jump in and get it done?"  "Others have so much to offer, but you, ha!  You are one big looser!"  “You are the problem.”  “Why should everyone else have to be uncomfortable, just for you?”  "Everyone else has talents, and can accomplish so much, and you, what have you accomplished?"  "You have nothing to offer the world."  "Look at  (insert name here).  They are talented and can do so many different things."  "What is your purpose?  What can you contribute?  Ha!  Nothing!"   “You are a bad mother.” “Your children are irresponsible."  "You are irresponsible."  "You can't even teach your children basic things they need to know."  
It is amazing how when we give weight to even one of those toxic thoughts, others come flooding in.  I should have fought the first thought with God's truth instead of entertaining it.  Yet those thoughts were exactly the things Satan wanted me to hear. And my heart heard. Yes, my heart heard loud and clear. My heart got the message. And it was, “You cause more trouble than you are worth. You are no longer wanted.”  And I became very discouraged, and dwelt right where Satan wanted me.
Is that what my Heavenly Father wanted me to hear? Is that what my Heavenly father wanted me to listen to?
Absolutely not. But, even knowing better, I listened. I fell into Satan's trap once again, and I played those accusations from him like a loop between my head and my heart…and in the process, I got really upset.  Life for me, and those I love the most became very uncomfortable. The sounds continued, “See, you blew it. You really have messed things up now! You REALLY can't get anything right can you?” Confirming the earlier voices…
I don't know about you, but I hate it when Satan wins a battle. I hate it when Satan drives a wedge. I hate it when he gets his foot in the door, and whispers lies that my heart believes, even if for a little while.
But, I love the way that God steps in, and redeems a spiritual “mess” like me. He pours on His lavish grace, and lathers it all up with His mercy. He rinses it off with Jesus' precious blood, shed on the cross of Calvary. Then He wraps it all up in a big soft bundle of forgiveness. He sits me on His lap of love, and whispers truth to the very core of my soul.
“Satan is the father of lies.” “He is great at taking a tiny element of truth, and turning it into a murky marsh full of the quicksands of guilt and self condemnation.” “You don't need to do anything yourself, because if you try to rely on yourself, you will become prideful, and fail. Lean on me. I will help you. I will see you through.” “Serve others. Look for needs that you can meet, both small and large, and meet them. You were created by me to serve.” “You are not the problem. I see your heart. I know how you long for restoration. You live in a fallen world, where sin is the problem, not you, my child, not you.” “You are not a bad mother.” “Your children are human, they will make mistakes, but they are kind, good hearted children who love me and serve me. Forgetful…yes, sometimes. Wasteful…yes, sometimes. But keep working on them, keep teaching and training them in love, and they will get it one day. Don't give up hope.” “Now, my daughter, just as your children make mistakes, and forget what you feel you have told them over and over, you have made a mistake. Does it make me love you any less? Absolutely not! It makes me long for you to draw nearer to me, and spend more time with me, and fellowship with me. Remember that when you stray away, the voice of the world is what you will hear. Abide in me, so that my voice is the only voice you will hear. Rest in me. Quit all that fretting that gets you nowhere, and trust me. I will work everything out for the good of those who love me. I love you! I knew what this day would bring. Allow it to draw you closer to me, and all is not lost, it happened exactly as I had planned."

Ah, the sound of His voice. That healing balm for my battle scarred heart.
I am once again close enough to Him that Satan's lies and accusations are merely background static. This is where I long to dwell. Under His protective wing. In the shadow of the Almighty. As His child, it is where I belong. Where I cause no trouble. Where I am wanted more than I will ever know or comprehend. Where I am loved unconditionally, and free to share that love with others.
Is your heart listening to the father of lies?  Or is your heart listening to the Heavenly Father and the many blessings He sends your way?  It may be time to change to a different station.  Who are you listening to today?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday 7

*For time with a sweet friend

*For a good dinner with my prince and the youngest princess

*For laughter with friends

*For safety for our ball teams

*For a good morning with my family

*For the Holy Spirit working in the young prince's heart

*For celebrating 50 years of marriage with a godly church couple

*For a chance to talk to and get to know some of our church family even better

*For an answer to a long prayed prayer

*For the young prince being responsible while we were gone

*For finally catching up with my mother in law on the telephone

*For a sweet note from a great kid - encouragement from an unexpected place

*For a husband who works hard and sacrifices for his family

*For healthy children

*For kindle books, so we can order the next book in the series that the youngest princess and I are reading

*For great books full of godly principles that I can read to the youngest princess

*For a few minutes of fun with the young prince playing a game

*For men who study in order to teach others Biblical truths

*For answered prayers for a friend's dad

*For some one on one time with the youngest princess

*For a surprise quick visit with a friend we rarely get to see

*For great co-workers who jumped in and helped me out at very short notice

*For playing (sneaking up the stairs like spies) with the youngest princess, and the sparkle in her eyes when I joined in her game of make-believe

*For my wonderful husband who put the clothes in the dryer so I wouldn't have to go back downstairs after settling  in for the night

*For a great series of books that I'm reading to my class, and the fact that they enjoy them as much as I do

*For a delicious sweet surprise Valentine in the mail from a great big brother

*For friends who pray

*For my sweet husband who bought beautiful flowers for the princesses and I for Valentine's Day

*For  God's example of true, unconditional love

*For fun in the kitchen with my girls

For these things, and many, many more, I am thankful to the Lord.  He blesses us way above and beyond anything I could fit on paper.  To God be the glory!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Give me a child who...

Give me a child who listens respectfully, while receiving directions, THEN thoughtfully asks questions.

A child who is not thinking of questions, and interrupting an adult to get their questions answered before ALL of the directions have been given.

This is something we must remind our own children from time to time.

I am all about a child who asks thoughtful questions.  I welcome questions when they do not understand something, or want to have a clearer understanding of an issue.  That is the way they learn.  I love when they think deeper than the surface issues and want to know more.

But, a child who listens carefully, and thoughtfully to all instructions and directions before firing off questions, is a child who will stand out in a group.  This is a child that will follow through, and see that the task is done correctly.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Give me a child who...

This one goes hand in hand with the first one.  It too, is a fairly basic skill that I have noticed many children are missing.

Give me child who will look an adult in the eye when they are speaking to that adult, or are being spoken to by that adult.

All too often, children are busy (many times on electronic devices), and do not stop to carry on a conversation with an adult.

A child who stops whatever they are doing, and shows respect by giving an adult their full attention is a child who will stand out above the rest.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Give me a child who...

I work with children every day.  I have three of my own.  And I am seeing some things as a Christian, a mother, a teacher, and an American that are very alarming.  For instance, it is pretty sad when the young lady working (as in employed by, actually gets an income from) the bank, cannot understand how to do a simple transaction, and return change to a customer.  The customer (who teaches 6th grade) told the employee how to do the transaction.  Or when another young lady (of voting age) asks who we are voting for on the day of the PRESIDENTIAL elections.

HOW do you get a job at a BANK, and not understand addition and subtraction?  HOW can you LIVE in the UNITED STATES, and not know we are voting for our next PRESIDENT?  I would like to say that those are extreme cases, but I'm afraid that they are closer to the norm, than the extreme.

So, I've started a list.  A list of things that I see lacking in the majority of our children today.  A list of things on which I feel that we as parents have missed the mark.  Some are very simple, some are more complex, but they are things that I feel if instilled  in our children, will allow our children to shine like lighthouses in the middle of a very stormy world.

Today, we will start with something very simple.

Give me a child who speaks when spoken to.

That's it.  Seriously, if an adult speaks to your child, and they respond, your child WILL stand out.  I know this, because I know that this is not the "norm" anymore.

I can not tell you the number of times, I have passed by students in the hallway, or children (of all ages - toddlers to teens) in other places, and said a simple, "hello," or  "good morning," or "how are you?" only to be completely ignored.  I understand that there are some children who are extremely shy, but that is not the problem in most cases.  And even a very shy child can say, "hello," or "good morning," or ,"I'm fine," without having to carry out a whole conversation.

Teach your child to respond, kindly, when an adult speaks to them.  Anything less is not polite.  Anything less makes your children (my children) blend in with the majority.

I don't want my children to blend in.  I want my children to stand out and shine as strong Christians, young people, and citizens.

Give me a child who will speak when spoken to.

And for the record, our youngest princess is still a work in progress where this is concerned.  So this is something we have to address with her from time to time.  But she does seem to be doing better.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday 6

Psalms 26:7  That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

*For a new phone, and my husband who went and got it for me

*For an impromptu date with my wonderful husband

*For the oldest princess who made our impromptu date possible - She is awesome!

*For friends who came to watch the young prince play basketball

*For being quoted by a former student - They DO listen, and learn (and even better, it was a life lesson, not an academic lesson :-)! )

*For getting to witness one of the greatest buzzer shots - EVER

*For a Saturday with no obligations outside of housework and loving on my kiddos

*For a great day in the Lord's house with people I love

*For a precious baby that was dedicated to the Lord

*For news of God working in the lives of some of our church ladies

*For friends who encourage at just the right time

*For games with my friends

*For a cancelled appointment

*For students who make me smile

*For good news for a family member

*For an unexpected break

*For time to chip away at our laundry mountain

*For FaceTime

*For drop in visits during the day by the young prince - makes my day!

*For sweet times with the youngest princess who is growing up WAY too fast

*For my prince who picked up dinner on his way home

*For the youngest princess playing her favorite song on the piano and singing along

*For the awesome piano teacher who taught it to her

*For a beautiful, warm, sunny day

*For laughter with the oldest princess and the young prince

*For a friend who carries band-aids in her purse, and love in her heart

*For another friend who shares the youngest princess's love of chocolate

*For the youngest princess's sweet whisper, "Will you snuggle with me?"

*For unconditional love from God, and my wonderful husband

For all of these things, and so many more, I am thankful to the Lord!