One Awesome Piece of Advice Every Parent Should Know & Better Mom Monday’s Link-up!!

The One Piece of Advice for Every Parent ~www.thebettermom.com (NOT a bad link)

A few years ago–make that about eighteen–my husband and I took our son on a camping trip along with two other families. One of the families were our neighbors (also a young couple with one child at the time) and the other family was my sister Betty, her husband and their three teenagers.

About two days into the trip my neighbor commented on how surprised she was that these teenagers went camping with their parents as often as they did. Not only did they camp together as a family, but they seemed to enjoy each others company.

Fast forward eighteen years. Those teenagers are in their thirties now, one son has a child of his own, and they still go camping as a family a few times each year. What’s their secret? How is it that my sister’s grown children enjoy hanging out with their parents when so many other children don’t?

I got to thinking about this last night and my mind traveled back about eighteen years to a day when Betty and her husband sat in my living room offering us a valuable piece of advice. “If you want your children to hang out with you later,” she said, “then make an effort to hang out with them now.”

It sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

Having a twenty-year-old son of my own I can look back and see that this little piece of advice was of great value to us. All the years that I homeschooled him come back to me when he comes home for a visit. All of the times we sat and played Monopoly with him come back to us when he sits at our table playing board games on family night. All of the times I took him out for a hamburger come back to me now when he says, “Mom I have a day off work tomorrow, do you want to go for lunch?” And all of the times we held hands to pray before sharing a meal wash over me like blessing when I see him bow his head in a prayer of his own.

When I talk about spending time with your children I’m not specifically talking about the big things. Maturity holds an accumulation of the little things that form who we are.

Here are just a few little things that we can do WITH our kids:

  • Go to church with your children
  • Eat meals with them
  • Take them grocery shopping
  • Take them out for ice cream
  • Enjoy walks together
  • Visit other families
  • Watch movies on a Saturday night
  • Cook together
  • Clean house together
  • Plan your day together
  • Read stories as a family
  • Do homework together
  • Visit people at the hospital with them
  • Fold laundry together
  • Ride bikes
  • Do each others hair
  • Dance
  • Wrestle
  • Talk
  • Laugh in the car with each other
  • Sing in the car
  • Weed the garden
  • Bath the dog
  • Paint a room
  • Take photos
  • Enjoy a bonfire
  • Camp out in the back yard
  • Play board games
  • Go to the park
  • Make a snowman
  • Wash the car
  • Laugh at funny videos
  • Sew matching aprons
  • Draw pictures
  • Tell stories

Want your children to visit you twenty years from now? Spend time with them today.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene
www.timewarpwife.com

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So now it is time to LINK-UP and join the party!!!!

*****We pin our favorite link-ups on The Better Mom’s Pinterest Board!!*****

Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Every week we have hundreds of posts linked up here from so many beautiful women with beautiful things to share!  I encourage you to visit their sites by clicking on the links and reading all of the fantastic ideas and insights! Also don’t forget to join the fun by adding your blog!!   We request that if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.



Grab a Glass Half-Full of Acceptance & Better Mom Monday’s Link-up!

dontbe

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
– Author unknown.

Up until a couples of years ago I was in the habit of getting down on myself for every little mistake that I made. When you consider that I made several/day you’ll understand why this was a problem.

I tend to be clumsy, unfocused and big-time forgetful. 

It all came to a head when my daughter and I went on vacation together. We had never done anything like this before, but I had just received an advance on a book I was writing and I had always wanted to go to LA. Knowing that this would be a good chance to bond with my daughter I seized the opportunity. We were excited to spend an entire week in the sun.

What I hadn’t anticipated was how intimidating the experience would be. We were far from home and not only was I responsible for myself, I was responsible for her safety as well.

I made mistakes at every turn, starting from the moment we got off the plane and found out that our hotel didn’t have the airport shuttle we were promised. Taxi cabs were a nightmare. We’d go shopping one place and find out that the cab wouldn’t drive us back to our hotel because it was out of their jurisdiction.

I thought I had it all worked out when I booked a tour guide to take us to Universal Studios. The bus driver pulled up into the parking lot, dropped us off and told us that he’d be back at 6pm to bring us back to our hotel.

Do you want to know what a goof I was? We spent most of the day outside the gates. Yep! I had no idea that there was an entire theme park to see! The park entrance was like a mall, with restaurants and shops, but after getting through that in about an hour, we sat on a bench wondering what all of the hoopla was about. Why would anyone pay to go there? Finally we discovered that the little ticket in our pockets gave us entrance into a theme park unlike anything we had ever seen before.

Unfortunately by the time we got in to the park it was late in the day and we only had about an hour left to see everything.

You Can Choose Your Mood

I was so near to tears I could barely enjoy the time we had left. All I wanted to do was tell myself what an idiot I was, and how I had ruined our entire trip. I stood there choking back tears as I looked down at my watch. Then something happened. I guess you could say that I was standing at a fork in the road. I could either choose to focus on my imperfections or I could grab a glass half-full of acceptance. I chose to accept myself as a wonderfully-weird work in progress and we enjoyed the rest of the day.

The next morning we walked down to the ocean. Although our hotel was close to the shore we had spent all of our time up on the Santa Monica Pier. Madison wanted to dip her toes in the ocean for the first time in her life and I wanted to walk barefoot on the beach. About three hundred feet from the shoreline, I stopped short, took a deep breath and cried, “Oh no!”

Madison turned to look at me wondering what it could possibly be.

“Maddy,” I said, “I goofed up. We don’t have to leave our hotel in an hour—our plane leaves California in an hour!”

Both of us turned around as quickly as we could and ran back to the hotel to pack. That feeling of failure washed over me again, just as it had the day before. How could I have made an error like this? What if we don’t catch our plane in time?!

And then, just as fear and doubt were about to set in, a sense of peace washed over me. Regardless of what was about to take place, we would not only be okay, we’d make the best of the day. And we did. The trip home was every bit as fun as our vacation was.

With that I’d love to close with Paul’s two-fold perspective on perfectionism which calls us to forget the past and press on in faith!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippans 3:12-14, NIV

Don’t be so hard on yourself, mom–you’re a wonderful work in progress!

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene
www.timewarpwife.com

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So now it is time to LINK-UP and join the party!!!!

*****We pin our favorite link-ups on The Better Mom’s Pinterest Board!!*****

Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Every week we have hundreds of posts linked up here from so many beautiful women with beautiful things to share!  I encourage you to visit their sites by clicking on the links and reading all of the fantastic ideas and insights! Also don’t forget to join the fun by adding your blog!!   We request that if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.




Parenting With One Heart and One Mind

family2

When reading John chapter seventeen, one can’t help but notice the fervent prayer of “unity” that Jesus prayed in the last hours of His death. In particular, these verses have always stood out to me:

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That th
ey all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. ~ John 17:20-23, KJV

In reading that we gain an understanding of how important unity is for believers. And the reason it’s important is because we bring glory to God when we reflect a unified church. We are a living testimony to the life of Christ and that testimony is strengthened when the body of Christ is whole.

Let’s look at the flip-side for a moment and consider a scenario. Say I have a problem with a woman at church and I write about my frustrations openly on my blog. And let’s say that this woman talks about it at play group. By doing that, what we are showing the world is a fractured church where members are at war with one another rather than a body that is functioning well. God is not a God of confusion, and neither should we be.

This is how we are instructed to handle disagreements:

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. ~ Matthew 18:15, NIV

Further instruction is given in Matthew 18 for those who can’t resolve their problems alone. But I won’t get into that today because I’m simply making the point that unity should be achieved behind closed doors.

With that thought in mind consider how this message is a benefit to the family unit. When children see two parents raising them with one heart and mind they see order instead of confusion.

When parents are headed in two different directions, we develop a fracture in the family unit that can be detrimental to our children.

One example is when parents argue in front of the kids. Not only is this dis-heartening to children, it also models a lack of love and respect to our spouse. If we want our children to seek out good relationships when they are older then we must show them what that relationship looks like today. We can start by discussing disagreements behind closed doors. How do we do that? We make an effort to exercise self control.

A second example is dissing our spouse when he’s not around, or showing a lack of respect for him when he is absent. I want my sons to find wives that respect them, and therefore I need to show them what that picture looks like today. In the same way I want my daughter to respect her future husband. (and vice versa for both). I must teach them these lessons today, as they’re growing before me. That window of opportunity is only open so long.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

 

Carpe Diem!

planting

I remember the year my neighbor and I both planted daisies.

We were two young wives in love with the idea of having a little flower garden all to ourselves. Maybe the idea came to us over a cup of tea, or perhaps it was something we noticed on one of our many afternoon walks. Regardless of what triggered the idea, it was on both of our minds in the spring of 1994.

Sure, we could have taken the easy road and went straight for the potted plants, but seeing that we were young wives on tight budgets we purchased a few packets of seeds with the little change that we had.

Surely that would do the job, wouldn’t it?

After carefully preparing the ground, I sprinkled the seeds according to direction, lightly covered them with soil, watered the ground, and then then stood back to let nature take it’s course.

Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months… all the while not a single seed gave birth to a daisy. Certainly there was plenty of growth to be excited about, but each and every time it was nothing but another weed.

Thankfully I didn’t let that experience discourage me. Instead I continued to plant flowers over the years–some better than others.

I don’t always understand why some plants refuse to grow and others, like my salvia plants, multiply under my care. I don’t really have to do anything special to them, they just keep multiplying and getting healthier year after year.

My lupines? They’re a whole other story.

I’m reminded of a scripture found in the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a good one for wives and for moms who are sprinkling seeds among those they love.

He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. – Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 (KJV)

What Solomon is saying here is “Carpe Diem!” Seize the day, ladies! The farmer who sits around waiting for perfect weather conditions misses out on the harvest because the sun, the wind and the rain will always be out of his control.

Nature is in the palm of God’s hand. The farmer’s job is to get out there and plant the seeds–it’s the Lord’s job to bring forth the harvest.

In other words, if we sit around waiting for a perfect husband or a perfect marriage before we plant seeds, we’re missing the mark. Our job is to love our husbands according to the will of God today–right now–and to trust Him with our future.

The heart of our husband is in the palm of God’s hand to do with as He will.

The same thing goes with raising our children. Our job is to be the best parent that we can be and to keep on planting the seeds within them. Yes, we need to nurture those seeds as they grow, but we’ll never determine the harvest they yield.

There’s nothing that we can do to change a heart, but there are plenty of seeds we can plant for the Master, aren’t there?

We never know what’s taking place below the surface of the soil. Keep planting, keep praying, and keep trusting the Lord for His goodness.

As for me and my daisies… I never did get those seeds to work out, but I’ve since planted a garden of them just outside my front window from a few that my sister was digging out of her yard. By the end of the summer, I usually have more daisies than I can possibly handle, which is yet another reminder of God’s grace in my life.

Carpe Diem!

Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

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