Category Archives: family

5 D’s in Raising Boys

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I’ve been thinking lately about what sons need. What they need growing up. Thought about my four, obviously. And I came up with this simplified list, not all-inclusive and in no particular order but some of the things I think, from my experience are important.

Dirt

Little boys need dirt. They need to be outside, to dig in it, to marvel at creation, to watch ants and worms, (ok, they probably won’t just watch them) to find holes and wonder what is in them, to make tracks with their trucks, to feel it between their fingers and toes. They should get dirty and sweaty and smelly. Give them a shovel and let them dig holes, get them outside!

Dog

Every boy should have something that breathes to take care of. We are partial to dogs here, but we also have a cat, had a rabbit , but dogs are our favorite. Yes, having an animal costs money, requires a lot of nagging reminding to feed etc., requires time, but the pay-off is so worth it. After all, having a pet teaches empathy, sacrifice, commitment, unconditional love.

Dominion

It started in the garden. Men are created to conquer, to test their limits, to have something that they can triumph over.  You’ve got to find what will make your son feel confidant in himself. Don’t let fear hinder. My husband bought our sons boxing gloves and they would deck each other on Saturday mornings. He also taught them to wrestle. Sports are great, or spelling bees, missions trips to foreign lands, working with real tools, camping, working on their first car, the point is, finding something that challenges them!

Direction

Yes, young boys need men, real men, Godly and good in their lives. They also need heroes. G. A. Henty’s novels are great, as well as biographies of missionaries (“Before I eat and kill you” comes to mind and “High Adventures in Tibet”) and be selective with the movies, music and material that comes into your home. My oldest son, loved the movie “Chariots of Fire.” Thankfully, my sons have a father who is the same both in the pulpit and at home, and who if he wasn’t working, spent his time with his favorite people, his family.

Discipline

Sons need to be both disciplined and discipled.  Discipled (taught) to have discipline in their lives. Young men need to have self-control, control over their selves, their emotions & hormones. They need to be taught to follow through, to overcome, to be a leader and not a follower. Most importantly they need to have FAITH, to believe in miracles, the impossible, to be a valiant man of God.

What an honor it is to raise sons! To see little rascals become great husbands and fathers, servants in His Kingdom!

 

“more than one type of good mother”

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I loved this line from Downton Abbey’s first episode in season 4, spoken by Dowager Countess Violet to Mary, “My dear, there is more than one type of good mother.” 

However, we, consciously or subconsciously, have an idea of what a good mother is and it’s hard not to compare oneself especially while surfing social media, isn’t it? Even myself, doing this for 25 years sometimes wonders. I have worked full-time, part-time, stayed home, worked from home, sacrificed for ministry and His calling, stumbled, grew in faith, assurance and conviction, got up, pressed on, moved forward, scrimped, saved, spent, withdrew, questioned, analyzed, softened, and finally determined in my heart that I am the perfect mother for my children because He gave them to me and me to them. Of this I am confidant. I am not perfect, don’t act perfectly, but I do follow the One who is. He has promised that I can do ALL things, Phil. 4:13, that He has given me everything I need, 2 Peter 1:3, to be not just a good but a great mother.

So if you are caught in the trap of comparing, judging yourself, living with regrets or frustrated because you feel inadequate in your role as a mom, pull up your big girl underwear, put a smile on your face, get some attitude, you know that’s right, and in confidence love and lead the children God has given YOU!

Some of my favorite homeschool resources

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Ok, so the above quote really doesn’t have anything to do with curriculum or resources, I just like it. Homeschooling can be stressful at times but overall if you can stay home and be with your kids, learning together, playing together, imagining together, I’d say that’s pretty awesome. I’ve been doing this a long time, and did I do it perfectly? Nope. Could I have done more? Maybe. But honestly, I have and am doing my best. And I am thankful that when I started I had some great books that encouraged me, challenged me, and taught me about this lifestyle of learning at home.

More important than learning about the mechanics of home learning i.e., curriculum planning, record keeping, etc., is laying the proper foundation with your marriage, training your children to be obedient, and managing your home. Here is a list of books I love that helped me do just that.

Marriage and Family

The Shaping of the Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot

The Christian Family by Larry Christenson

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Child Training Tips by Reb Bradley

A Woman after God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George

To Train up a Child by Michael and Debbi Pearl

Hints on Child Training by R. C. Ryle

The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle

If I had to pick just one marriage book, it would The Five Love Languages and if I had to pick just one child training book it would be To Train up a Child. Do I agree with everything written in To Train up a Child? No. The greatest thing that I took from that book was to be consistent in my discipline, to be firm and always follow through, and to make sure that there were many opportunities to strengthen the cord of love between myself and my children. If you have never read it, don’t quit halfway. Read it in its’ entirety and it may help you as much as it did me!

Home Management

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

The Messies Manual by Sandra Felton

Confessions of an Organized Homemaker by Deniece Schofield

Clean Team’s Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell

Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley

Debt Free Living by Mary Hunt

“How to” Homeschool

Dumbing Us Down by John Gatto

How Children Fail by John Holt

Beyond Homeschooling, Abundant Living by Diana Waring

The Three “R’s” by Ruth Beechick

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Learning in Spite of Labels by Joyce Herzog

Home Style Teaching by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

The Successful Home Schooling Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Educating the Whole Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Ruth Beechick

The Christian Home School by Gregory Harris

Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micky Colfax

The Christian Home Educator’s Curriculum Manual by Cathy Duffy

Mary Pride’s Big Book of Home Learning Series

The Ultimate Guide to Home Schooling by Debra Bell

Anyhoo, this is my list of oldies but goodies. I pray 2014 is great year for you and your family!

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Top Ten Ways to Ruin Your Kids for Life by Tricia Goyer – Church World Direct

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Top Ten Ways to Ruin Your Kids for Life by Tricia Goyer – Church World Direct.

I would also add to this list: 11.  Allow unrestricted access to internet/cable/literature.

On of my greatest concerns especially if you have preteen or teenage sons, is a lack of parental controls on the above.  Invest in online security services, use passwords and locks and be diligent! I not only have to do password and locks on our satellite service, but I also have to block specific channels.  If I don’t, even if the content is blocked, just by scrolling through the channels one can still read the descriptions of the garbage shows that appear on adult channels, which really ticks me off. Also check out the safe search options in search engines.  It takes time but the time not taken will in the long run yield too high of a price.

I hate porn, I hate its’ effects, I hate the insidiousness of its’ lies.  I hate its’ destruction of innocence and its’ entanglement.

I am going to stop now.  I am starting to get worked up and I won’t get anything else done today.  Because it makes me so mad.

As always, committed to helping you in your journey!

 

 

homeschooling

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We have always taught our sons at home. When we moved to New Orleans, our mission field, we couldn’t afford private school and we didn’t even think about public school.  The decision also coincided with me quitting my part-time job and staying home full-time.  It has been 20 years, we now have two in their Master’s Degree programs, one is a college junior and the other a highschool junior.  I have learned a few things along the way but here are my top five.

1. Your marriage is priority.  More important than curriculum, more important than extra-curricular activities, more important than your children. Children will learn best in an environment where they are secure.  And nothing brings security like a mom and dad loving each other and by God’s grace walking in His direction.

2.  You teach, not the curriculum.  Curriculum is not as important as you think. Initially everyone spends way too much on it.  The fact is you can’t teach everything, that’s why there’s google : ) If money is tight, a library card and a love for learning will get you far.  Instill a love for learning, cover the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic, throw in life learning and discipline and you’ve got the start of a future productive citizen.

3. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing. Every family and home is unique.  Trust me, everyone struggles trying to get it right.  Don’t waste time thinking about how you feel you are failing and falling.  Look up, you can do it.

4. Absolutely make them do chores and don’t feel bad. Children want to feel needed.  They want to be an integral part of the team.  Instilling the idea of teamwork, that it’s not all about them, in turn trains them to be future leaders.

5. Finally, let go.  You’ll know when it’s time.  You can’t keep them home forever and you shouldn’t want too.  Your homeschooling season is just that a season.  You are more than a homeschooling mom.  It has been a wonderful part of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but I am also a daughter of the most High King and he has plenty of other opportunities for me.

As I look to this next school year, I am excited and thankful that this journey is not quite yet over but already other areas of ministry are overlapping and I know that He is preparing me for the next season.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, I will do my best to answer honestly and prayerfully.

children

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Listened to a young girl praying at VBS yesterday.  Praying that her auntie would be released soon from jail.  That wrecked me.

Our kids (everywhere not just in the inner city) are forced to grow up too soon, seeing more than they should, being disappointed more than they should, malnourished spiritually, emotionally and physically.  Used and abused.  I hate this.

Jesus said “let the little children come to me.” The church needs to say  the same.

friends

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My second son will be moving back to nola when he graduates from Bible College in Springfield, MO.  This kind of surprises me.  My oldest and his wife live in nola and my third is in college in nola and he and the youngest still live at home.  They all like spending time with us.  You’d think after 18 years of pretty much always being home and with me (especially!) 24/7, they’d fly far, far away!

In raising them, we knew that we were the parents, and we set boundaries, expectations,  rules, and were consistent (most of the time) in disciplining.  We all worked hard but we played hard.  We did not try to make them like us, but we apologized if we got something wrong and were quick to restore relationship.

24 years later, our adult children are also our friends and co-workers, making possible a God-called dream to plant a church in the urban center of a great city.  I can’t say enough how blessed I am : )

underwear

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Dear young lady at Wal-Mart with the Victoria Secret white sweatpants.  I am not sure if before leaving your house, you actually took a minute to evaluate your outfit.  I asked my son if he happened to see you and thankfully he did not.  I am not sure I would have liked him noticing your black, distinct underwear.  When I mentioned them, he graciously said maybe you did so on purpose because you might be single and desperate.

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Raising sons is not easy, raising sons to respect women and value them and not look at them as sex objects is getting harder because so many young women are buying into the lie that their worth is tied into them being deemed “sexy.”

I am training my sons that the women that catch their eye have His beauty inside and out, that “sexy” is between a husband and wife, and that one of the greatest gifts God gave man and woman should be unwrapped on the wedding night.

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encourage

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ImageThis is my challenge, to encourage others.  This is probably a good thing for a pastor to do (smile).  One of our mentors, a pastor in his 70’s, said that that is probably the #1 need for people today, to be encouraged.  I might just suck at this a little.  Cause I get wrapped up in to-do lists and thinking ahead to the next thing that I don’t focus on those in front of me.  This I need to do. Now. I want it to be a habit, like breathing. To see the exceptional that is in everyone and letting them know, that I see.  To encourage means to “To inspire with hope, courage, or confidence.” I know I need more hope, courage and confidence. I think I read somewhere that I will reap what I sow (wink).

Thanks Melanie @ www.OnlyABreath.com for the button!