Exodus 20:12 NLT
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Well, as you know by now, I have two beautiful daughters- Naomi who is 4 and Adah who is 2- that are really great kids, but they have their moments where they don’t mind testing my patience. As we were working on our last verse, it crossed my mind that our current verse is a MUST. And before I went on to anything else, Exodus 20:12 had to be this week’s verse.
I was worried about it being a challenge for my girls. Not because of the verse itself, but because of the length. They have been doing great, but this one was a tad longer than they’re used to. I went with the NLT version to make it a little bit more kid friendly. With Adah being younger, I only taught her the first sentence. She did very good remembering it….except that any time I ask her to say it for someone she says, “Honor jour (‘J’s instead of ‘Y’s) mother and jour wife.” I think maybe that’s the version that belongs in the Husband’s Bible. 🙂
For Naomi, I taught her all of it and she did excellent, considering it’s length. She learned most of it and can say almost all of it correctly. I just have to remind her of maybe the first word in the last two sentences and she remembers it. I taught them that honoring their father and mother meant loving, obeying, listening, being good and being respectful. They learned that by doing all of that they not only make Mommy and Daddy happy, but also make Jesus happy.
As the week went on, if Adah was doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing, Naomi would say, “Mommy! She’s not honoring!” I found this amusing and used it to my advantage. They wanted to honor, and I urged them to follow the commandment God gave to them (and the rest of us).
We didn’t have a big craft this week, but I made them a coloring sheet with the scripture printed on it and a picture of a family. They enjoyed coloring and were excited that they learned another verse. At the end of each week, I always hear, “What’s our next verse, Mommy?” I am so proud of them for how well they’re doing.
Don’t forget to check in next week…we’re learning about praise!
“Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
Last week we learned that the Bible is God’s word. We also learned that His word is the perfect guide for the rest of our lives.
This week, we learned more about how God’s word is helpful for us. First, I taught the kids what ‘sin’ is…remember, my girls are 4 and 2….I try to simplify things. 🙂 I told them that to sin is to do something bad or to do something you know you are not supposed to do. I also let them know that God doesn’t like for us to sin. Then I taught them that learning His word is very important because it helps us not to sin. They learned that God wants us to read the Bible and remember His word, that’s how we hide it in our hearts, so that it’s always in us. When we have His word in us, we are better people and we don’t want to sin.
Ironically, if you take the song I posted last week, you can fit this week’s scripture into the chorus and sing it instead of Psalm 119:105. The kids found this humorous when we tried it. They were almost in awe. I love seeing them smile at my quirky ideas.
For our craft this week, I gave each kid a page with two matching hearts on it. I let them color the hearts however they wanted before we cut them out. After we cut the hearts out, we glued them together (only along the side and bottom edges) creating a pocket. When the pocket was ready, I had an “open Bible” cut out for them to write the scripture on so they could keep it inside their heart. At the last minute, I grabbed some ribbon and decided to make them into necklaces. You just never know how it’ll go for craft time! Or maybe I just never know. Lol!
Once again, I was amazed at how the kids transformed themselves for crafts. They went from fighting and bickering to the very best friends you’ve ever seen! “Yes, you did a great job coloring your hearts. We’re all doing so good!” It was almost as if they were reading from a script. I’m thinking about making craft time every hour on the hour???
I can only pray each week goes as well as the last two weeks. I’ve been enjoying it as much as the kids have (maybe more) and am surprised at how it’s encouraging me to hide the word in my own heart as well.
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
I chose this verse to start off our first week because I wanted my girls to know that as long as they had God’s word, they would never be in darkness. I explained to them that the Bible is full of God’s words to us and He wants us to learn them and memorize them. If we have His word in us, it will be the perfect light and guide to our every step and move.
As I was teaching them, I remembered a song from my childhood that had this particular scripture as it’s chorus. I taught them how to sing it and now they want to sing it at church, so we’re going to work on that. 🙂 I’ve always found that songs are helpful when it comes to remembering things, especially verses.
Both of my girls absolutely could not wait for us to do a craft to go with our verse, so we finally got to it on Saturday night. I was at my sister’s with my 2 and her 4 while her and her husband went on a much-deserved date. When I enlisted Josie (Karen’s oldest, 12) to help with taking pictures and spreading newspaper all over the floor, her and Karen’s other 3 kids decided they wanted to do the craft, too. My thoughts? Sure! The more the merrier! It was so much fun! We turned the tv off and huddled in the family room floor. I loved hearing each kid giggle as I painted their feet yellow! After they made their footprints, each kid got to decorate their page. They were so excited and really got into it. They all took their papers to the kitchen table and began the decorating process (tv still off!). It was a blessing to me to see them all involved in such a positive manner and only hearing the joyful noise of their laughter and creativity, not the annoyingness (is that a word?) of whatever happened to be on Disney channel or the kids fighting over who did what. I enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait til our next verse and next craft (Josie informed me they wanted to be involved in them all, which made me smile).
So verse 1, simple and sweet. Even sweeter, though, to hear Naomi (4) and Adah (2) quote them. I think I’m really going to love this journey, but not as much as my kids, nieces, and nephews. 😀
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV
So, now that you have gone through the processes of grieving and forgiving, it is time to accept.
Definition of ACCEPTtransitive verb
This, obviously, does not always come easily. Our flesh tells us to live in denial. Pretend it never happened. If we don’t acknowledge something, then we can pretend everything is hunky dory and just go on. Unfortunately… it doesn’t work that way. Especially with women. We bottle things way deep down inside only for it to come back up later. Sure, we can live in our make believe little world where bad things and bad days never happen for a time. However, you will inevitably have to face what you are avoiding eventually. Better sooner than later!
What do I mean by telling you to accept what happened? I mean for you to tell yourself, “This happened, and that is just the way it is. God loves me regardless and I will rely on him for mercy and blessings for all of my days.” instead of screaming and throwing a tantrum, “It’s not fair! Why is God allowing this? Why didn’t he do things differently? I want my way and I want it NOW! Waaaahhhh!” (Okay, I got a little dramatic there, but you get the picture.) I never said this would be simple… It may even be brutal. But without it, your lemonade will be bland.
Am I saying to let this event define who you are? Not at all. Will it change you? Possibly. But that could be a good thing depending on the situation. Being that we are covering many different possibilities with a general blanket here it kind of makes this part hard to touch on. Once again, in order for your lemonade to turn out sweet and tasty, you’re going to have to give up a lot of time in prayer. We are supposed to be letting God lead us on how to make his recipe, not ours. Okay, time to wash our hands and prepare for the next step….
Personal note: Before going on any further with this series, I do want to let you know I have been through some very upsetting, traumatic experiences. I’m not some bozo just sitting here saying “Chin up” without an experience myself. I know that EVERYTHING I am telling you is easier said than done. Like I said, depend a lot on prayer and our Savior… He’s the only way to truly make it through!
I am NO June Cleaver by any means. I do not get up each morning to make my kids breakfast. My house is NOT spotless. Sometimes, my laundry backs up for a couple of days before I wash them. I’d rather wash toilets than do a sink of dishes. I would like to buy something for myself every now and then…
I love my children dearly, and they will ALWAYS come before my needs. That is a sacrifice that I am more than willing to make. My desire is to teach them to be self sufficient. To know how to run a household, cook a meal, do for others. I give my children chores. They have to help take out the trash, fold clothes, wash clothes, vacuum, etc. We are teaching them to cook. I am helping them to hide the WORD in their hearts, so that they can pull from it when needed. It’s so funny to hear my 5 year old say the Lord’s Prayer and mess up on some of the words.
True mothering is becoming a lost art. Don’t get me wrong, there are A LOT of GREAT mothers out there, but some just do not care how their children turn out. They don’t care about what they are putting into their kids. It drives me crazy to see people teaching their children to expect something from others. Like they are entitled to something from everyone.
Over this past weekend, our church took part in a local festival. It made me feel great because I got so many compliments on how much my kids worked and helped out. One lady said, “You’re raising some awesome and responsible men here.” Of course, I didn’t get too proud.
My kids love to help. They are willing to help others and that blesses my heart. In Psalms, it says to “consider the poor” and I definitely don’t have to worry about my kids not wanting to help somebody else. I’m not bragging on our parental skills, just trying to set an example for other parents.
So, what kind of mother are you? Are you raising up a child in the way they should go, or are you raising bullies? Brats? Kids that think they are better than everyone else? Only you and God know the true contents of your parental skills. I encourage you to take a look at yourself and see what needs improvement and what is just right.
Be Blessed!! 🙂
For the biggest part I know most of us do the best we can, and love our children with everything we have. From the time we hear we are going to have our little bundle we are excited for the coming day. We think of our ”BABY” as just that, a ”BABY”. When in actuality we are raising an adult.
The baby years are the fastest years of your child’s life, everything he is taught in his first few years will be carried with him to adulthood. You are his teacher of life; There to show him how to grow into a Godly man. It was never Gods intention just to give you a baby and not expect you to train him up in the ways of the Lord. Whats expected of you goes far beyond diaper changing and toilet training. You have taken on the responsibility of raising one of Gods greatest gifts.
Being a mommy for a few years is the easy part. Being a mother is for life. You can choose to do this job with a loving heart and a lot of prayer, or you can sit back and just pray for the years to hurry and pass… But tell me, what kind of memories will you have if you don’t do your best to raise Gods greatest gift? There is no going back to change what’s already been done.
All the women who write here are not here to condemn or judge. We are simply mothers who have been through what you are going through. Here to try to make it just a little easier. The advice is all free, whether you choose to take it is up to you. How you choose to raise your child is up to you too. I pray you choose to tell him everyday about Jesus and pray for God’s hand to keep him from evil. Someday, when he is older he will thank you and call you blessed. He will know he had the best mother God could have given him. Another one of His greatest gifts.
So from Mommy to Mother, how will you choose to accept Gods gift? My prayers are with every mother out there doing one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world. May God bless you on your journey…
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
Last week I wrote on grieving. Sometimes, once we have completed that step we realize we need to forgive in order to be able to move on.
Forgiveness is rarely easy to just hand out. It can be a struggle to let go of anger and hurt that is rightfully felt. Especially if the forgiveness needs to be given to someone who does not care, denies their fault, is unknown, clueless of their action, or did something unbearably horrible.
Something equally difficult is forgiving ourselves. It is often said that we are our own worst critics. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know anyone who is as hard on me as I am on myself.
Regardless, we are required to forgive if we want to be forgiven. What all does this entail? Well, let’s look at the definition from Webster’s:
Definition of FORGIVE
transitive verb1a: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :pardon <forgive one’s enemies>
Do you have to be friends with the person and act like nothing ever happened? Absolutely not! But forgive and move on? Yes.
Easier said than done, right? It usually takes quite a chunk of prayer time to be able to achieve this step. As with all things in life, pray for God to help you. Pray for guidance. Pray for forgiveness from Him. But I guarantee that once you do reach that point, you will feel so much better. Then, you can move right along with making that lemonade!
But what about those of us that do?
Do you gather your children around the kitchen table, break out the glue gun, and let the kids go crazy with the tempera? I do… sometimes… wish I did more. (Here is where I do my shameless plug for my Pinterest account. Check it out via the link on our home page. Lots of awesome ideas on that site for inspiration!)
Try it: Incorporate a verse, prayer, or song into your craft! Your children will learn more about The Lord and you’ll be able whisper a prayer under your breath. (Hopefully for something other than not getting red paint on your white walls…)
Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.
Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.
Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.
So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…
Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.
Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!
How do you view your children? Are they wonderful to have around? Do you enjoy their presence? Or do you dread the moment they wake up, complain about them all day, yell nonstop, call them names, constantly try to pawn them off on others, and dream of the day they move out?
Unfortunately, many mothers view their children as the latter. We live in a day where children are disposable; Where those that are unwanted can just be dropped off in a “Safe Haven” or aborted before they even have a chance .
The Bible says this:
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV
Children are never “No big deal”. They should not be seen and not heard. They should NEVER be forced to grow up too quickly because you’re just tired of kids running around. They are a privilege, not a right. It is time for people to wake up and stop treating them as such! Don’t like it? Get a dog. Not a baby. (Oh boy, don’t get me started on people who treat their animals better than their children…)
I guess this is more sensitive for me, given my circumstance with my older 2 children. What I would give to have my kids nagging me and being loud all day, every day. HA! Okay, maybe not to that extent, but you do know what I mean. Also, being the mother of a 10 1/2 year old, I have finally realized that these years do fly right by. As Momma Ann, Karen and Emily’s Mom, always says, “Don’t blink!”
It is natural for us to become tired from time to time, and that I understand. Call a girlfriend and go out to dinner or find a baby sitter so you can have a night out alone with your husband. We’re all going to have bad days. Just don’t get in the habit and find yourself taking your child for granted.
I pray that each of you realize your potential as a mother, the gift we’ve been given, and that God will never give us more than we can handle.