Archives for August2012

GIRLS vs BOYS

SUGAR & SPICE

From the first day I held our little Madeline, I knew she was different. Instead of crying like her brothers, she would “coo”. Instead of wild arm movements, her delicate newborn arm would wipe her forehead and she would sigh. To this day when she comes into our room in the morning she always cheerfully says, “GOOD MORNING!” Girls are a blessing… so are boys.

MY SMARTEST MOVE

One of my smartest moves as a mom of a girl, was to recognize from the beginning that even though our daughter was capable of doing everything her brothers did she was a different kind of person. Constantly in an upbeat frame of mind, sensitive, caring and emotional she would care for bugs while her brothers would collect them for experiments. For us, treating Madeline like a boy would have been a big mistake! Recognizing that she loves Princesses, tea parties, and ponies adds flavor to our overwhelmingly “boy” house, and she changes our environment for the better. As a mother of a girl, I have become better.

Since she has been a little girl I have always “overdone” things on the feminine side with Madeline (named after the little French girl in the story books). I am sure it has been due to the fact she has two older brothers. I have always dressed her in dresses, put her in pink, and made sure she has had dollies and china dishes to eat off of. Having one daughter and five sons has challenged me to balance the ‘girl vs boy’ environment with tender loving care. If it weren’t for Madeline, I am afraid we would all be hanging from the ceiling and wearing mud as a color!

A DUMB MOVE

The dumbest move as a mother of a girl I have ever made was to give the ‘squeeky wheel’ too much grease. There is a saying in our culture that when you give the noisiest person the most attention the others go unnoticed. This certainly has been the case in our house. Four screeching, climbing, tumbling boys can take a lot of attention whereas one little girl who likes to remain silent can be overlooked. Whenever I give too much constant attention to the boys, our Princess can be overlooked. If this is the case in your family, taking your quiet one out to a soda for some one-on-one time getting a manicure together, or even a little shopping can do wonders!

Girls & Boys Are Different, But Neither Are Better

It has been in my experience that girls and boys are very different, but neither one is “better” than the other. God has made each of us for different roles. Women have the sensitivity to be mothers and encouragers, while men have the boldness to venture out and explore new horizons and compete with each other for the best positions in society. Girls and boys are different, but neither one is better. We as a diverse population add balance and culture to this planet, and if we were all the same there would be no fun in it at all!

 

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

 

In honor of our little ones going back-to-school I thought I would begin a series totally devoted to kids and how I as a mom of 6 have dealt with certain issues. For the next 30 days I am going to cover my “smartest” and “dumbest” moments in child raising pertaining to certain issues, here are the other posts in this series:

Other articles parenting articles:

http://wholeheartedministries.com/parenting

 

ARE YOU AFRAID FOR YOUR KIDS?

 

Kids May Be Resilient But What About YOU?

Having six kids, I have no shortage of stressful experiences. Each time one of our children climbs a tree, goes outside or as a teen gets behind the wheel of a car I am provided an opportunity for worry. The Bible however is very clear about worry and tells us simply not to. It says, “Be anxious for nothing.” How then can we as parents build up OUR OWN resilience and learn to trust that our little bambinos are in God’s hands and are not in need of constant parental care?

Proverbs 22:6 in the Message version says, “Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

In the King James it says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

These scriptures are pivotal for believing parents because in the original text what the Word is suggesting is that every child has a natural tendency. Every child has a gift or a talent of their own installed in them from God, and if you take the time to watch your child and see what naturally inspires them, you will learn a great deal about what motivates them to succeed. As a matter of fact most of the men and women who have grown up to become anything at all had parents who allowed them to exercise their talents at a young age, encouraged them, and allowed them to GO FOR IT!

SMART MOVE

As young parents we believed that giving our children allowances for chores was not what we wanted to do. We believed that our children should do what comes as being a member of the family (CHORES) without financial recompense. When the family as a “team” is in need we believe that everyone should chip in without expectation of a financial return. Instead of payment for what is required, after a day of hard work we usually go get ice cream, take a drive, or go to the park. John C. Maxwell Author, Pastor and Leadership Expert once said, “My dad never paid me for chores. He paid me for reading, every time I read a book – I got paid.” Due to our agreement with this philosophy, we as a family have instigated this same principle. We pay our children to read .01$ cent per page, and more for the classics (based on the level of vocabulary needed and in agreement with recommended reading). We have each child fill out a “reading time sheet”, and on a piece of binder paper they list the name of the book they have read, and the number of it’s pages. When their sheet is filled out, they turn it in. Last week our oldest son turned in his sheet and had earned 50+$! WOW!

In addition to encouraging our children read, we have also paid very close attention to what comes naturally to them and what they LOVE to do. When our oldest son LOVED Lego’s and building, we would monthly budget for new Lego sets just for him. When our second son showed a desire to dive (into swimming pools) we budgeted to get him lessons. When our daughter showed a desire to dance, we budgeted for her to take ballet. Notice that I mention we BUDGETED in order to put priority into our children getting the oppurtunity to do these activities. We took money from some other area: cable TV, buying new clothes, eating out, etc. so that we could easily afford to encourage them in what came naturally. I believe that when we choose to watch our children succeed in what comes naturally to them it draws them closer to God, builds thier self worth and gives us as parents the confidence that our children have a positive future to look forward to. There then becomes “NO FEAR”, because there is no uncertainty. Children can become free to be – exactly what God wants them to be!

DUMB MOVE

Our fourth child is highly energetic and naturally challenging. He won’t just say “OK MOM”, he has to say “WHY?” Once I heard him say at five years old, “Well, I’m going to do it this way instead!” For me this is a harder child to handle than the rest because the rest are very obliging. If Indiana Jones was a real person, our little Andrew would be just like him! The dumbest thing that I have ever done is to treat Andrew like the rest of our children, the dumbest thing I could ever do is try to take away the independent spirit that God put in him!

Andrew is unlike the others, and God made him that way. God made him to climb mountains, forge through forests, swim in rivers. God made his boy to be brave and overcome obstacles. The dumbest thing as a parent I could ever do would be to attempt to take away his desire for adventure, his hunger for action and his natural tendency to lead others by “mother henning” him. While I discipline him, I discipline him differently than the rest. Rather than tossing him into “time outs”, or spanking him, most often his discipline comes from sitting down and talking to him helping him understand why what he is doing isn’t safe, isn’t healthy, isn’t productive and then letting him know how much we love him. Amellia Earhart once said – “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

You Will Get Stronger in Your Faith

You as a parent will grow stronger in your faith and security once you begin to watch and encourage your children in what motivates them. I have no shadow of a doubt that our little Andrew is going to do something great with his life, and that he is going to overcome any obstacle set in front of him because we repeatedly tell him how great he is, and we allow him to climb trees, knock on the neighbors door, and be bold in his actions. We are just as confident in our older children because we have watched them as individuals and treat each one separately guiding them in their individual ways they should go. What about you? What are you doing to get rid of fear and encourage your “babies” in what they love to do??

 

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

 

Other posts in this series:

Day 30: UPSET TUMMIES

Articles on relaxing and receiving more faith:

http://wholeheartedministries.com/relax

 

 

30 Days Devoted to KIDS: Day 30 – UPSET TUMMIES

 

Mommy… I don’t feel sooooo – goooo- URP !

Throwing up is something nobody wants to talk about, and yet every parent has to deal with it (believer or not). In honor of our little ones going back-to-school I thought I would begin a series totally devoted to kids and how I as a mom of 6 have dealt with certain issues. For the next 30 days I am going to cover my “smartest” and “dumbest” moments in child raising pertaining to certain issues, today we cover (GULP) throw-up and upset tummies.

SMART MOVE

The smartest move I ever made in dealing with the stomach flu was when I had a plastic trashcan available on hand complete with a clean garbage bag inserted in it. At the slightest mention of an upset tummy before bed, having these two tools at-the-ready prevented the inevitable rush trip and miss of the toilet. As a child, I can remember sleeping better knowing that a cold soup pot (the “barf” bucket of my day) was next to me, and I wouldn’t have to jog on a whim.

DUMB MOVE

One of the dumbest moves I ever made regarding upset tummies involved a McDonald’s yogurt parfait and a road trip. For whatever reason, combining yogurt and a moving car has never worked for us as a family. Whether it was one of my sons or my daughter, if they ate yogurt and drive in a car THEY WILL THROW-UP. Dumb move #1, combining yogurt and movement. Dumb move #2, attempting to “catch” the barf in a McDonald’s paper bag. Just a heads up – if your child is going to get car sick DO NOT USE paper thin bags to catch it. As a matter of fact if road trips are your thing, carry plastic bags with you… BIG ONES.

Pray for protection

Ultimately, all we as parents can do is continue to pray for our children’s safety and good health. For me, learning tricks of the trade like having a “designated bucket” stashed under the sink in the bathroom aids to my ability to parent six children with more ease than being unprepared. Praying for your children’s health and using your wisdom to encourage your children to wash their hands before they eat, drink plenty of water and eat good foods is a great way to get through the “UPS” and downs of raising kids… here is to a HEALTHY DAY!!

 

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

 

Articles on healing those tummies and maladies:

http://wholeheartedministries.com/health

 

Are You Shopping From GOD’S Pantry?

A DESPONDENT SHOPPER NO MORE

Have you ever gone shopping and ended up depressed? So many nice things, so many items that you wish you had! Maybe you had twenty dollars for food, but then you saw a top you wanted to buy… oh the agony! What do you do?

As a mother of soon to be six, I too have struggled with that overwhelming feeling that comes with what seems like “not enough”. Diapers take precedent over shoes, bananas take first place over books to read. I know the feeling of having to choose what is a “have to have vs. a want to have” very well.

Today though, I hope to help free you of this overwhelming burden of remorseful shopping with the revelation that all those beautiful, cool, hip and up-to-date things on the store shelves belong to God, and in turn as God’s children… they belong to YOU! Instead of going shopping and thinking you “can’t” let’s begin retraining our minds to the fact that wherever you go when you shop – you have just entered “God’s Pantry”.

 

Shopping God’s Way

YOUR PANTRY: A LESSON

When you are home and you need to eat, whether you keep your food in a pantry a cupboard or a counter, what do you do? You get food and eat it! There is no struggle with how to pay for it or what you should buy, you just take and eat. Why is this? It is because it belongs to YOU and you have already paid for it. The medium of exchange has already taken place.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

Did you know that scripture says that everything in this earth belongs to the Lord? One day as I was despondently shopping, and thinking of how little I had to spend, the thought occured to me that EVERYTHING means EVERYTHING. Even though the store owners have stuff on display, it all belongs to my God and that means that as an heir to the throne it is mine too. With this revelation, a sigh of relief came over me as I realized that if I treated the store like an extension of my own pantry at home, than going in to the store to get only what I needed was a lot easier! There was no pressure to have it ALL, just the comforting knowledge that my “extended pantry” was open all night long, and if I needed butter (because I was out at home) I could go get more, any time I needed to.

“CHARRRGGGEEE ITTTT!!!” NO!!

THE PROBLEM : “A Kid in a Candy Store”

Most people when they shop, think in terms of “If I DON’T get it NOW, I will NEVER GET IT!” and like Wilma and Bettry Rubble run through the stores shouting “CHARGGGGEEEE ITTTTT!”. Half crazed they pull things off the shelf they don’t need, they spend above their means, and they put all the power of their pocket books in the hands of the merchandisers. If this is like you… my question is that how you handle your pantry at home? When you go to your cupboard do you say “OH MY GOSH!!” and start pulling rice and beans, and Captain Crunch, and frosting off the shelf and then carry it all to the counter? NO!

The grocery store should be treated the SAME way! It is NOT a free-for-all! It is an extension of what already belongs to you through Christ, and in this freedom, I suggest that you instead look for only what you need, make a grocery list and KNOW the store isn’t closing ANYTIME soon, and all the things you desire will one day come to you as scripture so plainly tells us:

“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19 AMP

An article from Forbes Magazine states:

“The majority of the 79 million U.S. Millennials are either unemployed, underpaid, or weighed down with student loans. One in four Millennials, for instance, has more debt than savings, according to Bankrate.com. Some 94% of college students currently graduate with debt. The current unemployment rate among workers ages 20-24 is 13%, compared to 8% for older workers, according to the most recent economic data.

At the same time, Millennial college students (without full-time jobs) spend $784 a month on discretionary expenses, especially food and entertainment, according to the Mooslyvania marketing agency. Millennials are the largest demographic purchasing new technological gadgets and fashion apparel. And their spending on jewelry increased 27% in 2011, according to American Express Business Insights. They even start riots at outside retail malls over $200 limited-edition Air Jordan sneakers.”  Why Millennials Are Spending More Than They Earn, And Parents Are Footing The Bill Forbes 5/18/2012

In turn, it is in my opinion that both crazy and despondent shopping comes from an insecure infantile mind that has assumed that there is no God as an ultimate supplier of needs.

SHOPLIFTING IS A CRIME: IT’S AGAINST GOD’S LAW

Why then do we need “money”? In spitural terms we don’t. What we need as children of God is FAITH. On this earth however, money is the medium of exchange for goods and services. In God’s Kingdom though there is no place for money. After all, you can’t take it with you when you are gone.

What we children of God need is FAITH. As Christians, we know it is WRONG to steal, “Thou shalt not steal” Exodus 20:15, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Eph. 4:28. We know that when we go to “God’s Pantry” aka Target, Walmart, Safeway… etc. We can’t just take what we need and walk out. We must exchange something that we have (MONEY) for something that we need (STUFF). But have you ever considered that what we HAVE really isn’t “MONEY” at all? What we have is FAITH!

It takes FAITH to wake up and go to work. It takes FAITH to babysit. It takes FAITH to exchange hours for dollars. Your pocket book is a DIRECT REFLECTION OF HOW MUCH FAITH YOU HAVE. Do you have faith enough to be a tycoon? Or is your faith only big enough to borrow? Only you can say.

The more FAITH you exercise in your God given abilities, how good God is, how much He desires for you to succeed, the more money you will have period. If money isn’t that important to you – well then, you will only be able to take care of you. That is God’s promise. If however you desire to help others, you WILL HAVE to exercise your faith because not even God’s Pantry gives stuff away for free – you have to exchange some faith in order to receive!

Next time you go shopping, TAKE A DEEP BREATH and realize that EVERYTHING belongs to God and you can have it all… it is just going to take FAITH in order to get it!*

Have an awesome day! As an encouraging community, we always welcome your comments!

*Need more FAITH? Try reading your BIBLE! Build those verses into your subconsious mind that tell you what all God has done for you, you can start out by reading the Book of John. Also, Proverbs is a great book with a lot of financial wisdom, and Philipians covers greatly our inheritance in HIM.