7 Year Old Boy Repairs A Fender Bender

(my little man’s car pillow)

My youngest man-child who is 7, worried me so much about his broken car pillow.

When it first broke he said to me, “Mama, I must throw away my car because it is broken“.

(the fender bender)

I replied, ” Why don’t you fix it?

To which he replied, “How?

This became our teaching moment for the week. This is the week that he learned three lessons.

1. When things break we should try to fix them.


2. Even if at first we don’t know how, we should try to learn.


3. The basics of sewing.

(at the repair shop)

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. Proverbs 12:24

(push pins to  keep everything sealed while hes sews)

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Ecclesiastes 9:10

(all fixed)

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24

He was so pleased with his work and I was pleased with him!!

Billy Ray’s Big Regret: The Destruction of the Cyrus Family

Did you read the interview by Billy Ray Cyrus, the famous country singer turned actor and dad of Miley Cyrus?

It’s turned out that another family has fallen prey to the lust and lure of Hollywood. According to Billy Ray’s interview in Focus on the Family, he neglected to heed the mission statement of the interviewing source and focus on his family. Billy’s focus was not on his family but on his own selfish lusts. He states that instead of being a parent to Miley, he was her friend. Now not only is his daughters heart far from him, but his wife has filled for a divorce.

How many parents wish their children could experience the fame and fortune the likes of child stars such as Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber?

Are you one of those parents?

Well consider the statistics. You’ve read the stories. Most child Hollywood stars don’t end up like the cast from The Huxtables and the majority of Christian raised actors won’t take a stand like childhood actor Kirk Cameron who played Mike Seaver on Growing Pains.

According to media reports, most kids end up using drugs, losing a relationship with their parents and becoming troubled adults.

Both of my daughters want to be child Hollywood stars but that’s not happening. Mr. Proverbs Wife and I are not drawn to the money or the fame. We can see clearly the pitfalls that await our daughters. We can see what is causing the destruction of these families and it’s something we want no part of.

I feel bad when I see and hear about families breaking up after immersing themselves into the life of Hollywood fame and fortune. If you are chasing after that dream, consider taking a hard look at the end result of that lifestyle. These people are the rule and not the exception.

Can a family successful navigate through the life of Hollywood with their faith and family still intact? Seems like it’s getting harder and harder. You guys are parents, what do you think?

Also, if the opportunity were presented would you let your child become a child star?

Slow and Steady Parental Discipleship

I have been a mother for 16 years. That may not seem like long to some and to others it may seem like an eternity. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to say…

Stop.

Don’t touch that.

Keep your hands to your self.

Say please.

Say thank you.

and on and on.

Sixteen years later and four children I have learned that disciplining and discipleship are akin to cleaning house. Take the windows in my home for example. During the summer months my windows are dry and clean and only require a wiping maybe twice during the entire seasons.

On the other hand, during the colder months, if I were to go just one week without disinfecting the windowsills, I will open the shade to find black furry mold growing around the window panes.

A Time To Discipline

The same is true with raising children. You can go for months on end thinking that they have grasped a particular principle. You find that you have to correct them less and less about a particular behavior until you can’t remember the last time you had to correct them.

Just when you are ready to rejoice, because it appears that they’ve mastered a particular flaw – only to see that same destructive character trait rear it’s ugly head.

What I realized by observing the seasonal condensation and humidity cycle in my windowsill is that mold will always return under the right conditions and so will childish behavior.

With just a little moisture and a bit of  food such as dust for the mold to feed on and the problem reappears. The same is the case with childish behavior. Tiny agitators such as foolish or selfish thoughts can begin to accumulate within our children’s minds hidden from our view. All can appear great and suddenly childish behavior is back on the scene.

It can range from haughty looks, to snarky responses.

It can be something as subtle as a child who slow to respond to the instruction of a parent…

Or as great as a child who slams doors when they angry.

Whatever the behavior how do we nip the problem in the bud once and for all?

I don’t pretend to have all of the answers but I will share with you what I believe that we are called to do as parents.

Be Consistent

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep (Proverbs 24:33).

The ants gather in the summer even when there is no sign of snow. They do it because even though they can not see the snow, they understand how the seasons work. I think that the same is true with raising children.

We must continue to guide our children in all areas, even those that they seem to have mastered. If we like a shepherd, consistently gently guide their behavior, then we can prevent the need for aggressive measures to herd them in when things have gotten out of hand.

A Time To Disciple

I normally sit back and enjoy the summers, giving myself a break from cleaning the windowsills every week. Since it’s gotten colder the windowsills have been surprising me with fuzzy mold every other week.

As a result I’ll clean the sills once a week from now on, even through the summer months. If nothing else this will help me build the discipline to attack the problem proactively rather than re-actively.

The same will be the case with child rearing. It will be consistent in disciplining and disciplining my children even when it appears that they are not struggling with childishness.

The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2

Book: The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2 (Little Blessings)

Written by: Carla Barnhill

Illustrated by: Elena Kucharik

Published by: Tyndale Kids

Price: $14.99

Reading the bible is a big part of our everyday lives. Bible reading, devotionals, prayer and copying scripture verses are a required part of my children’s education. We normally use the King James Version of the bible but also use supplemental material to help reinforce what we are learning in our daily bible reading.

Spiritual growth is important for every member of my family even our younger children, which is why when I was asked to review “The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2” I jumped at the chance.

The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2 (Little Blessings)‘ is a hard cover book perfect for little ones who are not as careful with books as we’d like them to be. The book is 7.1 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches which is the perfect size for little hands.

Key Points:

  • The devotional is divided into months that are indicated by a bold solid colored page, which makes it easy for little ones to locate each month.
  • There are 384 pages. 365 of them include devotional readings.
  • Each devotional page has a scripture verse which is about one sentence long. Perfect to use for a memory verse or handwriting practice.
  • Each page displays the date at the top which helps school age children  practice keeping track of the month and day.
  • Mini commentary reinforces the focus of the verse of the day.
  • Finally, there is a prayer at the bottom of each page. Prayer starters are great for helping children learn to pray. The prayer are very short and could work perfectly as a memory work assignment.

“Wherever I am, whatever I say, God’s ready to listen to me when I pray”

Prayer from March 30 devotional

I have a similar devotional that I purchased for my 16 year old when she was 5 and it has lasted 11 years. “The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2” has a very sturdy construction and I am sure it will bring many years of special devotional time for your children.

The Heart of a Child

Originally Posted April 2008 I never imagined how challenging it would be to parent. While my oldest child was young I never thought that we would get to a point where she would begin to pull away. I assumed that some teens did that because they had bad parents, but so much has been revealed to me.
What do I do with a child that seems to despise every word that comes out of my mouth? How do I encourage a child that seems so discouraged? Well that is what I want to discuss today. I want to encourage anyone who is struggling to win back the hearts of thier children.

I sometimes feel as though my efforts are in vain, but this morning I asked myself the same question that the Apostle Paul asked concerning his responsibility to his followers. “Are not ye my work in the Lord?”
Loving my children is one of my primary jobs as their parent. Helping them to overcome challenges is my duty. In the book of Genesis 3:15, God told Eve that there would be enmity between Satan’s offspring and the offspring of the Women. No wonder my children struggle emotionally and spiritually. They are under serious attack.

I have been called to be a shepherd and leader for my children. It is great that I serve in other capacities to help bring others to Christ, but I cannot lose focus on my primary role. My primary responsibility is to first Shepherd my own sheep into His Kingdom. “If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am unto you: for the seal of my apostleship are ye in the ye in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 9:2

So how then do I deal with my children when they struggle with their faith? How do I assure them that they are loved when they don’t feel loved? Paul assures me that I have been given the power to love my children through their struggles and the power to handle the work that it entails 1 Corinthians 9:3-6

In order to have the rainbow I must accept rain and in order for me to have grown crops I must have first plowed the field. I must daily transform my mind. I must remind myself of the hope that is at the end of all of my efforts. I must plow their hearts even when my back is aching and the ground of their hearts have become hardened.

So what do I do to help my children if they are struggling?

  • I love them more.
  • I touch them more.
  • I spend more time with them.
  • I pray with them and for them even more.
  • I fight against the feeling of frustration and defeat.
  • I ask God to give me the patience to meet my child’s needs.
  • I encourage and genuinely praise them even more.
  • I look for the positive in them rather than the negative.
  • I overlook some of their faults during this time in order to show them the grace of God.
  • I ask God to help me to remember that they are not my enemy.
  • I give them as much of my undivided attention as possible.
  • I show them that through my actions that it is my pleasure to be around them.
  • But above all I love on them more and more.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

What are you doing to keep or recapture the heart of your child?

The Dangers of Exposing Children to Conflict

The Dangers of Exposing Children to ConflictI have chosen to refrain from arguing, disputing or the demonstration of conflict in the presence of my children. The primary reason why I have chosen this stance is as a result of the purposes which I have devoted my life to. My goal is to demonstrate to God, my children, friends, family and neighbors a lifestyle of Biblical womanhood.

As a woman attempting to live my life totally devoted to Christ, I endeavor daily to conform my ways to His ways. This endeavor includes shaping my own character according to the perfect will of God in order that I may demonstrate the very same character that I desire to instill in my children.

My goal regarding this post is to do what Paul says in Titus 2:1 “Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” I share my position regarding marital conflict not to condemn but to admonish wives to a holy standard.

Paul the Apostle lists for us the types of character that we should model to become qualified as women able to teach other women. The qualities that he speaks of are the qualities of wives who are modeling the character after that which is desirable to God. These are the qualities that I have accepted responsibility for teaching to the younger women. Paul states, that I must (like my husband) “ be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience, meanwhile exhibiting behavior as demonstrating holiness….and a teacher of good things”.

Good things…like temperance, patience, humbleness and surrender. In all things I want to present myself as a pattern of good works: showing gravity (dignified behavior or lowness in pitch, as of sounds).

I want my children to observe me “demonstrating sound speech, which cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of me.” My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye with one another’s opinions, but the one thing that we always agree on is the word of God. If we cannot disagree while still demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, (Galatians 5:21-23), then we are not living up to the standard that God has set for our lives.

What is it that hinders me from arguing with my husband in front of my children? It is the knowing that I have the power through Christ Jesus to live a life that is positioned above the standards of this world. I know that I can live a lifestyle that far exceeds the standards of this world, because I have accepted the belief that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Because Christ is living and operating in me, I have been empowered to aggressively pursue the destruction of any character traits that are of a hindrance to my walk of faith. Col. 3:5

I have decided to take of wrath, malice, strife, contentions, pride, arrogance, and self righteousness and to put on “as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and longsuffering”. So rather than arguing and debating over temporal things I’d much rather demonstrate to my children the character “forbearance of one another and the forgiving of one another”. And on the days when I fail to exhibit self control or attempt to hold a grudge against my husband God reminds me that, “If any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you forgive.”

Do you want to be perfect example of the Lord? If so, then the next time that you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry during a disagreement, conflict or argument then set your mind on the following scripture “Put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be thankful.”

So instead of focusing on teaching my children how to have civilized disputes I want to teach them to have the right thoughts in their minds and emotions in their hearts which will in turn motivate their character.

Finally, I would like to share the resource that helped me gain the self control and greatly reduce disagreements. Using that devotional and studying the character of  Godly women in the Bible, I was able to bring my self in line with God’s perfect will. Once my husband and I began to make discussing, studying and praying that God’s perfect vision for the family be made possible for us, we began to agree on more issues. Now whenever we don’t agree we look to God’s word and prayer to help us gain the resolution.

For more references see 1 Corinthians 1 and the verses listed below.

Genesis 13:8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers

Exodus 17:2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?”

Exodus 17:7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

Are you are a wife or mom who is struggling in this area? You can learn more conflict resolution strategies in my posts How to Stop Being an Angry Wife and Mom. If you have questions or a comment you may leave for me in the comment section.

Mean Mommy

I received this is my inbox a few weeks ago.

A Letter: To Whom It May Concern | By: Kara Murphy

Dear Mean Mommy,

I am writing, once again, to protest your visit to our house yesterday. I would have thought that my last litany of complaints would have given you pause before you returned, but no. You seem to come and go at will. Well, I have had enough.

First, you never give me any warning that you are coming. If I knew you were coming, I would be able to prepare for you as I do all my other guests. Why must you always arrive when the house is in such disrepair? In general, we do a fair job of keeping things picked up, but without fail, when the house is at its messiest, you show up. Not only that, but you time your arrivals when I feel my worst. Your last visit was after a sleepless night with our newborn. Before that, it was during a stressful time when the bills were late. No one should feel free to visit at tax time, especially when I have put off important record-keeping until the last minute. I suppose you would not think twice of arriving at our door immediately after we have just had back-to-back company. These are not the times to make unannounced appearances at our house!Even if we were aware of when you were coming, I would still not appreciate your attitude. Must you whisper those words to me all day long? You can’t do this. You are failing. Another woman would do a better job than you. What are you doing to your children? It isn’t enough that you pick on me, but must you also be so grumpy toward my children?

All day long, you nag and complain about them. Do this. Do that. Hurry up. Get back to your work. You are a broken record and you need to be replaced! Don’t you realize that children are not finished products, yet? They are adults-in-training, but they’re not there yet. And must you be so impatient with them? Sometimes, you are like a steamroller, plowing through the house. I would hate to get in your way! You are running us all over.But the worst of it is your appearance…you look so much like me, my children may not realize the difference between us. They might actually think that you are me! I have had to apologize repeatedly for your troublesome ways.

This is it. Your reign of terror must stop. Please leave and never return.And should you be tempted to come back, just remember that I am onto your tricks. Your wiles will not fool me any longer. I am going to fight to keep you away. And I know the best way to do that, too.

God’s word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Him. —Psalm 119:11

First, I have determined in everything, to give thanks seeing that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) I will rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) for I am learning, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11, 13) When those doubts begin to creep in I will be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

If you could just stop blustering and ordering everyone around long enough you might see an eternal perspective. You would realize that there is so much more to life in Christ than the day-in-and-day-out ups and downs. Step back for a moment from the immediate stressors. Why, there isn’t a hair that falls from my head that the Father is unaware of. He cares for birds and flowers in the field. How much more does He care for me and my family? (Matthew 6:25ff)

Not only that, but He is working every circumstance in my life for my good and for the good of my children who love Him. (Romans 8:28)

Since I know that I must be sober, to love my husband, to love my children (Titus 2:4), I will be gentle among my little flock, even as a nursing mother cherishes her children: So being affectionately desirous of them, I will be willing to have imparted unto them, not the gospel of God only, but also my own soul, because they are dear unto me…even when I must labor night and day. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9a)

And most of all I will remember that charity—an antiquated term for our word love—suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity—or love—never faileth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

If I have to, I will get really radical. When you show up, I intend to meet you at the door intent on bodily harm. For I see who you really are. You are the old (wo)man that Scripture speaks of so clearly. But I know this, that my old woman is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth I should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6) I will likewise reckon myself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So I will let not sin therefore reign in my mortal body, that I should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield my members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield myself unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:11-13) Because I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Prepared to do battle,

A Loving Mama.

My Response:

I am determined to keep this women out of my house. When I first began this battle I sat my oldest children down and told them about her. I taught them to be on the lookout for her. I told them that they needed to assist in guarding our home against her.

Long ago I realized that there is war that rages within me. It is a war against good and evil, joy and depression, peace and chaos. I have chosen God as my ally, and in doing so He gives me the strength each day to thwart the efforts of the mean mother. But she is persistent and crafty. I can never let my guard down. I know now that her goal is to destroy my children and my husband.
She has come to provoke my children to anger and chase my husband to a roof top with her wicked words. But each day I run to the Lord and surrender to him so that he can kill the mean mother that eagerly tries to destroy me.

I have since written “5 Ways To Discipline Your Children Without Losing It“, where I share how I learned to parent without becoming angry.