His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Friday, July 31, 2009

More Thoughts on Discipline

I have been reading, reading READING.... and have had a hard time sleeping with all the things going on in my heart and mind.

So I thought I would share a few of them.....

One of the books I am reading is called "Spare the Child" The religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse. by Philip Greven

Something that was blaring on the radar screen of my mind was the idea of discipline=punishment.... all the Harshest of punishments which were hair raising in this book did not seem to cause the recipients to change.... only to suffer.

While much of what I read was outright severe abuse against children, mixed with confused religiosity, I was continually shocked at the blindness of how parents couldn't see the damage they were causing their children. Many of these famous preachers of their day who were featured children in this book had other siblings and I wonder what happened to them?

As I have been reading this, the big part glaring in my mind has to do with true DISCIPLINE..... discipleship. Not memorizing catecisms, which is a good thing, not standing over and directing every move, not punitively looking down our glasses while our children wait for the next blow.... but teaching true discipline, true SELF discipline.

This doesn't happen in a session where a child is spanked for every infraction, having their will broken and spirit damaged, and then taught how to think.

What it can happen is in dialogue. Talking to our children, getting to know how they think, what they feel, how they understand the world around them, and then gently guiding them in conversation, and presenting new ideas for them to grasp.

Example:
If you are at a store and your child asks for something and you need to tell them no; and their reaction is one of sadness or disappointment, that isn't a bad thing. It is NORMAL.... I get disappointed sometimes too. So what is so wrong with acknowledging their disappointment, and then using that moment as teaching moment to help them see that the world doesn't revolve around their wants, that money must go for clothing and food, and that God is our gracious provider. Then, having them help pick out foods that we can truly be thankful for, and teaching them that if they work extra hard, earn a little more money, they just might have enough to buy that thing they want so badly.
Come up with ways for them to earn extra change, and make a positive experience of it.
Later during other conversations, you can come up with stories of children who were actually selfish in their thinking, and the outcomes of being too self focused.

This child will learn self discipline. They will learn thankfulness, they will learn that we must work hard for things we desire to have. And... they will learn that sometimes, they really didn't want it that much. I can't tell you how many times, after our girls earn money for something they have wanted, they wind up changing their mind, as that money has true value to them now.

Let's go back to the original example: The child disappointed about not getting what they wanted.
What if the parent were to tell the child they were being selfish. Tell them selfishness is sin, and they are going to be spanked for their sinful attitude?
How is that going to help a child understand what to do next, other than hide how they really feel so they won't be struck next time?

These are just thoughts coming to mind as I am processing all the info in my head.

Some might say, why not combine the two.... teaching and punishing. I would say, if you can have results in the first place, it seems punishing is not relevant....

And if you don't have immediate results that you want to have.... well, I'm not so sure punishment will make any difference. It seems more discussion to help a child understand would be in order. More coming alongside, more relationship.....
hmmmmm.

What I have seen in regards to spanking, is that spankings don't seem to do anything other than hurt. If they really worked well, wouldn't children cease behaviors that would cause parents to think they needed one?

My point is that spanking is not discipline. Spanking is punishment. It is a tactic used by some to get external control through fear. Thus creating the illusion that quiet, fear filled children are cheerful, obedient, reverent children.... and the only thing that might be true in the above statement is the fear filled part.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Texas Rain, Texas Summer

So what do 5 little girls do when it is raining on a Summer day?

Tea Parties. They are always good for tea parties. :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

Chuck, Jodie, Katie, Lilly


They are here....

Pruning

This is another side to my last post. I want to balance it out, but the other one was quite long.

There is much scripture especially in the New Testament that compares Christ with the vine, and us as branches. It goes on to talk about the task of pruning for the good of the vine.

Scripture also says that as son's, we can expect the discipline of the Lord, otherwise we would be illigitimate children.

If we are part of the Family of God, we have been purchased with the Blood of Christ, we have been drawn by the Spirit to a salvific faith, then we belong to Him as his adopted Children, whereby we can say, "Abba Father"; or "daddy".

There are many parts of parenting our children that can seem unpleasant in the trenches. If our children are demonstrating selfishness, or disrespect, it is our job to teach them and guide them to a better way. Sometimes, that can be painful. Introspection can be painful.

I remember sitting down with one of our girls and letting them know that their attitude was unacceptable. The tears started, and as we sat together and talked things through, and then we prayed together and then we talked some more, and then we talked about how to get that golf ball out of the weeds and onto the green. :)
She was open and listening and I sensed a genuine change in her spirit.

Another time, one of our girls wasn't so open. She didn't even want to pray, so I prayed for her. She was very upset about an issue. (she was right in her own mind, but obviously wrong) LOL After rocking her and calming her, we were able to come to a place where she could finally see, and then was willing to repent and receive instruction.

I think for those who belong to Christ, as adults, God deals with us in the same ways. We are confronted through the word with truth, or from the pulpit, or from a friend's word. If it is from the Lord, we receive it, and sometimes we don't. But there is a pruning taking place. There are weeds being pulled from our hearts every day, and sometimes entire limbs are removed. That can really hurt. But our heavenly father isn't standing over us laughing, or mocking or glaring down.... He is the pruner, who is pruning out of love for us, for our own benefit, because he sees the big picture. The eternal picture.

I think sometimes, especially in an eternal sense, we are so "me focused" that we forget that the world doesn't revolve around us or our ideas or us personally. There is a bigger picture.

I do think during yesterday's sermon (which wasn't all frustrating btw) our teacher gave truth too. We are too me focused. As a nation, we do indulge ourselves too much.
As a church we do the same. We have our pet things we want, programs we like, words we like to hear, songs we like to sing, and if we don't get what we want to get mad.
There are many church splits over this type of stuff.

But God.... the great pruner in our lives, has a tendency to get a hold of us, to stop us and get the wayward branhes out of our way so we can cling to that life giving vine.

When that pruning does take place, we can trust that the Father has intended what is best for His Kingdom, and that includes what is best for us. :)

There is a difference between spiritual pruning and judgment. Judgment comes to the lost, it is final and enduring. Pruning to the believer is for growth and maturity.

If we could look at the problems in our lives with the picture of our heavenly pruner... our perspective on those problems can be so changed, and instead of getting angry, it will cause us to cling to the vine, who is after all the author and perfecter of our faith.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Frustration.....

I typically don't worry about comments or sermons on Child Raising. But something I listened to was just over the top....

I heard a talk on Discipline. I was not at all surprised that discipline was simply consequences, punishment, spanking, and it was even said if you do not do these things you hate your children and they will go to hell. Pretty much, that summed up what was said.

I fear the results of flippantly going through a few scriptures and saying that parents are afraid to discipline their kids,afraid of spanking them, they are indulging them, they are allowing them to do whatever they want etc. etc. And the result is going to be rebellious kids who think God owes them everything..... and they will ultimately rebel and go to hell, all because you refused to spank them. And it will be all your fault.
I do wonder sometimes, if the "culture" that was spoken of, where Christian parents are indulging their child's every whim, was overstated. There is a "Christianese Culture" in America that says, "beat your kids, they won't die", "use a rod", and then they go on to describe it, "if their heart isn't right, beat em' again". Oh yea, this one especially gets me. Let's make sure our children learn to hide how they REALLY feel; maybe they'll explode later. This is suggested in Tripp's book "Shepherding a Child's Heart. If they don't take their punishment well, then do it again.
Hebrews was tied in to Proverbs and that is a real stretch.

The statement was made that you MUST have consequences! But what kind of consequences?
Ones we make up? Ones we make hurt? Ones that are "really gonna teach em this time!"
Take THAT!
Or can the consequence be more natural. One that is just a simple result of a child's misbehavior? Is that not more along the lines of how God deals with us? If you misbehave in a store we have to leave. For all 7 of our kids, I can count on one hand the times we had to leave a store because of misbehavior.

The implication made, that if you do not spank, your kids will rebel and go to hell is just silly. Are there no Christians in Scandinavia? In Canada? In Australia? How about Japan? How about Korea? How about England? France? Germany? Many of these countries totally forbid spanking or seriously restrict it.

Children are not saved because parents spank them. They are drawn by the Holy Spirit to trust Christ for Salvation through Faith, that Faith being a GIFT OF GOD lest ANY man, or parent, should boast.

The other thing is: Since when is discipline simply punitive? Since when? We always use "punitive" for kids. What about for ourselves? Oh no, for ourselves we want mercy and grace and patience and kindness and every other chance available..... but for our kids? LAW LAW LAW.

Is it possible to discipline your children without spanking? Of course it is. Isn't that what our heavenly father does with us? Does he not lovingly guide us and protect us? Does he not gently draw us? Isn't he patient, slow to anger, great in mercy, not wanting anybody to perish?

First off, disciplining children is "discipling" them. Teaching them, coming along side them, leading them, guiding them, helping them work through decisions and issues with wise council, giving great patience and kindness to them, and helping them along the way to learn and grow in the ways of the Lord. It is all about relationship, trusting relationship. Not based upon fear but on Love.

It is true that we should fear the possibility that a soul could be cast into hell. But if God goes to great pains to send His son to take our punishment, sends His spirit, gives us assurances of His great love for us, it seems odd we should then tell Christians to fear.
It IS true that God disciplines those he loves. His Children, the closer they become with Him in relationship, are also taught through the Holy Spirit and Word to grow ever closer. Sometimes those introspective moments are quite painful as we see who we really are, and how far away we really are from the Mark. But that isn't what we are supposed to do. As was so eloquently pointed out during worship hour. If we put our eyes upon ourselves, we will ALWAYS fall short. But if we keep our eyes on HIM, the author and perfector of our Faith, with an eternal perspective ahead, we will be at peace and wil be able to grow in Faith.

I know many a child raised in the suggested form at the beginning of this post who have grown to be embittered adults, far from the Lord, with broken hearted parents.
Why? Because they followed the crazy teachings out there including Tripp, Ezzo, Pearl.

It is much easier to blame our children for bad behavior than our parenting. It is much easier to have a quick, swift, answer to everything instead of bothering to actually TEACH them and discipline them in the way they should go. Of course, that takes TIME and effort that many parents just don't want to give.

Frankly, a lot of folks who spank do so out of irritation, not instruction. The kid doesn't learn anything other than, if they irritate mom and dad to a certain point they will get hit. That kind of parenting is like putting a blind person in a room full of furniture and expecting them to not run into anything.
And the results are, unruly children who are also spanked.

In contrast, a parent who diligently disciplines their child, (disciples) comes along side, teaches them, guides, them, will many times have a very obedient child. This child will learn self control, self discipline, out of a desire for relationship with their parents. They will want to please, out of devotion. It isn't that far of a stretch for this child to then be taught of the relationship with God being one of endless love and devotion.

Parenting without spanking takes a lot of time and self reflection. It takes time to think about how to respond, how to teach, how to model. Kids learn from what they see and hear. If we model impatience, irritation and judgmentalism to our kids, we will have impatient, irritated, judgmental kids. If we model to them the fruit of the Spirit, they will respond in suit. But will also find themselves, just as we find ourselves, coming up short, living in the flesh; and then together we can seek our heavenly father who is great in loving kindness, never turning us away, always abounding in love and forgiveness.

1 John 4:18

New International Version (©1984)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

International Standard Version (©2008)
There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn't have perfect love.

King James Bible
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

American King James Version
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.

American Standard Version
There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Bible in Basic English
There is no fear in love: true love has no room for fear, because where fear is, there is pain; and he who is not free from fear is not complete in love.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dad's Surgery

So far, all we have heard is that he is in recovery and as soon as they get him to ICU, Bob, Cindy and mother can go in and see him. The type of tumor removed was a glioma, which started in the brain and not from somewhere else.
We are so thankful for all of your prayers. I'll update as soon as I know more.

Also, you can check out Dad's blog in my sidebar. "Oakie Grandfather". Bob will be updating as news comes in. :)

Vanya and Mike

We are preparing for some family to come and stay with us, so Vanya has gone back to another host family for a while. We had a great visit with him here.
I took these pictures this morning.

Some More Zoo Trip Photos





July Funnies


After visiting the Reptile Pavillion at the zoo yesterday, Sarah woke up this a.m. and noticed some Peeling on her nose. (It was from our lake trip on Saturday) She asked, "If you are shedding skin on your nose, does that mean you are growing?" LOL

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Can You Believe This?

I have never seen a kid better with animals, or a cat more willing to go back to babyhood than these two. :)

Eating at the Zoo

Zoo meals can be rather expensive, so we shared drinks.
Here is Sarah sharing with Erika, I think: video

Our Zoo Trip

This trip, we took Vanya with us. I don't think he has ever been to a zoo. He was fascinated with everything we saw. He especially like the gorilla and the GIANT ANACONDA! We had a really great time. I am so thrilled to be a small part of Vanya's life, as are the girls. They all just love having him around and have each said they wish he were their big brother. :)

So, here are a few pictures from our day. :)




Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vanya



We are having such a great time with a very sweet young man.
Today we attended church, where there are several folks who speak Russian. Vanya was quite surprised with all the familiar voices speaking to him in Russian. What a comfort that must be.

We were able to attend our friend's 80th birthday party and her son and daughter in law along with her grand daughter were visiting from Moscow! So Vanya had more conversations available today. I was so happy for him.

He is one sweetheart of a young man. I pray that the Lord will reveal himself to him in a very strong way and he will come to know his Heavenly Father. :)

BTW- He is great at putting together this jigsaw puzzle.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The 4th Grade Sunday School Family Party

We had a great time to day at the lake with our Sunday School class and the other set of teachers that work with 4th grade. The families were all invited to the Lake for a bbq and many of them came! It was great fun.

Here are a few pictures of our day.




Friday, July 17, 2009

Introducing Vanya




We have the priveledge of hosting a young man from Russia named Vanya. He is in the United States on a medical visa. He had surgery at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children about 4 weeks ago. He is healing and getting fitted for a new prosthetic leg before heading back to Russia where he lives in an Orphanage.

He is a very sweet young man and is trying his best to learn a little English. So far, we smile and have found that he is great at playing basketball. :) He will be stying with us for about a week before going on to visit another family.

Our Dad Ed


is the very best of dads. He is also the best of grampas. He has been having some issues with health, and this last one is a bit of a doozy. It appears there is something going on with his brain. There is always something going on with his brain, but this is not in his control. It seems that there is a growth effecting his speech and face. He is going to be having surgery next Wednesday to find out what it is.

Please keep him in your prayers.

And in true Ed form, he decided to join bloggy world to keep us all updated on what is happening. He always thinks of others before himself. Stop by and see it and leave an encouraging word. He will love it.

http://oakiegrandfather.blogspot.com/

I will proudly put Dad on my sidebar. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kid Day

Yesterday we celebrated Kid Day. We decided there are so many dates to keep up with that July 15th every year is a celebration day of family. Unfortunately, this year we did not get to go swimming or to the lake. Anna head was attracted to the bunk bed on Wednesday night, so she can't swim for about 10 days. She has a neat little cut just above her right eyebrow. :)
Here she is with Miss Kittie Winkle.


Instead of swimming, the kids picked "The Parent Trap" to watch. We had popcorn and then a slumber party in our room.

5:30 a.m. for walking time came early. But.... Erika did my hair, so I was good to go when I woke up. She is learning how to do different kinds of braids. This is a herringbone braid.


Today Marcus, Ivy and Charlie go home from the hospital and the Minichs start the adventure of family life with a 2 year old and a new born. I know they will do just great. Big brother and small brother are thriving. Ivy says Charlie is eating well. :)

Today Sarah and I make the trek to the hospital for hand clinic. It is just a follow up visit, so we plan to make the best of our time together. :)
Sarah is reading her 19th Mandy book in 2 months. She loves Mandy books. :)

Anna is reading Gilbert Moore books. She just finished "The fiery Ring". She loves historical period books.

Erika is reading a dog book called Dragon, and just can't keep her eyes away from Hank the Cow Dog. :)

They have been busy putting on plays and skits with their animals, and Miss Kittie Winkle is a continuous source of humorous entertainment around here. She is a great cicatta hunter and we expect she'll be a fabulous mouser too. :)
When we walk out of the house she pounces on our feet. It really is quite funny. Mike said she is the happiest kitten he has ever seen. He has even taken to holding her here and there. I knew he was a softy towards her. :)


I have taken back to writing, and will be setting up a new web page specifically for my BCLC stuff. :)

We are having a great summer so far, and it is going to get really fun when our son, daughter in law and our 2 grand daughters Katie and Lillian come to stay with us for a few weeks, while they look for a new place to live. We need to get our other house sold, and it will be easier to sell and get ready if they come and visit us for a while.

The more the merrier. :) Extra kids for skits and plays. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Introducing Charles David Minich





Weighing in at 8 lbs. 14.7 oz's. AFTER taking an enormous pee all over the nurse and all her paperwork. :)

We spent the day at the hospital with extended family awaiting the wonderful arrival of Charles. He is affectionately named after Ivy's dad, Charlie, who seemed to be the only fellow there who didn't know what the name was going to be. He was delighted and honored to find out that is was a big surprise. Ivy gave a very sweet message to her daddy honoring him. It was really touching.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July Funnies



Sarah said,

"I can't wait till this grows up to be a blanket!"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Fun

Daddy and Sarah are at it again. This is their 4th game of Chess. We watched "Searching for Bobby Fischer" this afternoon. They have "chess" on the brain. :)
Sarah decided she needed help and pulled out this handy book. :)




Sarah decided she needed help and pulled out this handy book. :)


So far it is Daddy 3 games
Sarah 1 game.

Somehow, I think she does better without the book. :)

Anna thought she'd try her hand at beating daddy..... hmmmm....

Daddy looked a little worried....

In the end, Anna was a very good sport. :)


My turn... DANG! I think we need to get rid of that book!

This is what Sarah looked like when I said it was BEDTIME! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some More BCLC Examples


I have been working on practical examples for those who have trouble understanding the BCLC paradigm. It is really simple, but it takes a shift in thinking.

Heather Forbes calls it shifting from "Fear Based Parenting" to "Love Based Parenting".
For some who hear that, they think, "I'm not making my child afraid; and are you saying I don't love my kids?"
Of course she isn't saying that.

When I first read about BCLC the title: "Love Based Parenting", attracted me because I want to be a love based parent. It didn't make me think I wasn't.

There are many successful ways to parent kids that work, there is no question about that. BUT... when you are dealing with a child who has a trauma and neglect background,
many of those traditional methods do not work and can even cause more trauma.

BCLC was designed for Special Kids, but can work for all kids.

Many people I have talked to think that this method lets a kid get away with anything, there are no rules or limits and the kid rules the roost. That could not be further from the truth.

Love Hopes all things, believes all things, endures all things and it never fails.
(1 Corinthians) end of chapter... beginning of 14

So if I am hoping, believing and enduring, there is no Fear in that. Perfect Love Casts out FEAR!

Here is an example:

Lets say a child who has experienced internal turmoil over circumstances in their life,begins to act out in ways that are unacceptable.

Typically the parent is going to have all sorts of fears regarding this child's future. The parent starts confessing, this child has no conscience, this child is bad.
This child needs severe consequences to straighten them up and make them fly right!
The child is grounded, with loss of freedoms. It is a punishment to teach a lesson, and it stings. This may work for a well rounded child, or not. The child will most certainly feel shame, and possibly anger and hurt. They may not feel anything and just wait out their sentence, hoping they do it better next time and don't get caught.
This puts the parent at odds with the child. Instead of coming along side, we draw a line and demand the child not cross it.

A simple paradigm shift can make things very different.

The same exact thing happens. The parent instead of being fearful, recognizes that their child needs loving supportive instruction. Instead of getting angry and throwing out "consequences", the parent in a calm state takes the child near and says, " we need to talk about what happened". "You aren't making wise decisions, and that tells me that I need to help you along some. So for a while, I'm going to keep you close by and that way you won't be distracted. You may need to make sure your child is calm before this discussion, but they will get there.

It builds the child's trust that you have forgiven them, you have recognized their need for guidance, AND you begin to guide them in a tender and loving manner. And humor goes a long way!

"Come and cook dinner with me", "What would you like to make", "Hey son, lets get your bike fixed together". The child's shame is replaced with unconditional love and therefore their fear is removed.
Many kids fear that if they have done something wrong, they will be abandoned, or left, because that is exactly what happened to them. They were abandoned.That is why it is so important to hold them close in a loving manner when they have acted out. Some act out because they are so afraid to feel love, thinking it will end. So they mis behave just to reject before they can be rejected again. They cannot handle that kind of pain.

If you can get through that barrier through patience, kindness, wisdom, love, charity, gentleness and self control; the child's response will be AMAZINGLY strong and positive.

You will have opened them to a whole new world, where you can THEN, teach them to handle more and more in regards to how others treat them within society. They won't be so afraid or angry. It will take time, but it is a direction and a process. If we can remember that raising children is a LONG process with ups and downs, it takes much of the fear out of it.

I remember several years ago when we first had our Anna. She would have a wonderful time with something we did, and then on the way home have a fit saying "I had a terrible time, I hated my time, I don't like those people.... etc. We were very puzzled at first and I would say, "I saw you having a good time." WRONG>..... LOL
It would just make her pull away more. I even said, "well I guess we won't have fun then." WRONG WRONG! That just made her mad.

But when we figured out what was going on (she was afraid she wouldn't have a good time again, things never lasted in her life) we simply said, "we had a great time too.
When we got home we would head straight for the rocking chair and rock her saying, "we will have a good time again, it is ok. It will happen again.
The change in her was amazing. A little repentant heart that said, "Mommy, I'm sorry, I really did have a good time. "
And then we'd say, " We know, we did too." We would pray with her, or for her and it was over. Next day, we might say, before we go have some fun, remember, we will be able to do it again, mom loves you, you are safe. And eventually those behaviors stopped. It took a while, but they stopped.

Children are not adults. They are children. They think like children. Many times we try to reason with a child, like we would talk to an adult. As they grow older, and become more self regulated, with more internal control; which is the goal for all parents to achieve, (kids with self control and good sense) that might be possible, but children who come with baggage, need us to help them and sometimes demonstrate to them what we are trying to convey, with much humor, love, acceptance and coming along side.

I think BCLC keeps you on the same side without that dividing line, and give you a rope and a flashlight to guide your child to the right side. :)

A load of prayer helps too. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Relationship, Relationship, RELATIONSHIP

I was thinking about my week last week,about marriage, Christianity, raising boys, raising girls, daughter's in law, grand kids, maintaining friendships;just basic human contact which requires communication and relating.

Every single one of those categories, require "relationship". If I use the example of Christianity in my life to be my guide; God sought me out, I responded to Him, he turned me around, brings RELATIONSHIP, and continues to nurture and cause me to grow.

If I in turn do the same, learning from the example of Christ, the word RELATIONSHIP continues to blare in front of all other things.

I cannot successfully be married without a good relationship with my husband, interacting, finding things I like about him, listening to him, and doing things that please him and make him happy.

When I have a friendship, I want to be pleasant, kind, loving, giving. I enjoy the company of the one I am friend's with.

As I raise my children, I don't want a dictatorship, I want a relationship. Our relationships with our kids need to be reciprocol, just as our relationship with Christ is reciprocol.
"If you love me you will keep my commandments". This is very true. It can be read with a voice of trepidation, or it can be read with a soft loving tone.... I have heard it said, "because we love him, we WANT to keep His commandments".

In raising our kids, we find them in relationship, and therefore WANTING to obey and please us because they are returning that love.

Relationship, relationship RELATIONSHIP!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The First Funny for July

Daddy and I were talking politics. Anna piped up and said, "Daddy, you should be a politician, I can't understand a thing you are saying but you sure do sound good! :)

Unconditional....

I was talking with a friend today about the training seminar I went to last week. My brain has been locked tight with loads of information floating around in there looking for the proper filing folder to jump into. Once it is all filed away, I can open the drawers to get share what I have learned, or what has been confirmed in my heart. I think it is finally starting to happen. :)

I went to Colorado the last weekend of June to the Beyond Consequences Logic and Control Advanced Training Seminar, with Heather Forbes and Eric Guy. I am now a Certified BCLC trainer. :) Yea.

I wanted to say how very much I enjoyed the training, meeting new people and having a few things confirmed in my heart.

When I was there, the words that were swirling around were "unconditional love". You can't go wrong with love. etc. That is so very true. But what I have found, is that many parents so very much LOVE their children, but still have a very difficult time parenting them.

As I was talking with my ever so wise friend today, she said something very profound.
Unconditional love yes, but also what is needed is "unconditional focus".

That is such a valuable statement. That unconditional focus and commitment to see our children through to success is what it takes to be a successful parent!

When our children need us, we do need to focus our attention on them. That whole thing came out in the seminar. For years people have been saying, "if your child is trying to get attention, ignore them, or focus on the one who is behaving well."

In BCLC, they say, if a child is acting out for attention, they NEED attention, and by giving them what they NEED, the acting out will stop.

I have found with our own girls, that focusing on their needs and responding with love has made all the difference in the world for them.

I was reading a cyber-friend's blog yesterday, and she was modeling exactly what I am writing about here. If your child needs you, your focus should be on them. It is hard sometimes, as we have to put ourselves and our desires aside. We may want to be doing something different, but our job is to bring our children to a place of love and acceptance and set them on a firm foundation. We cannot do that if we do not provide for their very basic needs of attention, acceptance and love.

I was thinking back about how much we had to Focus on Anna when she first came. Our days were filled with focused love towards her, teaching her, keeping her world very small, and guiding her into a new life. If we had not concentrated and focused on her needs, I'm not sure where we would be today. The same went for Sarah and Erika. Each child's needs were the same ; the need to be loved and accepted. But the way to get there was different, as no one person is the same, but quite individual.
That is how God made it to be. He doesn't send instruction manuals bound to the foot of each baby born into this world, but He did give us general instructions to follow in His word. He wants us to be dependent upon Him in prayer and seek out wisdom and understanding.

I think my good friend had it right. Unconditional Focus, is very important. You cannot do a 1/2 job when it comes to children, especially children with special needs.

As my mental filing cabinet gets settled and organized, I'll post more about the conference.

BTW- I stayed at the Denver Sheratan West and it was a REALLY nice hotel.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

When Mom's Away The Girlies Will Play

with the camera. :)

I left on a week ago last Thursday to go to Colorado for special training which I will blog about later. The girlies stayed home with daddy, and had a great time. Anna was especially sad that I was leaving, because when I came back, I only had 1 day before leaving again for camp with Erika. She just didn't think she could be without me that long. I knew she could do it. :) We all talked on the phone each day and discussed what our days events were and that made the time go by faster.

When I got to Colorado, there was a sweet little note that had been secretly slipped into my luggage. It was from my Anna.


"Dear Mom,
I love you SO MUCH! I am going to miss you, but I will be ok. Don't forget to call me before I go to bed"
your friend,
Anna."

I was really touched by her saying, "I'm going to be ok". She wrote that to reassure me so I could relax while I was gone. Isn't that the sweetest?

Soooo, here are the pictures they took while I was retreating in Colorado. :)




You Are Still Holy

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