Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting, Uncategorized

Childlike Faith

 

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This afternoon when I picked up my 4 year-old daughter from preschool, I noticed she had a Princess brush in her hand.  As any normal mother, I noticed immediately that the brush didn’t look like it came from our home.  I asked my daughter and she insisted it was hers.  Knowing the brush was not hers, I realized this was an important teaching moment.  I whispered into her ear, “Caroline, if you take this brush knowing it doesn’t belong to you, you will be stealing.  God tells us we are never to steal.  Stealing is disobeying God.”

Unfortunately, the lesson didn’t sink in immediately.  I left the brush at the school and told her we would talk to daddy, if he said the brush was hers we would pick it up on Monday.  Caroline was very upset and cried profusely for about 1o minutes.  (In her defense it was a pretty amazing brush, pink with a little diamond, Aerial, Cinderella, and Belle.)  I dropped the topic of the brush and she didn’t bring it up for several hours.  Later that night, after our family swim night at the YMCA, we were combing and drying her hair.  As I combed her hair, she said, “Mommy, the brush wasn’t mine!”  Immediately I gently stroked her hair and looked into her eyes, “Thank you Caroline for being honest!  I am so proud of you!  You know what that tells me about you?”  Caroline, “What?”  “It tells me that you have a beautiful heart.”  Caroline responded, “Mommy, does it mean I didn’t disobey God?”  “Sweetie, God is so proud of you!  He loves you!  You were honest about the brush, so you didn’t disobey God!”  I hugged her and we both walked out of the locker room holding hands.

As I pondered this event throughout the evening, I couldn’t help but feel extremely proud of my daughter.

I thought to myself, “I am not a perfect mother and I make more mistakes than I can keep track of… but I love the fact that my children are sensitive to the matters of God.  My greatest desire for my children is that they will understand God’s love and understand the importance of obeying God’s word early in life.”  BINGO!!!  This parenting moment brought joy to my heart!

The Bible iterates the importance of teaching children about God.  There is no greater joy for a Christian parent, than the moments when you see your children grasping the concepts of the Bible.

I am so proud of my sweet daughter!  I couldn’t imagine raising my children in any other manner.  John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way they should go and they shall never depart from it!”

Could it be that my daughter’s story, is what God is referring to in Mathew 18:3. Mathew 18:3, “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I pray, I will have childlike faith all the days of my life!  I pray my children will be sensitive to the matters of God all the days of their lives.  I thank God for the opportunity to raise my 4 children according to God’s word!

Blessings, Crystal

 

 

 

Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting, Uncategorized

Embracing “Un-popular” Parenting Decisions… The Process of Creating “Successful” Adults (Part 1)

While iPhones, TV and video games are great for distracting children in a pinch, increasing evidence shows that too much screen time can potentially cause childhood depression and increase the risk for attention problems later on.

A Great article to check out…  http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/963474/can-screen-time-cause-childhood-depression.

 

As a family we have made decisions that are “unpopular” in our society, amongst friends, and even with our children.  In all honesty, I can’t say with resounding certainty that these decisions are “perfectly right”, but I can say with certainty that they are “perfectly right for our family”.

Over the next couple of week’s I am going to do a series called…

Embracing “Un-Popular” Parental Choices…  The Process of Creating “Successful” Adults

1.)  We don’t allow our children regular internet access.

This is one decision we have received slack from friends, family, teachers, etc…  I’ve heard it all, “you have to embrace the times, technology is the present, the future etc…”.  If my children have a project or a specific reason for needing to be on the internet we allot time for these occasions.  However, you won’t find my children roaming the internet, building their own websites, playing mindless games on the computer.  You will find my children asking for permission to use the computer and us setting a side a time for this use.

Why are we reluctant to allow our children to fully “embrace” technology…
I’ve heard several people say my children won’t develop adequate “technological” knowledge to be successful in their lives and future careers. Our response:  My husband and I neither one had access to computers until we were in college.  My husband is a successful PhD professor at Indiana University.  I am attending graduate school for to be a Mental Health Counselor.  We are happy, we are blessed with the most wonderful children, and “enough” material possessions to allow us to live comfortable lives.  The point I am trying to make is:  My husband and I didn’t grow up with a  computer access, the latest technological advances, and I feel we turned out pretty well. We’re not enormously rich, but we are rich in blessings, and blessed above and beyond our needs on Earth.  Therefore, we do not feel our children’s long-term success lies in time spent on the computer.  We believe our children’s long-term success lies in living in the real-world, playing with their siblings, interacting with friends at church, school, and in the neighborhood, playing outside, learning to relate/interact with others, spending time “talking” to our children, good quality family time, and teaching them respect in a society, where respect is a almost forgotten.

Again, like I said, I can’t say for “certain” that this {un-popular} decision is the  “perfectly right” choice, but I can say with “certainty” that our children are well-rounded kids, respectful in school/church. well-behaved in public (for the most part), involved members of our family unit, and at this point not technologically incompetent.

This is the “choice” that works for us, not necessarily the right choice for all families.

However, I do believe there is something to be said for limiting children’s time with technology, for the sake of developing the most well-rounded and successful adults.  

Too much of anything is…  TOO MUCH!!!

Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them (God’s word) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they shall never depart from it.”

Blessings,

Crystal

Encouragement for a Weary Heart, Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Praise God, Uncategorized

Help Me, Help Them… “I’ll Praise You In This Storm”


In the worst of circumstances, I can still see God’s blessings and goodness!  At times I may have to look harder, but their there, nonetheless.

This week my family has been dealing with this new strain of Norwalk Virus, I think the name is Sydney, or it’s originated in Sydney… Something like that.  Anyway, it’s a nightmare bug.  Apparently it’s entirely too easy to catch, spreads through the air, lives FOREVER (maybe not forever, but 3-5 days ) on surfaces, and it literally takes it’s toll on the body.  It all started with my 6 year old Daniel, next my 9 year old Christopher, then me, and tonight my oldest son Robby.  Problem is the man of the house is out of town for a conference, that leaves me home sick with fever and a stomach virus, attempting to care for 4 children, 3 of which thus far has the same nasty bug. Needless to say, it’s been a rough couple of days.  I am so sick (literally sick) of nasty bodily secretions.  All day, I’ve dragged myself around the house, trying my hardest to keep my children well hydrated, and clean.  All the while, I have a fever and have been down with this terrible illness.

Tonight, I finally get all the children to bed.  Throughout the evening, until the wee hours of morning, I have been running up to clean bowls, check temps, and attempt to hydrate dehydrated children. However, as I sit in bed holding my own stomach.  I think to myself, “I love these little ones, so much!  I am so lucky to have such sweet, fun, and happy children!  It is an honor to care for these little people.  Thank you Jesus for the gift of my life!”

Although, I prefer to praise God when life is running smooth, I “choose” to “Praise Him in the Storms”!  Today and tonight, has definitely been a storm.  My oldest whines, “Why did God have to make sickness?”  I respond, “Honey, God didn’t make sickness, sickness is from Satan, but we can allow sicknesses to make us bitter, or we can allow it to turn us to God!”  Tonight, I have talked to God extensively… Asking for patience…  Pleading for healing…  And despite feeling ill, God has provided the necessary strength to help me, help them!

Tonight, God has been with me.  Although the hubby is away, although I am feeling feverish and nauseated.

God has answered my prayers…

He is helping me, so I can help them!

They are all hydrated, asleep, and all four of them KNOW they are loved and cared for!

“Thank you Father!

I praise you in this storm!”

Crystal

Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting, Praise God, Uncategorized

Thank You Lord for the Gift of Motherhood

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Sweet little girl.

A nasty old nightmare has awakened you.

Steeling our sleep.

Lying next to you in your bed…

Soaking in this precious moment.

As I wait for you to drift off to sleep…

I watch you breathe…

Caressing your baby soft cheeks.

You make my heart smile,

As you gently rub mommy’s hair.

My heart over flowing…

In this precious moment… Losing sleep not the slightest concern.

I see your youthful beauty.

As I tenderly rub your forehead. I feel your silky baby soft skin.

Your sweetness takes my breath away.

You behold such an inner beauty for one so young…

Where does your ability to love so tenderly come?

Such tiny little fingers and toes.

Yet, A heart so big for one so small.

Tears of joy escape my eyes.

Praising God for the gift…  for the joys of motherhood!

I lift a praise up to the father…

Thank you Heavenly Father for the gift of my daughter.  Thank you for this unexpected moment.  I will always cherish these middle of the night moments, the house silent, and the only one’s awake… You, me, and our sweet little girl.  I praise you for your goodness and and love!  Thank you for the love I feel from the arms of this tender sweet child you created.

Lord, Your creation is truly wonderful!

Thank you,

From the deepest gratitude of this mother’s heart!

Crystal

Family Bonding Time, Motherhood, Parenting, Praise God, Uncategorized

Today’s Joy in Raising a Tween

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All my life I have heard people’s nightmare stories regarding raising their teenage children. I would be lying to say that I haven’t been frightened as a result of their stories. These stories have at times caused me to dread my four children becoming teenagers. My oldest son is almost a teenager, he will be 12 in a few short months. Tonight, as I sat back and observed him, I was filled with pride. He is a super good boy! He is making more grown up jokes, his conversations have become more in depth and interesting, he loves the Lord and tries his hardest to please Him, and he is a joy to be around. I am truly enjoying this tween age! I love watching him through this process of becoming a man. I am enjoying this new and exciting phase!

This doesn’t mean I will never tear up from time to time, as I observe my first baby grow into a man, but I couldn’t be more proud of my son. At times, I observe his mannerisms and think, “Wow! Is this really my son?” Today was the first day, I could say to myself, “I am looking forward to watching my children grow up, become teenagers, and adults. I pray daily, for my children to follow God all the days of their lives, and for them to one day find a loving and Godly spouse! Today… I’m okay with this next step! Actually… I think I’m looking forward to the teen years. This feeling will most likely change from day to day… but today… I’m looking forward to all the exciting adventures ahead in parenting my children… and “yes” I am looking forward to the teenage years.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will never depart from it!”

Blessings,

Crystal

Family Bonding Time, Motherhood

The “Perfect” Picture or “Perfect” Memories?

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Behind the camera. Intent on capturing the “perfect” picture.

Smile… Kids… Smile… Now!

Look here… Look over there! Turn your head. Act like you love each other.

Snap… Click… Click… Click… Snap!

The kid are determined to NEVER crack a smile.

How much do I miss?

Looking at life through a glass lens.

Intent on capturing the “perfect” picture.

In the process missing out on the “perfect” life.

Mounds of beautiful pictures, are there beautiful memories to match?

Will I spend more time looking through a lens in an attempt to capture the “perfect” picture?

Or will I spend more time looking directly into my world in an attempt to make the most “perfect” memories?

I’m learning to hand over the camera.

And the importance of making life-long memories by jumping into the pictures.

Sent from my iPhone