A Change of Heart

These last couple of weeks have been very challenging at my house.  First, the washer breaks and doesn’t work anymore.  So we have been taking our laundry to my mom’s or the laundry mat.  Second, (this week) the toilet got stopped up and flushes but doesn’t go down.  Yuck.  Third, Friday morning, there was a rooster walking around our yard and was scared off by the dog next door.  Lastly, (so far), my daughter called and I left school earlier than usual, because she couldn’t get her keys out of the ignition.  This was an easy fix:  the car wasn’t put into gear before turning off.

Whew!!!!    As a human being, I think I’m entitled to get mad, upset, frustrated, stressed out or worried.  But as a child of God, I know that I don’t have to do or feel any of those things.  And I didn’t.  Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27  

All of the credit goes to God!  Before 2012, I would have been livid.  Fussing and cussing up a storm.  Raising so much cane that they could have heard me in Australia.  But now, I take it to God. I can’t change what happened and I can’t make it go away.  So I ask God for guidance and discernment.  He either fixes it or gives me the wisdom and the resources needed to help with the problems that arise.  I can’t do it on my own.  I need Him and the strength and love and grace and mercy and comfort and peace He gives me.  It is enough for me.  It’s just what I need at the time I need it.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

I had a Change of Heart.  It’s a work in progress.  I will never be complete until I reach my home in Heaven.  I’m glad God has patience with me because this has been a long ride.  I’m glad he never gives up, stops loving me, or pursuing me.  I’m glad he’s on my side and moves me forward.  I’m thankful that He died for me because He thinks I’m worth it.  I grateful for His wisdom and discernment that keeps me grounded and helps me move through this life.  

If I didn’t have God, my life and my heart would be different.  I love my life and the people who are in it.  Let God change your heart and your circumstances won’t be out of your control!

 

Home

Home as always been the place I can go where I feel safe and secure.  It is the place where love abounds.  It’s where it is always a mess of toys and dirty dishes.  It’s a place of wonder and questions.  It’s a place of “who done it” and “nobody”.

Home is where you can be you without the judgement of others.  It’s where it is warm from the cold and cool from the heat.  It is where all your most prize possessions reside.  It’s where you can stay and never leave.  It’s where tears are shed and hearts are healed.  It’s where love is found and happiness survives.

Home is where memories are made and remembered.  It’s where water is wasted and experiments become creations.  It’s where learning takes place and character is made. It’s where forgiveness is rendered and grace still flows.

Home is where you invite your friends and grow your relationships.  It’s where you hold tight those you love and never let go.  It’s where you sleep to dream and dream to live.  It’s where you grow old and move on and someday be remember by the “home” you created.

 

Children and Technology: What is Appropriate?

In our technological society today, we pick up a child from school and give them a phone or tablet and we don’t have to engage with them, talk about their day or even speak to them. I am so guilty of this also. It’s so easy to do this, but what happens is we allow our children to learn from the internet. Do we really want our 3-16 year olds watching YouTube videos of whatever in the car or in their rooms all alone? Do we really know what they are watching? Do we want to have to re-teach simple skills to our children because we were too busy or to lazy?

I find myself in this web (literally) every Sunday afternoon. It’s my quiet time, my me time, time to myself. But when my grandson is finished playing outside with friends, he goes into his room to play video games and watch YouTube. I’m not saying YouTube is bad, I’m saying we need to monitor what our children watch and listen to. They can learn a lot from what they see on the TV, internet and video games, but not in a good way.

Then they bring this knowledge to school, church, shopping, etc. And it is not appropriate. They can’t separate from what they see because they haven’t been taught the difference. Some children believe that what is happening on TV is real or what is being said they can say. But they can’t!

Children need to see us, hear us and listen to us. We need to see our children, hear our children and listen to our children. The worst scenario is at a restaurant where mom and dad are on the phone and the children are bored because they aren’t doing anything. So they are fighting with the silverware, sugar, ketchup or whatever they can find and get reprimanded because they are making a mess.

Talk to your children, find out what they are interested in and let them know what you’re interested in. Have a conversation! Make up a story! Sing songs, make up songs, read a book together or tell a joke and laughed so hard you want to pee on yourself. Be all there! I know, that’s me too! My grandson and I have the most fun doing this at bedtime.   And what really funny is we are not getting ourselves sleepy by doing this. We are actually keeping ourselves awake, but we are having fun.

Find some way to connect to your child and keep them away from things you know are too old for them and things they spend way too much time on. The internet is an interesting and helpful place, but only if used appropriately.

 

Teach your child at home!

I know this message will step on some toes as well as mine. But this needs to be addressed.

Children are born with no knowledge of how to do anything but cry, eat, sleep, poop and pee. Everything else is taught! Not by the teacher, but by the parent. Your child learns everything from you and the people they are around, good or bad! The Bible, written a long time ago said, “Start off children on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Before leaving home to attend school, with exception to special needs, children should know how to sit in a chair and at the table, respect adults, eat with a spoon, treat others nicely, listen to adults, use the bathroom by themselves, wash their hands, put on their clothes, say please and thank you, maybe “Yes, mam” and “No, mam” or (Sir), wait their turn, and clean up after themselves. This only names a few.

I teach and some kids can’t do these things. A teacher has more than just your child in their class. They have a lot of children who also cannot do these things. Our job is to enhance skills already taught by the parent. Not to teach skills that should be taught at home.

Think about the way you were taught! Someone, before you came to school, taught you how to do these things and more. No one comes to school not knowing how to walk unless there is a medical issue.   Teaching basic need skills are taught by parents from babies all the way to forever.   You will know what your child is learning by what you are teaching them. I know what the children in my class can and cannot do. I know what they need and don’t need. I’ve only had them for 6 months. You have your kids forever, do you know what they know or don’t know? Do you know what they need and don’t need?

A child does not know how to do anything unless they are taught, good things or bad things. What we teach them is what they give back. What someone else teaches them is what they give back. Words, phases, gestures, body language, etc. are taught to them. They see and they do, they hear and they say, we act and they react. If something we do or say or act is wrong or inappropriate, we have to let them know it’s wrong and why. We can’t just laugh it off or ignore it. It will continue until they are taught it’s wrong. We don’t want it to be too late.

Our kids will one day be adults who live on their own and have jobs. What will we see then? Young adults with manners, integrity, honor and respect or rude, jobless, live at home, rebellious children. I chose to believe that wrong can be made right, but it takes more than just the one teacher in a classroom full of children to set the record straight.

As the saying goes: It takes a village to raise a child (African Proverb) that means it takes everyone!