"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
What does it mean to 'train' a child?
- To bring your children into submission
- To develop in them a thirst/hunger for God, His righteousness, and His word
- To dedicate and consecrate your children to Him-in your heart, spirit, and mind
Bringing a child into submission is not just saying "NO." You can't be lazy. You can't parent out of convenience. You can't parent a child God's way unless you are living God's way. You must be consistent and continually recall what our purpose is as parents. What is your goal?
You also have to listen to God when He says, "Do nothing." That's TOUGH.
Submission. The S-word of the Bible. We don't like to submit. I'm struggling with the daily submission thing. I submitted once, aren't I done with that? You mean, I gotta grow? Boo.
The Hebrew translation is literally "roof of the mouth" referring to a wild animal, say a horse, with a bit in its mouth. We are taking "wild things" and taming them. We are to grab the reins and steer our children. We are to help by guiding, protecting, and training them in the right direction.
We are to nourish them, not just their bodies, but their souls. Their spirits are fed by us. And what are we feeding them? The same thing we're eating. The exact same thing we are feeding our souls with. I've been convicted about this point with my television habits. I ask myself, "Would I watch this if A.E. or H.J. were in the room right now?" Why is it different if they can't see? It's going to come out of me at some point. Because as Bryant always says, "Trash in, trash out."
How to make a child thirst for the Lord? Expose her to Him. Let her see you in a relationship with Him. Show her He answers prayer. Show her His love for you and for her. Let her know there is nothing she could ever do to make Him or you stop loving her.
Practical applications for me:
- Pray with A.E. when she wakes. I need to do this not only for myself, but I also don't want her to think of God only when we eat and when we go to bed.
- Pray with A.E. at potty time. Let her know that we can take all things to God.
- Pray in the car. Captive audience!
- Allow my child to speak her mind even if it's not pretty. She's going to think it, so she might as well get it on the table to discuss why she feels that way. I don't want her muttering to herself, "I hate you. I hate you. I hate you." without ever dealing with those emotions and feeling like she's been heard. (She's not yet three, and she has not spoken those words. Just got to be prepared.) Rebellion sparks when a child is not understood or heard.
My favorite gold-star point:
Too often when I am trying to bring my child into submission, I get angry. I get angry that she's not doing what I am telling her to do or not do. Why can't she hear me? Why won't she listen? Why won't she obey? Now! Anger is not a sin, but the sin is how we handle the anger. I used to have Psalm 4:4 written on my bathroom mirror-directly with dry erase marker-because I really needed it. Turns out, I still do. It says, "In your anger, do not sin."
I've left out the opening points about believing that if we pray for our children to accept Christ, it will happen. I'll pray the prayer, that's for sure. I've got a list of verses and prayers if you want them, but I thought it was a little difficult to conceive. Free will and all. NOT A BIBLE SCHOLAR. Brain hurting already.
Here are the verses Mary Tabb referenced for you to look up on the subject:
- 2 Cor. 5:7
- 1 John 5:14-15
- 1 Timothy 2:4
- 2 Peter 3:9
Good night. Sleep tight. Pray in the morning!
But anyway...I can tell when A.E. has to go. She clenches up and starts to moan. It's so sad. Today, we made her sit on the potty while she watched The Backyardigans and drank juice. It got a little rough and she didn't want to stay on the potty, but she persevered and got the job done! We had a parade, hugs, kisses, calls to Nana and Papa, and a treat (chocolate chip cookies).
In unrelated poopy news, the Phillips Phamily Daddy and I are going to a wedding this evening. I've been looking forward to it since we've kind of gotten out of that phase of our life. It will be fun to see how the young kids are doing it!
- Watermelon and Tomato Salad- good-the husband ate it twice.
- Swiss Cheese Club Quesadillas- good- I'd eat it again.
- Pesto-Crusted Grilled Cheese- Yum. Yum. Yummy.
- Lemon-Dill Tilapia- good-we've eaten healthy twice now!
My house still smells of the deliciousness. You mix ready-made pesto with mayo and use that instead of butter on the bread. We used a slice of sharp cheddar and a slice of provolone for the yummy insides although the recipe said "fontina." Sounded fancy. I cut up roasted red peppers and sandwiched them in my fare, while the Phillips Phamily Daddy ate his with just the cheesey-goodness. I would try them with olives inside and maybe mushrooms, too. Fresh Mozzarella. That's an idea. Yum. Yum. Yummy.
A.E. said, "This is girl cheese, not boy cheese."
She was eating grilled cheese.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Things I gathered, took notes on, etc:
- I am blessed to be called to the motherhood of A.E. and H.J.. Not just blessed to be a mother, but blessed to be their mother. (It's in His plan.)
- I have been chosen specifically for them. No one else can do what I need to do with, for, and because of them.
- I should not be afraid. Mary's response was "she was greatly troubled". Thankfully she was talking to an angel who let her know she was close with God and he had her back!
- FEAR NOT. I'm repeating this lesson because we all need to heed it! It's so hard. Don't you think?
- I should use "spirit-led parenting". That means if I listen to the Holy Spirit in manners of raising my children, I will not go astray.
- With God, nothing is impossible.
- We can find a fellowship unique with other women who are mothers. Use your resources. Don't pretend it's all alright. Ask questions. Listen to other moms' advice, worries, and wonders.
- The Holy Spirit can help you name your child! If you're having a debate with your husband, just tell him an angel came to see you and told you to name him, Fill in Name Here. (A joke, but pretty funny to think she and Joseph didn't have to have the discussion since an angel told him to name Him Jesus, too. Matthew 1:20-21) I had to look that up! Wow, I just learned something! Woo-who, the brain's a-working!
My favorite gold-star point:
Mary accepted the position of mother first. She didn't think about being a mom to the King, a Savior, the Son of God, the Truth, the Way, the Light of the World, the everlasting Lord. She thought about being a mom. She thought, "How can I, a virgin, be a mother?" Despite society's view of her, a betrothed woman, but not yet married, she accepted that she was to be a mom. Then she went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. What comfort she must have felt when, as soon as she got there, the angel's words were proven true! She had to accept God's word and trust and believe Him. How often I forget that my parenting/mothering skills will develop over time as my relationship with Him grows. My relationship with Him will impact my relationship with my children. I seem to miss that point when my children won't eat, won't get in the car, won't leave the playground, won't stop the hissyfit, won't Fill in the Blank.
So I have some changing to do. Don't we all? No matter where you are in motherhood, maybe you're not even married yet, our relationship with God will be reflected in our relationships with those around us. Yikes! Are you as close, as honoring, and as loving as you should be? To God? To your husband, wife? To your children? To your parents? To your friends? To your co-workers? It makes me want to cry to think of where I could be had I not met my husband when I did, but it makes me happy to think of where we're going. You coming? Maybe I'll see you there!
Post Script: If you were there today with me, please feel free to comment, add on, disagree, etc. I love to get comments. It lets me know someone is reading!
H.J.'s joined the Coca-Cola Racing Team! That's the ATL in the background. The Phillips Phamily Daddy took H.J. a couple of weeks ago to the 80th birthday celebration of The Varsity. There she fulfilled a dream of any Nascar fan; she donned the Coke Zero racing suit!
The Princess Brigade
Another week gone.
I'm a little afraid of the day A.E. finds out that on Thursdays, H.J. is spending alone time with Mama. Today was refreshing; it was a flashback to the days of caring for only one child. We had a blast at the Dollar Tree. H.J. wanted absolutely everything on the shelves. Side note: What a fun outing for a child! Give her a dollar and see what she picks. I would have been hard pressed to find only one precious thing.
Next we went for a stroll on the Silver Comet Rail Trail. H.J. is up for anything that involves people watching and snacks. She was frustrated every time a bike would whiz past us in the opposite direction. She wanted something to focus on right in front of her face. I loved seeing her amazement as we stopped on the bridge over Cooper Lake Road and watched the cars and dump trucks "disappear" under us. I think she might have expressed a sigh of relief when I wheeled her around to the other side of the bridge where she was able to see that they had not driven off into a black hole.
Next we ventured back home for some reading time. I have to admit that H.J. has not had the benefit of nightly/daily book time like we did/do with A.E. When she was younger, she didn't really require a bedtime routine. I got into the habit of just laying her down and leaving that now I am afraid to change what works so well for her. So we've come up with reading time when she wakes up from her naptime. This has been working well for us, especially when she wakes before her sister. I forgot how hard it is to read to a child who hasn't learned how to hold the book, to turn the pages, to listen and not eat the book.
The time flew by today, and it was time to pick up sister. So next week, we'll add our Wednesday Bible study to the routine and see what happens.
The Phillips Phamily Daddy and I are taking the evening off to go see Jack Johnson (see above--WOW!) at the Lakewood Amphitheater here in the ATL. Nana and Papa are coming over to spend some time with the girls, give them a bath, and put them to bed.
Maybe we can sleep in
I'll make you banana pancakes
pretend like it's the weekend now
"Banana Pancakes" is a sweet song about staying in bed when the weather is gloomy, rainy, and you just want to lie in bed with that special someone. We don't get to do that too often, but most Saturday mornings I can convince C. to make some banana pancakes for me and the girls. We usually have one or two bananas that he deems "too brown to eat." So if he mashes them up in the pancake mix, the girls will gobble them down (ok-me, too).
The Phillips Phamily Daddy likes to give the girls their baths, make breakfast on Saturday--he does french toast, too--, read to A.E. at bedtime, make funny faces, tickle, and take them to places they've never been. He'll dress up and do anything silly to make them laugh. He's so involved with them that I often forget how lucky I am to have him. Maybe I'm gushing too much, but he did get great seats for the concert tonight! We'll see if I can get a good picture to post.
Tomorrow, A.E. and H.J. start Mother's Morning Out at a church just down the street from us. A.E. is excited to "go to school" and H.J. has no idea. A.E. will be attending two days a week while H.J. will go only on Tuesdays. I'm hoping to accomplish several things while they enjoy play time with new friends: to clean the house on a regular basis, to exercise, to shower (it sounds so simple!), to run errands almost impossible to do with two (and remain sane) and to cook. It seems like I've been running on the "If it's absolutely disgusting, then it's time to clean it" schedule with my household chores! Now, I'm hoping to create a calendar with vacuuming--alleluia!, clothes laundering, toilet scrubbing, and dusting. We've all got to have goals. It's just so sad that my cleaning goals are bringing me such excitement! I'll post pictures of the girls ready for their "first day of school" tomorrow. Who knows? I may shed a tear.
Left to right: Karen, Kara, Tausha (barely visible), Erica, Laura, Gretchen, PPMama, Mary Taylor, Julie (the guest of honor), Molly, Brandy, Ashley
Kara, Julie, and Erica
Knapper and a 'nightie'
After a fun weekend with my college friends, it was time to return to Georgia where my girls and husband (and don't forget the crazy dog) would welcome me with smiles, kisses, and tail wags. What a sweet reminder that there is always someone worth coming home to! The weekend was full of reminiscing, hot tubbing, eating, sleeping, eating, showering (lingerie for Julie!), eating, sleeping, watching teen drama flicks, eating, go-karting (Yes. I know. We were in Pigeon Forge for goodness sakes!) and naming all the 'nighties' Knapper got for her honeymoon and life as a wife. Can't wait for the wedding in October. Pictures of the go-karting to come!
1. If H.J. crawls out of the pool repeatedly, it's time for the swing for her until she's ready to stay in and have fun.
2. If Bailey gets in the pool, get him out quickly! Nothing like dog claws tearin' up the family pond!
3. If A.E. won't come inside after all the fun, go ahead and strip the other kid down. Nothing like a contest to see who can get naked faster!
4. Only allow pool time post-naps! Those slow-to-wake kids wake up really fast when posed with the option of doing something F-U-N. Plus, you are less likely to have to apply sunscreen in the late afternoon. Bonus: throw in a bar of soap at the end and call it bathtime. JUST KIDDING.
5. During the aforementioned naps, fill pool with water. Allow water to warm in the sun for the three hour naptime. Nothing like shivering kids in 98 degree weather who won't stay in and HAVE FUN.
6. Assemble all post-pool diapers and attire during naptime. Keep near pool. No need to bring a bunch of wet kids and dog into the semi-clean house.
That's all I can think of...until next our pool day!
***UPDATE*** Bailey is OK. The only sign that something happened to him is the fashionable shavings he got on each of his front legs. I'm sure he was the life of the party over at Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic. Today, I got to meet with Bailey's regular vet, and we discussed adding another medication to Bailey's daily regime. I also learned how to rectally administer valium in the event of another Grand Mal Seizure. F-U-N! Didn't I recently post about F-U-N doctor appointments? hee hee
Didn't you know this post was coming? I've mentioned him before, but now you can put a face to the craziness. We have a beautiful chocolate lab named Bailey. He is six-years-old. For the past six years he has been an incredible pal. He was born on April 5, 2002 (one day before C. and I got married, and coincidentally, on my father-in-law's birthday). Because I used to teach high school, we thought the timing to get him would be perfect. As soon as school got out for the summer, Bailey's Irish Dream (his pedigree name, wink, wink) was ready to leave his birth mama and come home with us. The plan was that since I would be home all day I could be with him 24 hours a day to make sure he was properly trained before it was time for me to go back to work in the fall. After a couple of months, Bailey was really catching on.
One of the funniest things that Bailey learned to do was to stay right next to my side all day long. I figured if he was right next to me, I would know what he was doing. He wouldn't be off in the corner or other room chewing on something or peeing inside. Now, six years later, if you get up to walk to the fridge, he comes with you. If you get up to walk to the bathroom, he comes with you. If you get up to do anything, even if he is dead asleep, he wakes up, and he comes with you. My in-laws can attest to that. They have taken care of him almost every time we've ever been out of town. C.'s mom is an animal lover and would not hear of us taking good ole Bailey to a kennel. Thanks, Nana!
When Bailey was just a few months old, he began having seizures. After a series of blood tests at the vet's office, we put Bailey on a dose of Phenobarbital and kept track of when and how long the seizures were. He would go for periods of time with no seizures at all, then he would have a couple in one week. This pattern has been happening for about six years now, but 2 and 1/2 weeks ago, Bailey had an episode like no other. It was almost 3 hours of in and out of seizures. My husband, as luck would have it, was out on the golf course. Fine if you live on one, but he and his friends got a good deal on a course AN HOUR AWAY. I can take care of him and two kids fine if he has a 5, even 10 minute seizure, but 3 hours of convulsing and salivating (I needed a new pair of shorts when he was done!) at the girls' bedtime was not working! Of course Bailey was fine when Daddy got home.
So this afternoon, I took to heart my post from yesterday and set up a fun-filled activity time in the backyard for the girls after naptime. The pool was full, the sprinkler was set (you don't work for the water people, do you?) and the sand box was uncovered with the umbrella raised and ready for action. Bailey had a different plan. He went into another episode like the one 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. C. was again unavailable due to work issues. Luckily, my awesome, do-anything-for-you in-laws were available to come watch the girls for me so I could take Bailey to the doctor. And that is where he is right now for overnight observation. I am praying he is alright and we'll see his normal doctor tomorrow.
So the pictures of our fun-filled afternoon will come later. H.J.'s a hoot in the pool, and all A.E. wants to do is water the driveway with her watering can with water from the pool. I hope Bailey can sleep tonight on that cold, hard concrete floor, poor thing. And I hope I don't get any calls from the hospital tonight...
1. I have to start taking pictures with a purpose. Too often, I get too engrossed in the event to remember to click.
2. I have to start taking my camera to events rather than relying on others to email their pictures to me.
3. I have to start doing more fun activities with my children. Going to the grocery store does not count.
4. I have to quit hiding in my house. I know it's 95 degrees outside, but we rarely go outside.
5. I have to start doing the things that my children will remember fondly from their childhoods. Creating traditions, ya'll.
If you'll notice, I need to be more active.
I feel like this summer has gotten us into a "routine rut". With the exception of our beach trip, we've been going to church so Mama can work out three times a week. This routine has been great for all of us; I get alone (away from children) time and the kids get social/play time. One thing I know I've been blessed with is two children who love to go to church. They never mind being dropped off in a room as long as there are toys and other children; it's go time for them. The Phillips Phamily Daddy and I laugh about A.E. because she acts like that's where she belongs when she gets dropped off. There is no look back. There is no lingering hand holding. There is not a pause in her step as she typically runs into the room. It's as if she can't wait to get away for her "me" time!
H.J. is as happy as can be in a room full of screamers. She entertains herself while chaos ensues around her. I look forward to seeing her walk into a room and walk back to me when I come to retrieve her. Often enough, she is headed for the door as soon as she sees my face, though. It's a wonderful feeling to see her "dance" when I come to pick her up. Also, she's become so much more vocal in the last few weeks. Sometimes it sounds like a real conversation coming from her lips. Along with the drool.
I've made it five days in a row with a post. Hooray! Here's to making some changes for my family as we get ready to start Mother's Morning Out next week. I'll be sad the exercise classes are over, but now my house will be clean!
Mama with H.J. and A.E. on Poppy's boat
The Foursome a year ago
Parks, H.J. and Wyatt
Wyatt, Parks and H.J. a year ago