Growing in the Word: Teaching My Children Compassion!

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I have three wonderful kids who are, generally speaking as kids go, thoughtful and behaved not only with each other but with those in the world.  I am doing my darndest to promote a spirit of servitude around here. They do like to help with chores.  They enjoy doing things like bringing Mommy tea in the morning.  They often surprise me by just helping either me or each other.  I see it most when out in the world.  They all definitely watch out for one another.  I have even been told stories by teachers or instructors about one son stepping in stop a bully going after his brother or to make sure his sister has what she needs when she isn’t with Mommy.  These things make my heart grow!  But it is not always this way. It is far from perfect by any stretch of my imagination.

Here is something that bothers me.  Please tell me this happens in your house and that I’m not alone.  I see this a lot, especially when we are at home.  One child can fall and bump or otherwise hurt themselves… bleeding even… and another child will just step over them like they aren’t even there.  Once child can be struggling to handle a big load of laundry or a large container of toys and the other will ignore it like nothing is going on.  I’m not sure if they think that Mommy is around so I’ll provide all of the help, encouragement, and compassion or what.  Instances like these can leave my blood boiling.

I firmly believe that we practice at home those character qualities we want to have in the world.  You cannot be loving and compassionate with others if you are not loving and compassionate with those closest to you. Today marks the 12th anniversary since the attacks on the World Trade Center.  Those attackers showed no mercy to anyone but the days that followed showed that we are a nation that can pour out compassion on one another.  As I reflect on that I feel a burning in my heart to pour the teachings of compassion from God’s word into my children all the more.  I believe we as Christians are called to pour the love of Christ into this world and understanding compassion is the first ingredient.

There are so so so many instances in the Bible where God reveals His compassion for us.  After all, He was so compassionate about our plight in this world and beyond that He sent his only son to die for us a horrible death.  To the punishment for our sins.  In the coming weeks I am going to use this space to explore what God has to say about compassion in His word.

I’m going to leave you with a Psalm… 103:13-18.  A reminder of God’s heart for US.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from
everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

Growing in the Word Ephesians 1:17-18

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Today my mind is swirling around these two verses. Ephesians 1:17-18 ESV

Eph117-18 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

The hope to which he has called you, the glorious riches of his grace. These are incredible promises that I never reflect on enough. I can’t even really comprehend what they truly mean. Every day I see the world as more depraved and I often hear people disgusted with it shame God for not fixing things. He has fixed it! For those who believe in Christ we learn right here in these verses that there is hope and when we are threw with this world there will be a great inheritance. God fixed it in His heaven. I just have to wait my turn to get there. And I didn’t have to earn my way in. I can’t be good enough to do that. He invited me, and everyone else who chooses to believe in Christ of our own free will, just because He loves us that much.

I pray these words give you hope today.

Growing in the Word! Week 4 on Laziness Col 3:23-24

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I’m a mom and a business owner.  I work solo almost all of the time!  It is SO easy to slack off on anything because… who is watching me?  No one really!  Ok, my children are and I do try to lead them by example but they are still small so they don’t notice when I let the little things slide.  My clients are smart people, they will notice if I don’t deliver their photos or designs on time for sure.  But they aren’t photographers and designers themselves.  If I cut corners they likely won’t really notice.

Really is so many areas of my life it can be so easy to let things slide.  Let’s take my home for example.  Will anyone REALLY notice if I just pile the clutter over here in the corner?  What if I really just don’t bother washing the clothes for a while, we have enough, I can get away with it.  What if I just go to the store and buy easy mostly premade meals (you know, the ones loaded with junk junk and MORE junk!)  No one is really going to care right?  What if, in my photography, I don’t take the time to capture the light just right and just rush through a shoot to get home quickly?  The photos will be good enough won’t they?  I can easily just slap some design together and not bother with tweaking it so it’s just so, fixing the details.  No one is going to notice!

What about with my children?  Instead of slowing down, traning them, teaching them, guiding them, and LOVING on them I could really just rush them through life doing everything for them and shoving them off to play.  I could give in instead of saying no and avoid that tantrum.  I could set them up with the TV and games and not really have to bother too much.  Who would know?  REALLY?  Life would be pleasant and quite… how tempting.

You know how much time I could save every day if I just cut a few corners? I can relax my standards. I can sit back and just slap together the work in my vairous jobs, let the TV babysit my kiddos, and I can save  MOUNTAINS!  Mountains and mountains of time.  Who is going to care and more importantly who is going to know?

Col323-24

I can tell you who will know, God.  Maybe it sounds cliche.  God will know… woahhhh…. But really.  God has given me EVERY blessing I have.  He gave me this house and these clothes.  He gave me this talent and this business.  He BLESSED me with my children and set me the task of raising them well!  If I cut corner’s HE will know and why in Heaven or on Earth would I ever, ever what to let down the greatest boss ever… my Lord.  It’d be disrespectful of me to slack off as to me, that is as if I am telling Him that I am not grateful for all that he has given me.

Growing in the Word, Proverbs 6:6-8

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The topic of laziness hasn’t exactly passed in our home but our study of the scriptures on this topic as really made a difference.  My house is cleaner than it typically is and we are battling over the clean-up less and less.  Last week I shared with you a scripture that is making a difference in the hearts of my family… including Mommy!  It is Proverbs 15:19 which reads…

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A simple reminder that we’d like to stay on the highway generally produces enough motivation to get my kiddos to get through the task Mommy just asked for.  The verse continues to tug at my heart each time I’m tempted to procrastinate myself.  Amazingly my To-Do list has grown shorter with each passing day.  Praise God for that!

Now I’ve noticed something else about all of us in our home.  We tend not to get something done until someone tells us to do it.  Now how typically is that?  My children are children and picking up their rooms or getting their chores done without being told isn’t their forte! Mommy realized I’m not much better.  I often enter a room knowing I should do something productive in there but then since I can’t decide what to do (and since I’m an adult and no one is going to tell me WHAT to do) I walk on without doing it.  My terrible habits shine through at the computer.  I will sit down to blog, or email a client, or edit, or whatever and I find myself cuising Facebook.  In other words, I’ve got to squash some bad habits myself!

Proverbs 6:6 spoke loudly in our home this week.  It reads…

Proverbs 668

It’s true isn’t it?  Ants are some of the hardest working creatures God created! Yet they have no commander or overseerer telling them what to do. They just DO IT!  And always to the best of their ability.  This week I sat down with my children and we discussed this verse.  So far I’ve seen them making their beds and at least picking their clothes up off of the floor without reminders from Mommy.  That is a huge start!  How about me?  Well I’ve implemented a To-Do list system that prioritizes my tasks.  In those moments when I just don’t know what to do next… I now know exactly what to do next!  Oh and there is an added benefit!  I share my list with my husband.  As a result he knows what my priorities are and he has actually tackled a thing or two on the list without me asking!  Now that makes for a happy Mom!

Do you have a tried and true plan that gets everyone in the house doing at least SOME things without being asked?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


 

Growing in the Word: Thorns vs. Highways

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I try to begin every day with my children in prayer and scripture study.  I have to confess that I am not perfect at this.  We don’t get to it every day.  Sometimes a week will go by and I never cracked the Bible open with them in this way.  What can I say? We are always a work in progress around here.

One of my favorite things to do with my children during our Bible time is to seek out scriptures that address some issue we’ve been noticing in our home lately.  I like to use the Child Training Bible which I have blogged about in the past.  This system helps me quickly locate scriptures on a varitey of subjects that often need attention when raising a household of children. I always think I’m so smart using the Bible to teach my children something, and it is smart and very effective.  Then I’m always humbled by how God uses that time to teach ME and convict ME!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… it isn’t the CHILD Training Bible its the FAMILY Training Bible.

This week I noticed a LOT of laziness happening around here.  My kids are typical kids.  If you ask them to clean up they will!  But if they think I’m not looking they are liable to shove lots of “stuff” into corners, under beds, and behind other toys or furniture.  This does NOT make for a happy Mommy! Especially when I find it and they LOUDLY resist making things right since it does take some time to do.  So I decided to address the topic!

We opened the Child Training Bible (CTB) and turned to the green highlighted laziness tabs.  We found one scripture really spoke to us very loudly and clearly.

Proverbs1519

This verse led us to a wonderful conversation about how when we work at things a bit at time, all of the time, the work is easier to do.  I used lots of real life concrete examples.  We talked about what it’d be like to try and learn all of the new Karate forms they need to know before belt testing in just the last couple of days before the test.  We discussed how easy it is to clean up their rooms in the morning when I’ve done most of the work the night before.  I compared the hard work of doing  a lot at once at the last minute to walking through scratching thick thorn bushes.  It’s painful and no one wants to do it.  While working at things a bit of a time, all of the time, makes the work seem faster and easier, like walking on a highway.

For the rest of the week, every time I mentioned something that needed to be done and they started to resist all I had to do was say… “Do you want this to be like thorns later, or highway all of the way?”  They preferred the highway.

For the rest of the week every time I contemplated putting something off until tomorrow (the dishes, folding the laundry, calling a friend I was concerned about, etc) I heard God ask me… “Do you want this to be like thorns later, or highway all of the way?”  I too prefer the highway.

Now, to keep myself and my children on that smooth highway I am researching new techniques for organizing my work, my blogging, and my home.  I’ve already implemented some changes that I hope to blog about soon!

In the meantime… The maker’s of the Child Training Bible are on the verge of releasing something new… The Virtue Training Bible.  I’ve seen some sneak peeks on their new Facebook page!  I can’t WAIT!   I’ll be buying our family one for use… and of course review (and another to give away)… AS SOON AS I CAN!  In the meantime, I thought it might be nice to give away another CTB.

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I am giving away ONE CTB kit.  This includes ONLY the Tabbers and scripture cards as seen in the photo above…. it does NOT include a bible, highligthers, or colored tabs.  You will need to purchase those on your own in order to complete the CTB.  More information about how to do that can be found here.

On to the giveaway!  The giveaway will end on Wednesday June 19th at midnight.  A winner will be announced shortly after.  Have fun and GOOD LUCK!

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