Friday, February 25, 2011
Then on February 11, my daily reading in Jesus Calling said, "Trust Me enough to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the demands of the day . . . You will find that you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Me in rich communion. Also, as you align yourself with My perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not. Don't fall into the trap of being constantly on the go."
That was the final push I needed. Immediately after reading that passage, I told Eric I needed to schedule a retreat in the coming weekend. I had to adjust some of my to-do items to make it work--I ended up running to the grocery store in the evening, instead of the morning as I'd planned, and I also woke up early to fit in my workout before the kids woke up. I know it takes extra effort, but once I was seated in my quiet space with warm drink in hand, I truly felt myself relax. I am refreshed by taking time to write, read and pray, and I hope I won't wait so long to do this again!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
The explanation of the book's title offered by authors Tedd and Margy Tripp is that "Instructing a child's heart is not simply transfering data from parent to child. It is impressing the heart with truth." "We should impress truth on the hearts of our children, not to control or manage them, but to point them to the greatest joy and happiness they can experience--delighting in God and the goodness of His ways."
The book challenges parents to give children "big truths they will grow into rather than light explanations they'll grow out of." As an example, they explain that when addressing a child who hits other people, you don't just say "That's not nice;" rather, you explain that we are made in God's image, and as such, we need to be constantly striving towards righteousness.
This book convicted me many times of my tendency to be short-sighted in dealing with problems with my children. The authors urge us, "Don't think survival--think kingdom!" They also argue against the popular theories of behaviorism, which is something I often subscribe to. "The temptation," the Tripps write, "is to substitute the behavioristic methods of the culture for the power of the Word of God and the work of His Spirit in the hearts of our children." "Manipulation of behavior through rewards or punishments will never touch the stony heart. Only grace can change the heart."
In continuing their defense against behaviorism (which includes bribing, threatening, guilting, negotiating, rewarding), the Tripps assert that even though it is popular, and sometimes effective, it obscures the gospel. "When we can use incentives or punishments to get the behavior we want without God and His redemption, we are teaching our children that they can live in God's world without Christ and do just fine."
Other noteworthy quotes from the book:
"When a child is arguing about whether or not it is legitimate for a parent to make a request, that child is not submitting. If that child has to be 'sold' on what must be done, there is no true submission. When a child delays obedience or responds when convenient, there is no submission . . . When a child is challenging a parent's authority, or asking why in a demanding ton, that child is not submitting. Submission means responding to God's authority by cheerfully doing whatever is required."
"How does a child learn the fear of the Lord? To answer that question, let me ask another. What would my children do if they knew there was hidden treasure in the backyard? They would dig up every square inch of the yard to find the treasure. Learning to fear the Lord comes through searching as one would search for hidden treasure. God will not hide Himself from those who earnestly seek Him." See Proverbs 2:1-5.
"Discipline is primarily an opportunity to remind our children of their need to repent and believe in Christ, and of the forgiveness and provision available from God through Christ."
The final quote I want to share is the powerful conclusion of the book: "The power of grace in the gospel will cleanse us, forgive us, change us internally and empower us to be all that we need to be to instruct the hearts of our children . . . Come to Christ each day knowing that you can do all things through Him who gives you strength."
Overall, I found this book to be challenging and convicting, and I would recommend it if you are interested in learning more about biblical parenting. Has anyone else read this book?
Note: This is the first book I've finished in 2011. I don't recall ever keeping a list of the books I'm reading, so I decided it would be a neat thing to record, even though it will be a much shorter list than back in the day! My intention is to post the list of books I've read on here at the end of the year, offering a giveaway where the winner can select a book from among the list of titles. You only have to wait 10 1/2 more months for it. =)
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
And now onto my February challenge. I've gotten very slack about working out, and the long winters around here certainly don't help with that. My goal is to exercise 20 days out of 28--essentially 5 times a week. I am going to put a star on my calendar for the days I follow through, and my accountability will be to post the calendar here at the end of the month. I put this challenge under the stewardship category, because it's clearly important to take care of the physical resources God has blessed us with!
Does anyone else remember the fitness-inspired toy line called "Get in Shape, Girl?" I totally loved that stuff as a kid!
Finally, I have to tell you about something awesome I just came across--the Give: LOVE project! You donate to a great cause (helping children around the world who are victims of trafficking), and then you download super cute valentines that were designed just for this project. I'm all over that. Hope you'll check it out!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I am proud to report that I got rid of 32 things before my 32nd birthday. In fact, I ended up with a list of 35 items!
I tend to be a packrat about some stuff, so this challenge proved a good catalyst for getting rid of a few things I'd held on to for a long time! For this challenge, I recycled, gave, pitched, thrifted, and consigned. Here are a few of the items I no longer own:
*I threw away a bag of gift bows that has been driving me crazy. I've stored the bag of bows underneath the guest room bed, and Natalie discovered it there over a year ago. It became a favorite toy of both kids, which I was OK with--for awhile. But then all the bows started getting really ratty, and I would find them in random places, and I decided I was done. I rarely use bows on presents, so I'm glad they got a lot of enjoyment out of them!
*I parted ways with this sweater that I've had since early college--ahem--over 10 years ago. Here's a pic of me wearing it circa 2000. I hope whoever buys it will wear it for another 12 years! *I went through all of our medicines and toiletries, and threw out a bottle of calamine lotion that expired in 2007. The consistency was a little strange, and for a couple bucks, it's clearly time to buy a new bottle!
*Though it was difficult for me =), I finally threw out two favorite pairs of socks that had LARGE holes in them. My mother was appalled with my sorry hosiery at Christmas, and gave me three new pairs of these cuties for my birthday.
*My friend Sara has passed on all kinds of goodies to me over the years. (In fact, Sara, I'm wearing that pretty coral cardigan today!) Last summer, one of the things in her stash for me was a cheese grater. Now, I've never been a big fan of grating my own cheese, so it's a chore I've been willing to avoid. However, the thought of a free grater made me think I might *someday* grate my own cheese, zucchini, etc. On my birthday, when I was wrapping up this challenge, I came across the grater, and I debated for a minute about whether or not to get rid of it. Imagine my surprise when a few hours later, I opened a box from my parents to discover this. I've already used it to shred and slice lots of carrots--so handy! Maybe I'll even use it to grate cheese sometime. Thanks to my mom's grate (ha!) timing, the hand grater became item #31 on my list!
This was a fun challenge, and it may become an annual tradition. Although, that will definitely be a lot more difficult if I'm still doing it at age 70! =)