Friday, August 17, 2012

The heart of the matter

Warning: rambling post! I have some things I've been wanting to process. It won't be very articulate, but it will be honest!

Nathan has really been on my heart lately (more than normal). I have been thinking so much about him starting school and being away from home all day.

I've realized increasingly over the summer that Nathan is not one to share what he's thinking or feeling. (Unlike me--ha!) It makes me sad to think that I will be less aware on a daily basis of what he's doing. Having stayed home with him since he was born, that will be quite a change for us! I do hope to at least draw the basics out of him--high and low point of the day, etc., but I know I can't have unrealistic expectations. (Not to over-generalize, but is this just a boy thing?!) I did read a neat idea in a book the other day--the author's family does "Mad Sad Glad," where they shared what happened that day that resulted in each of those three emotions.

Nathan went to Christian preschool, but he will be going to a public elementary. Since he won't be getting any biblical instruction at school, Eric and I want to be even more intentional about his spiritual development. Part of Nathan not really talking is that it's hard to gauge where he's at spiritually. We read the Bible every night and he's memorized quite a few Scripture passages, but he does not seem to understand or even be interested in how it applies to his life and decisions. We've heard great things about the AWANA program and plan to sign Nathan up this fall, but I want to be proactive at home as well.

I know he's *only* 5, but I have a real burden for him to desire a relationship with Jesus. I know I can't make comparisons, but I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 4, and I still remember the moment pretty clearly. More than a certain timeline, however, I want Nathan to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We definitely pray for and with him, but I'm looking for additional ways to challenge and encourage Nathan in the areas I've mentioned. Any insight to offer? Any approaches or materials you've tried with your children (maybe boys in particular) that have been effective at helping them grow in wisdom?And/or drawing out kids who say "I don't know" to most questions of substance? Thanks for your help.


Sheila said...

My 12 year old daughter tends to keep a lot to herself also - always has. Mainly I can tell you things you already know. Always be available to talk if they want to, whether it's convenient or not. Show interest in whatever they do want to talk about, because you keep communication going, which will give you opportunities to talk about other things. Continue to ask questions, knowing that you may not get much in the way of an answer, but continuing to asks keeps the door open. I used to regularly ask, what was the best part of your day and what was the worst part of your day. Mainly, though, I want to encourage you to keep talking, even if you don't get much or any response. Talk about Jesus. talk about your faith. Talk about why you make the decisions you do. Even when they don't share as much about how they feel, my experience has been that she does listen and absorb - possibly even more so than others. Most importantly, pray (I know that you do!). What Paul said about God's strength being made perfect in our weakness applies in so many ways. God is more than able to fill in the gaps of our parental weakness. :) For that, I am so very grateful, because I'm leaving some pretty big gaps for Him to fill in!

Ginger said...

I think the Mad/Sad/Glad is an excellent idea,especially for his age and it doesn't seem like you are hounding him. I think a lot of boys do tend to be more reserved and sensitive. As he grows older you may have to balance the questions so he doesn't feel you are being pushy or invading his privacy. My son is 18 and I have to ease up on questions. He comes to me when he wants to share in his timing.

thehomespunheart said...

I love hearing your heart in this. I know we've already talked about this, but what came to mind while reading this was just to be faithful and keep at it. More sinks in than we think and of course they are always watching the way WE do life. You are doing a GREAT job! :) Love you, Monica

Mom said...

Praying! Love you, Mom

Speaky1013 said...

Carrie, I will be praying for Nathan and you guys in this process. Another beautiful post about what you're going through and what's on your mind.

Lisa said...

I'm a little behind with this comment but I wanted to expand on a few things that others (and you) have said. First of all, we do "good thing/bad thing" at the supper table at night. It has really helped everyone (even our boy!) open up about their day. One comment leads to a whole story, which leads to another story, etc. The other thing is something you mentioned: "It's a boy thing." I am in the middle of an excellent book called "Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys." I hesitate to recommend a book before I'm finished reading it, but honestly, this book is sooooo good. It has helped me understand my son so much better already!
Love and prayers,