Cultivating the Heart of a Daughter

You know when you think God wants you to do something but you aren’t sure if it’s really Him?  Like maybe you’re a tad crazy (or a lot crazy?).  Yeah…that’s been me many times!  And this time is no exception!  An online course – a full and busy online course – is a CRAZY idea!  But, here we are.  Me and my daughter.  Recording videos.  Sharing our hearts.  Digging into scripture.  What a journey it has been so far!  This is Cultivating the Heart of a Daughter.

Are you wanting to help your daughter draw closer to God? Do you wish your relationship with her was deeper? This course will help in both of those areas! Cultivating the Heart of a Daughter. Affiliate opportunity!

Last year, I had the idea to write a book about the heart of a daughter.  I had an outline of what I wanted to include – a clean heart, a forgiving heart, a kind heart…and 17 more ideas.  I jotted down notes and ideas and then saved it onto my hard drive.  It got pushed to the side.  Almost forgotten about.  

Until… Read More

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How To Tell If Your Teen Is A Disciple Of Christ

As a mom, one of my biggest desires for my kids is that they follow the Lord.  In my heart, there is nothing I want more than for my kids to love God as Jesus commanded…with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.  I have taught them about God since they were little.  Never being one to shy away from Biblical truths just in case they didn’t understand, I always spoke truth to them as though they fully understood what I was talking about.  And if they didn’t understand, I didn’t worry about it.  Because I know God’s word never returns void.  A seed is planted.  Always.

Are you wondering about where your teen is at in their spiritual walk with the Lord? Do they trust Jesus? Do they truly have a relationship with Him? How To Tell If Your Teen Is A Disciple Of Christ.

However, as we raise our kids and journey through the teen years, we might begin to wonder if our child is truly following the Lord.  Is there a way to tell?  Are we able to determine the authenticity of their faith?  Yes, I believe we can.  And, honestly, I came across the answer kind of by divine accident.  I say divine accident because I didn’t purpose for the discovery, but God certainly did!  My, friend, if you are wondering How To Tell If Your Teen Is A Disciple Of Christ, this post might help.      Read More

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5 Telling Signs Your Child Is Ready For Social Media

I was happily scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when a question in a homeschool group caught my eye.  I read the question with interest and a thoughtful response was at the ready…until I started to read the responses to this question.  That’s when my heart sunk.  I left the dialogue feeling discouraged and disheartened.  I had noticed some ‘red flags’ when the original asker of the question replied to some of the quick and thoughtless responses.  How could no one else see these flags that were waving right in front of my face?  Did no one see the deeper issue?  Or is it all about rules and regulations?  My oldest has social media accounts and our decision for allowing her on social media was completely different from what was expressed in this conversation.  This is how we decided: 4 Telling Signs Your Child Is Ready For Social Media.

5 Telling Signs Your Child Is Ready For Social Media

The question posed was at what age is it ok for a child to have social media accounts.  This answer can seem easy when we know that with most social media accounts, a child has to be at least 13 to have one.  So, anyone under 13 should not have an account.  That settles part of the question.  But, I don’t really think that age has as much to do with the decision beyond that. Read More

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Mom Prayers For The New Year

The New Year brings on the urge to make resolutions and set goals for ourselves and for our family.  We say good-bye to the past and look forward to the future.  We reflect on what has gone well the previous year and areas where change is required.  Fresh beginnings are welcomed and embraced.  One great place to start this process is in prayer.  The fervent prayer of a mom does wonders!  Here are my Mom Prayers For The New Year

Looking for a great way to begin the New Year? Start with prayers for yourself, your husband and your kids! Includes free prayer printable. Mom Prayers For The New Year.

I am guest posting over at Faith Along the Way!  Read more here. Read More

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Parenting and Relationships

Today is a super busy day of guest posts for me!  2 of my guest posts have been published today!!

It is always an honor to guest post for a friend...but two in one day is an extra blessing!

Strong Family Project

I have a parenting post over on Sarah Ann’s blog, Faith Along The Way.  4 Reasons to Challenge Our Kids With Spiritual Truths.  Sometimes we don’t think our precious children will be able to understand the deep spiritual truths of God’s word.  When we believe that, we tend to not discuss these truths with them.  However, I have come to believe that our kids are capable of understanding so much more that what we think they can…even, dare I say it, understand truths better than we can!

Let’s Talk Relationships

My second guest post is over on Alison’s site, A Life Of Scoop.  This one comes from a much more raw place in my heart.  It is something that I don’t mention often on my own blog…but a topic that does need to be addressed.  When Alison approached me to write for her Let’s Talk Relationship series, I prayed about what relationship I ought to write about.  I felt the Lord press upon my heart to write about the most difficult relationship I have ever had.  A relationship with someone who exhibits mental illness tendencies.  So, here it is…When Mental Illness Overwhelms Your Relationships.  I say ‘relationships’ because the relationship that is affected by mental illness is not just with the person with the problem.  It has affected every relationship I’ve ever had with anyone, especially with my husband and my children.  

It is always an honor to guest post for a friend...but two in one day is an extra blessing!

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The Best Father’s Day Gift

Father’s Day is quickly approaching…but what do you get the guy who has everything he wants.  I just bought a selfie stick…so, my hubby is happy 😛 .  There is, of course, his favorite snacks to munch on while relaxing on the patio in the afternoon.  He’d be pretty happy with just that.  But I’d like to take it a bit further this year.  I’d like to have something that will have an impact in the eternal.  So, I made these prayer cards for my kids to use during their prayer time over their daddy.  Isn’t that really the best gift ever?  Having your kids pray for their daddy on a daily basis?  You have now found The Best Father’s Day Gift!

Are you wondering what to get the dad who has everything? I struggle with that every year! SO, I came up with this idea...prayer cards for the kids to pray over daddy! This really is The Best Father's Day Gift.

I want to kick off my new prayer series with this post about having the kids pray for daddy.  Next week, I’ll share some ways that you, as a wife, can pray for your hubby.  If you aren’t married yet, you can certainly still pray over your man – even if he isn’t in your life yet!  

Why would you want your kids to pray for their daddy?  Well…   Read More

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How To Root Your Teen Daughter’s Heart In God’s Word

I remember the day she was born…so small and dependent on me to care for her.  I wondered if I’d be able to give her everything she needed.  Would I be able to love her the way I knew God wanted me to?  Would I teach her about God’s ways enough?  Enough to survive this cruel world that seems to have heartache at every turn?  That was 15 years ago and I am seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in her life.  I see it every single day.  I see how she loves the Lord and longs to be close to Him.  This did not happen by accident or by osmosis as a Christian family.  Are you wondering How To Root Your Teen Daughter’s Heart In God’s Word?  

**I went live on Facebook  with my daughter, Sarah!  See video at the end of this post!**

As a Christian parent, we want our kids to grow close to God and have their own relationship with Him. But how do we go about doing that? I enlisted the help of my teen daughter in writing this post to help give you some ideas. How To Root Your Teen Daughter's Heart In God's Word

I am writing this post with my daughter, Sarah.  She is going to offer her insight as a teen girl.  Her direct comments will be in teal color.  Here are the things she has found helpful in growing her faith as a teen in our culture. Read More

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When Education And God Collide

It really does not make sense to me.  Not one little bit.  I don’t hear it very often, but when I do I can’t fathom separating the two.  The notion has become so foreign to me.  I am talking about taking God and His Word out of education and setting it all on its own.  And I believe that when we separate the two with our kids, they grow up with a false understanding that Sundays are reserved for God while the rest of the week and their lives are their own to do with as they wish.  What happens, though, When Education And God Collide?  

What is your approach to combining God's word and your homeschool? Do you keep them separate? Or do you see the importance of intertwining the 2? When Education and God Collide

One of the things I love about home education is that I can immerse my children – and myself – in God’s Word.  If you have read many of my homeschooling or parenting posts, you will know that I take the passage in Deuteronomy to heart.  I believe God intends for us to teach our children His promises, laws, hope, assurances, wisdom, admonishments…every bit of His Word every single day.  I don’t think His idea was to have Bible lessons for 30 minutes a day or to rely on the Sunday School teacher to teach our kids the truth.  That’s not enough.   Read More

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6 Advantageous Tactics For Well-Behaved Children

I was browsing the aquarium gift shop with my kids happily following along when we were almost plowed over my two young boys about 9 years-old running through the store, screeching.  I looked around to see if a responsible parent would stop them before they ran by me again.  No such parent was in sight…the mischievous boys zipped by me again, careless and oblivious to other shoppers.  It really was appalling behavior, conduct I’ve never seen in my own children…because they always knew there would be serious consequences if they even attempted anything so ill-disciplined.

Do you struggle with your child's behavior? Are you pulling out your hair wondering why they won't obey? In this post, I discuss 6 Advantageous Tactics For Well-Behaved Children for Christian parenting.

Now, my children are not perfect…far from it.  But they have always known that running around a store in such a manner would not be tolerated by me.  Here are some things we did in order to train our children how to behave appropriately during outings.  

Expecting Expectations

Whenever I took my kids out, we went over expectations of behavior before arriving at our destination.  We would talk about staying near me at all times and absolutely no whining.  We would talk about the consequences of not behaving when we were out.  One time, I had to leave my shopping cart full of groceries in order to take my child to the car for a discussion.  Eventually, my kids were so familiar with the expectations that I would have them tell me what the behavior expectations will be.  Doing this helps them to take ownership of their choices.  

fruit spiritPaul tells us in Galatians the expectations of a believers behavior through the Fruit of the Spirit.  We are expected to show love and kindness.  We are counted on to have self-control!  Are these not the same expectations we ought to be instilling into our children?  If so, then we better make sure we are living by the same expectations.

As followers of Christ, there are certain expectations for us…we are expected to live holy lives.  Our children are never to young to begin understanding this truth. 

Rewarding the Good Times

When they did behave well, I made sure they knew how proud of them I was.  Sometimes I’d buy them a special treat or promise them something fun when we got home.  I would also make sure my husband found out their good behavior that day.  

I often explained to the kids that when they are well-behaved on outings, it makes incredibly happy to take them on outings more often.  This not only encourages the good behavior, but it also helps them to take ownership of their behavior and choices.   

Being Proactive Is Key

Be proactive instead of reactive.  This means you don’t wait until there is a problem to teach and admonish.  Begin teaching good character habits early on.  Have regular discussions on what it looks like to respect and honor others above themselves.  How can we show love and kindness to those around us?  What does self-control look like?  

Being proactive will help to prevent many problems later on.

Encourage, Encourage, Encourage 

I am a huge believer in building kids up before the need for discipline arises.  Let them know you believe that they can make good choices.  Sometimes it is so hard to make the right choice – yes, even for us adults.  But it sure helps when we know someone has our back, right?  Make sure your child knows you are cheering him on.    

Everyone needs a ‘second chance’ – or more.  We all mess up.  It is good to know that there is a way back when we have made mistakes.  Encourage your child with something like, “You made the wrong choice this time but I am confident that you will make a better one next time.”  There is always room for redemption.  Don’t go on and on and on about it (believe me, it doesn’t work…I’ve tried).  Let them experience forgiveness and redemption.  

Let Them Be Responsible

Let them be responsible for their behavior.  Don’t make excuses for them.  Every single parent has to deal with misbehavior.  It happens.  It is part of raising kids.  Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed – just deal with the misbehavior appropriately and move on.  They made the choice, therefore, they need to be responsible for it.  

It’s A Heart Issue

Lastly, remember that misbehavior is a heart issue.  There is only one heart changer that I know, our Heavenly Father.  And He longs to be the Abba Father of our children.  Through prayer, hearts change.  Through meditating on His Word, hearts are healed and redeemed.  Through worship, hearts are made new.  Jesus promises to give us a heart of flesh in place of our hearts of stone.  This isn’t any different for our children.  A changed heart is a heart that rests at the feet of Jesus.  Our kids are never to young to  sit at His feet.   

Back At The Gift Shop

My husband tried to tell them to stop running, but they refused to listen.  One of the employees finally had to step in after these boys were throwing several stuffed toys around the store – and I mean from one end to the other.  Armfuls of stuffed toys were being placed back on the shelves as fast as these boys were taking them off and hurling them throughout the store.  One employee told them to stop running and that if they hadn’t purchased the items, then they couldn’t take them out of the store.  With one last toss, they ran out of the shop…parents still nowhere to be found and staff were left to clean up the havoc.  

As my children witnessed this event, they stood in disbelief and disgust that these boys behaved so badly.  They also expressed their gratitude that we never allowed such behavior from them.  They were thankful for our parental discipline now even though they likely did not years ago when we would enforce it!    

Maybe you are looking for some resources to help you parent and develop Godly character in your children.  I will be blogging over at A Little R & R in July about my favorite discipleship resources.  Stay tuned…

Do you struggle with your child's behavior? Are you pulling out your hair wondering why they won't obey? In this post, I discuss 6 Advantageous Tactics For Well-Behaved Children for Christian parenting.

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Top 5 Reasons To Homeschool

I was asked the question yet again…the same question most homeschool moms get.  Then I was asked the second question that is typically raised when people find out I am a homeschool support teacher.  While they may be two completely different questions, the foundational response is the same.  Why do I homeschool my kids and how do I know homeschool moms are not doing the work for their kids?  To answer these questions, I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 Reasons To Homeschool.  

**I did a Facebook live video to talk about this post – see bottom of this post for the video!**

Why do you home educate? Or better yet, why are you parenting as you do? On tough days, I need to come back to the foundation of they 'WHY'. Here are my Top 5 Reasons To Homeschool - or parent.

Many people think that the absolute best reason to homeschool is to keep our kids from the big, bad world.  However, we know that scripture does not support seclusion from the world.  We know that we are not supposed to be in relationship with only Christians.  We are to be in the world, not of it…  Read More

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