Don’t Quit

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Every parent wants their child to be successful and smart. Right?

A person’s natural level of intelligence is not really something one can control, kind of like who your parents are or your race. You get what you get, at least until we figure out how to create perfection via genetics. In the meantime, we’re left to make the best of what we have.

In America, new parents begin early setting their children up for success by getting their children ready for school. We encourage them to teach colors, numbers, etc. There are bookoodles of learning apps and television shows aimed here.

While those academic things are important, they are not the single greatest factor in determining whether or not your child will be successful. The experts always tell us the single greatest predictor of success is whether a child is persistent or not. And…how well he/she can delay gratification.

Please take a moment and ask yourself, “Is my child learning persistence and delayed gratification while ‘learning’ in a virtual play world?”

I placed the word learning in quotes because I’m doubtful they’re learning much real-world information. More helpful to their success and well-rounded development would be things such as eye contact with adults, sharing, dealing with other children, not interrupting others, and handling frustration and anger appropriately. They are not learning those things on a tablet or glued to PBS. Watching a TV show about handling anger isn’t the same thing as having your sister break your favorite toy and not hitting her or breaking her toy. That’s real world vs. the virtual world.

You may believe your child is learning persistence because they spend sooo much time on that tablet ‘learning’. Watch them closely for about thirty minutes. See how long they actually work on one skill, such as learning the letter ‘A’. What they’re likely doing is flitting from one task to another like a butterfly, so they’re never bored or unsuccessful for long.  While there are age differences to factor in, it is never normal for young children (younger than 10) to be sedentary for very long. This is not normal and is not healthy. See my earlier post on self-control and blowing off steam.

Here is a helpful idea to teach persistence and delayed gratification. Find a real-life role model. When Tim Tebow was young, he already wanted to play football. So his mother found him a role model–Danny Wuerffel. Both were examples of young Christian men who displayed talent paired with exemplary persistence. You can do something like that, as well.

When it comes to your child’s success as a Christian, they must learn persistence and delayed gratification. The Christian life is certainly not a bed of roses. It is filled with hills and valleys. I look to God as the best example for younger children. Is there a better example of never relenting, never ceasing, never failing persistence than God’s love for us? He never quits on us. Never.

You want your children to be successful in life, so do I. While I can’t do anything about your or your child’s level of intelligence, I can share with you the key ingredient to success–it is persistence.

I’ll end with this quote:

“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.” – Tim Tebow

Would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please comment below.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Final thoughts:

  1. Here’s the link to my children’s song “Giddy Up”. It’s about persistence/perseverance.
  2. July newsletter coming soon. Have you signed up yet? This month I’m sharing thoughts on a mom’s most important job PLUS many great book recommendations for you and your children. And, you really don’t want to miss the boots I found on Pinterest.

Children Need Chores

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“Does your child pick up her toys when asked?” I waited.

The young mom looked bewildered as she pondered her answer. Continue reading “Children Need Chores”

They Need A Gatekeeper

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Last week I focused on the Golden Rule. This week we’ll do a review of the biblical instruction to be kind. Our memory verse is “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.

While our godless culture does not promote the authority of God as our creator, it does try to teach us to be kind.  They tell us to stop bullying or say nice things to each other. But…how’s that working?

If you take a cursory view of TV, movies, or video games you will not get the impression you’re being sold kindness in words and deeds.

If you take a brief listen (and, that’s about all I can take) of many of today’s pop or hip hop songs, yeah…no kindness there.

Social media apps? Don’t get me started on the absolute destructiveness of these.

The cultural gods preach from behind their glass-walled houses or from their stages of power about how awful our culture is. While at the same time, doing everything within their power to take God out of it.

Do I expect this to change? No.

What I expect to change is you. You are the change agent, the gatekeeper,  and you have power. Decide now, you’re going to take a different course.

Begin at the beginning and teach your children they are loved by their Creator God. He placed them here and wants the best for them. When they understand each of us is equal and special in God’s eyes, it will be easier for them to resist seeing themselves as better or higher or greater. It becomes more natural to apply the Golden Rule.

Need a helpful chart? Here you go>>>7 DAYS AND 7 WAYS CHART

Need some children’s songs to help teach compassion? Here’s a link>>>

The culture is against you. Do not wait for that to change before you change how you raise your children. Teach them to be kind with their actions and words. Model it right in your own home. Hold them to a higher standard of behavior.

Final homework for you, dear mom or dad:

Write down your overarching goal for your child. I’ll help you get started by sharing mine. My overall goal for my sons was “to raise godly men who were capable of supporting a family and building a stable home for their children.”

When you form the goal, it helps distill your course of action.  For example, if your goal is similar to mine, then how would playing baseball on Sundays help you achieve that goal? Or, would it be better to attend church and do some other type of sport?

If you’ve read this far, I’m assuming you aren’t happy with the culture either. Welcome. You’ve found others who are with you on the journey and will support you and encourage you to stay strong.

God has appointed you the gatekeeper. It’s up to you what gets inside the fence where your children are.

The wolves of the culture are prowling. God’s ways are best to defeat them.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. What’s your greatest fear for your children? What’s your greatest desire for them? Drop a comment below and let’s get this conversation started.

 

Face the Fear

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In his first inaugural address to the nation in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

About all any of us recall of his speech was the infamous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” But, it is so easy to fear the fear. There’s even a medical term for it–phobophobia. This is the fear of the internal sensations associated with fear, the tingliness, the panic, the floaty and out-of-body sensations which are so unpleasant.

I’ve experienced fear of the fear and can tell you without reservation, it is real. However, I can also testify to you the power of facing the fear and using God’s words to defeat it.

We are told in the Ephesians 6:17:

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The word of God, the Scriptures, are the weapon to use against fear. Say to the spirit of fear, the devil, “You are a liar! I have nothing to fear for God is stronger than you.”

You will have to say it over and over and over. The devil is a persistent enemy and must be faced with confidence each and every time.

Whatever you are fearing, even if it is fear itself, choose to believe God is stronger and use His words to combat and overcome the lying words of the devil, those words he whispers to you, such as “You’re not good enough.”

My prayer for you this week is you begin the process of following God’s ways when it comes to doing battle with fear.

Here’s a wonderful song you may not have heard.

Remember words have extreme power–both nice ones and hurtful ones. The devil, yes he is real, only tells you the hurtful ones. Decide today and tomorrow, to only listen and believe the ones God tells you: you are beautiful, you are loved, you are forgiven, you need me.

Love y’all and know God’s ways are best, today and always!

Ginny

P.S. New stuff coming next week. Follow me on social media and, if you haven’t yet, sign up for the newsletter!

 

God Rested. Why aren’t you?

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Welcome to our mini-series on fear, anxiety, and control. Last week’s post was entitled Remember Follow the Leader? Go back and read it, if you’d like.

In last week’s post, I wrote about how I had to learn to follow God’s plans and be willing to put aside my own ideas of how things needed to go. We reviewed how smart the ducklings are who follow their mother so they stay safe. We need to be as smart as they are and follow our leader–God. He is our creator and He knows best.

One thing I had to learn during my time of panic attacks and over scheduling was how to say no. No is such a small word, but I had such a difficult time saying it.

Before God revealed to me why I couldn’t seem to say no, I felt pretty good about how much I could handle. You’ve heard it said, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” I took pride in how much I could get done. I’m a list maker and a lover of checking things off my list.

Our culture has made us so connected via technology, we can get even more done. We’re never really clocked out at work. We’re never really out of touch because we live with our phone attached to us. We even get anxious if it isn’t. I wrote in Put Up A Fence how we need to fence off our personal lives from the web and to decrease our interest in other people’s lives.

Yes, I know we can’t completely disconnect from our fast-paced culture. But, we can control our schedule and say no to some things.  Let’s review what God has to say about rest. Sometimes to find the truth, one has to go back to the beginning. So, we’ll review Genesis 2:2

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

God, the creator of the universe, found it wise to rest. He even commanded us in Exodus 20: 9

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not work…”

Why would God rest? Did He need to? Or, did He pattern for us what He knew would be best for our physical, mental, and spiritual health?

Does it matter? Not to me. Here’s what I know:

He rested, He commanded us to rest and I do much better when I rest.

All things in creation have a season and I learned not all activities needed to occur in the same season. For example, when my children were involved in band and tennis, both requiring a lot of driving on my part, that wasn’t the correct season for me to be president of the neighborhood watch. That could occur in another season of life.

This week look at your schedule and take control of it. Pray over every item and ask God what you need to say no to. I encourage you to learn to embrace the power of saying no–it is very freeing.

I’m praying for you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

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Remember Follow the Leader?

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Welcome to week #3 in our mini-series on stress/anxiety/fear. Last week’s post entitled “Can’t Catch Your Breath?” touched a lot of readers. Wow! Feel free to go back and read it, if you haven’t already.

This week we’re focusing on the underlying root of most anxiety, at least it was for me. The underlying root causing my panic and anxiety attacks was a fear of losing control.

Many have asked me how I felt during that period of my life and the only way I can describe it is, “I felt like I was walking quickly (okay, running) on a treadmill while simultaneously juggling too many balls.” Plus, and here’s the real kicker–I couldn’t control the speed of the treadmill or how many balls I had to keep up with.

The treadmill was the speed of my days. The balls were the agenda items on my day planner. Important things such as getting the kids dropped off at school on time and hustling across town to be ready for my first patient. Making sure everyone had breakfast and an after-school snack PLUS the gear for the karate class or the band practice.

It became too much! Something had to give and that thing was me and my facade of control.

So, during those times of staying home recovering from anxiety, God began to show me this week’s Scripture.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and to not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

But, I didn’t feel like I was prospering. No, I was definitely not doing well.

Slowly, because I was slow to learn, God began to reveal to me things I could stop doing, schedule changes to make, after-school items to say “no” to. Yes, learn how to say “no.”

Our culture, which is not God-directed, tells us, “You can have it all! A happy marriage, a fantastic career, well-educated and successful children.”

Well, here’s a little nugget of truth–what the culture (directed by the prince of the world, aka Satan) says is a lie. Why are we surprised? That is all Satan knows how to do.

You can have a lot, mind you. But, maybe not simultaneously, unless you have a nanny (aka a stand-in for your parental responsibilities).

Back to our theme on The Boot which is God’s ways are best. God’s way is for one parent, the father, to work and provide for the family. The mother, who is best at the job, does the managing of the children and the house- a monumental job. These duties may be switched, but the point is it takes two.

Before you wig out and accuse me of being backward and stodgy, relook at what God has given you as your responsibility–the raising of children. Is there a greater job in the Kingdom of God? No. And, look to whom he granted the responsibility. No, to whom He granted the honor.

In our picture this week, we have a mother duck leading her ducklings. The ducklings know to stay behind her and to not stray. Oh, if we were as smart as the ducklings. They follow their parent.

Our parent is God.

Follow His lead.

Learn His ways and trust them.

Start now. He knows best how to prosper you and bless you. He has promised it and He always keeps His promises!

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Follow so you won’t miss next week’s post! And, if you aren’t already doing so, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or check out my website at ginnycruz.com

P.S.S. I cut back on my hours and we tightened our financial belts. The children limited their activities and thrived. Now, God has granted me time to get back to opportunities I never dreamed of and wouldn’t have considered, if I had stayed with my plan. Praying for you this week!