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.

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!

 

Can’t Catch Your Breath?

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My panic attacks began eleven years ago. Out of the blue, I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. It wasn’t long before I had hyperventilated and passed out.

The panic attacks continued and would always creep up on me in an unexpected fashion. Not when I thought I’d be anxious, but when I didn’t. Like when I was home alone or when I was driving to pick up the kids from school–things I had done thousands of times.

I ended up in the emergency room a few times convinced I was having a stroke or a heart attack. But, they disregarded my imaginations and sent me home. Home to find my own answers.

I researched on Google. Not a good idea, I admit. But, I was desperate and thought I was losing my mind. I jokingly told myself I was having a midlife nervous breakdown. My friends discouraged such talk; however, I’m still convinced that is what it basically was.

It was my coming to a point in life where I could not continue on my own strength. And, having to realize I should have never been trying to do it on my own. But, I had.

This week let’s focus on going back to the beginning in the book of Genesis and remind ourselves our breath is from God–each one, from the first cry after birth to the last exhalation before death. God’s breath is our breath.

During my darkest moments, when I was lying face down on the cold ceramic tiles, my mind grasping at something to hold onto, I began to recite the 23rd Psalm over and over and over. This would bring my breathing into a rhythm and calm me down. I focused on praising God by speaking or singing or shouting his words back to Him.

You might want to try that yourself. Or, pick your own Scripture to mumble under your breath to calm yourself down.

Here’s a link for one of my favorite praise songs which talks a lot about our breath. I pray it lifts you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com

P.S. More good stuff coming next week, so don’t forget to sign up to follow!

 

Let Go and Let God

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Welcome to week #2 of our quick study on making your life easier!

You want an easier life, don’t you? Of course, you do.

Last week’s blog post, “Build A Fence” gave you some hints on minimizing outside distraction and, more importantly, following the biblical wisdom of minding your own business. Trust me, your business will be enough to deal with.

This week, we’re discussing morning devotional time–the best way to begin your day.

Yes, I know. You don’t have time. But, once you make the time, you’ll wonder how you ever made it without this precious time with God.

Those morning minutes, while you sip your coffee and let the children sleep a bit longer, are YOUR time.

David wrote in Psalms 5: 3

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay down my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

I learned to do this the hard way. When my children were in middle and high school, busy was killing me. I began to have panic attacks and, for a while, could barely leave the house. During that time, I began to journal and do a morning devotion time.

It saved me. Not only did I begin to uncover things I needed to let go, things I needed to restructure (like my mornings) and things I needed to stop trying to control.

During the early-morning quiet, God began to show me ways to “let go and let God.” Some days I would fill entire pages with the recurring phrase, let go and let God. It was calming and freeing, in a strange way.

My prayer for you this week is for you to:

  • keep doing a daily walk
  • begin a morning devotion time. No excuses, begin.
  • write out your requests to God
  • learn to wait expectantly for His guidance
  • check the fences you put up last week. Maybe put up a few more.

God has much to tell you. Carve out a few minutes every morning to read the Bible, write out your requests, and wait expectantly for His guidance.

When you hear His guidance, do not argue with what He tells you.

Trust me, do what He says.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com

 

 

 

 

Put Up A Fence

Weekly Walk with Ginny

Don’t miss the wisdom this blog will contain over the next six weeks. From now until the end of May is one of the busiest seasons for many of you, especially if you are a parent of school-aged children or a teacher.

So, here at The Boot, we want to make it a bit easier for you.

This week let’s focus on the purpose of fences. Stay with me on this.

One of the ways we stress ourselves out is we get too involved and focused on other people’s business. In today’s digital world, everybody puts their business in the public square, so it’s easy to be a busybody.

Our Scripture this week is from 1 Thessalonians 4: 11, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands…” It sounds so calming doesn’t it?

Does anyone today lead a quiet life? Do you? Between text alerts and social media beeps, everyone else’s business tweets it’s way into your quiet time, into your time with your children, and into your bedroom.

In the old days, people kept their business private. Conversations were contained in the home across the kitchen table or in letter form. People had fences to mark their yard. It was clear, what happened on their side of the fence was their business, not anyone else’s.

As a child, I walked the streets of my small town without fear. And, I learned early in life, a fence means you stay out.

The Godly wisdom for this week is to put up a fence. Stop keeping up with everybody’s kids and their vacations. Stop drooling over their new kitchen remodel or their latest photo of what they ate last night. Truly, it isn’t any of your business. Yes, your “friends” have posted their personal business on a public forum, but you can choose not to view it or care. Do not make their business your business.

Raise your hand if you need less stress. Okay, I see you.

Here’s what to do this week:

  • Focus more time on your own children and family
  • Visualize ways to erect fences in your life. Maybe you need to stop following certain people on social media or mute your alerts during the evenings
  • Do not concern yourself with what is on the other side of your fences
  • Always take daily walks and spend quiet time with God

The Father himself tells us to lead a quiet life, so go ahead and take Him up on it.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com