“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”
“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”
The cultural handwringing continues.
Our president doesn’t tell the truth. Our justice department isn’t telling the truth. Our church leadership isn’t telling the truth. Our news media isn’t telling the truth.
What’s a parent to do?
Let’s ask ourselves these questions:
Our children are inundated with lies and this will continue throughout their entire lives. Social media and our advanced technologies have only magnified this fact. It is impossible to tell truth from fiction in the virtual world.
That is one essential danger of allowing your children to inhabit the virtual world. They need to stay grounded in reality where it is necessary to face, and learn to deal with, the imperfections of the world.
God knows the world is broken and He knows we’re broken. However, does He say, “Go ahead and act like the world?” No.
Does He prefer we live in our make-believe creations?
No. I don’t think so.
He calls us to stay engaged in the real world where people lie, cheat, steal, and kill each other. A place no one really prefers to be, but it is the place we humans, without God, have created.
Now, we humans, thinking ourselves so intelligent, have discovered a way to escape this awful place we have created. It’s called the internet.
Houston? We have a problem.
Before you despair and leave me to check Facebook, here’s some hope:
Yes, our culture is rotten. Everyone is dishonest and self-seeking. It’s called sin. It is what Man truly is, rotten and self-seeking.
Help your children learn the truth about God and His standards of behavior. Teach them about sin and how we are all guilty of it. Help them discover grace and let them see you offer it to others. Dealing with the reality of our world, with godly character, will help them deal with all the disappointments that will come their way.
Do you have a successful parent tip to share or a story we may enjoy? Please comment below. Others need encouragement.
P.S. Write this verse on an index card and post it on your refrigerator. You and your children can memorize it together.
“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” Psalm 34:13
Summer has finally arrived! The children are free of homework and so are you. Yay!!!
But, it won’t be long before your children are whining, “We’re bored.” They’ll tire of swimming, running around all day in swimsuits or pajamas, and watching TV.
So what’s a mom to do? You’ve come to the right place. I want to encourage you to take the next seven or so weeks and teach your children the most important thing you are to teach them–how to be a good person.
The world tells us, no…pressures us, to get our children ready. Ready for school by learning colors, shapes, and letters before they even register. Ready for sports and potential scholarships by signing them up for pee wee ball, swim teams, or basketball. Start early or you’ll miss out we’re told.
Here’s a question for you: while they’re learning those other skills, who teaches them to be a good person? A person who is honest and trustworthy, one who persists through adversity, one who controls their mouth and bodies, one who can be kind and treat others as they want to be treated, one who is brave?
Will the world teach them these virtues? The overworked and underpaid daycare teachers? The overworked and underpaid school teachers? The coaches? The Disney Channel or PBS?
No. Many may try, but let’s get real here…they aren’t paid to do that. They are paid for academic or athletic performance. They are in the business of teaching about fantasies or global warming. They may care but they are not responsible for teaching godly morals.
Teaching godly morals to your children is your job. And, it may be your most important one. Agree?
If you do, let’s start this summer. Don’t get anxious ’cause I’ve developed a chart and some songs to help.
This week, let’s work on teaching the Golden Rule. Remember it?
It may be old, but it’s still true,
treat other people like you want them to treat you
(lyric from The Golden Rule song)
No matter what your children achieve in life, whether they become an All American, a plumber, or the head of a major corporation, you and all of us want them to be a good person. Good, so they don’t lose their standing or fine name and good, so they contribute to a better community and our overall society.
This is God’s charge to you. You are to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
There is no one to delegate to and no app to do it for you. It takes work and consistent performance on your part to model what you desire for them to copy.
Before you throw up your hands, think about this…what do you truly wish for your children? For them to make lots of money and be successful (whatever that means) or do you want them to be good and decent at whatever they do in life?
When you watch the news, you probably ask yourself this question, “What’s wrong?” We have children killing each other, we have teachers cheating on test scores, we have leaders skimming profits for themselves, and we have the world winking and, in effect, telling our children it’s okay.
Well, we know it isn’t. You can’t do anything about what others do, but you can teach your children the right ways. No one else will.
This week, join me in bringing back the Golden Rule. It’s one of God’s ways. Make sure you practice it and your children do, too.
God’s ways are best today and always.
P.S. I’d love your comments on how this week goes. Join me on social media, too!
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.
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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!
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!
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.
P.S. More good stuff coming next week, so don’t forget to sign up to follow!
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:
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.