Showing posts with label sons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sons. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Feeling A Bit Thwarted Today ...

My two daughters, 16 months apart and raised as twins these past 14 years.  My hopes and dreams and especially, my prayers, for them continue today.  To be godly, faith filled, joyful and sweet daughters, girls and women.

In this life, our home is quiet.  We do not have extended family, have not found like minded faith by and large in our church family, suffered church splits, ridicule and shunning.  Today we are in a church body we are most grateful for yet the years have meant not so many friends or comings and goings for us and our children.  We are quiet by nature, preferring to keep out of church politics and all the usual circles that people operate in it seems by default.  We have made our mistakes, sinners by nature too.  Yet, we are forgiven in Christ!

Our children have raised up faithful and obedient but dare I admit - lonely.  To this end and particularly lately we have introduced out of the home activities for them.  Each considered with much prayer and thought but this week two things have me feeling thwarted at best and a little cheated as well.

Our daughter was being briefed for an upcoming activity and had to squirm in her seat when assaulted with way too much information on upcoming rules and regulations between her and her co-horts in this activity.  Good moral boy/girl rules yet could they not have been put with the correct anatomical phrases instead of what I'll call street slang?  To God's praise because of how we raised her, she came home and told us everything as she does each activity but to see this young girl's reaction to what she heard and how she felt was just disappointing to this Mum.

My immediate reaction - pull her out!  Yet what then?  Is there anything better to offer her?  The tyranny of decision - 

boredom and it's inherant ills
the chance to season and engender resilience in her all the while praying she can swim and not be engulfed and drown in it ...

I don't like those chances.

We monitor, keep talking, watch and pray but still ... I don't like it.

My middle son during the course of an accredited college course is offered and instructed on alcohol use and taste all the while under age!

Thank God for relationship and conversation with each child yet the perils and disappointing seasons of parenting.  Is there anyone who cares about my child as I do.  Well, no.  That's the point isn't it of our children and not just having them but raising them.  Of taking the time day after day, year after year to pour values and principles into them.  Faith and words to live by when life's storms blow and even when just winds of change cross their face.  Of forging relationship with them by our time, our heart, our prayers, our hopes and dreams.  Of letting them go that first time they are ready to "lift off".  Of watching them fly, maybe sputter, maybe crash and burn even.  

Somehow I expected they'd be more ready, there'd be more care for them, more interest in their welfare from strangers but there isn't.  People are by and large good.  Not godly but good.  Yet no one really cares about your own as you do.

Lord, help me to graciously accept your hand to me today.  All the while trusting and hoping in you alone.  In your promises to me and to my children.  Amen.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bringing Baby Home

We are well past this stage in our lives.  Although it is still possible, I don't think it's likely for us.  To the dear friends of mine who are, this is for you.

Each of our babies has been prayed for and waited on.  Each one we believe to be an answer to prayer and to come complete with an eternal soul and great purpose according to God.
From the moment we know we are pregnant we begin to talk about the new baby to our other children as though this baby will come and join our family.  We anticipate how that will work in their little day to day routines and get them ready to share their toys, their personal space and their mummy and daddy with a new best friend.

We faithfully read several books but these are my favourites:

Each night during our bedtime routine we read the usual books and finished with these.  It was a way to anticipate what it would be like in their little lives when the new friend came home from hospital.  With older toddlers, it gave way to fascinating conversation no matter how limited by their tiny understanding and/or vocabulary of what they were expecting or even worried about during this exciting time in our family.

We were given early on in our marriage two pieces of wisdom I continually employed and that made all the difference to those first few months after bringing a new baby home.  They also proved a great foundation for the peace of our home.

First, to "bring the baby to the family" as opposed to "bring the family to the new baby".  The risk of being "child centred" instead of Christ centred.  Did you know the family begins with the marriage - Mathew and I are the primary relationship, the family.  The children are welcome and most blessed additions.  Right here, it set me on the right foot as far as attitude to these little ones who are straight from the heart of God to our home.

How much agony is it to all of a sudden have to tip toe around the house because the new baby is asleep.  Let the baby come to the family within acceptable limitations of course.  Our fourth child, Emmeline, was a newborn when we were extensively renovating our home.  I also had our son Budd at 30 months at the time.  When the builder started up the band saw  inside  our house and it was nap time, I made sure to put them down in the middle of the noise.  They slept through it all.

Second, if the older child and the new baby are crying or need attention at the same time, prefer the older child.  Of course make sure the baby is comforted and safe but allowing for that, the baby can wait.  The older child will far benefit from knowing you are still there for him or her.  Calm or comfort them whatever the situation then together see to the baby or better still if Dad or another family member can help, do that.  There were days when I was on my own which was most of the time.  This advice became key to me.

Lastly and very practically, the Crockpot - oh my!  LOOOOOVE IT!!!!!
 The time was 0900 and my dinner was on and smellin' fine.  Yay!

Our little team would help with everything for bath to change time to meal preparation.  No matter how menial or time consuming - let them help.  It pays far more dividends over time.  Our last baby was Jedidiah some 10 years ago.  Charlotte my eldest was 12 at the time and completely able to care for that child on her own.  And she wanted to.  I made sure not to overburden her little mother's heart but my goodness what a blessing she was.  Jed's older brothers, Josh at 10 and Budd at 7 were so proud big brothers and so tender with a new mummy who cried a lot **  Emmeline was 4 a few days after Jed came home and allowed a tired mummy to give her a store brought chocolate cake (this gave me much mummy guilt at the time) and little Phoebe was 3.  She was just a doll helping me with her very own life sized baby doll :-)

** I faithfully begged to go home from the hospital and then felt I wasn't ready yet when I got there.  The last "bringing home the new baby" moment I was determined to do better.  And I did.

I arrived home to the oohs and aahs and little hands clambering all over me and Jedidiah in my arms.  I felt the overwhelming feeling wash over me and the tell tale tears begin to flow.  I sat down on the lounge with my babies all around me, set the new baby in his bouncer at my feet and hugged my children and wept.  When they asked why I told them the truth - I felt afraid that I could be a good mother to my new family.  I let their sweet ministerings just flow over me and trusted this great God I love so very much.  After not that long I was OK and so I was.

So plan, communicate, imagine and then most of all be thankful and enjoy every moment of
Bringing Baby Home!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Have A New Kid By Friday - Book Review

Reading this book again this week.  It is always so simple, so timely and so profound.  This week I have asked Jedidiah to do something then turned around and walked away.  It works.
This past month we have struggled with first time obedience to simple things like "time for dinner" or "please tidy up your room".  Things we have trained each child in over the years but yet, they go wanting during some seasons of life or just plain rebellious times.

Dr. Leman lays our child's attitude on our shoulders.  "Your attitude has everything to do with how you live your life.  It has everything to do with how you behave.  And it has everything to do with the character you develop."  P. 41

The key to changing your child is changing your attitude

"Almost 100 percent of the time parents know the difference between respect and getting dissed, but they choose to ignore it."  P. 40

When the rewards stop, the behaviour will stop

Attention, albeit unwanted, from Mum and Dad for disobedience won't be worth it if we ask, turn around and leave the room in expectation the child will comply.  If they don't there are consequences.  Consequences prior we have decided upon and communicated to the child over time.  Most importantly consequences that we are willing to follow through on!

In my opinon, this books heavily relies on prior discipline training for each child so they know what to expect and what our behaviour standards are and why - of course age appropriate each time. 
In our case, Jedidiah knew his responsibilities to his room, under his bed and the floor area in particular and secondly, when Mum calls for dinner it is time to "drop sticks" and make your way to the table via the hand basin to clean up.  Stat.

You're the parent and the adult in the situation, so you apologise first

So key to be humble with our children.  Consistent consequences and real, transparent parenting on our part including sorry and asking for forgiveness when we "lose" it are important.  Sometimes we didn't have all the information for the situation, sometimes we are just too hard, sometimes we are just in a bad mood too.  I hope they are the exceptions rather than the rule for me and Mathew.  Most of the time we prayerfully approach discipline and control techniques for each child well.  It's hard to be patient for the fruit of righteousness though. 

For me that's where this book comes in.  It encourages me to go on, toughen up and expect and demand that obedience that we have ALL worked on so hard.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This Thing Called Love

To run a marathon from what I know, you have to work up to the distance over time.  Gain strength and endurance.  You must know your race, the length, the route and you have to mentally plan for it.

Motherhood isn't like that.  We cannot know what is ahead.  We have plans and dreams, we watch others, reflect on our own upbringing and our own Mothers yet, each child, each family is different and inevitably we are unprepared.

Mathew and I learnt as we went along, we didn't have good role models to follow nor many to cheer us on from the sidelines.  We had thought these things would make us better parents because we knew what didn't work and what we didn't believe in.  What we didn't realise though was that we also had no reserves to draw from, no role modelling to imitate, so it was very difficult.  We often felt lost and bewildered and consequently our marriage was in serious trouble.

When our first child was only 3 years old we came in contact with Growing Families International and the parenting curriculum Growing Kids God's Way.  It changed our marriage first and then our child raising techniques and outcomes.  With each subsequent child we employed what we learnt.  We have been and continue to be great and vocal advocates of these child raising principles.  Over time in this marathon however, new and varied stages and dilemmas present themselves.  I have personally gone back to the "book" regularly.

Last night I found myself scouring our bookcase shelves again for some inspiration, encouragement, even words of wisdom for another shift in the marathon route that I never trained for and am finding myself failing on.

Right about here I am reminded that God's Word itself is all I need and to turn to Him and ask for wisdom, grace, forgiveness and patience is the good and right to do.  However, I also can glean from those who have gone before and have the talent to write and teach parents like me.  I must admit there isn't much if anything written for parents of older children.

I held to the idea that attitudes and problems start in the early years and to get them while they are young will save trouble later yet I'm here, in trouble, I've run a good race, I'm tired but it isn't over yet.  This crazy thing called "love" for a child.  Love that won't let go, that chases down and forgives over and over, that fears and trembles at some stages - this love is frightening.

Surely I am being honed out of this rock of life just as surely as my child is.  May I be a good student for the potter, may my child and I hold still and be moulded into His likeness, may I wait patiently on Him, may I mount up with wings not for me or even for my child but for His glory and His Namesake.  Amen, Lord.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Swimming With Gran

Swimming with Gran today!  What a treat.  I'm having so much fun it can only get better by Mum agreeing to go by my "happy place" on the way home - Maccos.

An extra trip to see Gran and Pa this week to help with things.  Perfect opportunity to have a swim on my own with Gran.  Thought I was going to be lonely but it turned out better than I thought.  So as the littlest guy in the family, it's not so bad to be on my own sometimes.
- Jedidiah aged 9 and a bit, nearly 10

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Budd

We enjoyed a Mexican fiesta!

So proud of my boy.  Sweet 16.

Friday, November 20, 2015

.. And They Did

Downtown view from his new workstation

My heartfelt rant some weeks ago bore fruit.  He got the job!

I give thanks to Almighty God for His provision to my son of a fine permanent, full time job in the CBD.  He is a different young man with purpose and vision, excitement and hope.  I asked the Lord for a blessing on those people who gave my Son a chance.  Thank You.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Guess Where?

Time with Mum.  Water and a cookie at a roadside cafe.  Perfect, unplanned, whimsical.  The best kind of.

While dropping off Budd for an early morning shift.  Take time to the sunrise.  Driving, it's annoying, watching, it's a blessing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

September-October 2015 Update

Mum's birthday always a happy day.  This year I chose Scarborough Beach for fish and chips by the sea.

Comic Con came to Brisbane.

Miss Phoebe turned 12.

That's my petal doing the tree challenge at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.  She did the flying fox over the crocodile enclosure.  I'm in awe of her.

Never get tired of getting up close and personal with a kangaroo.

Phoebe, Josh and Jed.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Funny Moments

I had to look twice too.  Propped in his bean bag, on his bed, wearing his sunglasses, in the morning sun reading Garfield.  Well then.

Relentless Parenting

Yikes!  Little raw and not as polished as quotes can be on a blog yet .... it's true, so true.  I do stalk my children in all the right and true ways, I do run them down in the name of love to warn and admonish and instruct in the face of a very messy, fast, wicked world that they must walk in.

How often have I used the analogy of a police car, siren blaring, chasing them - not to give them a traffic fine but to stop them from the bridge out a kilometre ahead.

Love chases down.  I've heard the "I hate you" and I'm ashamed to admit it.  I only want to hear it once, ever.

God help us women to truly love, chase, our children.  No one else will. 

Friday, July 10, 2015


Hold them close when they are young, spend time and more time with them.  Give them boundaries, guidelines, rules.  Enforce these with grace and love.  Build a relationship with each one from the day they are born.  Only time together can do this.  Only love that God the Father showed us told us how to do it.  Keep on, day after day after day.  Make mistakes, ask forgiveness of them and of the Lord then pick yourself up and go again.  You are making a life together.  The day they walk out of the house to their first job; it's too late to start.  By now they are walking this earth with the values we instilled into them.  Who were they watching all those years now gone by.  I have come to know they watch someone or something.  If it isn't us, we set them up to fail.

On the day of her first job interview.  Today she is packing up her apartment to come back home.  Two years nursing experience in Sydney and a now a new job here in Brisbane.  Praise God.

My happy little man who loved to bake pancakes.  Budd graduated high school this year.  He is out most days now working casual and next year studying College. Where did this time go!

My eldest son, graduated College and working in IT Support.  Mathew Jnr. is a faithful son, tender before the Lord and I describe him as my rock.

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