Never Enough

praying for our childrenWe can never pray for our children enough. Next time you are sending your child off to school or some other activity and feel the need to cover them in prayer, perhaps this will help.

I like that this gives specific parts of their body. Is your teen beginning a new job and need to focus on instruction? Pray for their mind. Is your child starting a new school? Pray for their journey and where their feet will go. Are they going to meet new friends? May their words be encouraging.

The world is different than when we were young. It’s harder and there is more information and attitudes for our children to navigate. We need to be available for them to ask questions. Be there to guide them through as they mature.

When we can’t be with them, we can pray for them. God is always available and watching over.

Keep calm and pray on,

KK

 

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The children are our future

This morning in our Sunday school class (or Sunday morning Bible study, whatever you call it) we discussed a passage from Mark 10 when Jesus rebukes his disciples as they attempted to keep the children from Him. There are certainly many layers to this passage to explore, but the one that we camped out on was the fact that children have a point of view on faith and Jesus that we should value and pay attention to. Our children do represent future believers in our churches, future parents passing their faith to another generation, future employees and supervisors who will have a broader spherechildren-7 of influence outside their home and churches. As parents we have an awesome responsibility to our children, to raise them to know the Lord personally and to carry their personal faith into adulthood. Allow me to take this responsibility a step further.

Not every believer is a parent. An individual who is a Christ follower may be an aunt or uncle, a teacher, a coach, or a friend of the family. These adults can have a HUGE impact in the life of a child. As I listened to the lesson this morning and I considered that many of the adults in the class were parents, I was grossly aware of the individuals who are not. But I know them to be investing in the lives of young people who God has brought into their lives.

I don’t often talk about my single parenting days, but during those eight years, the first eight years of my son’s life, I prayed for God to bring Godly men into his life. The prayer was answered in several ways – my brother who came to ball games and concerts; a friend from college who “happened” to be his Bible bowl coach and fifth grade teacher; a good friend who coached basketball and baseball; and the best of all, my husband and his step father who shows Christ to him every day.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” and He drew them into His arms. The children we encounter every day or every week need us to invest in them, take an interest and pray for them. To the parents reading this, be encouraged to stay the course and finish the race of parenting strong. When you are tired ask for prayer. As your children grow and become more independent, this is when the real-life choices come. They need you just as much to guide them through the worldly issues they will encounter, as when they were young and you made all the choices for them.

To the non-parents reading this, find a young person and even if you don’t have a close relationship with them, pray for them. Seek ways to cheer them on to a Godly adulthood.

All the best,

KK

 

Pretend, Imagination and Other Lies

praying santaAmong young parents there is a growing number who have adopted the “we aren’t going to lie to our children” approach to parenting. This feeling is hovering around the issue of Santa Claus and his friends, the Easter bunny and Tooth Fairy. This mantra makes me wonder about how far this “honesty” goes. There are times when it is not appropriate to tell children the FULL truth. Many times we skirt the question, knowing they are too young for the answer. Where do babies come from?

What made me really think about lying to our kids was that there is no Santa Claus at Christmas and Easter bunny at Easter. Let me say here that I believe that Christmas and Easter were the most important events in human history. Both turned the hope of the world to the Eternal.

Ok, so the Easter bunny is a little odd, but Santa Claus comes from a real story of a priest who made sure that the hungry were fed. He did so out of selflessness and in anonymity; modeling our Savior’s example. I don’t understand why letting a child believe in this saint visit them for a few years is so wrong. And why not mix a little wonder in a time of miracles? Why not let a child know the fun of Christmas while learning the reverence?

If we aren’t going to lie about Santa, Easter bunnies and tooth fairies, then do we take away playing pretend and imaginary friends? There is no tea in that pot, you know. And the cookies taste like nothing because they aren’t really there. Really, you didn’t steal my nose… no imaginary friends; and oh, and Elf on the shelf isn’t really running around the house wreaking havoc. Where do we draw the line between truth and imagination with our children? Where is the light-heartedness and dreaminess of childhood?

Maybe Santa and the Bunny do add something else to Christmas and Easter that needs to be managed with children. Making sure they don’t outshine the birth of Jesus; and certainly being naughty or nice shouldn’t be the threat of the month. But if handled in the proper perspective, they add a little something to the holidays and a child’s innocent heart.

Reality and truth will come along soon enough and shove playing pretend, imagination and fantasy to the background.

Think about it…

KK

Cars, Cars, Cars

playing streetHave you noticed that people are not afraid of cars anymore? Kids and adults. When I was growing up we were taught to be afraid of being run over. So when playing in the street and a car would come around the corner, everyone would run for their lives to the side of the road while yelling, CAR!!!!

Today, driving down a neighborhood street or through a parking lot pedestrians just look up at the car coming and just keep right on sauntering along as if that huge ton of metal can do nothing about it. I want to say to them, you know if that bucket of bolts hits you, it’s going to hurt. By law pedestrians do have the right-of-way, and I’m not disputing that. It’s just this lack of urgency and respect for the machine that could squish you into the asphalt.

Just a weird thought for Tuesday.

Tell me your memories of playing in the street. What was your game of choice, baseball, hopscotch, riding bikes, skate boarding?

All the best,

KK

Ladies, Pay Attention

Many of us have experienced having a teenager in the house and what that can mean to getting dressed to go somewhere. They camp out in the bathroom for what seems hours and then there is a thunderstorm of clothing whirling around their room. But when they are ready, they are ready!

For the appropriately dressed teenage young lady (#momofgirls), the outfit is well put together with hair and makeup complete. They leave the house looking sharp and feeling good about the way they present themselves.

Recently while having lunch at a fast food restaurant on a Sunday, I watched families come in. For some it was obvious they were coming from church. The daughters were well dressed with hair and make-up. Just behind them were their mothers dressed in what I can only guess were clothes they had tripped over when getting out of bed and hair haphazardly pulled back in a ponytail (#styleover40). Important note, these were not families with small children that needed tending to get everyone out the door on time. Sadly, it was same for several families I observed. Please understand my thought wasn’t about why the mothers weren’t dressed to the nines, it was more about taking a little pride in what they were wearing and how they presented themselves.

Middle-age moms take note. Now is NOT the time to let yourself go. I get it, you are either married and don’t think you need to impress anyone, or you are tired of trying to figure out what fits and what doesn’t. You are right, our bodies aren’t young and firm like the teenager or twenty-something sitting across from you at work. There are two reasons I can see for a middle-aged woman to decide to make a few changes.

First, we don’t feel as young and spry as we once did. Energy levels can droop as much as our [choose body part]. There are a few more lines around our eyes and our moisturizer is our best friend. These things don’t go away under frumpy over-sized clothing. In fact, they get worse. This is your opportunity to “fake it till you feel it”. Get yourself ready to leave the house feeling complete and ready to take on the day. If your clothing is looking aged or faded, take a few minutes and clean out your wardrobe. Consignment shopping can help with budgeting for new outfits.

Second, if you are married, consider this: are you being the best you can be for your husband? Think about it, in a few years when the kids are grown and gone, it’s going to be time for just the two of you. Time for holding on to each other and enjoying the life you have built and watching your children build their own lives. Why not continue to be the “beautiful bride” of years past?
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You may be thinking, “have you seen my middle-aged husband?” That’s not the point. You can’t control him, but you have complete control over yourself and your choice to age gracefully.

If you aren’t married and have a husband to consider, you are probably living a life filled with friends, work, and adventures that you still want to look and feel your best at.

Ladies, we have the choice to let ourselves go and let the aging process take over. I’ve not even mentioned diet and exercise. You tell me. After 30 days of getting up and really taking time to put yourself together for the day is there more motivation for healthier eating?

Ponder this and let me know.
KK

P.S. — please use the teenage reference as an example of how much to care about our appearance not WHAT we should be wearing. It may be worse to go from frumpy middle-aged lady to “scary lady wearing her daughter’s clothing”.  Age appropriate, please.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Who do You Know?

st. nickI’ve been thinking about Santa Claus.  Recently, while talking with friends with younger children I learned a lot about what younger parents are doing and letting their children believe about Santa.  Before I weigh in on the jolly one, I’d like your thoughts on the matter.  What were you told as a child?  How is that the same or different than how you are raising your children?  Your thoughts please, then stay tuned.

All the best,

KK

6 Things I’m grateful for – One at a Time – Number 2

Today I am thankful to be both a mother and a wife.  I have a teenage son who is becoming an outstanding young man.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our moments where I have to stop, take a deep breath and realize he will grow out of some of the typical teenage attitudes.  But for the most part it brings me great joy and great challenge to raise him.

There hasn’t been a stage of raising Cole that I have liked better than the other.  I loved cuddling and caring for him as an infant.  As a toddler and small child he was all smiles.  The worst part of my day was leaving him at daycare every morning, but the best part of my day was picking him up in the evening.  He was into super heroes for many years, so I never had to fear danger because Spiderman or Buzz Lightyear was never far away.  Elementary years were when things got a little challenging because his questions got bigger.  I realized I needed some wisdom to help him begin to enter the bigger boy world of friends, sports, and building character.   Every stage has been enlightening and has driven me to my knees more than once.  Next year we head into high school; I’ll keep you posted.

Believe it or not, I sometimes feel less equipped to be a good and Godly wife than I do a mother.  Five years ago I married a wonderfully Godly man who loves me and Cole with all of his heart.  There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for either of us.  Getting remarried in my forties, I found myself older and smarter about how to do marriage right.  First of all, I know Jay needs to know I respect him.  I appreciate all of his hard work to provide for us.  I love his personal convictions and character.  Secondly, we work together equally.  If I need Jay’s help, he is available and willing.  Just about every morning I ask him if there is something I can do for him.  He is a very independent sort and he may not ask me if there is something I can help with.  The other reason I am mindful to ask him is that I know it’s easy for me to get lost in my own to-do list and not consider others.  Cole teases us because he’s never heard us fight.  We don’t.  We love each other and work very hard to think of the other person first.  With both of us doing this, it really makes being a wife a joy.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when one of us has hurt the other’s feelings.  In those times a little communication goes a long way.  The hurt doesn’t stew, we talk about it and each of us is quick to apologize.

These two men make it very easy to serve them as mother and wife.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to do so every day of my life.

All the best,

KK