Tag Archive: love



follow the megaphone guy!

I was speaking with a woman recently about the relationship she and her child have in regards to education. It occurred to me that this mother was trying to achieve meeting her own needs through her child. When they were not met the way she desired, she became angry; her daughter is struggling with being respectful, there is something that she is wanting, too. The breakdown in their communication has caused problems, because each can only see what they, personally, want and are not receiving.

The book of James says that the things that cause fights and wars among us is the fact that we desire something that we are not getting; that we covet and kill but do not get what we want because we will not ask of the Father and when we do we ask, often we ask amiss to use it on our own pleasure rather for the glory of the Father.

So, how does this apply to communication in the new school year? Throughout the next months that make up our school year, there will be things that we and our children will want from one another. And, there are specific ways in which we have learned to communicate; ways that are both good and bad. This is important to accept and understand, because communication is a tool. It can be used as an implement to build and restore or it can be wielded as a weapon to tear down and destroy.

We, as parents, can set the example of loving communication that deals with problems as they arise in gentle truth, allowing our children to flourish and grow as they begin to see that we are committed to loving them the way Christ loves us.

We can teach the way He did…consistently, lovingly and truthfully, with God’s glory in mind…not our own.

When we communicate to our children that we are “here” and willing to commit to responding to them in the love of Christ, we build trust.

As I mentioned before, however, communication can also be a tool of destruction…it can be detrimental to the lives of our children.

When our children’s mistakes arise ( and they will, just as our own do) it is imperative to remember, that like ourselves, they need to be corrected, but gently, kindly and with loving patience. Is that not what the Father does for us?

He does not scream, throw things, give us labels such as “stupid”, “dumb”, or “incompetent”, storm off or ignore us. Rather, He tells us the truth in love. He calmly addresses the heart, and then the actions that came out of the position of the heart. Then, guess what? He gives us room to grow…to practice! He is not intimidated by not getting exactly what He wants from us as His children. After all, if He waited to meet us and help us until we responded perfectly to Him each time, He would be waiting an awful long time, even among those of us who call upon Him as Savior! We do not respond to Him perfectly and yet, He is always faithful in every way. Our children will not do things perfectly, but that should not keep us from committing to loving them, teaching them, being faithful parents and setting an example that they can follow and respect, as we ourselves, submit our desires to the Lord.

As we look to begin a new year in school, what would you like to see as growth in yourself and your child by the end of the school year? Lay these before Him and let Him equip you to equip your child.

Set the example of praying for both your needs. You will not be sorry.

When looking at your goals for the year, begin to also examine what is working in your relationship with your child in regards to communication.

If it working, praise the Lord for it!!! We are so good at looking at the bad in a relationship and completely missing all that is good about it!

Let’s start off the year right…Looking to the Lord, looking at the good, noble things about our relationship, give thanks and rejoice over those things and then, set off to do what the Lord shows us. Communicating with one another in love, so that our parent/child relationship will show to the world that there is a God who cares that we stay together and that we stay together because of love, not just because we are a parent and child.

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This was ‘liked’ by a young man who is a friend of our younger son on Facebook this morning. It cracked me up, because from a teen’s perspective, it encapsulates exactly what they feel.

I also got a good laugh, because as a home educating  mother, who LOVES spending time with her children, school is not necessarily the easiest way to do that, enjoy my children, that is. We, too, face the daunting reality of “Okay…the start date is upon us.” SIGHHHH…Take a deep breath…breathe out, slloowwwllly now…”Here we go…”

For many parents, particularly mothers (it’s seems that there are more homeschooling Moms, than Dads…sorry guys, not disqualifying you!), this time of year not only brings on a busyness we were able to lay aside for the summer, but also some common ‘nags’ that tend to rear their ugly heads in regards to educating our children.

“Are they really getting what they need as a group?”

“Is each child receiving what they need individually?”

“Am I challenging them enough?”

“Am I pushing too hard?”

These are typically the questions that scream at me throughout the year, from the first day til the last.

So, what do I do?

First, make sure that you are sure of your calling. Then, rest in that truth. If you are called, God WILL equip!

Both my husband and I feel very strongly that this is the direction the Lord has given us for our children’s education. It is what I am called to do for this season of my life. I can rest.

Secondly choose  what I am going to believe. I can walk in fear and be completely paralyzed, or I can choose to focus on the truth. The truth is, I am not going to provide every little detail needed educationally with perfection. But neither will a private or public school. And there is still the fact that a God who loves each of my children, wants to ensure they have all they need, will see to it that they are equipped to fulfill the ministry that He will call them to.

I can allow my fear to convince me to become indifferent or lazy. But that is not the calling the Lord has given. I am to prayerfully be diligent to walk out what He directs of me each year, as well as day by day, for the good of my children. He knows how He created them, and He knows perfectly how to meet those needs as we look to Him for the answers.

Finally, I must learn to rest in God’s peace, joy and love.  Or, I can continue in fear and lose the joy that He intended me to experience through this season of life. My children are gifts, treasures from my Father. He will give us wisdom and we can rest. Enjoying each and every moment of the journey. It is the bumps in the road which will strengthen us as parent and child(ren), not the easy sailing. When the breezes are great and the sailing is good, I find that I do not dependent nearly enough of the goodness of God. Rather, when the storms arise, I realize all too quickly my insufficiency, cry out to Him and He calms me, even if the storm continues to rage awhile.

So, while resisting the beginning of school is, indeed, “futile”, as my young brother in Christ has observed this morning, we can choose how we will embark upon it. We can choose how we will live each day of the year. Full of joy or full of hopelessness and misery?

I choose hope, joy and peace and these all come down from the Father above.


KINDNESS...LOVE IS KIND

Today, we are going to examine the idea of kindness.

It is the second characteristic listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and, WOW, does it have powerful implications and applications.

In American culture, we have often been well trained in the idea of looking out for Numero Uno, number one, me, myself and I. With very little ,or any, thought given to how our daily actions might affect those around us.

In fact, kindness is often seen as a sign of weakness, something that we Americans just don’t appreciate. Unless, that is, we ourselves have been at the receiving end of someone who lacks kindness, then all bets are off. We expect it….even demand it. We are appalled  that someone has had the audacity to treat us with anything else, but kindness!

Unfortunately, we often forget that kindness begets kindness. You know, the old concept, you sow what you reap. We treat people as we wish and then, expect a very different attitude to be given to us. It’s kind of lopsided, is it not?

So, if we are to be loving and being loving involves kindness, what does it look like in everyday living?

Well, let’s look at what kindness really means. The word “kind” used in this particular Scripture is from the Greek word, “chrēsteuomai”, which simply means to show oneself mild, to be kind or use kindness. So, what is kindness, then? Kindness means to be gentle, to show consideration or to be helpful, being benevolent, which means desire to do good to others.

Knowing what this means, you can see why I had stated earlier that it applications and implications are very broad. Kindness can, very literally, be applied to every area of our lives and extended to every single person in our lives, whether we know them personally or not. That is pretty wild to me. To think that God has given me a mighty tool to affect the lives of others and by doing so, change my own heart, as well. I become more conformed to His image with the practicing.

That being so, how can we apply kindness in our idea of organizing from the inside out and let folks know they are loved?

First, we need to acknowledge those areas that we do not show kindness and ask the Lord to help us stop being unkind. He died for us when we were still enemies of the Cross and guess what? In doing so, He showed us immense kindness and patience!

Secondly, we can ask the Lord how to begin showing kindness to all men. Not just the ones we like and who like us, but to all. After all, if we are to partake in the sufferings of the Lord, we, too, should demonstrate the same kindness that He poured out upon us, right?

Thirdly, look for practical ways to help someone. I was once told that just my smile made someone’s day brighter. This person was just a person passing on the street who I had chosen to smile at. Apparently, they needed that. Smiles are free and are easily given!

Perhaps you know someone struggling in this economy, you could share some of your food with them. It may be that you are acquainted with some students that need help with Algebra and you know Algebra like the back of your hand, maybe that is your way to encourage and show kindness, by helping them understand Algebra better, thus, relieving their stress.

There may be a person who aggravates the dickens out of you, maybe, just maybe, you could be the one to extend the hand of grace. Showing them kindness and patience, even if they do not extend it back. Jesus did not demand our love to be given Him, though He demonstrated His for us!

Finally, in the organizational realm, maybe you are a mother or father, a husband or a wife and you see your family members struggling to keep up. Maybe you could organize on of their drawers for them. A closet? Come alongside them to set up a list of things they need to accomplish in the course of the day, week or month.

Look for small items daily that you can encourage people with. Don’t overlook the most simple things…they, often, are the very things that make the most impact.

For me, today, I am going to focus on my children and husband. I have organized my day so that I can accomplish my homework, teach my younger children and then, prepare some surprises for them for Valentine’s Day, tomorrow. Life has been so busy, I think these surprises will refresh them a bit. (I will share more tomorrow, in case they are reading this today!  ;P)

Love is patient and love is kind.

In which ways will you purposefully seek to show kindness today? When you find those ways, will you share them and let me know how they changed you?

 

 

 


 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude; it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

 

As an organizer, I see a lot. A lot of clutter, a lot of dirt, a lot of STUFF, but one thing I don’t see often is an understanding that a life that flows well, actually comes from a heart attitude.

We can produce a lovely home, an organized home and clean home and, yet, lack of peace can press in on all sides.

On the other hand, we can also have an incredibly disorderly life in the physical and not be concerned a bit, while those around us are about to pull their hair out, because of the chaotic fruit our lives produce.

A truly organized life is one where peace flows from the inside out, spilling its sweetness to all who some near. Ironically, these types of lives are well ordered…not dogmatically or stringently, but lovingly.

The month February boasts Valentine’s Day, an internationally celebrated day, signifying love. Ahhh, the sweet fragrance of love. Isn’t glorious to love and  loved?!

So, for the remainder of this month, I want to look at how to show true love to those around us through our organizational skills. I will issue challenges, and offer tips. Every day or so through the rest of month of February, I plan to introduce a concept, along with some tips for working on that concept.

My goal? By the end of the month, armed with the Holy Spirit’s counsel, the strength of the Lord and a few tips, we will practice loving ‘out loud’ the precepts listed above in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

I thought this would be an interesting little challenge, because we can say “I love you” till the moon is blue, but showing it through everyday living is much, much more powerful. And, it is much more difficult, because it requires something of us, personally.

The first challenge I will issue is “Build your Patience day”. One of the hardest things we face is learning to be patient for the sake of another. It is one way in which we can lay down our life for others, just as Christ did for us.

I am confident that if I asked the question, “Do you want others to be patient with you?” the answer would, of course, be “Yes!” We all long for that. However, providing that for others is quite another story. It is difficult. It requires us to lay aside our demands and walk the issue out with them at their pace. Not at our own. That is, at times,  hard. We, often, forget that we, too, at one time, were learning these skills and that we needed someone to be patient with us as we grew in our understanding and capabilities. Patience is one way that we can walk out the command of the Lord and edify the body.

So, in honor of love…TRUE LOVE…choose an issue to walk out patiently with someone you care about. Show them that you love them by what you do and what you say.

Here are a few tips to get started:

1. Really listen to what is being said to you.

2. Ask questions, if you are in doubt of the other person’s message.

3. Ask what would be helpful to them in tackling whatever they are trying to accomplish.

4. If the person wants you to actually work alongside them on a given project, give them room to make mistakes, ask         questions and discuss solutions without becoming testy with them. They may just process through things differently than you do. 🙂

5. Finally, whatever their response is, pray for them and with them, if they will allow the latter.

Lifting up even the smallest situation to the Lord strengthens both the hearer and the listener and it demonstrates a gentle heart.