Why I Want to Raise Needy Kids

It is a precious season to be needed by an infant for nourishment, or by a three-year old for tied laces, and by a six-year-old for tricky word-decoding in her chapter book.  As our children grow, we train them to become less dependent on us, while at the same time, we should be training them to be deeply dependent on their Heavenly Father.
It’s wonderful to be needed–needed to keep clean clothes in closets and clean sheets on beds, wholesome dinners on the table, and checks in the mail for bills.  These days filled with essentials can be long and sometimes us moms would like just a little less job security.

It would be okay with me not be needed for three-year-old buns wiping (but the trail of wipes next to Charlotte’s potty tells me that time isn’t here yet).  If I were never again needed to settle a sibling battle, that would be glorious.  But, in many ways I find great joy in my family’s need for me, and my ability to fill those needs.

Many days, though, I do have to ask Audrey or Charlotte to forgive me for my impatience when their neediness is wearing on me.  Doesn’t it seem as though many times every one has a different need all at once?  That is when my voice gets a little sing-songier to hide my mounting frustration.

But, Jesus help me,  because I want to be so careful that I don’t make them feel unwanted or inconvenient in their neediness, not just because I’m there momma, but because our Father God relishes in our neediness.

“The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success…Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My Power is made perfect in weakness.” (Jesus Calling, 125)

We parents are the picture they have of their Heavenly Father.  Whew…if that doesn’t make YOU feel your own neediness and insufficiency, I’m not sure what will.  Join me as we embrace their need for us—rather than pushing them away to manufacture some sort of self-sufficiency, let us pull them in, kneel beside them and teach them the beauty of depending on one more capable than yourself.

How do you balance training your children to be responsible and training them that without God they can accomplish nothing? Share your thoughts on Facebook.

He’s on the Prowl to Derail Your Morning

I have found that if I stay alert to the enemy’s schemes to derail the first few hours of my morning, everyone in my home has a better day.  His schemes are different for each person; for me it’s an attack on my attitude of thanksgiving and my recognition of God’s constant and ever-helpful presence.

It began with my strong-hearted Charlotte arguing with me when her eyes were still slivers in her room that was just beginning to fill with morning sunshine.  It wasn’t time to come out of her room yet.  But, Charlotte vehemently disagreed  despite what her little wake-up clock said.  As I pulled her bedroom door shut—she was sitting just inside the door with her brow furrowed and her tiny little arms crossed—I sighed.

Seriously, why does the day with her have to start like this? I asked myself.  And then, I remembered my memory verse from my Loving God Greatly study of 1 & 2 Peter.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  (1 Peter 5: 8)

He was prowling that morning as soon as I turned off my alarm, slipped on my robe, and sluffed downstairs to read my Bible.  As I finished my prayer time, he was even more angry.  After my run-in with Charlotte, was a perfect opportunity for him to distract me with discouragement, self-pity, and even anger. But by God’s grace (and because of His Word), I was alert and turned his weapon back on him.

As I made my bed, I thanked God, aloud, for Charlotte’s strength and determination.  While choosing my clothes, I declared that she would be a mighty weapon against the kingdom of darkness and would bring many people to Jesus.

Matthew Henry’s commentary of 1 Peter 5, gives further understanding of the verse.  He writes, “To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs.”  You and I are in constant danger from the spiritual enemy.  Now, let’s be clear, God has already won the battle; victory is ours, but we have to claim it.  We have to walk out the victory.  Everyday.  Think about the vigilance we take in protecting our children from sickness, injuries, and dangerous people.  This same kind of diligence is necessary to prevent the Enemy from derailing you.  He may not be able to keep you from Heaven, but he will do all he can to make you ineffective on your way there.

Ineffective to equip your children with the gospel because you’re so frustrated with them.  Ineffective to serve with your family because you’re exhausted from feeling sorry for yourself when the day doesn’t go as planned (can I get a witness, the days never go as planned).  So, we must be alert, vigilant, and watchful.  But, when we see that enemy prowling, what do we do?

Matthew Henry writes, “Be steadfast, or solid, by faith. A man cannot fight upon a quagmire, there is no standing without firm ground to tread upon; this faith alone furnishes. It lifts the soul to the firm advanced ground of the promises, and fixes it there.”

We cannot fight on a quagmire (an area of soft, wet ground).   We cannot stand with nothing firm beneath our feet.  Faith is the solid ground under our feet that enables us to stand against those early morning (or late afternoon, or dinner-time-scramble) schemes. Faith, comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

1. Be alert and aware that the enemy doesn’t take a vacation.

2. Be in the Word daily to build your firm foundation.

     – If you need some help establishing a routine of being in the Word, I highly recommend Loving God Greatly. (I even lead a Facebook group for young moms). 

3. Be ready to turn the enemy’s weapons back on Him with thanksgiving and praise!   – Don’t worry, if you miss one opportunity, there will be others! I don’t always get it right the first (or second or third time).


What schemes does the enemy use to try to derail your days and render you ineffective?  What do you do in response?  Share your thoughts on Facebook.

Their Undies Are on the Floor; Mine Are in a Bunch

I sat on the couch nursing Beckett helpless against the toys that seemed to be multiplying in an effort to entirely cover the ground of my living room.  Disheartened a bit by another mess to clean up, God opened my heart to see the mess on the flour was not the problem, I was.

Arrgh, they have made a mess of my living room again, I thought to myself—duplos, stacks of books from their imaginary library, puzzle pieces, and so many princess dresses.  Audrey and Charlotte had dashed into the basement, while I was feeding Beckett, trying their best to keep up with their own imaginations.  Sometimes, keeping a home with small children clean can feel like raking leaves in the middle of a tornado.

Beckett crawled beside me as I stooped down to put the duplos back in the basket.  And, in the stillness, I heard God speak to my heart,

“It’s not your living room.”

I looked around again and saw the pillows and blanket Audrey brought down that morning so she could snuggle and read her book.  I saw Beckett’s toys spread around from his sisters’ never-ending quest to make him smile and laugh (which, they are quite good at).

And, I realized that until this very moment, I had seen them as living in my home.

They made messes in my living room.  My couch pillows were tossed aside again.  I am by no means a neat freak, and my home is far from spotless even when company is coming over.  But, in my heart, I have viewed my little people as mess-makers in my home.  Whoa. 

I want this place to be our home.

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”  (1 Peter 4:9)  Without a complaint.  I am a fantastic hostess—my mom had me in training since I was old enough to carry the bowl of sugar cubes—if you were to come to my home, you would feel welcome and cared for.  I would prepare my chicken potpie and apple crisp, clean the bathroom and set out fresh towels, and I would let you leave your shoes anywhere you wanted. 

Of all the people who should feel welcome to make a mess in our homes, shouldn’t it be our children?  Maybe you’re like me, and you let your kids make messes—some days you even relish in the messiness knowing they are learning, creating, imagining.  But some days, like me you are weary and want to tell them to leave my pillows on the couch and keep princess dresses from covering my carpet.

This concept of our home versus my home is a game changer for me. Our home means we live in it, relax in it, mess it up and clean it up together. I want my children to feel welcome in our home while they gain skills to make their own welcoming homes someday.

To make a guest feel unwelcome in my home is poor manners. To make my children feel like messy intruders is poor parenting.

Will you join me in being the hostess with the mostess to your children? Share your thoughts on Facebook.

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