Parents Are Asking the Wrong Question

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“Did you have fun today?”
“What did you do for fun?”
“Did you have fun with your friends?”

What is the one consistent word here? Its the three-letter word fun

 

F-U-N. 
Fun.

This type of question is ruining our children’s ability simply to BE. I hear parents, grandparents, and siblings asking young people, “Are you going to have a fun day? What did you do that was fun? Did you have fun with your friends?” 

I hear people asking this sort of question all of the time, even in my own house.

Is this really the question we should be asking? Should we gauge the quality of a young person’s day based on whether he or she had fun? 

We need to ask ourselves what we are teaching our children by asking this.

We are giving them the impression that 
life is all about having fun.
I’m not trying to suggest that children—or adults for that matter—should never have fun. We should love what we do. We should be engaged; we should have energy for life. We should enjoy our lives because Jesus came to bring us life “to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
On the other hand, Jesus also said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). 
 

Hardships are part of life. We will experience struggles. We must often deal with troubling circumstances. In times of trial, however, we can have peace and find strength because we know Jesus loves us. He understands our pain and is both able and willing to help us in all things. We can find joy in the growth of our relationship with Him.

It will not be fun, but there is GOOD in it.

Recently, I took care of a child for a friend of mine. When my friend came to pick up her daughter, one of the first things she did was ask her child, “What did you do for fun today?” Her daughter replied, “Nothing. I haven’t done anything fun today.” The reaction to this statement bordered on shock, as if such a circumstance were unthinkable.

Why is it unthinkable? What is horrible about a child not having fun all of the time? You shouldnt entertain your own children, and I shouldnt entertain them, either.

If I gear my children’s lives toward fun, I am setting them up for future failure, depression, and battles when life isnt fun. I am setting them up for disappointment in marriage because they won’t be able to appreciate those low-key days of rest and recovery with their spouses after hectic times. I want my children to be able to treasure the quiet moments of simple companionship. 

When we emphasize the value of fun, 
we are sowing in our children 
the need to be entertained continuously. 

We are setting them up to view other people in terms of how they can make life more fun. We are encouraging our children to seek relationships based on fun. We are teaching them that it is okay to avoid or abandon tasks and relationships that don’t seem fun.

Many children today are constantly asking, “What are we going to do now?” They are always seeking new ways to entertain themselves. Next time your kids are with a play date or hanging out with teenage friends, listen to them talk with each other. Take note of how often they ask each other what they will do next.

Listen to them tell each other that what they’ve been doing is getting old; they are bored and ready for the next source of entertainment. Girls who play indoors are always jumping to the next activity: “Hey, lets edit pictures. Lets do a photo shoot. Let’s play a game. Lets make a video. Lets make a song. Lets do all of these projects together. Lets go play this sport. Lets go play that. Im tired of this—lets move on.”

As a mother, I certainly appreciate when my children can entertain themselves and come up with activities on their own. The trouble is that kids don’t stay focused on a particular goal. They don’t stay engaged and committed. You don’t see kids building a fort all day long the way we did when we were young. These days its more of a frenzy. Kids dart from one activity to the next to the next to the next. Theres no break.

I don’t hear kids suggesting to each other that they hang out and talk for a while or read a book or study the Bible. I know these suggestions sound odd, but they shouldn’t. Life isnt about bouncing wildly from one fun activity to the next. I’m afraid that children who live in restless pursuit of entertainment will grow into adults who are never satisfied with simply being. God created us as human beings, yet we allow our children to be only human doings. We are setting our children on a dangerous course because, let’s face it, most entertainment for kids and for adults is of this world and not of God. 

The desire for stimulation can distract us from 
the values and purposes of God.

Will our children be too busy ping-ponging around to realize that?

I believe we need to stop asking children, “Did you have fun today?” We need to stop telling them when they leave the house, “Be sure to have fun!” Since it’s in our power to influence our children’s focus, let’s choose some different questions: 

Whom did you encourage today?
How were you encouraged today?
Did you share your beautiful smile with someone?
Did anyone surprise you with a beautiful smile?
Did you see someone do something kind today?
Did you share with a friend today?
Did you help your friends mommy when you were at their house all day? 
Did you leave their place better than you found it?
When you spent time with your friends, did you ask how they were doing and actually listen to the answer?
Did you ask them if they were hurting in any way?

We assume our children are too young and emotionally immature to have those kinds of conversations with us and their friends. How can we believe this when we know that children are not too young to be hurt? They could already, on any given day, be suffering rejection and deep wounds. They are already being challenged morally. They are already struggling with matters of the mind and spirit and body. Our children need adults who are willing to be transparent and dig deeply with them at the earliest ages.
We should never look down on people because they are young. We shouldnt assume children are incapable of deep conversation. It is up to us to teach them. 

If we raise our children to pursue fun, we can’t expect them 
suddenly to transform into insightful, compassionate 
human beings when they reach adulthood.

We need to teach them while they are young: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV). We need to teach our children how to be introspective, how to search their own souls and seek the Lord. We need to teach them to pay attention to their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. We need to teach them to take a genuine, loving interest in other people’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. People are never too young to learn the Lord’s ways and do the Lord’s work.

It is important for our children to learn how to connect with their friends on a deeper level. Otherwise the friendships they have when they are young won’t be sustainable beyond this particular season of their lives. We should teach kids from a young age the value of developing sound, lasting relationships.
Spending time with other people isn’t about cramming in as many fun activities as possible. Rather, it’s about companionship. It’s about relaxing your guard and getting to know each other. It’s about learning how to love each other. Close friends know how to rest together. They find refreshment in each other’s company. Kids need to understand that it’s okay to say, “You know what, Im tired. Lets chill and hang out. Maybe we can read together or talk for a while.”
What’s not okay is complaining about being bored. Maybe one person enjoys sharing some quiet time while another person doesn’t. The main objective isnt to have fun and be entertained. When you are with the people you love, you can find enjoyment in the busy times as well as the quiet times.
I notice many children today who seem overstimulated and utterly exhausted. Adults allow and expect kids to stay on the go all of the time, jumping from one activity to the next to the next to the next. No wonder kids are tired! No one has taught them how to be still. No one has taught them the value of being still.
Stillness calms people. It is enjoyable. It allows us to rest and reflect. Kids, too, can learn to be comfortable enough with themselves and the people around them simply to be. 

How else will they ever hear the still, quiet voice of God?

Dreaded Teenage Rebellion

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Teens. Teens. Teens.
With all girls, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I feel sorry for you. Just you wait until the dreaded teenage years.”

I always respond under my breath, “I rebuke that in Jesus’ name.”

I seriously never believed I would go through some of this teenage junk. 
I know. I know what you are thinking. 
 
Are you stupid? 
Hello, naive mother, every teen talks back and rebels. 
Thanks for that. 🙂
No, I am not stupid. I just refuse to believe that every teen has to go through it. I believe there is a better way, and I am trying to learn it.
 
Key word: TRYING! 
This is how it went in one instance (and most every other day in the sweet year of 2014).
Me: 

“Did you go through the blah blah blah [you know that’s what she heard] like I asked you to?”

She: 

“No.”

She continues doing the same thing. 
No movement toward the thing she was asked to do. 
Music volume increases.



My head voice:

Really?

Big eyes.
Foot tapping.

Hello! Wake up! See the body language?

Me:

“Ahem.”

 Crickets.

 
Mom’s plotting thoughts:

Hmmm … what’s the consequence for this delayed obedience?
No more iPod for the next 10 years! 
I guess that’s not a natural consequence. Get real. 
You can do this, mom!
Well, that’s it. I’m going to have to swat her.

Okay, deep breath …

Wait, I know! I will pray.
I have not because I ask not, right?

Father, whhyyyy [whiny voice]? What is wrong with her? 
How do I get back to her heart?

Sigh. This isn’t helping. The music is too loud to pray. 
Why is she ignoring me and my request?
 


Don’t forget to breathe out, Sheri. 
 
Okay … 

 just walk away. 
 


Oh nelly, the music stopped. 


 
What does this mean?


 
Oh, wait … wait! 

Hallelujah! She’s back. 

Whew. 
 
She:
“Oh hey, 

Mom, I was just taking a short break because I completed three math lessons. That was exhausting.”
 

 

 

Humiliated Mom:
Really?
“Oh, great! Good job. I knew you were a wise time manager.”
What is wrong with me? Shut it.
Help! I am an idiot.
Have you ever been an idiot like me?
Maybe the dreaded teen years aren’t all the teenager’s fault. Maybe it’s partially our fault (along with uncontrollable hormones, appetites, and growing pains) 
for not transitioning our role from commander to coach.
Parents need to transition gradually from controlling our children (“You’d better or else!”) and requiring immediate obedience to waiting on the teen’s will to catch up to our request. We have to let go a little at a time, or we will find ourselves quickly losing ground and all of the influence we have with them. That’s when it’s just too late. 
I am in the influence stage.
All I have now is influence.

Every day that I choose to voice my frustrated words or body language is a day that reduces my influence.
  





Oh Father, teach me to remain silent. 
Help me to understand that I am not her army commander any longer. I have the privilege of coaching, mentoring, and influencing. Help me to embrace this incredible new season.
In love,
Sheri
P.S. I wrote this in the middle of this battle yesterday.
P.P.S. I am still growing and learning. You too?

Unoffendable Heart

Hey, moms.
Sometimes we get our feelings hurt. As a large and in-charge momma bear, I have seen my kids left out of things or be uninvited to birthday parties. I’ve run into groups of their friends doing things my kids were not invited to participate in. I think, “What is wrong with my child? Why don’t you include her? Why haven’t you invited her?” Those kinds of thoughts run through your head.
Why do people reject? Why don’t they work to be more inclusive? I have spent four years praying my kids would be preferred. I prayed they would have good, godly friends who pursue them and prefer them. It has not been easy. I have wept many tears in my pillow at night.

When I was talking to Spencer one time, she said, “Mom, I am not offended by being left out of this. Don’t take up an offense for me.” I realized when we become offended at other moms or our husbands or because our children aren’t included or are left out, we teach our children to be easily offended. It’s what we do that they do. It’s not what we say that they do.
Moms, my question to you is: What are you doing? Are you easily offended? Do you cut people out of your life when you are hurt by them? Do you build walls to protect yourself? Are you your own defender even though God tells you to love others as you love yourself and He will defend you? When you step up and defend yourself, you lose the best defender. It’s like trading in the best defense team in the country for an accident lawyer. 

Is there someone you need to call today and reconcile with? Is there anyone you need to apologize to for building walls or being easily offended? Why don’t you examine your own heart like I will be examining mine today. Let’s make some phone calls. Reconcile. Kick bitterness in the butt. Let our kids see an unoffendable heart.
I learned a long time ago that being offended isn’t the problem of the person who said something to offend me. It is my sin. Offense is a sin. Being offended is a sin. It’s a sin because it’s saying, “Hey, what you said hurt me.” What you don’t realize is that your own filter has been shaped by life events and makes you sensitive. We need to get a God filter by cleaning out our filters so we can filter through His truth, His Word, and make every thought obedient to Christ. Every single thought. If you are thinking about excuses and making assumptions about people, then you’re not filtering through God’s Word. You are filtering through past circumstances and past behavior.
Give somebody a clean slate today. Start your friendship over. Make those roots deep. Be loyal. Be loyal to a fault. Be kind to people. Don’t throw away friendships like they are garbage. Don’t throw away people. Be unified. Have a godly heart. Be one with people. When they hurt you, work through it. Your friendship will actually be sweeter than it ever was before. It has the chance to be like an oak tree with roots that are deeply planted and not coming up. 

Every time you toss someone out the door, you are uprooting the tree you have planted, and you have to plant a new one. It’s like a new home. It has all new trees planted around it, and none has any stamina or girth. It’s easy to plant new trees. It’s difficult to water them every day and to see them grow and become a hundred years old.
Consider doing this in your life so your daughters and sons can see you have long-term healthy relationships in Jesus’ name.

Seasons and Children

Seasons of Motherhood

You have a newborn baby you love to hold and let them sleep in your lap. It’s such a sweet time!

And then around eight weeks, you are at the end of yourself. You are so exhausted, you’re like, “Where’s my help? Someone let me sleep through the night!” “Hold the baby, rock the baby.” “Bring me food.” It’s time for some help. 

I remember meeting my husband at the door. We had really small children. I just was saying like, “Thank God you’re home from work! I’m running.” And here he thinks, “Oh no. I’m dreading going home because my wife is going to meet me at the door with all these kids. I have to go from work to work, and somehow she gets from work to rest.”

Then there is the toddler season that is like, “Oh, you’re so adorable and annoying at the same time!” You can’t go to the bathroom without them sitting on their potty at the same time you are. You can’t go to the bathroom without them knocking, asking questions, pushing stuff under the door, trying to show you things. They want to be where you are.

Then, of course, at four or five years old, they are old enough to ask you zillions and zillions of questions. Whenever you get on the phone, they constantly talk to you, “Oh mom! I need this. I need that. I need this. I need! I need! I need!” They are right in the middle of your business, and when you get off the phone, then they want to go play. You get back on the phone, and then boom. It’s like an alarm. They’re right back at it. You getting on the phone when your kids are awake—it is not going to happen.

There’s that season when you need your baby to nap. You need your child to nap. It’s like, “You cannot fall asleep in the car. Do not fall asleep! I’m going to roll the window down!” So you yell, “What? Stop! Stop! Wake up! Wake up!” Roll the window down. Throw some soft stuff at them. Pop them in the head with some French fries. “Come on! Wake up! Stay awake!” And they fall asleep right when you pull in the driveway. It’s like, “Is it too hot to leave them in the car? Is it too cold to leave them in the car? Okay, I’m going to leave them in the car. They have to finish their nap today because I need my peace and quiet. It is necessary. I need the nap.” And there’s the time where you pad their baby gates, pillows everywhere. You tell them to stay in this room, and you get your face planted into the couch, exhausted and worn out.

Then there are school days, school work and homework, busyness and activities. You spend a good majority of your season driving them from place to place—activities, play dates, and meeting in the mall when they are little. When they are older, you drop them off at a friend’s house, and then their friends are dropped off at your house. You’re cleaning up popcorn on the floor, vacuuming behind them, and saying, “Clean up. Please clean up your stuff. Clean up your own little mess.”

Then they get old enough to start wanting to meet at, say, a coffee shop or some place in the middle. “Can I be dropped off early so I can have this social time? What about youth group? How early can you drop me off? I want to be there early.” You start getting a little bit less and less of their time. They are having sleepovers, spending the night, and wanting to be around their friends.

Before you know it, you are riding with them, and they are driving. They are driving everywhere. They want to be in the car with you. They don’t miss an opportunity. The year before, they’re like, “Ah, I’ll just stay at home. You go ahead and take everyone.” Now, they want the experience, to practice to drive. So they are with you hours and hours of the day. They go everywhere with you to drop off every kid. They want to drive. They want to be with you.

You have all these great car times, and you are intimately bonding. Your hearts are connecting. But they are actually beginning the disengagement process, the weaning process. They are riding with you for a purpose. It is so they don’t have to ride with you anymore. They are memorizing roads and getting ready to get off on their own.

Right before they get ready to leave you, they basically amp up their time with you. It’s in the car. It’s sweet; it’s intimate. It’s this really awesome time with them, and then all of a sudden, it’s just cut off. It’s gone. They are driving now. It’s like, “Hey, I don’t have to leave. Mom doesn’t have to ride with you.” “Oh, you’re going to go pick up your friend and do what? What time will you be back?” That weaning process begins. And it’s hard.

It’s crazy how with children our hearts are on our sleeves. You think the days when they are little and you are not sleeping or the days when they are exhausting, eating Cheerios and dropping chocolate milk on the floor, are long. They are long days, but they are fleeting years. I remember my neighbor, she said, “Don’t wish it away. Enjoy every moment. It’s gonna go by so fast you’re not even gonna know. It’s just going to be gone before you know it.”


I can’t believe I’m about to have a senior in high school and about to have a girl graduate who wants to move away and has plans, desires, and hopes. I can’t believe I’m here. After all of those exhausting years and the days of saying, “No problem,” when she spilled milk four times, I can’t imagine how much I have invested in my kids and how much I have loved and enjoyed every moment, and now I have to let them go. I have to let them grow up. I have to let them pursue their dreams. I have to let them start their own family. 

I am on my knees, praying, “God, protect them when I am not here. God, direct their steps. God, bring them home. Give them the desire to come and visit me. Don’t let me be that parent who throws guilt trips on their kids and makes them come out of obligation. But bring them to me because they have a heart’s desire to see me and to know me.”

Man, after all those awesome years of having them in your lap, reading to you, the years of snuggling, and the days they would cuddle and kiss your lips, get slobber all over you, and hug you with their little noses rubbing against your neck—it’s so quick before those days are gone. They’re big and all grown up. They fly out of the nest. They don’t truly need you that much anymore. All you are left with is being an influence when they ask and when they need it. You are just left with, “How much impact did I make, and did I do it right?” You just have to let them go, let them fly or sink.

Father, I thank You for these beautiful blessings You have allowed me to raise. I pray, Father, they would soar because they choose You and ride on Your wings, in Jesus’ name, amen. 

What Relationship Means

Being a homeschool mom, I have a lot of time with my children. I’m with them for hours every single day of their lives, but just because I’m with them doesn’t mean I’m actually engaging with them in their hearts. I can be commanding them to do things, issuing orders, telling them what to do with school, giving them tasks and challenges, but all the while, not truly connecting with them and their hearts.
The question is what is the most important, quantity time or quality time with our children? I would argue that it’s neither. Greg Gunn of Family-iD first introduced me to this concept that it’s not about quantity time or quality time; it’s about quality of relationship. When you have a quality relationship with someone, it doesn’t matter if you spend five minutes together or an hour. When you connect with each other with your hearts, that is what makes the relationship continue to be woven together and glued together thickly.
How can we relate that to God? In my own home, I have a choice with God. I can choose to spend a lot of time with Him and acknowledge Him. I can choose to have a quality relationship with Him. That’s a very different thing. Having a quality relationship with God involves listening.
I think sometimes we feel guilty about going to God and asking Him for something and telling Him what our needs are because we think, “Oh, I haven’t spent enough time with You. I haven’t read the Bible enough. I haven’t prayed enough. I don’t feel worthy to ask You this.” But it’s not really about the time; it’s about the quality of your relationship with God.
I think it’s important for your heart to bow down in thanksgiving to Him continually, like when you see the sky and the beautiful sunset or the puffy, beautiful clouds and you acknowledge the Creator. I mean, that’s quality relationship right there. It’s not a work. It’s recognition. It’s honoring God. I want to encourage you to seek a quality relationship with God and your spouse and your children.

One Tool to Get into Your Child’s Heart

Pillow talk.
Did you know that our children’s minds review their day’s events every night? Every night in their beds, they review and contemplate everything that happened that day. Now, you have one of two options as a parent: you can stay up late as your child is processing and talk to him or her, or you can choose a tool called pillow talk.
Pillow talk is a journal passed between the parent and the child. At night, when children are processing the day, they can open up their journals and write down the greatest thing that happened to them, what part of the day was most disappointing, and that sort of thing. Children remember the good, but they also have regrets at the end of the day that they process at night—regrets about poor performance on a test or disappointing behavior or the way they treated someone. They also consider their wounds.
Actually, your children can end up monopolizing your time until the wee hours of the morning if you let them. I have many friends who stay up all night long with their children because that’s when their hearts are most vulnerable and open.
It sounds great in theory, but if you work or homeschool and need to be productive during the day, you cannot function properly without sleep. If you’re married, your husband may want some of your time, too. I believe if you stay up all night, every night, with your kids and make yourself available to them at every beck and call, two things happen: one, you lose intimate time with your spouse; and two, your kids don’t learn to process for themselves and communicate in a healthy way at an appropriate time. Plus, if you’re OCD, you need the time when your children are in bed to reorganize and clean up for your own sanity the next day.
Rest is an important part of healing, but I also don’t want to miss out on my time with my kiddos. I don’t want to miss out on their sweet, vulnerable hearts at the time when they’re processing. So what do you do? Do you clean and sleep or have late-night talks with your kids?
I personally cannot live without sleep. I’m exhausted by the end of the day. I’m ready for everyone to go to bed. I want to be horizontal. I don’t need to close my eyes, but I need to be horizontal. I found a tool that lets me into my children’s hearts and allows me to sleep: pillow talk. It’s a journal for the kids and me, and it’s a fun game.

I write a note to my child. I write what’s on my heart. I may write about something I’m disappointed about or an apology for some way I behaved towards her. I write about my life, being vulnerable and transparent. It may not even have to do with my child. Then I write some questions, such as, “Is there anything that has been bothering you lately? Is there an area in which I can encourage you more or an area where you’re feeling discouraged?” The answers dont have to be long; they are meant to help us have useful, quality conversations the next day when we’re awake and alert.

I slip this under my child’s pillow for her to read at night. It gives her something productive to think on and helps steer her thoughts. I may even put in a positive message of encouragement, a Bible verse, or a picture. Sometimes I draw pictures. I’m a horrible artist, but I draw pictures for my children’s entertainment. We sneak the journal beneath each other’s pillows and see if we can get in there without getting caught. It’s a lot of fun.

When it’s under my pillow, I read it and am able to see inside my children’s hearts. The next day, I pull them aside and make sure I have some one-on-one time to discuss what I read. It’s an open door to have healthy conversations with them at a time when we’re all rested.

Our Skewed Views of God

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Beautiful song, super long-lived.


As I catch myself singing it this morning, I’m thinking the amazing grace isn’t that we were saved from hell. It isn’t that we were lost and now we’re found and have a new destination. Amazing grace is that God loved us so much He provided a sacrifice for us while we were awful. That is amazing grace. Amazing grace is that He loved us so much He provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him. It wasn’t so He could torture us and we could be His disciplined children whom He beats into submission. He didn’t want an army. He wanted children. He wanted a family.
It is breaking my heart this morning to think about our skewed view of God: that He is the big boogeyman in the sky with His club ready to strike us when we mess up.
God is not like man. No matter what you think, He is not like that. He doesn’t even remember our sins. They’re completely washed away. When He looks at us, He sees righteousness.
It’s like looking at your children. You love them even when they mess up and have their hands in the cookie jar when you told them not to get a cookie. It’s crazy how much He lavishes His love on you and me. It’s crazy how much He adores us and wants to spend time with us. I think God is more like a grandparent. He is delighted to have you. He is not in the child-rearing years. He pours out His love on us.
It’s such a shame that we think He doesn’t actually love us enough to tell us the things to come or to keep us from being hurt.
This morning, I repent of my own skewed view of God. I hope you’ll join me and ask the Father to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better:
I want to know You, God, more deeply and intimately. Will You open the eyes of my heart where hardness has covered up the ability to know You? Whatever callouses are on my heart, would You remove them so I can know You, God? Will You reveal Yourself to me today? In Jesus name.


One Thing a Wife Must Know

To Wives from a Husband

Sometimes I love to paint or build my own elaborate form of art with metal wire. Inspiration happens in a moment, and my mind races through the layers and twists and turns of my hands before I ever touch a brush. I imagine shapes and moves, and more than anything else, I see meaning. Without a deep meaning or purpose larger than life for my creation, I might as well be painting a fence. With a storm of emotion inside, in a matter of minutes I can produce with my hands what my mind prophesied months, days, or minutes before.
Wives, you are your husband’s prophesy—his future.
God puts it this way: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11–12 ESV).
His heart is the source of his demise or gain. God has given you, actually entrusted you, with a funnel into your husband’s heart. The kind of fruit you expect from him can only be harvested from the seeds you sow into the rich soil of his soul. With your encouragement, his hands will live with deep meaning and purpose as if his life and yours depend on it.


Wives …

Its Sheri. When I read this, I sometimes want to 
condemn myself.
I could do such a better job of building up my husband. Could you? 

Lets look at application and strengthen our husbands with our actions. 
Examine the fruit your husband has produced.  
Answer these questions:

    What fruit has he produced that you have enjoyed with deep satisfaction?
    What great fruit has he produced that you have not enjoyed with him?
    What rotten fruit has he produced that you would rather not see in your home again?
    Lastly, who first planted the seeds in his heart from which the harvest came?

Would you begin today to pray, ask for forgiveness, encourage, 
believe in, and trust God with your Hubby?

Do you give justice to your health?

With my feeding schedule, I literally have to eat every two and a half hours. I’m so busy trying to get my food prepared, run the kids around, warm up my food, and then eat my food, and take my vitamins, and take my water. It makes me want to take a nap so bad. I just have no time because like, “Oh, I only have 20 minutes until the next time I need to eat.” 
It’s interesting because it reminded me of when I had newborns. I would pump, and then make a bottle, and feed them the bottle, and then clean up the baby, and then put the baby down. I want to take a nap but I literally felt like it was time to start the cycle all over again.
That is exactly how it is when you are trying to take back your health. You have squandered your time and squandered your health for so long that it requires a lot of concentration and a lot of focus to take it back and create new habits. It’s okay if it takes a lot of time and it feels like you have a newborn and you can’t squeeze in a nap and you don’t have time to do the selfish things that you once did. You’ve got to make some sacrifices to really put your health first so that new habits and new thought processes can be formed in your brain; because literally if you don’t take the time to do that, then it won’t stick. It won’t stay.

What relationship means?

Being a homeschool mom, I have a lot of time with my children. I’m with them hours every single day of their life. But just because I’m with them doesn’t mean that I’m actually engaging with them in their hearts. I can even be commanding orders at them or telling them what to do with school, just giving them tasks and challenges, but all the while, not connecting with them or their hearts.
The question is what is the most important, quantity time or quality time with our children? I would argue that it’s neither. Greg Gunn of Family-iD first introduced me to this concept that it’s not about quantity time or quality time. It’s about quality of relationship. When you have a quality relationship with someone, it doesn’t matter if you spend five minutes with them or an hour, when you connect with them with your heart, that is what makes the relationship continue to be woven together and glued together thickly.
How can we relate that to God? That’s in my own home. In my own home, I have a choice with God. I can choose to just spend a lot of time with Him and acknowledge Him. I can choose to have a quality relationship with Him. That’s a very different thing. Having quality relationship with God is listening.
I think sometimes we feel guilty coming to God and asking him for something and telling him what our needs are because we feel like, “Oh I haven’t spend enough time with you. I haven’t read the bible enough. I haven’t prayed enough. I really don’t feel worthy to ask you this.” But it’s not really about the time. It’s about the quality of your relationship with God.
I think sometimes your heart can just continue to bow down in thanks giving to him. Like, just when you see the sky and the beautiful sunset or the puffy, beautiful clouds and you just acknowledge the creator. I mean, that’s quality relationship right there. It’s not a work. It’s recognition. It’s honoring of God. I just wanna encourage you to seek a quality relationship with God and your family and your children.