It’s midnight. You’re in bed. You should be asleep, but all you can think about are the dishes in the sink. The next morning when you get up you pull clothes from a stack of clean clothes–not the closet. Before the kids get on the bus, you hand them lunch money because you didn’t get a lunch packed for them. This morning, you’ll stop by the store and buy a cake for your son’s birthday party because you didn’t have time to make one for him. And in the evening as you clean up dinner you sigh to yourself and wonder how another week went by without your getting a chance to get a single family devotional in. And you feel guilt… More days than not you are reminding yourself of all the things you didn’t get done for your children. The guilt piles up. All the other moms can keep their houses clean and make meals for their families–why can’t you? But the truth is…
Years ago (more than I care to share), as a teenager I was told I would be unable to conceive. Staying pregnant was not a foreseen problem. Getting pregnant was. I have always wanted nothing more than to be a mother. Being told that the one thing I really wanted to do with my life was not a possibility, was devastating. I was as heartbroken as any emotional teenager would be. Over the years, I continued to talk to my doctors, and they all reaffirmed this detrimental diagnosis. I went into this marriage completely honest with my husband–we would never get pregnant. We knew 100% it wasn’t going to happen–after all, every doctor I had ever talked to about the issue had confirmed this without a doubt.
Winter is coming, and soon we’ll all be wanting to snuggle up with our favorite blanket, possibly even by the fire. In fact, winter is pretty much the only time I get to read any books (aside from my bible and some Word studies). No doubt, if you’re an avid reader, then you already have a list of books waiting to entertain you. But just in case you don’t, here are 10 biblical parenting books sure to inspire you, work on your heart, and encourage you to love your children a little bit more. Most are popular enough to be available at most any library.
Life happens. Even to the best of us. Some days are wonderful. Everything goes our way. We receive affirmation that the meals we’ve planned are the best our family has ever had. The men in our lives remind us how beautiful we are. The bills are paid and there’s enough money in the bank to put a little more into the savings account. That dream vacation is getting closer and you’ve already got your vacation clothes picked out and packed (and of course they look great on you). These are the days that are easier for us to praise God. These are the days that are easier during family devotionals to spill our hearts about how great and how generous He is. When we say the grace before our meals we can do it with a spring in our voices and a smile on our faces. And our children take notice. But then there are days that aren’t so wonderful. And sometimes, these days turn into weeks, months, or even a year.
Before I got married, I ran or swam every morning. And many times I would head to the gym for a workout after work. On the weekends, I’d jump in my kayak and hit the water. Once I got married, things changed a little bit since I moved out to the country where there were no gyms, I was afraid of the wilderness (sad, but true), and my Farmer didn’t have the time (or want) to work out. I bought some gym equipment (treadmills, and elliptical, weights, etc.) and set up a space here at home. There’s nothing like getting onto your treadmill and watching the sun come up. But then I started having children… There are no babysitters out here. The obvious answer was to workout while the babe’s slept. But seriously, do you know how loud a treadmill is? I had to figure out something else…
With my first child, I was starting to think we just got lucky, or that whole “terrible two” thing I’d heard about was just a myth. But then as my child neared three years old, I saw it. It came from nowhere. It lasted awhile. And then it was gone. Each of my proceeding children has gone through this phase (if I may call it that), appropriately at two years of age. And by three, it’s usually gone. It’s that part of development that most parents sigh at and shake their heads at. But where are you at on the topic? Do you sigh as your child goes through it, and pray it will pass quickly? Or are you able to embrace it? Enjoy it? Thank God for this gift? Wait…did I say gift? Yes…I did. I am thankful for each of my children going through this phase. Are you thankful? Would you like to be?
If you are a parent (especially to babies, toddlers or teenagers), then no doubt there are times you wish you could get just a little more sleep in the mornings. Maybe even every morning? The Farmer keeps odd hours during planting and harvesting. Nurses have odd hours as well. This puts us wanting that extra bit of sleep–often. If you’re a single parent, or you work different hours than your spouse, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about here. So what are some ways to get just a little bit more sleep in the mornings? Here are my top 9 suggestions:
This last week God gave us a huge blessing. And I know you are going to think I’m crazy when I tell you this…But He gave us sick days. A lot of them. Maybe you’ve noticed, it’s been quiet here, eh? Yes. We are all sick. And I mean all. Humans…animals…all of us. For those of you who have lived on a farm, you understand that when animals get sick, they usually move…inside…Yes. If they fit, they come in. They get diapers/nappies, and a bathroom or mudroom.
Have you ever been tested Friends? I mean really tested–the kind of situation you knew had to be the hand of God? How did it go? Did you hold on with faith and endure til the end? Leaning on Christ every second? Or did you cry out and ask Him Why me Lord? Maybe even sulk in your obedience? Or did you loose faith in the situation and choose disobedience because it “made more sense?” I think we are unaware of our tests sometimes. When we think of tests from God, we think of specific bible stories, like when Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son (Genesis 22:2). Abraham had not been given the warning, “Now, this is the test I have for you,” and yet somehow he made wise decisions. Let’s look at the beautiful love story of Abraham and his only son given to him in old age, and learn how to let God lead us. Let’s see what we can take away from this story of a father and his son so that when an unforeseen test faces us and our raw emotions take over, we will have some skills to back them up–and make faithful decisions. Recall in Genesis:
If you’ve ever worked in healthcare, you are very familiar with the phrase, “Nurses eat their own.” If you’re not familiar with it, let me explain. Nursing school was hard for those who lead the way. And for some unknown reason (I don’t care where you are located,) nurses seem to want to pass on the difficulties they had to each upcoming generation. I have heard over and over and over again something along the lines of, “When I was in nursing school…[how hard life was for them]…Why should she/he have it any easier?” Many nurses just aren’t nice to the incoming classes of nurses. (Just to clarify, some are.) This has devastating effects in the learning process. When I go to work and a nursing student is assigned to me, I will often have a student who is either afraid of me before we’ve met, or desperately trying to prove him/herself to me. It’s awful either way. I have to tell the student that I don’t matter–at all. They aren’t here today to impress me and certainly shouldn’t be afraid of me. We are all here for the patient (and future patients). And truthfully, neither of us matters when we walk […]