Thursday, October 22, 2009

The JOY of raising TEENS

Well, as I am writing this I am raising my 5th and final teenager. She is 12 and a full blown "TWEEN". (A term referring to the transition between child and teenager)
What a fun time of life! As parents we must have the right perspective and attitude during this transitional time in our child's life. I truly believe that 90% of the difficulty we as parents experience during this time could be eliminated if our perspective and outlook on this period of life was different. First, let me say that God created this period of every child's life and it is part of His design for a healthy transition into adulthood. One way you can ward off alot of conflict is to "Not sweat the small stuff and save your No's for really big issues". Remember they are testing out their independence so we have to let go and allow them to grow into this next stage of life. I am by no means an expert but simply sharing from my personal experiences. Things I have learned over the years are : 1. Have fun with them, laugh out loud and purpose to stay lighthearted. Plan fun outings together. Time is your greatest gift to your children. 2. Stay consistent in reading Gods word together as a reminder that God and God alone is their source of help and strength and has a special plan for their lives. 3. Help them by memorizing Gods word together. This is a gift that they can draw from for a lifetime. 4. Get to know their friends and have them over frequently. Don't hesitate to restrict time with friends you don't have a peace about."Bad company corrupts good character". 5. Tell them you love them often, physical touch from both father and mother are so important during this stage of life even if they resist it don't stop. If they don't get it at home they will seek it out somewhere else. (This is especially important for girls to receive from their fathers) 6.Be their friend but maintain and re-enforce your role as their "parental authority" responsible for their training and protection while under the same roof. Remember ,as I said in the beginning it is 90% outlook and attitude that will define the outcome of this exciting time in your child's life. Choose to enjoy and embrace it.
I am only 1 child away from an empty nest and I am treasuring each and every day! I pray you will commit this short period of time in your child's life to God and ask daily for His wisdom and guidance in the decisions and actions that will shape your teen into the adult God has designed for him or her to be. Remember that they are "unique individuals" and will make their own choices . We can only do our best then leave and trust the outcome to God. Enjoy the journey for it is all too short!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NEW POST "Seasons of Life"

As the season begins to change from summer to fall I cant help but think of the seasons of life we go through. I am now in a season of transition as my children are all mostly grown and out of the house, well almost. It is difficult yet rewarding watching them make their own ways in the world. I have a hard time allowing them to soar without strings attached. I guess it is more because I want to feel needed and I realize that I'm not needed like I used to be. Each season brings change and change is healthy and good. It is important that we do not resist it since it is part of Gods plan for our lives. God cannot use us if we are unwilling to change. I have recently started a very part time job in retail. Scary, I know especially since I have not worked a cash register since 1979. By being willing to learn something new I am allowing myself to grow but more importantly making myself available to be a lighthouse for the Lord. Change opens up new areas of ministry to reach the lost and this is where my heart is.
Have I learned how to work the register, well almost , each day I am getting better. I truly believe God calls us to be open to these different seasons of our lives in order for Him to use us in a new and fresh way. Remember our primary purpose for being left on this earth is to further His kingdom on earth. How can we do so if we stay in our comfort zones and refuse to step out in faith and see what He has planned for us. Is it scary? you bet, but the Lord promises to never leave or forsake us and He will not lead you where He has not gone before. We are living in an insecure world which makes us even more prone to want to stay within our realm of security. If we do so we will miss out on all the blessings He has in store.
When the Lord opens a door and we don't attempt to go through it, He cannot close it. SO what are you waiting for? Our life is but a vapor so embrace with excitement change and hold on for the journey ahead!