Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Praying for Our Children

Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children. Lamentations 2:19

What is prayer and why should we pray?

First, prayer is more than giving our list of wants and needs to God. It should not be a whining session or pity party. Prayer is acknowledging and experiencing the presence of God and inviting him into our lives. When we pray we are saying to God, “I need you. I can’t do this without you.”

Doesn’t God already know everything? Why should we pray for God to bring our children to early salvation or to protect them? Does it really make a difference? I think it makes a huge difference. I believe there are many reasons that we ought to pray. Jesus prayed. If he felt it was important to talk to God why shouldn’t we? Stormie Omartian said this about praying.
“God has so much to speak into your life. But if you don’t draw apart from the busyness of your day and spend time alone with Him in quietness and solitude, you will not hear it. Jesus Himself spent time alone with God. If anyone could get away with not doing it, surely it would have been Him. How much more important must it be for us.” -

Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife.

That brings me to the next reason. Prayer is how we communicate with God and he has a lot he wants to say to us. Many times it is during our pauses of prayer for others that He speaks to us. We may be praying for our child to be honest while God may bring to mind a time when we were not honest and we need to repent. Another reason to pray for our children is because we cannot raise them alone. We need God’s guidance and wisdom. Through praying for our children we remind ourselves that they belong to God. Moments after each of our children were born, Scott & I prayed together, dedicating our precious blessing to the Lord and asking Him for guidance and wisdom in raising them. We tend to try and take them back as we try to handle their foolish ways ourselves. We should depend on God to give us what we need to raise our children.

And lastly, I don’t believe that prayer changes God, but I do know that it can change us. I have personally experienced a change of heart for someone just by praying for them. If you are dealing with a difficult or challenging child, pray for them. It will do at least 2 things. First, you remain aware of any positive changes you may see in the child’s behavior. You will see it when they begin to choose right over wrong. Second, you will develop a deeper love and understanding for that child that you didn’t have before. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to truly like a child that you have been at odds with for so long.

Praying for your children will be a life changing experience for you first of all and then your children also.

One of my many projects that I have started was to write 52 prayers to pray for your children using scripture. For January my topic of prayer is -Knowing Christ early & having a hunger for his word. Here is my first prayer that I am praying for my children. You can join me in this if you wish.

John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life and have it to the full."

Father, I come before you knowing how eager the enemy is to attack my children. I pray that they might come to know you early in their life. I pray that they might hide your word in their heart and will hunger for your wisdom so they might experience your abundant life. Help me as their mother to lead them towards you and that I might sow seeds of desire for you. A~men

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Did You Do School Today?

"Did you get your school work done?"

How many times have you been asked that question or asked it yourself? It is asked of me more than enough. Usually coming from a non-homeschooling friend or relative. We even have a kid across the street from us that asks my boys all the time if they did school that day.

What is school work in your house? Is it only workbooks, math videos, phonics or drills? Or is school life itself?

A few months ago my family had the pleasure of attending a political rally a few days before election day. We took our 7 older kids and the baby of course since he is still nursing. We had a blast. The kids saw many really important political figures including President Bush. That was the best part. After the rally we were faced with the rudeness of protesters. My kids were totally shocked at the things these people said about their president. It paved the way for some really great conversation. The whole night was great!

Then a few days later the kids & I attended a special Veteran's Day program at our church. My son spoke with two World War 2 veterans. He loved it. He told them about his grandpa who was in the Air Force during Vietnam & his 3 great-grandfathers who served during WW2.

That week, we didn't crack open one book but we learned more than any book could have taught us. We did pick up a pencil & write about what we saw, so that we coul remember it better. Does that count for school? You bet!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

This was written several years ago. We now have 10 children with the youngest being almost 3.

Our first day of school wasn’t the greatest day I had ever had by any means. I was so frustrated with my kids that I could scream. Wait a minute… I did scream! Anyway, my problem was that I had some expectations of what I thought our first day back to school would be like & some of my children did not live up to those expectations. Have you been there?

One of those children who didn’t cooperate was my youngest of five boys, Zachary. He is 3 ½ years old and thinks he is 10. Do you have one of those? My problem with him was that I had spent so much time planning & scheduling for the older kids that I had forgotten about his activities. I had stuff that I had bought, but forgot about it. So we had Zachary going through everyone’s stuff and causing chaos. When I finally realized the problem, I got out his clay and before I knew it I had 6 kids at the table playing with clay…quietly.

We have homeschooled 10 years and I have had at least one toddler or preschooler every year. So I have collected a few ideas that I want to share with you.

What do you have at home? I like to take inventory at home before I start shopping. Here are some things that my little guys can do with homemade items.

Ø Cut up magazine’s, construction paper or old wrapping paper.

Ø Glue what they cut to card stock or more paper. Use glue sticks.

Ø Rice or beans in a bowl. Fill up cups of different sizes & pour back into tub.

Ø Homemade playdough

o Recipe2 tsp. Cream of Tartar1 c. flour½ c. salt1 tbsp. Oil1 c. waterColor the dough with Kool-AidCook together for a few minutes until it balls up. Knead. Store in an airtight container.

Ø Draw or scribble on small white board. (watch that markers don’t end up on furniture or walls J)

Ø Play in kitchen sink with water & tear free bubbles or just measuring cups. Lay towels on floor first to reduce mess.

Ø Board books. I like these for my really young ones that still handle books rough.

Ø Duplo blocks ®

Ø Dress up clothes

Plan ahead. I can’t expect Zachary to come up with his own activities on his own. Well, he will but they are usually pretty destructive. J I have found some things on the web. Below are a few website that I have found helpful. It is also helpful to yourself if you know ahead of time what activities you have ready. Place them in a special place. Tubs or baskets are handy. Make a list if that helps so that you can refer to it quickly.

Pre-K websites

This is a site where you can find lesson plans for your babies up to 4 yrs. It is free. You just print out what you want, follow her suggestions for books to read & songs to sing & you have a Pre-K curriculum.

This had a lot of ideas of what to do with 2 yr olds. Some can be pretty messy though, which is what 2 yr olds love anyway!

This is loaded with free stuff to print off.

These are Bible activities for all ages, but have activities for preschoolers also.

Be prepared by keeping safe supplies ready.

  • Safety scissors
  • Non-toxic crayons
  • Paper (card stock, construction and copy paper)
  • Glue sticks (my kids like the kind that goes on purple, but dries clear)

And anything else you can think of.

Schedule time for your younger ones before you start school. They are still very needy and need your attention. Try reading or playing for 30 minutes or so with your toddler or preschooler before you start lessons with your older kids. If you fill their love tank then they are less likely to disturb you. When you do find them disturbing others pull them into you lap. Sometimes that is all they need. Be sensitive to their needs. It is really easy to get so wrapped up in your older one’s lessons that we forget about the younger ones. They get loud and disruptive & we get frustrated. Take a minute and try to understand why they are being so disruptive. Usually it is time for a break anyway so take one & spend it with your toddler.

I shared about my really bad first day of school. Well, there is a happy ending. The rest of our week was wonderful; I made sure Zachary had something to do and that my other kids kept busy also. Idle time makes for trouble! Also, I lessened my expectations & took another look at our schedule to see what needed fixing. I’m really looking forward to Monday!