Tag Archives: teenagers

Sowing and Reaping

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My son and I had a little chat about the topic of sowing and reaping yesterday.  He’ll turn 15 next month, which is very hard to fathom.  My baby’s almost grown!  He has expressed some personal concerns lately, which led to this discussion.  I explained to him that if you desire a different harvest, you have to plant different seeds.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” ~ Genesis 1:11

If you want a life of peace, love and joy, you must plant those kinds of seeds.  If you plant seeds of anger, hatred and violence, you cannot expect to reap a harvest of peace, love and joy.  It’s a kingdom principle: Everything reproduces after its own kind.  I explained to my son that you can’t plant tomato seeds and expect to harvest a pumpkin.  It’s not going to happen.  I asked a rhetorical question that I really wanted him to ponder:  “What kind of life do you want to live … 5, 10 or even 15 years from now?”  The seeds you plant today will dictate the type of harvests you will reap in the future.  If you want a successful future, you need to plant seeds of responsibility, punctuality, hard work, prayer and studying the Word of God today.  This applies to all of us.

“My son, attend to my words;
incline thine ear unto my sayings.
 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
keep them in the midst of thine heart.
 For they are life unto those that find them,
and health to all their flesh.

 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.” ~ Proverbs 4:20-23

What goes into the mind comes out in a life.  We must be careful what we place before our eyes and into our ears.  Before long, we will begin to express those very things.  As Proverbs says, we must guard our heart will all diligence.  With every ounce of self control, we must not conform to the evils of this world but follow Christ’s example in all things.  We will only know what it means to follow Christ if we engage in His Word on a regular basis.  We must make steady deposits of the Word of God into our souls so when temptations, tests and trials come (and they will come), that we are able to withstand them.  Conversely, when the tests and trials come and our account has a zero balance of God’s Word, how then will we ward off the evil one?  God’s will is not that we live defeated lives, but rather that we are able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to conquer sin in our lives.

What seeds are you planting today?

If you desire to have positive, uplifting and encouraging thoughts, you cannot constantly dwell on negative, contentious and pessimistic lines of thinking.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever thingsare just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  ~ Philippians 4:8

We must be deliberate and intentional regarding the influences in our lives.  In the end, they will produce a harvest.

The question is – Is it the harvest you planned?

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Brag on my Kids

Is it okay if I just take a moment and share how very proud I am of my kids?  You know, as a parent, you spend years pouring into their lives — teaching, correcting, imploring, scolding, modeling, and, most of all, praying!  And when you begin to see real character forming when they do things out of the goodness of their hearts and not because they’re told, it is satisfying, yes; but more importantly, rewarding and encouraging that your investment is paying off!!  My “kids” are growing up on me!  My daughter is 16 and will turn 17 in November.  My son is 14 and will turn 15 in July.  They’re still kids to me, of course.  Allow me to share two recent occasions that they really blessed my husband and I:

  1.)  Easter   ~   We gave them Easter baskets as usual.  But this year, they surprised us with Easter baskets.  My daughter made homemade dark chocolate truffles for my husband and I.  She also made an adorable pin cushion for me!  She got the pattern from a sewing book she checked out from the library.  She’s so creative!  She made the cutest, little Easter baskets – one out of a decorative tissue box and cut out a cardboard cross on the front of it.  The other was made out of a cardboard box, complete with a handle and all covered with pretty scrapbooking paper.  She’s really gifted.

Our son took pictures of a couple of our wedding pictures and also printed out some he recently took to make a photo collage.  One of the pictures was of my husband and I holding hands on a recent walk in the neighborhood.  (just our hands clasped together)  He has a good eye for these things.  Then he stapled cut out rose petals all around the border.  Very sweet.  Maybe that’s his way of saying how our loving relationship makes him feel secure.  I don’t know, but what I do know is, that our kids are super thoughtful and creative!  That deeply touched my husband and I.  

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 2.)  Yard Work  ~  If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you have heard me drone on about home improvements and spring purging, etc.  Well, we are continuing on this trek and yesterday my daughter took it upon herself (and enlisted the help of her brother) to rake out a flower bed.  This was quite an undertaking and required dumping at least 3 wheelbarrows full of leaves and sticks.  Her brother jumped ship midway through, but I was outside to offer moral support.  The important thing is that she took the initiative to spruce up the yard!  Her goal is to clean up one flower bed each day.  This is quite a goal considering she doesn’t normally do yardwork.  Although, in her defense, I have to say that she did mow the backyard on the John Deere over the weekend.  She says she wanted to practice her driving skills.  She said she even practiced parallel parking with the mower!  Haha!  She’s a nut.  But you know what they say about nuts, right?  … They usually don’t fall far from the tree.  Haha!  I digress…  

The common denominator in both of these instances is initiative.  That is one of the first steps toward personal responsibility.  I often preach, “If you see something that needs to be done (whether or not you made the mess or created the situation), take it upon yourself to fix it!”  What a blessing it is to see the kids practicing what I’ve preached all these years!  Love my kids!  

*P.S.  I handwrote my kids a special thank you note for the Easter baskets and gifts, not only thanking them for their thoughtfulness, but also reminding them that we pray for them daily.  We pray that they will serve Jesus every day of their lives and that they will make good choices.  And also reminded them of our love for them… My son read his note again later and he said it really touched him.  I thought that was so special.  I plan on writing the kids more notes in the future as it is something they can reflect on way into the future.  

 *P.P.S.  We also mailed an Easter basket to our grown son, who is 25 with a special Easter card enclosed.  He may not be all that interested in the basket or the candy, but that’s not why I sent it.  I paid $8 for shipping to mail him a basket of love from mom and dad!  I always want our kids to know they are loved beyond words and daily prayed for!

Bonus:

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Beautiful Easter flowers from my best friend!  (aka husband!)  🙂

 

 

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Filed under Parenting

Made in His Image

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“So God created human beings in His own image.  In the image of God He created them male and female he created them.”  ~ Genesis 1:27  NLT

I’ve heard it said that every little girl wants to know if she’s pretty enough and every little boy wants to know if he has what it takes to be a man.  On the surface, every little girl’s question seems superficial, but, at the heart of the matter rests her confidence and self-worth.  And, really, so does every little boy’s question.

We’ve raised one strong, young man and he’s flown the nest.  We’re in the process of raising two teenagers now.  It’s incredible the challenges teens face just in our everyday culture.  We all were teens once and faced our own battles, but it seems the fierceness of the war has greatly increased with the epidemic of cutting, culture of death, eating disorders and “everything goes” mentality.  One reason I believe things have escalated to the degree they have is because we’re living in the end times and the enemy knows his time is short.

What I’d love to remind each little girl or young lady is that you are absolutely beautiful!  Stunning even!  No, you don’t need to emulate the air brushed cover of that magazine nor starve yourself to look like a certain celebrity.  Just be yourself, hon.  If you’re so busy trying to be like someone else, who will be you, the person God created you to be?  Accept yourself as the masterpiece that God created because when He creates something, it’s truly gorgeous!  Smile.  Smile because you’re even more beautiful when you spread joy.  You see, true and lasting beauty resides on the inside anyway.  And those emotions you’re riding like a roller coaster, dear one, they will ease.  Just remember, this too shall pass.  Don’t make any decision based on how you’re feeling.  Seek out wise counsel and all will be well, my friend.  Your future is so bright!  Don’t let anything discourage you or stand in your way.  God has great plans for you!  The best is yet to come!

What I’d love to remind each little boy or young man is that you are made in the image of God and you totally have what it takes to be a man!  A man full of wisdom, strength, courage, leadership and, yes, even compassion.  Wise because wisdom avoids the folly of this world and needless pitfalls.  Strength because it’s needed to walk out God’s plan for your life.  Courage because it will take all you’ve got to say no to anything less than God’s best for you. Leadership because that is the mantle God has placed on you, your place in this world.  Compassion because we don’t travel alone.  It’s our duty to take as many to heaven as we can and lead by example.  For, you see, character is what it takes to be a real man.

Young men, seek out godly mentors and their wise counsel.  Be teachable.  It will serve you well.  Learn from those who have walked this road ahead of you, so you don’t make the same mistakes they’ve made.  Be accountable.  Sin doesn’t live long out in the open, but usually in the dark, quiet recesses of our hearts.  Expose it.  Turn the light on and watch it flee.  Submit.  Surrender your heart to God wholly and watch what He will do with your life!  Seeds of greatness are on the inside of you, son!  We’re all waiting and watching for you to soar with the eagles, man of God!

And, to both young ladies and young men, I leave you this:

Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Parenting