2006 at 11:45 am | by Janelle Bradshaw
My mom, Warreen Iozzia, is 88 years old and lives with our family. She is wheel-chair bound from years of falls, broken bones and severe osteoporosis and widowed since the loss of my father, her husband of 59 ½ years when he passed away in 2002. She is by all accounts a remarkably ordinary woman, and one, I believe, worthy of honor.
She was the youngest of 8 girls, born to a farming family in Georgia just prior to the Great Depression. As with most during that era she grew up with a love for God and a solid work ethic, and though she was born with a condition that pre-disposed her to brittle bones from an early age, she kept busy with farm life and was expected to do her share of the chores. She contracted scarlet fever at a young age which left her deaf, and as an adult, began wearing a hearing aid. She moved to Washington D.C. prior to WWII for work, and met my father, a U.S. Marine, fell in love and married, only to see him immediately shipped off to war in the South Pacific. They spent most of the first 4 years of their marriage apart.
Once they set up a home together, they discovered, after 15 years of marriage, that her fragile body couldn’t bear nor carry a child and so, they began to pursue adoption to fulfill their desire to begin a family. Through the recommendation of a nurse and close friend and a series of sovereignly ordained events, I came into their lives as a newborn in need of a home. I became their one and only child.
Though my mom had physical limitations, she provided the most wonderful experience a child could grow up in. A stay at home mom, she introduced me to a love for learning and the arts. Books were read to me constantly and music was always played in our home. Creativity was encouraged and game time was commonplace. Though she was never able to drive and therefore, take me places, she created a world at home that was magical. Through the years, all of my friends loved to spend time at my house.
As mom has aged and her physical limitations only increased, without a doubt, her joy and love for others has more than kept pace. She has lived through the death of her husband and most of her older sisters and yet, she remains steadfast in a loving God who has cared for her. She is the most grateful person I know. Even though she relies on others for almost every basic daily need, she never ceases to say, "Thank you’" for the smallest kindness shown.
She is my hero and deserves her crown awaiting her in heaven one day.
2006 at 8:20 am | by Janelle Bradshaw
My mom is a great mom because she’s a very kind and loving person. She is constantly teaching me about God. She’s a great Christian to me. Mom always works hard for my family. She cooks and helps me in school and with just about everything I do. Mom has brown eyes and beautiful brown hair. She likes to hug and kiss me. We scrapbook, read, take bike rides, and shop together. I love my mom so so very much! I love to spend time with her because she is so special. Mom, your the best mom in the world. I love you!
Danielle, Age 9
My mom is the best mom in history! I am going to share a couple examples of how she serves. First, she cooks for seven just about every day. Next, she cleans the house and we learn with her. And she teaches us school and about God. I think the most important thing is she disciplines me. She has a quiet time every single morning. I know she loves me and cares about my soul and relationship with God. I can’t express how much I love my mom. I don’t know what I’d do without her! She is so special and I love being with her.
Brittany, Age 11
2006 at 3:30 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
My mom is the worthiest woman I know to honor. When I consider the life she has lived as a single-mom for so many years and the way she has sacrificially laid down her life day after day, well, I am left speechless and in wonder of how to thank such a person.
My childhood memories mostly start after my dad left, and they are filled with images of a woman who, hour by hour lived in service to her 2 daughters. She would awake every morning serving us, go to work at a full-time job and then come home to ALWAYS cook a hot meal for us. And then, if there were church activities in the evenings, off we went to drive the 30 minutes from where we lived so we could participate. This often meant she needed to find something to do, while she waited for us. I never once remember my mom ever doing anything that wasn’t in service to us and I never once remember her complaining.
Her time was not her own. Even things such as hobbies, meeting with friends, or even trying to find another husband, never crossed her mind. Simply put, her life was completely dedicated to two little girls and that clearly spoke volumes of the gospel to our watching eyes. And what’s more amazing is that everything she ever did (and still does) was done with joy!
There was a time during my early teens, when my mom was very limited in how much time she could devote to teaching me certain homemaking skills, child-training skills, and other things. It was just not possible for her, working full-time. So, in the mornings of my summer vacation, my mom would drop me off at another house – a family in the church who had young children. It was here that I learned many skills pertaining to being a wife, mom, and homemaker. She wanted me to be around them – to have the opportunity both to serve and to learn. I learned SO much, but never once was she bitter or jealous for not being able to do this herself. Instead, to this day, only gratefulness fills her heart toward this family. The skills I learned from this mother have so served me as I am now a wife, mom, and homemaker. But I know that it was primarily because of my mom’s heart for me and due to her service to me, that I could learn these things.
It was not until I was married that I began to realize the extent of all that my mom has done for me over the years. And then when I had my daughter and found out how hard mothering can be, I was freshly amazed. I don’t even work full-time and I still can’t imagine how she managed to be the homemaker and mother that she was to us. All I can say is that, “isn’t grace amazing?!!!”
Her life so testifies to the amazing grace of our Savior. Her life to this day continues to amaze me by how much she does, in now caring for her elderly mother, leading both a care group and a discipleship group at our church, babysitting for grandkids to name a few, all while still working full time. The service never ended, even after my sister and I were married. It just extended to different people and in different avenues. It all points to grace, enabling grace to do all that she does. And to a watching world, the gospel is clearly being demonstrated.
There was a quote that Carolyn mentioned in her post, "Washing the Feet of the Saints." When I read it, I thought right away, “what a picture of my mom.” John MacArthur writes, in reference to washing feet, "The menial task of washing the feet spoke metaphorically of humility (Jn. 13:5-17). The requirement, then, stresses that a widow have a humble servant’s heart. She gives her life in lowly service to those in need."
My mom’s life is completely characterized by giving her self in lowly service to those in need. I am so grateful my children now have the opportunity to know her as I do. I look forward to the day when my now 2-year old and baby (to be born in less than a month) are old enough, so I can point them to my mom and say, “girls, you are rich children because of the legacy your Noni has left you. Many of the blessings and the grace that you receive is in large part because of her life and the sacrifices she has made.” Even more so, I look forward to That Day, when I will be one the loudest, cheering her on, as she stands before our Lord to receive her reward. I believe she will receive one big, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I want to honor my mom for the way she honors her mom.
In doing this, I cannot overlook the fact that my mom rises early each day (4:15am) to meet with the Lord and is active in going after her heart. Because of her faithfulness in meeting with God, He has poured out grace, in posturing her heart to serve her 84 year old mother and to lay down her life in a way that is foreign in our culture.
One year ago, my grammy moved in with my mom. This was an answer of prayer for us all, to have her closer and be able to care for her. Prior to this my mom was actively seeking the Lord in preparing her heart to serve Grammy and also to return unkind words and actions with love. As we all know, God uses whomever we live with to expose our hearts, but it is even harder when that person is not a believer. Gram is adamantly opposed to Christ and the church.
In these past months, I have watched up close the influence of my mom’s example on my Gram. When conflicts arose, Mom admitted her sin and she humbly returned to seek forgiveness. Her witness affected Grammy, such that in one instance when my Gram had done something against my mom, she called my mom at work to apologize. Gram NEVER did this before.
With all this, I have observed my mom be more aware of her failings and her impatience with Gram. Yet recently, when Grammy was asked to describe mom in one word, she chose “Kind.” And I would like to share why she would characterize Mom in this way.
After the Lord, Mom has made Grammy her utmost priority. Not that she neglects serving our church in any way, but she evaluates what she does in a new way. She amazes me in how she currently serves as a care group assistant in the singles ministry as well as leading a discipleship group of young women. She works a full-time job, has a home and yard to care for. On top of that she now cleans Gram’s suite and has taken the financial burden of the extra utility costs. She truly has laid her life down for her mom.
Every weekend she carves out time to get Grammy out of the house. For the most part it is shopping, other times it is taking off work to take her downtown to see the cherry blossoms. It can be to see a movie or going out to eat. This could be viewed as fun but it is also hard work. Due to Grammy’s arthritis she cannot walk for long periods, so it requires Mom pushing her in a wheelchair wherever they go. And this is always done with much joy and never a complaint.
We ourselves have seen the fruit of Mom’s sacrifices and labor’s in Grammy’s life. Grammy’s heart is softening. And I think, no I know, it is that she observes the Gospel being lived out before her as Mom cares for her. This is God’s common grace on Grammy and an effect of Mom’s love for her.
2006 at 10:51 am | by Kristin Chesemore
My mom has been such a blessing to me!! Even from a young age, I have always looked up to her as my role model of someone’s footsteps I want to follow in. Three particular areas of her life that I would love to emulate are her love for the Lord, her heart to serve, and her joyfulness!
Mom has such a passion to glorify the Lord! Her passion to honor Him in all that she thinks, says, and does has been such a wonderful example to me. Every morning she gets up and sits on the sofa with her cup of coffee and has her quiet time—I have never in my 19 years known her to miss this special time with the Lord. She sets spending time in God’s Word as her highest priority, no matter how busy the day is. Her worship is always so sincere and filled with passion for her Lord! Her desire to study God’s Word and spend time with Him has challenged me to grow in that area of my own life. Her life is one that revolves around the cross and the grace of God!
Mom has always had a heart to serve! Not only does she cheerfully serve, but she serves selflessly. Mom is constantly looking for ways to serve the family, people in the church, neighbors, etc. Yet during all the times she serves, there has not been one complaining word from her lips. She is constantly looking for ways to serve others! Even when she has a very busy day, she jumps willingly at the opportunity to make a meal for a family at church or watch a neighbor’s children. Her wonderful example of devoting her life to serving others for the glory of God encourages me!
Joyfulness is a word that sums up Mom! Mom is so fun to be around! I love being able to spend time with her, whether it’s shopping, making dinner together, or just seeing how each other’s day has been, Mom always has a joyful smile and word of encouragement! I know that this joyfulness comes from time spent with the Lord and worshipping Him. Her life abounds with the Joy of the Lord! When Mom has had something unexpected come up, she doesn’t complain, but responds positively. What an example!
Besides my Savior, Mom is my best friend! I always enjoy spending time with her and learning from her wonderful example as a wife and mother. I want to be just like her when I grow up! I know that God is using her in my life, as well as everyone she interacts with. I can’t wait to hear the Lord say to her on That Day, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master.”
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! May God bless you with His Grace, as you faithfully continue serving Him! I love you!
My mom is truly the greatest example to me of someone allowing their life to be used for the glory of God. When my older sister was born almost 20 years ago, Mom and Dad made the decision to home school. My Mom selflessly laid down her dream career as an occupational therapist in order to become a home schooling mother. And the awesome thing is that over all the years she’s home schooled us, I’ve never once heard one word of regret for this choice, even though I know that occupational therapy was something she LOVED doing. She is a shining example of a woman responsive to the Lord’s will for her life, and pursuing it with no regrets.
The love that my mom displays for her husband, children, and home is contagious! She radiates a gentle, quiet spirit; trusting God and being content with all that she has. Mom serves alongside my dad in leading the welcome team at church, and her heart to reach out to people has affected me SO much. She excels in hospitality and in making anyone feel welcome in her home. Mom is constantly looking for new and tasteful ways to accentuate the meal that she serves. It’s so fun to see her excitement when she comes home from shopping… “Steph! Look at this fun new plate that was ON SALE at Pottery Barn! Next time we have someone over I’ll put some fancy cheeses and crackers on it!” And I must say, her excitement is contagious; come on, a cracker plate? This is exciting stuff! The joy that she shows in reaching out and forging new friendships affects me and challenges me so much. Not a week goes by without some new person coming up to me at church and declaring “I LOVE your mom. I absolutely love her. She has got to be THE coolest, sweetest, most adorable woman I’ve ever met.” Yep. I agree!
Not only does Mom fulfill her role as my mother - she also is a dear friend to both my sister and I. She teaches us biblically and firmly, and yet she makes it a blast to hang out with her! Whether going on shopping trips, Starbucks runs, having girlie movie nights, or putting on some fun music and having a dance party (yes, despite her “home school mom” status, my mom DOES have some pretty sweet moves), she is so much fun! Mom also draws me out on a regular basis. She is persistent in seeking me out for accountability, and humble when she sees a heart area that I need to grow in. My mom is also a very tasteful woman. She decorates her home with style, and her choice of dress is discerning and classy. I have no problem whatsoever shopping with her! She’s a joy, and I count her as my very best friend.
I could go on and on and on honoring mom. Her heart to be content in the Lord, serve the local church, bless and love my dad, care for and befriend her children, reach out to others, and ultimately glorify her God is contagious, provoking, and challenges me on a daily basis. My prayer is that she is blessed and honored this Mother’s Day!
2006 at 5:06 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
“Why are you grateful for your mom?” As a child that was the question that inevitably came around every Mother’s Day. My answers were somewhat simple and typical, limited to what I could externally see in my mom: she cooks for me, she washes my clothes, she cleans the house, she loves me, etc. But now, as a grown woman with my vision slightly enlarged, my answer to that age-old question is somewhat different. Why am I grateful for my mom, well, because she’s my friend. Somewhere along the years our relationship ceased to be just mother and daughter (though it certainly is that still) and became simply two best friends walking out life together. Although I get far more our of our friendship than she does, I am so grateful that I am allowed to call this woman of faith my counselor and friend. One of the things I most love about our friendship is that we can be serious or fun together, it makes no difference. Some of my most meaningful and deep discussions have my mom at the center challenging me, instructing me, and biblically loving me through correction. But we can have fun too, from getting our nails done together to all-day shopping trips. I am so privileged to live with this woman who daily displays biblical femininity to me in our home and family through the way she loves and submits to my dad, serves our family, encourages and counsels other woman, shows hospitality, wisely stewards money, daily pursues God and her growing relationship with Him, and seeks to take all opportunities to shower every person around her with love and care. As I begin to look toward the future and anticipate a day when God gives me a husband and calls me into motherhood, I have such a wonderful path laid out before me. It will be my honor, privilege, and goal to simply attempt to walk in the footprints my mom has laid before me. I’m so grateful that she will still be around then, because I’ll spend the rest of my life learning from her.
Mom – I’m SO grateful God gave you to me! There are simply no words to express my love for you and there is no other woman that I respect more or want to be more like. There is a trail of years and people who have been impacted by your love and care and I’m just so glad I get to be one of them.
2006 at 1:52 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
My name is Abigail and I am 7 years old, and I live in Australia.
I love my mummy because she tells me about Jesus.
I love my mummy because she tells me I am here for a purpose and I am not a mistake. That I am here for such a time as this…
I love my mummy because she helps me read the Bible too.
I love you mummy!
Love from Abby
2006 at 10:52 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
I am one of sixteen children and my mom, even when she was a single mom for a few of my younger years, has always been a strong godly woman. Mom, thank you for the countless hours you have spent praying for each and every one of us (and with all us kids I can’t imagine how many hours that has been). Thank you for the tea you brought us every morning in our own little personal teapot, and for all the other wonderful and fun things you did for us. I have so many activities and traditions I can do with my family one day and I am so grateful for that. Thank you for your desire to see each one of us know God and grow in our relationship with him. Thank you for the many hours you spent with us memorizing Scripture and reading God’s Word. You are such an example to me as to what a godly wife and mother should look like. Thank you that you were always there for me, even when I had turned my back on God and on the family. I can’t imagine all that I put you through and yet you still welcomed me in with love and were such an example to me of what grace looks like. Mom thank you for all that you have done behind the scenes, for your wonderful hospitality and your heart to serve everyone that you come across. I feel like this doesn’t even cover half of the things that I appreciate and love about you. I love you so much Mom!
2006 at 5:41 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
Monday morning marks the beginning of the work week for the mass majority of paid employees. Not so for a mom. Monday morning for her simply means a continuation of the work she’s been doing all weekend. In fact, her work-week has no starting time. And neither does it afford her an ending time. For even if she would get a few minutes off for relaxation during the week (which is always iffy), she’s still on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
So, how do you pay a salary to someone who spends this much time on the job? Well, U.S.News & World Report informs us:
According to a new study by Salary.com, a compensation consulting firm based in Needham, Mass., the average stay-at-home mom with two children—if she were to be paid in cash based on current market rates— would command a salary of $131,471 a year.
The company arrived at this figure by surveying stay-at-home moms about all the functions they perform and how much time they typically spend on those jobs every week. Consider all the roles mothers play. First and foremost, mom is the family’s chief daycare worker, according to Salary.com. But she’s also the teacher, the chauffeur, the housekeeper, the cook, the nurse, the maintenance worker, and, yes, even the chief executive of the household.
Now, I doubt there is any mom out there who would begrudge receiving a $2500 paycheck each Friday. However, this salary still doesn’t cut it! That’s because you can’t measure the worth of a mom’s influence on her family in dollars and cents. It is, as Elisabeth Elliot once said, “more profound than can be measured.”
While there’s no way any of us can repay our moms—whether in the currency of dollars and cents or of sincere gratitude—that shouldn’t keep us from trying.
So that’s what were going to do all week on the girltalk blog. We’re going to allow you, our readers, to thank your moms. We received so many wonderful tributes and I wish that we could post them all. However, if yours was not chosen, please give it to your mother on Mother’s Day. You’ll probably never know how much it will mean to her.
Our hope is that not just the moms who are honored, but every mom who reads the blog this week will feel the love and gratefulness of her family and the pleasure of our Savior!
2006 at 4:42 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Biblical Womanhood Spiritual Growth Motherhood Teenagers
We’ve already spoken about Chad’s birthday several times this week. Before we leave this event to the family history books, we want to share one of Chad’s letters with you. As Mom explained on Monday, she and Dad wanted Chad to hear the “voices” of godly men he respects on this special occasion. To read Chad’s book of letters is to realize what a precious gift he has received in the lives and the words of these men.
One of the men who kindly wrote Chad a letter was Dad’s friend, David Powlison. While each letter was uniquely moving, Dr. Powlison’s words were not only applicable to a thirteen year old boy progressing toward manhood, but have been an encouragement to us all. So much so, that Dad even used this letter in a recent counseling situation, and we couldn’t refrain from asking permission to share it with all of you.
Please don’t skim this letter or read it too quickly. It is priceless biblical guidance from a wise man for all of us—young and old. I’m willing to bet you won’t get through it without being moved to tears as you contemplate the mercy of God in your life. So, please read it as if it was written to you. Then share it with a friend.
2006 at 7:55 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Relationships Motherhood Teenagers
Nicole has an article on Crosswalk.com’s family channel on the subject of mother-daughter conflict. However, mothers and daughters aren’t the only ones who may experience strife in their relationship. We are sinful people living and working and doing church with other sinful people. The reality of conflict is something we are all too familiar with.
Sadly, we are far less familiar with the grace God gives to those who respond to conflict with humility. In his message “Cravings and Conflicts” on which Nicole’s article is based, my husband examines James 4 and God’s truth that transforms our conflicts. The bad news is that conflict is much worse than we think. But the great news is that it is also simpler and easier to resolve conflict than we think, because of Jesus Christ.
So if you are presently experiencing relational discord of any kind, read this article, listen to this message, and find God’s solution to conflict.
2006 at 10:21 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Hey Everyone, Nicole here. I know, I know, some of you moms are anxiously waiting for my mom to post kid’s quiet time picks. Don’t worry, we’ll still bring you that info. But I’m posting today in order to give Mom a chance to catch up on stuff.
She and Dad spent the weekend with 2500 enthusiastic college students at Grace Community Church’s annual Resolved Conference. Hosted by the very enthusiastic single’s pastor (and Dad’s good friend), Rick Holland, the conference also featured the Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, and Dad and Mom. (Here’s a lovely picture of Mom speaking to the ladies on “True Beauty.”) I’d encourage all singles to check out the Resolved website and sign up to receive the mp3’s when they become available.
But as I was saying, Dad and Mom didn’t arrive home until late Monday night (early Tuesday morning, really), and so Mom still needs another day to re-group after their wonderfully memorable weekend!
In order to allow Mom to sleep in this morning (don’t lose heart all you 5:00 clubbers—she’ll be up at 4:30 tomorrow!), I interviewed Dad for today’s Q&A. He is the one who oversees Chad’s devotions.
At twelve years old, Chad has a quiet time for thirty minutes every morning as part of his daily schedule. Dad does devotions together with him twice a week, and the other days Chad reads his Bible on his own (he’s currently in Proverbs) and works through various materials Dad has assigned him.
As Dad puts it, his primary goal with Chad—apart from helping him develop a disciplined habit of meeting with God—is to provide him with cross-centered content that equips him to discern and weaken sin, grow in godliness, and apply truth to his life.
Dad opens their times in prayer, and they conclude by taking turns praying: for God’s help to apply the material and specific requests to God on each other’s behalf. “I think it’s important for Chad to hear me pray and benefit from my prayers,” Dad says. “Spurgeon was deeply affected by hearing his mother pray and I want to be an example for my son.” Dad also likes to hear Chad pray as it gives him an opportunity to evaluate his heart. In addition to prayer, Dad leads Chad in a discussion, but their times don’t merely include instruction. Dad also seeks to model humility by informing Chad of his own sin, and how he is seeking to attack it, and grow in godliness.
In addition to daily Scripture reading, Dad and Chad have covered a variety of topics over the past six months, using sound theological materials, and beginning with portions from Knowing God by J.I. Packer and The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.
(Pause. I know some of you may be a tad confused: you thought this was a post about quiet times for middle school children, not adults! It’s true, most of the material Dad is taking Chad through is adult-level reading. However, as Dad says, his goal isn’t exhaustive comprehension of all the material, but sufficient introduction and specific application.)
After time spent in these two classics, Dad had Chad read and then discussed an article entitled “The Cross and Criticism” by Alfred Poirier.
More recently, they’ve spent time studying the conscience. From this study, Dad highly recommends John Macarthur’s message on the conscience from last year’s Resolved conference.
This study was followed by a closer look at the the fifth commandment for children to honor their father and mother. Here they utilized two chapters from two different books: chapter eight on “Respect Authority” in Philip Ryken’s Written in Stone:The Ten Commandments and Today’s Moral Crisis and chapter five entitled “Parents and Loving Others” from Kent Hughes’s Disciplines of Grace.
On the topic of biblical masculinity, Dad and Chad are about to begin an excellent article from the most recent issue of the Southern Seminary Magazine, “Show Yourself a Man,” by the Executive Director of CBMW, Randy Stinson. (As an aside, Dad would also recommend an article for parents by Al Mohler. It’s called “When Does a Boy Become a Man?,”and it’s also featured in the Winter 2005 issue of Southern Seminary Magazine.)
Finally, Chad recently requested to go through Dad’s book, Humility: True Greatness.
No emails please, asking what to do with girls! All the same stuff applies (except the articles on masculinity of course!). Young women need to study sound doctrine just as much as the boys. Growing up, Mom was the one discipling us in biblical womanhood, but Dad taught his daughters to love theology as much as their mother does!
2006 at 10:14 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Motherhood Young Children
We’ve received several questions recently related to devotions for younger children. This time of year, many parents not only set goals for their own quiet times, but consider how to direct their children to Scripture as well.
This week I’ll share a little about what Brian and I are currently doing with our 5 year old, Andrew, and Mom will offer some suggestions next week regarding quiet times for school age/middle school children.
In 2 Timothy 3:15 we learn that Timothy was, from childhood, “acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.” So our primary goal with Andrew at this stage is to saturate him with Scripture, and the message of the gospel it contains. Here are several strategies we’ve used:
1. Scripture Memory: Since Andrew does not yet read, Brian has devotions with him every morning at breakfast. These times are centered on Scripture memory. Currently Andrew has memorized several Psalms including Psalm 1, 23, 100; and he’s now working through Psalm 103. Of course Ephesians 6:1 was a Scripture we taught him early on (“Children, obey your parents…”), along with Colossians 3:23 (“Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord…”).
2. Scripture Reading: Brian also reads to Andrew from the Bible over breakfast time. He is currently working his way through the Old Testament, reading many of the stories and answering Andrew’s questions about them (and my boy has lots of questions!). They also read in the gospels as well, especially from Luke as our church is currently going through this book.
3. Other Resources:
- ESV Children’s Bible—even though Andrew can’t read yet, he enjoys looking at the pictures in this Bible (view samples here and here).
- ESV Bible on CD/MP3 —when my sisters and I were little, my mom used to put on “Scripture tapes” at bedtime.
- “Hide the Word” Series by Mark Altrogge—has over 120 Scriptures set to music for easy memorization.
- “Hide Em In Your Heart” by Steve Green—I just purchased two of these cd’s with more great Scripture songs.
- Children’s Ministry—our church publishes a Grown-up Sheet which assists parents in reviewing the lesson from Sunday Morning.
It is the Lord who ultimately must awaken a love for His Word in Andrew’s heart and yet as parents we want to be faithful to provide fertile ground for the Holy Spirit by exposing Andrew to as much Scripture as possible.
2005 at 10:43 am | by Nicole Whitacre
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons Motherhood Young Children
Q. It happened again today. We were at the doctor’s office when a well-meaning secretary told my son that “Santa was watching.” My son had a puzzled “are you crazy?” look on his face, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do. It will happen many times this season (akin to the “what are you going to be for Halloween?” questions). My concern is that I don’t want to stumble my unbelieving neighbors. I don’t want my friends who do Santa to feel uncomfortable. And most of all, I do not want my children to be self-righteous about our convictions concerning holidays as a family. Do you have any suggestions about how to instruct my children to respond? Or suggestions for what I might say to diffuse an awkward situation if my kids do blurt out “we don’t believe in Santa Claus”?
A. This is a hard question to answer because this issue comes up in a variety of interactions, many of them brief and passing. However, here are a few thoughts, mostly drawn from how my parents handled this issue when my sisters and I were young.
First of all, it is helpful to remember that belief in Santa isn’t a major theological front on which we mothers must fight. The well-meaning people who ask our children “What is Santa going to bring you?” aren’t questioning the diety of Christ or the authority of God’s Word. They might be perpetuating the myth of Santa, but the essential truths of the gospel are not at stake in these conversations with strangers (or friends). And the motives of these individuals are generally an expression of kindness to you and your children.
Having said that, here’s how you might serve both your children and the adults in these conversations:
1. Prepare your children - When they are old enough to understand, explain to them the origin of Santa. Tell them “This is what many people believe, and even though we don’t believe the same as them, we want to be gracious and polite when they ask us questions.”
2. Intervene and Redirect – Answer the adult’s question for your child with a response such as: “That is so kind of you to ask. We actually don’t do Santa in our family. Daddy and Mommy will be giving our children gifts this Christmas as a way to express our love for our children and our gratefulness to God for the gift they are to us.” In a kind way, seek to move the conversation away from Santa and focus on your love for your children.
3. Follow up - A refresher course after one of these conversations will probably serve your children as well. It’s a great opportunity to remind them once again of the truly joyous reason we celebrate Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.
2005 at 5:20 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons Motherhood Young Children
Q. My parents are Christians but don’t share our convictions regarding how we raise our children (teaching the kids to obey, respect Daddy, careful about TV viewing, not promoting too many toys/greed…). I’ve talked with my parents telling them why we do (or don’t do) certain things in our family. Things are very awkward with my parents. What wisdom can you share with young parents who are trying to raise their children biblically with grandparents who don’t agree with us?
A. This is a relevant question for many couples—especially at Christmas when there is often extended time with grandparents. Let me commend you from the outset for sharing your biblical convictions about parenting with your parents. That is hard to do, and yet necessary.
I wish I could tell you there was an immediate cure for the awkwardness. However, I want to encourage you that time will undoubtedly prove the wisdom of parenting according to God’s Word.
C.J. and I experienced similar questions regarding our parenting decisions when our children were young. But we were later encouraged for those very decisions as family members observed the fruit of biblical parenting in the lives of our children.
In the meantime let me encourage you to do everything you can to build the relationship with your parents, without compromising your convictions. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Encourage your parents—Look for commendable qualities in their lives and point them out to your children, in front of your parents. For example: “Joey, did you know that Grandpa is a very hard worker? He sacrificed every day to provide for our family. I want you to learn to be a hard worker like Grandpa some day.”
2. Invite your parent’s observations—Together with your husband, ask for your parent’s thoughts on how you could be better parents. Try to find areas where you may agree on parenting methods and ask for their counsel related to those specific issues.
3. Pick your battles—Some issues are more important than others. For example, you will have to draw the line if your parents want to expose your children to a television show you aren’t comfortable with. However, if Grandma wants to give them extra treats when they visit, allow her to enjoy doting on her grandchildren. Your parents will probably never see things exactly as you do. Take a stand on the important issues and be flexible where possible.
4. Talk to your kids—When necessary, have age-appropriate conversations with your children regarding interactions with your parents. If there are ways in which your parents are a poor example, you may have to help your children see that you do not agree with their behavior in a certain situation.
Ultimately, trust in God is crucial. He has designed this family dynamic for your good and His glory. You have a holy opportunity to be a godly example to your children: both through your biblical parenting and your love and grace-filled attitude toward your parents. May God grant you much wisdom as you seek to glorify Him!
2005 at 7:30 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Hey all. Nicole would never tell you this so I’m taking care of it myself. Crosswalk is featuring an article taken from chapter three in Girl Talk by Nicole. I thought that you might enjoy checking it out. Just click here