Training moments discussed in detail as we strive to bring our children up to glorify the Lord.

Raising Boys To Become Men

Here stand seven of my eight boys. Each with unique strengths and weaknesses.

boys

They are not ordinary young men. I know this. God has given me a home full of leaders.

Mothering leaders is not for the faint hearted.

Raising boys to become men doesn’t just happen with age, rather, it’s the transformation from years of investment in prayer and support.

While they grow into wonderful young men, they start off as determined toddlers, ambitious four-year-olds, challenging seven-year-olds and questioning teens. These characteristics aren’t “bad” they just need some shaping.

Each of my boys have unique interests, each has their own dragons to fight, their own struggles to tame, and their own strengths to shape.  They are not “perfect” sons, but they are really good sons.

I feel very blessed. I know I am blessed!

As I walk down the halls and go through my days, I watch my boys work, play, sleep, and often think…I get to observe the making of a man. Here before me, is a future husband, a future daddy, walking through my home. How can I invest in his life today so that he becomes the type of man that pleases God?

 

Practical steps a mother can take while raising boys to become men:

 

1- Let them be boys. Understand they talk, play, and work differently than we do as women. That means that sometimes my house can look a little crazy. Let them work and play in ways we never would as girls, just put a few safety steps in place without taking away all the fun.

Remind them of the “rules of engagement”:

We never put someone else down to lift ourselves up.

We invest in the lives of others.

We guard our mouths- no foolish speech is allowed.

We respect one another no matter what we’re doing, or how young or old.

We keep our focus on living, working and playing in a way that honors God.

As a mom, if I see my boys aren’t following the “rules” then we talk. Otherwise, it’s pretty much anything goes! Wow! Could I ever tell you some stories, but that’s another blog post! BOYS! 

2- Don’t coddle them too much. Display tenderness to them, but let them hurt, sweat and ache. It’s okay. There are times my boys have wanted to shrink back from a task because it was hard or because they were hurting. With some encouragement, they saw the task through. My first mommy response would have been to take the pain factor away, yet my husband is always reminding me of the importance for the boys to see a job through no matter how time consuming or painful. It was hard for me at first, however, the pride in their accomplishment was rewarding to watch! My young boys often show me the calluses on their hands or their tans from working outside as if they were badges of honor. Older brothers have grown accustomed to the tough hands and sun stained skin. It’s a process… it’s the making of a boy into a man.

 

3- Encourage them to be adventurous- Support the wild side! If we’re involved in the dreaming of their adventure we can be involved in the shaping of that adventure. And let’s be honest, sometimes our men need the caution of their wife before they tackle something crazy. In the same way, our boys can often use some insight from mom before they dive into the unknown. There are other times we just need to be quiet and let them do what God’s put in their heart to do. I pray a great deal about being a woman of discernment and knowing the right time to speak and the right time to keep silent.

 

4- Direct their strong-willed behaviors into leadership qualities– instead of getting into a power struggle with my boys over not doing a task. I set them in charge of that task for the entire family. For example, when I’ve had boys who argued over doing dishes, I would make them in charge of having the kitchen clean, including dishes. They were encouraged to delegate tasks, I would inspect the final project and they were ultimately responsible for their team that night. The position of leadership often changes so not just one of the boys is always in charge. It’s common for me to put someone in charge that lacks leadership in that area so that they can grow their leadership skills.

5- Keep boys busy! Especially in the teen years. Keep them engaged! Keep them dreaming and working for their future. If they have no focus keep talking with them, help them create a dream that is theirs and then pray for them, support them and encourage them to fight for that dream!

 

FAQ from other moms raising boys to become men

1- What do you think about boys playing with superheroes? I don’t feed into this one way or another. I downplay most of the commercialism of cartoon characters, movie actors, and such. This is just our family’s personal preference. If I have a little boy who enjoyed Thomas the Train I would buy them some Thomas the Train items, but I would focus more on getting him real train items in general. If I had a child who liked Bob the Builder they might have a few Bob the Builder items but the rest would be construction tools. Little ones often get a few of the toys, but for the most part we find safe items at the hardware store they can use. We have plenty of toys don’t get me wrong. However, we use our child’s playtime to reinforce what we are teaching as far as character qualities, our Faith, and the importance of family.

2- What do I do if my son is always fighting with me when I ask him to do something? First, you need to make sure he respects you as God’s authority over his life. Boys who grow to be men who do not respect their authority are dangerous men and in no way God-glorifying men. Even Jesus displayed the example to us of  living under the authority of his Father. Our sons need to realize that while they want respect, they need to learn no one can be respected who doesn’t show respect. With that said, we also need to make sure we’re showing our sons what a helpmeet looks like. We can do this by our example in our marriage, but also in the way that we help them. We can reduce a great deal of the fighting if we focus on building relationships with them instead of simply demanding things from them a certain way and a certain time. 

We don’t want to be overpowering moms and we don’t want to be disconnected moms.  We want to be intentional moms!! I want my boys to know the difference between a Godly woman who invests in a man’s life so that he can live out the vision God’s placed in his heart compared to a woman who manipulates a man for her own profit. We can teach our boys this principal at a young age by our example. Even when my boys are little I am using phrases such as, “Mommy wants to help you do what God’s called you to do.” As they grow into teens we take many walks and drives together talking about their dreams. We’ve invested in our boys financially and with our time. We’ve called in people with the skills and time to invest in my sons to help them define and promote the dream they have.

3- How do you handle your teen boys listening to music or watching movies you don’t approve of? With a lot of prayer and grace. I don’t want my boys feeling they have to do and like everything I do. We are different. We are unique and I want to encourage that uniqueness. When the boys are little I do say, “yes you can listen to that music.” or “No you can’t watch that movie.” When the get older it’s a completely different ball game. They have to know what pleases God and do what they are convicted to do or not do. I want to support good decisions and offer them questions to think about when I’m concerned. If it was a movie or music that was completely unacceptable then we simply say, “That’s not allowed in our home.” I can only think of one, maybe two times I’ve had to say that. At the same time, I can think of multiple times each day my boys are listening to music I wouldn’t listen to or watching a movie at the end of the week that I wouldn’t watch. That’s okay. We are each unique with different interests, likes, and dislikes. As long as we keep our focus to glorify the Lord, then this momma is happy!

Raising Boys to become men… it’s not easy, but it’s oh, so rewarding!!!

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

 

Raising boys to become men

God loves a “Bad Guy” like me.

I am so thankful that God loves a “Bad Guy” like me.

From the backseat of the car, I heard my little one ask, “Mommy does God love Bad Guys?” I explained to him that, “Yes God loves Bad Guys very much; so much so that He even sent His Son to die for them.” I went on to share with my 3-year-old about the wages of sin, God’s provision for us, and His invitation for us to spend eternity in His presence.

Sharing the Good News of Salvation with our children is often done in the everyday conversations.

Conversations that come from the backseat of the car while we tackle a day of errands, out in the garden as we’re weeding, or as we’re cleaning up the house at the end of the day.

badguys

Why should we be surprised that these everyday moments hold moments to share Truth about eternity?!

In the first few sentences of Deuteronomy chapter 11, God commands us to tell our children of who God is and what He has done for us. God reminds the Israelites that He spoke to them, not their children. It was their eyes that had seen His great works, not their children’s eyes.

God knew that Truth would be shared in the everyday moments best; from one generation to the next! Not in schools, church services, or revivals, but as we lived out our everyday lives, always keeping in mind His Faithfulness to us in the past, present and future.

Deuteronomy 11:19 -20

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

I’m not suggesting that schools, churches or revivals don’t have value. What I am suggesting is that we stop living like our everyday responses and conversations don’t have value. For it is in these moments that God commands me and you to teach our children of who He is and what He has done for us personally.

Danny Boy is beginning to verbalize his awareness and his need for his Creator. We all have that need.

May the Lord make us aware and prepared to share how His love has transformed our lives. I know I am eternally thankful that God loves a “Bad Guy” like me! 

Until our next chat, 

Mrs. Joseph Wood 

Secure Your Mask on First ~ Read the Word

I love to read the Word and to hear my God speak.

Sometimes I don’t know that I can hear him. It’s quiet on this end. Other times, it’s as if he’s using a blow horn to reach me!

I often find that God uses the most unusual life circumstances to speak to me. Does that ever happen to you?

 I sat on a flight for California to surprise my father for his 67th birthday. I have taken many flights. I have heard the stewardess say that same speech before take-off so often that I’m almost able to recite it myself!

Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.

Today, there were 11 words that seriously spoke volumes to me!!

“Secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” 

I honestly sat there thinking, ‘I’m not sure I would obey that rule.’ I started thinking of all the scenarios and each time my thoughts came back to… “secure your mask on first and THEN assist the other person”

My mind went wild with thoughts of my plan. I am a person who likes her plans! Visions of me trying to help others as I was gasping for air myself because I originally thought to take those few minutes for myself would be… what should we call it, Selfish? Unnecessary?  Eventually, I picture myself dying (I know I am totally dramatic… just being real here!) as I am trying to rescue that last sweet child on a flight, or the elderly woman.

Do you find yourself gasping for air? Secure your own mask first! You must be grounded in the Truth of the Word of God before you can help others.

I was a pitiful mess with my thoughts! So I started over with my plan of action. I decided I would put my mask on super duper fast and then help everyone else. That scene then played out in my mind and started taking a turn for the worse as well. I had applied my mask so fast that it wasn’t “secure”, I was careless and soon discovered I hadn’t “secured” the mask to my face at all.. now it was lost in the cabin of the plane, and I was gasping for air, unable to help another soul.

I got off that plane thinking I should never fly alone. Flying with my thoughts is dangerous. Completely exhausting!

It wasn’t until a morning walk, two weeks later, when the Lord started reminding me of that trip. He started using the “blow horn” to speak volumes to my soul!!

It was if my eyes could see so clearly. I could see that over the last year He has been drawing me into a relationship with him that says, “YOU are my daughter. I LOVE YOU. I want you to secure your mask FIRST and then go help others.”

That was hard for me to grasp. Yet, as I look back I see so many simple ways that God has made a way for me to feed my soul the oxygen it needs so that I can be there to minister His breathing and living Word to others.

Ladies, we must take care of ourselves. Secure our masks first. Not because we don’t love those around us, but because we do love them! So many times I can go through life seeing the needs of others around me and feel this overwhelming desire to serve and help them before I have even made sure that MY mask is first secure. Let’s make a personal rule that we secure our own masks first and THEN we assist others!

Do you find this as hard as I do? I understand, I really do. We see so many women who are selfish and do not love serving others, who only think of themselves. We try so hard to be the opposite of that that we swing so far to the other side. We are off balance and not taking care of us. We aren’t reading the Word of God! We’re gasping for air, struggling to help all those around us, yet we’re dying ourselves!

We need the balance that only Truth from His Word can bring in our lives. There are so many passages that call us into a love relationship with our God. Most of us know the story of Mary and her decision to simply sit at her Master’s feet…. Mary knew she had to “secure her own mask first and then assist others.”

We really do need to grasp the importance of this Truth ladies… and I am probably the most desperate to grasp it for myself!

With much love,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

Do you find yourself gasping for air? Secure your own mask first! You must be grounded in the Truth of the Word of God before you can help others.

Do you find you are gasping for air? I want to help you find your breath!

As Mary knew it was vital for her to sit at the Master’s feet so we must realize our vital need to be in the Word.

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

After we spend time in the Word, then, we need to make sure that we’re taking care of ourselves. Consider exercise, music, art, drinking enough water, etc.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Luke 12: 22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

Romans 12: 1 I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Philippians 4: 6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

After that, then let us look outward to serve others.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Galatians 5: 13-14 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

John 13: 12-14 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Obedience without Fear: Having Confidence in Christ’s Plan

Have you ever had God giving you the same message over and over again through different people and places?

That’s what’s happened to me this last week!

I was just busy going about life as usual.

Is life perfect? No! But, I’m doing okay.

My life at this present moment is stable. Nothing is out of the ordinary. Things are bite size manageable pieces.

There are no pending concerns. No crossroads that I can see up in the near future.

This is just me, walking along this, sometimes monotonous path seeking Him!

That’s when I heard Him speak to my soul!

Obey with Confidence! God has a PLAN for you! www.amomentwithmom.com Encouraging and Equipping women in their ministry in the home.

I didn’t go searching this passage out. If anything, I was simply trying (as pitiful as those attempts might be) to be faithful in doing my Bible Study!

Revelations 3:8

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

I have read the Bible cover to cover many times (I’ve lost count) so I’ve read this verse before. When I heard it this day it was saying something to me. What it was saying though, I wasn’t sure. I got my Bible out, turned to Revelations, and started reading so I could remind myself of the text. I started asking, “what open door?” I don’t know about you, but my first response to open doors is to shut them! I don’t know what’s on the other side, don’t feel a need to change the “status quo” and often just settle for the daily task of trying to maintain the current “safe” status. When I do need a door open I am often standing in front of closed doors trying with all I am worth to open it in my own strength… how totally exhausting!

then I continued to read…

“Thou hast a little strength” yep! That would be me! As I finished examining this verse, I was struck by the confidence that God displays in us.

It wasn’t an hour later. I was attending an online webinar when the woman stopped in her speaking and said something to the effect that she just needs to take a moment and say this before she continued. What was “this”? “God has equipped you for what He has set before you. Do not be discouraged by the voices of others. Do not be fearful, just be obedient!”

Have you ever heard someone talk, and you know God is trying to use them to tell you something? That’s how this felt. I kept going to God about it in prayer often through the week, multiple times in a day! Each day I would hear someone from somewhere talking about the confidence we can have in Christ. The importance of not “fearing” and the encouragement to be obedient.

That’s what I want to be: obedient without fear!

Sunday I was reminded of the Israelites going out into the wilderness, exactly where God had called them. Could it be? Does God really call us into the wilderness? At times, yes! Take a look at Mark 6:31 “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.”

I want to walk through those open doors that God has set before me… even if those doors take me out into the wilderness!

Is God calling you to something that fear keeps you from? Are you weighing out all the reactions that will come from your decision? Please hear my encouragement today: Just obey!

Wouldn’t it be better to know that you are right where God wants you, even if it were a painful, hard, or lonely place? How could we ever really experience Joy if we go anywhere else than where He’s called us… I don’t want to go where it appears to be a pleasant place if that’s now where God’s called me.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I do know God is already there waiting for me…. and you! Let’s obey!

Until our next chat, Mrs. Joseph Wood

Intimacy in the Christian Marriage Part 5 ~ Your Questions Answered

With a series like “Intimacy in the Christian Marriage” there are bound to be questions. There were questions in my mailbox before I even posted the first of this series, Intimacy in the Christian Marriage. It’s important to me that I answer all of these questions for you and others. I know this is a difficult subject to discuss. However, if we don’t start talking about it as an “older” woman to a “younger” woman we risk leading the “younger” women to all the wrong sources. We want to be “older” women who share thoughts based on the Truth of the Word of God. I want you to live victoriously in this area of your life! I want to see your marriage thrive for the glory of God! Let’s see if I can’t help provide you direction with that goal in mind.

Intimacy in Marriage Part 5 ~ Your Questions Answered www.amomentwithmom.com Encouraging and equipping moms in their ministry in the home

Question #1 So as someone who was sexually abused. How do we get past the feeling of being dirty to satisfy my husband and the ability to open up to him and fulfill his requests? What acts are pleasing to God? That is an area I have never been informed in and it already hard to open up. What is proper and what is not?

Answer: Intimacy can be a very challenging area of marriage for couples who have been through abuse. However, we know that God restores what the locus has taken. We know that He wants the married couple to experience the beauty of intimacy in a way that brings him Glory. So how can you make that transition? By the grace of God! Seeking Him for direction in this area of your marriage is absolutely necessary! God cares about these details.

The details of what is okay to do and what is not will vary greatly from couple to couple. The foundation of where to get the “okay” is found through Scripture. Use Scripture as a ruler when you consider what is acceptable and what is not. I love weighing my actions, thoughts, and words against Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are 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. Ask yourself, “Is this true, is this honest, is this lovely, is this of a “good report”, if you feel like the answer is no to that question, talk to your spouse and discuss how to build your times of intimacy on this principal. 

Question #2 There are things he wants that I’m not comfortable with, but am I even allowed to feel that way? Are my hang ups things I need to work through or are his expectations unrealistic because of his years viewing porn and how do you tell the difference?

Answer: I discussed this a bit in the question above. However, I want to make sure I answer your question specifically. You asked, “Am I even allowed to feel that way?” Your feelings are given to you as a guide. We are not to be ruled by our feelings, but we must own the fact that God gave us feelings so how does he want us to use them for His purpose. I teach my children that those feelings can be used wisely or foolishly. I say all this to say, “YES!” you are allowed to have those feelings. Those feelings may very well be from the Lord. It’s important to talk with your spouse and ask that you build this time of your relationship very purposefully. Talk about what you both feel is pure, true, and lovely in the sight of God. Only do what you both agree to fit these guidelines. I firmly believe that the Christian couple should stay away from anything that would have the appearance of evil. Our time of intimacy should not look anything like pornography. 

Question #3 How much do you feel should be “explained” before a bride and groom get married. I’ve heard conflicting reports on this. Some say they need to know it all, some say you are violating their first- time experience. If you have older children, how much have you explained as far as intimacy goes…all of it so they know what to expect or leave it to explore together? Thank you!

For our family, I discussed the act of intimacy from a physiological aspect, the purpose of intimacy, the lies they might hear about intimacy, and then I answer any questions they might have. It’s a precious time of conversation between myself and my girls. My married daughters still feel comfortable to call me today with questions. I do my best always to be available to answer those questions as an “older” woman in their life teaching them first to love their God, their husband, and their children. I have richly, and I do mean richly savored the moments of mothering my adult children. I am thankful the Lord has given each of them spouses who honor me and trust what I am saying to their wife. I don’t take that responsibility lightly. 

Do you have a question? If so make sure you leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer. 

Until our next chat, 

Mrs. Joseph Wood 

Part 1 Intimacy in the Christian Marriage- Is God Silent?

Part 2- How We Should Behave

Part 3– Overcoming Pornography

Part 4– When I don’t Feel Like Being Intimate

 

 

Intimacy in the Christian Marriage Part 1

Intimacy in the Christian marriage must be a subject I get asked most about from young mommas. There’s a good reason for that. It is such a vital aspect of marriage and yet, the “older women” who were to teach the younger women how to love their husbands, and children have really remained silent on the topic. This has caused  many to seek council apart from those that know Truth. We need to try and help in this area. No matter how “old” we are, we are probably an “older” woman to someone.

Well, let’s see if I can help in some way to answer your questions.

There are so many personal factors that go into a subject like this. It’s normally best as a conversation one on one with each other. I will have to answer “generally” and pray that God uses this post to help you experience the beauty of intimacy that He created!

God is not silent on this subject. He cares deeply about His people experiencing the pleasure of intimacy between husband and wife.

We were created to glorify God and while it may seem odd to some or uncomfortable at first, we most definitely can glorify God in the marriage bed.

So, what does God have to say on this subject? How do we really glorify Him in this area of our lives?

God has plenty to say!

It all started in Genesis!

Intimacy in the Christian Marriage ~ What does God have to say about it?

Genesis 1: 27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them and God said unto them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 

In Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet for him. 

God established the union of marriage between a man and woman from the very beginning. It is God’s plan for one man and one woman to be joined in marriage establishing the start of a family unit in which children will be born and raised for His glory. However, that wasn’t his only purpose of creating this union! If you examine Scripture, you’ll see that often he lets us know of great sorrow and how others were comforted through this action of oneness. Other passages talk to us about the delight of intimacy, and others warn us of neglecting this area of our marriage.

 1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

God created us to “know” each other through this intimate act of marriage on a regular basis. So then, how does it become something beautiful and Holy when the world seems to have made it simply an act of human instinct with no rules, no boundaries, and its only purpose is self-satisfaction?

To answer that simply, it will become a Holy experience when we direct our hearts to seek God even through the intimate moments between husband and wife. When we turn off the lights, and shut the door we need to make sure we’ve not tried to put God on the other side of that door. We must allow Him to be God and rule our hearts and thoughts even in this time of intimacy.

Boy, there’s a lot for us to talk about on this topic isn’t there?! I want to make sure I’m keeping it clear and building a good foundation that we can all develop our thoughts on, the Word of God. Make sure you send your specific questions in to me with our, Mom’s mailbox feature, and I will include them anonymously in this series.

So how are we to behave in this most intimate time of marriage? What is okay and what’s not is probably the question that is asked of me most. Next would be how to help husbands that struggle with pornography and it’s influence in the bedroom. Then would be the question of how to handle this time of marriage when we don’t “feel” like participating. Are these a few of the questions you’ve had? Do you have other questions? I would love to hear from you and answer as the Lord allows me!

I invite you to join my dear Sister in Christ, Darlene, on her new site Marriage Prayers to begin covering your marriage in prayer 365 days a year!

I will be posting Intimacy in the Christian Marriage Part 2 on Monday. I hope you’ll join me then!

With much love,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

For more in this series continuing reading here:

Part 2– How We Should Behave

Part 3– Overcoming Pornography

Part 4– When I don’t Feel Like Being Intimate

Part 5– Your Questions Answered

Why I don’t give my children allowance

There are times I think of sharing something on the blog with you and then question if it’s really what God wants me to share. There are other times I know what God wants me to share, but I keep questioning me. This topic is one of the later type of posts. Why I don’t give my children allowance has been our topic of conversation all week, multiple places, and by complete strangers!

It started on Tuesday as I was getting my nails done. The gal who does my nails asked out of the blue, “Why don’t you give your children allowance?”.  That was a great discussion that took us through the majority of my nail appointment. I always love friendly conversation that challenges me to put into words why I do what I do.

Next, was the Chiropractor’s assistant, the store clerk at a clothing store, a park ranger, everyone was starting conversations about the “entitlement” mindset that our society has. Each one was asking me specific questions about what we do in our home to combat this destructive way of thinking and living.  So, I finally thought that just maybe this post was something that could help other moms.  Perhaps this was a post God really wanted me to share and it was not just me up on my “podium.”

First let me define what “allowance” means in our home. An allowance is something you are paid on a regular basis without any expectation of work performance or for work that could be considered a family members “due service” as a member of the family.

In our home, we have felt strongly that God created us to work. In fact, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized God gave Adam work before there was the curse! This Truth was instrumental in changing the way I looked at the work I had. Instead of trying to run away from it, I ran to it! I want to work! As I continued to search the Scriptures, I kept seeing a common thread with each blessing that God would give them. Each blessing was wrapped up in “work”. I put the two and two together and realized that if I want to be blessed I should embrace the work that comes with that instead of trying to find a way for more vacations or early “retirement”.

As God started changing my thoughts on work. My husband already had a “work is a blessing” mentality. My parenting changed. I no longer was there to pay my children for  their contribution to our family or community. I was no longer there to do their work load so they could have more “play time”, I was there to teach, to train, and to show them the beauty in making the home and our community a better place because they took time and energy to invest in it!

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In our home, we have always stressed that it’s our duty to “leave it better than when we’ve arrived”. We’ve applied this to the homes we live in, the parks we visit, or the events we attend. We want to make sure we are developing an attitude of service in our children. Service with a cheerful attitude has brought about so many opportunities to share the grace of God with others.

With these things in mind, how then would giving my children an allowance fit in? If they are paid for extra jobs or when I want to bless them that is one thing. To just give them money for being part of our family? No. That won’t be happening in the Wood household!

Let me leave you with a few thoughts to ponder. I hope to share some practical examples of how our family cultivates “work is a blessing” mentalities in our children.

Have you ever stopped to think of where else you find people getting “paid” without having to work? I can not think of any place in life where someone is paid without work that I would want my family to end up.

Does paying my children an allowance cultivate a spirit of gratitude in my children? If you’d like to read more on cultivating grateful hearts in our children don’t miss that post I did on the subject awhile back.

What positive character trait does paying my child an allowance (pay without work) produce? Don’t consider budgeting or responsibility in this answer. That is a character and skill that is actually learned through “working for pay” not pay without working!

Do I live as if I believe that work is a blessing?

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

Things I Wish I Had Known as a Younger Mother, but Probably Wouldn’t Have Understood.

As a mother of 11, a mother-in-law to three, and a grandmother to two so far, I often find myself reflecting on things I wish I had known as a younger mother, but probably wouldn’t have understood.

When I go out with my married daughter, Bekah, to public events people will often ask her if I am the same mother to her younger siblings as I was to her. We both respond without hesitation (and most often with giggles), “NO WAY!”

That’s a good thing too! After 25 years I hope I’m not the same person I was when I began this journey of motherhood! What people are really asking (or at least what I perceive they are asking) is, “What have you learned over the past 25 years? What have you remained consistent with and what have you let go?”

Just to give you some insight. I was a first time mother when I was 20 years of age.

Having a family so young had its advantages and its unique challenges too. Not harder or more than any challenges waiting would have presented. Just different.

My side of the family often has been blessed with children young. It has allowed us to have five generations living and learning along side each other.

I have always loved the fact that God gave me my first son so young. I am now a young grandmother of two, and look forward to being a young great grandmother too!

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Here are a few things I wish I had known as a younger mother, but probably wouldn’t have understood.

Time goes by fast… Don’t be in a hurry. It’s easy to look forward to the first steps, first words, first day of school, first missing tooth, first book read, first home run, and the list could go on and on. We can be so busy looking for the next accomplished milestone that we miss the present moments! When I’m not really focusing on the present moment, time seems to just fly by; I can’t catch it! I feel like a little girl with a butterfly net chasing time which always flutters a few feet ahead of me. While I chase one moment of time, another passes. I have to live in the present moments, those are the ones that mean the most to me. I savor the ordinary and simply refuse to have any regret at how I spend my time. This makes me very aware of my choices, that’s the way it should be.

Time goes by slow…This too shall pass! I know I just said time goes by fast didn’t I? Truth is it goes by slow too! It seems to never fail, as soon as God starts working on a heart issue with me or one of my children time starts to tick slower and slower. Challenging days are often called, “long days”. There have honestly been days that I’ve looked at the clock to see if it’s too early to put the children to bed. It’s as if we will never move along and learn the lessons available. I have poured out my heart to my husband many times about how a child just “isn’t getting it” only to hear his calm resolved reply, “This to shall pass.” He’s always been right. It does pass. When it does I am a different person because of it.

Don’t be afraid to set or regret setting immoveable boundaries. I see moms do this all the time. They are afraid to set a boundary or regret it afterwards. They are constantly second guessing themselves which leads to confusion and lack of consistency. If you set boundaries before they are being challenged it can help avoid this. Talk with your husband and children making known the boundaries well in advance.

If a schedule doesn’t work for your house then use a routine, but whatever you do don’t live in chaos! It’s important to have healthy habits in the home. Times when you eat, sleep, and play. It’s also important for us to be flexible taking into consideration what is best for our family in real life and not just “on paper” or in theory!

Don’t compare to others or let others compare to you. While it’s great getting feedback and hearing what’s working for others we have to be careful not to let the enemy of comparison steal our joy. We have to be confident in what GOD is doing in our homes and lives that we can rejoice with others instead of comparing to them. When we see others are tempted to compare to us we need to remind them, “This is just what God is doing in my heart and home right now. I am a work in progress.”

Play more. Pray more This is probably the top lesson I’ve learned over the years. It is essential that I am playing with my family and praying for my family.

Being a mother is more of a journey for me than for anyone else. Yes, I am raising these little people who have so much to learn and discover about life and living, but it always feels like I am the one learning the most. I learn so much about me and who I am as a person. There have been countless times as I was giving a child instruction when I knew that what I was saying to them I needed to hear and learn from the most.

These are just a few of the lessons that God chose to teach me through motherhood.

Do you see why I say these are things I wish I had known as a younger mother, but probably wouldn’t have understood?

I’m not sure it’s ever productive to really look back for very long. Thoughts such as, ‘If only I had known..” really aren’t productive. The Truth is that God didn’t let us know certain lessons in life until we lived them. He chose to have us make decisions, and go through experiences to learn them rather than to just read them in a book or hear someone else teach them to us.

These lessons become ours.

They change who we are and eventually we grow and become the person we’re happy to see reflecting in the mirror.

Yes, there are things I wish I had known as a younger mother, but most of all I am so thankful for all the lessons God taught me through the experience and journey of motherhood.

Are you an older mother? What are some lessons you’ve learned through the years? I’d love to hear!!

Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood

 

Ideas for Children Who are Bored

In our culture we hear so much about offering children stimulating environments where they can learn, it’s almost as if we’ve failed when we hear the words, “I’m bored” (most often said in the whiniest voice ever!)

My thoughts and ideas for children who are bored may come as a surprise to some. Yet, I really want to share these ideas for children who are bored, especially with you younger moms.

I know you’re getting bombarded with all the Pinterest perfect crafts, FB statuses of friends who’s children live adventurous lives. I know that comparison is hard for the best of us to overcome. So when we struggle with doubts of “not being good enough” or we’ve really thought we succeeded in a special project, it can be disheartening to hear a child say, “I’m bored”.

Do you know the feeling I’m talking about or am I the only one that’s had this experience?

Ideas for Children who are Bored. Cultivating Hearts. www.amomentwithmom.comI still remember the first time my child said, “I’m bored.” It felt like someone hit me in the gut! I had just put my all into providing him with the very best afternoon rainy day project I could think of! Instead of him being thankful and excited about it, he wanted something else.. something grand!

I learned quickly as a young mom that I was not the leading act from the traveling circus here to make sure my child had a bored-free childhood! I just didn’t have what that would take! I’m so glad I gave that idea up early on in my mothering!

I truly believe we’re doing an injustice to our children when we don’t confront their idea of being “bored”.  Let’s think about it for a moment. The truth is that sometimes life is dull, that’s a simple reality right? Times when we are truly bored (bored defined as: lack interest in our current activity). Standing in line at the DMV for hours is the first situation that comes to mind. However, we don’t demand that someone entertains us do we?

I believe it is wise for us to redirect our child’s attention on the character they lack instead of trying to fulfill their every whim of boredom.

Does this mean that I don’t want to provide stimulating, beautiful, childhood days for my child? Of course not! I want each of my children to look back with fun memories. I just believe I won’t accomplish this goal if I don’t teach them how to overcome boredom.

Here are some ideas for children who are bored that I want to leave you with:

My child being bored is not a reflection of me, rather it is a reflection of them.

Redirect the focus! My children have learned to come to me and ask, “Mom, is there anything I can do?” Instead of saying, “Mom, I’m bored!” Do you see the difference? When they come asking what they can do I often have fun projects, other times I have some tasks that may or may not be on our regular to do list. Whatever my response, I always start by saying, “Thank you for asking…..

For children who have struggled with being bored we have solved it pretty quickly by offering them extra chores. It’s simple, the rule in our home for children who are bored is to get extra chores. Not because I’m upset, but because I am redirecting their attention- life isn’t about ME it’s about serving others. We have joy when we truly get this concept. It’s something all children should grow up learning.

Cultivating grateful hearts! I believe that by creating this type of  “bored free” environment has helped to cultivate grateful hearts in each one of us here at home, children and parents alike.

Embrace the quiet moments of life. It’s not healthy for us to fill every moment with busy activity. It’s a skill for children to learn how to embrace the quiet moments of life. It has been something we’ve practiced in our home by having a quiet time each day or moments when I required them to sit quietly and wait patiently.

Parenting is about equipping our children for success! When things really could be classified as “boring” we need to give our child the tools so they can  learn how to get through those situations successfully. We do not want them to grow up thinking  it is acceptable to ask someone else to “fix it”? Don’t you agree? Let’s keep that in the forefront of our minds as we train these little ones for Him!

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What are your thoughts  and ideas for children who are bored? I’d love to hear!

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood