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Guest Blog by Claire McGarry

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Claire McGarry is a mom of three young children, and the founder of MOSAIC of Faith: a ministry through which she offers evening retreats and monthly faith sharing groups for moms, a children’s service project group, and a weekly mommy-and-me program. She posts weekly at “Shifting My Perspective,” where she writes about how Scripture always challenges her to grow and learn from the issues in her motherhood, and life in general, so she can see the gifts in their hands. You can visit her blog at www.shiftingmyperspective.com. Please welcome Claire!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Rehearsing The Right Response

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

My nine year old son Mason had his first speaking role ever in our church’s Christmas pageant this year. He played Joseph, and had quite a few lines. Having done theatre in college, I know that nervousness can cause your mind to go blank while performing. I explained to Mason that he needed to know his lines forwards and backwards, so no matter how nervous he got, he’d remember what to say and when.

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It occurred to me that I parent my kids the same way I coached Mason for the pageant: making them rehearse the right response to each situation over and over again. Every time any one of them loses their cool, breaks a rule, or is unkind, I have them take some time away to calm down. Then we have a little chat.

First, I ask them to tell me (and not vice versa) what they did wrong. Kids are smart. They know when they’ve misbehaved. My kids don’t need me to point out the error of their ways. Instead, having them put their mistakes into words forces them to take ownership of their actions.

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Second, I have them tell me what an appropriate response would have been. Occasionally I do have to help them brainstorm the different options. But most times they know what the right responses are, sometimes they just choose not to make them. Having them verbalize the different options they could have taken not only reminds them that there are numerous ways to solve any given problem, it also gives them an opportunity to redeem themselves. Not only do they get to rewrite the script of what just happened, they get to see how the new ending plays out so much better than the first.

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Third, not only do they have to apologize to me, but they have to apologize to whomever they hurt in the process. It is important they own their mistakes. However, apologizing is how they make things right.

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Lastly, I have them rehearse the right response. I literally have my kids role-play the scenario leading up to the problem, but then act out the right response instead. They say “practice makes perfect.” It is this process that imprints the right choice on their brains so that, hopefully the next time, when their emotions are running high, they remember what they rehearsed and follow through with a good choice. If I skip this part of the process, my kids are inclined to remember the punishment, not the problem solving and feeling of empowerment that I want them to remember.

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Fortunately Mason was well rehearsed and delivered every one of his lines perfectly. And with each passing year that my kids rehearse the right response, there is less and less fighting in my household, and more overall good behavior. They are so proud of their own practice and progress, and without a doubt, so am I!

How do you teach your child(ren) how to respond to life’s mishaps?

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Merry Christmas

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And the angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them [shepherds], and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:9-10

Giveaway!

Free ebook today only…

I Like Bugs                                 I Like Dinosaurs                                     Am I Pretty

Guest blog by Shannon Upton/Book Review

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I was approached by fellow Blogs by Christian Women Author Shannon Upton to review her new book, Building Your House.

In it, Shannon incorporates organization with faith. She shares great practical advice to build your Christ-centered home and de-clutter physically and spiritually.

My favorite chapter is #10 where Shannon gently reminds us to walk in faithfulness. She sprinkles helpful suggestions throughout such as playing inspirational music, lighting a candle or hanging encouraging scripture on the wall.

As a result of reading Building Your House, I believe my home will look and feel more inviting, peaceful and less cluttered.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Shannon Upton is a Christian author, blogger, and speaker.  Her goal is to help women use a little organization to clear out  their spiritual clutter so they can make room for peace and joy! She’d love to serve you (and by extension, your children) through her two books; the second being Organizing You. Feel free to stop by Organizingjesusmoms.com  to discover great resources she has for you there. organizing

Please welcome Shannon!

Blessings, Rebecca

 

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Intentional Influence

“Shannon, did you just call yourself ‘homely’? Don’t you ever say that again!”

When I was in seventh grade, my Sunday School teacher gave us lists of adjectives and asked us to circle the ones we thought applied to us. I knew that the lesson was on self-esteem, so I circled things like “smart,” “friendly,”…and “homely.”  At the time, I thought that “homely” simply meant “plain.”  It was the choice after “beautiful” and “pretty,” but before “ugly.”

What I remember about that moment isn’t how my teacher said that I was a very pretty girl (she had to say that, didn’t she?), but how shocked she was that I’d circled “homely” in the first place. She was downright offended on my behalf!

When I looked at her, I saw a woman who was very well-dressed and put-together. She obviously knew what it meant to be attractive… yet there she was saying that I was beautiful.  I was startled into a realization: I was a child of God and He would never want me to think of myself as “homely.”  Ever.

Today, I’m still under her influence. I have the habit of complimenting the appearance of others, admiring a pretty blouse, cool shoes, or a warm smile.  I even give a scripturally-based talk about how to organize your wardrobe!  It’s not that I think outward appearance is all that important, far from it.  But my Sunday School teacher taught me that God sees us as beautiful, and that’s how we should see ourselves.

How are you influencing your children through your outward example? We can tell our children wonderful things, but they see what they see. When your kids look at you, do they see…

Someone who’s tired and worn out, or someone who’s taking care of their body?

Someone who avoids time with God, or someone who loves to go to church and spend time in prayer?

Someone who’s overwhelmed and stressed, or someone who’s choosing to trust in God?

Our influence doesn’t come through our words, but how we’re intentionally living our lives. When our kids see that we know what it means to be a child of God, they’ll be able to hear our encouragement to follow Him.

This is the heart of my ministry! I help women use home and family organization, not to pursue perfection, but to live in Christ’s abundance.  When we intentionally live all in for Jesus, we’re building our homes and raising our families for God’s glory.  That influence will last for generations to come.

 

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If you’d like to follow her, you can Like her Facebook page.

Now it’s your turn to own Building Your House as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from you on how you build your home with your children. Simply share a family routine that has solved a clutter or spiritual issue in your home with us below. Your name will then be placed in a random drawing.

On December 26, 2015, we will select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than December 31, 2015. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided. Best wishes!

 

Sharing is Caring

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Thank you for sharing. It shows me you are caring are the lyrics to a song we sing in pre-school. Yet, it’s my observation kids’ least favorite activity is sharing toys. It’s my experience that children will inevitably want the same toy to play with at the same exact time. The rule at our school is to ask your friend, “Can I be next?” Then the other child will respond, “Yes,” play for awhile and hand over the item. However, there are times when a child will respond, “No!”

Why is it so hard to share? Like when you are savouring a delicious meal and your spouse asks, “Can I have a bite?” Of course you give them some, but deep down you may be thinking, “No!”

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Sharing appears to be a learned behavior varying from culture to culture. Some people share everything with others such as their money, time, house, car, clothes, food, etc.

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I believe the ultimate act of sharing is when God gave His one and only begotten son, Jesus, to be a randsome for the world’s sin. Often, I look at my thirteen-year-old son,  and am reminded of His loving sacrifice.

How do you share or teach your children to share? Or has anyone shared something special with you? Please tell us below.