Tag Archive | bible

Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries

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JUNE HUNT is Founder and CSO (Chief Servant Officer) of Hope for the Heart, a worldwide biblical counseling ministry started in 1986. The ministry provides biblical hope and practical help in 27 languages and over 60 countries. She also hosts the award-winning radio program Hope In The Night. . Her numerous books include Seeing Yourself Through God’s EyesHealing the Hurting Heart, and Bonding with Your Teen through Boundaries.

Combined, the broadcasts air on nearly 900 outlets worldwide. One of the world’s leading biblical counselors, June is also an accomplished musician, popular speaker and top-selling author dedicated to presenting God’s Truth for Today’s Problems.

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Review

As a mother of a tween and a teen, I was riveted by all the sound biblical/parental advice given in June Hunt and PeggySue Wells’ book Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries! I struggled to put it down. I am excited to share my thoughts on it as well as offer you a chance to win your own FREE copy of Hunt’s book at the end of this post!

The first part of their book is devoted to explaining what are healthy boundaries and their benefits. In the second half, Hunt and Wells discuss tough topics such as lying, anger, cheating, cliques, wardrobe, disrespectfulness, gossip, tattling, whining, homework hassles, peer pressure, substance abuse, stealing, tardiness, etc. Each issue is thoroughly reviewed with an example and prudent tips are given on how to handle each situation.

Each page spoke to me as a Mom, because I’ve faced and may face trials in our family. Hunt and teach us how to draw and maintain boundary lines in order to build strong relationships with our precious children. While reading the chapter on back talk, my daughter said something sassy and rolled her eyes at me as if on queue. I put my book down, and tried implementing their simple recipe for respectful communication…and it worked!. Now, I have the tool to maintain the behavior until it becomes part of her character.

One of my favorite chapters is about bullying. As a society, it’s become epidemic as evidenced on many talk shows, social media, news and self-defense classes offered. Hunt and Wells give practical advice on how to look for signs of bullying, and what to do if your child is being bullied or is a bully.

Like you, I want to raise my son and daughter with strong godly character. Using sound tools such Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries helped me to be a better parent. So, if you too are looking for practical tips with spiritual insight, I highly recommend Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries!

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

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their children with godly character. Simply comment below on what boundaries you set and how do you implement/maintain them? Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On September 14, 2015, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than September 21. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

GIGL TV

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Happy July!  I trust you are enjoying summer. Per my blog posted on May 4, Good Viewing, I’m  a stickler for wholesome children’s shows. It’s a challenge these days to find quality programs, and my husband and I instill the importance to our kids.

So, when I was approached by Second Baptist Church in Texas to review their new children’s program GIGL TV,  I was excited!

After I watched the first episode, I knew it would be a hit with pre-school age children; especially being a pre-school teacher.

GIGL TV  stands for Growing In God’s Love.  The characters in each episode face problems common to preschoolers such as sharing, listening, and self-control. They use Bible stories to reinforce the theme which allows your child to connect the Bible to his or her life!  In addition, they learn shapes, colors, and numbers.

You get all this, and it’s free on YouTube!

They have one episode available now, and others soon to follow. Feel free to subscribe to the Second Baptist Church Channel to be updated when new episodes are released. Their goal is to have their own GIGL TV channel.

Enjoy the first video Small Fries:

DISCLAIMER: No compensation was received for this product review. Just happy to pass along “Good Viewing!”

Blessings, Rebecca

Unconditional Love

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I watched the nurse serve my then twenty-two-month-old son a purple solution. His body slowly slumped in her arms, and she whisked him to the Operating Room. Fear crept in my head as I waited patiently. I understood hernia surgeries to be common place, however, hospital statistics did nothing to calm my nerves. This is my precious boy; my firstborn.

My husband put his arm around me, “Austin will be fine. He’s in good hands.”

I squeezed him, “I know. I just love our boy so much, and it pains me to see our toddler undergo surgery. I wish I could take his place.”

While I paced, I reflected on my understanding of love. After all, I married my best friend just three short years earlier. I enjoy watching our wedding video. It never fails, a lump forms in my throat each time I see Randy wipe a single tear off my cheek during our nuptials.  Yet, this time, the love I felt differed. I ached.

It began two months prior, Randy called me into Austin’s bedroom. “Come here Hon, there’s a bump popping out his stomach when he pushes. Look!”

I gasped, “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure. Pack his bag. We’re taking him to the ER!”

I kept calm as to not scare our little guy, dressed him and rushed to the hospital. Upon our arrival, the staff immediately wheeled him into an examination room.  The doctor asked us some routine questions, and pressed on his bulge. He explained, “Austin has a hernia. It’s typical for children his age. I’ll have my nurse schedule a simple surgical procedure repair the hole. The wait is approximately three months out. Don’t worry. We perform over 400 surgeries per year.” What, his intestines are popping out and of his muscle lining and we have to wait three months!  He continued, “If the hernia doesn’t retract for some reason, then return for emergency surgery.”

I looked at Randy, “Why doesn’t the parenting handbook cover these issues for first time parents?”

He chuckled and pulled me close, “We’ll learn together.”

Ninety days passed, and his surgery day arrived.

Approximately an hour later, Austin’s surgeon entered the waiting room, “The operation was a success, and Austin is fine.”

Inexplicable joy filled me. I exhaled, “Thank you doctor. When can I see him?”

His nurse escorted me to my son’s recovery room. I glanced at my baby rattling the crib rails with all his might, and jumping up and down. His red, sweaty face screamed, “Mommy! I want my Mommy!”  I felt as if someone had opened my chest cavity, and ripped my heart out. I believe Austin waking up in an unfamiliar environment with strange people, tubes taped to him, and the absence of his parents frightened him.

I gathered him in my arms, and held him tight. I sunk into a rocking chair, kissed him, and whispered, “It’s okay Austin. Mommy is here.” He buried his little head between my neck and shoulder, and fell asleep. At that moment, I knew unconditional love. It’s a sacrificial compassion for someone other than me, and it’s even sweeter when reciprocated. As I recount this incident, I’m reminded that Austin’s surgery hurt me more than it did him. I don’t understand why so many boys and girls must undergo hernias, but I’ve certainly developed more awareness and empathy for sick children.

Coincidentally, that same summer my father’s was diagnosed with a similar hernia; only it took my dad six months to heal due to his surgery being more evasive.

On our ride home, I watched Austin slumber, and I realized the bond between a mother and her child is very strong. It’s truly unconditional love! I believe it’s one of life’s beautiful mysteries.

Have you ever experienced Aha moment of unconditional love? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

PS I joined Top 25 Mommy Blogs! If you have enjoyed our blogs, please vote for me by clicking their emblem on my home page. Thank you!

cover-imageIntroducing my new book, Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure! Now available at Amazon.com.

Guest Blog by Fr. Blaine Hammond

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Fr. Blaine Hammond is a Priest in the Episcopal Church, currently working at St. Andrew’s in Ben Lomond, California.  He is married to Dr. Elizabeth Forbes, and they have three children; all in their 40s now.

Before his ordination, he worked several years for the Boeing Company in Everett and Renton, Washington, for the Post Office, drove buses for Seattle and King County, rebound and repaired books at a seminary library in Denver, ran the computer division at a small event management company near Denver, and supervised the Word Processing Department at the JFK Child Development Center, part of the University of Colorado Medical Center, in Denver.

He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Washington, a Master of Divinity Degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and a Certificate in Anglican Studies from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California.

Since being ordained, he has worked for congregations in Lyons, Colorado, Castle Rock, Colorado; Seaview, Washington, and his current position. Also, he has volunteered with congregations in Clayton, California, Alameda, California, Battleground, Washington, and Seattle, Washington.

Fr. Blaine Hammond leads the congregation where I teach pre-school. It’s a treat to watch him tell our little ones about God in chapel each month. Also, he contributes a column in The Piper church newsletter. So, I asked him to share his insight with us this week, and am thrilled to have a male perspective! Please welcome Fr. Blaine Hammond!

Blessings, Rebecca

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A professor of psychiatry and medical humanities at Harvard, Robert Coles, wrote a book titled The Spiritual Life of Children (1990, Houghton Mifflin, Boston).  What interested me about it was the way that he set aside the preconceptions of his profession and listened to the things the children had to say; and having done that, how he worked to understand the ways that children tried to fit their understandings about God and religion into the world they were in the process of encountering and trying to learn about, and vice versa.

My observations of children, having raised three to adulthood along with my wife, have convinced me that children are not simply small, unlearned and incomplete adults.  They are, in many ways, something quite different from adult humans, in terms of the ways their brains and bodies work, and the ways their spiritual lives work.  It is that, I think, that Jesus was talking about when he said that we not only need to be willing to receive children as worthy of our adult attention, we need to learn from them and even try to become more like them if we are to be able to understand and enter the kingdom  of God.

Those can be hard things to think about when a tired, manipulative, demanding, whiny child is interrupting us for the fifth time during a telephone conversation or making our shopping experience a monstrosity.  But when we are not trying to correct, mold or escape from our children, watching them and listening to them can really teach us lessons about looking at, experiencing and thinking about the world in ways we have forgotten.  It can also teach us lessons about what faith, love, understanding and hope mean.

One of the things Dr. Coles reports was a conversation that ensued when a group of children heard an ambulance siren go by outside.  “I noted, yet once more, how often children (like adults) think of God as a judge, a critic, or a benefactor: one who rewards and punishes.  The children also managed to give God a psychology, one not unlike their own.”  They had been talking about a sickbed picture, and the discussion turned to whether God was, or could be, like the doctor in the picture.  Many of us adults have formed enough of picture of God to satisfy ourselves.  I wonder how often we can sit with a child, not to teach the child what God is like, but to listen as they speculate about what God could be like?  Or even to speculate with other adults, or by ourselves, after so many years of having our opinions settled?

We often think we need to protect children against thinking about the difficult things of life.  But they think about them anyway.  Children are right there at ground level, where things  happen that we don’t even notice.  Hidden from our eyes in the grass are dead birds and small animals, which the children discover and wonder about as they play, along with the discarded items of adult life.  What do they think about these things?  How does it affect what they think about God and the world, life and death?  We’ll never find out if we don’t open the subject up with them.

My Miracle

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It’s been a few years since I talked about this very personal story, because my eyes still fill with water when I think about it. However, I wanted to share my trial and blessing with you this week to possibly encourage someone who may be struggling with a similar issue.

In 2007, my husband and I desperately wanted to have a second child so our son would have a sibling to play with. We were nearly forty-years-old and the physicians test you for everything under the sun once you’re over the age of 35. It’s scary how they tell you the risk of Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Gestational Diabetes, etc.  But, we were trusting the Lord in all aspects of this pregnancy, “Children are a gift from God.” -Psalm 127:3

In the Fall, we conceived only to lose our fetus just five weeks into our pregnacy to a miscarriage. We were devastated, and prayed we’d get pregnant again very soon. And, we did!

During my first trimester, my OBGYN found a spot during a routine exam. Three long days later, he called to say it was cancer and would require immediate chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After hanging up the phone, I slid to the floor and wailed. This can’t be happening to me…I’m pregnant!

After careful research, I discovered the dosage necessary to kill the cancer cells would cause my body to reject our child. Distraught is an understatement on how I felt.

Later that night, Randy and I read in our Bible “If anyone among you is sick, let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”- James 5:14

The next day, we took our then eighteen-month-old son, Austin, and met with our pastors at church. One anointed my head with Holy Oil from Jerusalem while five others knelt at my feet. They prayed I would be cured and that we could keep our baby.

We waited two tortuous weeks for an update from my Specialist. Unbeknownst to me, each night Randy would grab his pillow and hit the couch unable to sleep. He prayed for God to allow him to keep his wife and child.

The call finally came. My Oncologist announced he collaborated with seven other colleagues, and they decided to surgically remove my tumor. I could then begin treatment after our baby was born. Yeah, we get to keep our baby!

I underwent two surgeries; one in March to remove the cancer spot and one in May to verify “clear area.” When they went in the second time, to their amazement, it was all gone. My doctor told me it was a “miracle,” and I was cancer free. In fact, he was so pleased with the lab results, he canceled my post-delivery chemo and radiation treatment. Glory to God!

In September 2004, we welcomed a healthy baby girl named Alicia Lee Krusee to our family!

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Fast forward ten years, I am happy to report that I’m still cancer-free, and our daughter Alicia is thriving 5th grader. She is a firecracker! Praise God for answered prayer!

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A Time For Everything

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. – Ecclesiastes 1:1

One of the things I love about Spring is everything comes alive. The sun peaks out of its winter blanket, the flowers bloom, newborns arrive and the outdoors brim with activities.

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I muse watching my pre-school class frolic with insects. It’s especially fun teaching them about the miracle of metamorphosis where a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly. When we read Eric Carle’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” they burst out with laughter after the hungry caterpillar eats too much and is bulging.

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Spring also hosts Easter which makes me believe God can take dead things and make them alive again.

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I don’t know about you, but for me it’s often hard to look for the rainbow when you’re in a storm.

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As the season progresses, I’ve made a conscious effort to look for God’s hand at work in nature, my life and other’s lives.

I saw His work in nature during my husband and I’s recent visit to Rio Del Mar Beach to study the Bible. As I watched the waves crash, I remembered in His Word, God tells the ocean how far to go.  Amazing!

As we soaked up the sun, God blessed us with a pack of humpback whales that spy hopped and cleared their spouts as they passed by.

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Then, there is His work in my life. Lately, I believe the Lord is teaching me to be thankful in all situations. My son, Austin, read II Timothy to me a few days ago where Paul reminds us that if we have food and clothes, we ought to be content. Ouch! True confession – I have a restless heart that longs for more, and often must remind myself to be happy with what I have.

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Finally, there is His work in the lives of others as evidenced in the life of Bethany Hamilton whose story was portrayed in the movie, Soul Surfer. She was viciously attacked by a shark and lost her left arm as a result.

Fast forward ten years, she’s married, has a baby boy, continues to surf, and is filming a new movie. It’s awesome to see how God is working in her life!

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Today, as I think about the various seasons, I’m reminded that God has taken my highs and lows, and weaved them into a colorful tapestry called life. I pray He’ll continue to give me insight into His plan and purpose for me and my family. I eagerly await His beckon, “Come and taste that the Lord is good.”

Reflection: Ask God to remind you of a season in your life He’s brought you through. What did you learn as a result?

Prayer: God, please help me to embrace the seasons of life as they are a part of your plan.