Tag Archive | guest blog

Guest Blog by Carol Nicolet Loewen

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This week, my guest blogger is Carol Nicolet Loewen. She and I were contributors to our church women’s blog. Carol is a strong woman who has persevered through the loss of her first husband. You can find her inspiring stories at carolshope. Please welcome Carol!

Blessings, Rebecca

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MOTHERING … BY BIRTH OR OTHERWISE

As we celebrated Mother’s Dat last week, my husband Don and I were surrounded by my darling 96-year old mother, Helen; one beautiful sister-in-law, Sheila; and two lovely younger mothers, my nieces Amanda and Heather.
Earlier in the day I had listened to “Hey Mama,” a beautiful song by the Ball Brothers that talks about a mother who made home a safe place, who gave wise insights and advice, and who loved well. Sobs welled up inside me and tears rolled down my face, recognizing my mother in the words of the song, and also realizing that in a few years I may be singing this song, wishing I could hear her voice when she’s on the other side of the great divide. What a gift to have had, and to be surrounded by, loving mothers who show by their words and actions what it means to honor their husbands and raise their children in love and faith. The song is worth listening to, at the link below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAM9O76Fjls

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Carol’s beautiful mother with about half of her

great-grandchildren

But not all of us are, or can be, biological mothers. Yet in His grace, God has provided other ways of loving, teaching, guiding, encouraging that are open to all of us, whether or not we have birthed children from our own bodies.
I mentor two capable, lovely daughters-in-faith. I received loving notes from both yesterday, along with fragrant flowers. I also received a meaningful card from one of my stepsons, who is just a few years younger than I am. How thoughtful! And I realize what a gift God has given, that there are ways of loving, teaching, guiding, encouraging that any of us can pursue, whether or not we are biological mothers.
So, to each of my readers who has raised, or is raising children, God bless and guide you and give you joy and strength for the challenges of each day, each year. And to those who, like me, have not birthed children of our flesh, God love you and show you opportunities to invest in younger women, to encourage family members, to serve God in the lives of others, and to feel His love and grace through those precious God-given relationships. He is faithful. Let us be also, whether it’s to nieces and nephews, stepchildren, mentees, the weak and helpless, or children of friends who need loving adults in their lives.
And Mom, I love you and thank God for your influence and impact in my life over the years: from the time as a tiny girl that I spilled a cup of milk and, instead of scolding me, you said, “Oh well, that can be cleaned up.” Or the time you stayed up late, crying with me as I shared about a broken engagement. To the example you were when your beloved, my father, went Home to be with Jesus and you refused to pull away from others but continued to engage even as you grieved. Or the overnight trips we took together as widows; and the joy you expressed when God brought another wonderful man into my life. Thank you for loving me and teaching me through your example.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who

fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)

 

Guest Blog by Hellen McAdams

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Source: https://pixabay.com/en/aircraft-approach-landing-flight-3075056/

This week my guest blogger is Hellen McAdams, and she will share with us her ideas for planning a family vacation. I hope you enjoy her blog. Please welcome Hellen!

Hellen McAdams

Plan A Holiday For The Whole Family

Being a housewife comes with lots of pros and cons. One of the main misconceptions are the ones regarding the belief that housewives don’t get to provide for the family in a material way. There are so many ways that mothers can provide for their families from the warmth of their homes.

Planning a dream holiday for an entire family is just one of them.

Even if you are working mom and you are finding it hard to balance between your job and the family, there is still a way to organize yourself so you can plan everything up ahead.

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Source: https://pixabay.com/en/family-sunset-beach-happiness-2611748/

Make the Most Out of Your Money

It’s time for us to delve into a budget side of traveling. Planning for a holiday with plenty of cash on hand shouldn’t be much of a trouble. However, planning for a holiday when you’re tight on a budget may require from you to work wonders sometimes.

Jokes aside, desirable way of doing things here is to plan your trip ahead and to book appropriate accommodation in advance. Same goes for airplane tickets.

If you act proactively, there is a great chance for you to settle a good deal by browsing through holiday family offers up ahead.

Since you’ll be probably browsing through online listings of hotel and holiday deals, don’t forget to try to actually get in touch with the hotel. Try searching for their contact number on their site and book your stay directly with their reception desk. There is a great chance that you’ll save a dollar or two by doing this as you’ll workaround on standard fees and provisions of online listing agencies.

Pack Accordingly

Last but not the least, packing your family accordingly is a final, yet very tricky part of holiday preparation.

Since you already know where you’ll go and where you’ll stay at this point, it’s time for you to put your Googling skills on the test by searching for interesting things to do and see in the vicinity. Also, if your family is big enough, you might succeed to land a bulk price for a visit of localities that are of interest to you.

Once again, if you book online and ahead, you might pay a lower entrance fee.

Bringing some canned food, snacks and sweets on you might save you from reaching out to your wallet every time your children want to have a snack.

Know What Others Want

Knowing what a dream holiday truly means for members of your family is a good starting point here. If your kids are already teenagers, there is a big chance that they just won’t settle for a peaceful holiday on the beach away from all the fuss.

On the other hand, if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the buzz at your work, it just might be what you need at the moment.

Gathering family for a nice dinner and trying to find common ground is crucial in these situations and may give you a clear insight on what is that the others want to do and where they want to go.

After you have all the info necessary, it’s time for you to start planning.

Q&A With Dan Seaborn, Book Review & Giveaway

I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy reading books on parenting to hone my own motherly skills. This week, I would like to share with you a Q&A with Dan Seaborn, his new book Parenting with Grace and Truth review and a giveaway. Please welcome Dan!

Meet the Author

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Dan encourages individuals and families to lead Christ-centered homes. As a featured speaker at various churches and large-scale events such as Promise Keepers weekends, American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) conferences, and university assemblies, Dan has earned recognition as a powerful and passionate communicator. In addition, he has authored twelve books, has established himself as a media personality on national radio and regional television, and holds a master’s degree in Christian ministries. Dan is the founder of Winning At Home, Inc., and serves as the Director for the Marriage & Family Division of the AACC.

About the Book

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Helicopter or free-range? Phone or no phone? Sleepovers or no sleepovers? Public, private, or homeschool? Tough love or grace?

Regardless of the decision you’re making, everyone (and their mother) has an opinion. But, while parenting may not come with step-by-step answers, it doesn’t mean we’re without a guide.  Former pastor, author, and speaker Dan Seaborn believes Jesus is the ultimate example of a parent and that by applying His example of grace and truth, we will find hope and a future for ourselves and our children. In his upcoming book, Parenting with Grace and Truth, Dan takes parents into the Bible to help them understand Jesus’ character, explains how He models grace and truth, and teaches them how to apply Jesus’ example to their parenting.

 If you ares just starting out on your journey as parents or have been parents for decades, this resource may be of interest to you.   

My Review

Page 60 grabbed my attention when Dan wrote about how to handle growing pains, because I am a mom of a teen boy and teen girl. In his book, I agree with his point that our parenting skills play a key role in their lives. For instance, setting boundaries. Dan’s book is very timely in our family as we’ve been discussing important dating boundaries.

Q&A with Dan Seaborn

Parenting with Grace and Truth

  1. Dan, tell us a bit about your own family and why you chose to write Parenting with Grace and Truth.

Jane and I have been married for 35 years. We live in West Michigan. We have four children. Our oldest son, Alan, and his wife, Annaliese, live in West Michigan as well. Alan works with me at Winning At Home. Our son, Josh, and his wife, Amy, live in Camden, NJ where Josh is a pastor at an inner city church. They are expecting their first child in February. Our daughter, Crissy, and her husband, Jonathan, live in West Michigan. They have our two grandchildren, Jackson and Naya. Our youngest daughter, Anna, lives at home and works with the youth at our local Boys and Girls Club.

I wrote this book for parents because I encountered a time of parenting in my life that I never anticipated. Even though I worked with teens for many years I had never personally experienced the challenges of raising a child who is rebelling. In this book, I took the approach of understanding what it takes to balance grace with truth. I want to be a forgiving parenting but I don’t want to move into being an enabling parent. Balancing these two things is very difficult. I try to address that topic in this book.

  1. Why do you think parents today struggle with the facts (truth) and the manner in which we enforce these facts (grace)?

Our society struggles with knowing what truth really is. In fact, absolute truth seems to be almost nonexistent. As a parent, this is why it is foundational for us to base our views of truth on the Bible and apply those principles to family life. The danger is that enforcing these truths turns into legalism and it is obvious why we don’t want to be a legalistic family. That is the whole purpose of this book, to strike that balance.

  1. What happens if we parent with all-truth or, in reverse, all-grace?

If we parent with all truth, as stated before, we run the risk of being legalistic. Legalism focuses more on traditions than truth. Many people parent based on what their parents said and did versus what the Bible says. The ramifications will result in dysfunctional families and possibly wayward children. If you go to all grace, then your children don’t have boundaries and you run the risk of creating rebellion at the other end of the spectrum. The key with both of these is that no child fits into any perfect mold. One child might require more truth and the other might require more grace. Parenting is a balancing act.

  1. What is the Jesus Style of parenting?

Obviously Jesus did not parent in the traditional sense here on earth, but what he brought to the table was a new way of dealing with the law which is the truth. Previous to his arrival the scribes and Pharisees made the letter of the law most important. Jesus made the application of the law more important. Giving us hope because no one can follow the law perfectly. Jesus was the grace giver.

  1. What are some small steps we can take, today, to begin parenting like Jesus, especially if this is new to us?

There are many simples steps you can take. A couple obvious ones are to ask people who know you well if there are any flaws they see in the way you parent. Be open to constructive criticism. I would also encourage you to pray and ask Jesus for guidance on how to be a better parent. Part of that is admitting you need help. The way you react to these small steps probably indicates the type of parent you are. If the idea of seeking constructive criticism makes you defensive, this is a red flag. Be open to growing as a person and receive instruction from people around you.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Parenting with Grace and Truth 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 how you parenting with grace and truth. Your name will then be placed in a drawing by January 30, 2017.

On January 31, 2017 we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address in the continental United States to us no later than February 5, 2017. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing along a good read.

Guest Blog by Naveen Bansal

This week I’d like to share a guest blog with Naveen Bansal from Bengaluru, Karnataka. He is a team member of Tiny Step, a pregnancy, baby and toddler resource agency in India. He will share his thoughts on nutrition with us. Please welcome Naveen!

Blessings, Rebecca

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8 foods to boost immunity in kids

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Growing up, your kids will fall sick often. Minor ailments like the flu will often riddle your child. If the child’s immunity is not up to par he or she will often take weeks to recover. This keeps them from school and from play. Consistently falling sick during childhood doesn’t give way to an enriched adolescence or adulthood even. What most people don’t understand is immunity is one thing that can be alleviated, something that can be boosted. The best and most efficient way to accomplish this is via eating the right kind of food. Here are 8 wonder foods to give your child’s immunity a hike:

1.Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers abound in Vitamin C, a forerunner for good immunity. 2 times more than what’s present in lemons or oranges. What’s more? Bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene, known to enrich skin and aid vision.

2.Citrus Fruits

As already mentioned, your kids need to stock on vitamin C! Lemons, Oranges, Kiwis, whatever you may find, whatever they may like. Vitamin C is pivotal in battling infections and can really give your kid’s immunity a kick.

3.Ginger

Ginger is a thing of magic. It is known to halt the advent of a cold! It is also something that should

be included in your child’s meals once he or she is sick to help with a rapid recovery.

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4.Tumeric

From the exotic world of spices comes Tumeric with its outlandish healing properties. It targets fever and keeps it at bay. Consuming it in some form may even prevent fever. Rubbing a Tumeric and water paste on a wound also results in its quick healing.

5.Spinach

Popeye was not a sucker, kids. Spinach is a storehouse of both vitamin C and beta-carotene along with plenty of antioxidants. Just remember to cook it as less as possible to keep its properties intact.

6.Broccoli

Yes the little tree-like, horrible tasting vegetables. They are quite unputdownable when you realize they have not only Vitamin C, but A and E too. A for eyesight, E for skin and C for immunity; Maybe, their simply repulsive feel on the tongue could be overlooked just this once?

7.Yogurt

Yes, yummy yogurt can help benefit your babies. Eating yogurt with live cultures is the one to choose, though. Yogurt has vitamin D, essential to the teeth and bones, and also incidentally, plays a vital role in immunity elevating.

8.Almonds

A handful to save your child’s life. It works miracles with memory and being rich in vitamin E, with immunity too.

Take immunity seriously and reduce the instances and prolonged periods of sickness that is thrown your child’s way. Eating healthy is half the battle won!

Happy Parenting!

Guest Blog by Melissa Spoelstra & Book Review

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About the Author

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and addicted to the study of His word. She holds a BA in Bible theology and is the author of Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness and Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World.  Melissa lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her Pastor husband and four children.

About the Book

In Total Family Makeover, Melissa gives parents a way to build family discipleship. She offers a clear path by focusing on eight key habits of growth.

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Total Family Makeover.  Usually I read a book and think “Oh man, I need to implement X amount of steps.” However, after reading Melissa’s book, I felt relieved as the 8 simple steps we do as a family. So, for me, it was a confirmation to keep going, and I walked away encouraged.  I highly recommend you pick up a copy for your family.

Disclaimer : No compensation was received for this review; just passing along a good read.

Please welcome Melissa!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Your kids are not your report card

A children’s ministry leader motioned for me to come to the back from my seat during the church service one Sunday.  She asked if I knew the parents of a certain child and wanted me to help her locate them.  Their daughter had been scratched in the face by another three year old in class and she needed to inform the parents.  She didn’t know the details or which child was the scratcher.  When we arrived at the classroom, I discovered that it had been my daughter that had done the scratching.  After profusely apologizing to the couple, I packed up my kids and scooted home as quickly as possible.  If I was getting a mom grade that day, it felt like an “F”.

Another time I sat in a school assembly where they awarded the citizen of the year to only one third-grader in the entire school.  When my son was chosen, I beamed.  Arriving home after being congratulated many times over, I felt like I an “A” parent.  (At least until one of the twins threw a tantrum.)

It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing our kids as our grade cards.  God calls us to train them, not to exasperate them, and to lovingly discipline them.  So when they obey that must mean we are succeeding and when they disobey we’ve missed the mark.  Right?

Wrong.  God modeled perfect parenting.  He walked in the garden in close relationship with Adam and Eve.  He clearly laid out instructions about which tree was off limits.  His kids still disobeyed even when God loved them perfectly.  He continues to discipline, instruct, and walk with His children.  However, He doesn’t grade Himself with our successes and failures.

When we begin to use the behavior of our children as our measure as a parent we will find:

  • We pass judgment on others when their children struggle rather than encouraging and praying for them.
  • We yo-yo between pride when our children are compliant and shame in times of rebellion.
  • We envy the social media posts of academic, athletic, and other achievements of our friend’s kids.

So what does God expect from us in regards to the training of our children?  We want them to develop character qualities like obedience, self-control, courage, and kindness.  God calls us to train them. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

God calls us as parents to do all that we can to teach our children about Him so that He can work in their lives.  Their character must flow out of a heart dependent on Jesus.  Rather than focus on our grade in the moment, we need to seek to be faithful to lead our kids to know and love God over the long haul.  Some of the best times to do this come during our children’s bad behavior.  We can teach them about God’s discipline, His grace, and His Gospel through the ups and downs of their choices.

Some of the best ways to training we can give them is:

  • Modeling what we want them to become. (If we want them to read the Bible and pray, they should see us doing it.)
  • Clearly communicating expectations and consequences. (Getting down on eye level and using few words so they don’t get confused.)
  • Consistently enforcing consequences. (Even when it feels like it isn’t working in the moment, I’ve seen it work over a decade with patient consistency.)
  • Admitting our own failures and asking their forgiveness. (Even though we are their God-given authority, we are also sinners who don’t always get it right.)
  • Making God our parenting audience of One so we care more about what He thinks about our kids behavior than the watching world.

So when I’m concerned about a disrespectful tone or a bad test score, I’m not gonna embrace a parenting F for the day.  Instead, I’ll pray for perspective and persistence to keep loving and parenting with complete dependence on the Holy Spirit to guide me through.  If I’m not modeling, communicating, consistent, or humble, then I need to repent and ask God for help in making a change.  Once I rest that I am obeying God to love and discipline my child, I’ll leave the results up to Him.  Thankfully He calls me to be faithful to Him, not to produce perfect children.  While we are instructed to train them and lead them to Jesus, our kids are not our grade card.

What steps do you take to disciple your children?

Guest Story by Mary DeMuth

I met Mary a few years ago at Mt. Herman Christian Writing Conference in Felton, California. Unbeknowst to me, she had an intense story to tell. One of abuse. Sadly, many children are harmed physically and/or emotionally every day.

This week, Mary graciously agreed to share her story with us. May it bring you hope as we learn how she’s turning tragedy into triumph.

Please welcome Mary!

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Mary’s Raw and Real Story.

Guest Blog by Dan & Jacquelyn Anderson and Giveaway

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The 10 Myths of Teen Dating

When Dan approached me to share his new book co-authored with his daughter, Jacquelyn, I was thrilled! If you have children entering the dating arena, it is a must read! Once I started reading, I found it hard to put it down as the words echoed in my mind with my own children. I have a fourteen-year-old son who’s entering his Freshman year of high school and an eleven-year-old daughter who’s entering her second year of middle school. The 10 Myths of Teen Dating helped me as a parent navigate this pivotal point in their live. I did not receive compensation for sharing their book. Just passing on a good read.

His daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson, has had a great deal of experience listening to girls’ relationship challenges and concerns from the time she was a teenager and now as a high school English teacher in the Pacific Northwest.

Raised by two fellow high school teachers, Jacquelyn can attest to how difficult the teenage years can be regarding dating and relationships and how important it is for parents and their daughters to have open communicatioWhathring this critical time. That’s why she has partnered with her father, Daniel Anderson, to co-author The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster and Protect Her Future, to be published by David C. Cook in September 2016. As a daughter of a father who freely admits to making a lot of mistakes during her formative teenage, dating years, Jacquelyn offers key insights at key moments giving parents an inside track into the minds of their daughters, their confusing culture, and how they, as parents, can help their teens guard their hearts and date smart—with their futures in mind.
“Change minds, change hearts, and change lives.” For all of his adult life, Daniel Anderson has been dedicated to this ideal. Whether as a veteran teacher in the public schools, coach, youth pastor, mentor, or father, he has lived out this philosophy. With a relentless drive for excellence, Daniel has been a college All-American basketball player, top producing realtor, and inspiring educator for 23 years.

As a young teacher Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships and began to teach them myths about dating. He is bringing that same passion and commitment to help parents teach their daughters about dating, with his first book, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster and Protect Her Future, to be published by David C. Cook in September 2016 and co-authored with his daughter Jacquelyn.

When he is not trying to change lives, Daniel can be found rooting for the Portland Trailblazers, continuing to raise his three grown children, being a committed husband of 27 years, and following Christ’s calling at Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon.

Please help me welcome Dan and Jacquelyn! Blessings, Rebecca pt1 (1).JPG

A Father and Daughter’s Insight Into Teen Dating: How to Know if Your Daughter is in a Secret Relationship? Jacquelyn recently went to visit a friend stationed in Okinawa to hang out with her 3 year old for a couple weeks. His name is Ethan and he is a tiny spitfire. A few days into the visit, Ethan was running around the dining room table in an attempt to avoid putting on his clothes for school. Her friend pulled the classic mom-reverse-psychology and announced “Okay, fine, no school for you today.” Faster than lighting, Ethan was in his shirt and running toward the car. Sometimes when we tell your children “no”, they have a desire to do the opposite. This is uniquely true when it comes to dating. From our own father-daughter experience, saying a hard “no” to dating just made Jacquelyn’s dating life go underground. She was definitely not alone amongst her friends in getting involved in secret relationships. Here are 5 possible signs that your daughter is in a secret relationship:

She is insanely protective of her cell phone Yes, they are usually attached at the hip to this thing, but if it seems more than usual it could mean that she is protecting her communication with a certain someone. Cell phones are the lifeline for anyone in a relationship, especially one that is a secret. Privacy is very important to your teenage daughter, so this is a tough issue to tackle. But both my daughter and I believe a phone that is password protected is an invitation to secrecy for your daughter.

She is vague about the details of her plans Girls are communicators and planners by nature. If she doesn’t have concrete information for you about where she is going, what she is doing, and with who this might be a sign that she is hiding something from you. You should ask many questions about her plans. This is no guarantee she will be honest with you, but at least you will have a few details that you can verify.

She is acting differently although nothing has appeared to change While mood swings are common for teenagers, be cautious of a drastic change in attitude or even your daughter’s appearance. If she used to ride horses and wear pink, but she suddenly comes home and wants to buy an all-black wardrobe, this could mean that she is being influenced by an outside source. The all-consuming rush of hormones that comes with a boyfriend can cause your daughter to lose sight of some of the things that were once important to her.

She wants to spend more time than before at a specific location If your daughter is lactose-intolerant, but suddenly wants to get ice cream daily after school, this could be a sign that she is hiding something from you. If she suddenly wants to go to youth group two hours early, but never has before, there might just be a certain someone there that she wants to spend time with. Changes in routine should be acknowledged, particularly if there is no other obvious catalyst for the change.

She experiences a change in friend groups or loses friends she once had before Out of all the possible signs, this one is the most alarming. As your daughter dives into a secret relationship, she will need to clear out some serious time in her schedule to plan to see her boyfriend. This could mean putting friends that once were close to her on the back burner in favor of her secret boyfriend, his friends, or both. We talk a great deal in our book about the need to communicate and teach your daughter about dating rather that just forbidding her from dating. But, if your family agreement involves not dating then it may be wise to consider the possibility that your daughter could be in a secret relationship. Daniel and Jacquelyn Anderson are a father-daughter author team whose first book The Ten Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future is now available on pre-sale at Amazon.com.

Now it’s your turn to read 10 Myths of Dating as we are giving away one complimentary copy. Simply comment below oonhow you’ve taugh your child(ren) about dating? Your name will then be placed in our drawing.

On August 29, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than September 5, 2016. One Free copy of each will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Guest Blog by Jeanette Hanscome

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I invited Jeanette Hanscome to guest blog this week. She is the author of six books, including Suddenly Single Mom: 52 Messages of Hope, Grace, and Promise, published by Worthy Inspired. Jeanette has also contributed to Kathy Ide’s Fiction Lover’s Devotionals, 21 Days of Grace and 21 Days of Love. Jeanette lives in the Bay Area where she sings at her church and enjoys being the mom of two amazing sons. Please welcome Jeanette!

Blessings, Rebecca

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The Cure for Advice Overload
Five years ago I became a single mom. Along with great support, I got lots of parenting advice. Some was helpful; other times it left me feeling like a failure. Often, one friend’s “You need to…” contradicted another’s “Whatever you do, don’t…” All of this was compounded by my tendency to believe the strongest opinion in the room.
After one upsetting encounter, I had a bold thought: Wait, Christian and Nathan are my sons! I’m the one who really knows them. Maybe it was time to shut some of those voices out. I was doing my best in a unique situation. My sons didn’t have every recommended chore, but they certainly contributed. I’m visually impaired and can’t drive; that came with extra helpfulness requirements (like lugging bags home after walking to the store). I called on Christian to babysit Nathan (they’re 11 ½ years apart). Christian had a job and paid rent; not a lot, but enough considering that he cooked dinner weekly and occasionally bought groceries. Nathan was getting through this crisis with good grades and a good attitude. If he misbehaved, there were consequences; not always the same as his friends, and I didn’t feel the need to share details at the next luncheon, but they were still consequences. I probably could be firmer, but my sons’ world had been rocked. I needed to be sensitive to that.
If I wanted to thrive as a single mom, I needed to stop allowing opinions to override my instincts and good judgement.
Maybe you’re suffering from advice overload. Here are a few things I learned to consider:
How God parents – Does God set limits and expect everyone to contribute? Yes. Does He discipline His kids? The Bible is clear that He does. He also created each of us uniquely and deals with us according to our needs, which only He fully knows.
“In my house . . .” A friend reprimanded Nathan for reacting to a disappointment with “Aw, man.” She didn’t allow that in her house. Did it mean I needed to forbid, “Aw, man” too? Probably not, considering how often I said it. I held onto this memory as a reminder that every household has its own rules and mine were just as valid as the next parent’s.
The source – Is the advice coming from someone I trust? Did she take time to understand the situation? Do I admire her parenting skills? Are the suggestions based on truly-biblical wisdom and common sense, the latest trend, “When I was a kid,” or “In our house…”? Did I ask for the advice or did it come out of nowhere? Was it given gently and respectfully, or in a way that left me feeling stupid?
I should warn you that the above limits your pool of advice, but it also reduces resentment. Sometimes our only advice comes from God in a moment of “Help me know what to do.” What could be better than that?

Website: http://jeanettehanscome.com/
Amazon page for SSM: http://www.amazon.com/Suddenly-Single-Mom-Messages-Promise/dp/1617956678

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog by Sophia Smith

This week my guest blogger is Sophia Smith. She is a freelance writer from Brisbane, Australia with huge interest in organic beauty products, yoga and healthy living. Sophia loves sharing meaningful content that educates and inspires people. She writes mostly in lifestyle related topics, mainly through blogs and articles, and she is regular contributor at High Style Life. Please welcome Sophia!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Awaken the Genius in Your Child with These Simple Steps

The most important tasks parents have is taking care of their children and loving them unconditionally. Besides those crucial missions, parents have to help their children reach their full potential, in education, and in life, in general. All parents want their children to be the best, smartest and brightest, but in order to achieve that they too have to make an effort to encourage brilliance in their children, because it is not something they are born with, it is something that develops as they grow.

Various researches have shown that motivating your kids and participating in some moderate way in their playing and learning can lead to better results in school and development of lifelong love for learning.

Enhance the Visual

People are visual learners and they understand and adopt knowledge about things they see, much easier than about the ones they hear or read. Furthermore, that knowledge tends to stick for much longer if it is gained through visual means.

Enhance the Visual image

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For children especially, it is much easier to comprehend and retain information that is associated with images. Help your children organize and analyze learning material into diagrams, graphics, organizers, concept maps and outlines to better integrate new knowledge and develop critical opinion about a topic, which will, in return, result in better academic achievement.

Space for Learning

Children need to have a space that is encouraging learning, and here is where parents can really make a difference. In fact, often the environment is considered to be the “third teacher” interfering or enhancing children’s learning experience.

The learning room must be clean, safe and clutter-free, but also engaging. That means that it should be filled with interesting things motivating the children to explore, play, but also focus. Remember that kids get easily distracted, so the space should also be quiet, lit and isolated enough.

“Play Is the Highest Form of Research”

This ingenious sentence was spoken by one of the greatest geniuses in history – Einstein, and we can claim that he was right. From the very birth, children are discovering the world through play, and this continues to their mature days.

Play Is the Highest Form of Research

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Many of the video games can improve children’s learning experience and help them understand and remember new information. It is no wonder that plenty schools use videogames as a teaching mean and that some teachers even participate in creating educational games. A good example is Poptropica mythology island which is presenting important events and persons in history in a more fun and engaging way.

The Power of Books

Reading opens up a whole new world of imagination and knowledge for kids. If a child is acquainted with books in its early age, it is highly likely to achieve academic excellence. Still, sometimes it seems impossible to motivate your children to read more than a title. You can encourage your children to read by choosing good and fun books together. Another efficient way is to mark the results and reward children (e.g. for every third book there is a reward).

The Power of Books

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Remember though, that reading does not end the moment when the book is closed. Talk to your children about the message they received from the book, the associations with real-life people and events and your opinion on the matter.

Get Creative

Although media and new technologies have their role in improving learning experience and habits, their overconsumption can lead to faded proneness to creative thinking and actions. Luckily, creativity can be trained, by promoting imagination and curiosity (books, talking about other planets, nations, history), prompting children to solve problems (everything from a puzzle to a real-life problem) and finding a creative hobby for children to discover, enjoy and love.

Get Creative

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We are all born as potential geniuses, all we need is just a little encouraging and work to let our inner Einstein come to surface. A parent’s task is to make this process run smooth and efficient.

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How do you awaken the genius in your child? Feel free to share…

 

 

 

Guest Blog by Amy Lu

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This week’s guest blogger is Amy Lu.She is  a Midwest girl from Michigan who enjoys writing children’s picture books,blogging about motherhood, and sharing reading inspiration. You can check out her adventures as a mother of two little cuties and former first grade teacher who loves reading, drinking coffee, and doing yoga. She’d love to connect with you on Facebookor Instagram. Please welcome Amy!

Blessings, Rebecca

Amy Lu

7 Parenting Tips from the Book Loving Our Kids on Purpose

When I first saw the title of this book, Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Making a Heart-To-Heart Connection, I almost decided not to read it. I figured, I already know how to love my child, that’s the easy part. It’s all the other stuff that is hard. However, I am so glad that I didn’t stop there. This has been one of the best parenting books I have read. It challenged me to think about how I was raised, and the kind of parent I want to be. I picked 7 highlights, but there is really so much more to this book. I highly recommend it and only wish I would have read it sooner.

  1. You can’t control your child.

This was kind of shocking for me to realize, but I think Danny Silk is on to something. The bottom line is that you can’t actually control anyone except yourself. You may try to control your child, but ultimately it is up to him or her, on whether or not to listen to you. For example, if you ask your child to please eat his carrots, it is up to the child to determine how fast or slow he will do this, and if he will actually obey. This is especially evident as the child grows older.

  1. Nurture a loving relationship between you and your child.

Silk believes that establishing a loving relationship, in which both the parent and child love and trust one another is the key to good parenting. This is the ultimate goal for the parent.

  1. Empower your child by providing choices.

Everyone wants to feel like they are in control of their lives, and that they have the power to make decisions. Silk believes children are no different. One way we, as parents, can work with and not against this is to provide choices. For example, even a toddler can have choices. Let’s say you want the child to go upstairs to get dressed. You could offer the choice of walking or being carried upstairs. This is simple, but it can be applied to the most complex situations. As the parent, it is up to you to provide the child with two choices that you can be content with.

  1. De-escalate arguments with simple responses.

Using phrases such as “I know,” “Probably so,” “That could be,” “I don’t know, and “Nice try”  can help to deescalate arguments with your child. These are phrases Silk references as his favorite from theParenting with Love and Logic book, written by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. This strategy can enable your child to start thinking about how he or she can solve the problem at hand. Parents should maintain a genuinely loving demeanor toward the child to encourage him or her to solve the problem.

  1. Allow your child to experience the consequences of their choices.

As tempting as it may be to rescue your child from the pain or difficulty of consequences, resist. (Note: This is not talking about neglecting a child’s safety.) Parents can create a safe environment for children to make mistakes and learn from them. As parents, we can’t be afraid to let our children mess up. We can build trust with them by letting them know we are there for them in all situations and allowing them to grow from these difficult times.

  1. Choose discipline over punishment.

Discipline allows a child the power to decide how to fix or solve a problem. Punishment is decided solely by the parent.

  1. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Many times parents want to believe that they have the power in the relationship. However, Silk believes that is simply not the case. In fact, he believes that parents should communicate to their children in a way that shows that they too, can be vulnerable. This is why having a loving relationship is so imperative.

How do you love your kids on purpose?  Please share with.us in the comments. 

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