Tag Archive | parenting

Planning Parenthood

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This week I struggled with writer’s block. So, I spontaneously asked my daughter, “Alicia, what should Mom blog about? She suggested that I write about planning to be a parent.

Are you in a season of planning parenthood? I tell you the truth. I discovered planning my family was more challenging than first thought.

Conception–  at age 35 I married Randy and I “planned” to have a honeymoon baby. Well, one month went by; no baby. Another month went by; no baby. When I spoke to friends, they informed me it could take up to a year to conceive. What? I surrendered it to the Lord and we conceived the next month. We welcomed our son Austin the following July.

Healthy pregnancy – at 36 I “planned” to have our second child. We conceived and unfortunately we lost our fetus at five weeks. Again, I surrendered our second child to God. We conceived again. Yet, during my first trimester, my OBGYN discovered cancer. You can read more about it at My Miracle. Praise God we welcomed our daughter Alicia the following September.

Give birth to a healthy baby – I “planned” to have healthy babies. Because I was over the age of 35, the doctors tested for potential genetic issues such as Spina Bifida,  Downs Syndrome, etc. I’ll be honest, these tests spurred a sense of fear in me. But I know fear doesn’t come from God. It is a tactic of the enemy. Again, I gave it to Him and thankfully we have two healthy children.

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Recover quickly – I “planned” to quickly recover from delivering my babies. It turns out, it took longer than expected to recover from my second delivery. I experienced more abdominal pain after my C – Section and I was exhausted raising a toddler and newborn.

Raise your child(ren) into adulthood – I remember thinking how fun it would be to have a baby…Their cute little toes and hand, smell so good, outfits are adorable, chubby cheeks, etc. BUT, I realized I was a Mom the first time I stayed up late one night nursing my sick infant back to health. It was difficult trying to sooth him while he struggles with fever, vomit and diarrhea at 2:00am. Walking my kids through life’s ups and down is challenging and yet so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anthying.

In sum, we make plans, but they don’t always come to fruition. However, we can believe that God works all things out for good.

And we know that in all things God works for

the good of those who love him, who have been called

according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

 

Feel free to share your parenting planning with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

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Children Speak

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This week I thought I would ask my children what are the top three things they look for in a mother. In my mind, I thought something like fun to be with or cool. However, some of what they wrote down on a sheet of paper took me by surprise.

My 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, wrote:

  1. Covering – “a thing used to cover something else, typically in order to protect or conceal it.” Alicia looks to me as her protection. Come to think of it, I see her point. Especially in middle school, there are some not so kind girls on campus pestering students. Often at the end of the day, she shares her concerns and we discuss what’s her part in avoiding the drama and how to protect herself.
  2. Loving – “feeling or showing love or great care.” This topic I expected to see, because everyone wants to be loved. My parents didn’t grow up in an era of expressive emotions. As a result, they didn’t outwardly express love to me or my brother. I purposefully tell my kids I love them, hug em’ and kiss em’ frequently to ensure they know they are loved.
  3. Faithful – ” constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion.” Interestingly, she selected faithfulness as a top priority. I believe security is important to her. Perhaps it is due to her growing up in a world where terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. are ever increasing. It must be settling to be able to come home to stability.

My 14-year-old son, Austin, wrote:

  1. Loving –  “feeling or showing love or great care.” So, for him, love is number one. There is an unique bond between son and mother. I purposely love on him and pray that he will love the women in his life.
  2. Supportive – “providing encouragement or emotional help.” As a mom, I support both of my children in all their activities such as academics, sports, friendships, etc. One thing I enjoy is helping him with his homework. It’s quiet one on one time of teaching and learning.
  3. Positive – “a good, affirmative, or constructive quality or attribute.” This characteristic surprised me. It’s a good reminder about the importance of affirmation to our children. I am purposeful to congratulate my kids on accomplishments such as good grades or basketball game, etc.

So, I’ve shared three important motherly characteristics with you. I encourage you to ask your child(ren) “What top 3 things do you want in a Mother?” If you do, and would like to share with us, please do!

 

Passport to Purity

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In a world where everything goes, it’s challenging to teach your children God’s design for marriage. This week, I am preparing for the “big talk” with my adolescent daughter. Fortunately, my husband and I found a great teaching tool called Passport to Purity created by Focus on the Family. They’ve created a helpful information to have a sober, yet, fun discussion with your children about the facts of life. It helped navigate my husband with our son a couple years back. I highly recommend it for frank discussions with your children.

What ways have you found successful to share sensitive material with your family?

Top Challenges of Marriage

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This week I researched some top issues facing marriages today. One that caught my eye was #5 on the Family Share site.   They state:

5. Career decisions

Another big trial in the marriage relationship has to do with bread-winning. If you both have careers, the challenge will be the perception of whose job is more important. If just one of you has a job, the one who stays at home will need to find some other means of fulfillment. Jobs sometimes require relocation, which can put stress on the relationship and disrupt children’s lives. Every career decision must be approached with care and consideration, including taking into account the wants and needs of every family member.

I’ve found this true in our marriage, because early on we decided to have one parent stay home with our two children. Randy was a commercial plumber and I was a manager in Silicon Valley. We made the difficult decision he would be our stay-at-home dad. At the time, it was non-traditional. He stayed home with our son and daughter for thirteen years. Just last year, he returned to the work force. He is a landscaper for a Christian Conference Center and loves his new role. After I left the manufacturing industry a few years ago, I taught  for a private preschool until free public transitional kindergarten was implemented. About five weeks ago, I started working in the Facilities Department of a Christian Conference Center and I too love my new role.

Although career choices can be a challenge in a marriage, I believe it can also be rewarding if you both agree with the changes. Fortunately,  for us we are excited for each other’s new season in life. My hope and prayer is peace as you make a difficult decision regarding your career shift.

Are you changing your vocation? If so, please share with us.

 

 

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!

A New Year

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It’s hard to believe another year is over. Welcome 2017! I am so grateful for each of you. I thought we could look back at some of our top blog posts for 2016:

Guest Blog by Shannon Clark

Midlife Motherhood

The Birthday Wish

Private or Public School

Mano A Mano

Guest Blog by Amy Lu

Again, thank you for supporting my blog. I truly appreciate it. I’d love to know what blog post was your favorite in 2016 and what topics you’d like to read about in the next twelve months. Feel free to comment below…

Blessings, Rebecca

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Cheers!

Things I Wish I Knew Book Review and Giveaway

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When I was approached to review Gary Chapman’s latest book Things I Wish I Known Before Becoming Parents, I jumped at the opportunity.  I love his work, especially The 5 Love Languages. Also, I am a contributing writer for Love is a Verb. Plus, his latest collaboration with Shannon Warden is a perfect topic for my parenting blog.

About the Authors

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Gary Chapman is a counselor, the best selling author of The 5 Love Languages series, and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. He travels the world presenting semi ars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations.

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Shannon Warden is an assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University where she teaches in the graduate counseling program. She is also the director of counseling and director of women’s ministries at Triad Baptist Church in Kernsville, North Carolina.

About the Book

Gary shares what he wishes he and his wife had known before having kids. For example, children affect your time, money, marriage – and that’s just the beginning. With his trademark warmth, he offers practical advice on everything from potty training to the importance of apologizing to your child to keeping your marriage strong…all the while celebrating the great joy that children bring.

Review

I really enjoyed reading their book; especially Chapter 9 The Social Skills are as Important as the Academic Skills.  I am a preschool teacher and we spend the majority of our time teaching our students how to share and to say “please” and “thank you.” Gary confirms its importance, and I reinforce this positive behavior in my own home with my tween and teen children.

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

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Things I Wish I Known Before We Became Parents 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 you wish you knew before becoming a parent. Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On November 5, 2016, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than November 10, 2016. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s ddress (within the continental Unites Stated) provided.

Blessings, Rebecca

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.

Parental Challenges

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Recently,  Darren Rowse of ProBlogger in the UK challenged bloggers from around the world. One of his challenges was to host a discussion blog. So, today, I am trying something new and I’d love to hear your thoughts on:

What is your biggest challenge as a parent?