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6 things to do when you’re losing a wayward child #parenting

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  • They may be your literal flesh and blood, but that doesn’t mean your children will embrace your values or your rules. Finding yourself challenged with a wayward child can be heart-wrenching, and often makes you second-guess not only yourself but your parenting strategies as well. If you want to get your child back, it’s important not to lose hope. You can do more than you think.
  • Don’t blame yourself

    From acting up in kindergarten to sneaking out in high school, parents have a tendency to blame their children’s behavior on themselves. But taking on that kind of guilt won’t help your child find the right path, and nor will it help you deal healthily with the situation at hand. Not only does blaming yourself make you feel bad, but it also sends your child the message that he doesn’t need to be accountable for his actions. According to Empower Parents, when a parent blames himself, “the child gets the message that he’s not responsible for his own behavior and choices-his parents are. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lifetime pattern of blaming others and refusing to take responsibility. It will always be his spouse’s fault, the boss’s fault, the police officer’s fault, or the legal system’s fault.”

  • Stick to your values

    When you’re a parent, you’re charged with the responsibility of teaching your child morals and ethics, however you view them. But when your child becomes wayward, she will challenge these values to the very core. Whether these morals come from a religious or secular place, it’s critical that you show your child consistency in what you view as acceptable and unacceptable behavior. For example, if you’ve taught your child that underage drinking is wrong, don’t try to mitigate the risks of the behavior by allowing him to drink in your presence.

  • Love unconditionally

    It goes without saying that parents love their children unconditionally, but when you’ve got a wayward child, she can definitely try those feelings. While practicing unconditional love is easier in theory than in practice, it’s important if you’re trying to lead a wayward child back to the family fold. According to Aha! Parenting, “unconditional love is like a muscle. It needs a daily workout. Compassion is the heavy lifting of life.” If you don’t feel like you’re in the habit of loving your child unconditionally, don’t worry, it’s still possible to achieve it.

  • Let them be them

    When you see your child going down an undesirable path, your first reflex might be to take control. For example, when your son begins hanging out with a less-than-reputable crowd, it might be tempting to force him into soccer or football to keep him occupied after school and help him meet new friends. Psychology Todayadvises:

    “When we do that – that is, parent our children according to our own requirements, desires, or standards of how things ‘should be’ – we often deprive them of developing a solid sense of self. We stifle their innate creativity and urges. What’s more, we may subconsciously deliver the message that they will only earn our love by being just like us.”

  • Fight with them

    Fighting with them doesn’t mean you should go around arguing, screaming or bickering at your child. The fact of the matter is, many wayward children are facing some difficult demons, whether those are substance abuse, addictions, eating disorders, bullying or abuse. Any of those issues could be making your child feel isolated and hopeless. As parents, you’ll do anything to help your child find happiness and peace, and that will likely require a fight. Your child may not have the strength to face her demons, but when you join in the fight, your whole family will be stronger for it. And it will show your child that you’re in this with them, which may help bolster their hope and motivation.

  • Invade their space

    Giving your child his space and hoping he’ll make the right decisions on his own might sound enlightened in theory, but in practice, a laissez-faire parenting approach rarely works. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your child’s behavior and correct it when it needs correcting. For example, don’t allow your wayward child carte blanche access to the internet or social media when you think she’s sending or receiving explicit posts. Monitoring your child’s behaviorisn’t an invasion of privacy. It’s your duty.

    If you want to become more involved in your child’s life, WebSafety offers an easy-to-use app that helps you keep tabs on your children’s online and cellular activity.

 

 

 

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Start building your trust #SundayDevotion

Start building your trust in God day by day!

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Form New Habits

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

God’s Word teaches us that when we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, He gives us a new nature. He gives us His nature. He also gives us a spirit of discipline and self-control, which is vital in allowing us to choose the ways of our new nature. He gives us a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7), and that means we can think about things properly without being controlled by emotion. The way we once were passes away, and we have all the equipment we need for a brand-new way of behaving. God gives us the ability and offers to help us, but we are not puppets and God will not manipulate us. We must choose spirit over flesh and right over wrong. Our renewed spirits will then control our souls and bodies or, to say it another way, the inner person will control the outer person.

Without God’s help we have difficulty doing things in moderation. We frequently eat too much, spend too much money, have too much entertainment, and talk too much. We are excessive in our actions because we behave emotionally. And after the thing is done and cannot be undone, we regret doing it. But we can choose to form new habits, not doing something just because we feel like it, but instead doing what will produce the best result in the end.

We do not have to live in regret. God gives us His Spirit to enable us to make right and wise choices. He urges us, guides and leads us, but we still have to cast the deciding vote. If you have been casting the wrong vote, all you need to do is change your vote. Forming new habits will require making a decision to not do what you feel like doing unless it agrees with God’s will.

Trust in Him
God wants you to live out of your new nature, not your old one. Every time you put your trust in Him and cast the deciding vote to obey, His Spirit transforms you and makes you more like Him.

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. 

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Devotion · Family Share · photography

Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

It was a nostalgic time when we drove away the last time from our home of 24 years. We left behind a lot of memories in the walls – and a couple in the tree in the far corner of the backyard. See, when the kids were little, we wanted to build them a tree house. So, we made a plan, got some lumber, and started our little project. We laid down a couple of boards between two branches; it was the beginning of a floor for the tree house. Then we took a break. And we never went back. Oh, yes, we intended to finish that house, but right up until the day we moved out, those boards were all that ever happened.

That’s not the only house a parent intended to build and never got done. In fact, many of us Moms and Dads knew how we wanted our family to be – how we still want it to be – but somehow the home, the family we intended to build never got finished did it? Even as our children were leaving for college, we talked about how quickly the years had melted away and how we were feeling there was so much unfinished business in our kids’ lives.

Maybe you’re a mom or Dad, and you can see in your relationship with your children a lot of things you wish you had done, or a lot of things you wish you hadn’t done. Like us with our tree house…the intentions were good, but something happened along the way. Your children may still be fairly young, still at home, but already you have regrets about what has or hasn’t happened in your relationship – in their lives.

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But it isn’t over yet. In fact, the Bible offers a blueprint for hope and for healing. If you can find the courage to activate this powerful step, you may still be able to take care of some of that unfinished business. God says in James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

Let’s apply this to a broken or strained or a hurting family relationship – a part of your home that never got finished. God is calling you to fervent prayer for that person that’s on your heart. And He is calling us to “confess our sins to each other”, too. In the case of your son or daughter, that probably means saying some of the hardest words in the English language for a parent to say, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.”

For someone you love, just your recognition that you were wrong could start a healing process in both of you. Tell them you’re sorry for any way you feel you have failed them; that you want the future to be different from the past; give them the “I love you” that they may have been waiting for a long time. Give them your blessing, your approval, your praise. They may have been starved for it for years. It’s never too late to say, “I love you.” It’s never too late to say, “I’m sorry.” It’s never too late to say, “Let’s make a new beginning.”

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Oh, it will take some humility, because it’s pride that keeps walls from coming down. It will take God’s courage, but it could heal so much in you and so much in that person you love. But the home, the family, the relationship you never finished can still be built if you can say three life-changing, life-giving words,

“I was wrong.”

Further Study

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Going Deeper

Someone I need to say, “I was wrong” to is…
One way I failed my family is…
Something I can do to resolve the conflict in my family is…

Thank You Ron Hutchcraft for the study 🙂 Resources: The Bible, images from pixabay.com
Devotion · Family Share · kids · reeding · Review

Protecting Your #Child from • Soul Poison •  #Parenting 

Protecting Your Child from “Soul Poison”
There are some decent, even values-oriented things on television for children these days. But, as you know very well, there’s a lot of garbage, too. And in between those two extremes, there are shows that are mostly good but have some words scattered in them that little ears shouldn’t be hearing – or big ears, for that matter. Along comes a service called TV Guardian – which automatically replaces a naughty word with a nice word, thus removing what could be bad for your child. Occasionally, the replacements are actually a little amusing. Like the word “sex,” for example. The replacement word is “hugs.” Which gets a little interesting when someone asks, “So what will be the hugs of your baby?” But I do think TV Guardian is a pretty good idea.

Something like TV Guardian was invented for parents who realize a very important assignment that they have; to protect their children from anything that could harm them. Of course, a parent is going to protect their son or daughter from physical harm – like getting too close to the edge of a cliff or running onto the Interstate. But Mom and Dad have no less a responsibility for protecting their kids from things that can hurt their soul. And there’s a lot of soul poison out there.

There is a ten-word challenge that underscores where the front lines of the battle are for any life – including that of your children. Proverbs 4:23 begins with these attention-getting words, “Above all else…” Then these ten words – “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” In other words, be careful about what gets into your heart – or into your child’s heart – because it is the reservoir from which everything else flows.

Yes, one front in the battle for a child’s pure heart is related to what they listen to and watch. It’s amazing how we will allow someone to portray right in our living room, on TV, DVD, or Netflix, things we would never, ever allow to be done in our living room – sexually, for example. We allow comedy into our home and into their heart that trivializes sin that ruins lives; not realizing that our kids are learning to laugh about things that are eternally serious. No matter what the parental peer pressure of what other parents are allowing and what the culture says is “must see” stuff, we’ve got to stand our ground on not allowing our kids to mentally eat out of the garbage can.

 
But guarding their heart is so much bigger than TV or movies or music. It’s about the poison that comes from us. The bitterness they’re learning by listening to us, the anger, the self-centeredness, the putdowns of other people, the names they hear us call people, the prejudice they hear in the way we talk about others, the disrespect they hear us expressing toward people at work, at church – or even toward their Mother or Father. That’s more deadly poison than anything the media can pump out. Our precious children need “Parent Guardian” – to protect them from the poison that they see modeled in living color by a Mom or Dad.

The DVR in your son’s or daughter’s heart is always recording. It’s always capturing what it hears, and the impressions are shaping who they’re becoming. You are the guardian, assigned to your child by God, to protect that young heart from poison and infection – even if (especially if) it’s coming from you.

Going Deeper

One undesirable trait I see in my child that reminds me of myself is… One thing I could do to help them and me grow in that area is…

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Tweet: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬ - Via- @4Guys_1Girl

“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil. Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭101:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Study by Ron Hutchcraft
Family Share · photography

The things I learned in life – #MomBlogger

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The things I learned in life

I learned that no matter how much I care, some people just do not care. I learned that no matter how good a person is, that person will hurt me from time to time, but I need to forgive her for this. I learned that talking can ease my emotional pain.

I learned that it takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over long distances. I learned that I could do in moments, things that I will forever regret.

I learned that what matters is not what I have in life, but who I have in life. I learned that members of my family are friends who I was not allowed to choose. I learned that I don’t have to change friends, and, yes, understand that friends change.

I learned that the people I care most in life have been taken too quickly. I learned that I always leave people who I love with loving words, it may be the last time I see them. I learned that the circumstances and the environment have an influence on me, but I am responsible for myself.

I learned that I should not compare myself to others, but do the best I can do. I learned that no matter how far I get, know where I’m going. I learned that no matter how delicate and fragile something is, there are always two sides.

I learned that It will take a long time for me to become the person I want to be. I learned that I can go further after thinking I can not. I learned that either I control my acts or they will control me.

I’ve learned that heroes are people who did what was necessary, facing the consequences. I learned that to have patience requires a lot of practice. I learned that there are people who love me, but just do not know how to show it.

I have learned that my best friend and I can do many thing, or nothing and still have a good times together. I learned that the person I expect to treat me wrong, when I’m down, is one of the few that will help me up. I learned that there are more of my parents in me than I thought.

I learned that when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that does not give me the right to be cruel. I learned that just because someone does not love me the way I want it does not mean that someone doesn’t love me with everything they got. I learned that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences I’ve had, and what I learned from them Than how many birthdays I already celebrated.

I learned that I should never tell a child that dreams are silly, or they are out of the question, because fewer things are more humiliating and would be a tragedy if she believed me. I learned it is not always enough to be forgiven by someone, I have to learn to forgive myself. I learned that no matter how many pieces my heart was broken, the world doesn’t stop for me to fix it.

Just learned, the things I learned in life!

Devotion · Family Share

Who was ? Ana ” The Prophet   ” ? 

 
Anna, the daughter of Penuel, was eighty-four years of age and long widowed. Apparently she was a member of the resident staff at the temple in Jerusalem, devoting herself to continual service in the temple. The text does not indicate why she was called a “prophet.” Her unnamed husband might have been a prophet, or perhaps she herself had spent time praising and bearing testimony or even foretelling future events under divine inspiration. In simplest terms, she obviously was a woman through whom God spoke. As a descendant of the tribe of Asher, Anna looked for the Messiah as the prophets Isaiah (Isa 9:6) and Micah (Mic 5:2) had foretold.

When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord approximately a month after his birth, they offered their sacrifices according to ancient law. He had been circumcised on the eighth day, probably in Bethlehem. Now the days of Mary’s purification were completed (see Lev 12:4). As they were in the temple, a devout man, Simeon, was moved by the Holy Spirit to be present and to hold the Infant in his arms.

Anna watched as Simeon prayed, knowing in her heart that the Messiah had come. Luke’s description of this woman helps the reader to understand the respect and veneration that she commanded. A lifetime of prayer and fasting made her comments worth reporting. She, a recognized prophetess, confirmed God’s gift of redemption and her words resonated with all who looked for salvation (Lk 2:38).
Anna personified in her day those who “serve the living and true God, and . . . wait for his Son from heaven” (1Th 1:9–10). She is a model for us; like her, women are to “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for that blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12–13).

Daily Devotional.
Devotion · Family Share

“Seek First the Kingdom”

“Seek First the Kingdom”

If our mission from Christ is to “seek first the kingdom of God,” how can a successful, God-honoring marriage not be marked by mission? We’re not told to seek first an intimate marriage, a happy life, obedient children, or anything else. Jesus tells us to seek first one thing, and one thing only: His kingdom and His righteousness (the two words define and build on each other, creating one common pursuit). A successful marriage is not only supported by a kingdom pursuit, but in many ways the pursuit is a prerequisite for post-infatuation intimacy.

Life without this aim, and marriage without this purpose, is going to lose a lot of its luster. “We hunger for this today: cooperating together, meshing, working like a mountain climbing team, ascending the peak of our dream, and then holding each other at the end of the day. God has planted this hunger deep within every married couple. It’s more than a hunger for companionship. It’s more than a hunger to create new life. It’s a third hunger, a hunger to do something significant together. According to God’s Word, we were joined to make a difference. We were married for a mission.”

Being “married for a mission” can revitalize a lot of marriages in which the partners think they suffer from a lack of compatibility; my suspicion is that many of these couples actually suffer from a lack of purpose. Jesus’s words given to individuals in Matthew 6:33 are perhaps even truer in marriage. When we give away our life, we find it. When we focus outside our marriage, we end up strengthening our marriage.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6: 19-21

* Is your marriage one with mission? How can you and your spouse more fully live a life of mission as a couple?

* Ref: The Bible & Breath Spiritual Passion into your Marriage

Devotion · Family Share

“Divine Dependence”

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“Divine Dependence”

If your marriage and family feel like a joke or as if they’re bordering on chaos, it’s not anything that God hasn’t seen or isn’t capable of redeeming. So much of Christian teaching today is about us developing “our” gifts, improving “our” talents, reaching “our” potential, yet so much of Jesus’s teaching and modeling is about surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit. Let’s allow marriage to teach us to trust this Holy Spirit. He’s proven Himself. If we truly want to transform our marriages, we must learn the glory of divine dependence.

God will never call us to do something without giving us everything that is necessary in order for us to finish the task. It may not be all that we think we need, but it will be all that we do need. This is not to say the job will feel easy. But God promises through Isaiah, “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power” (Isa. 40:29 NASB).

Don’t pass over this thought, because it’s crucial: Isaiah 40:29 assumes that God will call us to various tasks for which we lack enough power on our own.

The “secret,” then, to a truly sacred marriage is actually a person, God’s promised Holy Spirit. Because God is such a relational God (meeting our need for salvation by sending His Son), it shouldn’t surprise us that He meets our need for transformation by also sending Himself in the person of His Holy Spirit.

Since marriage is one of the most profound acts of worship any two believers can ever share, it is impossible to be married in a sacred manner without the Holy Spirit being active in our lives, helping us to understand what it means to love, giving us the power to love, convicting us when we fail to love, renewing our hearts when we grow weary in love, and pouring out hope when we grow discouraged in love.

The Lord gives strength
to those who are weary. Isaiah 40:29 
 But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” Acts 1:8

* Do you lean on the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and your marriage? What is a specific situation where you lacked ability, but were strengthened by the Holy Spirit?

____The Bible & Breathe Spiritual Passion into Your Marriage.
Devotion

How to Pray in Faith

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But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let, not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-7 

We need not exert ourselves and try to force ourselves to believe or try to chase doubt out of our hearts. Both are just as useless. It begins to dawn on us that we can bring everything to Jesus, no matter how difficult it is; and we need not be frightened away by our doubts or our weak faith, but only tell Jesus how weak our faith is. We have let Jesus into our hearts. And He will fulfill our hearts’ desires. ___ O. Hallesby

When we know that God wants our communication it encourages us to pray. But there is an element to prayer that God needs from us before our prayers can be answered and that’s our faith. When we come to God asking for something believing in Him that he can accomplish it having total faith in Him it pleases him.  The word of God in John 14 also says that has seen Jesus has seen God because they are one. And whatever we ask in his name he will do so the father may be glorified in the son.

Paul writes in {Ephesians 3:12} in him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 

{John 14:14} You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

As we do come in Jesus’ name, it is the same as though Jesus prayed. It is the same as though___let I be saying it very softly so it may seem very reverent __ as though Jesus put His arm in yours and took you up to the Father, and said, ” Father, here is a friend of mine; we’re on good terms. Please give him anything he asks, for my sake.” And the father would quickly bend over and graciously say, ” What’ll you have? You may have anything you ask when My Son asks for it.” __S.D. Gordon

Constant faith in God’s ways of answering prayers is essential.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. {James 1: 5-8}

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. {1 John: 13-15}

Believing what God says in His Word is faith. Faith is certainly a critical element of prayer. When you pray to God you have to lay it all down on his hands and forget about it, let him handle it from there, and have faith he is taking care of it for you. Don’t try to help God, Help you. Believe, have faith he will do the best for his child. His coming to this world, dying on the cross to save you was not for nothing.

Suppose one of your friends or relative called you and asked you to come over and care for something that was very dared to them but said, ” There will be a friend of ours here to be with you because I’m afraid you might take something.” What would you think? How would you respond? I believe in a way this is how God is trying to communicate when He says that we must have faith.

A Prayer for faith – David’s Prayer 

” I love you, O Lord, my strength.” The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon you Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies. {Psalm 18: 1-3}

May we have enough faith to be able to rest in peace and lay all our worries in God’s hands.

Material from the daily devotion book – Bible Study – and The Bible

Devotion

An Invitation To Intimacy

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” Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

What if God does not demand prayer as much as gives prayer? What if God wants prayer in order to satisfy us? What if prayer is a means of God nourishing, restoring, healing, converting us? Suppose prayer is primarily allowing ourselves to be loved, addressed and claimed by God. What if praying means opening ourselves to the gift of God’s own self and presence? What if our part in prayer is primarily letting God be giver? Suppose prayer is not a duty but the opportunity to experience healing and transforming love? __ Martin Smith

The eternal, majestic God of the universe wants to be intimate with us! He wants us to call, to cry, to sing to Him. He longs to love, to refresh, to encourage us. He wants to answer our call and to tell us great and unsearchable thoughts. God wants us to know that He is always ready to commune; He is always ready to listen. He wants to be so much a part of our lives that we would naturally come to Him at all times. He tells us that we have to freedom to call to Him wherever we are, about anything on our hearts. He delights in being involved with His children, and prayer is His gift and His invitation to intimacy.

“Pray for a desire to respond to God’s call to intimacy. “

To pray is to let Jesus come into our hearts. This teaches us, in the first place, that it is not our prayer which moves the Lord Jesus. It is Jesus who moves us to pray. He knocks. Thereby He makes known His desire to come in to us. Our prayers are always a result of Jesus knocking at our hearts’ doors.

Desiring intimacy with God ought to be the delight of my life and a choice gladly made  I think of Daniel it didn’t matter what decrees were or what his schedule was; nothing kept him from his time with God  certainly God revealed to Daniel incredible things he did not know  I am deeply aware of my need for this remarkable reminder from the Lord about how much He desires to bless me. He invites us, and He waits for us to call.

David’s heartfelt desire was to respond to God’s call to intimacy.

David’s Prayer
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me. When You said,” seek my face, ” my heart said to you, your face, O Lord, I shall seek. (Psalm 27:7-8)