“Your Parenting” Webcast & Extra Resources

I choose gentleness

 {image credit - Jen Thorn}

I just love today’s webcast featuring Ruth Schwenk from TheBetterMom.com and FortheFamily.org.  Her keynote runs for the first 15 minutes.  Then Darlene from TimeWarpWife.com and Angela from GoodMorningGirls.org join me on the couch to talk about Motherhood.

session 4

(if you cannot see the video – click here)

Here are some extra resources from TheBetterMom.com

From Grouchy to Great – a 30 day series to help moms overcome grouchiness

What Every Weary Mom Needs to Know

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plans

A Dozen Little Ways to Connect With Your Teen

Casting a Vision in the Heart of a Child

Lighting a Fire vs. Keeping the Rules

I hope something here encourages you.  Have a great weekend!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 13 {Motherhood Mess-Ups}

Chapter 13 motherhood mess-ups

Let’s Discuss Chapter 13

“Have you ever lain in bed awake at night and wondered, Why me?  I don’t understand these circumstances, God!  Have you ever felt like a failure, as if the rest of the world has it figured out, and you are the only one who just can’t seem to pull it together?  Your two-year -old won’t let you buckle her in the car, your three-year-old bites, your four-year-old hits, your ten-year-old struggles with reading, your teenager is defiant, or your grown child is making poor decisions –you sit there, helpless.” ~page 133

Oh friends – have you been there?

I have.  And I felt alone.  And I don’t want you to feel alone –  so today’s video is for all the weary moms, who need a glimmer of hope.

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

motherhood is not a sprint (3) (2)

 In Chapter 13, I talk about how surprised I was, to find that going on a vacation with children was not at all how I had imagined it would be.  When you look at all the adorable Facebook photos of families on the beach – those pictures do not tell the entire story.  Because now I know, vacationing with little ones is not a vacation for mommy and daddy. It’s a lot of hard work!  And truly, for a woman who had high ideals and expectations of motherhood, I have to admit this motherhood thing is WAY harder than I ever thought it would be!  God has both humbled me and brought me to my knees in prayer through my trials.

Here’s some funny photos from the vacation I was referring to in the book.  This was my Lexi – who insisted on putting her head in the sand, then she would cry from the sand burning her eyes.

Hilton Head 3

We would take her down to the water and rinse her off but then she would do it all.over.again.and.again.and.again. Bah!

Hilton Head 2

At one point, my husband took the sign off of the umbrellas that were for rent on the beach – and slipped the “for rent” sign on Lexi. Lol!  I thank God for this little girl who makes us laugh.

 God words

 

Discussion Questions:

1.)  What is one of your most memorable “motherhood mess-ups?”  In retrospect, did God use your shortcoming or mistake to teach you an important life lesson? If so, what?

2.)  Turn to Joshua 1:9 and read it slowly.  How could really believing the words of this verse transform your mothering especially when you have fear of “messing up”?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapter 13″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Bloggers:  Are you blogging your way through this book club with us?  Then link-up your blog post below.
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Please note that this link up has changed for the next 5 weeks.{if your linked-up post is not about the book club it will be removed}

 


The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 11 & 12 {Motherhood & Technology}

chapters 11 & 12 motherhood

Hooray!  We are at the half-way point. We have completed the first half of the book  Women Living Well - on Your Walk with God and Your Marriage.  Now we are up to the section titled: “Your Parenting.”

Let’s Discuss Chapter 11 – A Mother’s Influence

In Chapter 14, I write about the influence of a mother.

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.

The Statue of Liberty was said to be modeled after the sculptor’s mother. 

When Super Bowl football players look into the camera – they don’t say “Hi, Dad” –they yell, ”Hi Moooooooooooooom!!!”

Children are sponges.  They soak up the influence of their mother.  And though your name may never be in lights – we must not forget the many many unnamed mothers who rocked the cradles of great men and women who changed the world.  They will forever be unnamed, but their influence is with us forever.

Do you wonder some days if what you are doing matters – changing diapers, kissing boo boos, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over and over and over.  We say night time prayers and tuck littles ones in bed and then they pop right.back.out.of.bed.  Oh! That is frustrating – I know!!!  And then there’s those moments when we lose our temper and feel like the worst moms ever.  We wonder if we are a failure or if our kids are going to end up in counseling forever. Lol!  The overflowing laundry baskets and sticky kitchen floors are enough to make a mom want to run away.  But you don’t. You are strong!  You keep going – loving, feeding, caring, helping and working hard for your family.

You matter.

You are priceless.

Don’t give up – don’t waste your influence. Call on the name of the Lord for help and keep going.

the influence of a mother

Let’s Discuss Chapter 12 – Parenting in the Digital Age

As I think about our influence as moms – I wonder how we influence our children through our use of technology.  Little eyes are watching.

One key, I learned from my parents, was to not hold a double standard.

For example, if a movie was unacceptable for me as a child because of violence, language or sexual content –it was not okay for my parents to see either!  They didn’t have an imaginary age when suddenly, we could watch more “adult” content.  Though some movies had a rating of PG-13 – my parents felt they were unacceptable for me at age 16 –and them at age 43!  If it was not good for me to see — it was not good for them to see either.

It is SO very important that we practice what we preach.  My parents were powerful role models and eventually their convictions became my convictions.

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.  The deeds of faithless men I hate. They will not cling to me.”
~Psalm 101:3

 Three of my main points summed up in this chapter are:

1.) Be aware of what your children are doing!  It is our job as parents to pay attention and know what they are doing on social media or on the web.

2.)  Know Your Child. Is gossip their weakness? Watch their texting. Do they have a thirst for violence? Monitor their video games.  Are they curious about the opposite sex – be on guard for porn. Are they lonely? Do not let them talk to strangers that could be predators.  Each child will have their own unique struggles that will require guidance.  That is our job – to impart knowledge and wisdom to our children – especially in their areas of weakness – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants you to not care or be naive.

3.) Teach them to think for themselves.  We will not always be able to oversee our children’s internet use.  As they grow older, they will begin to use the internet at their friends house or the library or on their phones when we are not around.  Train your child to have a godly conscience and a healthy fear of God – so they are convicted when they go outside the bounds on-line

Help your children have a godly conscience

 

On Friday, we skipped the webcast video for a special Valentine Video – so today’s video is that webcast.

This video was the Opening session to the Women Living Well Conference this summer.  I know that it’s long (42 minutes) but if you can sneak in just the first 10 minutes – it will be WELL worth your time!   I guarantee you are going to get a laugh out of Karen Ehman’s opening skit and laughter is good medicine – so don’t miss this!  Following her skit – I speak for 15 minutes about marriage and motherhood and then 6 of my blogging friends join me on the couch for a 20 minute discussion.

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

Discussion Questions:

1.  When you think of the concept of our children being sponges who are soaking in what they see and hear and observe in us spiritually, how does this make you feel?  Does this cause you concern in any area? If so which one?

2. Read Philippians 4:8.  How can this verse be used as a grid to determine what guidelines your family will have about using devices in this digital age?

For extra discussion go to the forum and click on the thread that says Chapters 11 & 12.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

10 Ways to Protect Your Children On-Line

10 Ways to Protect Your Children On-Line

My computer vomited on me -

and my kids.

It was a big picture of a beautiful…naked young girl! {so unexpected and my kids were beside me!}

I shrieked in horror – quickly clicked away and held my breath – oh dear. What do I say?

So we had a little pow wow – me and the kids.

And after I was done talking with the kids about mommy’s massive mistake {face palm}, I went back to the computer.

And I felt dirty. Dirty from the image that had vomited on my children.  It came in the most unexpected place – on a media platform I have used for 4 years without any display of nudity or such fowl words.

And I thought of my little homeschool bubble and Christian blogging world I live in. And I think of my posts where I talk about modesty and people get upset and call me legalistic.  And I giggle just a bit because if you knew me in real life, you would know that I am not the measuring stick kind of girl…at all.

But after my experience on-line that day – my eyes were opened.  Maybe instead of talking about modesty, I should be addressing nakedness!

I’m afraid we live in a desensitized culture where sexting or tweeting lewd photos is cool – or even more – a multi-Billion dollar industry.

24 million websites are porn

40 million Americans are regular visitors of it – eeeek!

70% of men 18-24 visit these sites at least once a month.

2.5 billion emails A DAY have porn in them -

25% of search engine searches A DAY – that’s 68 million are porn related

The average age a child first sees porn –eleven :(

**These statistics were posted here in January of 2013.

So what does God have to say about nakedness?

In the garden – after Adam and Eve sin – the very first evidence of their corruption was their awareness of their nakedness.  And God clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

One practical implication of this is that public nudity today is not a return to innocence but rebellion against moral reality. God ordains clothes to witness to the glory we have lost, and it is added rebellion to throw them off. ~ John Piper

And so – nakedness is rebellion.

And looking upon nakedness…rebellion.

And Satan – he’s a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8)

Nakedness inside of marriage is purity.

And so what is pure – the enemy likes to twist and make impure outside of God’s boundaries.

But then he deceives and desensitizes and lurks and lures and he prowls…prowls on our husbands, prowls on our children and yes – he is even prowling on us!

But in a culture of shack up and break up where men and women wait longer and longer to wed –and those longings burn inside of each teen…these images are literally one click away. And I’m scared…scared for the generation coming behind me who are so used to these constant images.

These images have consequences…some images will permanently stick in our children’s minds for decades…our brains are amazing like that.

And so what do we as parents do?

10 Ways to Protect Your Children On-Line

1. Be aware. If we don’t protect them who will?  It is our job as parents to know what our children are doing and to set boundaries.  We need to monitor their video games, movies, television, apps, twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube, texting and the list goes on! This is a TALL task…I admit that already at the young age of my kids (8 and 10) I find it hard to monitor it all perfectly.  We have to be vigilant and intentional – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants us to not care or be naive –assuming our kids are fine and trustworthy.

2.  Know Your Child. Is gossip their weakness? Watch their texting. Do they have a thirst for violence? Monitor their video games.  Are they curious about the opposite sex – be on guard for porn. Are they lonely? Do not let them talk to strangers that could be predators.  Each child will have their own unique struggles that will require guidance.  That is our job – to impart knowledge and wisdom to our children – especially in their areas of weakness – don’t forget there is an enemy who wants you to not care or be naive. (Oh! I think I already said that -but I needed to say it again).

3.  Know your children’s passwords so you can check in periodically.

4.  Keep computers and i-products out of their bedrooms and in a common family area where you can oversee their activity on-line.  Have all products charge in the kitchen or a main common room – away from their bedrooms at night.

5. Ask your children to show you their favorite games and things to do on-line.  You might just learn something from them and you will get a view into their world.  Play some of their on-line games with them.  During our last family game night, we ditched the board games and played as a family – an iPad app called “Minecraft”.  The kids LOVED that we entered their world and played with them.

6.  Join Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the places your teenagers hang out and check daily to see what your child is posting and who their friends are.  Parent them through this maze of social media.  I can’t imagine all the immature things I would have posted when I was a teenager – I am SO glad this did not exist back then.  Teach your children that what they post is permanent – words have consequences.  Have your teens study the book of Proverbs – this book of wisdom will help them navigate relationships both on and off-line in a godly manner.

7.  Warn them of dangers they would not imagine.  Some children are trusting – they would not ever think of predators who could be waiting to harm them.  Make them aware!

8. Teach them to think for themselves.  We will not always be able to oversee our children’s internet use.  As they grow older, they will begin to use the internet at their friends house or the library or on their phones when we are not around.  Train your child to have a godly conscience and a healthy fear of God – so they are convicted when they go outside the bounds on-line.

9. Pray over your children daily.

10. Prepare to be unpopular.  If you set the above boundaries be prepared for some battles.  It’s easiest to have no boundaries at all. Don’t go the easy route…*

Friends, if you are too busy to monitor your children’s use of the internet…you are too busy. Period.

Josh McDowell writes:

Pornography is the number one threat to the cause of Christ, five times greater than anything historically in the last 2,000 years. It’s the greatest threat to young people, the greatest threat to marriage, the greatest threat to family, the greatest threat to pastors, oh, the greatest threat to youth pastors—this pervasive pornography on the Internet. And most people don’t realize. It’s five times greater than anything the church has ever faced in history, and it’s destroying kids right now.

Rise up mamas! Be aware!  Do NOT let the enemy get a foothold in your house!

**Chime In: What safety measures do you take in your home?

Walk with the King,

Courtney