Friday, 27 August 2010

Walking in High Heels!

Point your kids in the right direction — when they're old they won't be lost. Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)

We have been invited to a wedding in October and this week went shopping for outfits. My two girls and I had a wonderful time in every clothes shop in the Harlequin Centre in Watford, trying on almost everything.

In the changing rooms in River Island I was met with emotion that totally took me by surprise. Molly my 15 (and a half) year old tried on a red dress that I had chosen for her. As she stepped out of the changing room I burst into tears! There standing in front of me was a 5’7” woman looking absolutely stunning with a perfect hour glass figure in the most amazing red dress – what I had sent into the changing room was my little girl, what came out looked very much like that lady in the Special K advert, yet miles more beautiful! Alice giggled at me and said “Mum, it’s not her wedding dress!” But there was no stopping my tears of pride and my heart breaking at the same time.

It’s incredible how quickly children grow. Only yesterday they were in nappies and the next minute they are teenagers. They are so capable and independent that it’s easy to forget that they haven’t mastered everything.

It seems as soon as our children learn to walk and talk we assume that they are able to do a lot more than they actually can. As I have watched Molly in the last few days looking like Bambi as she learns how to walk in her first pair of high heels shoes, that go with this new dress; I know that she still needs my help. “Mum, do you put your toes down first or your heels?”

As children grow there will be many times when they reject your help even though they need it. That’s alright, it’s just another way of learning. The biggest challenge for us as parents is to avoid saying “I told you so”. When in doubt about what they know, put yourself in their place. It has taken us years of practice to master what works and doesn’t and still there are many times when we stumble. Be patient and guide them gently in the right direction, allowing them to learn from their own mistakes. Marvel at how they are growing. Remember that they are finding their way.

Father God, thank you for our children, for the privilege and fun it is raising them for you. Lord I ask you to bless us and guide us in how to best look after them. Amen

Friday, 20 August 2010

Handle with care!

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

One of my dear friends went back to work this week as her maternity leave finished. It has been a tough week for her, missing her gorgeous 6 month old little boy terribly. Her facebook status on Thursday read “the novelty has worn off and now I just miss my boy!”

The week after next marks more landmark times for us all, as some of your little ones go off to nursery for the first time, others into reception and the rest of you are a year closer to that dreaded time. I remember those days as if they were yesterday, and now in the blink of an eye, I have raced through all those moments and am fast approaching the 'leaving home' stage with my girls!

God gifts us these lovely little souls to look after, in all honesty they are never ours, they belong ultimately and always to Him; and as such it’s a huge responsibility to raise them for Him. The world seems to expect so much of them and so soon. So as the world rushes to take them from us let’s remember:

1. Their hands are small, don’t expect perfection whenever they make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. Slow down so that they can keep up with you.

2. Their eyes have not seen the world as yours have; let them explore it safely; don’t restrict them unnecessarily.

3. Make time for them, housework will always be there; they are only little once.

4. They have feelings too. Treat them as you would like to be treated.

5. They are a gift, treasure them as God intended. Hold them accountable, give them guidelines to live by, discipline them with love.

6. They need encouragement to grow, not empty praise. Go easy, you can correct the things they do without putting them down.

7. Give them the freedom to make decisions, even if they are not always right. Permit them to fall, so they can learn to walk.

8. Don’t do things repeatedly for them; that makes them feel like their efforts do not measure up to your expectations. Please do not compare them with others; they are themselves and can be no one else.

9. Don’t be afraid to leave them with grandparents so that you can have a weekend together. Kids need some times away from parents, just as parents need some time away from children. Besides it shows them that your marriage/relationship is something very special.

10. Take them to God’s house and introduce them to Him, because they will need Him for the rest of their lives.

Never stop praying for your children, giving them to God in that way is claiming God’s plan and promises for their lives.

Lord, thank you for the precious gifts of children that you have given us, remind us that life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments and help us to savour each one of them. Amen

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Give and it will be given to you!

“Give, and it will be given to you” Luke 6:38

Doesn’t it feel good to give? As mums, we’re programmed to give. We give up our figures to carry babies in our bellies. We give up our exercise classes for Tumble Tots. We give up our ‘me’ time for Toddler Group. We give up our sleep for nightly feeds. We give up a lot! But we get a lot in return.

I have heard many mothers say “I don’t know when I have been so happy. There is nothing more fulfilling in life than having a baby.” – and they meant it!

I guess that is true, although there are days when you haven’t had a shower or any sleep that you might question that statement! Being a mother is a great honour and an awesome undertaking. It requires a great deal of giving – giving love, giving praise, giving encouragement, giving wisdom, giving correction – giving it all! We don’t have to do it alone. On the days when we have nothing left to give, God does. Even during this long summer holiday, when our kids are with us, needing even more of us than normal. He will supply all our needs. He will give to us so we can give to our families.

Lord, help me to never grow weary of giving. Amen

Friday, 6 August 2010

Love Never Fails

Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8)

Do you know that some children grow up without ever hearing “I love you” said to them by their parents? It’s true. Maybe you are one of those people who grew up without ever hearing those three important words. If you are, then I’m sure you know how hurtful and devastating it is to never feel loved.

I have a friend who grew up in a home like that – where love was never communicated – and she has struggled in that area. We all need to hear the words. As wives/partners we need to hear those words from our husbands/partners. And as mums, we need to communicate our love to our children.

There are many ways we can say “I love you”. We can leave little love notes to our spouses/partners and our children, sneaking them into lunchboxes and backpacks or under pillows. We can verbally express our love every morning and every night. We can bake a big cake and write “I love you” on it. Be as creative as you want, just make sure you take time to express your love every day. Be an ambassador of love in your home.

Father, help me to express my love to my family. Amen