Archives For How To’s

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I saw an advertising post online this morning that said...

How to DOUBLE Your Freelance Projects.

It was just a random ad pop up from a marketing site ....but the phrase struck in my mind.

Everyone is interested in DOUBLING their effectiveness. Right?

So I got to thinking. How would I DOUBLE my effectiveness today as a parent?? Could that be done????

My conclusion was ... YES!
And the good news is I already know how to do it!! (And if you thought just a moment, I bet you do too.)

Here are my 3 Keys. Read them. Try them....and then let's see if I am right.

1. Start my day with prayer....

Specific prayer about specific needs… And also general prayer that puts me a posture to listen to God all day long.

2.  Prioritize my job....

It is so easy to just do the "maintenance" work of parenting day in and day out, without ever getting to the MOST important thing of the job.

We already know what we need to do. It might be a strategic hug or a conversation. Whatever it is, do the highest priority thing FIRST today.

3.  Smile. Laugh. Enjoy your family....

This is a very simple principle that often escapes us as we are working so hard to parent our kids. The joy of the Lord is our STRENGTH. (Nehemiah 8:10)

If we want greater effectiveness, we need greater strength. The God kind of strength!

Pretty simple. But you can change your whole home atmosphere almost immediately when you tap into JOY as a parent!

So those are my 3. What do you think?

Do they work????


Image: sean dreilinger “rachel and her boys on the back deck…” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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By Lisa Cherry

We can miss out on the potential of the New Year if we get stuck in mindsets of survival.

...clean up the mess, put away the tree, figure out how to lose the extra pounds we added, pull the kids off the ceiling...

Surely you know what I mean?!

Instead of just vacationing or surviving your way into the New Year, I have a challenge for you. Three important to dos that could revolutionize your entry into 2014.

All three are within your power to do. All three require no extra expense(!) except the expense of time. And if you ask the Lord, I believe you can carve out a couple hours that will be well worth your investment.

Here are my 3 to dos:

1. Listen... So often in our prayer time for the New Year we fail to do the most basic. Listening to the heart of God. He knows where we are headed. And He knows what we need to be prepared for. Active listening to His still small voice is exciting. How about asking Him some directed questions and then listening for His answer? Sometimes He speaks softly to our heart. Sometimes He answers through His word, and sometimes He speaks through the voices of others who are also seeking His will.

Sample questions: What is on Your heart, Lord, for Your body in the New Year? What are You speaking to our family? How can I prepare myself spiritually for the coming year?

2. Dream... The New Year is a time of optimism. Grab that momentum and let yourself dream! If you are in a listening mode, God will inspire your dreams! Dreams are not the same as plans. They are simply dreams. Let them come forth from your mind and then write them down.

3.Plan... planning can be a scary word that makes us feel like a failure before we start! There are so many forms of planning, but the type I am urging you to do is "big picture planning." The shopping lists and menus will need done. But why not take this special time to look at the macro-plan? Why not take to dos #1and #2 and turn them into some broad goals?

Create a simple one page sheet with one of these ideas:
My top three goals for the New Year for me...
        For my marriage......
        For my kids.....
        For my ministry.....
        For my career.....

When you get done with these three to dos, you need a special place to keep your notes. But even if you are not the most orderly person who keeps track and refers back to notes, recognize the value of the experience. And let God excite you for 2014!

Next week I will be sharing with you some of my dreams for the New Year! Until then, enjoy your time with your family!


P.S. if you are looking for a creative way to enter 2014 with some family vision planning time, click here to see our vision retreat post.

Image:  NapInterrupted “DIY Planner - Franklin Covey Compact Size” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 Gratefully linked to:
Making your Home Sing Monday
Faith Filled Friday
The Wellspring 
Modest Mondays

Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday 


By Lisa Cherry

Ever wonder if someone out there might have an answer for some of your tough parenting dilemmas?

What if that someone would be speaking to us from the grave?

Susanna Wesley was the mother of 19, ten of whom lived to adulthood.  Two of her children totally turned the world upside down with revival fire.

John Wesley with his brother Charles founded the great Methodist movement which ushered in a transforming wave of spiritual renewal in the 18th century. Surely their mom could teach us a thing or two!!!

Here are her famous rules for her busy household.

Some of her ideas sound foreign to our modern ears. Yet before you dismiss them, note the strong love flowing through her rules. Very interesting…

Be inspired. Be challenged. And most of all, be equipped with some wisdom from the ages!!

Hmmmmm......would these rules work for us today???? Should they????

Susanna Wesley’s 16 House Rules

1. Eating between meals is not allowed.
2. As children they are to be in bed by 8 p.m.
3. They are required to take medicine without complaining.
4. Subdue self-will in a child, and this working together with God may save the child's soul.
5. Teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.
6. Require all to be still during Family Worship.
7. Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that when asked for politely.
8. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of.
9. Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
10. Never punish a child twice for a single offense.
11. Commend and reward good behavior.
12. Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.
13. Preserve property rights, even in smallest matters.
14. Strictly observe all promises.
15. Require no daughter to work before she can read well.
16. Teach children to fear the rod. 

Susanna also wrote:

When the will of a child is totally subdued, and it is brought to revere and stand in awe of the parents, then a great many childish follies may be passed by.  I insist on the conquering of the will of children betimes, because this is the only strong and rational foundation of a religious education. When this is thoroughly done, then a child is capable of being governed by reason and piety.

 Image in the public domain found at Wikipedia

Linked to:

Mom’s Library

Encourage One Another

Faith Filled Friday

Fellowship Fridays

Faithful Friday

Anti-procrastination Tuesday

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By Lisa Cherry

Many in our culture consider rebellion among our teenagers to be normal. In fact, some would say it is healthy.

But how do we as believers deal with the concept of adolescent rebellion when God clearly admonishes His people to obey?  (See Jeremiah 7:23 and 1 Samuel 15:22.)

After having raised some teenagers to mature adulthood, I thought I would share some of my best learning on the issue.  

1.  It is 100% true that teenagers, in order to be healthy adults, must separate from us. They must learn to think for themselves and make wise decisions.  (See Genesis 2:24.)

2. It is also 100% true that teenagers are not much different than us adults. They will not find righteousness, peace, and joy through a lifestyle of rebellion to authorities.

3. All human beings must learn to deal with the temptation to rebel. Hopefully, many of the learnings necessary to walk free of rebellion will be conquered in early childhood.

4. During the teen years, the need to be independent brings natural temptations toward rebellion. How an adolescent learns to conquer those temptations will determine his launching success into young adulthood.

5. Some kids have an easier time conquering rebellion temptations than others. Some will need years of assistance from us, their parents, until they conquer the inner battle.

6. Our homes must be structured to exemplify the biblical principle of Isaiah 1:19-20:

If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.

7. We teach our kids that their mature, responsible, obedient demonstrations will earn our trust and increase their freedom. We tell them this illustration:

Son/daughter, everyone in this family wants you to be promoted to higher levels of independence and responsibility. When you come through the gates that we open for you correctly, you will be led into greater fields of freedom.But when you try to sneak over the fence by rebellion, or sneak around the edges by deceit rather than coming through the gate, you will lose. Every time. You will go back to the previous level until you are willing to come through the gate appropriately.

8. The principle of logical consequences backs up the reality of #7. For instance, if a teen rebels against a household rule of when to come home with the car because they think the rule is unfair, the car keys are not available for the next trip out.

9. Encourage, encourage, encourage..... Our kids need us to recognize the reality of this difficult temptation.  Appropriately recognize their successes at conquering the selfishness of self-will. Expect and desire every moment of success they achieve.

10. Recognize that the battle for our teens’ behavior is a battle for our teens’ souls. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their relationship with the Lord. Ask Him to woo them to His side so they will learn the same obedience that Jesus learned by suffering for each of our sins. (See Hebrews 5:8.)

How have you dealt with rebellion in your teen?  I would love to hear from you.  Leave a comment here.

Image Source: LukeNotJohn under Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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Are you facing the challenge of rebellion with your teen?  We faced it head on with our daughter Kalyn, after she was tricked into a secret relationship with a sexual predator. 

It was the greatest spiritual battle of my life.  Let us tell you about it in our book, Unmask the Predators.


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Gratefully linked to:
The Better Mom
Modest Mondays 

Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday
Making your Home Sing Monday
Top Ten Tuesday
Titus 2sdays
Women Helping Women

When Less is More

Lisa Cherry —  August 18, 2013

rose red single 3600142180_253854148aBy Lisa Cherry

My oldest daughter just taught me a valuable lesson today. Sometimes less is more.

We know that is true in things such as pounds of fat on our bodies or price tags in our favorite clothing store, but could it also be true with words spoken in our home???

Kalyn, on her blog that shares hope with grieving families, tells the brief but poignant story of how her grandfather responded to the death of her baby. His simple but profound skill at expressing his love leads me to wonder.....

How can I express the same sensitivity when my children experience the pains of life....

Friend betrayals
School failures

I believe I can see it now.  Fewer words.  Fewer attempts to fix the unfixable.  But more expressed love by gesture.

Like Jesus when He wept at Lazarus' tomb.

Lord, give me grace to walk with Your expressed hope as a hold my children's hands through the pains of life.

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The Better Mom

Making your Home Sing Monday

Monday’s Musings

Soli Deo Gloria