Archives For wisdom

girl teen whispy hair 3302411854_9d9d58f7db

By Lisa Cherry

I am an adult. I see things from an adult perspective. From that vantage point I expect other people who are my size to see things the way I do.

But teens just don't get it. Not on their own anyway.

They must have more of life explained to them than what we care to believe.

It is obvious to us that intentionally sitting next to a boy at youth meeting and then laughing at his jokes with a tilted head could make him think you are after him. It is not obvious to a twelve year old girl.

It is obvious to us that having teenage friends in a car with you could make you drive faster. But not to a sixteen year old who thinks he would never be irresponsible.

It is obvious that a call home would be in order if you were held up 30 minutes by road construction when you went out on a bike ride alone. But not for a fourteen year old who figured you wouldn't want to be bothered by phone.

We cannot expect teens to "get it" if we did not intentionally "give it." The wisdom. The knowledge. The experience. The rules.

That's what makes this stage of parenting so much more demanding than any other stage. And also more rewarding!

 

This post is part of my series about potholes:  pitfalls that can really jerk your car off the parenting road. These are road hazards that I can personally testify about, because I have fallen into some of them myself!  Here are the other posts in this series:

Avoiding Parent Pitfall #1: Too Much Too Soon
Avoiding Parent Pitfall #2: Flattering Your Child

*   *   *   *   *

Image: Drew Herron “three creeks” Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 

rapelling upsidedown 6151089347_6c9183800cBy Lisa Cherry

Your son forgets his school book for the third time in two weeks. Do you take it to him?

Your daughter failed to put gas in the car and now she will be late to her appointment.  Do you offer to trade cars?

Your 14 year old has trouble talking about conflict issues with his dad.  Do you step in the middle of their communications?

Rescuing. When is it appropriate, and when is it handicapping? I find that I face this question constantly with a house full of teens.

We all know that life throws each of us a large number of curve balls. Mistakes and pressures and errors are simply a part of our daily routines to be managed and hopefully conquered.

So how will I help my teens conquer the world of details and pressures successfully......even as I know they are challenged with foggy adolescent immaturity?

Here are a list of some guiding principles:

1.  I want my children to know I am always "on their side" even if I cannot rescue them from every sticky moment of life.

2. I factor in a lot of immaturity to each of my teens' days. After all, they are not yet adults.

3. And I temper this with a strong expectation that they will mature a little bit more each day. 

4. I strive to give them the coaching they need to pre-think and pre-strategize their day.

5. But I do not do all the thinking for them. I let them carry their own weight.

6. I let them live with the law of natural consequences. For the most part I let the chips fall for what they decide and do.

7. But when I see they are about to be crushed by their own immaturity, I pray and ask the Lord if I need to step in to assist. Sometimes He says yes. And sometimes I sense He says no. This is why I need His wisdom!!! 

8. If I feel I am to rescue them from peril, I honestly ask myself how to reposition them in life to go back and hit that lesson again. A failed test is a sign that more practice is needed....   Quitting is not the remedy.

9. I strive to remember how grateful I have been when other people—and God—have rescued me when I did not deserve it.

10. I ask the Lord to help me remain level-headed, matter-of-fact, and calm on the outside… even when I am feeling overwhelmed on the inside in my role of discipling teens!

We want our children to grow into mature, responsible adults who can lead families, ministries and businesses confidently. Today's style of laissez-faire parenting does not always yield the result we want: a mature, self-sacrificing adult!!  

When we embrace our roles as Christian trainers and mentors, we can see the reason for our momentary frustrations.

God has great plans for our kids’ lives. As we trust Him for His wisdom and courage, we will see those plans come to fruition.

Have you rescued your child recently?   How have you found the Lord’s wisdom for this?

 Image source:  André Gustavo Stumpf    via Flickr Creative commons Attributions License 2.0

 

 

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Woman listening 25316103_2049462a8fBy Lisa Cherry

Have you ever tried to do a job with a tool that is wholly inadequate for your need? Like trying to wash a sink full of dirty dishes with a cheap paper towel because all your kitchen rags are in the wash? (A fresh example that I do not endorse!) How utterly frustrating and ineffective!

In the same way, many of us are trying to solve difficult issues in our homes with tools that will never be wholly effective. Oh, our self-help books or our friend's advice might drop in a little wisdom now and then, but somehow the root of our problem keeps producing the same horrible fruit. And we know we are in need of heavy duty assistance.

Well, do I have good news for you!!! You, my friend, have access to that dynamic assistance.....if you have made Jesus the Lord of your life. He is yearning to bring you the power, wisdom, and strength needed for every daily need.  He even provided the vehicle for you to receive His miracle help through the power of His never failing Word.

Our family suffered a complex, horrible wound.  We nearly lost our daughter when she was a teenager to the hands of a sexual predator. "Tough issue" does not even begin to describe the level of our problem! It was during that dark season that I discovered the secret, life-altering power of God's Word.

Oh, I knew that the Bible was important. I even knew it was true and living and active.

Back then I did not have a personal revelation of its explosive power. But when the Lord led me to take a long list of scriptures to pray out loud every day over my distraught and overwhelmed mind, I discovered an incredible secret.

He can release His divine answers though His divine Word!

I can't claim to understand this, but I can testify to its truth. Listening to God's Holy Scriptures and then speaking those scriptures out of my own mouth radically changed my life and my circumstances. You can read my full testimony here.

Here are five tips for getting heavy duty assistance on your most difficult needs:

1.  Listen to long passages of scripture on your phone/pc/pad.

I like the Bible Gateway app on my iPhone. I can start a book of the Bible and hit pause and it holds my place. Whether I am exercising, getting ready, or running errands my phone is always near. For years I placed a cassette player in my bathroom to do the same work. So find your own technological way....and watch your mind begin to come into divine order.

2. Do not be concerned about not "getting it all."

I used to think that I needed to re-listen if my mind wandered. Now I understand that even if my mind wanders, my spirit man is picking up the scripture. It's crazy! Truly our minds can be renewed and we will begin to think and problem-solve more in order with God's will. Remember, it's supernatural, not natural.

3. Develop a list of key scriptures for your situation.

When we were in battle for our daughter Kalyn, the Lord led me to a long list of scriptures to begin praying over my own home. I list those in the back of  my book Unmask the Predators. You, of course, can make your own personalized list. Many online and print resources can help you find scriptures if you need help.  Try BiblePromises.org, OpenBible.info, or the Bible Promise Book.

4. Find a way to record yourself reading those scriptures aloud.

Did you know you will often believe your own voice more than other voices? I like my free phone app called Supernote for recording my own voice. How can you make a simple recording you can listen to every day?

5. Match faith with the word of God.

The Bible says our Lord watches over His word to perform it.  He also says our part is to match faith with His promises! See Hebrews 4:1-2.

If you would like our prayers over your tough situation, drop a comment here or email me at Lisacherry9@aol.com.

 Image source: Shawn Allen

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danger high voltage 650848_danger_signBy Lisa Cherry

Tough issues. They come up around our house all the time.  Common things like....

Wrong movie requests
Corrections about clothing
Sibling putdowns between young teens arising from an insecure heart
Sloppy room maintenance
Failing to complete homework assignments
Mean-spirited reactions

Sometimes these"hot button issues" are not all that intellectually challenging. I can see easily we have a problem. But confrontations with our kids can quickly ignite and escalate.

And I can sense the emotional fallout from my parent misstep could cost us dearly. 

I've made my share of badly timed, angry confrontations over such issues. How about you?

After 28 years of mothering here are some of my best keys to success:

1. Listen to the Holy Spirit when he gives you a warning about some behavior in your child. But don't run your mouth the instant you hear the warning.

2. After the warning, comes the season of prayer. Ask specifically… God, what do I do?

3. Deal with your emotions with God before you approach your child. If I am wanting to change their behaviors because of MY embarrassment, I am out of order.

4. Think about dirty diapers. They were a nuisance.... but expected. Tough meetings with our kids are much the same way. Remember how we learned not to give our motions away to dirty diapers?

5. Ask God for apples of gold in settings of silver. Speaking the right words in the prepared timing will produce Godly results.

6. Mature out of the fantasy that every encounter with your child will feel pleasant. Do you feel good about difficult meetings with your boss?

7. Go ahead and look to the future...... when the problem is solved and the relationship feels better.

8. Determine in your heart before your meeting to express your love to your child. However, do not expect them to be ready to return positive emotion on the spot. Sometimes emotions take time.

9. Stick to God's plan. Once you've prayed, received His wisdom, and made your decision don't be distracted or fearful to act.

10. Laugh and celebrate the victory in advance!  God causes us to triumph. This will be yet one more testimony of God's grace in your family.

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Deanna retreat 431602_10150532555354822_1825207764_nBy Deanna Boozer-Cohen

I had a plan.  I was going to get all of my children in one place at one time to discuss (spiritual things).

Really?!  I could see the eyes rolling; I could hear all the reasons why it wouldn’t work. I could hear all the excuses why they won’t be able to attend: work, school, money, transportation, the list went on and on.

The most intimidating of these thoughts was the voice that kept saying “What are you doing this for? This is a waste of time. There is no hope for your family. They will never get on board with this.”

I pushed through the thoughts and set the date, time, place and created an agenda for the event.  I sent the information to all of my children. I text, I called, I sent Facebook messages.  I set up a private Facebook page and began to post a count down of the days until Our Family Retreat.

The most life changing nuggets of wisdom I have received from going to POTTS support groups are that I have the tools to create the family that I desire to have and that I must be intentional in orchestrating opportunities to create that family.

This is not a profound revelation when I look at it from God’s perspective; He made me in his image, He said I would do greater works then He did when he was on earth. Even more then that, He has promised me that He will make my family prosperous in all things.

So, it would be reasonable to believe that I have the authority to bring my family into the Kingdom Plan that I know God has for us.

The radical change of thinking that I have experienced is in believing that I have these tools and can create this family when I look at it from Deanna’s perspective.

I have five children ages 23, 22, 20, 16, 14.  They are all living apart from Christ or with one foot in and one foot out.  My family has been directly affected by drug addiction, abortions, domestic violence, alcoholic marriage, child abuse, child neglect, sexual abuse, rape, sexual immorality, incest, poverty, mental illness, murder, single parent homes, diabetes and high blood pressure.

So, it has been a giant leap for me to believe that there was hope for even my family. I was going to have a Family Retreat and we were going to agree on a vision for our family.

Then came the day, July 4, 2012,  I was in awe as each one of my children contributed to the success of our retreat with their presence, with their enthusiasm and with the offering of their hearts.

I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing.

We took a unified and intentional first step of many more to come that day and I know He will complete the work that He started until the day of Jesus Christ.

Linked to Life in Bloom, Loving Our Children Tuesday, Deep Roots at Home, God-bumps and God-incidences.