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Posts Tagged ‘children’

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Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

My thought as Mother’s Day approaches is: have I done my best? Have I done everything possible to raise them up to be Christ followers? I worry sometimes that I have made to many mistakes, that I haven’t been a good enough mom, that I have harmed them in some irreparable way that I will never be able to fix. My two oldest daughters,19 and 18 respectively, have a relationship with God, but are still figuring things out. I watch them and wish they would embrace Jesus with all of their hearts. I can’t force this on them. I worry that I have not given them enough information about Jesus, for them to want a relationship with him. I worry that I have not been the role model of a Godly woman that I should be.

I know they are not perfect, but there are times when they are fighting and screaming at each other that I wonder if I’ve done something horribly wrong. There are times when they are selfish, mean, disobedient, defiant, and rebellious that I think, is this what I have modeled to them? Is this what I have taught them? It scares me, because this is not how I want them to be. This is not how I want to be. I want them to see Jesus in me. This is what I strive for, but I wonder if it is enough.

Then in his mercy, God gives me a glimpse into the core of their hearts:

Cherokee, my 19 year old daughter, is expecting my first grandchild in mid-June. Cherokee usually listens to secular music, but one day when running errands with her, I noticed her car radio on WBGL, our local christian radio station. I commented on it and she said, ” well, I don’t want my child listening to that other stuff.”

Earlier in the school year, Kiowa, my 18 year old daughter, noticed that an autistic boy in her school was being bullied by a group of boys. Kiowa stood up for him and took him under her wing. She reported it to the teacher, nothing was done. She went to the dean of students, nothing was done. She then, wrote a very well written letter to the principal, telling her the entire story. The principal called Kiowa in to her office to hear from her what was going on. Something was done and the bullying ended. Kiowa was called a snitch from then on, but it was a name she wore proudly.

Cree, my 16 year daughter, is a student leader in her youth group. She has a heart for the hurting kids in her group. Many of them come to her with questions about Jesus and being saved. They look up to her and she is a role model for them.

Talon is my oldest son. He is 13 and like Kiowa, he is a protector of those who are bullied. Last week, another 6th grader was being put in the trash can by another student. Talon happened to be in the restroom where this was taking place. Talon grabbed the bully and shoved him away. Talon then helped the kid out of the trash can and they went their separate ways. Talon also has a heart for serving others. We will often find him helping others mow their grass, shoveling snow, or giving bottles of water to the mail carrier in the middle of the Summer.

Ty, my 11 year old is very active. I never really know what is going on in his mind. About a month ago, he came up to me and asked, “Would Jesus tell on someone?” I told him that Jesus doesn’t have to tell on anyone because he was able to deal with things on his own. Ty proceeded to tell me that a boy in his class had pushed him and Ty did tell. I told him that it was okay to tell, because sometimes we need help dealing with situations like that. I thought it was great that he wanted to know what Jesus would do in that situation.

I was grateful that God would give me these wonderful glimpses into the hearts of my children. I do worry at times and there are times when I feel completely helpless in parenting, but this verse comes with a promise: If we train up our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. We all make mistakes, but if we do our best to raise up Godly children then we can trust God with the rest. Our children may wander from the path, they may turn away from God for a time, but God will bring them back. This is his promise, if we do our part.

My daily prayer is for wisdom, patience, perseverance, and God’s grace as I parent my 5 children. They are all unique individuals, responding to different ways of correction. With God beside me, I apologize when I mess up and move on. I make mistakes, but I trust God to use those mistakes for our good. Trust God to walk beside you in this journey of parenting. He will give you the wisdom, patience, perseverance and grace that you need in parenting your children. God is ALWAYS with us…ALWAYS!

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garbage bags

This is a label that plagues approximately 500,000 kids in the United States. These are America’s foster kids. Why are they called “garbage bag kids”? because they are shuttled placement to placement carrying black trash bags with what few belongings they have. They have been labeled America’s throw away children, children who have been lost in a system of chaos and uncertainty. Once in, it’s almost impossible to get out. Over 250,000 foster kids never return home.

Foster kids are used to feeling like an outsider… used to feeling like nameless, faceless blobs among the masses. While other children are opening presents on Christmas, the foster child will be lucky to get anything and may even have the heart-wrenching job of watching a families biological children open their presents. Unfortunately, this is no exaggeration. Abuse in foster homes is just as prevalent as abuse in any other home. What makes it worse is that these kids, who may have some behavioral/emotional problems stemming from parental abuse, will be thrown out of a foster home at the first sign of trouble. Thrown out, adding even more heartache, anxiety, and pain to an innocent child’s life. This is in the system, what happens to these kids when they turn 18?

29,000 kids age out of foster care every year. Having been sheltered in the system and having received very little training in life skills, the aged out foster child is at higher risk for homelessness or incarceration. While other 18 year olds have parents to fall back on, the aged out foster care youth has no one. No one cares. The majority have not finished high school and have no way to attend college. A sense of hopelessness hangs over them like a dense fog.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to care! I want the faith-based community to finally care what happens to these beautiful children! More than 250,000 children enter the foster care system each year and there are 123,000 children from foster care waiting to be adopted. There are very few christian foster homes. The Bible tells us to take care of the widow and orphan, so why are we not doing what God wants us to do? These kids deserve to live in loving homes with people who will treat them with kindness, dignity and fairness. These kids deserve to be safe, they deserve to have parents who will protect them. I am urging the christian community to open your hearts and your homes to these kids. They deserve so much more than what they’ve been given.

I was a foster child for 3 years and was moved 10 times in those years. I have felt the pain and heartache and loneliness of being an outsider in a temporary home. I was aged out at 18, completely unprepared to make it on my own. I have a heart for these kids and will dedicate the rest of my life to making sure that every one of these kids finds a loving home to call their own.

Statistical information was taken from http://www.heartgalleryofamerica.org

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