Thursday, September 5, 2013

For the Lonely Hearts

Music speaks to me.  When I become more consistent posting here, you will see music that touches my heart, makes me think, or is just plain fun!  This is a song I heard for the first time after our little family moved to big 'ol Texas; I was alone and very much pregnant with our Little Love Bug.  I usually listen to Christian music but sometimes I get in the mood fer some good old fashioned rock'n'roll so I flip stations.  So while I was flipping, balling, and trying to drive (yeah, not the best scenario but hey...) I found this:

Praise be to the Lord that carries me

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Lesson in Humility from a Six-Year-Old

"About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?'  Jesus called a little child to Him and put the child among them.  Then He said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.'"
Matthew 18:1-3
Let me begin by saying that I'm not a huge fan of summer.  I have come to the conclusion that God has decided to stretch me in this area, much to my dismay. 
For the longest time the air conditioner in our car would decide to not work if the temperature was too hot outside.  If it's in the eighties, the car is downright cold, but somewhere in the nineties a threshold gets crossed and bzzt!  No cold air.  We thought we fixed the problem last summer by changing out our often neglected cabin filters so, after three trips from South Texas to Oklahoma, we figured they needed to be changed again.  Alas, that didn't work this time.  Did I mention South Texas?'s hot...
That rant aside, I was extremely humbled by my daughter The Scientist last weekend in the aforementioned car when we needed to go into the our closest (big)city.  To drive into town we have to take the highway; heat + wind coming in four windows at 65 mph = grumpy mama. 
Shortly after merging on the highway I hear my little girl singing the lyrics of the last song on the radio.  The wind was loud and we couldn't even hear the radio anymore, I grumped about not wanting to turn the radio up even more.  She's back there singing and I'm grumping.  Then I looked back...this, this is what I saw:

My baby was praising her God, and I was complaining about the wind and the heat.  My attitude shifted dramatically.  It brought to mind everything we have been blessed with.  I begged Him for forgiveness.  My God, my God, forgive me for my ungrateful heart.  Forgive me for the times I see my bad attitude come out in my children.  Forgive me for not trusting in You and Your goodness.  By His grace I am forgiven, we are all forgiven.

Now, I'm not going to even try and say that things have been roses and dewdrops since then, but precept upon precept we grow.

"God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us an boast about it.  For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Chist Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." 
 Ephesians 2:8-10
I try to keep His blessings in mind as I go throughout my day.  To shift my perspective onto the good.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Desire for Excellence

 ...or how to not pull my hair out

How do you instill a desire to do better in your children? I just spent the last 20 minutes looking over my kids' shoulder while they did their Xtramath because if I leave the room, or even sit down where I can't see the screen, the don't do it correctly. Xtramath is basically timed math drills on the computer. It tracks their progress, the kids enjoy computer work, and, best of all, it's free! If you don't get the answer within ten seconds, it gives it to you-and therein lies the problem. Much to my dismay I have discovered that when they don't have the answer right off they wait for it to be given to them instead of counting up as I know they know how to do.

So, back to my question: how to instill a drive to excel?  Both Stuart and The Scientist are perfectionists to a degree and it really upsets them when they do poorly-really really upsets them.  I have tried use this to my advantage and turn it into a healthy desire for excellence (note healthy).  Instead they get angry and spew answers that they know are incorrect all the while complaining loudly.  I have done my best to be their cheerleader (which is hard for me having not been raised that way.  God's grace is so good!).  Cheering made them feel better after it was all said and done but didn't stop the complaining.  Sooo I became drill sergeant mommy and told them I would take their afternoon screen time away if I heard any, well, bitching and moaning.  That stopped that but we still had the issue of waiting for the computer to give them the answer.

Thus watching over their shoulder.  It worked, their scores were better and they stayed on task but my flesh found it extremely irritating!  Perhaps self-motivation will come with age- I sure hope so!  Until then I suppose I will be praying for an extra dose of grace to show to my kids and maybe an extra cup of coffee after it is all said and done.