Who are you talking to?

“Who are you talking to?” Elijah asked.

That is just one of the crazy conversations I had with my kids while I was trying to record myself.

This weekend I worked really hard to make a video for a post at Ask God Today entitled “Anastacia Maness Speaks Out“. It goes along with this month’s series where you get to meet each of the members of the Ask God Today Ministries’ team.

If you are visiting my site from Ask God Today, welcome to my blog. I hope you find some encouragement while you are here.

As promised here are the Out Takes from that video. You can also view the out takes on my YouTube channel.

Be sure to watch this whole video to see my surprise guest.

Tell me in the comments when you find her. 

 If you haven’t already, please go over to Ask God Today and watch the actual video. In it I share a little about myself, my testimony, and my passion. 

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Our Eldest Son Answers the Call to Preach

Sunday, September 20, our 17 year old son, Joshua, announced that he felt led of God to preach the gospel. Our church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, voted to license him to preach and the following Wednesday he preached his first sermon at Fostoria Oaks MBC and Sunday morning his second at New Hope MBC.

I want to share his first two sermons with you all.

The first sermon we recorded the audio from my husband’s phone. Joshua preached from Proverbs 22:6.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Then this past Sunday Joshua preached from Ephesians 2:8-10.

I should explain the background noises that you will hear during Joshua’s second sermon. Since I was recording the sermon on my phone Elisabeth was a little active. She got out of the pew and about half way through Joshua’s sermon you can hear Scott whispering for her to sit down. Then all those kissing noises. That’s her kissing my arms. I tried to quiet her but well, she likes to give kisses. So you get a taste of what it’s like listening to the preaching with a 3 year old.

(If you are reading this in your email and can’t see the video then click here to view the post on the blog or you can watch Joshua’s sermon on YouTube.)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

And this was a shorter sermon. Imagine what Elisabeth does during one of her daddy’s longer ones. 😉

These are Joshua’s first two sermons and I’m looking forward to watching him grow in the ministry. Scott has already started mentoring him. They get up early every Sunday morning to study together at the Church. Scott wants to pass on to Joshua all the things he needs to know to be a successful servant of God.

I’m very proud of my son. I can only imagine the advantage Joshua will have with Scott pouring as much of his Bible knowledge into him before he goes to seminary.

Scott and I both agree that we want our children to grow up and be better than we are. We want them to raise their children better than we have raised them. Yes, we are setting the bar high. We want them to achieve great things and the only way for them to do that is to set high standards for our children.

Hope you enjoyed Joshua’s sermon. 

Would you like to encourage Joshua? Feel free to leave a comment for him or you can email me and I’ll pass the word along.

I also have a post that went live this week over at Ask God Today entitled “Is Jesus Truly God?” I would love it if you would check it out and let me know what you think.

 

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How to Teach Your Kids to Pray

Store bought Eggs are expensive here in Texas. It was nice when we were getting eggs from our neighbors down the road for free. 

IMG_20150825_163753Our 17 year old, Joshua, is our resident chicken expert. He has 8 chickens and studies every book he can get his hands on about chickens. So I asked him why his chickens weren’t laying. He told me that the one chicken that was laying an egg every other day may have been molting. The other chickens he said were possibly too young to lay yet. 

The other day he announced that one of his chickens were actually looking at the nest box. I half jokingly suggested that we should gather around the chicken coop and say a prayer over the chickens that they will start laying eggs. 

Jonathan, our 7 year old, was super excited over my suggestion.

“Yes, Mom! Let’s do it!” he exclaimed. “Please!”

 Now how can you say “no” to a plea like that?

IMG_20150906_124745Joshua was afraid that the seven of us gathering around the chicken coop might scare the chicken away from it. Instead we held hands in a circle in the kitchen while Jonathan led our prayer with the most heartfelt seriousness, despite the giggles of a couple of sisters, who seemed to think praying for chickens was a bit strange.

 

Even simple prayers answered help build our faith. Click To Tweet

While he prayed I silently prayed a heartfelt prayer of my own that the Lord would please answer Jonathan’s prayer, not for the sake of the eggs because we can live without eggs, but for the sake of my children.

Even simple prayers answered help build our faith.

So I prayed along with my son that God would help build his faith and show him that God still answers prayer.

God likes to hear our prayers, even for something as simple as eggs. Click To Tweet
After the prayer, I encouraged Jonathan that God likes to hear our prayers, even for something as simple as eggs. 

IMG_20150906_125138Guess what they found in the chicken coop the very next morning. Yes, an egg.

Elijah was probably the most excited, “Mom, Dad! Guess what Joshua found in the chicken tractor! An Egg!!! We prayed about it and God gave us an egg!” 

I cheered right along with my son. 

We can build our children’s faith in God by praying with them for things, even the simple things.


We can build our children's faith in God by praying with them for even the simple things. Click To Tweet

Did they lose something? Pray for God to help them find it. 

Did they hurt themselves on something? Say a prayer for them out loud. Ask God to help them feel better.

If you want to see a really good movie on prayer I highly recommend you watch War Room that has recently come out in theaters. My husband and I took our kids to see it and it reminded all of us to pray without ceasing and take our prayer time to the next level. 

Will you start praying with your children today?

If you have a prayer request, please share it with us in the comments or send us an email. We’d love to pray for you.

“Pray without ceasing!” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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Let Your Arrows Fly

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My grandmother and parents with their arrows.

 

My brother, Jason, posted a message on our mother’s Facebook wall. It was about the verses in Psalms that talk about children being an heritage of the Lord.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:3-5 KJV

In his message to our mother he told a story of another missionary, 

Hey Mom, I saw this and made me think of you and Dad ….
“I’m reminded of what Jim Elliot wrote to his parents after informing them that he was being called by God to the jungles of Ecuador as a missionary. Like any parents, Jim’s folks wished for him safety and security, a steady income beneath his feet and a roof over his head. But he said to them:

Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said they were a heritage from the Lord, that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly–all of them, straight at the enemy’s hosts!”
Love ya’ll and miss you.

This was my mother’s reply and I thought it was so beautiful it had to be published.

Jason, thanks for sharing this!! I love it!!! I do constantly pray for you as a missionary and Stacie and Sarah as preachers wives. It is true about the comfort parents feel when their children are doing well financially. But money isn’t everything.

I feel much better about the safety and security of my children knowing they are serving the Lord because I know he is better at knowing what is best for you all than I am.

I am thankful that the Lord blessed us with a quiver of 3 wonderful children and that you are all serving him.

France is a long way from here and if Stacie and Scott go to Argentina in the future, it is about the same distance from here. And even though Palestine, TX is not that far from us, it is still too far for me to see everything that is going on in Sarah’s life and help her through everything I would like to.

But these places are not far from the Lord. In fact, He is right there with all of you and can give you a comforting hug when I can’t. I will continue to pray for the arrows we were given to land where He wants them to and comfort me when I get to missing our arrows too much and hopefully allow us to fly over and visit them or them fly our way occasionally.

I love my parents. I consider it an honor to be one of their arrows. 

I pray when my children are ready to leave our home they will fly straight to the target God has for them. I’m sure there will be moments I will be scared for them. There will be times I will have to sit back and watch prayerfully from the sidelines. 

It might be tempting to hold on tight to those arrows in fear that they might break. However if I don’t let go would they be fulfilling the purpose God has designed for them?

Have you ever had to let some arrows fly? If you haven’t had to let those arrows go yet what do you think the hardest part will be? Please share your experiences of letting go in the comments. Those days are coming upon us quickly as our son Joshua will be 17 in June. I would love to hear your experiences and advice.  

 

Don't Quit

Have you gotten our free book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment”? If not click on this picture to sign up for your free copy today.

 

Linking up with Susan B Mead’s #DanceWithJesus link up.

 

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The Love of a Parent (or Elisabeth Threw up in My Hands)

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Elisabeth is trying to figure out why I gave her a rock and a snake.

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” – Luke 11:9-13 KJV

I made the mistake of telling my husband that I needed God to strike me with inspiration when I was trying to write this post for Ask God Today’s email series on Love.

It’s not that the Bible is short on topics about love. On the contrary there are a lot of great verses that refer to all kinds of love. My problem was I had to choose only one.

Then inspiration hit me like a rock and I grabbed these props and gave them to Elisabeth at our kitchen table.

“When your children are hungry, what do you give them?”

I then compare our love for our children to God’s love as our Heavenly Father.

Little did I know that Elisabeth wasn’t done giving me illustrations for this post.

Yes, she threw up in my room as I was writing this article and after I cleaned it all up her illness gave me more to write about.

Isn’t that how it goes sometimes?

“How many times has my Heavenly Father cleaned up the messes I’ve made? I may have to live with some of the stench, but as I draw closer to Him, I become healthier.

Elisabeth fell asleep in my arms. As I held her close I thought about how comforting it is to know that God is right there holding me close whenever I’m not well. He knows exactly what medicine we need.”

So that is how inspiration strikes this writing mom sometimes. :) As I say in this post, “I’m not a perfect parent. I make mistakes.”

But I’m just glad that God IS perfect. He knows exactly what I need when I need it.

You can read more about The Love of a Parent by clicking on this link or on the picture above.

Have you experienced God’s love in your life? Will you let Him pick you up? Feel free to share your experiences of parental love in the comments. I love to hear your stories.

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Do You Like Me?

Elijah2015

“Do you like me?”

“Mommy, do you like me?” my 4 year old asks me as I wash the dishes.

“Of course, Elijah, I love you!” I respond.

“But do you like me?” he asks with his big brown eyes peering into mine.

A question like that begs for reflection as I try to figure out why he would question whether I like him or not. Surely he knows I love him!

Then as I thought about it I realized what he is really asking.

He knows I love him. He has no doubt about that but deep inside he just wants to hear that I like him too. How can you help but love someone you like? So in his mind if you like someone it’s automatic that you love them too.

You have to realize a little bit about this sweet boy of mine. He’s a friend to everyone. He doesn’t go anywhere without having made a new best friend. He has always been that way.

One year at a large meeting of churches there was a time for Missionaries and their families to stand up in front of the crowd. They invited anyone that wanted to go up there and pray with the Missionaries during a song to do so. Elijah in all of his young excitement burst up there to find a new best friend to pray with.

Yet the question still lingers, “Do you like me?”

We all want to be liked. Don’t we?

That’s why we are afraid to make mistakes. We want people to like us and be our friend and the friends we already have we don’t want to lose.

Elijah’s question reminds me of the question Jesus asked Peter.

Peter was going through a rough time in his life. He had chopped a soldier’s ear off in order to defend Jesus from a whole army. Jesus told him to stop and healed the man’s ear. Then Jesus went with the soldiers without a fight. While outside waiting for Jesus’ trial, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Then he ran away as Jesus was killed.

Jesus rose from the dead and revealed himself to the apostles. 

Peter must have still harbored doubts as to his purpose on earth. He was at a point of wanting to give up on his ministry. What good was he after he had denied Jesus? What was he supposed to do now? Finally he throws his hands up in the air and announces to the others, “I’m going fishing!” And his friends followed him.

Then Jesus shows up. The apostles are in their boat and Jesus shouts to them from the shore. Peter jumps overboard and swims to the shore. Then this conversation took place.

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?’

He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.’

He saith unto him, ‘Feed my lambs.’

He saith to him again the second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’

He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.’

He saith unto him, ‘Feed my sheep.’

He saith unto him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’

Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, ‘Lovest thou me?’

And he said unto him, ‘Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.’

Jesus saith unto him, ‘Feed my sheep.’ “ – John 21:15-17 KJV

Peter was sad when Jesus asked him this 3 times. Peter knew when he returned to fishing he was giving up on the ministry that Jesus called him to and he was influencing those around him. The other apostles that returned to fishing were following Peter not Jesus.

So Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me? Do you even like me?”

Things changed for Peter that day. He rededicated his life to following the Master.

Do you love Jesus? Do you like Him?

Don’t just tell Jesus you love Him. Show Him by following Him everyday. It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do for Him yesterday.

Today is a new day. Start now!

If you want to know how or where to start feel free to contact me. I would love to show you from the Bible how to have a closer walk with the Master. 

Do you already have a close relationship with God? How about your family? Would you like your whole family to draw closer to God and each other?

I’m working out my blogging plans for 2015. If there is a subject you or your family are struggling with that you would like me to talk about in a future post please don’t hesitate to ask. We have big plans this coming year for building up our Rock Solid Family and I would love for you to join us.

~~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~~

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24 KJV

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Joy of Salvation: Jonathan’s Testimony

jonathan Protected

Not quite the Salvation Armor but Jonathan is awful cute in it. :)

Jonathan was wanting to be saved for a long time. His desire began after Hannah was saved about 2 years ago. You can read her salvation post from April 4, 2011 entitled “Two Birthdays!!!

Hannah was so thrilled about being saved that she would tell Jonathan how to be saved while he was still very young.

We do not pressure our children to be saved. We want them to understand completely what they are doing and why. 

Jonathan did not understand that he was a sinner. We taught him that sin is the bad things we do. In order to be saved he needed to realize he did bad things and feel sorry about those bad things he did. 

Jonathan did not feel at all convicted of his sin when he was younger. So whenever he would ask us how to be saved we would explain that first step and then tell him that God knows he wants to be saved but until he understands what sin is God keeps him safe. 

Earlier this year, Jonathan was finally understanding that he was a sinner and really wanted to be saved. We were sure from how he talked and answered our questions that he wasn’t just wanting to join the “saved club”. 

He agreed that he was a sinner and I read him the Bible verses “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 

Jonathan understood what he needed to do. I even had him tell me how to be saved. He had all the head knowledge. All he needed to do was ask Jesus to save him. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I wanted him to say the prayer for himself. I don’t like having a child quote a prayer I made up. I want them to understand that they are talking to God when they pray just like they talk to me. Jonathan wasn’t sure what to say in his prayer. I asked him if he wanted me to write a prayer that he dictates to me and then he can pray it. He agreed and he wrote a very nice well worded prayer. Telling God that he was sorry for his sins and that he wanted to be saved. 

After that prayer he looked at me and asked, “Am I saved now?” 

I looked back at him and said, “You tell me. Are you saved?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged.

“Did you really mean what you said? Were you serious?” I asked.

“I don’t know. How can I be serious?”

Weeks after we had this conversation Jonathan still wasn’t sure. Whenever we would talk about it he was still stuck on whether he was serious or not when he prayed. He also wasn’t sure if he was sorry enough for his sins. 

He didn’t like sinning and he knew sinning was bad but he wasn’t sure if he was sorry enough. You know this is a good question to ponder on a while. Are we really sorry for those bad things we do? Are we serious? 

Committing your life to Christ is a longterm commitment. You shouldn’t take these things lightly and I feel Jonathan was truly weighing it all out in his mind.

Finally, Wednesday, August 20, Jonathan figured it out.

After our Bible Study that Wednesday night Jonathan told me that he wanted to be saved. I sent him to have a talk with Scott. When Jonathan came back he looked rather sad that he still didn’t understand.

I asked him, “What is it that’s holding you back?” 

“I don’t know how to be serious?” he said sadly.

“Are you serious right now?”

“Yes, I’m serious that I really want to be saved!” he replied.

The next part he was worried about was whether he felt bad enough about his sins.

He named a few things that he knew he did wrong.

I asked him if it made him feel bad that those things were holding him back from being saved. He said that he didn’t want to go to hell.

I explained that it was his sin that would cause him to go there. I then asked him if that made him feel bad. He agreed it did. 

He wanted to know how to not do bad things. 

I explained that he couldn’t be good by himself that only Jesus could help him. All he needed to do is ask Jesus to forgive him. It was at that point he closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. 

He opened his eyes and asked me, “Am I saved now?”

I replied, “You tell me. Are you saved?” 

“How do I know I’m saved?” he asked.

“Didn’t Jesus say in the Bible that He would save you if you ask Him to?”

I love seeing the light come on in a child’s face when they just figure something out.

He understood. “So I’m saved!”

“Did you ask Jesus to save you?”

“Yes! I’m saved!”

“Do you want to go tell Daddy?” 

“Yes!” He runs off to the other room shouting, “Daddy, I’m saved!”

Scott came into the living room to hear the whole story and to give Jonathan a big hug. Jonathan then ran around the house telling all his siblings the good news.

The next day Scott and I overheard Jonathan witnessing to Elijah, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. All you have to do is call on the name of the Lord!” 

Elijah who is only 4 and doesn’t quite have this all figured out yet hollers real loud, “LORD!!!” 

Jonathan has been wanting to tell everyone about what Jesus did for him. Even today he told us that when he grows up he wants to tell people about Jesus. 

It’s my prayer that he never loses that joy of his salvation and that desire to share his testimony with everyone.

Do you have that joy? When was the last time you shared it with others? Feel free to practice sharing that joy with us in the comments. Don’t stop there though. Go share that joy with the rest of the world. 

My next post will be written in Argentina. I plan to post a lot during this month. Pray for us! We fly out tomorrow morning. 

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

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Unexpected Blessings

The Lord is amazing! Really truly amazing. 

Have you ever doubted God’s will for your life? You may wonder if you are doing the right thing and then have everything fall right into place.

I don’t believe that is just coincidence or happenstance. I truly believe God is showing us what it is we are suppose to be doing. He is opening the doors all around us and we finally let go and step through in Faith. 

10537436_10203473154247598_5162626495376514052_nI mentioned in my previous post our plans to go on a survey trip to Argentina to see what doors God may open there. 

One thing I chose not to talk about was money. How were we going to afford this trip? It would be an adventure indeed if we were going with very little money.  Here is a list of 10 things God blessed us with this past month.

1. Scott told me that he had prayed about our finances and asked God to provide for our trip. After that prayer he went by the bank to deposit his normal check from our church and realized he had never cashed the check from the week before.

Even though that was a small thing to some people to my husband it was a little whisper from God that everything would be okay. 

After that we discussed some other ideas of raising some money. I thought about having a yard sale. We had some successful yard sales in the past. We also thought about other things around our house we could sell.

2. I really felt like I needed to explain to our karate instructor why we hadn’t been in class for a while. It takes a lot of humility to admit you can’t afford to do something. We have been trying to save money by not going places we would normally want to go. So that included our karate class. I mentioned that we were discussing the possibility of having a yard sale. Our instructor was very understanding and told us that she would pray for us.

ElisabethThat was on a Thursday that I talked with her. That Friday my husband and I were discussing the possibility of a yard sale and what we actually had to sell. Most of our items were small items and not something that would draw people to come. 

Just as I was giving up the whole idea I received a phone call from a mother whose son is in our karate class. She said that she was moving and that she heard we were having a garage sale and that if we could pick it up she had some things that we could have. 

After I hung up from that conversation I looked up at my husband and said, “I guess we’re having a yard sale!” 

We needed to have our yard sale the very next weekend. I looked at the classified ads of one of our local newspapers. It said that Ads must be turned in by noon on Friday to be in Tuesdays paper. It was 10 AM Friday morning when I got the call.

Now tell me that just happened!

I wrote out an advertisement and went to the newspaper office with plenty of time.

3. That Saturday we scurried to get ready for karate class. My husband left early in the truck with Hannah. The rest of us came later in our Suburban. After class was over Scott told me about the envelope and offering that was given to us by our karate family. I missed that exchange or I probably would have cried. 

The money they gave us was more than enough to pay both our reciprocity fees and some of our hotel expenses.  

4. We let friends at our church know that we were having a yard sale the following week. There were more items donated for our sale. We collected those items during the week and had a very successful sale and met a lot of people.

10565136_10203473155007617_1858224442171588789_n5. The following Sunday morning we had a couple visit our church that my husband was able to witness to. We also met another couple at Wal-mart that afternoon who wanted to buy one of our items that didn’t sell in our yard sale. They lived further away and so we met them part way.

6. Sunday night we had a lady stop by and give us a box of food and toiletries that she felt the Lord wanted her to give to us. She had met us at our yard sale and couldn’t get us off her mind. She felt she had to come back and bring us something.

It had to be hard for her to come to us like that not knowing what our reaction would be. Would we be offended? Not at all. God has provided our needs so many times during the years and we have learned that God’s provision doesn’t just fall from the sky. He usually provides through the love and generosity of friends. 

7. Scott had one last Friday off from work and we were able get a final visit with my brother and his family before they head back to France. We had a fun time and were able to visit my sister’s family as well and get some good siblings and cousins pictures taken. It was good to get to see them and I was glad my husband had that one last weekend off. We also found out that my sister is expecting her third child.

8. We received a check in the mail for another donation from another friend wanting to help us with our upcoming trip.

9. My husband received an email this past week. We have another offering coming in the mail. We do not know who sent it nor how much it is. We do know that our God is good and He knows what we need to make this trip successful.

Where we go and how many cities we see will be up to how much God provides for. So far we have our first week planned.

10. And the biggest blessing that I am excited to share with you all is our son, Jonathan (6) accepted Christ as his Savior Wednesday night after our Bible Study. 

He had been wanting to be saved for a long time. I will need to write another blog post about the struggle he had and the moment he finally understood. I love seeing the light come on in a child’s face. :)

I could write a whole lot more about God’s provision and blessings. It’s hard to keep these posts short. In my next post I will give more details about how Jonathan finally found Jesus and a really cute story of his witnessing to Elijah.

Only 10 days left!!! I am going to do my best to keep you all up to date on where we are and how God provides for us each step of the way. Be watching for updates and more pictures!

Thank you for following along with us. Having you for a friend is a blessing too! 

~~ Anastacia “Stacie” Maness ~~

 

“‘Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith,’ saith the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'” Malachi 3:10

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Dear Children: A Letter from a Mom

I am writing this letter to my children. Perhaps your children might benefit too.

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Dear Children,

As your parents, we want you to know that we really do understand.
Your father and I have been in your shoes before. We grew up in different homes and under different circumstances. Those differences in our raising helps us to better know what challenges you face today and in the future.

God expects you to honor and obey us even though we are not perfect. Learn from our mistakes. Be respectful even when… especially when you disagree with us.

Not all children have godly parents. They need good examples to watch how a family should be. You may one day be a mentor that a child will look up to. Set a good example of love and respect. You never know who is watching your life and wanting to be like you.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

– Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV

The Bible says to honor your parents. Give us the respect God intended you to give.

Listen to the wisdom from our years of experience. Listen as we share what God has given us to share.

Be obedient children. If you obey, life will go much better for you. You will be learning from us and will not have to make the same mistakes we have made.

You will one day soon be embarking on your own life and adventures. Soon it will be up to you to make your own decisions. You will not be able to blame your father and I for what choices you will make. It will ultimately be up to you what you do with the rest of your life.

It is hard on us as parents to see you feel bad. When you realize you are weak in an area, we have trouble pointing out what you need to work on. We want you to know right now, we love you and only want you to be the best you can be. You should strive for your highest potential.

It is okay to feel bad about the things you do wrong. We don’t always have to feel good about ourselves. We need to feel guilty at times. How else will we know we need help if we never allow ourselves to feel how terrible our mistakes are?

God can give us the ultimate help and greatest relief from our pain. If we never feel bad, we will never strive to be better. We all need to do better.

This does not mean to drag yourself in the dirt and be depressed. No. I’m saying to realize your weaknesses. Make the necessary improvements. If you do, you will be a stronger and wiser person.

There is a place for humility. It is very easy to be proud of ourselves and of our accomplishments. It is a difficult thing to remain humble. People appreciate a humble spirit.

Be willing to put others before yourself. Be slow to brag on your own accomplishments. Be quick to praise other’s accomplishments. That is what it means to be humble. It is okay to realize you are doing well. No matter how old you are I will always love you to call me to tell me everything that you have done. I am and always will be proud of you.

Treat people the way you would want to be treated, even if they do not treat you the same way in return.

God knows your heart. Pray to him. Tell Him your regrets and fears. He is always there to listen and help.

Always remember that God loves you. He will always be there for you even if your father and I can’t. God is always ready and waiting for you to call on Him. Just as I say that I’m just a phone call away. God is even closer. He is just a prayer away. You don’t have to get your phone out and dial a number for Him. All you have to do is speak and He is right there with you to listen and help.

I have so much more to teach you. I’m very thankful that God gave you to me. I am very proud of you. I love you!

Love,

Mommy

If you could write a letter to your children or grandchildren what would you write? If you have a blog consider writing a letter to your own children. If you do please share the link with us in the comments. I would love to read what you have to say.

This is Day 24 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Only 7 days to go in this series. If you want to see a basic outline of where this series is going check out my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment“.

Tomorrow I will take a break to tell about our Jonathan’s Birthday.  Breaks like that won’t count in the series they will simply be added bonuses sprinkled in. :)

Thanks for following!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Raising Children In a Messed Up World

As parents, there are a lot of things we may worry about concerning our children. They are a gift from God. They are a precious treasure that God has entrusted into our care.

childrenclass

A typical school day at our home. Our children working on their lessons.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

– Psalms 127:3-5 KJV

We love them, invest our time in them, teach them…

They start growing up and we begin to look around. We start looking at the world from a parent’s eyes. Who will our children marry one day? What kind of homes are our children’s future spouses growing up in right now?

It’s hard to think that my future daughter-in-laws and sons-in-laws are alive right now and I won’t know anything about them for quite a few more years.

Oh… but those years are passing quickly!

I cannot know what my children will face in their future but I can prepare them now as they start to step out into this world of brokenness.

These are the things my husband and I will teach our children now, while we wait.

  1. How to find the answers in the Bible to the different situations they may face.
  2. How to resist temptations that will be thrown at them.
  3. How to pick the right person to marry.
  4. How to be committed to their spouse no matter the storms that may come.
  5. How to set a good example for their families.
  6. How to teach their children.
  7. How to say they are sorry when they make mistakes even to someone younger than themselves.
  8. How to treat someone that thinks differently from them.
  9. How to speak words of praise for other people’s strengths.
  10. How to gently encourage someone to grow through their weakness.

My children have all different personalities. I have the quiet ones and the talkative ones. Some of my children are full of energy and extroverted while others are silent and introverted. I teach them how to get along with one another despite their obvious differences.

One day they will most likely marry someone much different from themselves. Their spouse will most likely have a different background. They will face their own challenges. I cannot predict what those challenges will be because they will be starting their own families.

It is our job as their parents to prepare them in the best way possible. I am praying for my future children-in-laws that God protects them through whatever situation and temptation they may face.

I also pray that God gives me and my husband the wisdom to teach our children these things. It may seem like a terrible thing to bring children up in a cruel world. Then again this world be even worse if God’s children didn’t raise up more jewels to bring beauty in this world of pain and suffering.

Your children are gifts from God for you to love and cherish. Teach them right.

Many times children will marry someone just like their mother or father. Are you modeling the kind of marriage you want your children to have? Do you treat your spouse with the kind of mutual respect you want for their marriages?

What are some lessons you want to teach your children before they grow up? Please tell us about them in the comments.

This is Day 23 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Only 8 more days to go. In my next post I will be addressing children and what they need to do.

This series is based upon my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment” which you can download for free here.

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