Monday, April 19, 2010

Developing the hidden talents in your children

Wow , this subject is so important to parenting. Too often as parents we key in on things like academics, athletics, or even worse popularity and fashion styles, when trying to help our kids develop a good self esteem in who God created them to be. Of course the ultimate area of our children's' hearts we should be concerned with is their spiritual person, there is something very closely connected with that we often miss. It is subtle yet so important.

It is key for us as parents to try discover our child's natural bent or inclination to something and encourage that. We may at the moment feel like it is a trivial talent or a hobby that would never "bring in the big bucks", but as your child grows, I believe you need to put aside those thoughts and see where your child's interests are taking them. What makes your child unique, stand out, different from the rest of the kids?

If we admit it sometimes we don't want our kids to stand out, we want them to fit in. But this is not God's plan for any of us. Tanner is a great kid. Our second oldest struggles with some pretty major learning hindrances. He continues to to fight to overcome them. Homeschooling has been a lifesaver for him.

Growing up he has loved playdoh. He would play for hours with playdoh. He also liked silly putty, mud and anything else in this line of consistency. At one time he graduated up to modeling clay, which is where he is at now. At first he would just make tons of little blobs and pretend they were animals or TV characters or made-up characters. We bit our tongue. It seemed like a a big mess to us and a little strange. Then he started modeling for real, mixing colors and making real figures. Now he is asking mom to bake them and he and his brothers play with his characters! They are pretty awesome if you ask me - for a 10-year old they are stinking awesome!

So what does God have in mind for Tanner and this developing gift? I don't know, but God does. Isn't that exciting to know. God made him for a special and unique reason and we don't have to form him into any image the world would try to put him in.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Pinewood Derby!

Just as Blake and Tanner grew out of the pinewood derby cars, our little guys have entered it. this year David and Brendan got to make cars and race them in their Tadpoles club at church. They both did ok. David had the third fastest car. Brendan's car wasn't the slowest, but it wasn't the fastest either. Of course the best part of the race is watching thier faces light up as the cars come down the big track. Neither of the boys shed even a tear when they did not get a trophy, whcih is what I was the proudest about!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We have gone Duggar crazy

I am not sure why but recently my wife and I have really gotten hooked on the Duggars TV program on TLC. We have been recording back-shows and watching them like crazy. Maybe it is because we have five kids and we like to pick up good ideas on how to parent a large family! Of course I realize they have a lot more kids - almost 4 times as many. Still I think some of the principles apply.
I have been challenged to be more positive. Jim Bob Duggar (you got to love that name!) is a very positive dad, always encouraging his family. Patsy says she is inspired by how Michelle Duggar is always talking so patiently and never yelling at her kids. They are also very organized. We have learned that with five boys you have to be organized. Patsy is great at this, laying out menus and grocery lists and smile charts and weekly school assignments for the boys. We have also had chore charts before.
Anyone else Duggar fans?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

He took the Whipping

This is a really old story I heard as a kid, but I still like it. My thought is the classics never go out of style.

He Took The Whipping
Author Unknown

In the mountains of Virginia, there once was a one-room school with students no teacher had been able to handle. Two or three teachers had been run off from this school in one year by the unruly students.

A young teacher heard about the school and applied for the job. The man interviewing him asked, "Do you not know what you are asking for? No one has been able to handle these students. You are just asking for a terrible beating."

After a few moments of silent prayer, the young man replied, "Sir, with your consent I accept the challenge. Just give me a trial basis."

The next morning the young man stood before the class. He said to the class, "Young people, I came here today to conduct school. But I realize I can't do it by myself. I must have your help." One big boy they called Big Tom, in the back of the room whispered to his buddies, "I'll not need any help. I can lick that little bird all by myself."

The young teacher told the class that if they were to have school, there would have to be some rules to go by. But he also added that he would allow the students to make up the rules, and that he would list them on the blackboard. This was certainly different, the students thought! One young man suggested "No stealing!" Another one shouted, "Be on time!" Pretty soon they had ten rules listed on the board.

The teacher then asked the class what the punishment should be for breaking the rules. "Rules are no good unless they are enforced," he said.

"Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on," was the decision of the boys.

"That is pretty severe, boys. Are you ready to stand by it?" inquired the teacher. Another yell, and the teacher said, "The rules stand. School comes to order!"

Everything went well for two or three days. Then Big Tom came in one day very upset. He declared that someone had stolen his lunch. After talking with the students, they came to the conclusion that little Timmy had stolen Big Tom's lunch. Someone had seen little Timmy with Big Tom's lunch! The teacher called little Timmy up to the front of the room. Little Timmy admitted he had taken Big Tom's lunch.

So the teacher asked him, "Do you know the punishment?"

Little Timmy nodded that he did.

"You must remove your coat, then," the teacher instructed. The little fellow had come with a great big coat on.

Little Timmy said to the teacher, "I am guilty, and I am willing to take my punishment, but please don't make me take off my coat."

The teacher reminded little Timmy of the rules and punishments and again told him he must remove his coat and take his punishment like a man. The little fellow started to unbutton hist old coat. As he did so, the teacher saw he did not have a shirt on under the coat. And even worse, he saw a frail and bony frame hidden beneath that coat. The teacher asked little Timmy why he had come to school without a shirt on.

Little Timmy replied, "My daddy's dead, and my mother is very poor. I don't have but one shirt, and my mother is washing it today. I wore my big brother's coat so's to keep warm."

That young teacher stood and looked at the frail back, the ribs sticking out, the spine protruding against the skin. He wondered how he could lay a rod on that little back and without even a shirt on. Still, he knew he must enforce the punishment or the children would not obey the rules. So he drew back to strike little Timmy.

Just then Big Tom stood up and came down the aisle. He asked, "Is there anything that says I can't take little Timmy's whipping for him?"

The teacher thought about it and answered, "The rule says what the punishment is for stealing, but it doesn't say who must take the punishment."

With that Big Tom ripped his coat off and stooped and stood over little Timmy at the desk. Hesitatingly, the teacher began to lay the rod on that big back. But for some strange reason, after only five licks that old rod just broke in half.

The young teacher buried his face in his hands and began to sob. He heard a commotion and looked up to find not even one dry eye in the room. Little Timmy had turned and grabbed Big Tom around the neck, apologizing to him for stealing his lunch, begging his forgiveness. He declared, "Tom, I am sorry I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I'll love you till the day I die for taking my whipping for me. Yes, I'll love you forever!"

Friend, you have broken the rules and deserve eternal punishment! But Jesus Christ took your scourging for you; He died in your place and now offers to clothe you with His garments of salvation. Aren't you glad that He took the whipping for you?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. --Romans 6:23 (NIV)