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Celebrate Growth - Issue 147
April 16, 2010
|Hi there! ....
This week has been very full of social commitments and fun. One of the things I did this week was had some friends around to look at Faithbooking. Though I have scrapbooked for many years now I am very excited about this aspect; an opportunity to tell my children how God has been faithful in my life, and in our family life. I want my children to know that the God who has been faithful to their parents will be faithful to them – because He is a God that doesn’t change. So I am starting to record our God Stories but it isn’t just about recording them it is about talking about them too. Talking around the dinner table, talking in the car, talking whenever the thought/story comes to my mind. Have you shared the goodness of God to your children lately?
Live life with your kids!
As parents we are very aware of the areas that we would like to see change in our children’s lives; we have concerns for their spiritual, moral, relational, practical, physical and mental growth. It is very easy to jump from one area of concern to the next heart issue. It becomes training, training, training.
There are two sides to training – there is the instruction and there is the encouragement. Do we encourage our children enough? Encouragement isn’t just a pat on the back, our children will grow from our words of encouragement because those words confirm the standards that we want established in their lives.
In true Ecclesiastes fashion – there is a time to correct, and there is a time to encourage. A time when we need to focus on the positive things we see in our children. A time to commend them for their effort and focus. A time to recognise God’s hand at work in their life. Giving words of encouragement, kindness and hope is a way of showing love to our children. Regardless of specific ‘love languages’ we all need to be told we are special, loved and doing well.
We need to celebrate growth!
I’ve been thinking on these things for a while. I am intentional about training my children but am I intentional about encouraging them? I felt there was more that I could do. It isn’t that there isn’t encouragement happening in our family. (You can read about an aspect of praise on my website.) But I wanted to find something that was a tangible keepsake of my children’s inner growth. Not just how tall they have grown physically, but how they are standing tall in their heart, how their inner person is growing. I wanted to go deeper than a hug and a word of encouragement as we pass each other in the hallway (important though that is).
I wanted to give each of my children a gift of recognition. Not recognition just for a job well done but recognition of the person God has made them be, recognition for the choices they were making and the growth I was seeing in their life. I decided to write them some notes – notes from my Mother’s heart. When I see growth, maturity, change, skill, godly attitudes in my children I want to pause and write them a little note.
I personally like digital scrapbooking so I have chosen that method to write my notes. But pen and paper are just as effective. The method isn’t important – passing on our heart to our children is.
I created a postcard size card – it took all of 20 minutes, I took it to town to be printed - it cost all of 29 cents and I gave it to my child. Actually, I did one for each of my 4 children just before Christmas (and a few since). Each of them truly appreciated their card – it affected them differently, and they responded differently (as you would expect due to their personalities) but bottom line – it touched their hearts.
Another tool we have is to write our children a letter. Birthdays are a great time to do this as the birthdays come around every year reminding us to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!). Writing a blessing to your children, commending them on their character growth, encouraging them in their walk with the Lord, whatever is on your heart to tell your child, will work in a letter.
We can create
Regardless of how you choose to present your words, the important thing to remember is that we need to take the opportunity to build up our children and strengthen their inner life but it will also strengthen our relationship with them, and their relationship with God.
Words - so innocent and powerless as they are,
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