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Live life with your Kids - Issue 223
October 28, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week we worked on habits – in particular the habit of getting going in the morning and the habit of finding time to study. At the same time though, we also had to pick mangoes for a couple of hours each day. This really does interrupt our routine as it is best to pick in the cool of the day. So we worked on flexibility at the same time. I want my children to be able to know their priorities and adjust their day when stuff happens. So instead of me just giving them their study to-do list I had them write up their own. We looked at what time we had to study – generally 3 hours – and each child wrote their list of what was a priority for them (they did do this in consultation with me). This gave us a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day as we actually set realistic goals and they were achieved. Setting our goals/plans for the day this way, gave me opportunity to tell my children my thinking processes should I be the one setting the goals. They were then able to use these strategies for themselves. How often we just keep on doing stuff for our kids not making this transfer, not helping them in their life skills.

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Telling God Stories

When my parents were young Christians they were often encouraged by the testimony of other believers. That is, the stories of how God was changing the lives of the everyday people. When I was growing up one of the biggest genre of books for the Christian was the biography – once again a testimony, the story of how God had changed lives. Do we hear these things often enough today? Do we share these things often enough today? When we hear the goodness of God in other people’s lives it builds a hope, a faith that the God who does not change, is able to intervene in our situations as well. When we hear these stories our focus is centred on God, on who He is and how loving, powerful and involved He is in the lives of those who love him.

These days people read many more self-help books; books that inspire but I wonder if they truly encourage our faith. Do we feel that we too could face that battle and know that God would be beside us? Are we left in awe of the person who was victorious, or who found a solution or are we drawn to worship and trust God?

What about in our own family – do we share our God stories? A few weekends ago I was doing the ‘kids talk’ at church and in preparation I talked to my kids about them sharing their ‘God stories’. First up we had to define what ‘God stories’ were. Initially we tend to think of our testimony as telling how God saved us, or how we were separated from God, felt we had no hope and how God has given us a new life. This is traditionally seen as ‘our testimony’ but our testimony should be of any good thing God has done for us:

  • The blessings He has given
  • The prayers He has answered
  • The strength, hope or joy He has given
  • The things He has told you or helped you understand

I really wanted my children to each share a testimony, a God story, at church the next day. Some were okay with that and others became very tongue-tied. So we practiced. We told each other – no fanfare, just as we sat around the table, we told each other the things that God had done for us, we told of His faithfulness. The next morning I had the kids type up their words, not that they had to use what they had written but as a way to help them clarify what was important to say and how they wanted to say it.

Then during the kids talk at church each of them shared. They only shared, on average 3 sentences each – maybe 4! So it wasn’t very long but it did two things

  1. It exposed them to the idea of sharing with others the reality of God in their life
  2. It told the kids gathered around, that God is faithful even to kids

I left my church family with the challenge to go home and over Sunday lunch to share with each other the God stories of their family. And I’d like to challenge you to the same. Find time this weekend to share your testimony. If your children are young, they need to hear how God has been involved in your life; they need to hear about your relationship with him. If they are older and have a relationship themselves, then encourage them to share the good things God has done for them as well as to listen to your stories. If this is a new idea to you and your family you may well need to tell your kids how God has been faithful to them in their years already. This way they will learn their early God stories.

Ps 78:4, 6, 7
We will not hide them from their children, but we will tell to the generation to come the praise-worthy deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonderful works that He has performed. That the generation to come might know them, that the children still to be born might arise and recount them to their children, that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but might keep His commandments.

When you read the rest of Psalm 78 you hear the very sad story that the generations to come after the exodus from Egypt didn’t know the things, the amazing things, that God had done for their forefathers. It is said that this is why they sinned against God – they didn’t know who God was, and his faithfulness towards them.

I don’t want that to be my children. I want them to know what God has done for their grandparents, their parents and even in their own life when they were young. This is one way they can get to know my God.

Over on my blog I have continued sharing my heart conversations. This week I wrote:

If you haven’t read these short thoughts before you can catch up with the whole series here.

And there will be more coming… you can receive the rest of the series by subscribing to my blog and receive daily updates in your email.

I have also written two regular posts:

Have you subscribed to my blog yet? It is easy to subscribe and receive updates via email - check out the right hand side of my blog for the details.

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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