Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy III

#5 - Happy is the woman that has God for her help.  Psalm 146:5
My help!  My lifeline.  The Holy Spirit who walks beside me to help me!

#6 - Happy is she who has hope in the Lord.  Psalm 146:5
When there is no hope, there is yet Hope.  Where so many woman struggle with hopelessness, He is Hope.  He is the constant for my life.

#7 - Happy is the woman who finds wisdom and gets understanding.  Proverbs 3:13
It is a journey, a constant search, in fact... pressing forward in this walk, finding wisdom and understanding.  He IS the Spirit of wisdom and so pressing on to know Him, leads to more wisdom and more understanding. And, I need it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy II

#3 - Happy is the woman who has children.  Psalm 127:5
Children and happiness are congruent.  God gave the marvelous things to me.  I rejoice in them, even in tough days and trying times.  I'm happy they're here!  I'm happy that the Lord has given me the opportunity to persevere day-in and day-out to raise them to please Him.

#4 - Happy is the woman whose God is the Lord.  Psalm 144:15
I'm virtually speechless as I mull over those words.  What to say about a wonderful, all-knowing, ever-loving, eternal, massively awesome God?!  And, He is my God and my Shepherd!  No wonder I am happy as a result.  Such security ever grows in my heart as a result of His love!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I came across this scripture not long ago.  "Happy is the man who does not condemn himself in what he approves."  Romans 14:22  And, as a result, a song was stuck in my head... a song, based on this verse: "Happy is the man whose God is the Lord."  I like being happy, but more importantly, I like being happy about real stuff, stuff that lasts.  So, I've paraphrased a few scriptures I found that contained this phrase, "Happy is the man..." 

#1 - Happy is the woman who doesn't condemn herself in what she approves.  Romans 14:22 
I will know and adhere to the convictions God has laid upon my heart and I will not be moved from them despite outside pressure or other people. 

#2 - Happy is the woman God corrects.  Job 5:17 
Ahhhh, the dreaded "correction" word, but alas, it is assurance of the Father's love!  Knowing this helps me walk through correction without getting dragged down and without getting lost in discouragement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fake Candy

Our youngest, "Skipper" is addicted to candy!  She pesters about 10 times a day for it.  And, we're not big candy people.  So, she ends up with approximately 1 piece a day.  That's it.  So, that requires lots of perseverance and patience on Mommy's part.  Two days ago the candy "mysteriously disappeared."  This plan is working well, except Daddy and the middlest daughter "Scooter" almost blew Mommy's cover!  Now that the candy is "gone," I had to come up with an alternative.  Flashback to when daughter #1 ("Skeeter") was little, I gave her "Strawberry Candy."  It was simply frozen strawberries.  She loved them!  So, this morning, I refilled Skipper's snack cup 4 times with "Strawberry Candy."  Yay for Mommy and yay for a happy Skipper! 

PS - Other fruit can be frozen too.  Try berries, grapes, bananas and such.  It's the newest candy rage here in our house!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters Conclusion

#9 - Spend time WITH them. I have to take stock often because there is so much to do and I get caught in the busyness. Inevitably, I notice trends of unhappy children. And, I realize that I haven't sat down and played with them lately. I vividly remember the days with only a 6 month old. And, there was a marked difference in her behavior when I had played on the floor with her and when I just worked on housework with her in the room. Take time to play and interact. Don't use this as an excuse for their disobedience. Use it a motivation to keep things in balance - keeping a tidy house AND spending real time with your children. I've found that the immediate benefit is that I enjoy motherhood so much more.

So there are my favorite pointers or rules-of-thumb. These are things that the Lord convicts me of, works in me, has taught or is teaching me. Please pray, seek the Lord and use what you can. Maybe you and yours will be blessed. If I've learned anything, it is that I really know very little. Ask me about parenting in 25 years and I wonder what I'll say. Probably something like pray, pray, PRAY as you parent them.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters 8

#8 - Make sure your toddler is getting enough sleep. Observe the pattern of the day and help them get into a good routine with regular naptimes and bedtimes. There were and are days that because of holidays they've missed naptimes 2 days in a row. I've said to my husband, "How do people stand their kids when they don't take naps?!" They go from happy-go-lucky to mini-monsters! You're the Mommy, help them get enough sleep!!! (Hint: It requires self-control on your part, to stick to a routine.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters 7

#7 - Give the time out after the spanking, not in place of it. It gives them time to calm down and let it sink in. So, take a deep breath before you spank and be calm. My Crew receives a spanking WAY better if they knew the rule, were told that they broke it by a calm Mommy and then receive a calm spanking. It makes sense; self control breeds more self control (eventually).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters 6

#6 - Be firm. The more tired or discouraged I get, I notice a change in how I speak to my Crew. I start to ask for obedience!! When I discovered this, I was shocked. I always was a firm baby-sitter back in my teenager days and I thought I was always firm and in charge as a Mommy. It's just something I've noticed creeping in the back door. And, I think (still working through this one) it leads to more power struggle. They think the Mommy position is available, so they lobby for it! Gah!!!! So, for example, "Are you ready for naptime?" Of course they aren't ready for naptime! Are you kidding me?!!! Playtime is way better in their mind! Rephrase, exercise self control with your words, and be firm. When you have a loving heart, firmness is right on. Firm voice, firm words and a loving heart all lead to more obedience in my opinion.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini Monsters 5

#5 - Catch her doing right and reinforce with good, honest praise. (not flattery) Love and good words go a long way with children. They want to help and to please. So, smile and encourage. A happy Mommy is much easier to obey than a cranky Mommy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini Monsters 4

#4 - Be careful what you command. I get busy. Super busy. And when I do, I dole out commands left and right, including things that actually require assistance. Then, I get frustrated because she's not listening. So, I have to rein in my mouth. I have to have self control over myself to stop and go help her do the things she should. Take heart. They are young. You won't be doing this for them when they are older. (I have 2 older ones and they are a huge help now!) This is an investment of training now. "But my to-do list is so long!" Yes, and it will be even longer in 5 years if you have to do everything for them at that stage in life too! So, instead of yelling out, "Go get your sippy cup" (something you know she can do, but may or may not exercise the self control to do), take her hand and find the sippy cup. Then, give her the same command when you're 2 feet from the cup. Build up to that obedience level that we expect from them. The flip side is that when she's receiving commands and she knows you're busy and not paying attention, she will capitalize on that. "Mommy isn't paying attention and so I don't have to either." When I slow down and pay attention and really supervize and assist according to the age level of the child, the obedience level (and happiness level) goes way up in our house. The other trap I find myself falling into is repeating myself. I stop paying attention and pretty soon I say things 5-6 times before I see obedience. And then I have the gall to complain to my husband. The answers are in my own hand! Pay attention. I shoot for only saying something twice. But that means I have to be paying attention to give the command. Repeat. Then, enforce and follow-up. I need my children to obey at once. That is what God expects of me, so that is what I'm shooting for with them.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters 3

#3 - Help them obey. Keep in mind that we're talking about younger children. For example, as you are telling her to "Come here to Mommy" gently take her hand and start to walk as you give the command. As she grows older, you can move further and further away from her. Don't be discouraged, you're just giving her baby steps! I also find that togetherness is key. One of our youngest daughter's chores (2ish) is taking the placemats off the table. When it stopped being fun, we take her hand, walk to the table and assist in taking the placemats off the table. Sometimes it only takes getting her to the table and she takes over from there. Sometimes it takes physically lifting her hand. Whatever the case that day, I am teaching her self control. She doesn't have it naturally! I'm helping her develop it. Another point in helping them to obey is not subjecting them to undue temptation. We used to have our stereo down on the floor. For a while it wasn't a problem. Eventually the temptation became too great. And eventually, Mommy got a clue, I moved the stereo up. I was helping her obey by removing the temptation. I DO NOT THINK this applies to every temptation because they'd never learn to not touch things they shouldn't. I decided to choose my battles. Remove the stereo and focus on obedience in her not standing on the couch and not touching the hot wood stove.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy-Go-Lucky Little Ladies or Mini-Monsters 2

#2 - Be unselfish. I noticed a trend. When I get discouraged, it is usually about me. "I'm so tired of the whining." "I'm so fed up with her defiance." You never hear a policeman bellyachin' about lawbreakers. His dealings with lawbreakers are very matter-of-fact. ("Here's the law, here's the crime, here's the penalty.") You're just handling the lawbreakers. That's your job! When we start to get discouraged and whine, lots of times, it is because we're tired of the inconvenience of discipline and character training. Believe me, I'm saying it to me. I have to check my heart often and it is painful to realize that I'm pointing the finger at them and I need to start with me.