The following is a guest post from my new bloggy friend, Courtney at Lil Light O’ Mine. Enjoy!
What is your #1 goal as a parent?
To love your child unconditionally?
To shelter them and protect them?
To teach them everything in the Bible?
To keep them out of jail?
To raise them up to be righteous and holy?
To open their hearts to Jesus so they might follow Him the rest of their lives?
I have a lot of goals for my kids and a lot of hopes and dreams.
If I’m not careful, some of those can become expectations that are simply unattainable. And can create a horrific home environment. God doesn’t expect perfection from us. He extends grace and mercy and unconditional love daily.
I want my home to be a reflection of Christ to my kids – so until they begin walking with Him closely – they already know His love deeply.
I think my number one goal would be:
to open their hearts to Jesus so they might follow Him the rest of their lives.
It is their decision you know!
Now, how am I working towards that?
I believe mine learn best when they feel it through fun family adventure and just everyday life (Deuteronomy 6:7).
This Christmas season, we are full force into lighting up our communities with kindness. The program on my site is called Light ‘Em Up. Amanda is over there blogging today on the topic. I want GIVING vs GETTING to sink deep. When they are in the community feeling it – I don’t have to say much.
Everyday, I have mine captive in carpool, bedtime and dinnertime.
It’s not lecture time – it just presents opportunities to tell stories and tales of my day.
Just yesterday, I told Ella this story.?“Ella, did you know God doesn’t speak out loud (and I yelled and they laughed)… but He speaks to me? He put my friend Joy on my heart FOUR times yesterday. I almost ignored it and missed it and I called her. Would you believe it was her WORST day as a mom? And she was in shock! And excited! God knew she needed a friend to pray for her. Isn’t that cool?” Smiles from the back. “Ella, that means He speaks to you too! Might be a little whisper to go play with a friend that is lonely or apologize to Larson after a fight.”
I am careful about saying “we have to go to church” or “we have to pray” because I want our family to do these things from desire NOT because we ought to. I do feel strongly about keeping them plugged into the right environments so regular fellowship and Bible stories and influences are being dialed into their lives.
So, these are on our list intentionally:
Great local church
We look for churches with engaging kids programming. We don’t let them doo it all – we want to partner with them on this journey. We are so thankful we found Summit in Orlando and had Buckhead Church in Atlanta before we moved.
It’s common in our car and in our home. Dance parties! I LOVE to hear them sing truth throughout the day and request it.
ABC Scripture Cards are our method of choice of course – because they are a product I created. Of course, anything that gets His word in their hearts – sold!
I love prayer not just at dinner or at bedtime at not just about “bless our food.”
I love prayer when it involves the little and big things on their hearts and ours too. If we are moving and need to decide – I love praying with them together on that. If we meet a new neighbor and want to pray for them – let’s do that on the walk home. If I get a text about an urgent prayer request, I’ll pray in the car so they hear me. I let them pray when they want and don’t force it and just let them get really comfortable that it’s often and we can talk to God about anything.
I could also tell you the 192 things I do wrong. I believe in apologizing to my kids and asking forgiveness and I do that quite often. I am not on a perfect mom or perfect kid quest. My goal is “growing” for myself. I want to look back over the last year and know I was different from having Jesus in my life. That I didn’t just hear things – I did them. We are all in this together and I’m so honored to be associated with so many of you passionate women called MOMS. We can do this! God is behind us and we’ve never been more equipped. Just click through Amanda’s treasure of a site and you’ll be set.
Praying for you today.
You’re a great mom.