A Mother Far from Home

on becoming supermom

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How to teach your children what you don’t know

Every mother wants to teach their children wise, wonderful and winning things. But, because we’re human, we will find there are things we desperately want our children to take hold of that we simply cannot teach them ourselves. Why? Because we aren’t perfect and we don’t know everything. I want my sons to be handy and, while I can figure things out, I am not naturally handy. I want my daughter to be able to play a musical instrument well. I play the piano but probably not well enough to teach her properly. I want to teach them hospitality but I’m still learning the art myself. My husband wants our children to understand car engines, but he was never taught so doesn’t know where to start.

First, let’s admit we don’t know everything. Second, let’s admit we want our children to know more than we know. Third, let’s think of some ways we can do just that.

1) Get outside help. Piano lessons, art lessons, sewing lessons, and on and on. If you can think of it, there is probably someone else who can teach it. If you are not musical yet want your child exposed to some training, find someone nearby who can help. If money is an issue, find a friend and trade a service. If you can sew and they can sing, do a lesson swap. Get creative to think of ways that you expose your child to things you don’t do at home. Church groups and community groups are often ways to do so at reasonable (to free) prices.  Continue reading


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Let’s Raise Rescuers Together

 “…Teach and counsel each other
with all the wisdom He gives…” 
Colossians 3:16a

You’ve read my thoughts on what a Rescuer is and how one can Raise Rescuers. Now, let’s talk about us. By us, I mean parents across the world. We are in a common stage of life, share common goals, and want the best for our children and our families.

We’ve all heard it said it “takes a village to raise a child.” Perhaps your village doesn’t raise your children, but within our own personal villages (geography notwithstanding) we have people who support, encourage and advise us. I only know answers to questions I’ve previously asked. I can guess a lot of things, but you know what, some of my most effective parenting practices have come through advice and books. Other people know things I don’t and I am happy to glean wisdom from them.

Do you want to raise your children to make a difference in their world? Even a toddler  can be a rescuer for his siblings. Even an elementary school child can stand up the outcast. Even a middle schooler can serve and help those in need. We have opportunities to train and equip our children to be Rescuers at every stage of their lives.

God has made us all different and given us different gifts, talents, abilities and insights. As parents working towards the same goal, why not work together? Why not cooperate in figuring out how we can leave our children more than a monetary inheritance. Why share ideas, thoughts, and success stories together?

If you want to Raise your children to rescue the captive, serve the needy, and save the lost… then you’ve come to the right place. There are a few of us already, and we’d love for you to join us. Click here to capture the vision for Raising Rescuers.

A Mother Far from Home

A Mother Far from Home and Raising Rescuers

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How can we Raise Rescuers?

We’ve already determined some characteristics of Rescuers here. We decided we don’t have to be perfect Rescuers ourselves, but that we need the heart, desire and effort to get in the game. Before we talk about Raising Rescuers, let’s talk about what Rescuing looks like in our world today.

Rescuing efforts can be both large and small scale. Helping someone pay their phone bill or driving someone to the doctor might seem minor in light of saving a person from sex slavery or adopting an orphan. As important as the grand scale Rescue efforts are, the little rescues are often what keeps us going in the hard times. I remember when it was a friend’s birthday and my husband and I were volunteering for a Christian charity, a.k.a. we were broke, yo. We decided it was worth the money to go out and celebrate because we’d committed to attend. Off we went. The meal was around $50 and tasted bittersweet in our mouths. We came home and I was feeling remorseful that we’d spent that amount of money (that may seem chump change to you but on our budget it was excessive). The next morning I woke up, opened the door to go to work and – lo and behold – there was an envelope with $50 in it. No one knew our situation. No one knew I’d gone to sleep thinking Jamie Oliver’s pasta was not, in fact, all it was cracked up to be. God had laid it on someone’s heart to bless us and, boy, bless us it did. $50 is nothing when God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but to us, that little Rescue money was a way for God to speak to us. It meant more than you might think.

With our children it’ll most likely be the small ways of Rescuing that we are able to model in a way they understand. We know God is in the business of Raising Rescuers, so what does that look like?

1) Raising Rescuers means focusing on our children’s character. Children with strong characters will be better positioned to carry weight and responsibility as adults. Though we aren’t perfect and we ourselves have our own strengths and weaknesses, there are a few qualities we can try to instil in our children and, if we struggle with them ourselves, then it’s all the more reason for us to do it as a family. Some good strong character traits: being a finisher starter, honesty, integrity, generosity, ability to handle delayed gratification, thoughtfulness, kindness and humility, to name a few. There are many others and we need not beat ourselves over the head about it. But, if we focus on building these qualities then, in small situations, we will remember it and can take the opportunity to train and instruct our children where we may previously have glossed over it.

2) It means following God’s word and plan for your life so you model Jesus Christ. Jesus said He did what He saw His father doing. Again, none of us are perfect. Anyway, if we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus. But if our children see us doing our best to follow God’s Word and apply it in our daily lives then they will be far more likely to do the same. Personally, at the end of the day, if all I can say about my parenting is that my children have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, I’ll think I’ve succeeded.

3) Giving your children a biblical worldview. Life is not easy. Life is not perfect. Life is not always fun. Things are not always fair. Tragedy happens. Okay, that was a downer. Having said that, Jesus Christ came to shine light in the darkness. Teaching your children a proper worldview will help prevent them having a hard dose of reality when they set out on their own outside of your comfort and shelter. Jesus said there will be trouble in this world, BUT, He has overcome the world. If we lead our children to believe that things will always be rosy then, when life hits them hard, it might be difficult for them to believe that God is real. Giving them a real yet biblical worldview will create a place for them to hope and thrive in God’s Will as opposed to fighting it or abandoning it altogether.

4) Teaching our Rescuers practical skills. Even if you don’t know how to do things you want your children to learn, that’s okay. You guys can learn together! Did you have to call a plumber over? Why not ask him if he wouldn’t mind spending a few minutes explaining what he’s doing to your children. Plumbers I’ve known (granted, I was from the south and we are particularly friendly) would have thought it a pleasure. If you can sew, cook, clean, organize, etc. just try to find time to bring your children alongside you. This is probably obvious but, if you’re like me (and I sincerely hope you are not) then you sometimes want to avoid letting them help or learn because it simply takes too much time. Teaching kids what we know and learning things together will give children confidence in their own abilities to manage themselves. Only when we are confident in our own abilities will we be willing to use them to serve others.

5) Praising heroes, instilling courage and encouraging Rescue efforts. What you value will be apparent to your children. They are smart, and they will pick up on the things you appreciate. If they see that you appreciate kindness they will want to be kind. If they see you appreciate pictures, they will want to color you pictures. One way to show how much you appreciate heroic efforts and rescue attempts is simply to tell stories to your children of this. When I tell bedtime stories (which I don’t do often since we read) I try to think of bold rescue efforts and tales of caring for others. I praise the characters and put my children in the stories as the heroes and heroines. They are still too young to understand but I enjoy it! When you hear of stories that show true courage, share them with your children. Sooner or later they will see that this is something to be valued.

We don’t have to be perfect to be used by God. Our children don’t have to have perfect parents to turn out all right (thank God for that!). Our children do, however, need parents who intentionally and purposefully mould their little characters so they can best and most effectively accomplish God’s plan for their lives.

No matter if our children become doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs or teachers, businessmen or carpenters, Rescuing is not career specific. A Rescuer need not have a certain IQ, come from a certain socioeconomic status, or be really great at sports. Rescuers are Rescuers because of their heart. A Rescuers heart goes out looking for those whom it can serve, save, and point to Jesus Christ. It’s not scared to go where the danger is to save those in peril. It doesn’t consider himself or herself above certain people, places or situations. A Rescuer is willing and able to do what he or she sees the Father doing.

Let’s Raise Rescuers. Let’s figure out how together.

A Mother Far from Home

PS – Want to Raise Rescuers with me? Come back on Friday to find out how.

A Mother Far from Home and Raising Rescuers

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What is a Rescuer?

Rescuing is defined as (1) saving someone from danger or distress, (2) to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger or evil, and (3) to take a person {a prisoner} forcibly from custody. Synonyms include liberate, redeem, ransom, extricate, recover, reclaim, and disentangle.

We all know what it means to rescue. I mean, hey, we watch TV and movies. Secret undercover agents, navy seals and firemen.  Damsels in distress, people floating on rafts and baby kittens. Has the idea of Rescuing become something we attribute to certain jobs? Are big strong men the only ones capable of rescue? While there may be many big strong men rescuers out there (and thank goodness for them) that is an extremely limited view of a Rescuer.

But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord
raised up a rescuer to save them.”  
Judges 3:9

God is in the business of Raising Rescuers up to save others.

1) Rescuers are proactive, not merely reactive. Sometimes we’re just in the right place at the right time. But somehow, Rescuers are the type who always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Or rather, they are always prepared to Rescue at any time. Rescuers go through life thinking “what can I do?” “how can I help?” and “here I am, send me!” Being in reaction mode can be dangerous because, let’s face it, people always seem to need help at the most inopportune times. A Rescuer operates with the idea in the back of their mind that, at any time, they might be needed to step in and help. Then, when opportunities arise, they are ready and willing not begrudging and complaining. Attitude goes a long way.

2) Rescuers have small comfort zones.Adults going on mission trips (often now, not always) spend half the trip trying to get over the fact they don’t have indoor plumbing, can’t check their email and are having to eat weird food. What if our comfort zones were small enough that we would be comfortable far from home? What if we had grown up being used to stepping outside our environments, speaking the Good News and not being afraid to dive in to unfamiliar territories if it meant shining a light in a dark place. It is harder to be effective in rescue situations if we jump into the fray and need to be rescued ourselves. Rescuers are those who can be themselves anywhere, who can still operate without freezing in dangerous situations and who are secure in Jesus Christ so they can bring safety to others.

3) Rescuers are in good shape {mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically}. No one is perfect and if we waited until we were in perfect condition to help others, no one would ever get rescued. However, if we are in bad shape then we’ll find it extremely difficult to find the energy, enthusiasm or resources to rescue others. Some areas of our lives may be out of our control (as is health, to a certain extent) but Rescuers make it a point to be ready for battle at any time. Rescuers attempt to stay in shape spiritually by exercising their spiritual muscles through a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. They attempt to stay in shape emotionally by adopting healthy thought patterns, receiving counselling for past hurts and finding good support networks. They stay in shape mentally by being knowledgeable of practical ways they can help others in need, by learning and studying God’s Word and by having fellowship with others. They stay in shape physically by valuing their health, fitness and nutrition at least to the extent that their health does not deter them from service.

4) Rescuers are courageous and fierce yet gentle and loving. Most of our personalities tend towards aggression or passivity. We are probably better at being gentle or better at being assertive. Rescuers know that balance is required. A rescue mission may require decisive action, courage and strength. Immediately afterwards, the person rescued might need compassion, empathy and nurture. Rescuers are able to respond to people and love them appropriately in many situations. Sometimes a hug is needed or they just want a listener. Other times a Rescuer may need to bring a word of correction, guidance or admonishment. A rescuer is not only someone who saves a person from general danger, but can be one who saves others from themselves as well.

5) Rescuers are willing to go into the dark and dirty places, and they don’t do it for recognition. It is easier to write a check and say a quick prayer for those in trouble than to jump in and get our hands dirty. Rescuers can just as easily write a check as they can jump in and do what needs to be done themselves. If their skills are best used at the front, they don’t mind going to the front lines. If their skills are best served behind the scenes, they will do that as well. A Rescuer doesn’t need to know they’ll be recognised to participate. In fact, many Rescuers prefer to remain as anonymous as possible. Eating dinner with prostitutes and tax collectors wouldn’t have happened in the temple, but Jesus wasn’t afraid to go to areas that any “respectable” person wouldn’t frequent. In fact, Rescuers know that the down and dirty places are often where you will find people who admit their need for a Savior. The high-end shopping centre and fancy restaurants usually are not.

No one is perfect. No one, that is, except Jesus Christ. Luckily, we have Him on our side to save us, love us, make us more like Him, and train us to be Rescuers. We don’t need to be perfect to be a Rescuer. We don’t need to pretend we’re doing great to others when we are not. How will others know to rescue us if we pretend we’re not in danger? We will all go through stages where we need help. We will all go through stages where we are ready and able to help others.

We grown-up Rescuers are still learning how to be effective Light Bearers in the dark world around us. Some of us have been raised in Christian homes and some of us are new to the faith. Some have been raised fulfilling the Great Commission and some of us aren’t yet familiar with it (Matthew 28).  There is never condemnation for where we are at, but simply encouragement and hope for where we are going. We needn’t be perfect, we needn’t be gifted evangelists and neither should we shy away from our calling because we think we have nothing to offer. God has lovingly created you with good things in mind for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). Embrace your gifts, talents and passions. If you aren’t sure you are gifted then ask those around you to help shine a light on the treasures that you hold.

Being a Rescuer is not about being a superhero or the leader of the biggest ministry, small group or neighborhood watch. Being a Rescuer is a condition of the heart. A heart that says, “God, send me. Let me make a difference. Let me shine Your light. Let me bring glory to Your name.” Anyone can do it. Anyone, that is, who wants to put in the effort.

Let’s figure out this Rescuing thing. Let’s do it together.

A Mother Far from Home

PS – Wait to know how to Raise Rescuers? Then head back over here Wednesday !

A Mother Far from Home and Raising Rescuers