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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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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Verses for your Year: Promises from God not Resolutions from you {+ printable}

2013 Verses a mother far from home

“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when
it does happen you will believe that I am He.”
John 13:19

For a few years now I’ve done this. Before or at the beginning of the new year I will pray and spend time with God and in His Word and ask Him to highlight verses that will be significant to me this year. They may be encouraging words, promises, warnings or even ones that seem to have little meaning now, but may come in handy throughout the year. Last year I had two chapters and one verse, so three passages in total and, let me tell you, they were spot on. I read them the other day and marvelled at how accurately God predicts the future. Who woulda thought?

Now, I don’t flip until I find verses I like. I flip until I feel God is highlighting a verse, interesting or exciting or not. I try not to question the whole process too much, but when I just feel deep down – you know, that deep down still calm feeling – that a passage is important, I mark it. He may  highlight super encouraging best-year-of-your-life verses, but we must be open to anything.

Two years ago God highlighted  Isaiah 43:2 for me. “When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  Let me tell you, that is not a verse you want to be gettin’ at the beginning of the year. I had been hoping more for of an ask-anything-in-my-name-and-you-shall-have-it type verse. But, friends, that just ain’t how my year went.

So here’s why it’s a good reason to get some yearly verses.

God speaks to His people. There may be some verse of encouragement and hope God wants you to keep close and, when you most need it, you’ll be able to read it and know God is with you. There may be a warning from Proverbs that you think is off the wall, but later comes in handy when you have a business decision to make and remember God’s word for you. There could be a promise of bearing a child, moving away or going on missions. Keeping your passage handy and bringing them out in tricky times has often helped me gain perspective.

It gives God a chance to show Himself to you. We are selfish, self-involved and self-centered people. We go through our day, perhaps many days, and may find it difficult to hear God. Or, we may not even know how to hear from God. I believe this practice gives God an opportunity to work His way into our lives. Let’s face it, God already knows what’s going to happen and we don’t. Using this as a way to let God in also gives God a chance to show Himself mighty to us.

It gives you an opportunity to pray with your children and talk to them about God and how He is not just someone to sing to on Sundays. Some may find it hard to broach spiritual subjects with their children. If they are old enough this is a great way to have all the family thumb through the bible and pray together about what verses might be important throughout this year. It shows you are not just a Sunday pew sitter but an everyday follower, the best you know how. Look people, we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be willing.

Here’s a printable if you want to write some verses or passages and hang them somewhere so you can be reminded of His plan for you!

Verses 2013 A Mother far from Home

A Mother Far from Home


Things that Make a Mother Pray More

I don’t think I’ve ever prayed more in my entire life than in the {almost} two years I’ve been a mother. All of a sudden there are little things that are totally dependent on me and I realised that it is not in my power to control everything. Therefore, we have a gap. A gap between our ability to keep them perfectly safe, unharmed and emotionally happy and them actually being perfectly safe, unharmed and emotionally happy. Just because we pray doesn’t necessarily mean they will live to an old age unscathed, but trusting that God has a plan and He loves them more than I do helps me sleep better at night. It helps reorient my thinking. God created them. He has a purpose for them. And He wants them to fulfil it.

Things that Make a Mother (or at least this mother) Pray More.

1) Tragedies. This week a mentally unstable 20-year-old killed 20 elementary school children along with teachers and the principle of a school in Connecticut. To not be personally connected to this tragedy, I believe this hit me harder than any other event for as long as I can remember. Every time I read or think about it I still cry. And pray. And beg God to protect my children. And thank God for them even if they are having ridiculously fussy day and screaming all over the place. Because them screaming is better than there being no more opportunity for them to scream. I pray and beg and ask God to protect my children for their entire lives and I pray that their lives (and the lives of my future grandchildren) last longer than mine. But I know that I am no more righteous than these parents who have lost a child. I know that God doesn’t love me more than He loves them. The rain falls on both the righteous and unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). Tragedy does not target the guilty, but comes to those hood and evil alike (Luke 13:1-5). But it doesn’t matter. I will carry on praying and begging God to protect them. It is all a mother can do. 
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