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Month: July 2017

Faith 7

Do you see me crying?

 “Do you see me crying?  When you see me crying, you can cry.”

The first time I heard my dad say this to my little nephew Max, I was offended, to say the least. What did he mean?  Of course Max was crying; he was 2 1/2 and had just gotten in trouble.  Why shouldn’t he cry?  But that wasn’t the last time we heard that comment from dad: “When you see me running through the church, you can run through the church.”  “When you see me jumping on the couch, you can jump on the couch.”  I completely disagreed with this treatment, but because I respected my dad greatly, I didn’t say a word about his “cruel” comments. After all, I didn’t have any children, so what did I know?

Then I started my own family and began to see what Dad was talking about. My dad would never cry or throw a fit in public, so why should Maribelle (or any child.)  I would never throw spaghetti on the floor during dinner, so why should little Lissa?  I began to understand that even from the youngest age, I was the model for my children. In a sense, Dad was giving the kid version of Paul’s request to “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Through trials (and many errors) I discovered that the number one rule of parenting is this:  You can only reproduce who you are.  If you want kids who are kind, that’s who you need to be.  If you want children who don’t lie and treat others fairly,  you will have to do the same.  Conversely, if you want children who yell and scream or punch holes in the wall, well, that is an option, too.

My one goal as a mother has always been to have children who seek God with their whole heart, so from my very first baby, I would wake up every morning (and still do) to study the Word of God and sit in the presence of Jesus.  I do this hoping and praying that my children will follow my example—not as a manipulative tool or an activity to check off the list, but because I want my kids to have the kind of blessed life described in Psalm 91.  Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” My children are not grown yet, but so far I feel like they are “turning out.”

As a parent, what do you want for your children?  Who do you want them to be? Think about it and pray over it.  Ask God to give you a vision for your life and for your children.  Ask for a chapter in the Bible from which to lead.  Because, like it or not, when your kids see your actions, there is a tremendous chance that they will follow.

If you think you’ve already messed up and your kids are lost for good, there is still hope.  God is the great God of hope, forgiveness, and second chances.  He can restore everything that has been lost with your child, but that is a story for another post.

God bless you as we raise the next generation!

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Classroom Ideas 0

Silent Monkey

School is four short weeks away, and most teachers are scrambling to fill their teacher tool belt with as many tricks as possible.  I love to play a game on the first days of school called “Silent Monkey.”  Now, you may call it whatever you like, but I call it “Silent Monkey” because I play the game with a stuffed Monkey named George the Third. This is also a great game to play during the year when students are getting droopy or you’re moving from one activity to another.

Here are the rules:

  • Students sit on top of their desks (kids LOVE this part of the game.)
  • One student starts with the monkey (or duck-billed platypus, whatever you like.)
  • The student with the monkey says another student’s name and throws the toy to said student.
  • If the person who throws the stuffed animal makes a bad pass, that student is out and must sit in his seat.
  • If the student receiving a good pass doesn’t catch the stuffed animal, he’s out and must sit in his seat.
  • Anyone else in the room who MAKES ANY NOISE AT ALL (laughs, oohs, ahhs, mocks, etc.) is out.
  • The game ends when only one person is left (or the timer goes off.)
  • Note 1: I personally set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes, then the game is over.  Students honestly can’t handle the game longer than that.
  • Note 2: When I’m feeling tired or lazy and don’t want to participate myself, I assign a respected student to be the judge and make the call whether a student is out or not.
  • Note 3: The stuffed animal should be weighted.  Each type of stuffed animal lends a different dynamic to the game- if you change types of stuffed animals often, you can consider it a lesson in aerodynamics.

To Summarize:

  • If you don’t say a name before you throw, you’re out.
  • If you make a bad pass, you’re out.
  • If you don’t catch a good pass, you’re out.
  • If you make ANY noise (except the name if you’re the one throwing) you’re out.
  • When you’re out, you sit in your seat instead of on the desktop.

Have fun, and let me know if you come up with any great variations.

 

 

Parenting 2

So you want to raise a monster. . .

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It seems parents everywhere are racing to create the most horrendous monster on the block.  I’m not sure why, because when I was young, parents wanted to make sure children were enjoyable, hard-working, and God-Fearing.  But if you are one of the parents who wants to raise a monster, here is my advice:

  • Let your child be in charge—have them choose the restaurant, vacation location, what to cook for dinner, or whether they will do chores or not. Never discipline your child when they tell you no or hit you—and make sure to laugh at how cute it seems in the moment. (e.g. “Listen, Linda”)
  • Constantly tell your child how great and amazing they are at everything, and be sure to lie to your child by saying they can be whatever they want to be. When your daughter brings you an ugly picture, don’t say, “What is this?” Instead, act like the drawing will be the next to hang in the Louvre.  Also, do not be honest about your child’s natural talents or gifts.  If your son is uncoordinated and slow, I’m sure he can still be a pro football player if you say it enough times.
  • Instill in your child the idea that they are better than everyone else and should always come first. Make sure your child has lots of t-shirts that brag of their superiority and accomplishments.  You might also buy your child several shirts that put others down—just for good measure.
  • Make sure your child spends all of their extra time involved in activities and entertainment so they will never discover a passion that could actually turn into a career. Fill every waking minute with fun and games  so that when your child graduates from high school, they won’t know how to work hard for an extended period of time, nor will they have any idea where their useful, productive talents lie.  This will assure that your monster is on your payroll for much longer.
  • Make sure your child always has a screen available. Make it possible for them to watch TV or play games anywhere at anytime: church, the line at the grocery store, driving 10 minutes across town, or when visiting with their grandmother.  This will insure your child has a 60 second attention span, learns conduct and morals from TV stars, and is incapable of conversing with adults.
  • Raise your child on cliches and slogans instead of the truth. Here are some useful ones:
    • When God closes a door, He opens a window.
    • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
    • If God leads you to it, he’ll lead you through it.
    • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (of course this is a real scripture, but just remember, it has nothing to do with sports.)
    • And maybe the best one: Everything happens for a reason.

 

This, of course, is not an all-inclusive list, but it should get you started on the best beast on the block.

Sarcasm aside, as parents, one should always ask, “What does this action or attitude look like when my child is 16 or 36?”  Because after all, there is no magic day when your child will “wake up” and be a grown up.  Becoming an adult is a process that begins as soon as a child is born.  As parents, we must always remember that we are raising our children to be successful and enjoyable adults– not monsters.  

Parenting is a challenge, but it’s the best job on earth.  Stay tuned for great ideas for raising your child into an outstanding adult instead of a horrendous beast.

Teacher Encouragement 0

SYNSYSN Days 21-30

One way to improve student achievement- on my end anyway-  is to improve me, so for these last days of prayer for the next school year, I am praying through Romans 12.  (I am going to work on memorizing the chapter this week as I pray.)

Day 21- God help me be willing to sacrifice for my job and my students.

Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Day 22- God help me not to fall into accepted patterns of behavior (like griping and complaining) but renew my mind daily to think like you.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Day 23- Give me the humility to not think too much of myself but to see myself as I really am.  

12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Day 24- Help my teammates and me to understand our gifts and work together for the most amazing sixth grade year ever.

12:6. . . We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. . .

Days 25-30- There are too many character traits in the next verses to list, so for the last days, I am reciting the last half of this chapter as a prayer for myself:

Rom 12:9-21 
  • Love must be sincere.
  • Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 
  • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 
  • Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 
  • Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 
  • Live in harmony with one another.
  • Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position (Or willing to do menial work) 
  • Do not be conceited.
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 
  • Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Should your next school year start now?

Should your next school year start now? Day 2

Days 3-9: Should your next school year start now?

SYNSYSN?-Day 10

SYNSYSN? Days 11-12

SYNSYSN Day 13

Day 14

Days 15-16

Days 17-20

SYNSYSN Days 21-30

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