Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm not a "good enough" parent...now what??


*This post may contain affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our family!

















What If I'm Not Good Enough As A Parent:

What Then??


Feed them breakfast. Pack their lunches.

Run 'em to soccer practice.

Don't forget to put the crock pot on.

Read a bedtime story. Say the prayers...

Repeat.

__________________

Sometimes it would seem that if we were to condense
all parenting advice into a manual, all that'd be contained
would be a LONG list of do's & don't's.

Does anyone else ever feel this way??

_____________

For many years, I've struggled with
comparing myself to other parents.

Both seasoned and newbies.

It didn't matter.

& looking at my children, and making an assessment.

Not an informative assessment... as in which character traits we're currently working on.

(Although I do try to do that from time to time.)

But one that grades my self-worth.

______________

If the kids are all doing great, then I should give myself
an "A", or perhaps start a speaking tour or something.

If the kids are struggling, even if it's just one of them,
maybe I shouldn't even leave the house this morning....
keep my struggles to myself...

________________

As think as long as I live, I may have to battle
that perfectionist type of thinking.

As a first-born & Type A that is.

However, I sense there's something much deeper going
on in our culture.

I believe we've subscribed to a bunch of parenting philosophies that
champion a 'check list' mentality.

In order to get the 
result that we desire, we do 'x' to get 'y'.

The result is (hopefully) outwardly compliant children 
that give us our pride & self-worth!




________________


I think it's time for a parenting revolution.

Let me preface this to say:

I'm not advocating throwing out the baby with the bathwater!!!

The training of children to listen & respond to us.

The social cues we instill.

Minding their "p's & q's".


using their talents faithfully, and all the wonderful principles outlined in the bible


(NOTE: I've attached various scriptures above^ to principles if you need examples)

_______________________

However, I've actually been challenged by the Lord over the last while,
to parent, not out of fear or legalism (as I'd previously been doing),
but to parent out of His grace, and His love.

So while, I'm definitely not throwing out discipline
& consequences for negative behaviour,
I am learning a new way to leading our children to the cross...

__________


What does this mean exactly?

Actually, this method of parenting by grace is not a new way after all...
it's the way of generations of believers before us.

It's understanding that if our parenting amounts to no more than teaching our children
a code or morality, as Christ followers, we're entirely missing the point.

Instead, the primary goal is to lead them to the cross of Calvary.

The cross where they, like ourselves, will receive freedom & forgiveness of sin.


_______________

What's been on my reading shelf lately, and has
helped to lead me (in part) to focus more of
God's grace in my parenting?

It's this OUTSTANDING parenting book:





I highly recommend it as a great addition to your book library.

Scripture packed & full of illustrations, the authors
here advocate that families need to bring the cross into their parenting skill set.
_______________

Now, I want to reiterate,
I am a "not good enough parent" myself.

I could share a library of stories containing my own parenting failures...

But here's a list of a few:

*losing my temper with my children

*forgetting an important event of my child's

*fighting with my spouse in front of the kids

*showing them lack of compassion to someone genuinely in need

*missing symptoms in their life of a serious issue, until it blew up in my face...

The list could go on & on!


___________________

But here's what I'm learning to do...






So, parents, how do we do this practically?



2. Jesus will forgive our genuine repentance, so we forgive ourselves.

models to them that they too are important members of the family.




Remember: the goal is for each one of our children to experience His salvation, and from 
there, to cultivate their own relationship with the Lord.





______________


What about you: how have you failed as a parent, and how
will you show yourself more grace?

________________



MORE LIKE THIS--> 







_____________


MORE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS-->









Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tips For Creating Special Memories With Your Daughter



*This post may contain affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our blog!












Tips For Creating Special Memories
 With Your Daughter


So far, we have been blessed with four sons, and two daughters.

Two beautiful girls that I get to love & cherish...

Dreamed about.
And am so thankful that they're here.

Now, this post isn't to say that we don't create
special memories with our sons.

We do. That'll just be for another post :)


So, today I'll be sharing some practical tips to create 
precious memories with our daughters!




Get To Know Her. Study Her Interests.

If you want to build a stronger relationship with anyone,
you need to "study" their heart.

Get to know them.
What makes them tick & their likes/dislikes.

It works in marriage, and the same principles can
be applied in parenting.

Every child, girl or boy, is unique.
No two children will be the same, or necessarily enjoy
the same activities.

Find out what your daughter enjoys & is interested in; 
it will help you to select activities to engage in together that
will bless her heart!


Watch For Opportunities To Naturally Arise


A lot of relationship building is simply being attentive. 

With children, and the flow of life together,
there will naturally arise special opportunities
where you can bond with your girl.

Sometimes for me, this has come up on
an impromptu one-on-one shopping excursion.
Other times it's been a drive in the car.
A longer than usual bedtime of talking & cuddling.

Be attentive parents.
When those moments come up, we don't want to miss them!


Also, Plan Special Times Together!

Looking for natural opportunities is one side of the coin,
and the other is to plan special times together!

My children all love our one-on-one "date" nights.
Hubs & I take turns taking each child out (aside from 
the babies).

The last few have all been different & depended on 
the child's interest.

The most recent date with my eldest daughter consisted of a dinner & shopping date.

We had a lot of fun, and I could tell by the huge grin on her face,
that by the end of it, she was feeling loved & cherished.


Pray & Plan (Be Purposeful)

When we get together with our daughters,
I've learned we also need to be purposeful.

There are areas I've learned that need to be discussed, 
BEFORE a child/teen experiences them.

Preparing children (whether young or old) with our conversations 
helps them to be ready for life.

What do I mean by this?

Puberty for example.

It's a topic I've covered with our 10 year old daughter
a number of times.

I started the big changes around 11 years of age myself, 
and I don't want her to be shocked or scared
when any of these natural changes occur.

It's also important to be in prayer for all of our children!



& I've experienced
that time & time again, He is faithful to


Be A Good Listener


I think many of us often forget this verse...

(myself included!)

If there's any mistake I've made with my children-
and I'm sure many of you can relate- 
it's being "too" busy in the moment 
& missing an important conversation.

Learning to have a good set of listening ears
benefits all of our relationships, but in particular
it can benefit our young & impressionable daughters.

If they learn that Mom & Dad are a safe place
to talk (vent, cry, laugh, ask questions), then
it can help them to weather the storms of life 
as they grow & mature.




Be Trustworthy With Her Heart

Once you are purposeful in developing
a closer relationship with your daughters,
over time they will naturally begin to share 
larger & larger issues with you...

And this is where you need to be a 
"trustworthy" friend.

I do keep hubby in the loop about any major issues that crop up.

Also, if there's anything serious that arises, then we
need to look for back up support (i.e. say an eating disorder
came up, well then counselling would be in order), however
learning NOT to repeat personal information in front of strangers,& 
even your friends, is imperative!

Don't take the secrets of her heart & let her hear
you sharing them with a friend's mom.

Don't take the secrets of her heart & share them online
(she may not see them now, but one day she will prob 
be using the very same social media sites!!)

Don't take the secrets of her heart & 
even bring them up in front of her siblings.

Learn to guard your mouth, be selective in who you consult,
and show her that she can trust you with her deepest
thoughts!

_____________________



Here is where I got my inspiration for this post from:



Our two daughters are now the tender ages of
10 & 2 years old.

My eldest daughter & I have recently planned an overnight
trip... just the two of us.

We will stay in a near by beautiful bed and breakfast (St. Jacob's), and
head to their local farmer's market. 

Some hikes may be on the
agenda, and of course, our fav restaurant (The Crossroads).

I'm sure they'll be lots of laughter & sharing.

She is 'over the moon' in excitement!!

And through this experience together, I am
hoping & praying that we'll continue to develop a 
stronger bond.





What about you: what do you do to cultivate a strong relationship with your daughter(s)?


_____________________________________



MORE LIKE THIS--> 









Sunday, April 10, 2016

10 Reasons To Consider Eating Healthy!!!


*This post may contain affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our blog!












10 Reasons To Consider Eating Healthy


Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated.

It really doesn't...

All that's required is a commitment to keep learning
& being willing to continue to take steps forward.

And what is "eating healthy" exactly?

As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I have been asked this
type of question quite often.

In response to this, one of my fav quotes to share with others is,
"If it was here around 100 years ago, then it's healthy."

So, if it WASN'T around when our grandparents were eating??
Then avoid it. Lessen your consumption of it.

To sum it up, the less processed & packaged the better.





___________________

***Note: this article is not intended to diagnose, cure, 
treat or prevent any disease. 

It is for educational purposes only.

________________


Now, onto the why behind choosing healthy eating habits.

I think once you read these reasons, and really
let them soak in, you'll realize (much like I have as of late)
that the reasons for eating health FAR outweigh
any reason to continue just eating "whatever"...

So, here goes:

My Top Ten Reasons For Eating Health


1) Increased Energy.

At first, however, your energy may actually wane.
If you make a whole bunch of dramatic changes, you may
actually "shock" your body for a short time.

But then, I always hear this over & over again: INCREASE of energy!
It becomes easier to get through the day, and if you keep
being consistent, then you may find yourself actually 
looking forward to each day more than you have before.

Now, that's worth watching what you eat.


2) Nicer Skin.

Skin, in the nutritional world, is seen as one of our detox organs.
We also link it to our digestive & absorption health.

The better choices we make with our food, the easier time 
our digestion will have.




3) Improved digestion.

For someone like myself, that is digestion uh,"sensitive"
I can tell when I fall off the eat healthy "wagon".

A birthday party. A special event.
I usually allow myself some leeway.

However, it's not without a cost...usually in the form of digestive distress.

Eating food that is natural (aka not man-made, but
God made) will be easier for your body to break down, recognize, absorb & assimilate.

I can hear your body humming already...


4) Better Moods.

Mood disorders are related to so many factors that are beyond the scope
of this article.

However, google "mood disorders & changing diet" and you will find


5) Supports The Immune System.

As a Mama of 6, I no longer think it's a coincidence
that during the Christmas holidays (with treats galore!)
the kids are more prone to illness.

Of course, there's the extra people we're around,
but I do see a difference from when I've just let them
eat whatever/whenever versus trying to eat somewhat healthy.

One thing that improves as you eat healthier, is you 
should be consuming less sugar.

and fresh fruits & veggies contain loads of antioxidants, it makes sense
that as you eat healthier, you should see your
immune system begin to function much better!


6) Weight Loss.

Now, this may not be your goal, but as you begin to nourish
your body properly, you should see an improvement
in your body composition over time.

Over time is the key. Slow & steady is the best way.

I also personally don't believe weight loss should be the 
main factor for improving the diet, but instead, should
be a nice side effect :)




7) Better Taste Buds.

I have found this time & time again.

As people begin to eat more nutrient dense foods,
they will find their body begins to crave & prefer it
over the "junk food" counterparts.

As you make healthy choices, and reap the benefits of doing so,
your body will now more easily recognize the side effects
of junk foods (feeling tired & lethargic are two that I experience),
and want to avoid them!


8) Supports The Cardiovascular System.

With all the stats on heart attacks, and it being the NUMBER ONE
killer in the US, it is easy to see why we ALL should be concerned.


So cut back on those dreaded junkier foods, 
and stock up on tons of fresh produce!!!


9) Brain Boost.


It's true.


So, let's not forget that the same healthy nutrient rich foods that 
support the other systems in the body, will also support the brain!


10)  To Be Able To Fulfill Your Call

All of us have a particular call on our lives.

A purpose.

A place where God would have us serve.
Our gifts & talents were given for something greater than ourselves.


Our calling is to glorify Him in whatever we do.


Colossians 3:23/24 
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. 
You are serving the Lord Christ."


As we begin to take better care of ourselves,
and our energy increases, and our bodies 
begin to respond positively over time,
then we will be able to do ALL that He has called us to
with the motivation & strength which He gives us!


_____________


Looking to make some improvements in your health?

Here are some of my recommended reads to help you get started!









________________________

A Word Of Caution & Concern For Those Still Suffering--> 

Now, if there are other outstanding health issues that won't respond 100% to 
improving the diet, then you may want to supplement as well. 

This is where a good quality Nutritionist can help
you assess where your money would be best spent.

However, even after using supplements & healthy eating, 
and seeing specialists, and taking medications...

You may still be in a season of waiting on your body to respond
to something...ANYthing.

I know loved ones that suffer daily from 

Know that healthy eating is still worth it, as it can help
support all of your body's functions.

Keep seeking answers. Keep praying for wisdom.

Keep researching.

But know, that you're not alone dear friends.

_______________


MORE LIKE THIS--> 
















LinkWithin

Recommended Reads For You
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links seen on my blog would be considered “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will add value to my readers. Thank you for visiting & supporting my blog!