How to Answer Little People’s Big Questions

“Why does it have always have to be like this?” whined my eight-year-old daughter. Both of my daughters react the same way to each act of differential sibling discipline, unfair choice made, or anything else that pops up on the elementary-aged “no-fair” radar.

We’ve all been on the other end of a question that we have absolutely no idea how we’re supposed to answer, let alone on a kid-appropriate level. Or, caught ourselves dead in our tracks over-explaining our reasoning to the children we are in charge of. Spiritual preparedness is the only key to responding to the wacky, weary, and out-of-bound inquiries pint-sized people ask.

Here are a few actions to find the right answers.

1. Think about it. 

“ Think before you speak…” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

I’ve often felt privy to share my abundance of knowledge on a subject in question, especially to the audience of my own children, only to realize as it left my lips that the message was probably for me. I’ll then regret not examining my own thoughts before I let them escape into thin, unprepared, air. 

A little time to think allows us to craft the answer our children are after. (And let’s be honest; sometimes we need space to take a breath while rational thought is restored.) A bit of time may be all you need. 

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A Prayer for Moms of Bullied Children

“This has been the best school year yet!” my daughter exclaimed. I was glad to hear it, because I knew the reality of hardship that she had chosen not to focus on. 

It’s challenging for a mother to let go of an injustice that has befallen her child. Bullying is an epidemic, and it’s not limited to physical harm. The mental torment that some children receive in the classroom can distract them from learning, and lead them to question the very core of their self worth. 

Moms can make a big difference in how their kids cope with bullying by listening to them and repeating to them the truth about who they are. But the most powerful weapon in the war against the bullying is prayer. 

Father, we praise You for our children. Each one is crafted differently by Your creative hand. Every child carries a piece of Your purpose in his or her heart. They have taught us a knew depth of love, and helped us to grow closer to You. 

Thank You for trusting us to take care of these precious souls. We are grateful to be mothers, and thankful beyond belief that You have blessed us with the privilege of watching them grow into the people You made them to be. 

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A Father’s Day Prayer for Those Far from Their Dads

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

We look to our heavenly Father for comfort today, as we miss being in close proximity to our dads here on earth. Whether we are parted from our fathers by distance, divorce, or death, prayer is God’s gift of comfort to us. When we don’t understand, we can turn to Him knowing He holds all of the answers. 

Father, praise You for our fathers here on earth. We know that you placed them perfectly and specifically in our lives. And though life doesn’t always look on this earth like we feel it should in our hearts, we trust Your perfect love, plan, and purpose for our lives. Thank You for our dads. Without them, we would cease to be. They are part of your plan for our lives. 

Some dads provide for us in ways that simply amaze us. Dedicated to their families, they work countless hours to foster our happiness and our dreams. Other fathers are gifted at connecting with us emotionally, guiding and encouraging us down hard paths and through difficult journeys of decision. Thank you for their faithful pursuit of You, and diligence to point us to You, too. 

There are some of us who don’t know who are dads are, or have adopted dads that You have blessed our lives with. Still others of us mourn the complete loss of our fathers through death on this earth, and desperately need to be reminded of Your goodness, Lord. When Father’s Day reminds us of the gaping hole they have left in our hearts, heal any hurt that we harbor and help us extract all love from our relationship with them. 

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The Picture Pages (#jammed daily devo, day 346)

December #jammed: Grace, given.

Day 346: Picture this…

“Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.” Colossians 3:21 (Message)

Pages and pages of pictures flipped over as the newly arrived books were broken in on DECJAM12the sinking sofa cushions. Hours and hours of memories came alive off of those pages. Smiles and laughs and salty sea air. Sandy shoes and climbed dunes. Campfires and rollercoaster rides …their lives printed out.

The hours it takes to put those books together bleeds into day and weeks. Yet, all of the time and photos that are included in the final cut are a mere fraction of the fun we’ve had over that year of their lives. It’s getting harder now, as they get older, to find the time to maintain the tradition. Some of the others are fading into the background now, and time is speeding up so fast I can barely maintain the minimum requirements.

Is this how it is supposed to be? Does the feeling of being a first-time mom ever go away?

Today’s verse instructs parents not to crush their child’s spirit.  I can’t imagine a crushing moment being included in any of those volumes. Yet, they’re there. They’ve been just as much a part of our days as the smiles we fight for. And it is a fight.

Parenting is a pendulum that swings from compassion to discipline. In the middle there is the perfect mix. If anyone ever finds it, let me know. Until then, the strategy is to cope the best we can in knowing we are not going to parent perfectly. There will be crushing moments. Moments that today’s verse reminds not to let happen on our watch.

What happens when we’ve crushed a spirit? Where do we go from there?

We remember.

Remember the babe in the manger prophesied to come when He came. Remember the child raised by a mother and father, and a man who stepped into His calling at just the right time. Even Jesus had to wait on God’s will. He lived a human life for a long time before He began performing miracles and drafting apostles.

Remember Him.

There is a reason He came to earth as a baby, grew up as a child …as a teenager! We won’t walk the earth in the perfect way He did, but we can trust that He’s been here.

When a crushed spirt is looking back at us, remember Him …and that we are not Him. Apologizing to our children takes the victory out of our enemy’s hands, and back into the hands of Jesus.

Even if we have to give ourselves the same pep-talk hundreds of times daily, keep enduring the apology. Keep going back. Keep trying. In due time, if we follow Christ with all of our hearts, the harvest will follow.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for our children, and for the patience to have survived this much of parenthood so far. Thank You for the lessons that You teach us through the children we were meant to lead back to You. Forgive us for losing it -our patience, our composure, and our sanity -and crushing our childrens’ sprits. Repair what we cannot, Father, and may they always hear Your voice above all others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Un-crushing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Reading Glasses (#jammed daily devo, day 133)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 133:Unneeded.

“Do not withhold discipline from children.” Proverbs 23:13 (VOICE)

They are still a permanent part of my pen holder. During a season riddled with health image-133issues, I obtained a set of reading glasses to correct odd headaches. Looking at a screen through different lenses didn’t cure me like it had many others. The only solution that proved to work was stepping away from the screen. But I had work to do!

God gives us the perfect amount of time to live …each day. The discipline to listen to God as He guides us through life is essential in finding what works.

Today’s verse reminds us how important it is to discipline our children, and that corporal punishment is OK. This is something society is definitely not OK with. As with anything in life, we should prayerfully consider all things …including parenting. There isn’t one blanketed way that works for each child. Even children from the same household need to be seen differently when disciplinary measures are considered.

Look at each child through a different pair of glasses, as each one is unique. The heart of parental discipline is learned by taking the time and effort to know the children God has entrusted us with. He made our children. It would behove us to ask Him what is best on their account.

Sometimes, we just need to take a break from the screen. Walk away, no matter how pressing we think the issue is or how offensive their behavior was. Until God gives us a clear understanding on how to handle our children, and other disputes in life, it’s best to remain calm and silent in prayer.

Do not withhold discipline from children,
    since corporal punishment will not kill them.
 In fact, it may be that kind of punishment
    that will save them from an early grave.” Proverbs 23:13-14

I have discovered that a quick flick to the forehead zips my kids lips faster than any other method of silencing them. One flick. Nice and hard. To the middle of their foreheads. Shocked faces. Instant quiet. Pray hard into finding what works.

Ask Jesus for leading, and then listen to it. Look through His lenses for your life. He died for our misbehavior. Try to extend that grace in return.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for this verse, and thank You for our children. They challenge and grow us like none other! We confess our tempers and impatience regarding them, and ask for Your hand in guidance to discipline them in a way that leads them to Your feet. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Flicking,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.