Heart Pondering

The ponderings of one Christ-following mom on raising preschoolers

Mama’s smile May 30, 2009

Filed under: For moms,The heart — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 2:41 am

kle0247Kendra over at Preschoolers and Peace recently did a series of posts called “Drowning in Home Management” in which she advised moms to create what she called a “Rock List” of five daily non-negotiable activities…  The idea being to set realistic expectations for daily household activities, ensure focus on top priorities, and keep from becoming overwhelmed.   Before sharing her own list, she invited her readers to post a comment with the five activities they identified for themselves after reflection and prayer.

The big takeaway for me was one of the items that a reader, Rachel, submitted in response to the post .  Number three on her list of five daily non-negotiable items was this: “Smiling every time one of my children approaches me.” (more…)

 

Wisdom in parenting May 27, 2009

Filed under: Behaviors,For moms,Prayer — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 10:33 pm

It can be very easy to focus on goals and methods in childrearing, and very easy to forget the need for God’s specific direction and divine leading.  How can I work on Issue X with my child?  So far I have tried strategy A and strategy B and I’m not seeing much fruit.  Let me consult this book, talk to that godly mom I respect, ponder the problem.

But oh, how much we need God’s wisdom.  His word,  His direction.   For there is no one-size fits-all strategy that “works” in parenting – for any issue.  As with most undertakings in the Christian life, we want a ‘plug and play’ solution to help us easily and quickly address whatever challenge we’re facing in parenting.  But every child is different – as is every mom.  No solution is universal. (more…)

 

Susanna Wesley on childrearing May 24, 2009

Filed under: Authority & obedience,Books,Correction — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 10:49 pm

The following is an excerpt of a letter written by Susanna Wesley, late in her life, to her son John Wesley about her childrearing beliefs and methods (she was the mother of 19 children, 10 of whom lived past infancy, and also the 25th child of 25) ~ c.1740. (more…)

 

Kindred co-mothers May 18, 2009

Filed under: For moms — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 3:19 am

Jo Ella- Suz VancouverI am supremely blessed to have some wonderful, dear friends – sisters in Christ I’ve known through decades.  These are women to whom I can always turn for advice, support, wisdom, encouragement, or love.  No matter that they are strewn all across the country.  In heart they are always with me, even as we will one day be actually near one another in heaven.

Mothering can be a lonely endeavor, and it has been a particular blessing to me that many of these dear friends became mothers around the same time as I did.  Now, when my husband and I are praying and working through dozens of childrearing issues and questions, they are alongside us in the trenches as well.  With these sisters I can share the joys and challenges I’m facing with my kids, ask advice, be built up.  Few gifts from God have been more encouraging and helpful than having these trusted friends to share my mothering journey with.  Time spent with my closest friends who are co-mothers, pursuing Christ as we raise our little ones, is at once to me an energizing lift and a soothing balm.

(more…)

 

Your kid as your BFF? May 16, 2009

Filed under: Culture,Parenting — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 11:49 pm

Who among us moms doesn’t hope to end up with a close, trusting, warm relationship with our children when they grow to be adults?  Who, in the end, wouldn’t like for our children to be true friends – fellow Christ-loving adults sharing the joy of life together?  Surely we all aim for this.

The interesting part is the sequencing.  It seems to me that often parents who seek friendship with their children often fail to achieve the long-term goal, while those whose mindset toward childrearing avoids ‘friendship’ style interaction with their kids – instead focusing on godly training, instilling character, learning responsibility (etc) – have the best shot at ending up with children who can truly be called “friends” at the adult age.

A mommy-friend of mine who works in a toystore one day a week said:

“It’s a pet peeve of mine, this tendency of society (and schools too) to put everyone on the same level… Kids throughout the class-room (honor-student stickers for everyone) and parents and their kids (I see a lot of “best friends” come into the toy store).” (more…)

 

Sanctification by mothering May 13, 2009

Filed under: Books,For moms — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 10:55 pm

In my favorite marriage book, The Mystery of Marriage, Mike Mason beautifully describes and unpacks God’s ultimate purpose in marriage – to make us holy.  We are sanctified as we live alongside someone we dearly love – and through whom we see our own flaws so clearly and personally.  “The truth about marriage,” Mason writes, “is that it’s a way not of avoiding any of the painful trials and subtractions of life, but rather of confronting them, of exposing and tackling them most intimately.  It is a way to meet suffering personally, head-on, with the peculiar directness, the reckless candidness characteristic only of love.  And so it is a gradual unfolding of interpersonal consecration, a process in which all the pain locked up in two lonely, self-centered lives is no longer hidden or suppressed (as it tends to be everywhere else in life), but rather released, that in the hands of love it might be used as the raw material for sanctification.  Marriage is not a way to evade suffering but to suffer purposefully.”  I’ve been pondering and living through these truths since I got married nearly 10 years ago.

Only recently, however, was I exposed to the idea that parenting is also a form of sanctification.  God uses our efforts to rear our children to work on us – to  purify us, rid us of sin, and make us holy.  It makes a lot of sense, actually.  Some days it can feel like all your efforts to love your child, lead him well, train him in godly ways are going…  nowhere.  No matter what you do.  A dear, godly friend once said of her son, then four, “He can make me angry in a way that no other human on the planet can.”  I can relate.  I adore my children and would gladly lay down my life for them…  But when things are going terribly despite my best efforts, they can also arouse a sense of helplessness and despair in me that I rarely meet in any other setting. (more…)

 

The legacy of Christian mothering May 10, 2009

Filed under: Mothering role — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 10:21 pm

My mom & my first babyOver the past few years, I’ve become aware of this: my mom is one of the greatest assets I have in my life.  Top 10 for sure; maybe top 5 or 3.  And I’ve realized how rare and priceless a mother like mine really is.  Among my closest Christian friends, two have mothers who are mentally ill.  The mothers of two have died.  Others have mothers who love and support them, but few have Christlike moms who are a rock in their lives.  Whose wisdom, spiriutal maturity, selflessness, and godly character are a continual presence that can virtually always be counted on.  Who communicate well, with the right frequency and in the most helpful (and least offensive) tone.  But I, by the grace of God, have such a mother.  More than being a true friend, my mom makes me tangibly feel that I have a piece of Christ with me in my corner at all times.

One way this has become evident to me is the increasing frequency with which I relay my mom’s words and wisdom (accumulated through being her daughter for 33 years) to my friends as advice pertaining to their situations – and that they appreciate and see as truth.  Really this shouldn’t surprise me, since my friends have long been seeking my mother’s counsel from her directly – such is her mothering gift and influence that it spills over to othes beyond her own children.  But sharing wisdom I’ve learned from my mom with others has revealed all that God’s taught me  – and struggles he’s spared me that my peers face today – through the mentoring and training he provided via my mom.  (more…)