I recently had the opportunity to visit with my mentor, Dr. Jo Bevington. Three years ago I first wrote about her on my blog; click here to read that post.
When Jo was 58 she earned her Doctorate in Preschool Education. Her dissertation was ‘Faith Development in Children Birth through Three’!! She has taught at Biola University and New Orleans Seminary, served as Minister to Preschoolers in several large churches; and has been my friend and mentor for 30 years now. It is her profound and lasting impact on my life that has instilled in me the strong desire I have for establishing God’s Word in children.
Jo contacted me about a year ago when she was about to move into a nursing home; she wanted to give me all her files from a lifetime of working with children!!!!! She is 88, is almost blind, walks with a walker, and only quit teaching preschoolers about two years ago!!!
Billy and I took a quick trip to Texas last week to pick up the files and spend time with Jo. It was a privilege to sit at her feet again. She has always inspired me with her intimate relationship with the Lord. Her spirit shines forth so strongly that I hardly noticed her physical limitations. (2 Cor. 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.)
Here are some videos of our time with Jo. Please watch and be inspired by this 88 year old saint who passionately walks with the Lord and loves children like no one else I have ever met!
Sometimes we can get so overwhelmed with all the books, information available on the internet, and advice from well-meaning friends and family on the different aspects of parenting, that we don’t know what to do!!
Whether you are struggling with behavior problems with your children or the methods of potty training, YOU know your child and the situation better than anyone else and GOD will lead YOU.
Just close the books!
Quit searching the internet!
Quit quizzing others!
and ASK GOD!
Search HIS WORD for direction!
We all need encouragement from others, but don’t substitute the fellowship with other moms for time alone with God. In order to know what to do for your little one, you must spend time with the One who created you both. He is ready and waiting to help. If you let Him help, motherhood can draw you closer to God than you have ever been!
I am convinced that there is nothing a child goes through or a situation we go through that can not be handled with prayer and the Word. An old preacher once said, “God works in the lives of children through their parents; and parents work in the lives of their children through prayer.” It always goes back to God. Pray about EVERYTHING, no matter how big or small.
My favorite verse as a mom has always been 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is who calls you, who will also do it.” He has called us to the awesome and sometimes overwhelming responsibility and privilege of parenting – He has PROMISED to do it through us!!
You’ve heard the expression ‘If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’. This is so true. We underestimate our power to set the tone of the day. But far more reaching than that is our affect on our children for the rest of their lives! – No pressure, right?!!
We as mothers have been called to the hardest, most overwhelming responsibility EVER! However – it is also the greatest privilege that God bestows – to love and mold a little life!
But – wow! – how do we be and do all that is required of a mother?
Well, God never asks us to do something without making a way for us to do it. For example 2 Cor. 5:20 speaks of God imploring us to be reconciled to Him; 2 Peter 1:1 points out that God sent His Son Jesus who makes us right with Him.In Mark 11:22 Jesus commands us to have faith in God; again in 2 Peter 1:1 we see that He gives us even the faith to believe.
So it is with our call to be a mother!!!! God gives us a promise: 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.” Take heart that He who called you to this awesome privilege and overwhelming responsibility will He, Himself, do it! All we have to do is let Him!!! Also, be encouraged by Isaiah 40:11 “. . . He gently leads those that have young.“
So please have a Happy Mother’s Day resting in the fact that God’s got your back. He understands what a great work He has entrusted to you. He has promised to gently lead youas you depend on Him to do through you what He has called you to do.
Children are a gift from God; they are his reward.
It seems in every disappointment in my life, God has always used children to lighten my heart.
In this video, a baby is laughing hysterically at ripping paper. The amazing thing is the paper being ripped is a job rejection letter the dad had just received. How good is God to cause the baby to be so amused by the ripping of the paper and thus bring such enjoyment to the dad in the midst of his difficult situation!
Now click here, listen to this song by The Oak Ridge Boys, and ‘Thank God For Kids’! Children truly are a gift from Him!
Take a walk around the house or outside and point out things you are thankful for. Turn it into a prayer of thanks as you say “Thank you God for” and name each thing. You can also take pictures of these things and put them in a thank you box that you can decorate together. Each night you can pull out a picture and thank God for it. You can include in your box pictures of family and friends to be thankful for. Older children may want to draw pictures or make a thank you notebook. These activities are for the whole family. You never get too old to be thankful for the things and people around you.
Click on the link to hear a song you can use to sing your thank you’s as you walk. I apologize for the quality. . . it is from a 32 year old tape . . . but you can still get the tune and the idea.
When your child’s behavior is less than what you have hoped for, do you pull out another ‘how to’ book, or phone a friend for advice, or take a poll on facebook, or spend hours googling the problem? No, this is the time to pray!!!
Anytime you have a concern in your child’s development, no matter what age and no matter how big or small the problem, your first response should be prayer. Ask the One who made the child and knows and loves the child better than you, how to deal with him or her.
Parents work in the lives of their children through prayer. It keeps us in tune with God and gives Him the freedom to work in our children’s lives. This is not to say you never seek advice, but first, always talk to God about the situation and even pray with your children concerning the problem.
And also, when you get exasperated by something your child is doing, remember God gives us time to grow and mature, let’s do the same for our children.
One of the best resources for disciplining children is Under Loving Command. It is a short booklet that can be read over and over for instruction, encouragement, and reinforcement. It can be read on line at http://www.ntmu.net/lovingcommand.htm or purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here – Under loving command
WD-40 has always been around our house and seems to be as valuable to a man as superglue is to a woman. But what does WD-40 stand for? I just found out from a post at Our Daily Journal that it literally stands for ‘Water Displacement 40th attempt’. “In 1953, chemist Norm Larsen was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion—a task which is accomplished by displacing water. Larsen’s unyielding tenacity and persistence paid off when he perfected the formula on his 40th try.” I thought that was so awesome to see that the name of the product is a reminder to don’t give up.
I also found out from Our Daily Journal that chutzpah (khoot-spuh) is a Jewish/Hebrew word for headstrong persistence, unyielding tenacity, bold determination, and raw nerve. Right now my husband and I have several things concerning our children that we are imploring the Lord for with intense chutzpah. We will not give up until we see God answer. There are several examples of this in scripture and God was pleased with it.
In Genesis 32:24-29 Jacob wrestled with God and said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” And God blessed him!
In Matthew 15:22-28 a woman comes to Jesus concerning her daughter’s possessed condition and she refused to leave Him alone until He healed her daughter. Jesus commended her faith.
In Luke 11 Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray and told a story about being persistent in asking.
God is pleased when we trust Him so much we come to Him with chutzpah. Keep petitioning God on behalf of your children!!!
Listen to this song and sing it with your children as you resolve to Don’t Give Up (Royal Tapestry Records, 1985)