Tidying Up Your Child’s Heart and Mind

 Do you lift your hands to God for the lives of your children? Tidying Up Your Child's Mind and Heart | What Joy Is Mine

It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for the next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight.” (Excerpt from the book, Peter Pan)

This excerpt from Peter Pan nails my heart as a mother. If only I could rummage through my children’s minds and put everything in place. Maybe remove the hurts I might have caused as well as the things that don’t belong there that have somehow been put there in their day. Increase those things that brought them JOY and wonderment. Tag those things that built up their faith and drew them closer to God so they never forget them. You get the picture.

Mrs. Darling is so precious in how she puts her children to bed then returns to them to tidy up things in their minds for the day and give them a fresh start for the next morning. I love how she gets on her knees…lingering over them….wondering…making sweet discoveries and the not-so-sweet.

We may not be able to go into the minds and hearts of our children but that’s okay. We have someone even better than us: The Lord. He knows the deep nook and crannies of the minds and hearts of our children. He is aware of how the sweet and not-so-sweet things get in there. God knows what they are feeling and why. Because God is so familiar with our children, how much more should we entrust them to Him?

In Lamentations 2, it says to “Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children.” In this verse, pour means “to pour out one’s soul; to be poured out in tears.” To pour out from our heart — with tears — from our soul — for our children before the presence of the Lord. And to pour out our requests, concerns and praises like water, easily flowing and never ending. We are called to do that. Our children are worth the time we spend on our knees for them. We need to “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.(Psalm 62:8)

This verse also says “to lift up our hands to him for the lives of our children.” This part of the verse stressed again the importance of intercessory prayer for our children.  A reaching out to God for their spiritual well being as well as care, direction and protection over all that they experience here on earth. Remember they were His before they were ours. Think on Psalm 141, verse 2 as you pray, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Mrs. Darling has the right idea but it is God who will do all the tidying as we cover our children in prayer daily and give them to Him. I keep a prayer journal where I write down the prayers I pray over my children. I know they will always need covering plus I want to be vocal with God about all that concerns them.

So, like Mrs. Darling, let’s get on our knees for our children and, as believers, let’s allow God to do the tidying up in our children’s hearts and minds with each prayer we say for them.

 

Siggy2015

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Monday’s Musings #178

So, what have you to share this week my friends? I’m so glad you’re here.

 Monday's Musings | What Joy Is Mine

Monday’s Musings Purpose: I would LOVE! to have you share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, mothering, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.) Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo below. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Oh, and sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed. Thank you for stopping by and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

Siggy2015

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Mama, Your Role IS Most Important!

Mama, Your Role IS Most Important! | What Joy Is Mine

Do you know King Lemuel? Well, don’t feel bad if you don’t. I don’t know much about him either other than he had a wise mother who instructed him on things of great importance. King Lemuel is only mentioned twice in the Old Testament. He is found in Proverbs 31, verses 1 and 4. Some biblical scholars have suggested that Lemuel was another name for Solomon: “Lemuel is another name for Solomon that when translated means “towards (lemo) God (el).” (Source) For this post, we will stick with King Lemuel since that is how it is written in Bible.

King Lemuel had a wise mother. She instructed him on good and evil—what was good for him and what he needed to avoid. This instruction was to make him a good king, I believe. Maybe even more than a good king but a godly person. First, these were her warnings to Lemuel:

  • Do not give your strength to women.”  Warning to avoid the women who will cause him to stumble in his             kingship and life.
  • Do not give your ways to those who destroy kings.” Warning to not go down paths that are destructive to  him.
  • It is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to take strong drink.” Warning to avoid drinks that would  prevent him from thinking clearly and with a steady mind at any time. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.(Proverbs 20:1)

These were vices that kings were most likely to be tempted by. She warned him, in love, to be aware and be watchful. Lemuel’s mother understood the evil things that could destroy her son personally and in his being a ruler.

Now, for the good things she encouraged him to do:

  • Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress.” She reminded him the proper and responsible use of such drinks can restore one’s body and mind in a good way. (Read Psalm 104: 15)

  • Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” She told him to defend those who cannot defend themselves and stand for their rights as people. (Read Psalm 72:12)

  • Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” She encouraged him to be a wise judge and plead for those less fortunate. (Read Isaiah 1:17)

Lemuel’s mother desired for her son to be selfless in his dealing with others while instilling a righteous kingship over his people. This would’ve made him a good king and she knew this.

I bring this story to you because it made me think of how important a mother’s role is to her child. Aside from the daily tasks of making sure our children have meals, clean clothes, an education and so on, we have the great privilege of leading our children in the ways that would honor our Lord and be good for them all the days of their lives. As mothers, we ought to seize the opportunities to give our children the tools to live how the Lord calls them to. Lemuel’s mother does just that.

Lemuel’s mother, also, reminds us of the importance of reproving our children so that they avoid the wiles of the world and the evil one. We must be on top of this so we can properly guide our children in the way they should go. (Read Proverbs 22:6) Lemuel’s mother saw the trouble being a young prince could bring if he was not taught to be watchful and smart in his choices. We have the same responsibility to our own children as well. We must teach them how to avoid sinful choices. As they are growing in our home, we should make sure we are diligent about reproof, as needed and in love, so they know how to guard their hearts.

Lastly, Lemuel’s mother isn’t remiss about teaching her son the value of good decisions like helping the poor and defending the destitute. Just as important as warning against sinful choices, she encourages him to do what is right and selfless. Again, we as mothers, have an exceptional responsibility to teach our children how to live godly lives and make godly choices. It is good mothering to teach our children what is good along with what is not. We need to make sure our children grasp the wisdom of making good decisions unto the glory of God and for their good.

Matthew Henry writes, “when they [our children] are young and tender they are most under the mother’s eye, and she has then an opportunity of moulding and fashioning their minds well, which she ought not to let slip.” How right he is! Mama, it may seem, amid all the of the daily duties of motherhood, your role is lessened. However, remember your role in your children’s life is most important. Make each day count.

Siggy2015

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Do Not Grow Weary Mama

Do Not Grow Weary Mama | What Joy Is Mine

You’ve heard it probably more than once. Being a parent is a hard calling. It requires so much from us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We desire to have children when we get married never truly understanding the requirements go beyond changing diapers and feeding them. It goes so much more deeper into their souls and our own. We are given a great responsibility. The responsibility of another human being…another born sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

As we progress into our parenting, the challenges start manifesting themselves. We start to see their need for real guidance. We begin to find ourselves praying deeply for them. It is real now. Yet, do not grow weary mama. All you do, sacrifice and give will pay off. We must remain consistent and faithful to this task at hand. Proverbs 11: 14 warns us, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls.” We must find a real love for what we do because it is to their benefit and protection.

When we struggle through a day, we need to keep our eyes on the end result. These little hearts need our direction, correction and steadfast love. They look to us to mold them into the people God has called them to be. Prayer and the Word of God must be our tools to lead them on in desiring a relationship with Jesus and to live for Him in all they do.

Yes, you will deal with rebellion, manipulation, hard hearts, flippant tongues, disrespect of your authority and attempts to think they know better. They are sinners mama. They will seek to find a way to please their flesh and do as they want, believing they know what is right and wrong and best for them. However, we know they don’t and will need much love and consistent training in righteousness according to the Bible. “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)

Do not grow weary mama. Stand firm in your commitment and calling to raise children who will honor the Lord throughout their whole lives. Yes, it is a lifetime commitment but can you think of a better calling on this earth? When you tuck that sweet child in at bedtime or kiss her sweet cheek or hold him close, you know they are so worth the sacrifice made on your part. There will be days you will want to scream, pull your hair out and walk away. Don’t do it! Look at that gift God gave you and breathe. They will thank you one day for taking the time for them in these training years. “A faithful man will abound with blessings.” (Proverbs 28:20)

Still, keep in mind that even after they are gone from your home and have lives of their own, your parenting doesn’t come to an end. It just changes a bit. You will always be their mama. They will always need you in some way. And most likely, they will still ask for your wisdom from time to time.

I share these words with you today because I felt so inclined to encourage you. My mothering has had its own struggles and its own JOYs and I am so humbled the Lord would give me such a wonderful task. My prayer for you is that you will thank our heavenly Father for choosing you to mother the children He has given you. You are blessed sweet mama. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (Proverbs 31:28)

How do you keep from growing weary in your parenting?

 

SiggyJuly

 

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Once Upon A Time I Prayed For Patience (Guest Post from Raising Up Stones)

Once Upon A Time I Prayed For Patience | Guest Post from Raising Up Stones | What Joy Is Mine

Once upon a time, a mom of three tiny children woke up early in the morning and could not go back to sleep. She knew the giggles and screams of her three little blessings would start soon. Closing her eyes did nothing but remind her that she was still awake and in praying to return to sleep she felt God asking her to get up and spend some time with Him. Exhausted but interested she put on her robe and  quietly tiptoed out of the room. The hall was long and the wood floors were loud so the mother took each step carefully, trying not to wake the sleeping angels.

With Bible in hand she stepped on to the back porch . The morning dew was still on the ground, the sun had just risen and the air was crisp. She breathed in the quiet and the calm. Whispering, she began to pour out her heart to her Heavenly Father. “Please bring my children to a relationship with you and show me the ways I can encourage their faith. Also, I lift my husband to you. Lead him as he leads our home and grow his relationship with you,” she prayed. As she ended she said one last prayer, “Give me patience today. I know what I am asking you with this request and I am ready to accept how you may teach me this. I pray you grow my patience.”

And there it was, the prayer that would begin it all. Soon the kids were up and were asking for their food. The time at the kitchen table went as well as could be expected. A small amount of the child sized cup had splashed onto the table but no use crying over spilt milk, right? Together they laughed and played.  Another successful morning of breakfast and her heart was completely full of joy  remembering the time she had with the Lord that morning on the porch.

As breakfast ended she began to clean up. The girls (ages five and three) had just started learning to empty the dishwasher.  The oldest chose to put the silverware up in the drawers but just as the mother looked she saw her reach for a steak knife. “I will take that.” A small catastrophe avoided. She could really feel that peace of God today!

Then it happened! The dreaded event. The reason you hear “NEVER PRAY FOR PATIENCE!” As she was reaching with bowls to put in the top cabinet she felt her fingers slip a bit. Under her was a winey one year old son and above him was all of the dishes from breakfast which included three cups of unfinished chocolate milk. As she lifted her hand from the bowls they fell from the cabinet, onto the dirty breakfast plates causing the cups of CHOCOLATE milk to splash all over her. It did not stop there! They fell to the ground spraying everything on their way down. Her left side was drenched, the babies head was soaked and the kitchen cabinets were full of chocolate milk splatters.

Once Upon A Time I Prayed For Patience

As she stood in her puddle of milk, soaking wet, she had a choice. She could react or she could reflect God. Her children watched her. They were anxious to see what mommy was going to do. At first the mother stayed very silent. She observed the damage, watching as the dog began to lap up the goodness. She snatched up the one year old so that he would not fall in the stickiness and then she giggled. “God sure does answer prayer!” She thought to herself and then she thanked Him for yet another moment of training from her Father.

You see, not only was she able to conquer an overwhelming moment with thankfulness and grace, she also was made as an example to her children that day of how God can take over your heart and control the emotions that come naturally to our flesh.  I challenge you, keep praying for patience, let God teach you this powerful gift! Reflect Him in the process! If you fail, let Him pick you back up and try again! But, my friend, pray for patience.

 

Cassandra

Raising Up StonesCassandra writes at Raising Up Stones  where she encourages mothers and wives to embrace what may seem like the longest days but are the shortest years of their lives. She has been married to her best friend, who can always make her laugh, for 10 years. Together they have three children and she will begin homeschooling her kindergartner and Preschooler this year (as the one year old destroys the house!). Her passion for making each moment count with her children, finding romance in the chaos and experiencing real intimacy with God is evident in all that she writes. She hopes to inspire and encourage women in each of these areas.  You can join the journey on her blogfacebook,  Instagram, or Pinterest

 

SiggyJuly

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**If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you.