Thursday, 21. January 2010 by Renee Ellison
If you like these tips, forward this “mommy blog” to other hardworking moms you know down in the trenches of raising children who want/need some inspiration.
Mom’s Tip: The authority of your word
Learn to take your own word of authority seriously. When your children are young, spend lots of time following up your own word…giving it weight. This will result in having it take almost no time later; your authority will have been established.
When you say something to your children, you must believe it yourself, first. Ask yourself, “How important is it that my own word be obeyed?” If you take it laxly, your children will take it laxly. If you think of it merely as a suggestion and not as a command, your children will respond just that way…and will avoid even the suggestion! If you can be talked out of it, or if you believe, after experiencing some resistance, “Oh, that request didn’t really matter anyway,” your children will adopt the same attitude.
If you take up your children’s counter suggestions instead of your own original command, they will become entrenched in OFFERING those ALTERNATIVE suggestions…and demanding them. If you become preoccupied with something else after issuing your command, your children will do the same. If you answer their question of “Why?” they will ask it every time. If you condescend to discuss it, you’ll go to bed with discussions and wake up with discussions…as chains about the ankles of your every command. They are little lawyers lookin’ for loopholes! Don’t even start to answer their whys. Don’t go there, or you’ll find they have quickly gotten you out of YOUR boxing ring into theirs, right where they willfully want you. If they respond slowly, or not at all (with one eye cocked on your response), they’ll get the message that you are OK with that.
It is very inconvenient to have to follow your own word around the house to see that it is done…your EVERY word to them. Nevertheless, in the beginning with every child you must hover over your own word until it is executed…each and every time. You can do this without a further word, after your FIRST command. Stare at them. Go put a hand on their shoulder and point them in the right direction. Go just stand next to them. Tower over them and don’t move. Command them even just with your firm eye, afterwards, merely looking in the direction you want them to go.
You must learn to become vigilant over your own word. The project you’d rather be doing at the moment is not your highest priority, the soul of your child is. God is training YOU in the diligence of authority. You’ll have to get over your own sluggishness, your weakness in not wanting to have to battle AGAIN. This is hard work. At first it is exhausting. Yet, all valuable pursuits and ambitions in life are hard-won, if they are worth anything. This is no different. Buckle up. “There is a cost for doing something and a cost for doing nothing.” The cost for NOT believing in your own authority is domestic chaos and being RULED by your children. If your children are not OBEYING you, they are RULING you. Not only are YOU not lord of your home, God is not Lord of your home, your children are.
Conversely, remember that you are not raising personal servants or slaves. The result of THAT will be that when they are grown they will move far, far away from you. Make sure that the motive of all your commands is to have a peaceful, loving home life that is running smoothly, and that your commands are ultimately for THEIR sake, for their own maturity, not for your own self-indulgence or your every whim. At some deep level, your children will know the difference. All dictators throughout history have had stormy ends.
Home Management Tip: One-a-day’s
Do one thing that you can’t stand to do, and do it first thing in the morning. Immediately after devotions, conquer making DINNER. This guarantees joy later in the day.
Kitchen Tip: Small canning jars for multi-purpose storage
We’ve all heard of the large Ball canning jars. But have you discovered the inexpensive little 8 oz. ones? If you do get a tray of them, be sure to buy the easy white plastic lids next to them, to go with them ...and use those lids instead of the metal ones with the rings when storing dried goods. Then you can buy your major spices in bulk! I use these little jars, arranged neatly in a row and labeled for parsley, cilantro, chili, curry, all purpose seasoning, and dried teas. You can also use them to store extra juice or coconut milk in the fridge, and for little treats or liquids (use the tighter sealing metal rings for liquids) when running errands to town (they’ll fit neatly and snugly in your purse), as well as for your hubby’s lunch box.
Sewing Tip: Drapery for warmer rooms
Rich thick velvets and brocades were used as drapes around family beds on purpose in those castles all over Europe because it was COLD in there. A thick blanket can be converted to a drape used to cover a drafty door or window very easily. Install a rod long enough to have one foot extensions on both sides of door or window, so that in the daytime the blanket/drape can be pushed totally to one side off the door or window. You could use a cheap dowel rod, or broomstick handle instead. Sew a long piece of lace (4 inch, doubled over to be 2 inch wide) all along the back top edge of a cheap thrift store blanket/comforter. (Cut lace from an old lace tablecloth or curtain). Install bathroom shower hooks along the holes in the lace wherever you want them. Hang. Your house will be cozy warm, with no hike in your utility bill.
Marriage Tip: No perfect spouse
There is no perfect husband. They are all out of balance. (Just like us women…out of balance nearly every day . If they are good at one thing, chances are they’ll be rotten at somethin’ else. If your husband is Christopher Columbus, don’t expect him to be Charles Dickens. Work at improving YOU (the only person you have total control over) and you’ll have very little energy left to start in “working” on him.
Devotions Tip: A solution
After nearly 60 years of looking for the perfect way to do devotions, this is IT for me (at least, nowadays!). Read in four places in the Bible every day, one chapter each. One OT chapter, one NT chapter, one chapter in Psalms, and one in Proverbs. This means you’ll be repeating Psalms and Proverbs several times during a year but will also be moving progressively and sequentially through the rest of the Bible. This will keep you wise in your relationships, healthy in your heart, knowledgeable in your vital Hebrew roots, and spiritually aggressive in the spirit of ACTS. You’ll never come up dry. Never!