Keep it Cool, Mama
December 7, 2022
Keep Calm and Follow the Lord
Children are a blessing. God’s Word says so, but it’s already impressed upon a mother’s heart when that child is born. They come to us helpless, needing their Mama, so cuddly and loving. Such a blessing of the Lord.
And then, years later, some of them veer off the course. They “go rogue” or “off the rails” sometimes. In their rightful, natural pursuit of growing up, they widely overstep and abandon truth and the things that are correct and right—those truths their parents taught them in love. They forget that love, that genuine care, that safe place their parents have been for them. They go through a period where they are ungrateful, illogical, and self-centered to the point they can’t see straight. They are front-and-center in their world. And it blinds them for a time. Like all of us, they have a sinful nature. The heart is deceitfully wicked.
God must draw them. Their salvation ultimately is between them and God alone. We disciple them early and consistently, and He does the rest.
And to a Mama, when the “illogical season” is happening, it all crashes down. We look backwards to a time when there was peace and calm—such joy in that fat, gurgling, happy baby that we would give our very life for. It defies all logic that they have moved into a bout of betrayal—that they would throw away the only ones who have loved them forever. And the fierce, protective, prayerful love of their Mama is tossed back in her face.
I want to share with you that when I was a teen I hated my father. I despised him. In my teen “wisdom,” I deemed him a fool, and in the alternate reality I created for myself, he was one. I was always right, you see. And truth be told, he probably could not stand to be in my presence at that time. I lied about him. I made him into a monster. I was front-and-center in my own world, and he was a bother in that world—dispensable, disposable, not needed. Haughtily, I threw him away.
I had no concept of gratefulness, no appreciation of sacrifices he made throughout my life, and no real idea of the sleepless nights my parents endured when I was sick and hospitalized many times growing up. I had no vision for the future where I would need this love and support. Clueless, foolish girl.
Here is hope:
Fast forward many years later: my father became one of the most important people in my life—the only one highlighted in my incoming emails (I literally receive over 1,000 per day), so they’d pop up to the top of the list. God, in His great mercy and patience and love, has healed what was once a chaotic, hopeless mess. What was thrown away was picked up gingerly from the rubbish bin, dusted off with care, and revived.
My father has now passed on. I loved him with all my heart and will honor him all my remaining days. I love the Lord (the One who is my true “front and center”), and as such, I have a correct view of appreciation and gratefulness. I’m thankful the Lord gave me an opportunity to honor and love my father appropriately in my adult years. We had him in our home countless times, and he played with all my children before he died.
Mama, if you are going through a chapter of despair over wayward children, put your eyes on the God of the universe, the One who can take sadness and destruction and reform those tattered, useless pieces, putting them back together. God is the Author of life. He is the Author of family. He takes parenting very seriously; the faithful Dad and Mama will not be forsaken. Stay calm and prayerful and lean heavily on scripture to teach obedience. Disciple them, Mama!
These articles from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine may also help:
Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There by Nanci Smith
Your Children Need a Prayer Warrior by Carla Earley
The Importance of Obedience and How to Get Your Children on Board by Deborah Wuehler
Keep walking. Pray for that child without ceasing. God is not finished with him yet, just as He wasn’t finished with me, a rebel teen who caused plenty of pain so long ago. The Lord makes it right again. And He repairs. He bounds up what is broken . . . especially the frail, human heart.
Pray and don’t give up. In the meantime, His hand is on your head today—and His eyes on your heart.
Twelve Names of Christ for Christmas! Celebrate Christ by learning to treasure the gift of His Name this Christmas. Twelve days; twelve names: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Savior, Jesus, The Lamb of God, The Light of the World, The Good Shepherd, and The Alpha and Omega. A twelve-day family Bible reading plan with activities for children included. Bring Christ back into focus this Christmas! See YouVersion’s Bible.com Bible reading plans and search for “Twelve Names of Christ for Christmas“
My Child Said WHAT?!
Many years ago, when the kids were young, we were sitting around the table eating and laughing when one of my older children said a word that stunned my wife and me. It just hung in the air like a vulgar cloud. We glanced at each other, and by the innocent look on our child’s face, we knew he had no idea what the word meant.
Later my wife and I talked about it, wondering if we should bring the word to his attention so he wouldn’t say it again in public. That’s the thing about some of the words our children sometimes say (or most assuredly WILL say)—kids don’t have the same foundation as a 40-year-old. They hear words . . . that are just words. Sometimes I think we freak out and explain too much and get angry when we just need to sit still and remain quiet.
So there are times when we should remain calm and assess, and there are times when we need to say something. It’s okay to say, “They may talk that way, but we don’t talk that way EVER!” Sometimes you’ll even have to dole out some chastisement to deal with habitual offenders.
Here’s the deal about some of those bad words . . . they might have learned them from us!!! Sometimes, we let them slip in moments of frustration or during homeschooling. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t correct our children, but if we want them to grow up NOT saying those words then we better stop saying them ourselves.
You can say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but they WILL DO what you do, regardless of what you say.
So to boil it all down . . . don’t freak out; deal with the real issues; examine your own words, and . . .
About the author
Todd Wilson is a husband, dad, grandpa, writer, homeschool conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker all across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of The Familyman and The Smiling Homeschooler, his passion and mission are to remind moms and dads of what’s most important through weekly emails, podcasts, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool four of their eight children (the other four are homeschool graduates) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. You can read more at www.familymanweb.com.
How to Remain Calm in the Chaos
How can we keep it cool, and remain calm, in the midst of our decision to homeschool? After all, our lifestyle means chaos and mess around every corner. Here’s how.
Be Kind to Yourself
We are commanded to be kind to ourselves and others. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32. It doesn’t say we are excluded. Speak kindly to yourself, not cruel, hurtful, or unforgiving. Speak the truth to yourself, but the truth is not always negative. Don’t dive headlong into negative self-talk. You are a beloved child of God. Treat yourself as a person loved by the Lord.
Plan for Margin
A book is easier to read when there is more white space. A life is easier to live when there is more white space, too! That means we need to plan ahead, to schedule free time. It seems strange to plan unplanned hours, but that’s what is required to remain cool and collected. Children need free time to discover imaginative play. Parents need free time to remain calm.
Only our Heavenly Father is perfect. We are mere mortals. Perfection is not required. We are only required to do our best, not more than you can hope for or imagine. A good homeschool day does not mean perfection. It means you have given your best effort for a reasonable amount of time.
The Sabbath was commanded so we could rest. The Lord rested after creation, not because he needed rest, but to emphasize the importance of taking a day of rest. Daily rest is important, too. At the end of a long school day, stop. Decide you are done for the day. Don’t worry about what you didn’t complete but start again tomorrow when you are fresh.
Learn the secret to balanced homeschooling with “Creating Homeschool Balance: Find Harmony Between Type A and Type Zzz.” Busy-based homeschooling is overrated. Homeschooling from rest leads to success.
About the author
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a speaker and author of more than 30 books about homeschooling high school. An expert on homeschool transcripts and getting scholarships, Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Grab some of the complimentary homeschool resources from Lee and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram
Pillar of Hope
Roger Smith – Sailing is Best in Calm Waters
The LEAST EFFECTIVE means of parenting is anger.
Emotions alert us to something important that is happening. Recognizing their importance as our “warning lights,” emotions tell us, “pay attention!”
Happiness, exuberance, grief, fear, and others grab our attention, and anger is meant to do this, too! But BEWARE! Anger is not telling us to lash out, or to attack.
Rather, anger calls us to evaluate the best response to situations where the right thing is not happening. Evaluate AND decide the best response. Responding emotionally is usually not best.
We want our children to change, to get moving, to make better choices, to care. But our emotion changes them only while we hover over them. That’s not long enough!
Calm, persistent communication is like wind on smooth water that pushes the boat onward pleasantly. Calm emotional waters in the home create the environment for self-motivated change where the sailors trim their sails to catch the wind of our family values and move themselves to a better place.
James 1:20 says, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
Anger is an alert signal for us to respond to a need strategically. Listen to it, evaluate, respond.
About the author
Dr. Roger Smith is a family doctor in rural Louisiana, where he and his wife, Jan, raised four adventurous children who are all grown, making their own mark in the world. He speaks and writes on parenting issues and produces brief videos that can be found on Facebook @ParentingMattersNow.
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Use your math skills to shop for and make some great gifts, express your creativity with winter notebooking, craft adorable snowmen, and enjoy a special gift from Ditch the Desk and the Gothard Sisters with the Gifts and Winter study in the Ditch the Desk course at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
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in the winter issue of
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Tamara Pool, Happy Holiday Management!
How can you create a peaceful holiday that everyone, including a mother, can enjoy? Simply follow the link and read “Happy Holiday Management!” from the latest issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Ready to recharge your homeschool? Have the Winter issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine delivered to your door. Find tips on midyear perseverance, family Bible study, healthy habits (including healthy tech habits), how to start blogging, homeschooling and self-sufficiency, and so much more. Limited quantities available. Go ahead and gift yourself a copy today.
Congratulations to our October winner, Tonya Sinner from Minnesota!
for the month of December
Susannah’s Midnight Ride and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812
Susanna’s Midnight Ride: The Girl Who Won the Revolutionary War tells how a 16-year-old girl exhibited unbelievable bravery and thereby changed the course of history. The tale unravels over twenty-six chapters. The book also includes an epilogue, afterword, and acknowledgments. It is 219 pages.
The Study Guide for Susanna’s Midnight Ride is sixty-one pages long. It includes one page of academic information and how it applies to Virginia Standards of Learning, a page about the author and the book, and two pages on the House Joint Resolution No. 649 for Susanna Bolling Day. (She truly deserves her own day!) The study guide devotes one page to each chapter of the novel. Answers are included.
Dolley Madison and the War of 1812: America’s First Lady consists of thirty-two short chapters plus an epilogue, author’s note, selected bibliography, and acknowledgments. Also included are four of Dolley Madison’s favorite recipes woven into the story. The book is 237 pages long.
The Study Guide for Dolley Madison and the War of 1812 is seventy-two pages long. It includes two pages of academic information and how it applies to Virginia Standards of Learning, a page about the author and the book, and a complete synopsis of the story. The study guide devotes one page to each chapter of the novel. Answers are included.
McNamee’s novels are examples of living books at their finest. These are stories from long ago that seem to be taking place in real-time. McNamee wrote in first person and present tense, allowing readers to live the adventures and fully experience these historical moments. Readers and listeners will feel the characters’ emotions, picture the surroundings, join the excitement, and even smell the smells of the settings.
This is part of a review of two historical novels Susannah and the Midnight Ride and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812. Read the full review on our site which includes more details about the stories and accompanying study guides.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN Dolley Madison and the War of 1812 and the accompanying study guide.
Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Go to Bible.com’s Bible Reading Plans for the Twelve Names of Christ for Christmas, a family Bible Reading Plan with a devotion for the parents and activities for the children. Bring Christ to the forefront of your Christmas celebrations with this simple 12 day reading plan written by Deborah Wuehler, senior editor of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
This free product and more are found in our 2022 Freebie Directory: TOS Freebie Directory – The Old Schoolhouse®
Find recipes, traditions, and stories from staff and favorite authors in The Old Schoolhouse® CHRISTmas Greetings edition. Read about Deborah’s Oranges for Christmas, a true story of God’s provision, here: The Old Schoolhouse – Oranges For Christmas (thehomeschoolmagazine-digital.com)
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