Life can be crazy sometimes. It can be hard. A challenge for even the youngest of us. That said there have been a number of things that left me feeling sad this year, when it comes to my oldest son. Sad in – what have I been doing? What did I forget? What are we teaching him?
That said I had a couple amazing things I decided to do for the past few months. To point him toward the one that really matters. To give him a greater foundation than the one he had before. And to remind him that in all things, in all seasons, we need to focus on our Creator. The one true God who gives all that we need and is with us always.
And so we have taken a break from “academics” and have dedicated our time thus far to God. If we know His word; if we are walking in His steps; living in obedience to His word, we have a success few others can say they have in life.
Where do you start? In the beginning. It is a combination of science (mom, we are dirt – he made us from dirt and dust – ewww, says my 4 year old son) There is history (says my 8 year old to a stranger, God made me, not mom and dad…”) We read together; spelling and seeking in prayer a greater truth and peace and understanding only He can provide. We learn and memorize verses (my son is a Bible Quizzer; it can be a bonus in this since we can test and play games too)! Nowadays it isn’t just what the verse says but what it means being discussed each day. Using the concordances, moving from Greek and Hebrew, Latin, German and Chinese…Different languages; how does something translate from one to another? Amazing right?
Cassie & Caleb Discover God’s Wonderful Design. I really like this one although my younger kiddos were much more involved than my older son. This just wasn’t enough for him. I enjoyed the variety of stories; as did my younger ones, teaching and sharing the beauty of creation, as men and women, of God. Celebrating the differences in each, as they were created to be. It was a launchpad for my oldest son as it gave him things to ponder. But it was a bit to simple for him. Nonetheless the illustrations were lovely; the stories easy for children to relate to (day to day events we all experience and can learn from) and scripture that we can use along the way to learn and grow into strong and Godly men and women.
We also used The God Puzzle; a handy little workbook we were given to review by Liftuse Publishing. It is colorful; great illustrations. Very easy to use, so simple anyone can “get it” without lots of pressure and spending hours on planning and money on “tools” Personally I found some of the things covered in here to be a bit off doctrinally but made a point of using this as a way to point the youth to His word. I see so often people who have different ideas about what His word says; what we must do and how. Yet seldom do they test what they are told with what He says. We are called to “test all things” and so any things that are not quite accurate are an awesome opportunity to point another to truth. His word not ours. That said aside from those things my oldest (who is 8) really enjoyed the format and the fun activities within. Lots of puzzles and games in the book to make learning, and understanding, fun and easy for everyone.
In this day and age there are constant things that challenge us as parents, and our children too, in living for God. It is so very imperative nowadays that we seek to instill His truths into their hearts and minds more than ever before. We need to keep them close, we need to love them more. And we need to make sure that they know that they are loved. Truly and intensely. Some kids are hard to love; some like my oldest son, just don’t fit the mold. No matter where they go they stand out. And we need to make sure they know that, He made them to do just that. So stand out and shine brightly! (I have been reading The 5 Love Languages of Children too) Lots of reading because truly, some days I feel like he is slipping away (my oldest son) Some days I feel like that whole not fitting in, standing out, always being the awkward and loud and boisterous one tires him and makes him sad and mad. And there are days I am terrible at making sure he feels loved and accepted. There are days that I spend too much time forcing my expectations on him rather than allowing him to be who he was created to be and going from there. I am not very creative; I struggle because of how different he is from the way I am. All three of my little ones are so very different; is that not totally showing us a Creator, in charge? And I get weary and I do not love them all as they (each individually) need to be loved.. I get mad, I yell, my frustration is with me and not them. My expectations, not their abilities. And then……If we have not love, what does anything else matter. They need to know they are loved. The need to be loved as deeply as He loves me. And I am hard to love too! Let us seek to show His love in all seasons – In fact let us pray to be able to see and love others as He does. Isn’t that how it should be?
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters
like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.” Psalm 144:12