Grace for Ordinary Days

 Posted by on March 4, 2014  2 Responses »
Mar 042014
 

Winter can be a dreary time of year.  Lots of rain or snow make the sun disappear for days at a time.  Little irritations can seem so much bigger than they really are. The promise of spring is ahead, but just out of reach.  And the kids.  They just want to be outside!  (How do you help a two year old understand that he cannot ride his bike when it is 30 degrees outside?!)

How does one make it through the long season of short days and longer nights? Only by His grace.  There have been many days lately that I have felt like a failure as a Mom.  I have felt like I am doing this all wrong, and that my children will bear the ill-affects.  But when I start thinking like that, I must remind myself that it is not all about me!  The ultimate good of my children rests in the hands of my all-wise Father, and He can use me in spite of the times I fall.

My boys both got bikes for Christmas, and sad to say, they have both already had little wrecks here and there.  Do they quit, though?  No. They cry a little, get Mama to kiss their ouchie, and then get back on and pedal some more.

Yes we will fail as Moms. We’ll have those days when all we can do at the end of them is to beg God for grace for the next day.  Don’t give up.  Keep trusting His grace, knowing that “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (I Thess. 5:24)

Feb 132014
 

So it’s February already. How are you doing on that daily Bible reading plan you committed to at the beginning of January?  I so appreciated Heidi’s post on the Habit of Daily Bible Enrichment at the beginning of January. . . I’m sure you did too.  How it is going, though, seriously?  Have you kept up with it, or have you been struggling?

At the end of 2013, I spent some time thinking about my strategy for my quiet time for 2014.  For a while now, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking small portions of Scripture each day, and really digging in to what just a verse or two had to say to me, and journaling about it.  But, as time went on, I realized I was missing getting the broad view of Scripture by reading through the whole Bible in a year, as I have done so many times before.  As the mother of two small boys, I knew finding time to do both would be quite a challenge.  And then, I was introduced to the You Version app for my smartphone.  It has ALL kinds of daily Bible reading plans built into it already, and best of all in my opinion, it will read it out loud to you, as well!!  Problem solved for me! I can still enjoy my quiet time with my small portions of Scripture and my journal in the early morning, and then during the day, while performing mindless tasks like washing dishes or folding laundry, I can listen through the whole Bible.  I love that my boys also are listening to it along with me.

P.S.  If you search for it and it comes up with an app simply named “Bible,” that is the one. It didn’t call it You Version until I downloaded it.

Feb 112014
 

February 2014 Around the Web www.habitsforahappyhome.com

7 Warning Signs a Leader is About to Crash

Brothers We Are Not Amateurs..A Plea for Ministerial Preparation

9 Things You Should Know about Poverty in America

How to Jesus Juke a Justin Bieber Story

How to Know if you are a  Controlling Person

In Praise of Fat Pastors

Words for the Wind

What Makes a Joyful Home

Don’t Waste Time With Your Children

Natalie Grant…When I Leave The Room

 

Kim~littlesanctuary

 

 

Are your kids suffering from FOMO?

 Posted by on February 6, 2014  No Responses »
Feb 062014
 

Are your kids suffering from FOMO? FOMO is very common these days among young people.

What is FOMO? It’s the “fear of missing out” and it’s very real.

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freedigitalphotos.com

FOMO is a social anxiety. It stems from the need to fit in. To be invited to everything. To not miss out on anything. Someone with FOMO will focus on what’s going on everywhere but where they are and fear that something other than what they’re doing is a better choice than the one they’ve made. It’s a compulsive disorder.

I was quite surprised when my young adult daughter told me about FOMO recently. Evidently, because there is so much happening in the world and it’s broadcast all over social media, kids are afraid of missing out on something that’s happening elsewhere. They might not even have known about it if it weren’t for social media. But as soon as someone posts on their status something exciting that they’re doing and today’s teens can’t get to it, suddenly they’re miserable.

According to PsychCentral, “Teens and adults text while driving, because the possibility of a social connection is more important than their own lives (and the lives of others). They interrupt one call to take another, even when they don’t know who’s on the other line. They check their Twitter stream while on a date, because something more interesting or entertaining just might be happening.”

It’s hard to be happy at Julie’s birthday party when Mary and Susie are at Tracy’s party and you weren’t invited but they are Instagraming pictures of the fun they’re having. And it’s so much more fun than you’re having. (Of course it is because you’re focusing on what they’re doing and not on having fun where you are.)

It might sound kind of silly to us adults but in today’s world, kids do want to be a part of everything. I don’t think this has changed from previous generations. It’s just that nowadays people have access to what other people are doing and they feel like they’re missing out. And because people (therapists, doctors, etc.) like to give things a name, they gave this emotion the title of “disorder” and named it FOMO.

As homeschoolers, you hear all of the time the question, “How are you going to socialize your children?” As many of you know, that usually isn’t a problem because homeschool kids are always on the go. But what about when they see their friends going places and want to be there but can’t because you can’t take them or because something else is on the calendar? Apparently, that’s a FOMO.

Should this be diagnosed as a disorder though? Or is this just an old-fashioned desire to never miss out on something? And if so, let’s get to the real root of it.

My kids are now grown and they are able to drive themselves wherever they want to go. They don’t often miss out on anything unless it just so happens to be something they didn’t get invited to or something that’s planned at the same time as another engagement.

A few years ago, after we’d been snowed-in for four days, my daughter had a meltdown. All of her friends had gotten snowed-in (on purpose) at the homes of their friends who lived in Atlanta. We live about an hour north of there. She watched all week long as friends posted their sledding pictures in Piedmont Park, pictures of their shoes all lined up outside of someone’s door, etc. She was driving herself crazy (and me) because she wanted to be there but the roads were impassable. On the fourth day, she was determined to get away from “the country” (and her crazy, boring parents, haha) and get to the city, somehow, someway. How did she do it? She went outside with her daddy’s machete and started chopping at the snow-covered ice on the driveway. She nearly gave herself a heart attack. Was she suffering from FOMO? Maybe just a bit. Although we didn’t have a formal diagnosis for a disorder then. We just thought of it as the normal anxiety teens go through when all their friends are hanging out without them. No biggie. She chopped her way out and drove to a friend’s, roasted marshmallows, and had a great time. End of story.

If your children are experiencing FOMO, it’s a good time to sit down and talk with them about why they feel so strongly that they need to be a part of every activity. Is it jealousy? Low self-esteem? The need to be popular? Fear that someone will say something behind their backs when they’re not present? Self-focus? The list could go on.

Once you’ve gotten to the root of your child’s FOMO, help her see that it’s okay if she can’t be a part of everything. If she were to do that, she would be spread so thin that little enjoyment would be found from any of it. It’s an endless (and pointless) pursuit for acceptance and happiness. In all honesty, the world (your child’s world) isn’t going to end if she doesn’t get to attend one little party.

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And it’s not going to end if we don’t get to do everything, either. Yes, parents sometimes suffer from FOMO. Either we fear we’ll miss out or that our kids will and we just simply can’t stand by and let that happen. If we’re not careful, we can foster self-centeredness and narcissism.

We’ve discovered in our family that God is the master scheduler. He’s real good at working things out and making sure you get to the places and events that are the most beneficial to you. When you leave the decision up to Him. Maybe the place your child thinks she has to go is actually somewhere that God wouldn’t want her to be. He’s been putting up roadblocks but she keeps pushing through them.

God knows best. God is sovereign. He loves our children more than their friends ever could. He desires to protect them, as we do. He knows what’s in their hearts and he knows why they have a FOMO (if you want to officially call it that). He accepts us as we are and asks us only to “be still” so we can know Him. Honestly, is there enough time in a day to be a part of everything that our children are inundated with?

What is the solution? Well, there may not be one, short of running away to some place that has no connection with people other than the ones you’re with at the moment. But one important step in helping your children develop their sense of self and correct priorities is to limit their exposure to “the Joneses”, the media, and especially to social media. Until they are old enough to handle the pressure. (Not sure what age that is, since we parents suffer, too, at times.) We can help our children when we encourage them to focus on what God would have them to focus on—their schooling, their relationship with their family, bettering themselves spiritually. That’s what really matters in the long run.

I hope that this has been an encouraging post for you, maybe even something that will bring your attention to what your children are going through or may be prone to go through in the future.

Here is a sermon I found about FOMO Christians: http://vimeo.com/62010250

An an article about FOMO and the Christian: http://au.christiantoday.com/article/battling-fomo/14819.htm

~ by Sherri Wilson Johnson

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Habits for the Hard Times

 Posted by on January 16, 2014  1 Response »
Jan 162014
 

“You can search for what you want, but you must accept what God gives.”

This was part of a conversation my Mom and I had recently. The last few weeks have shown me some of the more difficult side of life.  There’s the friend who lost her husband of many decades just 12 days before Christmas.  There’s the husband  trying to provide for his family, but is demoted when he is made to look bad in the eyes of his boss, by his co-workers.  There is the sweet new mother that can’t figure out why this precious new life will not sleep more than 30 minutes at a time.  Life wasn’t supposed to look like that.  That’s not what they had imagined!

We go through life trying to get what we want, reaching for our dreams. . .imagining how we think life should be.  We may think we’ve got life planned and tied up neatly with a satiny bow; but then He may make it plain that what we have planned may not be what He has planned.

What are we to do when what He gives is not what we wanted?  Not what we were searching for?  Not how we imagined it?   Look for His beauty in the trials.  Lean into His grace.  And sometimes most difficult of all. . .thank him in the midst of it.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18