God Does Not Take Vacations!

I clearly remember asking my parents WHY we had to go to church during the summer. I could not understand why, if we were on vacation from school, we couldn’t be on vacation from church!

Gone fishing

 

My mom explained, more than once, “God doesn’t take vacations from us.”

Hebrews 13:5b – God has assured us,

“I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you.”

Summer is for KIDS of all ages!

I am a kid at heart. Perhaps, it is because of the YELLOW half of my temperament; but, I have always loved the summer months with no school and a plethora of reasons to play!

 

Happy young children lying on grass and having fun

When our three children were finally all in school, I began a new tradition. I called it KID DAY.  Every Tuesday of each week, throughout the summer, was now KID DAY!

KID DAY, by definition, meant they could do anything they wanted – on this day – if it did NOT cost money. Also, the only other requirement: they had to obey their parents. They could eat whatever they wanted, dress however they wanted, watch TV all day if they wanted (there were only two channels for kids back then) and get up and go to bed when they wanted. They didn’t need to brush teeth, make beds or help with chores. For 12 hours each week, our kids were in charge of their lives.

How Do You REACT?

The other day, I reached into a bowl of apples, placed on our kitchen counter, and my finger pierced through a rotten apple hidden underneath several perfect ones.  I screamed loudly and jumped backwards – immediately dropping the mushy fruit on the floor! YUCK!

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My husband, standing three feet from me, vaulted a foot into the air at the sound of my blood-curdling outburst. He was holding a knife and nearly cut himself reacting to my scream.

Duane has requested, throughout our marriage, that I try and control my dramatic reactions. When such things happen, I apologize and calm down immediately.  It is not intentional, on my part, to  respond unnecessarily over-the-top.

My excuse is valid.

BUSY Kids Have More Fun!

Kids beg to sit in front of screens today. There are so many choices: TV screens, computer screens, movie screens, phone and Ipad screens to name a few.  The temptation is very real – for tired, overworked moms – to allow such convenient behavior.

children-playing-video-games

May I encourage you to find alternative projects for your kids to do that will help them use their minds and bodies actively while having fun this summer?

TEMPERAMENTS at the THEATRE!

Last weekend, I had the privilege of seeing the musical, “Cinderella,” at the performing arts center near our home. Not surprisingly, the theatre was half full of kids, attending with their parents or grandparents, to see the Disney musical.

Lily James is Cinderella in CINDERELLA , a live-action feature which brings to life the timeless images from Disney's 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually dazzling spectacle for a whole new generaton.

 I confess, I love to people watch – especially, kid watch. Now, before you consider reporting such behavior, I am a teacher of temperaments and view each situation, in which I find myself, as a workshop of sorts where I look for temperament examples.

My first subjects, at the theatre and under the proverbial microscope, were sitting right across the aisle from my friend and me – a brother/sister pair attending with their parents. The boy (11ish) was quiet and well behaved. The sister (10ish) was neither quiet nor well-behaved.

I was curious if their temperaments would be easily noticed.

Understand How Kids Hear and React!

Each Temperament is Different.

I am here to tell you – it WILL change your parenting world, once you understand the four temperaments!

young boy listening something
Each temperament hears and reacts differently. This means if you want to get across a rule to a child, look the child in the eye with your request. THEN, have him/her repeat it back to you so you know he/she understands the exact message intended.

Parent says, “I just made fresh cookies.  They are on the kitchen counter.  Don’t eat them.  They are for lunches this week!” Without making certain each child hears and understands the rule:

The RED child hears and reacts, (Arguing) “Seriously? Did I hear that right? I don’t think this is fair. Why make us suffer? There are plenty of cookies to have some now and save some for later. No harm. I will take only one.”

The YELLOW child hears, “As soon as you are finished playing, you may have a cookie.”

The BLUE child hears and reacts, “Of course I will obey the rule and won’t eat them. I will make sure no one else eats them either.”

The GREEN child hears and reacts, “What? Did someone say something? Do I smell cookies? Oh look!  Mom made us cookies!” (She’s wearing an innocent, sweet smile as she takes one.)

A WOW for the Day!

Have I mentioned we have ten grandchildren? Well, it is becoming increasingly obvious how “technical things” are beguiling our precious kids – from video games, to cell phones, to TV shows and mechanical toys that completely occupy their minds and hearts. These are mind-blowing WOWS to them.

wow

Do not get me wrong. I, too, am blown away by the machine in my office called a computer. I could be totally hypnotized and mesmerized, 20 hours a day, by the programs attached to this phenomenal contraption, if not for the knowledge that God is to come first in my life and heart.  “My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice!” Psalm 16:5 (The Message)

Keeping God as a priority requires constant and intentional effort on my part on a daily basis. A number of years ago, I discovered “God Wows.”

God Wows” are true facts of God’s Story or creation, still baffling the scientific world. They cause our breath to be sucked out of us, when we hear them, and a “WOW” emerges from our lips.

Dwelling on a few “God Wows,” for a couple minutes, pulls me back to the first love in my life: The creator and maker of all things, God!

Here is a perfect example:

It is Time to Laugh!

Yesterday’s conversation, on the way to the grocery store, with my seven-year-old granddaughter went like this:

“Mimi, do you walk like this because you are old?”

“Like WHAT? And NO, I’m not old. I’m 38!”

“38 is OLD!”

“Walk like WHAT?”

“You know, having to hold my hand all the time.”

laugh-at-my-expense

True story. It was just the beginning of our shopping trip. We were simply crossing the parking lot. I laughed out loud.

Once in the store, as we were shopping, the conversation turned dark. I heard about all the goodies her OTHER grandma has, in her kitchen, for her grandchildren.

I explained her other grandma is extremely rich; but, I am FAMOUS – and, famous is ultra-excellent. Her eyes widened.

Is BULLYING Something New?

My younger sister, Susan, says I bullied her in elementary school when mom and dad were not around. It could have happened. I try to excuse my actions, claiming ignorance and immaturity. Also, I was severely punished every time she told our parents of an event. So, it is not like I got away with much.

bigstock-Stop-Bullying-small-resize

Looking back, I do not remember specific details, (I am sure she does!) but I am not proud of my performance as an older sister. In fact, I do believe I had the bullying tendency, as my temperament is part RED.  Bossy behavior, even in young children, is a definite tell-tale sign of REDS – not living under God’s control.

At a recent conference, there was a dad who laughingly blew off my warnings about the importance of understanding family members’ temperaments.  “Kids will be kids,” he said.

“Wrong.” I argued, “This is NOT an acceptable excuse, anymore, for inappropriate behavior.”

I teach the four temperaments; because, the future of our children will be heavily impacted by understanding those around them in their daily lives.

Sadly, one of our grandchildren has already experienced bullying. Praise God for an observant school teacher who first noticed the dangerous conduct…

How to Get Along With Anyone: Step 10

This is the final in a series of ten posts How to Get Along With Anyone. Here are Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 in case you missed them! I’ve had a great time and can’t wait to read your comments.

R E S P E C T!

This probably should have been step #1, in our series, because of the power RESPECT wields when executed, and destruction produced when it doesn’t exist.

10

Aretha Franklin made it popular a few years ago as she sang,

“When you come home – Or, you might walk in – respect me, I got to have a little respect.”

RESPECT is not as high a priority, in many homes today, as it was two generations ago.

When we were growing up, my mom told us a true story from the Old Testament regarding respect. Elisha was one of God’s most powerful prophets. One day, during his travels, some young people made fun of Elisha’s bald head and, with serious disrespect, made fun of where he was going, “Go on up, you bald head.” (I’m certain this is the abbreviated version)

Obviously, God took it seriously.  He sent two bears, out of the woods, to kill those who had made fun of Elisha. (II Kings 2)

Whoa, that story certainly got my attention and kept it for many years to come. It probably kept my tongue in tow many times, as a child, fearing bears would appear out of nowhere to give me the consequences I deserved.