Monday, January 16, 2012

Chapter 1 - Have a Heart for the Things of God

How To Have a HEART for Your Kids 

I am joining a wonderful group of ladies and reading through How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids by Rachael Carmen. The book club this past week and we read Chapter 1, Have a Heart for the Things of God.

As I mentioned on the Facebook group wall I had a hard time writing this post because well this chapter was very eye opening. About 2 yrs ago I started my journey to have a heart for things of God AGAIN. And one of my goals when we began homeschooling was to begin raising the children knowing God. Now here is where the tough part comes in. We do not go to church and don't really plan on finding a "home" church. So the kids learn about God through us, other adults in their lives and their friends. We do occasionally visit our friends church. I am not going to get into the reasoning we don't go to church because well this would be a very long drawn out post if I did that and I don't want to start a huge debate. Anyway I struggled a lot last summer trying to figure out how on earth I was going to start teaching my children about God and I still struggle with this. Especially since I already knew and know even more now that having a heart for God is something I need to definitely work on.

I discovered after reading Chapter 1 that I like Rachel have been trying to shape my children's characters. And now I have realized I am the one that needs the most work. My daughter is a sponge and wants so hard to be like her momma.I have realized over the last 2 weeks that much of what she does that I irritate me she learned from me. I need to work on becoming an "intentional parent." I need to stop reacting (which I do way too much of) and start responding.

Rachel explains how Gods power is revealed in nature. Well anyone who knows us knows that we love nature walks. We love to be outdoors (even though we haven't gotten out much lately). We love to look at the trees, the flowers, the bugs (yes creepy crawlies). We like to watch clouds and smell the air. But honestly I never really had the kids admire it ALL as wondrous works of God. That is one change we will be making next time we go out on a hike. Rachel also speaks about metamorphosis. I know I need a metamorphosis. I need to change my heart for God, my kids and my husband.

I am working on my heart for God mostly through prayers. I already mentioned we don't go to church often and honestly we don't read the Bible much. We read our family Bible while doing our Advent and will be reading it for our Easter unit study too. But I personally  find the Bible confusing. Both church and the Bible are past issues I am still dealing with. Maybe one day this will change.We are exposed though to scripture and biblical beliefs through publications like Masterbooks and Apologia. And DVD's like Whats in the Bible, Veggie Tales and Little Angels. I am grateful these wonderful companies are around to assist people who may struggle like I do.

Rachael, ended the chapter with some questions called, "Heart Check-up"--Page 57. Here are my honest replies.

1. Having a heart for God requires self-disciple. Do you have a regular quiet time? When? Where? Is it a priority for you? Do you have a plan for studying God's Word? 
  • I do not have regular quiet time. As stated above I am struggling still with the Bible. Since I don't read the Bible I have been trying to read more books written by Christan authors like "How to Have a HEART For Your Kids." And I have also been reading the kids more as well. I need to work more on having a heart for God and becoming closer to him and I believe lots of prayer and deep prayer may be my answer.
2. How would you characterize your prayer time? Do you spend time praising God and thanking Him (Psalm 71:8; 92:1). Do you confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and make your requests known to Him (James 4:2)?
  • I generally stop to pray throughout the day when I need strength or a friend has a prayer request. The majority of the time I pray in bed before I fall asleep and when I wake up. I most often find myself praying for my husband, my kids and my friends. I occasionally sneak one in for myself. Maybe I need to pray for myself more, huh? I thank him for everything he has provided us with and make my requests known to him. I need to work on confessing my sins more for sure. Especially when it comes to my temper and harsh words. I really lack when it comes to myself and my needs. Guess that is one thing that will be changing.
3.What are some things you need to praise God for regarding your children? What should you thank Him for? Ask forgiveness for? Ask His wisdom and guidance on?
  • I praise God that I am now able to be home with my kids. I praise him that they are healthy. I praise him that we live in a state that does not have super strict homeschooling laws. I need to ask forgiveness for my temper. I need wisdom and guidance on raising my kids to be Godly.

Favorite quote(s):
-Pg 32 - "Intentional parenting, means that we are thoughtful and purposeful in our actions and words."
-Pg 35 - Deuteronomy 6:6-7 - "Impress them upon your children, talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
-Pg 38 - John 1:3 - "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was mad that has been made."
-Pg 41 - "Metamorphosis. Total and complete change.
-Pg 42 - 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "The old has gone, the new has come!"
I know hes up there because amazing things like this would not be possible otherwise.
I cannot wait to read everyone's posts. Thanks for stopping by.


Michelle said...

I really enjoyed your post. Loved your honesty, Kathy. It's so important we be able to look at ourselves, see the positive, and see what we want to work on. Such a big step to do that! I, too, have been noticing my daughter watching and imitating me more and more. That is one realization that has really hit me smack in the face--my daughter is REALLY watching me.

MomLaur said...

This is a great, honest post Kathy! Praying for you as you desire to do God's will and go deeper in your relationship with him!

Anonymous said...

Love the honesty in your post! I was in the same position you were in, and every time I even attempted to read the Bible I got so frustrated b/c I couldn't understand any of it! Then I came across Joyce Meyer's Amplified Bible. I recommend you look at this version, it is so much easier! Also the English version. We just now started going to church, and I believe when you have little ones, you can't really concentrate on the sermon because you are trying to control the kids, so what's the point. God is interested in what's in your heart, not necessarily the things you do. Sorry, didn't mean to sound preachy to you! Also, when I first started trying to understand the Bible, I used the material that I was teaching my children, for myself. It may be watered down, simplified, but that's a start! Good luck with your journey, we are all in this together! o and by the way....sooooo ordering this book!

Unknown said...

Wow, Kathy....I see a lot of uncertainity and questions, but God is all around and all knowing. He knows your heart and your worries. Trust in Him and look to Him for this guidance. I love your truth and innocence in your post. I too struggle with my attitude when day seems stressed or girls fight with each other. I try to take that moment of chaos and turn it into a moment of learning and growing in God....not always does it work, but it does refocus my mind.

I found a women study bible that changed my perspective on bibles and his teaching in them. If you want to I can send you a link on such a bible. Remember in the end, it starts with growing closer to God and we do that best through his word. Take a moment, find a weblink that gets you motivated to read scripture with one verse at a time....then when ready dive into His word starting with just that whole chapter. It is so rewarding and starting with just a chapter will open new world to who He is. Also, I recommend starting with 10 bible time either first thing in the morning before chaos ensues or right before bed. I am a happier mom when I start my day with God, He has my back!

k balman said...

Thank you everyone for the uplifting words and prayers. It means a lot to me.

Amanda @ The Pelsers said...

Oh, same here. Some of my son's worst habits are things he's picked up from me. Heart check!

Anonymous said...

I love this post, Kathy. It was very brave and honest.

We have a lot in common. We are not regular churchgoers either. We have been members of several churches and there are always politics that we are not comfortable with. We are members of a church now; we used to attend regularly but became aware of certain politics and now we go pretty irregularly. Like you, however, we do pray and want our girls to have faith in God. Throughout the day when something happens, I will just say, 'Thank you, God". We pray before meals, before bed, when we hear sirens...

In the summer and early fall I was walking every morning and having that quiet time and it was awesome. It was not necessarily ALL focused on God, but introspection.

There have been times in my life - when my mom had cancer, when family members died, when my husband was going through something at work - when I was completely powerless to do anything...except pray. Praying helped me in those times and I always say that I don't know what my girls' lives will be like, but that if I can help them have a relationship with God, so they can pray during those times, then i will have prepared them for life.

Unknown said...

I just love you. I didn't go to church for years. I grew up in Christian school and church twice on Sunday and then again on Wed. night. The problem with the church is it's full of people. People aren't perfect and if you look for Christians to be right, well, let's just say- you can get let down :) none of us are perfect. we have found a small community church who meets at a community center and we are enjoying it. One of my favorite things about interacting with you girls on twitter, fb, and our blogs is that there is a wonderful group of "real" people even if it's online and not the "real" life- it's the non-judgemental, hey I'm not perfect, let's lift each other up- well, I needed to know that Christians are capable of this. I've experienced way too much of the "other" - now God is working on me to keep me from judging those who judge! lol (go figure) Little at a time girl, God will honor your efforts - I promise. Reading your Bible does matter though, you need to hear right from Him. How about taking 15 min. to look up a few verses on any particular topic online? like maybe google "bible verses about having a heart for God" and pray before you do it. That way you can read some verses, and find commentary on the subjects at the same time. I like that you are seeking Bible study materials and books - baby steps baby steps- lol- have you seen "what about bob?" funny movie- baby steps to the elevator. . . . .God knows your heart and He will honor your desire to know Him better. Keep talking to Him. Your honesty is much more important that any fancy talk. love you!!!!!

Carrie - young living oil lady said...

I loved reading your testimony of where you are now and I can hardly wait to read where God takes you and your family! It is going to be good,girl! God is good, faithful and loves you very much! Continue to lay low before Him, open your heart to receive Him and keep seeking after truth! I love that you want to teach your children God's word despite your circumstances. That is beautiful! Ask God to give you eyes to see and ears to hear as you read his word and that He gives you a spirit of wisdom and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. :) Bless you!!! I will keep you and your family in prayer!

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