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. I am a little behind but this past week (well this week for me) we read Chapter 4, Release Them To God.
I loved this chapter even though it took me awhile to get through. One of the reasons we choose to homeschool was so that we could give our children the best opportunity to follow their dreams. Right now Gwyns dream is to be a cowgirl. She hopes to one day have a horse or two, a farm, an animal rescue and a cowboy husband. Rowyn hasn't really started voicing what he wants to be yet when he grows up, but he does enjoy building, maybe he will be an architect. But no matter what they decide they want out of life we will always support them 100%. We will be there beside them to guide them and struggle with them. We know that one day they will be released into the BIG world and we want to prepare them for their journey's as best we can. God has a plan for them.
I learned a few things from this chapter that I never really gave much thought to. Like "Your children are not yours. They are His, and He has assigned each child specifically to you and your family for the purpose of living and acting according to His perfect plan." It is up to us prepare our kids for their futures. One thing we have been focusing on a lot lately in our home is their interests and characters. Rachel says, "We must take the time necessary to deal with character training and teaching Truth with a capital T." And I couldn't agree more with that statement. It is important to play up their strengths and provide them with encouragement.
Rachel also talks about praying for your kids and praying that God would give them and us a vision for who they are and are meant to be for His kingdom. We must also pray that God would equip us to equip them. And we need to pray that our kids remain pure mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This is one thing that I must work on. There are times I sneak into their room at night, while they are sound asleep I whisper to them that I love them and pray over them asking God to help guide them and me in the right directions. But after reading Rachels words I now realize I need to also be telling them when they are awake how much they are loved by God and how he has HUGE plans for them.
But my most favorite part of this chapter has to be when Rachel talks about sunflowers. Because sunflowers are my favorite flower and have always been. Even the kids can tell you its my favorite. When I was a teen my entire room was decorated with sunflowers and now my kitchen is (hubby wouldn't let me do the bedroom, lol). While reading Rachels words about her experience with a sunflower field I remembered a poem I had displayed on my bedroom wall as a teen that spoke about sunflowers.
Follow the Son
The flower moves it's petals
AS it yearns for what is bright,
And eagerly it searches
As it turns to face the light.
Each soul, just like each sunflower.
Will turn toward the one
Whose light will make it blossom
As it follows the Son.
By: R.K Cecil
I also came across this one online recently:
The Parable of the Sunflower
When Sunflowers bloom, they follow the sun all day. The flower looks towards the sun as it goes across the sky.
We can be like the sunflower and look for our light in the Son of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ.
It will help if we put our plant in good soil. The good soil of our lives can be obeying our parents, going to church, saying our prayers, etc. These things help nourish our testimonies of Jesus Christ.
When the sunflower blooms, its seeds help nourish people, animals and birds. Our testimony will help nourish others around us as they see how the light of Jesus Christ shines in our lives.
We should follow Jesus Christ the same way the sunflower follows the sun. If we pray in the morning and at night and watch for his help all day long, He will be able to guide us.
Aren't they beautiful. And very fitting for this discussion on releasing our kids to God.
Rachael, ended the chapter with some questions called, "Heart Check-up"--Page 149. I have actually answered a few of the questions throughout.
-Pg 123 - "We must let go of our own selfish dreams for them."
-Pg 123-125 - "It's not a question of whether or not you trust your kids. The question is this: Do you trust God?"
-Pg 134 - "...No, in verse 13 we are told that Peter and John were "unschooled" and "ordinary" men (or, as we like to say at our house, homeschooled and ordinary ment)."
-Pg 138 - "I pray that Jesus would be "real" to my kids. By this I mean they will recognize and accept that truth-i.e., all that is real-is in Jesus."
-Pg 148 - "Release them to God. They are His, and He will take great care of them."
So this week release your kids to God it feels great! I cannot wait to read everyone's posts. Thanks for stopping by.