A Scripture for this School Year

So I just read a great blog by the wonderful Lysa T.  If you have kids headed off to school this year, you should read it too. Here is the link: http://lysaterkeurst.com/2014/08/before-they-go-to-school-have-this-conversation/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=303165

Anyway… I wanted to share with you the scripture that I will be praying for my kids this school year. And yes, my “kids” include my firstborn, Andrew, as well as all the other “kids” that have come in my life, our foster kids past and present, youth group kids, etc.

Galatians 1:10 says “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Dear God, I pray that You will dwell in the hearts of my kids this year. And that Your presence would be so evident that You are the only person they are trying to please. Help my kids to not fall into the people-pleasing trap. Because when that happens, they are no longer striving to be Your servant. Also, God, please help me, their mom, to strive for Your approval only. In Jesus Name, Amen.

What verse are you praying for your kiddos this year??

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Things I have learned since becoming a Family of 5

On March 8, the Jones family changed.  We went from being a family of 3 to a family of 5.  NO, I did not birth twins… (someone seriously asked my husband this question)!  We became foster parents to two great kids!!

Now we went through countless hours of training to learn about how to be great foster parents.  But there are some things you just can’t learn from a lecture, a video or a class.  It has been a HUGE adjustment on our whole family to go from having one child to 3.  But I can tell you God is blessing this journey!

Here are a few things I have learned these past few weeks:

  • Good parents let their kids be mad.  In the Jones house, we do not allow stomping away, slamming doors, yelling at each other, etc.  And since we have only had one child to care for, we have always just dealt with mad feelings as they come.  However, we have learned that it is ok for children to be mad.  Because in this world, not everything is going to go their way every time.  Now, we still do not tolerate stomping away or slamming doors etc.  But if you need a few minutes to go calm yourself down… Or if you need to just go be upset about whatever it is… that is ok.  Learning to deal with mad feelings on your own is apart of growing up.  And we are still here to love on them and help them when they are ready to talk it over. 
  • Going the to the grocery store can be fun alone time.  Now I have never been a big fan of grocery shopping.  It seems like it takes forever just to prepare to get there by making menus, clipping coupons, carving out time in my overpacked schedule just to make the trip.  But it has become something I enjoy WHEN I AM ALONE!  🙂  Now, I love my family, however, taking 3 kids grocery shopping adds 3 times the “extras” in the cart, 3 times the whining and 3 times LONGER to get through.  From now on, I choose to be joyful about grocery shopping, especially when I find the time to go alone!! 
  • Girls can have weird toys!  For the past 8 years our house has been filled with balls, super heros, video games, cars, trucks etc.  Now we have baby dolls and loads of stuffed animals.  However there are these things called Monster High Dolls.  They are monster “barbie-doll type” dolls.  I never knew they made such things… but my Girly-girl LOVES them!!
  • Sometimes the kids just need to work it out.  Sometimes jumping in can make it worse.  Sometimes jumping in is what you need to do. It is a very fine line to walk.  WOW this one has been a tough lesson.  Again, only having one child at home for the past 8 years has meant that we haven’t had alot of arguing over toys or tv shows or video games, unless friends come over.  So I have not ever really had to worry about breaking up arguements or letting them settle the matter themselves.  But now it seems as though I have a daily opportunity to fine tune this lesson.  Things have gotten broken and torn but thankfully this is also a great opportunity to teach about forgiveness and grace. 
  • Detangler is a God-send. My biggest worry about getting a girl was dealing with her hair.  (Oh, how silly this worry seems now!)  My girl has a very sensitive head and does not like anyone touching her hair.  So for the most part, I don’t have to worry about how to do her hair, because she wants to fix it herself.  But I do have to make sure it is brushed and clean.  Again, her sensitive head is not happy about this.  However, detangler is truly a God-send, and has helped this situation a ton!!
  • 3 kids drink a TON more milk than 1. 🙂 My kids can pack away the milk!!  In the past 2 week, they have drank more than 4 1/2 gallons of milk.  That’s alot of milk.  But milk is a much healthier option than soda, so I am A-ok with this lesson being learned.   
  • Sometimes God puts being a foster family in your children’s heart too.  The day after our “weekend trial visit” Adam and I had some great conversations with Andrew about how becoming a foster family would change our family forever.  His responses were so sweet and I will forever treasure them in my heart.  But God has definately placed being a foster brother in Andrew’s heart.  Even though there has been many ups and downs, fights and tears, God is molding Andrew into a tendered-hearted young man who wants to love those God places in our family. 
  • The Jones family is now one of THOSE families!  Ya know the years before you became a parent (or for some of you, those years when your children have all grown up and are out of the house) and you walk into a store or a restaurant hoping for a quiet experience, but then THAT family walks in.  YEP, we are now that family.  There is just a certain amount of volume that comes with having 3 children.  And I am doing my best to embrace the noise, the blessings and the happiness there is with having 3 children in our family.  Yes, I am sure we are in for LOTS of “looks” and “shh’s” but, what can you do?

My friend found a really cool project for us to do on the stairs of our home.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  It is a great reminder of what family should always be.  I hope we can find some time to do it soon!!

steps

In case you can’t read all the words, it says “In this house, we are real, we make mistakes, we say I’m sorry, we give second chances, we have fun, we give hugs, we forgive, we do really loud, we are family, we love.”

Show & Share- 2nd grade

(Mom, this is your cue to get the tissues.)

Today Andrew brought home an assignment from school.  His first ever “Show and Share”. He was so excited to get his “share item” together. He ran upstairs and down he came with a crystal star with MY Daddy’s face on it. Of all the cool toys, books, Legos, etc that he could have chosen… But he wants to show his class a picture of his Grandpa Clark.

It melted this Momma’s heart.

Also- I wanted to share the things he wants to share about his item:

Show and shareIn case you can’t read it, the things he wants to share are:

  • When I hold this I feel like he’s still here.
  • I got this because it makes me feel happy.
  • I got this from my Grandma.

Eavesdropping Momma

Eavesdropping is wrong.  I think we can all agree with that.  However, sometimes it does a Mommy’s heart good to eavesdrop… I mean, listen in, on a conversation between Daddy and Son when they think Mommy is busy. 

 Here is a conversation one Mommy may have overheard this morning:

                                         Daddy:            You need to get your teeth brushed. 

                                         Son:                 Dad, I am waiting on mom to get my mouthwash ready.

                                         Daddy:            Well, if you don’t get started….

(interrupting Daddy) Son:               Oh, Mommy already got it ready.

                                         Daddy:            We have the best Mommy.

                                         Son:                 Oh, yeah, she’s the greatest!!

Even though mornings are never perfect at the Jones house, I am still trying to teach my son– to love him in unique ways and to give him tiny blessings and examples of ways to love others.  

I don’t know that all children need help getting their mouthwash ready, but how can you intentionally show love your child this week?

Andrew’s lessons on how to make good choices

Yesterday held both a sad and a proud moment for me as a momma all rolled into one situation.  My husband posted these words last night after “the situation”… and since I think he did such a wonderful job, I do not need to reinvent this wheel…

Today was a major milestone in the Jones’ home.  Andrew got in trouble at school and had his color changed from green to yellow – which is definitely not a first.  But this time, he and a friend conspired to “fix” it by coloring green over the yellow he’d earned.  He came home from school, showed his mom and had her completely convinced it was supposed to be green.  He talked to me and just as easily convinced me that it was a great day in the 1st grade.

Fast forward through the evening to bedtime…  He was praying and he said a curious prayer, “Dear Jesus, please let me sleep good and please let school be better tomorrow.  Amen.”  He covered his tracks with a story about all the people at his table getting in trouble, we sang a song and tucked him in.

He hadn’t been in bed 3 minutes when he ran downstairs and began tearfully telling us that he couldn’t sleep because he was “having bad dreams” about school and his tummy hurt because he knew he’d lied to us.  He poured out the whole story to us, exposing the entire conspiracy and begged us to forgive him.

It was the kind of moment that breaks a parent’s heart and confirms that parenting actually works all at the same time.  Of course we forgave him, but not until we had a talk about doing the right thing even when it’s scary.  There will still be consequences and he’ll still have to ‘fess up with his teacher tomorrow but he’ll be doing it with a clean conscience and that’s a victory.

This is my prayer for my son, not that he’s perfect all the time, but that he chooses to do what’s right, even when it’s hard.

And by the way, that’s also the prayer of your church for YOU.

(You can catch my husband’s blog all the time at www.adamjonesblog.com.)

So last night I discovered that parenting is not always easy– however, it is an important role that God has called me to.  And I am thankful that Andrew decided to make the right choice even after making the wrong one.

First Day of 1st Grade

Here are three pics from Andrew’s first day.

The traditional pic smiling by the stairs!  SUPER excited to be going to 1st grade.

The silly smily pic at the top of the stairs.

And third, some of his “work” from today.  Now most would not be too interested in seeing this, however, last year Andrew HATED to color and therefore, was not great at it.  WOW what an improvement!!  He stayed in the lines and even used detail.  All things things are HUGE for him.

Yay, Andrew!  Mommy is very proud!