Let The Boys Be Boys!

Check out this great article by Celeste Brinson.  As a mom of two boys, I can absolutely relate:

Boys will be boys.

As simple as that might sound, it is the utter truth. Boys and girls are not the same: not physically, not psychologically, not even spiritually. The spirit of a little boy is a burning desire to touch, build, fix, destruct, fight, and love. My son is a co-sleeping snuggle bug who loves fiercely. He often gifts me with pine cones and other treasures, and he wipes my tears when I cry. He’s a gentleman.

And, he’s a rough and tumble little boy. He likes to play with sticks and rocks and throw things and splash water and push and be pushed and chase and tag and flip and flop. He’s loud. Sometimes his dinosaur roar even scares the little ones. And I know how people feel about his behavior because I see the way they look at him and me: as though we are wild criminals who have fled from an asylum just to come bother their perfectly-behaved child. Like it or not, those perfectly-behaved children are most often little girls. Comparing a girl to a boy is like comparing an orange to a shoe. Just don’t. Save your time; there is absolutely no point.

Continue reading at: A Plea of Boyhood and Rough Play

It’s All About The Team

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#TeamFleming

I’ve seen things this week that break my heart.  Kids … with no respect or regard for their own lives, let alone anyone else’s.  Reckless, lawless, gutless behavior.  They seem to feel bold and courageous, when in reality they are cowardly and their actions ignorant.  I believe in a lot of cases these kids want to be a part of something … anything.   And when parenting doesn’t provide the needed input, when an adult doesn’t model a positive example, when they don’t feel a part of something worthwhile …. they fall apart.

We have to realize the importance of all people, and especially young people, with being a part of a team.  A team does so many things for you.  It . . .

  • Gives you a sense of belonging
  • Provides a sense of importance
  • Lets you know you are cared for and loved
  • Helps establish a stronger sense of self-esteem
When you have nothing to identify with …
  • You are more susceptible to fall into negative identification (gangs, violent groups, cults)
  • You don’t care about yourself, because you think no one else does
  • You don’t feel loved or supported
Parents, caregivers, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents – this is where our youth are lacking today.  This is why they are hurting.  They don’t feel a part of any positive team.  So they turn to negativity where they can “belong” and be a part of something, even if it is harmful.  Please turn off the TV, put away your cell phone, schedule one less meeting, decline a lunch date.  Instead, eat dinner at home, see them off in the morning, hug and kiss your young one, tell them how much they mean to you, do an activity that THEY want to do – not one convenient to your schedule.  And PAY ATTENTION to them.  Every time you think of buying them a gift because you missed an event or couldn’t be there, get them the greatest gift you can give instead – YOUR TIME.
Everyone wants to be a part of a team.  The team your kid identifies with is up to you.
#TeamFleming

Champion Kids Nuggets – Train Them Up

Group of Friends Smiling

The Bible talks about the importance of parents training kids up according to the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I love the admonition of putting the Word of God into our children, so that it takes root in their hearts, and remains to guide their lives. However, I believe that this verse is talking about more than just teaching our kids scripture. I believe it is speaking of training them up in every facet of life.

We need to be training them up to be business-minded entrepreneurs. We ought to be training up our children to have a strong work ethic, not an entitlement “gimme what’s mine” attitude. We should be training up compassionate, giving children; children that care about the world around them and are willing to work to make a positive difference. We must train children who are goal-oriented and focused; children who understand the importance of education not merely for the sake of good grades and memorization, but for the sake of knowledge because knowledge is power.

Take the time to train up your children in the way they should go.

 

A Little Discipline Goes A Long Way

Discipline

 

It was a place I’d been in before.  I had to buy items from one store, then finish grocery shopping at another.  Sound familiar?  The stores are close in distance, so that wasn’t a problem.  But the potential issue lied in me getting caught in a familiar trap – spending too much at the first store and having to use credit to cover the rest at the second location.  This time, however, I determined it would be different.  And learned valuable lessons in the process.

I spent what I had to spend – no more.  If I didn’t have the money, it stayed in the store.  Temptation knocked at that great sale, or how much I would be “saving”.  But I resisted.  I stayed focused.  And I learned a lot from that small decision.

1) Discipline is catching.  It permeates all areas of your life.  Decide to be more disciplined in your eating, in your exercise?  Watch your thinking change for the better in your spending.

2) It feels good to delay gratification.  It feels good because I knew the end result will be worth it.

3) Celebrate victories no matter how small.  Yeah, me!

How to Start Homeschooling – Do You Really ….

Homeschool #1
Yeah for me!  I am delving into my second year as a Homeschool mom.  Year one had it all – drama, intrigue, comedy, horror …. okay, maybe not quite ALL, but it was a fun year full of adventure, growing to understand my boys, learning tons about me, and falling even more in love with them in the process.
Today, I want to just dispel a few myths about Homeschooling that made it scary for me.  See, I thought about homeschooling years before I actually tried it.  But I let other people – with no homeschool experience, may I add – persuade me, that for a variety of reasons, I couldn’t do it.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  I think anyone who truly has the desire, is willing to put in the work, and is up to exercising true patience, can do it.  Speaking from experience, it can happen.
So here’s to killing a few sacred cows.
MYTH #1:  I can’t just “teach” all day.  I mean, what do you really do all day?
You don’t just “teach” all day, if your definition of teaching is having your child sit behind a desk while you instruct, in a typical school-type fashion.  You do teach all day, however, if you make it fun – read in the living room, play a game to review geography, let your child read on the back porch.  You have to open your mind to see school as more than just sitting behind a desk.  And as for the all day part …. the number of hours you spend learning and involved in academics depends a lot on the age of your child, as well as your child’s temperament and learning style.  I happen to have a kid that would spend all day reading and doing worksheets if I let him.  But we’ll dive more into that later.
MYTH #2:  I wasn’t very good in (whatever subject).  Can I really teach in that area?
There are scores … and scores … and scores of curriculum choices available to homeschool.  Some are very regimented and will give you lesson plans, guidance and instruction every step of the way.  If you feel really lacking in a particular area, maybe you consider that type of curriculum.  Or maybe you supplement through classes with a local co-op, or look into online/virtual programs.  Do you know another mom gifted in that area?  Maybe you share teaching skills for each other’s children.  There’s no limit to the possibilities.  Science is just not my strong point.  I felt like I could have done a better job last year for my Science-enthused son.  So this year, I’m ordering a complete experiment kit, plugging into our homeschool group, and doing a second science (yes, two).  That’s his interest, he will be self-guided in a lot of ways, and I’m letting him go for it!  And praying it turns out well in the process.
MYTH #3: My kids won’t be able to socialize with other kids.  Do they really still make friends?
Now this one is touchy for a lot of established homeschoolers.  I now understand why.  There are so many ways for your child to be involved in social activities …. from co-ops, sports, church, competitions, play dates, and the list goes on.  However, i cannot invalidate this question.  Because we did have trouble with the social part last year.  You see, my son came out of a traditional school setting.  So he was accustomed to seeing, and playing with, his friends every single day.  It took adjustment for him … and for me.  However, I became a social magnet, and put a lot of work into placing him in settings where he would interact with other kids.  I saw the most amazing thing happen.  He came out of his shell, and opened up socially.  I was proud of him.  He grew a lot as a person.  So it’s right to be concerned about social, but in the sense of knowing there is work both you and your child may need to do to assure that part of their life is properly fed.
MYTH #4:  I have to work, to make a living.  Are you really able to homeschool your child and work?
I am a freelance writer, social media evaluator, and a homeschool mom.  I have to schedule interviews, attend events, and still juggle schooling.  I’m here to tell you it can be done.  Even if you work outside of the home, it can be done.  Keep in mind your homeschool might not look like everyone else’s – and that’s okay!  The key will be to structure your lives in a way that works for you.  As mom/chief teacher, you will be required to be organized in your life so you can smoothly steer the ship.  You’ll have to plan lessons in advance, gather materials, prep supplies.  You may have to take advantage of online learning options.  I know some families who’ve had Dad do some teaching during the day, and mom come in and finish at night.  You’ll have to find what works for you.  But it can be done.
I will continue to blog about How to Start Homeschooling.  But at this point, just know that if you are considering it, if maybe God has been tugging on your heart to take on this noble calling, or school circumstances for your child dictate the need for it, then you CAN do it!  Stay tuned….

Declaration of Dependence

Declaration of Dependence
We just enjoyed Independence Day … the United States celebrating our nation’s independence.  It made me start thinking about how much people relish independence, being a “self-made” man or woman, being your own boss; in essence, running things.  All are interesting positions to take.  However, it made me pause and think of the importance of dependence … on the right things.  I want to make my declaration of dependence … on God.
I depend on God for …
– Wisdom.  To know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  Without Him, I’d make some pretty messed up decisions.
– Patience.  Left to my own devices, I would be hot-headed and unwilling to wait.  But I depend on God to teach me the art of waiting while still working towards my goal, and allowing Him to fulfill it in His time and season.
– The ability to love others.  People can be mean.  Purposefully.  However, I choose to try to walk in the love of God with others.  It’s not easy, but the peace I feel is so worth it.
– Peace.  I am at peace even when it doesn’t make sense to me.  Only God can do that.
– Protection.  The world we live in can cause you to be full of fear and anxiety.  I am so thankful for every single day that God protects my family and I.
I hereby declare I will continue to depend on Him … and Him alone.

It All Comes Down to the Money … Or Does It?

This is worth another share ….

September Blog - Money

“Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things for which you would not take money.”
Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace Revisited.

It’s so easy to get caught up in making everything about money. “Look at me I can buy this,” or “We don’t have enough for that.” Or how about “I’m gonna buy this because I can,” or “I won’t be happy until I can afford that.” Chances are, you’re in one of those statements. I read those punctuating words listed above, in Dave’s book, and paused. How refreshing for a book about finances … to talk about measuring wealth by standards other than finances.

Just a little reminder as you start your week. Maybe you’re headed to a job you hate. Maybe you wish you could be doing something, anything, other than what you’re doing. Maybe you feel like you have so little and times are so tough, that sitting to cry is a welcome release. Maybe, just maybe, you have plenty of money … but not the peace or happiness to go with it. Well, here’s a reminder of the things for which you would not take money.

• Your health (you’re able-bodied enough to read this blog)
• Your sight (again, you’re able to read this blog)
• Family and friends
• A place to lay down your head at night
• A mind to think of new ways to do and be more
• The ability to draw the breath of life

I guess it really doesn’t all come down to money. Does it?

Puffed Up In Pride

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary lists one of its definitions of “pride” as “a feeling that you are more important or better than other people.” That feeling of superiority can manifest itself in different ways – from putting down other people that you deem “less than,” to an unwillingness to admit you’re wrong and apologize. The Bible speaks in numerous places about the detrimental effects of pride. Proverbs 16:18 (KJV) says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” In 1 John 2:16 (KJV), the Bible says, “…the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.” From both the natural and spiritual perspectives, there are many reasons to avoid the temptation of pride. I want to examine a few areas where you may not even realize that pride has crept up on you, and help give you ways to avoid having it settle in.

– See more at: Gospel Today “Puffed Up In Pride”

Charleston … I’m Sorry …

Blog - Charleston

Charleston … I’m sorry …
Sorry that we continue to allow mass shootings
Sorry that we live in a world where this can exist
Sorry that lax gun laws and accessibility to firearms is not properly addressed
Sorry for your tremendous grief and hurt
Sorry to see your loved ones cry, to see your precious children traumatized
Sorry that this nation grieves … again … over a senseless shooting … again.

Our hearts. Our prayers. Our grief … is with you.
I’m sorry.