Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Planting a seed in our children's heart!

Well our prayers have been answered BUT not in the way we wanted... It turns out our agency is sticking to their way of doing things and waiting to send the PA. Hubby talked to them at length and they did have some good points, so for now we are just going along with the process. We are okay with it and it does seem like if there are any hitches they will be prepared to support us- (because they have done everything under hague compliance) which is a very good thing!

So hold the PA prayers and save them for next month! 

Sarah notices how much I like/love certain things. She sees me having coffee ... everyday and she says "Momma, you sure love coffee." 

I say to her no I like coffee, I love you! 

She sees me enjoying a piece of chocolate cake and she says Momma, you love chocolate cake. I say "No I like chocolate cake but I love you."

Today I was singing in the car and she said "Momma, you love Jesus"! I said "Yes, honey I do love Jesus! Jesus is everything good!"

Then I asked her "Do you love Jesus?"

She thought for a moment and said " Yes Momma, I do! Jesus is everything good."

This may sound odd but I have wondered and wanted to ask others how do you spread the joy of our Lord to our children. I have read so many Beautiful posts where the children love the Lord and their hearts are committed to him. (that's my favorite part of reading all your blogs!)

I feel my faith was a gift. I was very loved and had a wonderful childhood but I was not taught about faith and we did not share it in our home. Our older children were raised more so in this manor. We went to church we said our prayers but it was not what kept us going each day. 

My faith journey has changed. We have seen the glory of our Lord. We have been on journeys we wish we wouldn't have been on and God has saved us. My faith in God is what keeps me going each day and I like it that way- it's the way it is supposed to be. We have no other purpose here on earth other than to serve our Lord in some capacity. 

Because I have been too embarrassed to ask the question, after all shouldn't I know the answer to that question? Well I don't, so I decided to make my love for Jesus more visible to them- prayer, songs, giving all glory to him and trying to have a thankful heart. Then I have decided to pray specifically that they will each have a heart for the Lord. Honestly I read your blogs and I say to myself what do you(Jean) think Linny, Lori, Janet, Donna, Shonni, Adeye, Laura, Sally, Chastity, Jboo, TM, Lynsay, Pam, Jennifer, Tanya, Sue do to encourage their children's faith?  If I did not say your name I apologize because you are all so awesome and I am very thankful for this bloggy support and the friendships that have developed. I want to do what they are doing because it is working for them! BTW you all have the coolest Jesus lovin kids! 

We still consider our older children and our younger children a work in progress but then I am still a work in progress too (aren't we all) so I guess that is okay. Yes, I have a few regrets , things I would have liked to have done differently but they are such blessings to us and we think they are the greatest! We just need to get a little more Jesus in them- prayerfully over time God will work his way into their lives and hearts or rather they will see that he has been there all along!

Obviously I have a hard time with wordless Wednesday!! ;-)

Share with me! What do you do to plant a seed for our Lord in your children's heart?

11 comments:

Jennifer O'Cain said...

Jean, I am so glad you asked this question. We can all share and learn from each other how to share the love of Jesus more everyday with our children.

My favorite thing we have done with our kids is nightly devotions. There are so many wonderful devotionals for kids at the Christian bookstore and you can find some that are child specific and will really speak to your child. Like our oldest is into sports so we got him a kids sports devotional. It not only taught him the Bible but he learned about the way other sports heroes lived for the Lord and made good decisions in life. Another great thing is the devotionals are rather short so we could fit one in with each kid right before bed. It also opened up a lot of opportunity to communicate with each other and to talk about how we can apply things to our lives. And of course some teach Bible verses and Bible stories.

I hope you hear lots of good ideas!

Mom Of Many said...

Sweet sister,
There are several things we do. We do family devotions, where we take a scripture and study it together and then have a prayer time where we all kneel together and pray. We pray for some requests for weeks, years....needs, our Jubilee waiting (you should hear Elizabeth pray for her - too precious and she is learning that we prayed the same way for her and Elijah)...we pray for missionaries like Bill & Lynsay in China, etc.

The thing though that might even be more important then family devotions is our Memorial Box. I can't stress enough how it has tied our hearts to watching for God's faithfulness and declaring it in our home!! Some day we may not have the privilege of having a Bible (like many countries who forbid it)...but who is going to forbid my box on the wall with the little trinkets...yet they tell the stories of God's faithfulness!!!

Anyway, lastly, we talk as a family about life...all the time...we are big talkers about everything. We don't allow mocking each other, or teasing each other or mean names or nastiness...our home is a place where Jesus is glorified and his name is exalted!! There is respect for one another because of what the Lord would want us to do....

Okay, I've written a book and I need to be in bed. Much love from Colorado to your home!! xo

PS Do tell us how Johnny's birthday was and how he is feeling?? We continue to pray!!

Mom Of Many said...

PS Okay, okay, I know I am way over my limit, but really Jean I forgot to also mention that Dw & I are convinced that homeschooling affords our family the opportunity to spend the days together where we can instill our values and Godly principles....we have always said, "We want to raise warriors for JEsus Christ. If they backslide they become nice little Christians. If you raise nice little Christians and they backslide, then what do they become??" So spending time with Mom is training them and teaching them....

Lest you think we are perfect...our kids have struggled over the years and some have made poor choices, but I do believe they have bounced back quicker because we have spent our time on our knees begging the "Hound of Heaven" to GET 'EM!

Nite nite!!

Janet and Kevin said...

Jean,

I too was raised in a loving home without a lot of faith and talk about Christ. Kevin was raised in a loving home going to church but not really depending upon our Lord. Throughout the years we matured at different rates to our present faith (still growing everyday), but now because of our adoption journey to Philip and Eli and the clear and miraculous leading of God in each day, I can honestly say we live each day wanting to praise our God.

I am not sure we lived that way with our older son in his early years. It was only later that we began to walk daily with Christ. WHAT A DIFFERENCE walking daily with Jesus makes!! Oh my!!

We pray often and out loud daily. We have a quiet Bible time each day that Philip knows about, and we read his children's Bible each night before bed. We talk openly and often about Jesus in our lives, etc. And we pray, pray, pray for our children to walk in the way of the Lord.

We have not started the Memorial Box officially, but we do have a box and have recently begun to think of stories to include.

I am going to home school our two little boys for some time because I have seen the strong Christ-centered life it gives to other families. I want to raise Philip and Eli to be men of God too. In today's cultural climate, I think that might be more difficult if they are out of our home for a larger portion of each day.

Thanks for the post and a chance to see what other families are doing. All of these blogs from families who are strong Christians have inspired us to deepen our walk with Christ. What a blessing your blog and other blogs are to us.

In Christ,
Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and waiting for Eli

Jboo said...

What a nice post Jean! Well, we pray every night at our house and talk about God and Jesus and how we feel his presence in our lives and hearts. Maddy goes to a Catholic school and although our public schools are awesome, we've always wanted her to have a religious-based education.

Janet

a Tonggu Momma said...

While the Tongginator often sees the husband and I read our Bibles and worship... and we pray together as a family... I have to say that the Tongginator learns the most when we embrace simple everyday moments and grab at the opportunity to talk about God during those times. When the grocery store clerk accidentally gives me too much change, I return it in front of my daughter and then later explain that God says you shouldn't steal. When I hold the door for someone, I later remind my daughter that God says we should love Him first, others second, ourselves third. Just two examples...

TanyaLea said...

Wow Jean, I'm not sure how I missed this post, but I'm sure glad I caught up with it tonight! This is such a good question and I was as eager as you to see what other parents are doing. What an amazing group of people you have had commenting on here...I loved all of their answers!

For ourselves, we fall so short, honestly we do. But we are always working to change that and let our love for eachother and the Lord be a 'living testimony' to our children. We have encouraged them in scripture since they were young and always share with them the power of prayer and what God is doing in the lives of others, as well as ourselves. And like "a Tonggu Mama" said, we try to show it in the way we live. By being honest and letting example lead the way. But we have such a long way to go. The good news is that each day is a new gift and a fresh start, so we always need to keep pressing towards the mark. And when we raise up our children in the way they should go... even if they stray off the path for a moment or a season ...we can take rest in KNOWING that the Word says, when they are old, they will not depart from it. They will come back to their roots and back to their Jesus. But our goal is to train them NOT to fall of that path. And to "obey their parents in the Lord, for this is right. This is the first COMMANDMENT with a PROMISE (a PROMISE!!!...from God HIMSELF!!...that our CHILDREN can take claim to...cuz THE FATHER said so!!)...that things will go will with you and you will live a long life on this earth." My mom used to share that with me all the time, and I still claim that over my life to this day. Sure things have gone wrong and I've messed many-a-things up...but then I regroup and return to that promise, that things will be WELL with me! God is good, He is faithful, and HIS Word shall NOT return unto me void!! PTL!! <><

love you,
~Tanya

Sally- That Girl! said...

Jean,
Don't know how I missed this post, but I did until tonight. Love the post and your question. It is also one of mine.

However, I noticed you included my name among others. I don't feel like I even remotely qualify to answer this question compared to some of the others.

First, I don't homeschool, but I do minister to children with special needs everyday and their families and believe God has called me to do both at this time in my life. I am trying my best to raise God fearing and loving children even while they are in public schools.

Second, my older children are sadly all lost in the world. I love them and pray diligently for them, but I feel somehow I actually failed them. Yes, we went to church every Sunday, we did most of the right things, but like you my faith journey really exploded seven years ago kind of too late for my older kids. So for now I live I John 3:18 "Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." My greatest hope is that my older kids will see my life and what Christ has done for it and they too will kneel before the cross.

Third, the children at home now see a mama who turns to prayer for answers and in praise. They see a mama that only listens to Christian music in the car and aorund the house. They see a mama who loves their papa and reagrds him as the head of the household. They see me on my knees surrendering to God and my arms lifted up in praise. They see me praying with each of them several times a day.They see us not only going to church every Sunday, but living it each day. They see a mama who is far from perfect, but knows she and her children are treasured by God.

Fourth, I think you are more than qualified to write a post on how to plant the Jesus seed! You are doing an incredible job with your girls and I am humbled to have you as my friend!

Chasity said...

Jean,
Thank you for asking such an important question! We have been planting the seed of faith in our children since birth (Trayj since Birth, and Jie since coming home). We talk about Jesus everyday, we make sure to talk about what we are thankful for at our meals and we are certain to say our prayers at night. I love to take drives with Jie, as she is always telling me "Mommy, I can't see Jesus up in the sky". We have told her Jesus lives in Heaven in the clouds. I also loved Trayjan's 1st plane trip to China, he was looking for Jesus in the clouds the entire time. I love to talk to my children about faith and what our heavenly father has given us and all he has done for us. Everything we are we owe to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Along with church, I read bible stories to my children. We have an entire series of children's bible stories and my children love them. I'm so proud of the choices my children make because of the seed we have planted for them. The faith they have will be with them always, as Jesus is with us everyday. My kids love to talk about what Jesus is doing when weather changes. When it thunders Jesus is bowling, when it rains, he's watering his flowers, when we have lightning, Jesus is looking for bugs with his flashlight, when the wind is strong, Jesus has turned on a fan and when it snows, Jesus is making a snow cone!

David and Sarah said...

Jean,

First of all, thank you so much for your sweet note on my blog. I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.

This is such a wonderful question that you have asked. I have enjoyed reading people's responses.

Our children are fairly young (so, we don't have practical wisdom in knowing how to raise our children to be zealous into adulthood...yet), but there are some things that seem very important. One thing (that hasn't been mentioned) is finding like-minded Christians who can also be an influence on your children. We are so grateful to have other families in our church who are committed to teaching their children about the Lord. They are zealous in their love for Jesus, and desire the same for their children. We try to "do life" (regular prayer, sabbath dinner, Sunday worship, as well as just-for-fun stuff) together with these families as much as possible, so that our children can see a group of zealous believers and know that this is the "normal" Christian life.

Another thing that we have been doing lately is saying blessings over our children. We want to truly bless them with our words. So, for example, we might say, "I bless you, Adam, with the true knowledge of Christ's great love for you!" Then, we believe that God will bring about this blessing in their lives! We've also been praying for and blessing our children while they are sleeping. I find that it is so easy to think that "I can train my children to love God." When, in reality, I must trust completely in Jesus to transform my children's hearts. My job is to 1) not get in the way of His work, and 2) help my children to be receptive to His work.

Much love to you!
Sarah

Our China Starfish said...

Jean,

I read Sarah's blog, Grace Like Rain, as you do as well :) She is SUCH a great source of encouragement in bringing Jesus into the hearts of children! On a practical level, we rotate among the children who sets the table for dinner....not only do they get to pick where the kids sit at that meal, but they are responsible for the prayer before the meal (i.e. they can say the prayer themselves OR ask for a volunteer to say it). It is a blessing to listen to their prayers- it gives us a chance to know where their hearts are mid-day (before bedtime, hearts are in different places). It's also a blessing because everyone hears these prayers- a sister praying for another sister hears the prayer, visitors (sometimes not Christian) hear a child's prayer of thanks for their presence at our table. We've NEVER directed our children to thank God for our visitors, but they always have (just has to be God working here!). I hope having the confidence to prayer in front of more then just our immediate family will help them serve Him more later...they rarely pass up their chance for their "turn" to prayer anymore.

It's been encouraging reading the other answers you have received! God bless, Jennifer