Prep and Praise Your Children

Another tip I find helpful with my children is to prep them. Before I take them into a shop I remind them how I want them to behave. If I am taking them to someone's house, I remind them to remember their manners and be friendly. I tell them what I want them to do and how I want them to act. As some of my children are very shy and sometimes appear very rude, I tell them to answer when someone speaks to them.
One time this idea of prepping worked so well I was amazed! I was taking my children to the midwife. Usually when it was time to leave, I would have to pick up their toys. So this time I said, "When I tell you it's time to leave, I want you to say 'Yes, mummy' and then quickly tidy up."
When it was time to leave and I told my children that, they both chorused "Yes, Mummy" in a loud voice and tidied up in a few seconds. My midwife and the midwifery student with her was astonished. So was I! And all it took was a bit of prepping.
The idea is to teach them what to do beforehand, rather than just growling them when they don't behave the way you want. To teach them in non-conflict times.
And then I give them lots of praise when they behave well. It's so important to catch their good behaviour and praise them for it.


Encouragement for Today

A few pages from my little book of encouragement that always goes with me to hospital, and is read and added to a lot at home! Hope they're an encouragement to you today.



Patience Pays Off
I waited patiently for the LORD: and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1

Do you find it difficult to be patient? I feel as though I am doing a degree in patience at the moment and I am realizing just how impatient I am!
I have these words on my fridge at the moment to keep me focused. After tube feeding our special needs baby for over a year, we have finally been able to take her tube out and feed her completely orally. It took a lot of patience and perseverence to get there. It felt like she would NEVER get there.
Now we don't have to tube feed, but feeding takes about half the day! She doesn't drink well. I feel like she will NEVER get better and quicker. But I have to remember that Patience does pay off. Sometimes we have to just accept something that can't change, but often patience, perseverance, prayer and lot of work go a long way!
This time last year we spent 'FOREVER' in hospital with our baby. It felt like she would NEVER be well enough to go home! But the time came. Patience paid off.
Then we had to wait for heart surgery.
Then she got sick after surgery and another long hospital stay. It felt like we would be there FOREVER! But we were'nt! :)
Then when we got home, I started working with her every day to practice sitting up. It felt like she would NEVER get it! It took a few months but she got there.
You don't need a disability to try your patience though. We all have our own trials and tests of patience.
I like the way these verses in James are paraphrased in the Living Bible.
 Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.
Patience Pays Off


Honor His Wishes

Give weight to what your husband thinks is important.
Make those things a priority that matter most to him.
Don't make him ask twice.

I have these words up in my kitchen at the moment which I got from a magazine. This is the main marriage advice I remember my Mum telling me.
I thought I had this down pat until last night I realized I still have a long way to go.
My husband commented on something I was wearing. He didn't like it for modesty reasons. Straight away I argued back as I had the last two times he mentioned it. Then I caught myself. Ouch!  Later on I asked my husband if he really didn't like it.(It pays to check as sometimes he is just teasing!:) ). Thismorning I put those clothes, along with some more clothes I knew he didn't like, into my opp shop bag.
I have a few less clothes now, but I have joy knowing I have honored his wishes. A happy marriage is far more important than a few clothes.
Another thing has been screen time for the children. Many times he has commented on how he doesn't like how much screen time (watching videos) I let them have. Instead of honoring his wishes, for a long time I just made excuses. Ouch again! This week we have gone 4 days so far with no screen time. And again I have joy knowing I am honoring my man!
What is important to your husband?
Are you honoring his wishes?
You will be blessed if you do!


5 Minute Warning

(I don't have much time or ideas for writing at the moment. But I thought maybe I could share simple tips that I've found helpful on organization, saving money, child rearing and marriage as I love learning new tips. I don't stick to all these, but I go back to them when I need them.)

This is one tip I learned at a parenting course that I use often. When it's almost time for the children to tidy up, turn off a movie, come inside for dinner, go out in the car or whatever, I often tell the children they have a few minutes left. That way they have warning; they're not suddenly told to drop what they're doing as that can cause unnecessary frustration.


A Thankful Heart

Do you have any fussy eaters in your family?
One of our little girls has always been very picky. She doesn't even like lollies! But lately she has been more fussy than ever. The other night we sat down for dinner and all three of our older children didn't want to eat their dinner. I felt rather fed up. When all you get for your efforts to put a meal on the table is complaints, it's enough to get you down. Especially when it happens regularly and you do know how to cook!
So I was feeling pretty frustrated and thinking that we needed to do something about their complaining. I thought, 'I know how God felt when all the Israelites did was complain at what He had provided for them.'
My mum told me once that our children are just like us. So I started to think about whether I have the same complaining spirit sometimes. I realized I am often just as guilty.
My children don't always like what I put on their plate, but I expect them to eat it without complaint. They don't have to like it but they have to eat it. If they chose all their own food, they wouldn't be very healthy. I give them what is good for them, but they often don't like the healthy food.
And so I don't always like what God puts on my plate. I don't like having sick children, being in hospital, being woken up in the night, etc. If I had the choice, I would choose a nice pleasant life that is trouble free! But that's not good for me. And God expects me to have a thankful heart in spite of the things I don't like.
Sometimes I feel like there is too much on my plate. But God knows better than me. (Although sometimes I put unnecessary things on there that God doesn't expect me to do).
Do you have a thankful heart?


God Knows Your Sorrows

These verses from the Daily Light were an encouragement to me thismorning. After working for months trying to get our baby feeding, we finally thought she had gotten there. Only to have her take a step backwards and go back to not sucking and being tubefed. I find the whole thing very frustrating. But God knows and will help me.
What are your sorrows today? Big or small God knows, cares and will give you more grace.

I know their sorrows.
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. ---Touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.---Jesus...being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well.
When Jesus...saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.---Jesus wept.---For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
He hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.---He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. ---When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.
He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. ---In all their affliction he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them.