Archive | Encouragement

Teachable Moments in Christian Parenting

Teachable Moments in Christian Parenting - Parenting Like HannahIt’s easy to get overwhelmed in parenting. The demands on our time and energy seem never ending. Christian parenting can begin to feel like an unnecessary added burden. As a Christian parent, you don’t just feel responsible for keeping your kids alive and making sure they are somewhat decent people, capable of eventually facing the adult world. You now feel this additional responsibility to do everything anyone suggests, so you can be relatively confident your kids go to Heaven for eternity!

No wonder many parents just shut down! Denial seems a lot easier than all of the extra work it appears to take to raise your kids to become strong, faithful, productive Christians. After all, you can barely get them to brush their teeth on most days.

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The Prayer of Jabez for Moms?

The Prayer of Jabez for Moms? - Parenting Like HannahWhen our daughter was little, Christians became almost obsessed with the prayer of a guy named Jabez. Jabez was named that by his mother because evidently his birth was pretty painful and I guess she didn’t want him to forget it. Putting aside whatever parenting jewel is hidden in that fact, the focus is actually what comes next in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.

You see Jabez asked God to bless him and expand his territory. (He also asked God to keep him from evil and causing pain.) As an average Christian mom, you are probably thinking you would consider asking God to shrink your territory a bit or at least give you some “people” to help. On the other hand, I hear so many moms talk about how they are bored or unfulfilled as mothers. They feel as if they are missing something.

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How to Be the Perfect Christian Mom (Sometimes!)

ow to Be the Perfect Christian Mom (Sometimes!) - Parenting Like HannahSeveral years ago, I decided it would save our family quite a bit of money if I learned some basic cake decorating skills. We were in the middle of those “I want a birthday cake that looks like Cinderella” years and those specialty cakes can cost a fortune. So, I went to Michael’s and took the class. I baked many unusual cakes – one of which even won a “prize” at my daughter’s Odyssey of the Mind competition. (Don’t ask. I’m still not sure why that was a “thing”.)

I will never be a professional cake decorator, even though those cakes turned out just fine. Why? Partially because I’m not an artist. Mostly though, because I’m just not willing to put in the time and effort to get really good at it. “Good enough” is okay with me when it comes to cake decorating.

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When Your Christian Parenting Is Interrupted…

When Your Christian Parenting Is Interrupted - Parenting Like HannahDid you know a transmission water main break can deprive an entire large county of water in minutes? I didn’t until this morning. The massive lack of water meant an emergency unplanned grocery run with the rest of the county and took a large chunk out of my well planned, well intentioned morning. And my kid is in college!

You’ve probably had days which are much worse. If your kids are passing the latest mystery illness back and forth, those stretches can last weeks. You are in survival mode – with little to no sleep and no energy reserves. So you finally get two seconds to look online and chill, only to see the latest Parenting Like Hannah Christian parenting blog post.

Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to throw your iPad against the closest wall in frustration. Believe it or not, I get it. My kid got sick. Our cars broke down. We even lost all sewage capabilities the day before a huge Thanksgiving at our house, requiring emergency plumbers and thousands of un-budgeted dollars to get back.

Whether you realize it or not, you are indeed Christian parenting while in survival mode. Don’t believe me? Here’s what you are teaching your kids about God and what He wants from them and for them during those rough seasons of parenting.

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Fun Ways to Get Glimpses of Your Children’s Hearts

Fun Ways to Get Glimpses of Your Children's Hearts - Parenting Like HannahTo be an effective Christian parent, you really need to understand your children’s hearts. You need to know their priorities, what they love and what gets them excited about life. Those insights can help better guide you as you dedicate your kids to God. Unfortunately, no matter how well you know your kids, you can ultimately only see the parts of their hearts they allow you to see.

If your child is quiet, very private or going through a tough time, those glimpses of his or her heart can be hard to find. There are some fun things you can do though, that will give you sneak peeks into the hearts of even the quietest child. Some of these you may already be doing with your kids, but didn’t realize the important information the results of those activities was giving you about their hearts.

Here are a few of my favorites and how to start interpreting them.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)