The most challenging part of being a mom of a 12 year old daughter is modeling balance and good habits and helping her to see the beauty of a meek and quiet spirit. I started reading Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson last week and I keep reflecting on a paragraph I read in the first chapter that spoke to my heart in how I want to parent my daughters.
Children are a gift from God, and we are stewards of their welfare. Training up our daughters in this sense implies helping them to navigate the cultural minefields that lie in their paths- teaching them eternal values, talents, and perspectives. It means instilling within them an appreciation for truthfulness, trustworthiness, self-discipline, self-control, generosity, and sweetness of spirit. It means teaching them modesty, morality, and manners. It means helping them overcome the natural inclination toward selfishness, aggressiveness, violence, and slovenliness. It means teaching them to work and learn and think. that is just the beginning, which is why parenthood is such a daunting responsibility, requiring careful forethought and planning.
Before bed Isabel and I spend a few minutes reading a devotion and we are currently reading Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Steven and Grace Mally. It is a nice way to end the day and teach those much needed eternal values, and perspectives. On another note, Isabel is working on making a daily schedule for our home school this year and also enjoys creating meal plans for the week. It is a joy to see her enjoy using her talents to bless our family.
It has been such a fun and busy summer. For a full month every Monday – Friday began with having to be out of the house before 9 am. I know for many families this might be typical, but for ours it is not. This is one of the reasons Home schooling is such a great decision for our family.
As the summer activities slow in pace, Mondays are often times a day to recharge our spiritual batteries. Even after a Sunday of fellowship we find we need time to read for awhile, have a later breakfast time, enjoy some unstructured time and clean house. Often times I don’t know where to begin. One of the ways I stay grounded each day is opening my Bible when I wake up every day and ask God to bless my day and to help me to do His will over mine. I also try to begin each day with exercise while I listen to Christian worship. I usually like to catch up on Facebook, which can be tricky and cause me to lose my sweetness of spirit and increase my natural inclination toward selfishness! I need to use a timer to stay focused on my mission!
Now as we head into end of summer, we look forward to fun family time, a little more beach time, some fun camping trips with good friends and gearing up for school. My prayer as we go into this home school season is that I will nurture and train my daughters (and son) to be quick to obey and to be content in whatever the circumstances, as Paul instructs in Philippians 4:11