Too Big to be Thankful?

Welcome to my series on Stress-Free Living! This year, we’re going to approach the Holidays with a different attitude – not one of worry and stress, but one of peace and gratitude! With God’s help, we can do this! If you’re new to the series, you can find the other posts here.

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Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth…”

It amazes me to think that Jesus Christ, our Master and Creator, chose to be thankful. In fact, He chose to thank His Father, even though He was/is one with Him! The question of the hour is, “are we too big to be thankful?”

1. We’re never too old to be thankful

When my husband and I were younger, we went every week to the nursing home in Harrisburg, PA to preach and sing. (He preached; we both sang!) Old Elsie Heely, who had been bedridden for many years, would sing as loud as she could, often lifting up her weak and shaky arms. After the service, we visited with her, and I’ll never forget how thankful she was that God loved her, heard her prayers, and was going to take her one day to Heaven. Even at almost 90 years old, we are never too old to be thankful.

2. We’re never too successful to be thankful

We were at a campmeeting once, where many folks were praising The Lord during the singing. It certainly got a little loud, but I thought it was great! Well, during all of that, a man who was some learned scientist or perhaps a bussinessman jumped up and shouted, “Praise The Lord!” What a blessing that even the wisest, most intelligent, or most educated person can thank The Lord.

3. We’re never too rich to be thankful

R.G. LeTourneau was an inventor and business man, eventually becoming one of the richest men alive, and yet continued to give much of his money to The Lord and speaking for The Lord as the occasion allowed. Those who knew him called him “God’s businessman.” He knew everything he had came from God, and was not ashamed to let it be known that he, as with everything he had, belonged to God.

4. We’re never too often reminded to be thankful.

This is kind of an odd thing, but sometimes we get numb to the reminders to be thankful. “Have the Gratitude Attitude,” “Count Your Blessings,” and “Make a list of things you’re thankful for,” are heard quite often this time of year. Sometimes, however, those reminders begin to fall on deaf ears, and we think to ourselves, I hear this all the time! Yada, yada, yada… and we ignore the message. Don’t let the message of gratutude get lost in the admonition to be thankful.

Joseph Stalin said this disgusting statement: “Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs” Let it never be said of us that we’ve become too big to be thankful.

Let’s bless The Lord, and be thankful for all the things He’s done for us!

Question: Why is it sometimes hard to combine success with gratitude? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Preventing Temper Tantrums

Welcome to my series on Stress-Free Living! For me, mornings can be some of the most stressful times, so last week, I talked about that in my last post, Tips for Stress-Free Mornings.

 

 

When I was had my first child, I was amply warned by many well-meaning mothers, “Oh, you think she’s sweet now – just wait till she turns 2 and starts banging her head against the wall!” I was certainly mortified at the thought, and wondered how in the world will I escape?? Am I doomed to have my baby turn into a 2 year-old monster??!?

Well, I can tell you, she DIDN’T turn into a monster, and she DIDN’T bang her head against the wall, and she DIDN’T pitch a royal fit in Walmart. *whew!*

Then when I had my second child, they told me, “Well, you just got lucky with the first one. This one’s a boy. Boys are different. You’ll see.”

I waited for the violence. Finally I gave up waiting, and by the time I had my fourth child, no one gave me their horror stories or warned me of the Terrible Twos. Thankfully, I had 7 children, and none of them hit the Terrible Twos yet – and the youngest is 10 years old.

What follows here is the basic plan I clung to while my babies were little. It worked beautifully then, and I’m sure it’ll work beautifully now.

1. Have the proper mindset. Remember that it is far easier to prevent a temper tantrum than it is to quell one in process or keep one from happening when the child has already thrown regular tantrums. You can prevent them from happening in the first place, if you work hard at it.

2. A tantrum is uncontrolled anger. If you are able to eliminate all possible causes for anger, and you will effectively nip tantrums before they start. The next few points tell how to eliminate most of the causes of anger in babies and small children.

3. Keep your child on a regular eating and sleeping schedule. This is very important, because I know how cranky I get when I’m tired or hungry. When those basic needs of food and sleep are taken care of, he is a much happier baby!

4. Give your child ample warning when making a change. Personally, I hate being interrupted from something I really enjoy doing. But I have a little time-keeper – a clock – which constantly tells me that it’s time to change activity. Perhaps it’s time to go make dinner, or get ready for bed, but I’m still tied to the clock. A young child has no such reference. To him, all the time in the world is for play, and YOU are the interruption.

To prevent YOU being the interruption, simply do for your child what that clock does for you – give him a little warning ahead of time. When I look at the clock and it says 11:30am, I know that I’d better wrap up what I’m doing and head to the kitchen to put lunch together, or I may have a mutiny on my hands! Your child needs the same thing, but he can’t read the clock yet. It’s up to you to tell him, “We need to get ready to leave in 5 minutes.” That way he can know that he needs to wrap up what he’s doing because soon he needs to get ready to go.

5. Deal sternly with anger. My children usually showed their anger at around 6 months old, when they would fuss and arch their backs. I dealt very sternly with them, and made it so that it was not worth their while to display their anger like that. Soon they were able to express themselves in better ways.

Remember, your relationship to your child is key to passing on your values, and temper tantrums create a wedge between you and your child. And contrary to popular advice, preventing temper tantrums is not only important, but it is also doable.

Now, go out there and courageously take your little bull by his horns! You can do it, if you want to.

Question: Have you ever been able to ward off a temper tantrum? What have you done? What advice do you have for dealing with temper tantrums?

 

Special Announcements:

My 2013 Reader Survey is closed! A special THANK YOU to those who have participated!

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and NOW it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right! Lydia did a great job in putting that on, didn’t she??

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

 

Tips For Stress-Free Mornings!

Welcome to my new series on Stress-Free Living! For the next few weeks, I’m going to share my experiences over the years learning to make life happier and easier amid constantly changing schedules, locations, adding family members, and (gasp!) HOLIDAYS!

Because our ministry had us on the road at the time, we drove late into the night (or rather, early into the morning) to get to our next meeting. Thankfully, because we had a motor home, the kids were able to go to bed at their normal time, so they got their rest. But I felt it was important to stay awake to help keep my husband awake for the long drive, so neither he nor I got to bed until about 2am.

Tips for Stress Free Mornings

That in itself isn’t bad, but the following morning was awful! I was awakened by a very hungry baby the next morning, and of course while I was feeding her, the rest of the kids woke up and wanted breakfast. By the time I got the little kids some food, it was mid-morning. Then suddenly, the unthinkable happened: there was a knock on the door!

Oh, no! I was still in my nightgown!

What did I do? I did what anyone else in my situation would have done: I hid and told my husband to go answer the door! 😀

Seriously, though, mornings can be rough, especially with a young family. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years that have made my life easier. Maybe some of them will help you!

1. Rise 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family. Right now I wake up at least an hour and a half earlier than the rest of the family, but when my children were little, I simply wasn’t always ready to do that. But through the years, I discovered that if I could just get up 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family, I could have at least a little bit of relaxation time before I was mobbed.

2. Greet each person with a 100-watt smile. I talk about this is one of my previous posts, How to Make Your Home a Better Place, Part 2. If you are able to get up 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family, this step is pretty easy. No matter how the night went, I always try to greet each person with a big sincere smile. At first, it was hard to do, because I was enjoying having time to myself so much, but eventually it became a part of me, so that I was sincerely glad to see them when they got up.

3. Ask each person about how they are doing, or how they slept last night. “Hi buddy! How did you sleep?” I’d ask as I tossle my son’s hair. It’s a good way to show we care, because sometimes young folks don’t sleep well, and it bothers them and it’s good for them to talk about it. Other days, you can swap crazy dream stories, which are always funny. It’s a cheery way to start your morning.

4. If you have small children, try to get them their breakfast as soon as possible after they get up. Young children are always hungry early in the morning, so having a good breakfast soon after getting up can chase away the poochie lip!

5. Make sure they read their Bibles as soon as possible in the morning. If you make your kids brush their teeth, you should make them read their Bibles. I always ask my children what they read this morning, and it’s always good to help us start a good spiritual conversation. Starting the day on a good spiritual note is the best thing in the world.

Finally, when nothing seems to work as planned, flexibility is the key. My blog post, A Mom’s Motto: “Semper Gumby” Always Flexible, covers that topic in depth.

While your family may not live in a motorhome, there may be some ideas here that you can add to your mornings that will help you be a more effective (and happier) momma!

Your Turn: What are some things you’ve learned over the years that help your life mornings run more smoothly? Are there some routines you’ve found that didn’t help?

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      My 2013 Reader Survey is almost closed! If you haven’t participated yet, there’s still a smidge of time! I’ve learned a lot already, so keep the info coming! AND a special THANK YOU to those who have already taken it!

    • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and NOW it’s available here!! Check out the sidebar on the right! Lydia did a great job in putting that on, didn’t she??

Linking up with: Monday: href=”http://www.thebettermom.com”>The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum