A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

Many, many of you have asked for updates on the situation with our daughter.  I have been hesitant to talk any more about it for several reasons.

1. There really is not much to tell since there have not been any significant changes.
2. Like I said in my original post, I only want to share my own story and not speak for anyone else.  (I have received a few emails of criticism for that, which puzzles me because I was only trying to respect the others in this situation.  But I certainly do NOT think this is all about me….in fact I think very little of it is about me at all, but a mother’s heart can break over her child no matter how old the child is and if you don’t understand that then you are blessed not to have felt this pain).
3. I don’t want it to be the focus of my blog.

BUT….I am not hesitant to share how incredible God is and that His hand has been so obvious through all of our sorrow and tears.  Despite the overwhelming agony of loss, the unspeakable joy that has cropped up all around me has to be shared!

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In the beginning of this trial I asked Him to make me an empty vessel through which He could pour out His beauty and grace.  And He has used this situation to grant that prayer.  But let me warn you, before you pray that…..be ready for your world to be shaken up big time!  You can’t be empty if you are hanging onto idols in your life with a vice grip.  Trust me, I am the queen of that.  My knuckles are still sore from trying.

So, while I still hurt deeply, I am also experiencing a depth of faith that I didn’t understand before.   I know a greater joy through many blessings including a deeper, richer relationship with our other adult children who have stood by and supported the hard decisions that we have had to make.  I have learned to lean on God when things around me look bleak.  There is story after story I could tell you about how He has shown Himself to all of us in amazing ways.  Here are a few examples:

One afternoon I was crying in my bathroom and one of the boys heard me.  He knocked on the door and asked if he could pray with me.  He put his arms around me and cried with me and we prayed.  Suddenly, we both instantly felt a surge of strength and the burden lift.  Really…it was an actual physical lifting and a surprise to us both. We pulled back and looked at each other in amazement.  Afterwards my son offered me some incredible Biblical advice that was wise beyond his years. It gave me huge comfort!  God is using my pain to help turn my son into a man and draw closer to Him…..wow!

During my time at the Summit several older women approached me and asked how I was doing.  They knew about our situation and wanted to encourage me.  These wise women poured the love of God into me and I could so clearly see that He gave me these friends a year before this happened because He knew how much I would need them now.  To have godly women who have been in my shoes tell me that I am on the right path and not to lose hope…..priceless!

One more story….on Friday night at the Oklahoma Summit the team members (me included) were standing in the front of the ballroom ready to pray for the women there.  I had prayed with a couple of ladies and was standing there waiting when a women came up to me….I was ready to lift her up, but she said that she came to pray for me!  She offered the sweetest prayer and words of encouragement to me!  I wept on her shoulder.  It felt like God sent an angel.

I could go on and on….almost every day since this all began He has used someone (many of YOU!) to lift me up and show Himself.  And every single time I am reminded of His love and I want to shout it from the rooftops!  GOD IS GOOD!!!!

Then I want to pour it all right back out to you.

When you are struggling with anything….ANYTHING….He is there to comfort you.  His Word is a balm that I crave more and more as I walk this path.  Don’t underestimate the power of the revealed Will of God.  Some things are so hard to see….but there is SO much that is right there in front of you.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says His ways are not just for us, but for our children! It is His will that we tell the truth (Ex 20:16), that His mercy does not depend on anything I do (Romans 9:14-24), He does not tempt us (James 1:13), that there is only one way to be saved (Mark 16:16), and much more!

I share those with you so that you know that when you can’t figure out what His will is for you, you always know what He reveals to us in His Word.  It’s a great place to start!  Then He will unfold the rest as you need it.

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The bottom line is…..I don’t trust myself.  I make mistakes, I mess things up, I can look back on any part of this ordeal and see things I could have done differently and probably should have.  Yes, often I hear from God through the Holy Spirit and I do my best to make sure it’s not my own thoughts then step out in faith.  It’s all I can really do if I want peace, put my trust in God….I know that He will work it all for my good and for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  I try my best and then leave the rest in His hands.

Thanks so much to all of you for being so willing to let God use you to bless our family!  I pray that it is coming back to you 100-fold.  And I pray that when you face trials that feel like you can’t survive that you find comfort and peace in the Word of God and His mercy and grace.

Now, back to our regular, lighter posts……

 

Where to Find TRUE Encouragament

Where to Find TRUE Encouragament

I’ve been working, working, getting ready for the Summit, which means a lot of time spent reading the Bible as I prepare for a couple of sessions I am teaching.  And a lot more time praying.  Praying for wisdom, praying for each woman in attendance, praying for the hotel servers…..so many things to lift up to the throne of grace!

What amazes me is how uplifted I am from all of it.  Even though I am not reading for my own needs, He uses it to minister intimately to me.  Even though I am not asking for help for my own trials, He blesses me through my prayers and gives me encouragement.

His grace and mercy and wisdom covers ALL of that and MORE!

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So I had to share the encouragement with you on YouTube.

 

My friends, dig into His Word!  Spend time in prayer!  Let Him pour the living water into your thirsty spirit.

One last thought I want to share is to be careful that you look for the kind of encouragement that God supplies and not from people who will just say what makes you feel good.  People will fail you.  People can mislead you.  But God never can!  Be willing to hear the absolute truth and not just what justifies your own ideas and wants.  That is the only way to really find joy and peace.

Have a beautiful day!!!

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I Am Brave and Beautiful

I Am Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Click play on the video below that Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces made with other some other beautiful bloggersto see the beauty and bravery displayed.

Me along with 101+ other bloggers from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see others.

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

First I will show you my new headshot, which is one of the pictures we are considering for my book jacket.  My daughter Patience took it.

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So of course, since she’s so wonderful, I asked her to take my no makeup photo.  “Be gentle,” I told her.  It is sad how insecure I felt about this.  I am letting God work on my heart and He has reminded me how much He loves me just the way I am!

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I feel like I look tired.  But the truth is, what am I hiding?!  I AM tired! And I am insecure about being seen without my eyebrows.  I joke a lot on Facebook about drawing my eyebrows on.  But as you can see….I have none!

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some, like me, this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

 

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

Ready in join in? Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple, @Peacefrom6Pieces and @PenningtonPoint if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Moms Need a Night Off!

Moms Need a Night Off!

This week’s YouTube video is about a subject near and dear to my heart….taking a break!

I have shared this with many groups when I speak and I always get a food of emails afterward asking me questions about how it works.  I go into some of it in the video and in this older post, but I want to answer a few more questions.

 

Q: How do you get your husband to agree?
A: You shouldn’t try to manipulate him, but simply lay out the idea.  The more you can make it easy for him the better it will work.  We don’t want to overwhelm the poor guy.  Have the house cleaned up and the kids in a good mood.  Don’t try to control what happens while you’re gone…this is their time.  When you get home, don’t complain if it’s messy or he did something “wrong”.

Q: But I don’t trust anyone else to take care of my kids.
A: Mom, your kids will be fine for a few hours without you.  In fact….it is GOOD for them and for Dad to spend time together without you.  Ask God to help you let go of trying to control everything.  It’s not healthy!  To quote the most annoying song of 2014, “Let it go!  Let it go!….”

Q: What if I have a nursing baby?
A: Sometimes I would take the baby with me, sometimes I would nurse then leave for a couple of hours, sometimes I would stay home and lock myself in my bedroom.  You can still get a break when you’re nursing.  In fact, I remember several times I used my night off to SLEEP!

Q: My kids won’t leave me alone in my room!
A: You can teach your kids not to bother you when you need a break.  The trick is not to answer them when they call or give in to their manipulation.  Your husband (or whoever is helping) is perfectly capable of taking care of that they need.  You could even practice it for 10 minutes during the day for a week or so to make sure they get the concept.

Q: What kinds of things do you do?
A: Honestly, my favorite thing is to go in my bathroom and have time for personal care.  I scrub my face, straighten the bathroom and bedroom, clip my fingernails, condition my hair, etc.  That is how my bathroom stays clean and I get my grooming time in.  I listen to praise music or podcasts and get my soul taken care of at the same time.

 

All moms need a break and this is a great post with tons of encouragement and ideas!

If you have other questions leave them in the comments and I’ll try to help!

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Some practical, godly tips for women who are struggling with depression, hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed.  #parenting #forwomen #christian

Feeling overwhelmed is something everyone experiences….some of us more than others.

I get hundreds of emails and messages from women who are overwhelmed, struggling with depression and feeling hopeless.  I wish I could have each of you over for an iced tea with Sonic ice and some real fellowship.

I’m here to share some hope with you.  This week’s YouTube video has 3 tips for what to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed and depressed.  I can’t take away your problems, but I can tell you what works for me when I feel that ugly old hopelessness creeping in.

Before you go…..I want to leave you with even more encouragement from the One who CAN take away your problems….

Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

John 13:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

Psalm 142:3 “When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.”

Psalm 61:2 ” From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

I am praying for you…even if I don’t know you, God does.

When Your Adult Kids Still Live at Home

When Your Adult Kids Still Live at Home

Tips and thoughts for ways to handle adult kids still living at home

Right now we have 4 adult kids living at home and 1 more graduated that’s just under the wire of official adulthood.

This is a whole new level of parenting.  People say toddlers and teenagers are hard….we didn’t have big struggles with those ages.  But adults, that is a topic that needs some attention!

Our kids have always had responsibility and had to learn hard lessons.  They pay for their own things and work from home (mostly) and earn their own money.  They help around the house and are generally pleasant.  But there are still some things that we are working to figure out.

1. Where does the authority of the parents end and the “child’s” begin? (I am calling them child for the sake of clarity, but I know they’re not children)
2. How much of their needs should they pay for?  Rent?  Food?  Insurance?
3. Should we let them use our car?  Our wifi?  Our phone plan?
4. How do we handle discipline?  Or do we?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of adult children living at home.  If they were someone else just moving in with us we would have set clear boundaries from the beginning, but since we eased into this for the past 18+ years it’s not so cut and dried.

The good news is that we do all believe in the Bible being the Word of God and even though not all of those things are addressed directly, is it clear how to handle disputes and so we manage to keep the peace.  That is a victory all by itself!  If you are still raising your young children keep that in mind.  Teach them now to love the Lord, do hard things and care for other people.  It will benefit them now and forever more.

I am sympathetic to my kids’ situation.  They are adults living a child’s life.  They need to break out and believe me….we want our little birdies to fly from our nest.  I am not anxious to be the head of an adult living center.

Even though I am still in the midst of this season and I do not have a full view from the rearview mirror, I have learned a few things that might help anyone headed this direction.

1. If it belongs to me I have authority.  My house, my car, my food….I can say how it gets used and if I let you paint the room you are living in your favorite color then I am doing you a favor.  And you should be grateful.  But if it’s yours…..your purse, your clothes, your car then I should leave you alone about it, even if I have a great idea that would help you undoubtedly achieve great future successes.  I close my mouth.
2. They should pay for themselves as much as possible.  We haven’t moved to having our kids pay rent, but that is because they are responsible with their money and they voluntarily hold themselves accountable to us about how they use it (accountable, not obedient).  But we do require them to pay for their phone (they are on our plan) and they buy their own special foods (so if they like a certain cereal or drink they buy their own, but they eat meals with us).  I have thought about charging my son for laundry services.  Free if you do it yourself, $2 per load if you convince a sister to do it for you. ;)
3. Easing into adult responsibilities.  Our two oldest kids are each saving to buy a car and when that happens it will be 100% their responsibility.  For now they use our cars, but there are rules.  They have to ask.  Every time.  They have to tell us where they are going and when they will be home and if that changes they have to let us know.  And they have to pay for insurance and whatever gas they use.
4. Discipline is a harder issue.  For example, if we request they get up and be dressed by 7:00 in the morning and they don’t do it….what should happen?  Basically, we give them adult sized consequences for these things.  A week without the use of our car has been a consequence we used in the past.  That wasn’t fun.  We do give them a lot of privileges that we could take away if necessary.  I mean, eating here is a privilege and so is having your own room.  If you want that privilege then you have to show respect for our needs as a family and joyfully do what we ask unless we discuss it and all agree to something else.

We expect our adult children to take care of more than just themselves.  By age 18 you should carry your own weight and help those around you.  That means they have responsibilities for kitchen, cleaning, car maintenance, helping with siblings, working for Mom or Dad in our business, etc.  Their whole day can’t be just about them.  That is not good for them and it certainly isn’t good for the parents.  We can’t carry our adult kids around and we shouldn’t have to.  Each adult in the home must be making a large contribution to the cost (financial, physical, emotional, etc.) of living in the home.  We expect them to contribute a minimum of 4 hours per day on family needs, but this can include working for us in our businesses.  If they have jobs that allow them to contribute financially then that time requirement would change.

But what happens when they just don’t agree?  They shouldn’t have to agree with us all of the time of course!   And all of our kids disagree with us on various topics.  That’s when the relationship becomes so, so important.  James and I work hard to spend time with our older kids and listen to them.  What’s important to them? How can we support their dreams?  How are their friends doing?  What are they struggling with right now?  How can we help without jumping in and rescuing them?

It is a delicate balance for all of us and one that we can all become more like Christ through the process. 

If you only have young children now or are looking at being in this situation soon, hear me when I tell you….keep the lines of communication open.  Your adult children still need you.  But you have to practice self-control like you never have before.  No more swooping in and saving the day.  No more endless streams of motherly advice.  No more being bossy (come on, it’s not just me).  They need to make mistakes….sometimes big ones…..to learn and be able to fly away.

Be strong mamma……we are growing and learning too even though we’re supposed to be the more mature one.  It sure ain’t easy.

And when all else fails I can remind my adult kids of what it says in Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,  then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones.”

;)

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The Humbler Games

The Humbler Games

It’s Friday and around here that means just one thing…..another YouTube video!

This week’s video is called, “The Humbler Games.”

Y’all will love this one.  We did something different and made a little movie.  It’s so much fun for us because we all worked together to make it (lots of us behind the scenes even though you don’t see us on camera!).   This picture only shows who worked on the day of shooting, but the other kids helped too.

A fun youtube video full of encouragement for the discouraged mom!

This is meant to encourage those of you who are tired or discouraged.  There is always hope!  God is ready for you to call on Him when you feel like you can’t take it anymore.  It’s The Humbler Games…..

A fun youtube video full of encouragement for the tired, discouraged mom! #parenting #youtube

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The NO TOUCH Rule

The NO TOUCH Rule

This is an easy way to help kids learn to get along better!  -- The Pennington Point

It’s time for some more sibling love.

Sometimes you just want a tip that gives you a physical way to tell when you need to make a correction.  I mean, talking about consistency and love is great but…..not always so easy to grab a hold of.  This one you can’t miss.  Here you go…..

Don’t let your kids touch each other.

It’s that simple.  I don’t mean hugging and being silly, of course!  I’m talking about when they are criticizing or correcting or arguing.  No touching.  Not ever.

You might be thinking I’m just talking about hitting, but it’s a lot more than that.  It’s pulling someone’s hand away or pushing/nudging them or grabbing something away from them.

If a boy wants his sister to stop leaning into his space, he shouldn’t push her away.  He should ask her to move.  Then she should move willingly.  If she won’t move, instead of pushing her he can follow my tattling plan or he can nicely ask you for help with the problem.  But forcibly moving another person is never the solution.

Last week at the dinner table one of my boys, instead of verbally correcting his brother for not leaning over the plate with his food, gently pushed his brother’s hand back over the plate.  He wasn’t mean about it, but it still was not OK.  So I just reminded him that instead of pushing, he could have just mentioned it to his brother and if it became a problem then he could talk with me about it and together we would figure out some ways he could handle that.

The other person should have the opportunity to decide whether or not they are going to move, stop, give up the toy, whatever.  It should not be forced upon them.

If, after reading this, you notice that your kids are doing it, sit them all down and talk about how it’s wrong to force another person to do something.  We all want to be respected and treated with kindness.

Then run through some practice sessions.  Have one of them invade the other’s space then freeze and talk through their options, having them pretend they’re doing each one.  It’s like a game and they can see what it looks like to be respectful and how to properly respond when someone asks you to stop something you are doing.  The recipient definitely needs to practice responding with kindness also!  And Bible verses are great to reinforce this.

Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Go HERE for 10 more verses great for siblings to learn.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out some of my other posts in my Parenting Gallery!

My Brain Hurts

My Brain Hurts

Sooooo…..I have this pool problem.

I know I shouldn’t complain because having a pool is a blessing.  I think I spend as much time in the summer floating around in the water as the kids do splashing and diving for toys.

But it has been a battle.  Lisa vs. Algae.  And for the past 2 years I am the big loser in this war.

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We made the decision this year to invest in our own pool testing kit.  This kit tests for a bunch more things than just basic chlorine and PH.  It sounded like a great idea until the kit arrived in the mail and I opened it to discover that I would need to go back to school for a degree in chemistry to understand how to use it.  My mad skills in watching TV and sewing pillows don’t come in handy when you are trying to calculate how much bleach you need per 10,000 gallons of water depending on your PH and TA levels.

This is what I was doing yesterday, “Reference the CYA/Chlorine chart to know what your FC shock level should be.  Adjust the PH to fall between 7.2 and 7.5.  Slam your pool no more than once an hour using the PoolMath calculator and run the pump 24/7 until you pass the OCLT.”

I am not kidding.  And that’s the easy part.

My 15 year old son and I decided to make this “swamp to oasis” a mother-son bonding project, so crying was out of the question.  I started to well up once when the kit told me to decide if I wanted to measure my CC by .2 or .5ppm.  But I pulled myself together and confidently said to him, “This is your time to shine, son….you choose.”  And we forged ahead.

For next summer I am considering hiring a pool man.

Except for the brain exhaustion of doing complicated pool math, I have been enjoying my week at home.  I have done a lot of resting, replying to emails and talking with the kids.  I took a three hour nap on Monday, which you would think would keep me from sleeping that night.  But nope.  I rubbed on some lavender and slept like a baby.

Even though I was planning to go light on the extra projects, I did pick up some paint at Target to try.  Did you know they sell paint there?!  I had no idea!  It’s a bit expensive, but the colors are nice and that guesswork being done for me has value.  Plus they have wallpapers that coordinate with the paint which makes me so happy.  I’m not generally a wallpaper person, but I kind of got in the mood when I was looking at their options.  My bedroom desperately needs painting and this might be just my solution.  I bought a sample container and put some on the wall where I can look at it for a few days to see if I like it.

SO much easier than the pool test kit.

I may send Target a thank you note.

Unless I have to figure out how much paint I need using a complicated online chart.  In which case, I will be having my son do that part.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pool pictures!

5 Tips for Handling Lying

5 Tips for Handling Lying

Lying can be a hard thing to conquer.  These 5 tips are a great place to start! -- The Pennington Point

My husband and I have always felt that most important thing to focus on in raising our kids is building godly character.  Integrity, strength of courage and trustworthiness are missing in so many people these days.  What is more valuable than teaching our children to be truthful in all things?

All 9 of our children have struggled with lying at one point or another.  It is difficult to break once it has become a habit.  I want to share with you some of the things we do to help them break the habit.

1. Talk with them about honesty

Not a lecture, but a simple talk.  Give them Bible verses about truthfulness and help them understand how important it is to be honest at all cost.  Above all, don’t show frustration.  Let them know that they are loved and you are confident they can work to regain your trust.

When I say talk, I mean really dig deep.  Read some verses about truth and memorize them together.  Discuss what they think about the verses.

2. Listen

Ask them what they think about lying and if they have ideas that will help them stop.  Listen to their heart, it is your key to understanding their struggle.  The clues you get from listening can help you figure out why they feel compelled to lie in the first place.  Sometimes it’s just become a habit, but sometimes it’s a deeper issue.

3. Pray

Ask God to show you ways to help your child stop lying.  Also, let them know that you pray for them and make sure they see you praying.  When you see them struggling, take their hand and pray together.

God has given me the most creative ideas when I ask Him.  Once, I was inspired to have one of the boys write down his lies each day.  He had a little pad of paper and teeny pen that were just for that.  I never looked at it or asked him about it, but it made him aware of how often he was doing it and it really helped him stop.  That idea came to me through prayer.

God is ready with His infinite wisdom to help you with your parenting struggles.

4. Pay close attention

Keep them close and spend extra time with your struggling child.  They need you to help them through and hold them accountable.  Don’t let them be in their room all afternoon without any accountability for what they are doing.  Try to find ways to stay close either by working together or by having some down time (games, reading aloud, watching a DVD together, etc.) together.

If you’re busy and can’t do that, then have them stay close by.  While you check emails, for example, have them do schoolwork in the same room.

5. Discipline

Whatever method of discipline you choose, the key is to be consistent.  It’s important that they get caught anytime they are lying.  If you suspect a lie, don’t spend too much time pressing for the truth.  Trust your instincts and deal with the issue directly.

Occasionally it will happen that you discipline for lying when they were telling the truth.  I tell my kids that when that happens, they should remember that there were times they lied and didn’t get caught.  This is a good opportunity for them to reflect on the real consequences of lying which is that after a few lies, people won’t believe you even if you’re being honest.  I assure them that they can work toward being believed again by telling the truth and earning our trust.

And remember Mom and Dad, this is not a quick fix.  It takes time to break a habit and regain trust.  Keep working together, be patient and above all let your child know they are loved no matter what!

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight”  Proverbs 12:22