Monday, September 08, 2008

Encouraging Our Daughters - At the Well

This week's At the Well is hosted by Penny Raine.

I love what she said, "I remember crying and telling the Lord that I didn’t know if I would be able to teach her all about life, and everything she would need to know someday. How could I teach her so many things I myself was still learning. His answer was clear and simple. He said for me to teach her about Him, and then everything else would fall into place. Guess what? He was right. If I could only teach my daughters one thing in life it would be to worship Jesus. Not just “I did my duty” worship, but the kind of worship that brings the presence of the Lord right in the room with you. The kind of worship that brings Him so close you can feel His heart beat."

Her father had custody of her when we married, so when I was 20, I married a family. She was 6 years old and while I had a 7 1/2 year old sister, but no experience raising children. Truly raising them. I did the fun stuff. Momma took care of bringing us up.

I drew on Momma's example. I read Kristyn stories from the Bible, sang to her of Jesus' love, made sure we went to church, and prayed a lot for her.

When she started 3rd grade, we began doing devotions every morning before school. She loved Max Lucado, so I bought a Max Lucado study Bible and more than a few of his books. She remembers those times fondly. She learned a lot about Jesus then. She took Him with her to school and He helped her make a lot of the right decisions.

Consistency was the key in encouraging her. We used every opportunity we had. We talked about Jesus all the time, encouraging her to turn to Him and make a decision to follow Him all the day of her life. She did. She asked Jesus into her heart when she was 9 years old. It was something she did with her daddy, which was a very special moment for him.

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This wasn't optional to me. We talked about Jesus not only at home but on the ballfield, riding down the road, even at Wal Mart.

I encouraged her in other ways, too. I taught her how to cook the basics (her biological mother was better in that area than I), cleaning, etc. She was given chores to do around the house.

As far as encouraging her and preparing her for marriage, we talked about the sanctity of marriage and what a good wife should be like. Since she lived with us, Steve and I made it a point to lead by example. We didn't fight in front of her (except about hanging blinds one time), and we showed (appropriate) affection in front of her for each other. We treated each other with respect and love and were polite. When we goofed, we apologized and let her see relationships didn't end just because the toilet seat was left up. When her mother settled down and began to get her on a regular basis every other weekend, she greatly encouraged her in many ways as well. She is a wonderful mother to Kristyn.

The main thing in encouraging our daughters is keeping Christ central to everything. Whether it's on the ballfield, teaching sportsmanship or in the home, doing everyday chores, Jesus is the main thing.

My bonus daughter grew up and married a wonderful man. He's a great husband and they are great parents to Nolan, who just turned 1. They are expecting Liam toward the end of next month, and I know they'll be great parents to him as well.

Steve and pray that they encourage the boys to grow up to be strong men of God. Oh, how we pray that! We are blessed to be part of their lives, and pray we will influence them as well.
Please visit Penny Raine, hostess of At the Well today. God bless you as you encourage your children to grow up to children after God's own heart.

Note: Momma just called. If you feel led, please pray for my uncle. He's on his way to town for an MRI. He had brain cancer and we are praying it hasn't recurred. He's not feeling well, but we are praying it's the treatment he's taking and not cancer returning.


Homesteader in Training said...

It sounds like you did a wonderful job my friend. I will also pray for your uncle.
Blessings to you my friend.

LauraLee Shaw said...

I will pray for your uncle as soon as I finish my comment.

On your post, wow, so much to learn from you. Consistency is TRULY my worst quality, and BOTH of my daughters would tell you that. So much wisdom and truth to think on here.

Melanie said...

I love this post, Laurie Ann! You are a special Mom. What a lucky lady Kristyn is to have you in her life!

As I have a young daughter (4 yrs) I really enjoyed and was encouraged by your words of how you guided and directed Kristyn as she was growing up. I want to be able to guide my daughter in the same ways. Thank you so much for your beautiful words!

I will be praying for your uncle.

Happy Monday!

Denise said...

Such a sweet post, great job my friend. I will be praying for your uncle. I love you.

lori said...

Blinds and painting will get you every time:) What a wonderful post Laurie know you are seeing the fruits of your labors...

It IS taking the message with us at all times...even in Wal Mart...what gets me now is that mine are old enough to begin "preaching back" at me...just the other day when I was in a "less than forgiving mood..." my oldest gently reminded me what I've been telling her for years...;)
That is when we really SEE the work we've done...

praying for your uncle...

LAURIE said...

Laurie Ann,
thank you for sharing with us AT THE WELL today. Wonderful words of wisdom ... consistency, probably the hardest things to do especially when they are young but it is truly important in raising kids. What a wonderful MOTHER you are and how blessed Kristyn is to have TWO moms!

Saying a prayer for you uncle and that peace will come over all of the family.

-Blessings, Laurie

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

What a great post. Not all women love the way you do. It takes a special person to be a a mother to someone's child.

Praying for your uncle! Let me know what you find out.

Jan is also on her way to MD Anderson, for her monthly check.


Susan said...

Hey Laurie Ann,

Thanks SO MUCH for checking up on us during the storm. I truly appreciate your prayers and kinds words of encouragement. (you do this so well...)

This was a great post!

I will keep your uncle in prayer, please keep us posted.


Earthmommy said...

I really needed to read this today. My 16yo daugher and I were in conflict all day today. Thank you so much.

DarcyLee said...

Thank you so much for your post. What a blessing it was to me. Consistency is so key to parenting and is such a challenge.

Praying for your uncle.
God bless

Amydeanne said...

great post!

I'll be praying for your uncle!