Monday, October 1, 2012

Turning Hearts

It is very important to have a purpose to your plans. I am the type of person who likes structure, and having things organized. I have had to learn to relax a bit, and "go with the flow" with the life that I have. Usually the days that are the most organized will be the ones where chaos can break out and change everything. Sometimes, I think the Lord will send things my way to "mix it up" on purpose, just to show me where my heart is at. Am I really willing to have my day surrendered to Him? Am I willing to trust that what He brings is for my good and His glory?

That being said..... I think it is important to plan times "on purpose" to build relationships with your children.  It is easy, as a homeschooling parent who has to be everything to your child, to actually neglect building a relationship with them.  You get so caught up teaching and meeting the physical needs, making sure they have healthy food and clean clothes, that you can easily neglect their spirit. Most days, it is the spirit that needs more work than the body!

Malachi 4:6a says, "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,"

This verse reminds me that I need to work daily at "connecting" hearts with my children. I am aware of the fact that if I have their heart, the rest of daily life will be easier. When I have to say something that is corrective, they are more willing to listen. When they need some advice, I am one of the people they think to ask. They value what I say more when our hearts are connected.

How can you connect with your child?  Think of what interests them. It may be that you have to learn about some areas that you really aren't all that interested in, just so you can discuss it intelligently!  For example, I am not an avid follower of the US Women's National Soccer Team, yet I can tell you the names of at least half the players and what positions they play! Why? Because two of my children ARE avid followers and loyal fans!

I found a great resource I would like to share that can promote a great mother/daughter relationship. I bought this for one of my children, and have used the activities in there on a regular basis. We will have "Mom and Me time" where she can choose an activity and we will do it together. It has been a wonderful way to connect and grow in our relationship.

The American Girls Collection publishes this book, and it can be found pretty much anywhere where American Girls books are sold.  They have since come out with supplemental books, entitled "Just Dad and Me" and "Just Grandma and Me". (hmm....maybe good Christmas presents???)

Some of the best activities we have done in this book include a list of 'favorites' - I wrote mine and my daughter wrote hers. Then we compared to see where we had similarities and differences. The other 'favorite' was a small note that we have played "tag" with for months. It is just a folded little love note, and we hide it in a place where the other will find it. I think the best spot that my daughter hid it was hanging off the light in my bedroom. I didn't see it till I woke up one morning, and in my half awake daze, couldn't figure out what the little pink thing hanging over my head was!

The best attribute this book has is that all the activities are easily laid out and organized already. For people who lack creativity skills (raising my hand!!) all you have to do is pick a page, tear out the cards, or fill in the lines, and you are ready to start your fun activity.  You can easily be tying heart strings and connecting with your daughter without a whole lot of advance planning. You can plan out your day, knowing you might have only an hour to spare, and easily find something in the book that can fit into that time slot. It's a small investment that pays big dividends in the relationship department!!! And your daughter will love it!!!!

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