I spent two beautiful and eventful summers in 1990 and 1991 interning and going on short term mission projects with Adventures in Missions in Bloomfield, IN. A picture us below of my small team that went to Poland and Russia in 1991. And here I am, the blonde. I look at this picture and think, “wow, that young lady is beautiful!” But truth be told, I never once thought that I was. I was not told that by my family and in fact was criticized and even put down by my sister at every given opportunity. And here I was working for the Lord, a beautiful soul with a heart for God but always doubting what I had to offer. The hateful words echoed in my mind, in my ears, a lying hindrance to full potential. And I believe it is not important what a person looks like but where there heart is. That is how God sees it. And every person has their own beauty. And we need to encourage each other and not criticize, judge or put down another human being. When we talk down to someone, we are putting down God who made them with love on purpose. No one is better than anyone else ever, just different. Watch what you say. To this day, I am criticized regularly because I grew up thinking that was how it is supposed to be. Like that is normal and I don’t deserve better. It sucks. So remember my little story and always lift up people, encourage them, love on them and do not do the opposite. Life is hard enough without that recording of discouragement replaying over and over and over. Watch your words. Be aware that they matter.❤
A very long time ago, I babysat a girl. It was my one and only time babysitting her. I used to wonder what I had done wrong that they never asked me again. Many families with 4 kids or 2 kids were quite pleased with my babysitting, paid me extra, wanted me back. I was in demand and every weekend in those days was booked. But this one family with this one girl never had me watch her again. Why? And she popped back into my mind. I called her by her name, Rose. She was quite wild and I did not want her hurt or the house damaged so I made her sit with me and draw. She was quite good at it. I had her help me wash dishes while I told a story or sang to her (as she was 9). And she was a doll the whole time I was there. As soon as her parents stepped through the door, she was wild again, like a completely different person, almost possessed. The dad laughed at her crazy and said, “That’s why we call her Wildfire.” I left, boggled and all these years did not understand it all until now. I remember their surprise at her beautiful picture, their almost disdain at her helping with dishes, her calm demeanor they glanced before she realized they had arrived home. They wanted a wild child, a spoiled princess they could laugh at, be entertained by. She was their entertainment. I infringed upon that and showed her a different way without realizing it. I did right by that beautiful little girl and they wanted wrong and it all started with the name. Wildfire. Not sweet Rose. And I love and respect children and demand they love and respect others and themselves and it starts with names. Children tend to live up to what they are called and treated and what their name means. Please understand that and make a point to be purposeful in your talk to people. Only encourage and lift up. “Tell God your problems and bad stuff, tell other people everything else” is very, very good advice I heard from advice wise woman of God.❤
“When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need— words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.” – Ephesians 4:29
It never ceases to disgust me how vile our enemy is. He works at the basest level of ugly in ignorant or greedy minds to destroy the pawn he is using as well as as many others as he can. He knows his time is short. He seems to be working overtime. Every evil thought we give in to gives him hope and fuel. Every disgusting urge and fantasy he can imprint on a mind gives him a little victory. For that reason alone, we must hold tightly to our purity and defense (the Bible and prayer). Every prayer we offer, all our time in the Word, every act of service to others and God ultimately, every worship song sung, every encouraging word uttered is a win for God and a kick in the enemy’s gut. We are at war. It is more obvious now than ever because you can feel in the air how it is ramping up. Jesus will come soon. We have it in writing. Doomsday for all evil and corruption will be here soon. Until then, desperation is going to happen as the enemy nears its demise, and we must brace ourselves. We must stand strong with the fruits of the Spirit, Bible reading, prayer, service, love. Our job is to hold out, to do the right thing, knowing we are the winners, no matter what evils are unleashed in this world. This world will soon be changed and will never be stained with hatred and blood and ugliness again ever. It will be perfect and beautiful as God had originally made it to be. And Beauty and Love and Holiness is the victor! We are on the winning team. Stand strong and be encouraged that God is our Champion and His Son our Savior. We stand behind Him for Him and we are safe for eternity, no matter what temporary looks like. Praise God, all who are saved by Him! Worship the Holy One of Israel and His adopted ones! Praise the God who gave us life because He wanted us! Worship the Magnificent Creator!
To produce a thinking child, we must first think and strategize. We parents or teachers must emulate thinking and reasoning minds. We must be so obvious in our independent thinking that we are obvious to those children we are influencing. That is number one. First be what we want them to copy. Secondly, do not settle for cookie cutter answers. If my son asks me a question, I tell him yes or no, depending on the question. Then I ask him why I gave that answer and see what he comes up with. Kids are naturally thinking all the time and sometimes they just need guidance in their thinking so it doesn’t become warped due to lack of correction at a critical time. Thirdly, when my son answers me, I validate his answer and encourage him first and correct what might need correction and then encourage again. This “sandwich” type of praise and correction is highly effective with every aspect of life and not just child rearing. Children need to be told by a pare t or trusted adult that their own postulation and their own ideas are okay and important. The idea of kids being seen and not heard produces a lot of insecurity and dependent thinking. Of course there is a time and a place for everything under heaven, but we must allow expression of thought and encourage that thought and correct it to produce independent and confident thinkers for tomorrow. Lastly, we must encourage our children to think outside the box and think for themselves. This involves sincere limitations to electronic boxes and games and TV shows that encourage peer pressure or rote play. We must allow children to play and create and imagine, like we did when I was a girl. We must give them the gift of boredom and conversations as we were given it t quit the cycle of mindless dimwits we seem to be seeing so much of lately. Electronics are a distraction often and even worse may damage the development of creative and independent thinking. They may be a reward in limited degree, but more and more I am ringing my kids do so much better without it. They complain for a little bit, but when we start building a marble track or paper mache or go for a hike, they stop complaining and start living and asking questions. Isn’t that what kids are supposed to do?