Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Get To Know Your Children

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If you ever come across any books by Marilyn Howshall buy them.  They are worth their weight in gold.  She is a homeschool author.  She wrote many booklets on how to teach your children to love learning. While schooling her children she allowed them to find out who they were, what purpose God had for them by learning  how to find the interests of your children.   God does have a purpose for us and I believe He gives us desires that we can use for His pleasure and ours.  I am not talking about sinful desires.  I am talking about those desires to be creative, to be hard working, to be spontaneous, to be thoughtful, such as these.  Marilyn points out in her booklet Get To Know Your Children that we as their parents need to recognize their interests and peculiar traits and allow them to become developed.  To do that we need to give the time needed to focus on each specific area for its development no matter how insignificant it may seem.

One important thing to know is when our children create rough, unpolished projects that is not the object.  Letting them develop the desire to work with their own hands is.  At times I just wanted to talk them out of a certain desire because it took time to help them on my part and even sometimes there were price tags attached.  I had to learn to not count my cost but to see what fruit it may bear if cultivated.  As I look back over our school year that has flown by I took a moment to ponder things in my heart.  That may sound familiar to you if you read a past post of mine about pondering things and what that looks like.  I wanted to know what it looked like for Mary to ponder things in her heart about what God had told her about her having a son, Jesus. 

Here is what cultivating and giving time to my boys looks like.  Even when they should have been doing math instead.
This is Dalton and he is my very hard worker.  He can not stand to be lazy or still.  When they got their first jobs mowing grass he saved up his money and went to Home Depot and spent $200 on tools.  He has better tools then Tom does and we are thankful because now we don't have to buy them, we just borrow them.  He can fix most anything and is very handy at building things.  He is working on our chicken coop.  He built 6 nesting boxes, a perch and a wall between the coop and the storage shed.  All by himself.  I was busy in the house and Tom was at work.  As a matter of fact today is rainy but he is out there fixing up a few other things, because he wants to .  I have not asked any of this from him.  He was just given time to build on his own interests and I believe God leads him and not I.  Which is exactly what I want!  What did this cost me?  A few boxes of screws, some 2X4's, a couple sheets of plywood, a writing lesson here and there.  What have I harvested?  Character.

Bryce!  My most of time jolly, happy, go lucky fella.  A few years ago he started checking out books from the library on guns, war & cars.  Yes he is all boy.  He would read them cover to cover and retain all of it.  We all call him the walking library on those subjects.  He asked me last year if he could start detailing cars.  I was very hesitant.  I thought about a 12 year old taking the responsibility if he happened to scratch a car or use a wrong product.  Mind you he was already detailing our vehicles.I just didn't give him to much of an answer or hope.  Then our neighbor that they had been mowing for a couple of years asked him to detail his car.  His cherished, never driven in the rain car, a mustang.  Bryce was on cloud nine let me tell you!  Tom had said he could, I was nervous but you know what?  He did a great job and the guy appreciated giving a young man the chance to learn.  This year he asked if he could hand out a few flyers.  Again I was hesitant but Tom allowed it.  He took him down to the local restaurant and body shop.  So far this spring he has detailed 4 vehicles!  He spends his money on car supplies.  Something I want to say, "oh just save it" to.  But he is willing to go where God leads his desires.  I am thankful for that.  What does it cost me?  A few extra bucks for new car scent spray as a thank you for cleaning my van, a few extra prayers when he has strangers vehicles in his care.  What have I harvested?  Character.

Here is Chandler, the one who wants to do everything his brothers are doing or have done.  He is my sweet child.  The one who still sits by me in church and holds my hand or lays his head on my shoulder.  He is 11 and not to many young men still do that at that age.  I am proud that he is still tender that way.  We are still working on his desires.  We know he is a great organizer!  Once we were visiting our youth pastor for a game night and all the kids were downstairs playing.  After a bit they all came up and called us down to look at how Chandler had organized the toys in the basement!  He also likes to rearrange his room monthly.  I mean bed, dresser and all.  He's kinda funny that way, tee hee. He also likes to get in my spice cabinet and rearrange, which secretly I don't like.  It's that whole my kitchen thing, some of you will get that ;)  The last thing he spent his money on is what you see here.  He is taking off the old paint on his bike and repainting it.  Bought new grips for the handle bars and new tires for the rims.  What does it cost me?  Sadness as I think about him growing up so fast, a can of paint or two because he is running low on cash.  What have I harvested?  Character.

I love them, but mostly I love God for leading them and giving them desires.  I am thankful for God leading me to let go and trust their desires to God.

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Jeanne said...

Your boys are wonderful. We miss them all. I'm so grateful to God for you and Tom and your Godly parenting. Blessings!

Brady Shawn Andrews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa Andrews said...

Hey Angela,
I love this! It is a great reminder for us all. Sometimes it is hard for me to let go of the typical "school" work that they need to get done and just let them enjoy what each of them love. I can definitely see God's gift in each of my kids and it is exciting to think where it will lead each of them. I needed this to remember not to get in the way of that just to get "stuff" done. Learning is so much more! :D

Brittany said...

Thanks for this great reminder. As a mommy to three smaller boys (4, 3, 1), it's refreshing to peek into the "future" and be inspired to let my boys be who God designed them to be.

Angela ~ said...

Jean we miss you all too! Everyone at Saline Baptist Church has a part in our heritage.

Teresa you have been so good at looking to their interests!

Brittany thanks for leaving a comment and I pray you will always see them as the blessing boys are :)