Understanding why complimenting and correcting children is powerfully important can motivate us to do it well. In this video you’ll learn a very important truth that will greatly enhance the power of your affirmations and corrections. Look for certain things and talk about them. You’ll love this!
Love Well Today & Tomorrow
In today’s world, it would seem in many instances that love is confused with personal desires or goals, or minimized to a single expression of it through romantic emotion. The temptation is to see “love” through a selfish lens or as a means to an end. This list of what I believe are the manifestations of love poured out of my mind and heart for today. Love is certain things, but love also does certain things as well. Check out the list, and as always, I hope you find it to be a blessing.
Love well today.
Listen to understand.
Choose to try to understand someone’s circumstances.
Use appropriate boundaries.
Assume there may be things going on that we don’t know about.
Stop the sarcasm.
Lead and follow.
Seek joy in your relationships.
Talk about Jesus’ love.
Ask better questions.
Talk less about yourself.
Don’t let anger last.
Be full of grace.
Speak truth in love.
Look for progress, not perfection.
Be at peace.
Make eye contact.
Uphold what is true, right, and just.
Do not be jealous.
Care with action.
Dare to be different.
Put your phone down.
Don’t be afraid.
Regret what you should.
Give wise counsel when you’ve earned the right.
Have fair expectations.
Don’t treat people as projects.
Choose to forget what you should.
Choose to remember what you should.
Mourn with those who mourn.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Do not envy.
Treat people as unique individuals.
Lift people up.
Be fully present.
Love well tomorrow.
You may also like to ready Dr. Kathy’s post from yesterday – Let’s Talk About True “Love”
Let’s Talk About True “Love”
Love is on my mind. Maybe it’s on yours, too, since Valentine’s Day is Wednesday.
If this year’s celebration is like last year’s, this year, it’s projected that we’ll spend $19.6 billion dollars. More than a third of that will be spent on flowers. This week!
Wishing children a Happy Valentine’s Day can be harmless. It can be encouraging. It can also be hurtful. Really? Yes.
Children who are rarely told they’re loved or who don’t feel loved can resent “love” expressed on Valentine’s Day. “Love” assigned to a holiday feels especially forced. Kids know it’s somewhat required so it’s not meaningful. It’s not real. In cases like this, our comments will fall on deaf ears. Their hearts won’t be open. They closed a while ago and it will take much more than a phrase, a teddy bear, a gift card, or a dinner in their favorite restaurant to awaken them.
Let’s love kids passionately –“having or showing strong feelings; full of passion”
- Kids shouldn’t doubt our love. Our emotions for them should be compelling and result in certain attitudes and actions.
Personally –“having to do with the character, personality, intimate affairs, conduct, etc. of a certain person”
- Kids feel loved when they feel known for who they really are. This allows us to express our love using words they respond to and to give gifts they’ll appreciate.
Individually –“one at a time; separately; singly”
- Spending one-on-one time with a child is one of the best ways to let them know how important they are to us. When they’re with us without siblings, they will be more able to hear us and to share significant things with us.
Purposefully – “resolutely aiming at a specific goal; directed toward a specific end; not meaningless”
- What are our goals for this encounter? Do we want our daughter to know what we’ve noticed about her that’s unique? Do we want to affirm the wisdom we see developing in our oldest son? Does our middle daughter need to be reminded that we love her sense of humor? Specific language and affirmations are memorable and meaningful.
Spontaneously – “acting in accordance with or resulting from a natural feeling, impulse, or tendency, without any constraint, effort, or premeditation”
- Having purpose is wise, but that doesn’t mean we plan every conversation or activity. Sometimes going with the flow means more to kids than anything else.
Regularly –“usual; customary; established; consistent or habitual in action”
- Expressing our love and commitment to our kids consistently and regularly is essential if we want our influence to be a firm foundation they can turn to when they’re challenged by life’s circumstances. This is also what allows them to hear “Happy Valentine’s Day” and believe we mean it.
Timely –“happening, done, said, etc. at a suitable time; well-timed; opportune”
- We need to be fully present and alert to each moment so we can communicate love through word and deed at times when it can be fully received.
Sacrificially –“the act of giving up or forgoing something valued for the sake of something having a more pressing claim”
- When kids see us close our laptop, put our papers down, and change our plans to spend time with them shooting hoops, coloring, or completing a puzzle, they feel loved. When our daughter hears us say on the phone, “Lizzy just came home from school, I need to hang up to talk with her,” she knows she matters.
Unconditionally –“without conditions or reservations; absolute”
- Loving and expressing that love during hard times of disappointment is essential. It’s the foundation of security. It’s probably the most Christlike love. His love never ends and ours shouldn’t. When our “like” fades, love must remain.
Love – Love – Love – Love – Love – Love – Love – Love – Love
passionately, personally, individually, purposefully,
spontaneously, regularly, timely, sacrificially, unconditionally
By the way, if you want to apply these ideas to a spouse or your parents, that’s fine with me. 🙂
In this week’s video, Dr. Kathy shares what we need to compliment and correct in order to positively influence our children. Are you in a rut talking about only a few things? Here’s a better idea for you: Compliment and correct children’s complete identity. Learn how and why.
Bonding Over The Winter Games
Are you looking for a way to bond with your children and teenagers? I can’t imagine too many people answering that question “no.” It can be challenging today.
Many parents I speak with are concerned about how hard it is to have in-depth conversations with their kids. It’s not easy to connect over shared experiences like many of us remember doing with our parents when we were the age of our children.
I want to encourage you to use television coverage of the Olympics as a bonding experience with your children. The opening ceremony will be televised here in America on Friday (live at 6 am ET and repeated at 8 pm ET) and then various competitions will be shown on TV on and off for two weeks. There are many ways to watch the games this year. You can find TV listings here. Encourage your children to sit with you and watch. No, ask them to.
Discuss the athletes. You can get a list of all US athletes and see their pictures here. Maybe we could print this out and pray for them by name. Watch and talk about how the winners respond. How did the losers respond? What are their stories? How long have they competed and what can you find out about the way they are coached and how their country treats the Olympic athletes? What else can you find out about the country they represent?
There’s so much growth that can happen in a person who watches the games. We can get interested in new sports. We can understand more about countries we may be unfamiliar with. We might discover new heroes.
The conversations, high-fives when your favorite athlete lands a triple jump, and the collective moans when your favorite skier misses a gate and tumbles will bond you. You’ll remember what you experience together.
Also, as I’ve often taught parents, boys especially prefer to talk about meaningful things when they’re busy doing something. It’s hard to get guys to be vulnerable and authentic when you’re staring at them from across the table. So it’s possible that sitting next to each other on the couch or at least in the same room may cause one of your boys to talk about something important while watching or during commercial breaks. None of this can happen if we separate into our bedrooms.
For this short two weeks, we can watch favorite shows later on streaming devices or we can use our DVR. We can forget about the tech-free dinner table idea I promote and eat casual meals in front of the TV. Or, we could use a device to compare record totals by country and learn how injured athletes are doing who we saw compete and injure themselves the night before. Let’s think about what we can benefit from rather than what we will miss.
Have you heard me talk at a seminar about what I sometimes do when I miss my dad? I watch Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Why? Because I have memories of watching these shows with him on many Sunday nights. I also used to watch MASH with him. Now when watching an episode, I often remember how much my dad enjoyed a particular character or scene. I laugh more. As strange as it might seem, television and movies can be good for our families and us, but we have to share the experience for that to be the case.
Imagine your children watching the Winter Olympics when they’re adults. They will gather with their children in the living room or den. They’ll remember watching with you. They’ll tell stories about how your favorite athlete performed in 2018 or maybe they’ll compare the weather on the ski slopes or how far your favorite sport has developed. Maybe they’ll say, “Wouldn’t mom be amazed!”
You can do more than imagine it. You can make it happen.
Allow God To Refresh You
In last Monday’s blog I wrote about being refreshed during a recent trip to Billings, Montana. It was the last thing I did before flying out that most deeply affected me. Or, actually it was the second to the last thing.
The last thing I did was have lunch with my host and hostess who were delightful. Dick and Nancy took great care of me throughout the weekend and I enjoyed getting to know them. Our time together at a casual lunch in their home was a reminder that genuine conversation with like-minded people is good for us. They and their passion for God, His ways, and our country refreshed me.
Before lunch we went to church together. Because of my traveling to teach elsewhere, I don’t always get to go to my own church. Even on the road, attending a church service isn’t always possible. But, I greatly value church so I was refreshed. Corporate worship, prayer, and hearing and learning the Word of God is important to me. I hope it is to you.
I was refreshed by what Dick and Nancy’s pastor, Nate Poetzl, taught at Faith Chapel. You can go here and choose the January 28th message to either watch or listen to his message. You’ll enjoy watching because of some diagrams he draws.
He teaches from 1 Thessalonians: 4:1-12, a passage that is about “living in order to please God.” I appreciated his sensitivity and boldness when teaching “that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable.”
What Refreshes You?
Truth refreshes me. Boldness refreshes me. Not compromising for comfort refreshes me. Not apologizing for God’s Word refreshes me. Accepting and not rejecting God’s Word refreshes me.
The mature people at Faith Chapel who handled well a hard-hitting message delivered with love and compassion refreshed me. Pastor Nate obviously loves his people. They know it. They trust him. They listened. They learned. They increased my hope.
Something Pastor Nate shared in his introduction was very significant to me. It might be good truth for you to ponder, too. When talking about his sadness and concern that too many of us have separated morality and spirituality, he taught that there’s no Hebrew word from the Old Testament that can be translated “spiritual.” He explained that it wasn’t a necessary word. Back then, everything was spiritual.
Of course, this should still be true. “Of course?” I think “of course” is appropriate there, but sadly many would disagree with me.
Everything was spiritual. Everything is spiritual. Being reminded of this concept when so many people don’t agree refreshed me. Hearing a pastor stand up for truth, like mine does every time he teaches, refreshed me.
Be Refreshed by God and His Word
We know from word studies of “renew,” that God, His Word, and His Spirit renews and refreshes our mind and heart. (e.g., Psalm 51:10, Psalm 103:5, Isaiah 40:31, Lamentations 5:21, Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 4:17-32, Colossians 3:9-10)
Turn to God when you’re tired, weary, discouraged, overwhelmed, confused, wondering, angry, bitter, broken, prideful, sinning, separated, fearful, rejected, grieving, critical, depressed, experiencing guilt, alone, dysfunctional, suffering, experiencing shame, stressed, hopeless, struggling, addicted, feeling like a failure, worried, angry, bullied, sick, conflicted, lonely, stuck, lying, manipulated, procrastinating, living in rebellion, purposeless, tempted, doubting, …
Allow God to refresh you.
Live in order to please God. Remember, everything is spiritual. Let that refresh you.
How Do You Refresh Yourself?
How do you refresh yourself? Or maybe I need to back up and ask, do you refresh yourself?
Last week I wrote about how we’re refreshing Celebrate Kids in some important ways. It’s all necessary and I’m glad we are doing it. Yet, I was reminded this past weekend that taking care of myself is more important. What about you? Do you take care of yourself? Do you refresh yourself?
Refresh means “to restore strength.” In addition to yourself, who do you need to be strong for? Maybe playing with your toddlers is emotionally exhausting. You need to be strong for them. Does monitoring older children’s technology use take the wind out of your sail? You need to be strong for them. Is always wondering how your aging parents are doing stressful? You need to be strong for them.
Refresh yourself to restore your strength. On Saturday, my hosts in Billings, Montana, drove me up into the mountains. We saw lots of deer and beautiful sights. Trees of all kinds were covered in snow or partial snow and made a tapestry of green and white as far as my eyes could see. I rested. I was away from my screens. Using my eyes refreshed me with strength for another day. How can you refresh yourself and develop strength?
Refresh also means “to restore or maintain by renewing supply; to replenish.” What do you need more of? Contentment, joy, security? Wisdom, healthy perspective, energy? Purpose, optimism, commitment?
Refresh yourself to renew supply. We stopped at two stores on Main Street in Red Lodge. Shopping didn’t necessarily renew me, but the stories my friends and I shared did. I compared the candy store to one in the stockyards of Fort Worth. Nancy and Dick compared it to their friend’s store in Cody, Wyoming. Nancy and I compared stories and pictures of making Christmas cookies last month after she, Donna, and I saw the beautiful candy creations. When I purchased an ornament for my collection, I enjoyed telling them about others I’ve purchased on trips. Stories warmed me. Pictures bonded us. I was renewed with joy, friendship, and hope as we visited. How can you refresh yourself to replenish supplies of what you need?
Refresh is a rich word. It also means “to freshen up; to renovate.” Slow down so you can feel and think. What parts of your life need to be renovated? Attitude toward neighbors? Beliefs about our country? Character when you’re at work?
You and I may not need to use a bulldozer to raze our heart or mind. They are not in need of total makeovers. But maybe a renovation is in order.
Refresh yourself to renovate. Sunday morning did this for me. We know, based on Ephesians 4:23, that the mind is renewed with the Word of God. God and His Word also renew the heart. That’s why David wrote in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
On our own we can’t renovate. We need God. I went to church with my friends before flying to Los Angeles and it was exactly what I needed at the end of a very long week. God’s Word renewed my heart and mind. Come back Wednesday and I’ll share some specifics with you. Maybe God will use my experience to renovate, renew, and restore you.
But, don’t wait for my example. Think of your own times when God’s Word has renovated your heart and mind. Praise Him!
Help Them Feel Secure
Yesterday there was another school shooting. As a result of the actions of one 15-year-old male student at Marshall County High School in Benton, KY, 2 students are dead and 17 are injured. Five of those are in critical condition.
Reports like this can be discouraging and concerning. Again, we ask, what can we do?
In December, 2012, a school shooting in Newtown, CT, stunned us all. I wrote the following then and I’m reposting it today in hopes someone will be positively affected.
We Must Do What We Can Do
We can’t control what happens to our children. You’ve known that. Yesterday’s trauma just drives that home.
Trying to control our children often backfires. If we have too many demands, they rebel. If we use too many boundaries, they won’t know how to be free. They may not know they can be free. They may have no confidence.
Too much control can actually make children more insecure. It’s the very opposite of what you want for them.
We can control how we behave toward our children. And, other children, too.
- Know them.
- Respect them.
- Interact with them.
- Comfort them.
- Like them.
- Love them.
- Honor them.
- Affirm them.
- Spend time with them.
- Embrace them.
- Do things with them.
- Help them learn, study, and practice.
- Hug them.
- Help them.
- Cherish them.
- Welcome them.
- Celebrate them.
These choices and actions will help children feel secure and be secure when they’re with you. This is what you want. They’ll turn to you when concerned and scared. They’ll seek your wisdom when not sure of what to do. They’ll trust you to do your best.
We can’t protect children wherever they go. We can increase their security when they’re with us.
The things we can do we should do. Now.
Do it now.
Time For A Little Refreshing
Have you ever tried to refresh a room? Maybe you thought new paint would do the trick. Or maybe, as I’ve done, you bought curtains for a room that didn’t have any. New carpet? Cabinets? Or maybe it was just one new chair.
Did the room feel new? Did the refresh work? Or did this one new touch just make everything else look old?
We are freshening up Celebrate Kids. And, like what sometimes happens at home, we are doing more than one thing.
- Because we value you and others we influence, and we want even more opportunities to do so, we are investing in a new website. We should be launching it next month. We contracted with creative people who know what they’re doing, understand us, and most importantly, love the Lord. I’ll let you know when it goes live. We’re excited about it.
- These same designers encouraged us to redesign our logo. Just like a new chair might require new pillows on the couch or carpet on the floor so the chair fits the room really well, our new website requires a new logo. Our current one doesn’t fit any more. So, for only the second time in our 26-year history, we had new logos designed. We hope these reflect well our energy and our joy for the Lord, you, and children. The smile also fits us because we want you to enjoy our materials, my books, our training, and our social media content. As Dr. Tom Armstrong says, “Without joy, learning is like soda pop without the fizzle – flat and tasteless.” Plus, when you apply what you learn, there will be more joy.
- We’ll also start using a new system for our email newsletter this spring. If you are a subscriber http://www.celebratekids.com/newsletter/, you will notice we’re refreshing the design. We mainly chose a new delivery system for internal benefits. We’re working hard for you so we need to increase efficiency and this refresh will help us.
I hope you’re always open to growing. If you need energy or focus, I recommend looking around. What could you refresh? It can energize you!
What’s Your Verb?
Why do you do what you do? What’s your verb? Or, what are your verbs?
Are you familiar with the idea that’s become quite popular – choosing a word for the year? I’ve seen many women post their word on Facebook. I’ve not asked God for a word. If you have, that’s great.
I have a word, though. I’ve always had it. It’s a verb because I want to be a woman of action. If you’ve been following me for a while, my word won’t surprise you. It’s influence. That’s what I’ve always been about. I want to have an effect on people. And I want people to influence me – in the right ways, of course.
Why do you do what you do? What’s your verb? Maybe this list will help you. Or, maybe you’ll think of a verb that’s not here. I’d love to know – what’s your verb? Why are you in relationship with people? What are your goals?
Of course, just choosing a word doesn’t guarantee much. How will you put that desire to change, impact, train, develop, … into action? May I make three recommendations?
- Pray, asking God for opportunities, discernment, and insights.
- Have high expectations. Expect God to introduce you to people and use you in situations.
- Work at it. Finish strong.
Have you seen the amazing news that Kirk Cameron chose me as an expert to talk with in his upcoming movie, Connect? I’m truly humbled and excited.
I Never Dreamt This Was a Possibility
As I’ve told many people, I never dreamt this was a possibility so I never prayed, “God, allow me to be in a movie.” But, I do pray for influence. All of us at Celebrate Kids do. In this instance, God answered “Yes.”
But here’s the thing. Other than influencing Kirk Cameron and the camera operators and others involved in the movie, I haven’t influenced anyone yet. My work isn’t finished. Being in a movie and getting people to the theater to see the movie are two different things. I can’t rest and declare, “Have you heard I’m in a movie?” I could care less.
What I care about is people being empowered because they saw the movie. I want parents to find hope. I want teens and young adults to see the truth. I want people influenced for good and God’s glory. Therefore, I’ll post about the movie and do radio and print interviews about the movie. I’ll make myself available to Kirk and the movie’s director and producer. I’ll be busy. Why? Because I’m a woman of action and I want to influence others.