Bringing up a child, a Proverb.

Bringing up a child, a Proverb.


I once told a child of mine it was going to take Heaven for them to make eleven. They were 10 and driving me insane. Good news. We both made it. They graduated College, married with kids. The point is not that we get pushed to our limits with our kids. It is what we do with that limit’s line. It is just so easy to give into them.

Drawing lines. Boundaries. We make them, we move them. Why? When did we become so pliant as parents?

A proverb, not a promise. They still have free will.

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

The Potter molds the clay. The clay does not tell the clay what to do. Sometimes there is harsh molding, sometimes, gentle strokes, so light and fine, but, there. It depends on the desired effect. Changing the design midstream does not add to the finished project. It weakens it and sometimes destroys it. Remember, just as God is the Potter to His children, you are a potter to yours. Parenting is being the potter. It is a long and tedious process. Taking your hands off and letting them spin out of control results in catastrophe. Sometimes shattered forever. Although, The Potter never makes mistakes, although we do as clay molders. Will there be flaws and defects? Probably. We have them and we have The Potter molding us. Stubborn clay.

Firm molding, hands on. Or, tough love. Call it what you like. I taught mine that every child has a right to a place to sleep, food to eat and an education. And I told them (many times to their chagrin) that no where, no way does that mean they get their own private bedrooms with all the smart technology. No where, no way does that mean they get designer drinks at the local cafe, lobster, steaks and expensive desserts. No where, no way does that mean they get private school when homeschooling or a local good public school is available.

I raised mine with no technology in their bedrooms. Computer was in the family room. They had an alarm clock, and extension to our landline for group school work or team calls. No cell phones, computers or music technology were in their room. They could take a player in to listen to music quietly as they studied. No head phones. That was a place to sleep and study. They were class “A” personalities, in public schools, they each obtained 5 Varsity letters. Education at church and school came first. They earned the plus treats. They were guaranteed a place to sleep, peanut butter sandwiches or school lunches, and bus rides to school. They earned their own bedroom, waffles, pancakes, packed lunches, home-cooked meals, fast food trips, and all theactivity fees plus mom’s taxi to all the extra curricular activities. I put as much as 30,000 miles a year on those taxi’s and as many of their friends as that mini van could carry.

Yes, we gave up the upgrades to a bigger house (we had 1500 sq ft), fantastic vacations, my career job and all that would have afforded. I worked at their schools instead. But, as they strove under my boundaries to achieve, we did all we could to enrich their lives. We still took beach trips occasionally, camped, hiked and went to the water and amusement parks in summer. You just need to set boundaries by the best children’s manual, The Bible, and stick to them.

If you are raising your children with champagne taste on a beer budget, as the colloquialism says, then it is time to take a step back. Why are we putting the pressure on them to live that way? Why are we putting that kind of pressure on the family? Because of our desire to fit in for appearance sake? No, labels on clothes are not wrong. I bought them … on the sale rack? I never bought for the sake of the label. If it was the best buy then that was fine. There was such satisfaction in getting something they wanted on sale. But, there are good clothes, foods, etc. that are not the best appeal to the world. So why do you care what the world thinks? Why would you want to teach a child to do what is okay with others when it is not okay with God? What kind of stewardship are you teaching them? What kind of life will they try to lead on those kind of values?

God’s opinion matters, the world’s does not. It may be painstaking to detoxify your kids and give them a reality check, and by that, I mean a God check. It may take a lesson on The Beatitudes: Attitudes to Be. But, it is much better than the judgement day check we will all receive, both parent and child, if we do not realign ourselves with Biblical values.

RBGreenDesigns.com2019

A Mom by any other name is…

A Mom by any other name is…


A mom is NOT a

  • Stay at home mom
  • Doesn’t work out of the home mom
  • Homemaker mom
  • Works out of the home mom
  • Career Mom
  • Birth Mom
  • Adoptive Mom
  • Foster Mom
  • Guardian mom

Or any other adjective for ‘MOM”. I understand there are legal purposes where there are adjectives needed to protect a child and or give permission of care. But, that says what they are, not who they are. At some point in time these women must decided to be a mom in actions, not just name.

Not all women that give birth are mom’s. Neither are those that have to take on raising a family member’s children. They might be mothers but they are nothing close to a mothering person. Even if a birth mother keeps their child and raises them, that does not make them a mom. Mom. Mother. We have lost the real meanings of these words.

I stood in the grocery line. The little child, maybe 5 or 6, still clutched the coloring book they had found following behind their adult. She called her mom. But, she was not a mom. Yes, I am judging. But, the evidence was right there in front of the cashier and other shoppers. Eyes rolled, mouths grimaced, fists clinched as we all watched the child. “Mom, she pleaded. It’s all I want. It’s not much.” The mom yanked it out of her hand and shoved it on the magazine rack. “No, I said. I don’t have the money for it.” The little girl had dirty nails. Her hair had not been brushed. Their were stains on her too big clothes; probably hand-me-downs. Her feet were dirty in her flip flops a size too small. The bug bites on her legs were many, some red and looked infected. The mom was a different story. She had on an expensive brand’s label tennis shoes. Her manicure and even tan costly. Her makeup was perfection, her hair layered and highlighted. Her yoga pants (she was not in yoga class – another blog) and top also showed a brand name. Expensive, colored tattoos across her front and upper torso as well as her arms and a leg decorated her body. Her purse also had a designer label. She had two cases of label beer on the grocery conveyor belt and had just asked for brand name cigarettes. The kids cereal, bulk and generic, were next to her power drinks and a package of sushi. I did not see any milk. But, there was generic water. One can only assume.

You guessed it. She whipped out her food stamps for the allowed food items. I glanced at the magazine rack where the coloring book was shoved. A big, red $1.99 was in the right corner. “It’s all I want. It’s not much”…. “I don’t have the money for it.” Translates, I don’t have money for you, time for you. The bottom line. At what cost are you willing to be a mom first and you last?

Mom. Mother. Words that have lost their meanings. We have so labeled them with adjectives that we have diluted them into generic terms. Stay at home, work out of the home. Does not matter. Mom matters. Yes, there are women that need to work for money. There is no choice. There are, however, more and more women that choose to work for bigger houses, better things. And, sadly, more and more find a way to stay at home and be paid by the government but, do not use the money on their kids. Every woman decides how much their kids are worth. When did it become acceptable to put more value on yourself than your child?

Mother ~ Love. Caring. Nurturer. Self-sacrificing. Giver. Comforter. Available. Listener. Sympathizer. Empathizes. And much, much more.

A Mom is…

Being a good mom is taught from generation to generation. With each generation fewer and fewer mothers are raising the next generation. They are giving over to societies views and accepting their terms. More and more mothers are self centered, selfish, me first women. The children are too costly in time, money, convenience. They call themselves mother, even good mothers. Sadly, they do not even know what a good mother is today. We need role models. Moms to stand up and be moms; God first, kids and husband as a priority. A true mother may be somewhere down in the double digits in priority.

Mom. She gives her all and is ridiculed in today’s society. She is worthless in their eyes. She is a stay at home, non working mom. Really? She is more than just mom. She is the mom that fills the gaps at schools, communities, churches and neighborhoods. She may not get paid, but she works outside of the home. Sometimes so much so that she is up late at night and early in the morning to complete all the chores for her own. She may also be the works for pay mom that fills in gaps, cramming 36 hours into 24. She is a real mom. She is selfless. She is exhausted. And, she is worthless in the eyes of the world. Worthless? Not in God’s eyes. She is valuable and rare.



25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the
future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the
teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who
[s]fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the [t]product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:25-31 NASB

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms!

RBGreen2019 by RBGreenDesigns.com

Life Is A Rose Garden


T.V. has many shows telling you to come to Christ and your life will be a rose garden.  Everything is all upbeat and happy.   Then you have the flip side where people tell you that life is hard, even if you are a Christian, so deal with it.  I think it is important that we raise our children with a realistic picture of our life in Christ. The truth is, THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT!  Life In Christ IS a rose garden but, you can count on it…. life will be hard, regardless!
 

Life IS A Rose Garden

In the 70’s and 80’s I was a member of the Atlanta Rose Society with my father.  We entered rose shows and I even tested for Jackson Perkins Roses.  Rose gardens are HARD to maintain.   There is so much to making the rose the beautiful flower it is when you cut it and put it on your table.

Consider:

Black spot – a fungus that causes the leaves to drop and weakens the plant.  The black spot in a Christian’s life is sin and causes weakening in our daily walk; crippling us until we are of no use to Him.  We are to be spotless.blackspot

Aphidssuck the sap out and inject their saliva which passes disease from one plant to another, weakening the plant and keeping it from proper photosynthesis.   aphidsWhen we allow aphids in our life (parasitical non-Christian plans and life styles) to contaminate us with the ways of the world, we cannot grow in Him as He has planned.  This is where we need to learn to be “IN” the world and not “OF” the world.

Root rot – roses do not like wet feet.  They need proper drainage so the soil mixture needs to be correct.  The plant depends on its feet, or as we know them, roots.  If they are wet all the time they will rot and the plant dies.  root rotAs Christians we too can get root rot.  The soil we are planted in and the soil we plant in, must be properly conditioned by the Holy Spirit.  If we are filling our soil with junk and rocks then we will get root rot.  This will cause us to be unfruitful, and we will wither up and die.  What we read, watch, and hear (and what we allow our children to read, watch and hear) conditions our soil.

img_0448Pruning – you must cut a rose off the bush correctly if you want it to grow another flower.   That means do not “hedge trim across the top” and do not cut in the wrong place.  It must be an angle cut above a 5 leaf in order for another rose to produce.  It is VERY specific and it removes the bloom above the cut.  The rose bush loses a bloom.   If it is cut wrong it will not produce correctly, becoming ugly and without blooms. Then there is the winter pruning when the plant is cut to 1/3 of its normal size leaving only the pencil width stems.  It seems harsh and it looks harsh but winter is coming and it will brace the bush for the harsh times ahead.   We must not shun the pruning of the Holy Spirit, especially when we are in a ‘winter’ season.   It will be specific and direct and we need to trust those times when something specific is pruned from our life.  Sometimes it will feel so harsh because winter has begun, again.  Sometimes we think spring has come only to be hit with a harsh winter storm.   If we allow the Lord to prune us correctly, we will produce fruit, many times over regardless of the winters and their length.

Thorns – ever notice that when you get a dozen roses from a floral shop that the thorns have been removed?  thornsThat is because they do not want you to get stuck or scratched.  They want the rose to be nothing but beauty, no thorns attached.  The florist wants the rose to represent the store as a true beauty.  We must remove our thorns daily as we walk among our family, friends and the world.  We must be a true beauty, representing our Savior and not stick and scratch all those we come in contact with.

God plants us as a rose in His garden.  We will have black spot all around us to ward off.  Aphids will constantly try to suck the very Christian life out of us and devour us.  Root rot will try and sneak up on us and we must be constantly aware of where we plant our feet.  Pruning is necessary and it will hurt but, we can trust the Master Gardner knows what is best for us.  If we do not resist, we can grow from His careful shears and will produce even more beautiful fruit.  And finally, we must walk with Him daily removing all the thorns of our lives that would hurt others and be a true beauty to the world of God’s love for us.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 –  “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 5:20 “…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Blog by RBGreen copyright 2019 RBGreenDesigns.com

Bully for you …


My granddaughter competed in a dance competition this weekend for the first time in almost two years. She moved back from overseas after 12 years. She is 13 years old. Thirteen is an awkward age, not a kid and certainly not an adult (although many parents treat them as adults). While she lived overseas she was teased about being different, her height, among other things. She was 5’7″ by age 12. She was half American, half German and she lived on a Greek isle. So she was different. Teasing is a worldwide issue.

Words hurt. Giraffe, elephant, beached whale, hairball … name calling. After a while they start to believe what they are hearing. I never allowed my girls to say stupid or idiot. Shaping self esteem shapes character on both sides, the giver and the receiver.

We all grew up with teasing. I know I was called everything from toothpick to “flag at half mast” about my body shape. People are cruel. I survived because I had four older siblings and it was survival of the fittest. Low self esteem is created, not born. It comes from teasing and bullying depending on your viewpoint and the intensity of the interactions. If you are an only child, or eldest, there is no buffer to help you. Only children and eldest are the ones that I notice with the most to overcome. My granddaughter is the eldest. My daughter helped my granddaughter by allowing her to make a MUSIC VIDEO.

Cover of “Beatiful”, Age 12

The song talks about being beautiful no matter what people say. I have watched it many times and shared it as a tool. Teachers working with kids about bullying and with moms that have a kid suffering from bullying show the video and then discuss how what you say damages others.

When teasing continues unchecked it hurts and it is bullying. Bullying does not just happen, it is taught. I do not think people even realize they are the teachers.

This weekend as my granddaughter came on stage to perform her solo she was announced as a 12 year old. Her 13th birthday was a couple of weeks back and after the paperwork was turned in to compete. The age division was 12-14 so it really did not matter. You compete at the age you are when you file your papers. In the audience dance groups sit together. Right behind my granddaughter’s group were students and moms from another dance school. One mom said loud enough for others to hear, “Yeah right, 12 … maybe 4 yrs ago”. All parents do it and think nothing of it because it is not their kid. Words. One simple, uncalled for remark.

  • It called into discussion whether she was in the right age group
  • It inferred she was cheating
  • It made fun of her height and body

If I were there, and the one sitting in front of that mom, I would have turned around and told her my granddaughter’s birth date, about the 6’6″ dad, and the teasing and name calling she had already endured. I would have let her know she had just taught all the kids around her the first step in bullying. Yes, I am just one of those people that believes in accountability.

Working in schools and in the community, I have dealt with so many teasing and bullying victims. Sadly, I have had three commit suicide. I remember a young second grade student sitting in my lap in the hall crying over being called “tree” because of her height, and other names because she was biracial. She did not want to walk up straight and be tall. It was okay for boys to be tall but, not girls. She overcame, embraced her nicknames. She grew up to play in the women’s professional basketball leagues with much support from teachers, family and friends. Sadly though, many times family members do not recognize the child is suffering until it is too late. The signs of shyness, withdrawal and even exclusion are there but, sadly not seen.

Sticks and stones will break your bones and words can forever hurt you is truly the way the old saying should read. The Bible accurately instructs us on minding our tongues. We teach a children’s song that has it’s fourth verse instruction on what you say:


“O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say “


James 1:19 (NASB)
“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; “


Proverbs 12:18 (NASB)
“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.”


Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. “


Proverbs 29:11 (ESV)
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”

Be careful with your words. They matter. Someone is always listening.

RBGreenDesigns.com copyright 2019

Shaking In Your Boots


My shaking is in equal proportion to my lack of trust. This thought occurred to me after one of my “life experiences”.

Bridges of life; some scary if you make them.

Have you ever walked a rope bridge and the very shaking as you walked scared you to death? Then someone goes bounding by and makes it shake even worse? You have to remain calm, grab the guide ropes, focus on your steps, the end of the bridge is the goal. You cannot look at the speedster, look around, down over the edge, or behind to get calm. You trust the bridge will hold. because the guidelines are tied to the boards. You stand solid on the boards, hold the guide rope and then proceed, one step at a time.

Life experiences, your bridges, are to make you grow.  As each bridge is walked over you should begin to not feel shakes because you trust the guideline you are holding onto. The shakes are simply movement, part of the process of getting from where you were to where you are going.  You have to take the bridge.

I literally have been scared to death by some of the bridges in life I have traveled. I do not ride zip lines, roller coasters, sky dive or rock climb. I mean, why jump out of a perfectly good plane, right?  I know some people get their thrills from challenging death.  My life’s bridges have provided enough scared to death moments.

  • At eight years of age I was pulled under the surf in Panama City, FL.  My mother got to me before the lifeguard.  I spent two weeks in bed with ruptured eardrums, carbuncles on them and infections.   I would not go in the ocean over my ankles until decades later.  I could not wash my hair in the shower.  I washed it in the sink.  I was scared to death of being under water.
  • At 16 I was a few feet away as I witness a stabbing to a guy’s heart after a football game.  I was taken by deputies to identify the assailants, face to face, still in my majorette uniform.  I was threatened for months before the trial if I testified. The trial was horrific and I was terrified.  I couldn’t sleep without a light on.  I was scared to death of the dark; of certain types of guys.
  • At 27 I was lost during an emergency C-Section. Obviously, they brought me back. But, during subsequent pregnancies I was scared to death of what was going to happen with that pregnancy.  I was scared to death I would not live to see my baby.
  • When my brother died in a plane crash I became scared to death to fly.  I had to take tranquilizers to get on a plane to an already planned convention just two months afterwards.  I would not if I could get there any other way.
  • When I  became conscious briefly, after my double bleed stroke, I realized they were placing me in an air flight from one hospital to another.  First reaction was to fight,  I was still scared to death of flying.  After they discovered the DVA in my brain (from birth) that had ruptured, I lived in fear it would rupture again.
Although I would love to say nothing scares me anymore, I know that is not true.  I may react at first in fear.  But, what I do know is that Jesus is my Guide Line in life, I can hold on to Him as I take each bridge from one point to another as I am on my journey.  I may briefly shake, but I can focus on the bridge because I am holding the Guide Line. The Guide Line calms me  and I can walk step by step calmer.  I do not have to fear or shake in my boots with each new bridge, circumstance of life.
RBGreen2019


Let’s Call It What It Is, Selfishness.


There is nothing new under the sun. No new faults, desires, sins. It all boils down to self, the “I wants”, right now, greed.

Greed, the hardening of the heart to put self before all else is as old as time. “I want”, “I need”, and “me first above all else” is priority. Self leads to all sins because self rules.

People want to be rich, they want success, they want prosperity, they want everything centered around them, they want… want… want. Wants, not needs, is as old as recorded time.
Yesterday New York celebrated a “want” for women. High society, highly successful New York, so sophisticated, so highly educated, right? Or, are they just turning back time to archaic and barbaric practices? Did they not just erase centuries of advancement for women?

The Canaanites, circa 1509 BC, practiced a ritual of offering their first born to the fires of Moloch so they would receive riches, prosperity and a successful life. Malkam was the same for the Ammonites and Melqart for the Tyrian. Placing their first born in a fire, how barbaric people say. How ignorant, how selfish. God thought so.

Leviticus 20:2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death.

Imagine what He thinks now as New York has just turned back time. Women can now offer their first born to the fires of abortion. Yes, fire, saline abortion is toxic and it burns. Essentially it burns soft tissues, even skin in the womb. The baby is burned even from the inside as the child swallows the solution. Such torture. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. How barbaric. A modern woman would never do such a thing.

New York has done the unthinkable. A woman can choose to torture an infant for convenience, for costs, for unwanted, for wrong gender, for any reason. Be careful though, you still cannot disturb a turtle or eagles nest. Those eggs, fertilized or not, are still protected by state and federal laws.
Welcome to 2019 New York. Your women can sacrifice their first born for convenience, career, riches, gender choice …. success and prosperity. Moloch just changed his name to abortion.

A civilized woman would utilize self control over selfishness. A civilized society would fund adoptions, not abortions.

2019 and God Has Not Changed


As in so many years previous, (as lawbreakers shooting off fireworks kept my weary body awake) I asked the Lord for an easy year. The past 10 had been so hard. But, this past year was hard too, if not harder.

The reality is, life is hard. Circumstances beyond your control surround and almost crush you. As I look back over these past 10 years, life happened. And there were more valleys than mountain top circumstances.

The one truth is, there’s always been one set of footprints, never two. He’s always carried me or I would have never made it through. The mountain tops are the heights your spirit is in on His shoulders as His feet trudges through the valley your current circumstances take you through.

He allows life to happen. He doesn’t ask you to go it on your own. It’s hard to let go and let God. But, oh, when you do….

This year, I ask again Him to carry me where He wants. He has a plan. He’s still on the throne. He’s still in control. He loves me and cares for me. Nothing’s going to surprise Him and catch Him off guard. I can trust Him.

Happy New Year! Trust, obey. ~ RBG