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A compilation of writings from my journey in life.
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On Westbow Press Online Bookstore Catalog
When I was in college in Atlanta, we traveled over 30 miles on Tuesday night to a Bible study that sometimes had over 400 in attendance. There was a three-piece band and a speaker. Simple music, simple truths. The concept was, “if you teach them, they will come” and we did. We studied the Bible a passage at a time. I remember it was the first time I heard the phrase “the Beatitudes are Attitudes to be”. Most of what God has to teach us and our children is simple truths. We just like to complicate them.
As parents or workers with children of various ages, we know “attitude”. We probably get several doses a day. Have you ever thought about teaching children a conscious attitude; attitudes to be? Jesus did, and He gave a wonderful lesson that we should teach to our children early on.
TO BE verb and auxiliary verb
- present singular 1st person: am (I am)
- 2nd person: are (you are)
- 3rd person: is (he/she is)
Attitudes are something you ARE and choose to BE. Attitude is a decision. Very early on you must teach children that they are choosing their attitudes and those choices decide how they act. Their actions have consequences. At the first sign of an inappropriate attitude you look them straight in the face and say, “you need to make a decision. Make a good one. If you continue in this ____ (name it – action or attitude) then YOU are DECIDING and CHOOSING this consequence“ (name it and make sure you stick to it). Make sure you are in a right attitude yourself. Lose the temptation of grounding them for life attitude. Teach them to do as you do.
You can teach them as early as two that they are ‘asking’ for consequences by their choices. If they are acting out they choose to be punished. Do not let them blame you. Encourage them to choose wisely and receive good consequences.
I hear mom’s say, “he/she’s in their terrible two’s” or, “oh, he/she’s carried the terrible two’s into the terrifying three’s”. Don’t CLAIM it for goodness sake. Do something about it. You do not let children control you or your home.
I know I have said it under other sections, but let me say it again. Parenting is a SMALL minuscule picture on earth of our Heavenly Father’s relationship with us. Remember what happens when you try to control your life; you try to control God? Makes a mess of things doesn’t it? Well, why are you allowing children to control you and the home? I see toddlers in control of large adults 4x’s their size and I shake my head and think, “when did you hand them the keys?” Most turn over control before they are two believe it or not.
I won’t mention which daughter, but one of mine wanted something in the checkout line and I said, “no”. To which I received a tantrum, her first. I looked at her and told her she was embarrassing herself and me and that was no way to behave in a store. I told her to make a decision or I would have to embarrass her. She continued to scream. So I dropped to the floor and threw a tantrum. She was mortified. She told me I was ‘mbearinsing her’. I told her I would stop if she did. Quit laughing, it worked. We were in Winn Dixie and a mom looked at me and said, “Oh, if I only had the courage to do that.” There were no more tantrums in the store. There are those that say not to humiliate your child in public. HOGWASH! (<~ I have become my mom, it was her fav word). Half of what is wrong with children is we are protecting them from good child rearing techniques for fear of what others will say or think. Or worse, what some ‘professional in the world’ says will hurt the child. The world is not in charge of raising your child. The truth is, you answer only to God for how you turn out your kids. Any child still living at home and you pay the bills, is your responsibility, your stewardship under God’s eyes. I am sorry to say that an out of control teenager did not wake up that way one morning. It started years before when someone stopped parenting and handed over the keys. It is very hard, but not impossible, to get those keys back and start over. God expects you do to just that. With a preteen or teen you start with a heart to heart of how it should have been and how it wil be going forward if you have to take away a lot it is hard just keep reminding them their choices decide the consequences
God gave a manual on teaching attitudes to yourself as well as your children. These are simple Bible truths that Jesus taught in Matthew 5. (This is greatly simplified due to BLOG constraints – everyone should really do a thorough study of God’s attitudes TO BE.)
Learn the BEatitudes and pass them on to your children. What’s your BEatitude today?
Renee’ Green Copyright 2012
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Social media is swamped with everything from pity and woe, to beware and be scared. It is not that I do not understand these emotions, these fears, I do.
I have lost loved ones too soon. The list is long. I lost a sibling tragically. I did not understand. I was not asked to. I know death up close and personal. I have watched it suffocate. I watched my dad crash. I watched his lung suctioned. Scripture asks me to trust. Obey. Faith.
I have walked through hard times of jobs lost, savings and retirement gone, car and home lost. No income. It is hard. It is devastating. But, God had a plan. I was not asked to like the circumstances I was passing through, just to stand on His firm foundation and trust His plan. It does not matter if I ever understand the reason this side of Heaven. I am asked to trust. Faith.
Seniors are missing end of year memories. It is hard, I know. I did not go to homecoming or prom. I had worked all summer with 8 girls; made them 3 uniforms each. Those 27 uniforms saw little use when my senior year world was turned upside down. A boy was stabbed in the heart in front of me. Memories? I was 16 years old. My brother turned to protect me and push me out of the way of the five boys attacking. The police took four of us as witnesses. They let my brother stay with me. It was an away game. Cell phones were not invented. My parents met the busses, heard there was a stabbing. My brother and I did not get off the bus. Someone told them we were ok and I was a witness. They had to go home and wait for a call. They caught all but one of the five that night. The guy that stabbed the boy in the heart got away. They lined them up in front of us and we pointed them out. No two way mirrors, face to face. Three days later I came face to face with the guy that stabbed the boy in the heart. Fear unimaginable. I got the detective. He got him. The threats came on the phone in the middle of the night. Dad took the phone off the hook. The threats and more came at school then. The school was suspended from all extra curricular events. My 17th birthday came and went. Two witnesses dropped out due to threats. The nightmares. The trial was horrible. The tranquilizers didn’t help. The stress and fear were overwhelming. I alienated friends, and eventually my high school sweetheart. Senior year? We got back activities after dad and another father threatened to shut down all 64 high schools if superintendent did not lift ban. Our teams, band, chorus, drama, etc., were able to do some events. I graduated. It is a blur. All the years of dreams gone. In the next six months dad had lung cancer. Senior year. It is not good for everyone. Focus on the good circumstances and memories you had and be thankful. You do not like the circumstances but, God has a plan. Grow. Look for the His plan. I did not at first. I dwelled on disappointment and lost dreams. I was grounded in faith, found I was still on His firm foundation. He carried me through. People look to see how you handle these circumstances if you are a Christian. You may never understand. Will you learn anything? Will you grow? Do they see faith?
These current circumstances are no different. Life is hard. Are these the end times? Does it matter? We entered the end times with the fall of Adam. There are no new trials or circumstances, no new sins. We should always live as this is the last days. Never take for granted our Lord’s grace and mercy. The Romans persecuted Christians in arenas for sport. The idol temples were filled with debauchery and sins unimaginable for profit. Plagues and famines have been recorded since Pharaohs’ days. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. You cannot scare them into it. So point to God’s sovereign love, mercy and grace. Show them trust and faith in your Lord, not fear of circumstances.
This too shall past. Be steadfast.
Psalm 26:12 NASB “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD”
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.
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.“
A civilized woman would utilize self control over selfishness. A civilized society would fund adoptions, not abortions.