Tag Archives: discipline

Playing the God Card.

It’s no longer easy clothes shopping with Anna Takle.   Not that it ever has been.  But, friends, it’s harder.  Much, much harder.  I had to try to resuscitate Kris after Anna asked for a bra.  In every store, little bras hung, and Anna clung to them like that little undergarment would make her world complete.

Then, she insisted on trying on a pair of shorts her father and I were not going to pay for.  They were just too short for our taste.  We let her try them on.  And, subsequently, we still told her no.  The bewildered look on her face to our opposition to the shorts let us know she thought we were being a little over the top.  She looked at me and said, “You just don’t get my style.”

I realize her intent with the short shorts is probably not to be a sexy little seven-year old.  So, what’s the big deal?  It’s probably not.  Not today.  But, it will be one day when her young innocence becomes a little more infiltrated with what society deems as beautiful for girls.  And, I’d just rather loosen the reigns later than have to tighten them.  So, I remain a stick in the mud kind of mom, I suppose.  Who doesn’t get her style.

I didn’t go into the conversation of “Anna, you are not the sum of your parts,” speech.  I just didn’t think it timely for her age.  But, I also didn’t tell her “Those shorts aren’t Godly.”  Because, that would’ve been a legalistic explanation, I’m sure.  I just told her that we didn’t think those shorts were the right choice for her today.

I think too often we play the “God card” with our kids.  It’s something I have recognized in my own parenting.

“How do you think it makes God feel when you are being ugly to your sister?”

“How would Jesus had handled this situation?”

“Do you think it makes God happy when you deceive us?”

The list could go on.

I serve a God who loves me no matter what.  Whose blood covers a multitude of my stupid mess-ups.  Who has an endless supply of grace that He lavishes on me.  So, who was this God I was teaching?  Not the One I cry out to.  Not the One who shows grace to me when I screw up as a parent.

I haven’t played the God card in every parenting situation.  There have been plenty of moments where pure discipleship abounded.  But, those times I’ve played the God card didn’t even rest well in my own spirit.  It just seemed convenient.  And, a quick fix.

So, instead of asking “How would Jesus had handled this situation?”  I might ask, “Why do YOU think it’s better to forgive?”  “How does it make YOU feel when you forgive?”

Because, friends….

Teaching our children to do right for the sake of doing right isn’t going to cut it by itself.   Through every life lesson, we need to do our best to tell them WHY His way is better.  WHY forgiveness is just as much for us as it is for the one who hurt us.

And, I have a life full of examples of why choosing to do things God’s way has made all of the difference in my own life.

So, share your own life examples with your children.  Tell them why it has worked for you.  Don’t make your children live in fear of not only disappointing you, but disappointing their Creator.  Instead, portray their King in such a way….live for Him in such a way….that they will TRUST that His ways really are better.

And, when they mess up, show them the same grace He shows you.  Discipline when needed.  But, let grace be the covering of it all.


Filed under God Stuff, Motherhood, parenting, Shopping, Virtue

Geek Prayer Warrior.

Writing is a spiritual discipline for me now.  I know this.  I know this, because, I feel a sense of guilt when I don’t write.  Not a condemnation kind of guilt.  That’s not God’s style.  Rather, the kind of guilt you feel when you know you aren’t doing what God wants you to do in your life at this given moment.  I mean, obviously, I haven’t felt a GREAT DEAL of guilt about it in the past given my lengthy sabbaticals since kid three arrived.  Because, clearly, I’ve been able to still eat with this kind of guilt.

I guess it’s kind of like physical exercise.  You don’t always want to do it, but after you do, you feel so much better.  So, I’ve been thinking about ways to organize my writing time.  I figure if I make plans to write, I will.  Just like everything else in life.  We do what we make the time to do.  So, while, I am reading other people’s material and advice on how to help writing schedule, I thought I’d share with you how I make time to pray for people.  Or better yet, how I remember to pray for people and their specific needs.

When I someone asks me to pray for them, or if I commit to pray for someone, I pray for them the moment they ask.  The very moment.  Even if I’m in their presence, I make a conscious choice to pray silently right then and there.  If I read on Facebook or Twitter or receive an email that someone needs prayer, I pray immediately.  I don’t wait.  Because, then, I will surely forget.  But, once I pray that one time, something clicks.  And, that need someone has stays with me.  That need will continue to flow through my mind as the days and weeks come and go.  Then, whenever I think about that person, I pray for them. 

So, if you ask me, in person, to pray for you, and you suddenly think I’ve exited the planet, I’m still here.  It’s just my thing.  It seals that need into my memory bank. 

Now, suddenly, I feel very much like the geek prayer warrior.  Which brings up another factoid about me.  I never title my blog posts until I’m half-way through writing it.  It’s at this point in my post I’ve decided to name it “Geek Prayer Warrior.”

And, the little snippet above has nothing to do with this post.  Of course. 

So, the next time someone asks you to pray for them, try my little trick.  Heck, it may not work for ya.  I’m just sayin’.  Try it.  I have learned the more I think about other people, the more I pray for them.  And, the more I pray for other people, the less I think of myself.  And, the less I think of myself, the more I think on Him.  And, the more I think on Him, the more He becomes center.

And, well, everything is better when He is center.



Thank you.  A-MEN.


Filed under prayer, Spiritual Journey, Writing

A Broken And A Contrite Heart.

I keep getting these e-mails about potential boarding schools.  I’ve yet to classify them as spam, you know, just in case.  Oh, I would never.  I could never. 

Could I?

No.  I love this insanely unpredictable saga I live with a husband, two kids, and a dog.  And, of course, baby number three forming as I type. 

Yesterday, I told you about our latest parenting issue with little Miss Takle.  But yesterday afternoon, I encountered a discipline issue with John Henry.  And, his response broke me.

He had mistreated his sister.  It was small stuff by most people’s terms.  But, we see treating each other the way Christ wants us to treat each other as big stuff. 

I sent him to his room.  I entered knowing that he would have to be disciplined.  After it was over, he fell in my arms, and wailed, “The things I did to my sister were wrong!”  His heartfelt repentance broke him.

It broke me.

I felt tears touching my shoulders, and I’m sure he felt tears touching his.  There are times when my children tell one another they are sorry, because we force it on them.  Then, there are moments like these where they are truly broken.  They experience true repentance. 

Later that evening, John Henry asked me to tell Kris what happened. 

“You want me to tell Dad?”  I asked him.

“Yes.  I want him to know,” he responded.

He doesn’t even understand the scripture of confessing your sins to one another, but he is already practicing it.  I couldn’t help but think.  When is the last time I felt that kind of repentance in my own heart?  Where I was really broken?  Am I that broken when I talk about someone behind their back?  When I mishandle someone?  When I sin against my Father? 

Lord, create in me a new heart.  Renew a right spirit within me.

Let me come before your throne with a heart of David.  And, understand, once again, the JOY of your salvation.   

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.  Psalm 51:17


Filed under God Stuff, parenting, Virtue

The NAV Bible (New Anna Version)


Last week, Anna got into trouble at Pre-School.  When I found out about it, I let her know that she was in trouble, and I would have to tell her dad about it.  John Henry, self-appointed Sheriff of Moral Order, also got involved.  Here is how the conversation went.

Me:  Anna, I’m going to talk to your dad when we get home.  This is unacceptable.

Anna: (Crying) NO!  Don’t tell Daddy!  Don’t tell Daddy!

Me:  Anna, I can’t keep this from your Daddy.

John Henry:  Anna, the Bible says we should not keep secrets from one another.  [A bit of a stretch on the truth shall set you free.]

Anna:  (Sobbing) Well, my Bible says different things!

I could not help but laugh.  Her Bible says different things.  Oh, how we all, at some point in life, pretend our Bible says something different.

Her quick wit didn’t save her from being disciplined. 

But, it almost did.

Have you ever been unable to discipline your child because of his or her wit?  I bet you have!


Filed under Kid Stuff, parenting

The Negotiator


Living with us is one little girl with some mad negotiating skills.  We have to stand our ground – all tough-like.  Anna, ahem, Angel can explain her way out of and into a lot. 

But, we’re onto her.

And her subtly cunning nature.

Take last night for example.  She futility attempted to talk her dad into letting her watch a movie while she “falls asleep.”  Yeah.  Whatev’. 

Enters Mom.  Before I begin her bedtime prayers, she says to Kris, “Dad, could you step into the hall, please?”  In other words, can you get out so I can usurp your authority by asking mom what you just said no to?  Or something like that.

Do you have a negotiator or sly one?  {Or not so sly in this case.}
How do you handle their attempts at negotiation?


Filed under parenting