Monday, January 9, 2012

How to Have a HEART for Your Kids - What it Means That "All Things Work Together For Good" (and what it doesn't mean)

HEART Book Club Banner1 How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids   Introduction

January is moving along at a rapid pace for me! It's a good month for new beginnings - 
I can't believe it's already time for the 
"How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids" book club

This book is one that has really grabbed "a-hold" of me. 

I've read some good parenting books - but this is one that really hits home.
 Rachael Carman is a woman after my own heart. 

I love the way she thinks- the way she isn't afraid to speak about her failures
and her short comings. She has allowed God to shine through the broken places in her life.
I want that for my life. Lord knows there have been enough cracked and broken 
places over the years. It's about time I allow God to use it - in my home, my marriage, 
my friendships (both online and off) to allow people to see -
you think you may be - or how unworthy - God can make you whole and He can 
use you. He's the God that turns ashes into beauty! 

I still have plenty of broken places- you can see them daily if you are around to 
take a closer look - but I'm so very grateful for the way God is allowing 
some of that broken-ness to be used for His glory. 

Oh Yes, about the book: 
See, I've been digging through this book and it's one of those I just want 
EVERYONE to read! Once in awhile I get excited about a book -

"How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids" is one I want to give the whole world!
If we could all get on board with this, speak honestly about our failures, encourage each other 
with godly love, apply the scriptures to our every day life - 
what a sweet sweet spirit we could have in this place, in our homes all across 
the country, all around the world. 

I may be getting a tad dramatic, but I'm feeling dramatic!
I'm ready for some dramatic changes up in here!!!
We need some changes in our hearts - in our homes. 
Our children (and spouses) need  for us to allow God's light to shine through us.

On a personal note-
Some of you know that we have adopted one of our boys. I'm a big supporter of adoption, and
because of that reason, I've been hesitant to speak/write about anything negative.

We knew that our situation wouldn't be easy when we adopted a child at 8 months who had
been through a terrible ordeal - but as prepared as we thought we were- we become weary at times
I've mentioned that there have been challenges- that it "hasn't always been easy."
I feel strongly that God is leading me to be more open about our situation.

Not because I feel a need to complain, or unload but because I believe God wants people to
know that EVEN in the difficult times, deep in the Hard places - He is THERE

Not because I have to - or even really want to dig  deep and open myself up to
criticism - but because it is HIS - my life is not my own-  it is His and therefore, when
He is moving and shaking - I don't have a right to keep it to myself. I need to share it just in case
someone else out there needs to hear it - to know they are not alone. I'm no perfect parent.
I mess it up all the time!

We have faced some really tough situations with our baby boy. He is now 6 years old, and
whether it's because of the drugs he was exposed to as he grew or the neglect he experienced
after his birth(a combination of both I believe) He has some very REAL issues
- which means that
WE have some very REAL issues to deal with regularly! 
His issues are our issues - that is what family does
God wants to heal him - He's working a miracle in his little life
 - but this boy of mine has his own choices to make too and sometimes he stands in his own way.
(sound familiar? don't we all do that at one time or another?)
All the love in the world cannot make him choose what's right.

Some days I know he must feel so proud, as I am proud of him for trying hard to do right.
Other days - I know he must feel as though he is drowning with no end in sight
- as I sometimes do -

On those days when he goes from one thing to the next being destructive - intentionally damaging-
sneaking- lying- seemingly out of control- when all should be well. 
It can be incredibly "disheartening"

Romans 8:28
"And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those 
who are called according to His purpose." 

This verse gets thrown around a lot - and is abused about as much as
"He'll never give us more than we can handle" 
(That one is NOT in there y'all- only that He won't give us more "temptation" than we can bear
it does not speak to the trial and hardship in our lives)
He never promised us a rose garden!

This is what I'm getting at-
PARENTING is tough business - It's hard! 
We are imperfect people in an imperfect world and there are no magic buttons.

Paul wrote the verse from Romans above - the same Paul who was beaten, imprisoned, tortured -
He was NOT trying to tell us that
 "as long as you love Jesus - everything in your life is gonna be hunky-dory!" 
Life is hard- our situation is hard - and I don't always handle it right.

God hasn't promised me that it is going to be easy or even that it will work out the way
I want it to - the way WE want it to - but He does promise that we don't have to walk it alone! 
He does promise that if we love Him and are called according to HIS PURPOSE -
(people often stop at verse 28 when we really need verse 29 to define it)

Romans 8:29a"because those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be 
conformed to the image of His Son"

This is the good that all things work together for in my life!
It's not the easy road, but it's the only one for me.

It is GOOD to be conformed to the image of Christ
- this is what He is promising for those who love Him!

Philippians 1:6
"Being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in 
you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

This is what I am now praying (out loud) for my baby and me
that we, by His grace and even through our trials - will be conformed to His image!

And have the Perfect Love of Christ in us - the Imperfect People
So grateful that I get to see glimpses of the miracle He is working - the healing!

 The topics in the "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T." book will lead you towards a
closer walk with Christ - I believe it will show in your home and mine

It's not too late if you want to join in and take part in our online book club:

Get yourself a book with the link above and join us at The Pelsers 
You can go here to let Amanda know you want to join the group and she'll get you
access to the facebook page and the newsletters.

I'm looking forward to learning more and growing with you ladies who are taking part. 
I'll be sharing tid-bits here on Adventurez and even have the honor of writing about chapter 4.

*edit - Evidently, I'm supposed to be writing about the Introduction
(another one of those "imperfections" of mine - whoops)
The introduction was fabulous - Rachel tells about what led them to homeschool
and how (much like me) it wasn't her original plan - We had a terrible experience with school
it wasn't an easy step to take but it was the RIGHT step for our family!
I know that NOW more than ever - but this is not a book just for homeschool families

It's a book for parents who want to raise their children with a heart for God! 

I want to raise these little monkey's with the right kind of heart!

Here's the break down of the H.E.A.R.T. book:
H- Have a Heart for the things of God 
E- Enrich Your Marriage
A- Accept Your Children 
R- Release Them to God 
T- Teach Them the Truth 

It makes for an awesome formula! 
Won't you join us?

#1000 Gifts - I'm Counting :

112. the broken pieces don't go to waste 
113. glimpses of  His light
114. everyday miracles 
115. hard places (yes) 
116. progress 
117. the opportunity to grow 
118. doing it together - always together 
119. strength that can only be HIS 
120. online book clubs and relationships which encourage! 
121. opportunity to conform daily 

Linking with these awesome blogs - you might want to check them out: 

Hip Homeschool Hop Button
   The Pelsers
Mustard Seeds



Jennifer said...

That is an encouraging book and an amazing review. I love the picture of you and your sweetie. 113, 115, 119, 120 agree! I linked over here from Ann's blog. Enjoy the counting.

Michelle said...

Wow! This is an incredible post. You have put into words so many honest thoughts that I've had too. We aren't perfect parents and this is His life we're living. So often I've needed to be reminded of these things. "EVEN in the difficult times, deep in the Hard places - He is THERE .. " Such a crucial reminder for us. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful post. I look forward to reading your posts each week and getting to know you. I hope that one day we get to meet IRL.
Hugs to you!

MomLaur said...

Awesome deep words Kelli. I agree, it's a book I want everyone to read, and I'm only partway into the first chapter! Love your heart to pursue your boys on this parenting journey, especially thru the struggles with your youngest. Thanks for sharing so much!

Angel said...

Sounds like a great book! My adopted baby is now 15. She came home when she was 18mths. The journey with her has been amazing. Thanks for sharing about your little guy! My kids are older but I still love a good parenting book. When they were younger, I knew I needed as much help as I could get so I read and read and read. Maybe I'll pick this one up, too! Thanks for the recommendation.

k balman said...

Great post. I am so happy I met you online. Cannot wait to meet you in real life. Thanks for your honesty!

1TootieFoodie said...

I love your honesty, your story, and your passion to change and work for Christ. It is inspirational, and I am also challenging myself to be even closer to Christ this year. I think adoption is way AWESOME!

Fawn said...

I love that H.E.A.R.T. I remember when we were going through the adoption process, the facilitator was sharing with us the amount of challenges we might face if we adopted a child who wasn't a newborn and had already experienced abandonment, neglect, abuse and a number of other challenges. But we were still open. Unfortunately, the adoption fell through because the birth mom left the state. Although she could not care for this child, there was a desire to hold on to an unhealthy relationship and the child somehow played into that. It was disappointing but we are certainly still open if that is God's will for our lives.

meandmy2monsters said...

Great Post!I think it's wonderful to be open about your failures and struggles, That is how I try to live. Thanks for the post. I've been wanting to read that book and now more than ever. :)

This Mom's Heart said...

Great post! When writing, I always try to be open and honest with where I am and what I happen to be failing at- because He is made perfect in my weakness! My best friend has adopted 2 little girls through foster care, and she has been (and will continue to go through) many issues with her oldest because of what she's endured. I'd say that, for people like her, there NEED to be more people ready to be honest about their journeys as adoptive parents, and the way they overcome struggles. I know it would minister to her heart and others! (and your remark about God not giving us more than we can handle made me laugh, because I wrote a whole blog post about that very concept- and why it is wrong- recently!)

Jen said...

I think God is so honored when we put ourselves out there so that His glory may shine. So glad you have joined SDG so we can journey together -- hearts bare.

Beth said...

This is such a beautiful post. Thanks for being so real and vulnerable! <3

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your encouraging words! And what beautiful photos! You are right. We are not honest with our failures. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the book.

Kim Van Brunt said...

Kelli - hopping over from my blog, where you commented two weeks ago and I just found it in my spam folder! Argh!

I love these words -- so true that He is with us in the hard times and the dark places. We don't need to shy away from sharing them. They can be the most encouraging words to people who are undoubtedly having the same struggles. Blessings!

LeAnn ~ My Day In The Making said...

I read this post and there are so many parts to it that I can relate to. My youngest son is a high functioning aspie.(He has aspergers.) He would get into a tizzy over nothing and it impacted the rest of the family. In the middle of third grade we pulled him from his Christian school and began home schooling. (A week before I told a friend I would never home school, not cut out for it. Ha ha, God has a sense of humor!)Although it was hard for a season he is doing great! He is now in 11th grade and this year returned to school and is doing great! One thing we did that made a big difference was to give him something called Reliv. That was our turn around. It took the edge off the burden on his nervous system. You might check it out. We used it the first year, he improved, and now the he is back in school he asked to have it again. He drinks it every morning before school. Just an idea from one mom to another. The other thing was that I have a prayer warrior friend that has been faithfully praying for him. Thank God for this fantastic women that impact lives in ways they will never fully know. I can't say I am gifted like she is, but I am praying for you today. :)May the Lord richly bless you as you journey on!!!

Rebecca said...

I am with you..>I am ready for some GOOD drama, heart changing/loving more beating down drama.....we need a plan!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for being so real about your struggles! We have some too, and I'm planning to read this book after I finish this session of Bible in 90 Days! After reading your introduction, I can't wait!

Natasha said...

Love your post. Still praying for you and yours. I just posted this week some info on RAD on my site. Thought you might find it interesting.

Sarah said...

Loved your post - I read while my son is having a temper tantrum and DH and I were losing our patience, thank you for the post.

Amanda @ The Pelsers said...

I'm so glad you're joining me in the book club. I'd love to put a copy of this book in every mom's hands.

Kelli said...

I think I need to check this book out. Especially after your review.

Tidbit - I love your pictures. There is always love in your pictures. Love of God's creation, love of your family, love of food, etc.

Penney Douglas said...

Hi Kelli,

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this book club. I already had the book (I won it at an Apologia Facebook party!). And lately, I have come face to face with problems we have in our family that I have been in denial about. It's all very spiritual and some of it is even demonic. Our two oldest are deceived and of course don't know it, and they're leading our younger ones into it and have won some of their hearts away from us. I can't believe this has happened to us. My husband is working in another state, so I'm having to try to deal with it alone. He's very frustrated about not being here to handle it with me. It's heartbreaking, but we're now trying to pull everybody back to biblical truth and get all of the demonic influences out of our home. As the men put it in "Courageous", we let go of the wheel for a while. But we're trying to get things back on the right path. Please pray for us.